On some of the two sided cards the cards ability says "At the beginning of each upkeep, if no spells were cast last turn transform (card name)". Mayor of Avabruck

Does "turn" refers to the opponents last turn, or the opponents turn before the other player?

I have a entire deck that has these cards but it don't understand it.

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4 Answers 4


If it's your upkeep, the last turn is the turn that has most recently concluded (usually your opponents). If it's your opponent upkeep, the last turn is usually yours.

What is a turn?

500.1. A turn consists of five phases, in this order: beginning, precombat main, combat, postcombat main, and ending. Each of these phases takes place every turn, even if nothing happens during the phase. The beginning, combat, and ending phases are further broken down into steps, which proceed in order.

So a turn contains all the phases. But when is the upkeep?

501.1. The beginning phase consists of three steps, in this order: untap, upkeep, and draw.

It is in the beginning phase. The whole turn before this point is the turn of the previous player.

603.2e If a triggered ability’s trigger condition is met, but the object with that triggered ability is at no time visible to all players, the ability does not trigger.

That whole turn will be checked to see if the condition has been met to so it can trigger.

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    This definition seems dangerous in a game where one player can take multiple turns in a row. It's entirely possible for it to be my turn, but the turn before this was mine, too. Mar 19, 2018 at 20:39

A "turn" is one player's go.

i.e. from the start of one player's upkeep step until just before the start of the next player's upkeep step.

Note that this triggers during EACH upkeep, so in your upkeep it will trigger if there were no spells during your opponent's turn and during your opponent's upkeep it will trigger if there were no spells during your turn.

  • that clears up so much. i would never get anything transformed because i went a whole round around. Well that was more simple than i made it out to be. I am self taught so i didn't get no luxury a good trainer. Thank you for helping me out on that
    – Lone Wolf
    Mar 19, 2018 at 12:47
  • A side discussion about the meaning of "turn" in other games has been moved to chat.
    – Cascabel
    Mar 26, 2018 at 18:46

Since this triggers at each upkeep and doesn't specify what player has to cast the spells, it not only looks if your opponent cast a spell before your turn but generally if any player cast a spell during the turn before that upkeep. Doesn't have to be an opponent (e.g. multiplayer).

Take Huntmaster of the Fells, who has a nice effect on both sides.

You are in full control over when he transforms and when not.

Want him to transform on your opponents upkeep? Simply cast nothing on your turn.

Want him to transform back on your turn? Make sure at least two spells are cast by any one player on your opponent's turn. These can even be your own spells or a mix of yours and your opponent's. A creature spell and a counterspell against that creature already count as two spells and will transform the Huntmaster back. After some testing in Magic Online it seems this is not correct and the card text does indeed say a player, so one player has to cast at least two spells.

Of course a clever opponent can just cast an instant during your turn to prevent him transforming the first time. It is best to not cast anything yourself when your opponent is tapped out to make sure the transform will happen.

  • You aren't in full control over when it transforms. your opponent can cast something simple on your turn, say shock or opt, and keep it human side up.
    – Andrew
    Oct 12, 2020 at 2:49

It means the last actual turn, no matter who's turn it was then or is now, the transform ability checks on every player's upkeep, werewolves can actually transform back and forth every single turn.

It's more clear how it works in multiplayer games, when it's not just your turn then your opponent's turn. Lets look at an example:

It's your turn and you are playing one werewolf threat, since you don't want the rest to transform, say Huntmaster of the Fells, the blue player doesn't want you to do that, so they counter your spell. So far no single player has played two spells so your werewolves won't go back to human yet, but the blue player who's turn is next wants them to be human again and weaker, so he casts Brainstorm before your turn ends. At the start of the blue player's turn your werewolves all transform since a player cast two spells, but this is a blue player, and he has nothing but counters and land from the cards left in his hand, so he casts nothing, and no one else casts anything, he ends his turn and the next player's turn begins. Because no one cast anything, all your werewolves transform again back to wolf side, this player plays a spell and the blue player counters it. Next it's your turn again, two spells were cast but since each player only cast one, your werewolves stay wolves and you get to bring their wolf side strength into combat on this turn.

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    Thanks for adding the important part that if you had the turn before that and had a second turn in a row, it would trigger again and "query" spells cast on the turn before. Feb 6, 2019 at 15:56

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