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If I kill my opponents 4/4 Primordial Hydra, will I be able to use my Cemetery Puca's activated ability on the Hydra, and have it become a 4/4 Primordial Hydra, or will my Puca die because the Hydra is considered a 0/0 creature when it is put into the graveyard, due to the X part of its mana cost?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Your initial thought is correct. It will get copied, become a 0/0 creature, and die (unless you have a way to save it through a static effect, like Anthem or Caged Sun).

Relevant rules:

706.2. When copying an object, the copy acquires the copiable values of the original object's characteristics ... The "copiable values" are the values derived from the text printed on the object (that text being name, mana cost, color indicator, card type, subtype, supertype, rules text, power, toughness, and/or loyalty), as modified by other copy effects, by "as . . . enters the battlefield" and "as . . . is turned face up" abilities that set characteristics, and by abilities that caused the object to be face down. Other effects (including type-changing and text-changing effects), status, and counters are not copied.

So your Puca does have the "~ enters the battlefield with X counters", but that's irrelevant because it's not entering the battlefield anyway. The object already exists, it's just getting a facelift. (The X would be 0, but that doesn't matter because it isn't triggering.) As for the existing counters, the final clause states that counters are not copied. So you basically get to kill your own Puca by doing this. Which I suppose isn't so bad if you have a Blood Artist or something. =)

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Just realized how awkward it would be if you had actually chosen green for your caged sun in a blue-black control deck... but ya know, I'm not judging! – corsiKa Jun 14 '14 at 23:03
A more likely reason you'd actually want to copy the hydra is if you have a way to give it counters; any counters and enchantments placed on the Puca persist even if it copies something, after all. – Chad Miller Jun 15 '14 at 5:25
So if I understand this right I wouldn't even be able to make a token, that is a copy of the Primordial Hydra? It would become a 0/0 token right? – Lund Jun 15 '14 at 7:03
"I wouldn't even be able to make a token, that is a copy of the Primordial Hydra?" You can make a token copy of the Hydra, but it will enter the battlefield as a 0/0 and quickly die. This might seem impractical, but it may be useful if you want to draw a card with Fecundity or something. – Kevin Jun 15 '14 at 15:08
@Kevin you are not correct. if you would make a token that is a copy of the Hydra (for example with Spitting Image), it will enter the battlefield and therefore get it's counters. – Ivo Beckers Jun 16 '14 at 7:01

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