I have Thespian's Stage in play copying Raging Ravine. I animate Thespian's Stage, give it vigilance in some way, and attack. My opponent flashes in Ambush Viper and blocks. I decide I don't want to trade. Can I activate Thespian's Stage to copy a non-animated land and get out of combat that way? What happens to the damage?

Gatherer doesn't say anything about this - only that I need to activate the animation costs after Thespian's Stage has copied a land.


No, you cannot turn it into another land to remove it from combat. The issue is due to layers.

Layer 1 is copy effects (Thespian's Stage).

Layer 4 is type changing effects (Raging Ravine's ability).

Since it is still the same object, both layers are applied in order. So, for layer 1 you have a Thespian's Stage that is copying a Raging Ravine that is copying a land (say, a Forest). Then you apply the type changing effect in layer 4 that turns it into a 3/3 creature.

So, you'd end up with a 3/3 Creature Land - Forest (with a +1/+1 counter from attacking as Raging Ravine)

613.1a Layer 1: Copy effects are applied. See rule 706, “Copying Objects.”

613.1b Layer 2: Control-changing effects are applied.

613.1c Layer 3: Text-changing effects are applied. See rule 612, “Text-Changing Effects.”

613.1d Layer 4: Type-changing effects are applied. These include effects that change an object’s card type, subtype, and/or supertype.

613.1e Layer 5: Color-changing effects are applied.

613.1f Layer 6: Ability-adding effects, ability-removing effects, and effects that say an object can’t have an ability are applied.

613.1g Layer 7: Power- and/or toughness-changing effects are applied.

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  • Good answer, but you may want to pull in some CR references so that people can see how it is actually worded and dive a bit deeper if they wish too. – Malco Apr 6 '18 at 14:15
  • Wow, Magic is complicated. I don't understand your answer I'm afraid. Do you mean that Thespian's Stage turns into Raging Ravine first, then it turns into (say) a basic Forest that is still a 3/3 creature with a +1/+1 counter until end of turn? – Allure Apr 6 '18 at 21:00
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    @Allure Correct. Essentially, the "turn land into creature" is still affecting the Thespian Stage. – JonTheMon Apr 6 '18 at 21:19
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    @Allure MtG is relatively straight-forward for 95% of the game if you know how phases, priority and the stack work. That last 5% is full of corner-cases and head-scratchers which is why the CR is massive and why layers are so spooky. – Veskah Apr 6 '18 at 23:50
  • Note that this would work with Dryad Arbor; it fails in other cases because the ability makes the land a creature for some duration that doesn't end when transforming. – Samthere Apr 10 '18 at 9:14

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