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If a face-down creature has a "When this dies [...]" effect (i.e. because of Ixidron), will that effect activate when it dies?

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Done. That should clear up any timing issues. –  user1873 Dec 23 '12 at 4:25
    
Ixidron doesn't give anything a "When this dies ..." ability... –  David Z Dec 25 '12 at 4:43

2 Answers 2

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Short answer: Yes, if it had one, but the creature lost that ability when it was turned face-down.


"When this dies" is a leaves-the-battlefield ability [603.6c], and leaves-the-battlefield abilities trigger based on their existence, and the appearance of objects, prior to the event rather than afterward [603.3d].

So it doesn't matter what abilities the creature would have if it was face-up or will have in the graveyard; all that matters is what ability it actually does have. Only leaves-the-battlefield abilities the face-down creature has just prior to dying will trigger when it dies. Normally, that wouldn't be any, but some cards (such as Cauldron Haze) could grant them some.

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It will not, if that ability was granted from some rules text on the card. It will if something else is granting it that ability after Ixidron turned it face-down (Cauldron of Souls).from the CR:

707.2a If a face-up permanent is turned face down by a spell or ability, it becomes a 2/2 face-down creature with no text, no name, no subtypes, no expansion symbol, and no mana cost. These values are the copiable values of that object’s characteristics.

There are no turn-based actions that instruct you to turn a creature face up when they go to the graveyard.

110.6. A permanent's status is its physical state. There are four status categories, each of which has two possible values: tapped/untapped, flipped/unflipped, face up/face down, and phased in/phased out. Each permanent always has one of these values for each of these categories.

110.6c A permanent retains its status until a spell, ability, or turn-based action changes it, even if that status is not relevant to it.

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What concerns me is the timing minutiae: isn't the card considered face-up by the time it gets to the graveyard, thus restoring the effect? –  Circeus Dec 23 '12 at 3:07
    
"110.6d. Only permanents have status. Cards not on the battlefield do not." Which to me means a card going in the graveyard loses its face down status (otherwise cards with Unearth and other such things would lose it from Ixidron, and I'm fairly sure they do not). –  Circeus Dec 23 '12 at 6:00
    
@Circeus, It doesn't lose its face-down status. It's a brand new object with no memory of its past self. –  ikegami Dec 23 '12 at 6:23
    
@Circeus, I'd have to check but this could well be another case of the very common "last known information" rule, where things happen based on the state of play at the moment a card left its zone, rather than the card's new condition... –  thesunneversets Dec 23 '12 at 9:20
    
@Circeus, it surely does lose its face-down status, in the same way that object ceasing to exist lose their status. But, it doesn't gain a face-up status. This means that it has no text (707.2a), and that continues to remain true until an ability, spell, etc. tells you otherwise (110.6c) –  user1873 Dec 23 '12 at 14:29

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