Clone MTG
Phyrexian Metamorph

Phyrexian Metamorph Russian

Last Modified 10.02.2018

So, a “new clone”… on your third turn for colorless mana!.. Whoah! Best. Card. Ever!.. well, almost.

Phyrexian Metamorph

Oracle Text:

Artifact Creature — Shapeshifter

({UP} can be paid with either {U} or 2 life.)

You may have Phyrexian Metamorph enter the battlefield as a copy of any artifact or creature on the battlefield, except it’s an artifact in addition to its other types.

Phyrexian Metamorph’s mana cost contains blue phyrexian mana symbol. This means that instead of paying {U} you may pay 2 life. Nevertheless, no matter how you pay for it ({3}{U} or {3} and 2 life), its mana cost stays the same on the stack. It is equal to {3}{U/P} meaning that

(a) Metamorph is blue and

(b) its CMC = 4.

The same is true about Phyrexian Metamorph card in any zone other than the battlefield, where it has mana cost of the object it copies.

Tezzeret the Seeker

To be able to search for Phyrexian Metamorph using Tezzeret’s second ability you’ll need to remove 4 loyalty counters.


To counter an opponent’s Phyrexian Metamorph with Counterbalance’s trigger you need to reveal a card with CMC = 4.

Homicidal Brute

Despite the fact that CMC of night side of double-faced card is the same as CMC of daily one, the copy oof night side has CMC = 0.

Let’s consider that Metamorph spell is resolving successfully and it is going to leave the stack and enter the battlefield.

This is where the most interesting part begins. At the very moment Metamorph enters the battlefield you choose an artifact or a creature it will be copying. Well, of course, you may choose not to copy anything, then Metamorph will enter the battlefield as a 0/0 creature and will die the next time SBA are performed. The same may happen if there is nothing to copy, i.e. Metamorph enters an “empty” (from its ability point of view) battlefield.

Show and Tell
Emrakul the Aeons Torn
Phyrexian Metamorph

If you expect an opponent to get himself a game breaker on resolution of Show and Tell, then putting a Metamorph on the battlefield in hope to copy that game breaker is a silly thing to do. Why? Both cards will enter the battlefield at the same time and you won’t be able to choose to copy something that doesn’t exist yet.

If you belong to the bustler tribe and announce what Metamorph is going to copy as soon as you cast it, then, according to the official tournament shortcuts, you must adhere to this choice unless an opponent takes an action in response. If an opponent is asking about your choice, it is assumed that he’s passed priority and allows the Metamorph to resolve.

Metamorph’s ability (and spell for that case) doesn’t target anything. It means that you are able to choose to copy an artifact or a creature with Shroud, Hexproof, Protection from Blue/Artifacts etc.


Cloning enemy’s Progenitus with Metamorph is nice plan to get one for youself.

Phantasmal Bear

Phantasmal Bear’s ability doesn’t trigger if it has been chosen for copying.

Gaea’s Revenge

Here we have Gaea’s Revenge that can’t be a target of anything non-green. Fine! Let’s copy it!

An evident conclusion from the statements above: you can’t counter Metamorph by doing anything to the object it is copying! You wouldn’t be able to do that even if you would want to, actually: the choice is being made on resolution of Metamorph when no player receives priority; and when a player does receive priority, Metamorph is already a copy on the battlefield.

All Metamorph needs is that an object it’s going to copy is an artifact or a creature at the moment when copying happens. The last thing Metamorph cares of is what will happen to that object later. This question arises when Metamorph is copying a permanent that is temporarily artifact (e.g. something affected by Silverskin Armor or Liquimetal Coating). That’s right! Nothing fussy about that.

Sometimes, however, misunderstandings occur:

Worms of the Earth
Dryad Arbor
Phyrexian Metamorph

If Phyrexian Metamorph copies Dryad Arbor and Worms of the Earth is on the battlefield, then it won’t enter the battlefield. Metamorph is put into its owner’s graveyard if this has happened on its resolution; Metamorph stays in the zone it was in if it was going to be put on the battlefield due to some effect. Triggered abilities that would trigger when Metamorph enters the battlefield do not trigger.

Oracle text for Worms of the Earth:

Players can’t play lands.
Lands can’t enter the battlefield.
At the beginning of each upkeep, any player may sacrifice two lands or have Worms of the Earth deal 5 damage to him or her. If a player does either, destroy Worms of the Earth.

So, the object for copy is chosen

What exactly will be copied?

Card’s name, mana cost, color indicator, card type, subtype, supertype, expansion symbol, rules text, power, toughness and loyalty. Roughly speaking this is what is printed on the card or what was obtained via other copying effects. I’ll stress that this really is "roughly speaking". You shouldn’t forget that there are effects that change or set the copiable values. Also, the object’s state affects the copiable values, for example, a face-down card has a different set of characteristics than those printed on its face.

If you can read in Russian or use Google translate for web-page I recommend you to pay attention to the article Attack of the Clones. Here, I’d like to draw your attention to the fact that not all effects that change the characteristics listed above change the copiable values. The most common example is a creature boosted with Giant Growth. Naturally, it has modified P/T, but note that Giant Growth doesn’t affect the copiable values (often, the copiable values of P/T are those printed on the original creature card).

What isn’t copied?

Permanent’s status, counters and all effects that don’t modify the copiable values. For instance, effects that modify text or type aren’t copied, even those that make the original object an artifact. But it doesn’t mean that the copy itself isn’t artifact! The copying effect of Phyrexian Metamorph makes a copy artifact and this becomes the copiable value of this object.


By cloning an animated Mutavault we get an artifact land, not a creature. It’s because the animating effect is an effect that changes type and thus doesn’t affect the copiable values.

Coralhelm Commander

The number of counters of any type on original Coralhelm Commander is irrelevant, Metamorph entering the battlefield as its copy won’t inherit any of them.


If your Metamorph copies a morph, a face-down creature, then it enters the battlefield as a 2/2 artifact creature with no name, color, supertype or subtype, mana cost, expansion symbol or abilities and is treated as a face-up object with no chance to unmorph.

Metamorph enters the battlefield as a copy of a chosen permanent. There is no moment in game when Metamorph is already on the battlefield and not yet a copy. Because of this, the clone is affected by all effects that change the normal way it would enter the battlefield, e.g “enters the battlefield tapped”, “enters the battlefield with counters”, “as it enters the battlefield…” etc. All enter-the-battlefield triggers trigger just as well, including those of the copy itself, of course.

Stoneforge Mystic

Metamorph enters the battlefield as a copy of Stoneforge Mystic, its ability triggers and lets you search your library for an Equipment.

Pithing Needle

If your Metamorph copies a Pithing Needle, then as it enters the battlefield you need to name a card. Metamorph doesn’t copy choices made for the original objects.

Gideon Jura

Metamorph entering the battlefield as a copy of Gideon Jura (artifact and not animated) will get 6 loyalty counters due to the Gideon’s ability. Then “planeswalker uniqueness rule” will be peformed.

Chalice of the Void

More fun! Chalice of the Void comes into play with X counters, unfortunately, X was undefined during the casting of the Metamorph, so it gets none.

Metamorph leaves the battlefield as a copy, so triggering of any ability that check when it changes the zone will depend on the type of those abilities. If this ability triggers from the battlefield, it will trigger, if it triggers from the graveyard, for example, it won’t.

Emrakul the Aeons Torn

You won’t get an extra turn if you choose to copy Emrakul, because you didn’t cast it, you cast Metamorph. If your Metamorph is put on the graveyard after the “legens rule” is applied, it no longer has Emrakul’s last ability where. Due to the special wording of the Emrakul’s ability, it triggers from the graveyard.

Kitchen Finks

Metamorph copying Kitchen Finks dies without counters; Persist triggers and on its resolution Metamorph will be put on the battlefield with a -1/-1 counter and you will be able to copy any artifact or creature on the battlefield. If the chosen object is a noncreature artifact, the counter will stay on it, but won’t have any game effect.

Perpetuum Mobile

Soul’s Attendant
Leonin Relic-Warder
Phyrexian Metamorph

A combo of these three cards allows you to gain arbitrary finite amount of life. 100500 million, for example:

With Soul’s Attendant and Leonine Relic-Warder under your control cast Phyrexian Metamorph copying the Relic-Warder on resolution; when it enters the battlefield, Soul’s Attendant’s ability and its own EtB ability trigger, for the latter you may target the copy itself, because it’s an artifact on the battlefield. On resolution of the abilities (you need to put them on the stack in a correct order) you gain 1 life and exile Metamorph-Warder. That’s when the second ability of the Metamorph-Warder triggers, returning it to the battlefield so that you could repeat these actions 100500 million times.

  1.  “Unmorph” is a slang nickname for a special action of turning a face-down creature face up and paying its Morph cost.

Translated by Lev Kotlyar