Progenitor Mimic can be cast as a copy of cards like Mutavault and Simic Keyrune whilst they're in their creature state. When it does so, it can become something other than a creature: a land, an artifact, etc.

However, its copy ability states:

At the beginning of your upkeep, if this creature isn't a token, put a token onto the battlefield that's a copy of this creature.

Suppose my Progenitor Mimic becomes a Mutavault^. At the beginning of my upkeep, it will be only a land. Will Progenitor Mimic create a new Mutavault token, or is this prevented by the fact it isn't a creature?

^ For those who may not know, it will copy exactly what's printed on the Mutavault card and be a fresh Mutavault, not a 2/2 creature, because of how copy works. You can check the 4/15/2013 rulings on Progenitor Mimic.

  • Am I misreading this, or would Progenitor Mimic just become a permanent 2/2 creature land? The 'end of turn' phrase on the ability would never trigger, because that ability would never have been cast, and because it had never been anything else. Let me know if I've got something wrong here.
    – Sconibulus
    Dec 18, 2013 at 13:10
  • 1
    @Sconibulus You're not misreading, but that's not how copy works. You can visit Progenitor Mimic's page to read the ruling on this (it's the top one): "Progenitor Mimic copies exactly what was printed on the original creature and nothing more (unless that creature is copying something else or is a token). It doesn't copy whether that creature is tapped or untapped, whether it has any counters on it or Auras attached to it, or any non-copy effects that have changed its power, toughness, types, color, or so on." On other copy cards (like Clone) you'll find similar rulings. Dec 18, 2013 at 13:21
  • Ahh, thanks. I've apparently been playing wrong for years :)
    – Sconibulus
    Dec 18, 2013 at 13:28
  • @Sconibulus, See 706.2. If it worked like you thought it did, you could Giant Growth something before copying it to give the copy a permanent +3/+3 for one mana. That would be bad.
    – ikegami
    Dec 18, 2013 at 16:32
  • @ikegami For your opponent and the game as a whole, certainly. For you and Giant Growth, seems great,
    – deworde
    Dec 8, 2014 at 9:13

2 Answers 2


Yes, it does. When a card says "this creature", is still refers to itself even if it is no longer a creature, so the ability still triggers and resolves.

According to rule 201.5,

If an ability of an object uses a phrase such as "this [something]" to identify an object, where [something] is a characteristic, it is referring to that particular object, even if it isn't the appropriate characteristic at the time.

  • I think this is the correct ruling, but it doesn't seem to me that rule 608.2i applies. The if-statement in the triggered ability is checked when the triggered ability would trigger (rule 603.4). At this point, the object has not "been previously referred to", imo. So the question becomes whether "this creature" on a non-creature permanent still refers to the permanent in general. I can't find anything in the comprehensive rules about this, but it seems in line with e.g. the ruling for undying, that it triggers even for non-creatures (wiki.mtgsalvation.com/article/Undying).
    – tengfred
    Dec 18, 2013 at 14:46
  • @tengfred, Undying doesn't mention "creature", so it's not relevant. It says "this permanent", and it can only trigger for permanents.
    – ikegami
    Dec 18, 2013 at 16:24
  • 201.5 is actually the relevant rule. @tengfred
    – ikegami
    Dec 18, 2013 at 18:13
  • @ikegami Nice find!
    – tengfred
    Dec 19, 2013 at 7:22

Yes, you'll get copies of Mutavault.

Let's look at Wall of Tears for a second.

Whenever Wall of Tears blocks a creature, return that creature to its owner's hand at end of combat.

MTG uses pronouns whenever possible. The only reason Wall of Tears doesn't say "return it" instead of "return that creature" is that it would be ambiguous as to whether whether the Wall of Tears or the attacker should be returned to its owner's hand. "That creature" is not meant to be a check. This is codified by 201.5 and 608.2i.

201.5. If an ability of an object uses a phrase such as “this [something]” to identify an object, where [something] is a characteristic, it is referring to that particular object, even if it isn’t the appropriate characteristic at the time.

608.2i. If an ability’s effect refers to a specific untargeted object that has been previously referred to by that ability’s cost or trigger condition, it still affects that object even if the object has changed characteristics.

In Progenitor Mimic's case, 201.5 applies (but not 608.2i, at least not for the first instance of "this creature"), allowing the ability to trigger.


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