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I dealt 1 damage to a creature that my opponent controls. Then I want to cast Polymorphist's Jest and turn it into a 1/1 frog. Does damage stay on it or does all damage reset?

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    "Transform" has a specific meaning in Magic (for double-faced cards) so I edited to avoid using that word. I'm not sure if there's a short specific term for "loses all abilities and has its type and base power/toughness set", so I just said "turns into a frog", but if anyone knows a better way to put it, go for it. – Cascabel Feb 25 '18 at 23:01
  • @Cascabel, The short specific term would be "When a creature's characteristics change". But that would not be an appropriate edit. – ikegami Feb 26 '18 at 17:45
  • @ikegami That's a term for the category of changes, yes, but then it'd include just type, or just power/toughness, or just abilities, which doesn't really describe what the OP wanted to ask about. So, no, not quite a short, specific term for this thing, and therefore not an appropriate edit, as you say. – Cascabel Feb 26 '18 at 17:47
  • @Cascabel, I said it would not be appropriate edit because it presumes knowledge of the answer: There's nothing special about that combination of characteristic changes. – ikegami Feb 26 '18 at 18:19
  • @ikegami I'm pretty sure that's just agreeing with me: from the question's point of view, this might be a meaningful combination of characteristic changes (it's "everything" in some sense) and so summarizing it just as "characteristic changes" does not accurately represent the question. – Cascabel Feb 26 '18 at 19:22
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Damage stays on the creature.

This rule outlines all the situations in which damage would be removed from a creature, without a card explicitly saying so:

119.6. Damage marked on a creature remains until the cleanup step, even if that permanent stops being a creature. If the total damage marked on a creature is greater than or equal to its toughness, that creature has been dealt lethal damage and is destroyed as a state-based action (see rule 704). All damage marked on a permanent is removed when it regenerates (see rule 701.13, "Regenerate") and during the cleanup step (see rule 514.2).

(emphasis added) Note that this rule says nothing about the creature turning into a different creature or changing its power/toughness or other characteristics. Since there is no rule that specifies that damage should be removed when those things happen, the damage stays.

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Damage and effects affecting the creature do not go away, its status (e.g. whether it's tapped or not, etc) remains unchanged, auras and equipment stay attached, and counters remain on it.


Polymorphist's Jest doesn't replace the creature; it merely changes some of its characteristics. More specifically, Polymorphist's Jest creates a continuous effect that sets the creature's abilities (like Basilisk Collar), type (like Metallic Mimic), and power and toughness (like Aquamoeba). There's nothing special about the combination of these.

Since it's still the same creature, it still has all of its marked damage[1], and any effects that were affecting it continue to do so.[2][3] It also means that any Auras and Equipment that were attached to it remain attached to it. And any counter that was on the creature remain on it.

Crib Swap, on the other hand, replaces the creature with a new one. Nothing is transferred from the old creature to the new one. Not damage, not status, not effects, not Auras, not Equipment, not counters, etc.


  1. Damage is only removed from a permanent when it regenerates and during the cleanup step.

    119.6. Damage marked on a creature remains until the cleanup step, even if that permanent stops being a creature. If the total damage marked on a creature is greater than or equal to its toughness, that creature has been dealt lethal damage and is destroyed as a state-based action (see rule 704). All damage marked on a permanent is removed when it regenerates (see rule 701.13, "Regenerate") and during the cleanup step (see rule 514.2).

    As always, abilities can also do so. Totem Armor might be the only ability that does so at this time.

  2. Unless they were created by a static ability that was removed.

  3. Keep in mind that power/toughness-modifying effects are applied after power/toughness-setting effects. So if the creature was affected by Giant Growth, you'd have a 4/4 Frog. This means you could potentially save a creature with marked damage by casting something like Giant Growth in response to Polymorphist's Jest.

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