When a double faced planeswalker, like Garruk Relentless transforms into Garruk, the Veil Cursed there is no new loyalty symbol at the bottom of the card.

Garruk Relentless

Does his current loyalty carry over or is there some new mechanic to deal with DFC Planeswalkers?

3 Answers 3


This is covered by the Magic Comprehensive Rules:

121.1. A counter is a marker placed on an object or player that modifies its characteristics and/or interacts with a rule, ability, or effect.

711.7. 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.

Example: An effect gives Village Ironsmith (the front face of a double-faced card) +2/+2 until end of turn and then Village Ironsmith transforms into Ironfang. Ironfang will continue to get +2/+2 until end of turn.

When Garruk Relentless transforms into Garruk, the Veil-Cursed, he remains the same object, so there's no reason to believe anything happens to his loyalty counters.

The official Innistrad FAQ mentions this as well:

  • Transforming a permanent doesn't affect any Auras or Equipment attached to that permanent. Similarly, any counters on the permanent will remain on that permanent after it transforms.

From the official Wizards site's article about Double-Faced Card Rules:

After a double-faced card transforms, it's still the same card, so any Auras, counters, or other effects stay right where they are (unless the double-faced card's characteristics have changed such that an Aura can no longer legally enchant it).

This obviously includes a planeswalker's loyalty counters. I think it's helpful to imagine the "transform" action as being a literal transform - the face of the card almost magically instantaneously changes from one aspect to another. If you think of it over-literally as "flipping the card over" then it's logical to imagine everything falling off! But this isn't what happens.


According to DCI Level 2 Judge "Natedogg" the loyalty counters from the front face transfer to the back face.


You don't add or remove loyalty counters from Garruk Relentless when he transforms into Garruk, the Veil-Cursed. In most cases, he'll have one or two loyalty counters on him.

Since it's a natural follow up question about the one ability per turn use of a planeswalker

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.

  • I had to hunt around to find a citation so I thought it'd be of interest to others.
    – Stephen
    Commented Sep 21, 2011 at 12:42
  • it definitely is - it's implied by the lack of loyalty counter on the transformed version, but it's nice to see a ruling. Commented Sep 21, 2011 at 12:49

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