Suppose I control a Vesuvan Shapeshifter and a face-down morph creature, and I then choose to turn the Vesuvan Shapeshifter face-down. My opponent definitely should still be able to tell which of the two face-down creatures is the Shapeshifter (I'm not allowed to shuffle them around). But that can get a bit tricky, as I may move them around in the course of the game, perhaps rearranging for attacking and blocking or anything else.

It seems that there is a mix of private and public information here: which permanent is which is public, but the identity of a face-down creature, even if it was previously revealed, is private. Does my opponent simply have to keep track and never forget which is which? Do I have to answer questions like "which one of those is the Shapeshifter?", "which one of those is the one you turned face down a minute ago?", or any other related questions, or can I refuse to answer or even lie in response to those questions?

(Note: I'm asking out of curiosity about tournament rules, i.e. what a rules lawyering player could get away with if their opponent forgets to mark the face-down card. Personally I'd happily answer the questions, same way I'd play with a revealed hand to save my opponent from having to write it down, but I know that's not required.)

  • Sorry, I don't know. "What card is that?" is definitely out, but what about "I target the Shapeshifter"? Your best bet is to insist on a clear marker. Remember, you are allowed to takes notes (e.g. "red VS" if a red dice is used to mark a Vesuvan Shapeshifter).
    – ikegami
    Sep 3, 2013 at 1:54

1 Answer 1


As per the rules reference in the answer you linked (i'll change emphasis to make this clear) :

707.6. If you control multiple face-down spells or face-down permanents, you must ensure at all times that your face-down spells and permanents can be easily differentiated from each other. This includes, but is not limited to, knowing the order spells were cast, the order that face-down permanents entered the battlefield, which creature attacked last turn, and any other differences between face-down spells or permanents. Common methods for distinguishing between face-down objects include using counters or dice to mark the different objects, or clearly placing those objects in order on the table.

If the opponent doesn't remember that the third face-down creature was the one revealed as the shapeshifter, that's not on you. However, you must be honest about a question such as "Which is the third face-down creature you cast this game?"

CR 707.6 also seems to make explicit that you must answer such questions as "which creature attacked last turn" or the order they entered the battlefield.

But that can get a bit tricky, as I may move them around in the course of the game, perhaps rearranging for attacking and blocking or anything else.

If you're not using counters or dice to mark the face-down creatures, you must at least keep them always in the same order after combat manipulation, obviously, whether it's "tricky" or not to do so… in a tournament setting you could get in trouble if you don't.

I think, in the spirit of CR707.6, which says "this includes, but is not limited to…" if you're asked "which creature did you turn face down last turn?" – you should answer truthfully. I know this is basically the same as saying "which creature is the Shapeshifter?" but you made the information public.

I'm not sure how this situation is handled in a tournament, but once a creature has been turned face down, as your opponent I would immediately request some sort of die or counter be placed on it so I can keep track of which one is the Shapeshifter.

  • So to be clear, if your opponent remembers they saw it but forgets what it was and starts asking these questions, all you have to tell them is that it's the one you flipped last turn, not what it is, right? (Even though if you know the history of the game, the two questions are equivalent.)
    – Cascabel
    Sep 3, 2013 at 1:48
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    @Jefromi I'm not a tournament judge, by any means, but yes that's how I read the situation. (You would also have to tell them which one you flipped last turn.) It would be like if someone played a spell that let them look at one card in your hand… if they forget what that card was, that's their problem.
    – ghoppe
    Sep 3, 2013 at 7:00
  • @Jefromi that would be another reason to mark the face-down permanents with dice or counters or something, because any time your opponent starts asking which one is which you can just respond with "#3". It's your opponent's obligation to remember that permanent #3 is the Shapeshifter, if that is revealed.
    – David Z
    Sep 7, 2013 at 9:25

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