Say I use Gideon, Champion of Justice's second ability to turn him into a creature:

0: Until end of turn, Gideon, Champion of Justice becomes a Human Soldier creature with power and toughness each equal to the number of loyalty counters on him and gains indestructible. He's still a planeswalker. Prevent all damage that would be dealt to him this turn.

Is he now a creature with the ability of "this creature's power and toughness are equal to the number of loyalty counters on it" or is he assigned a power and toughness as it becomes a creature? The reason I'm asking are to know if I can either change the number of counters on him somehow to pump him up (if it's an ability), or duplicate him somehow when he is a creature (if it's a fixed at time of activation).

1 Answer 1


A ruling on the gatherer page for Gideon says

Gideon, Champion of Justice's power and toughness are set to the number of loyalty counters on him when his second ability resolves. They won't change later in the turn if the number of loyalty counters on him changes.

So, he is assigned a power and toughness when the ability resolves, and it doesn't change.

If you copy Gideon in this state, the copy is just a Planeswalker. The effect that makes Gideon a creature doesn't get copied.

  • So perhaps this might be enough to constitute another question but if I copied it with say a Mercurial Pretender (which is a copy as it enters the battlefield) it will enter the battlefield as a new (non-creature) planeswalker with the initial 4 counters. At which point the "legendary" rule will kick in and I will have to choose one to keep? (making it a pretty useless move).
    – Fr33dan
    Sep 10, 2014 at 3:27
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    The next time any player would gain priority after it enters. See rule 704.5j. Basically, before anyone has a chance to do anything.
    – murgatroid99
    Sep 10, 2014 at 3:29
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    @Fr33dan It's not necessarily useless. You will be able to attack with the first, then copy it and activate the copy's +1 loyalty ability. So you might be able to both damage your opponent (or get them to block and lose a creature) and end up with a Gideon with more loyalty than you started with.
    – Cascabel
    Sep 10, 2014 at 3:37
  • @Jefromi I don't understand how that could work. Activating a +1 Loyalty ability is done only when you could play a sorcery. He's still a planeswalker and retains his types when he becomes a creature (see the Gatherer page: He remains a planeswalker with the planeswalker type Gideon.) So that means when the copy ability resolves, the planeswalker rule kicks in next time you get priority as a state-based effect. There would be no opportunity to put the loyalty ability on the stack.
    – ghoppe
    Sep 11, 2014 at 20:08
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    @ghoppe I think the point is that if you play the copy, then let the original die, and then use the +1 ability, the copy will have more counters than the original had.
    – murgatroid99
    Sep 11, 2014 at 20:10

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