Here is the scenario:

  1. I have Shapesharer and Quicksilver Elemental in play.
  2. I activate and resolve Artificial Evolution to make Quicksilver Elemental a Shapeshifter.
  3. I activate Quicksilver Elemental's ability to have it gain the activated abilities of some other 3rd creature (doesn't matter which.)
  4. While that is on the stack, I target Quicksilver Elemental with Shapesharer's ability, making it a copy of some other 4th creature (doesn't matter which.)

Is the end result that Quicksilver Elemental becomes a copy of creature 4 with the abilities of creature 3 tacked on, as I intend?

  • By "use" do you mean "activate and resolve"? I'm guessing that is what you mean, but I just want to be certain, because in some places you say "use" and in some places you say "activate".
    – Rainbolt
    Jan 11, 2016 at 20:42
  • Yes, I suppose that isn't necessarily obvious but yes. I know this is a far-fetched combo...just playing around. Jan 11, 2016 at 20:44
  • 2
    "Text-modifying" makes it sound like something like Glamerdye ("Change the text of target spell or permanent by replacing all instances of one color word with another.") but it looks like what you're actually asking about is gaining abilities and copying copies.
    – Cascabel
    Jan 11, 2016 at 21:25
  • For bonus style points, you could activate Quicksilver's ability targeting itself, then while on the stack, use shapesharer to change it to creature 4. You now have creature 4 with Quicksilver's ability which not only can you add creature 3's abilities afterwards, you can use it to gain other abilities later in the turn. Jan 13, 2016 at 12:53

2 Answers 2


Your stack after step 4 is (top to bottom):

  1. Shapesharer's activated ability
  2. Quicksilver Elemental's activated ability

Shapesharer's ability resolves first. Quicksilver becomes a copy of Creature 4. Per rule 706.3, Quicksilver's abilities become those of Creature 4. This also means that Quicksilver loses its original ability.

706.3. The copy’s copiable values become the copied information [...]

Quicksilver's ability resolves second. Quicksilver (who is now a copy of Creature 4) gains all activated abilities of Creature 3 until end of turn. It does not lose any abilities it already had. The fact that Quicksilver changed names before the ability resolved does not matter per rule 201.4.

201.4. Text that refers to the object it’s on by name means just that particular object and not any other objects with that name, regardless of any name changes caused by game effects.

The result is that Quicksilver will end up a copy of Creature 4 with the abilities of both Creature 3 and Creature 4, but not its own original ability.

If Quicksilver were to become a copy of another creature, it would still retain the abilities of Creature 3. This is because the effect granting it abilities is not a copiable characteristic (per rule 706.2), and thus is not overwritten when it becomes a copy of something else.

706.2. [...] 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 its face-down status, and by “as . . . enters the battlefield” and “as . . . is turned face up” abilities that set power and toughness (and may also set additional characteristics). Other effects (including type-changing and text-changing effects), status, and counters are not copied

  • The order the effects, from [mtg:Shapesharer] or [mtg:Quicksilver Elemental], are placed on the stack does not matter. Recommend citing the pertinent parts of 109 and 201. Jan 11, 2016 at 22:48
  • @DrunkCynic We generally don't autocard any card more than once in a question/answer combo, which means that we generally don't autocard cards in answers if they have already been mentioned in questions.
    – murgatroid99
    Jan 11, 2016 at 23:48
  • @murgatroid99 - Is there a location where 'rules of thumb' such as that are recorded? Jan 11, 2016 at 23:55
  • As far as I know, no. But you can see that pattern in almost every MTG question on the site.
    – murgatroid99
    Jan 12, 2016 at 0:01
  • @DrunkCynic Linking the first instance only is also a style guideline on Wikipedia. See en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style/… Additional links don't add much value and make it harder to quickly see the links that are still important.
    – Cascabel
    Jan 12, 2016 at 1:36

Seems like it would work. Abilities are independent of the source, so once the "gain abilities" ability is on the stack, it's not dependent on the Elemental.

And since the ability refers to the card name, which actually means "this card" then even if it becomes a clone the ability still has the same target and should properly resolve.

This scenario seems very similar to: Scion of the Ur-Dragon multiple transformation

  • "Abilities are independent of the source" doesn't seem to have much to do with this. The issue isn't the source going away, it's whether or not the added abilities get copied (and they don't).
    – Cascabel
    Jan 11, 2016 at 21:25
  • @Jefromi The question is not about whether or not added abilities get copied as far as I can tell.
    – Rainbolt
    Jan 11, 2016 at 21:39
  • @Rainbolt Ah, gotcha, I think I misunderstood the "it" in step 4 - thought it was trying to copy the creature with the abilities tacked on.
    – Cascabel
    Jan 11, 2016 at 21:52

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