Assume that I played an ability of Garruk Relentless and I successfully transformed him, do I get to play his transformed ability or do I have to wait for the next turn?


Gatherer says that

You can’t activate a loyalty ability of Garruk Relentless and later that turn after he transforms activate a loyalty ability of Garruk, the Veil-Cursed.

So you can't. The actual rule in play here is 606.3:

A player may activate a loyalty ability of a permanent they control any time they have priority and the stack is empty during a main phase of their turn, but only if no player has previously activated a loyalty ability of that permanent that turn.

(Emphasis mine.) Transforming a permanent does not make it into a new object, by rule 711.12:

When a double-faced permanent transforms, it doesn’t become a new object. Any effects that applied to that permanent will continue to apply to it after it transforms.

Therefore, if you have already played one of the loyalty abilities of Garruk Relentless this turn, then after he transforms into Garruk, the Veil-Cursed he is still the same permanent so the rules forbid you from activating any of his loyalty abilities.

  • it may be worth noting that effects like Oath of Teferi and The Chain Veil will allow them to get around the once per turn restriction – Martin Glennon-Brown Aug 6 '18 at 11:11
  • 2
    @MartinGlennon Of course. The first Magic Golden Rule (101.1) says "Whenever a card’s text directly contradicts these rules, the card takes precedence. The card overrides only the rule that applies to that specific situation." With the exception that no card may stop a player from conceding, no rule is technically above being overridden by cards. That being said, from a design perspective, I believe there are quite a lot of rules that no card will ever override. – Arthur Aug 6 '18 at 11:14
  • Also of note (since the question title is about all transforming planeswalkers, not just Garruk), you can activate loyalty abilities of planeswalkers that were another card type on the other side, like "Jace, Vryn's Prodigy," on the same turn you flip them. – chif-ii Aug 6 '18 at 15:58
  • @chif-ii There are two reasons for that. One is that untransformed, "Jace, Vryn's Prodigy" doesn't have any loyalty abilities to activate, so there is no problem in the first place. The other is that he is exled, and then returned to the battlefield transformed into a planeswalker, which makes him, for the purposes of the game, an entirely new object with no relation to the original creature (other than in flavor); Jace (Vryn's Prodigy) will, for instance, lose any auras while Garruk (Relentless) keeps his through the transformation. – Arthur Aug 6 '18 at 16:07

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