How do abilities that refer to their cards' names work when the name is changed, or the ability is "stolen" by a card with a different name?

Rayami, First of the Fallen has two abilities:

If a nontoken creature would die, exile that card with a blood counter on it instead.


As long as an exiled creature card with a blood counter on it has flying, Rayami, First of the Fallen has flying. The same is true for first strike, double strike, deathtouch, haste, hexproof, indestructible, lifelink, menace, protection, reach, trample, and vigilance.

My question is related to these rules in regards to Mutate, and the "Top vs Bottom" aspect of the ability.

If Rayami is on top, it seems unambiguous that both abilities would affect her

If she is underneath (i.e. a Mutate creature is played onto her), it seems to me that because this creature is not named "Rayami, First of the Fallen", the second ability will not apply, but the first will (i.e. if that creature dies, it gets exiled with a counter, along with any others that die while it is on the battlefield). So the mutated creature with Rayami's abilities will not gain the abilities of cards exiled with counters on them.

Am I reading this right?

  • 1
    Although not a duplicate; the answer works out the same to this question: boardgames.stackexchange.com/questions/35535/…
    – GendoIkari
    Commented Apr 3, 2020 at 16:25
  • 2
    I wish you had made this a more general question. There are several existing effects that can bring up the question "An ability that refers to the card it's on by name is on an object with a different name. How does that work?", and they all have the same answer, which is basically quoting rule 201.4. This is clearly just another variant of that.
    – murgatroid99
    Commented Apr 3, 2020 at 16:37
  • 1
    The question GendoIkari linked is not a duplicate. That one is asking about those kinds of abilities affecting other cards with the same name. This is asking about those abilities affecting the card they're on with a different name. It's basically the opposite.
    – murgatroid99
    Commented Apr 4, 2020 at 19:57
  • 2
    Anyway, adding a single sentence with a relevant search keyword does not make a question generic. That would be something like "How do abilities that refer to their cards' names work on cards with other names?" with examples like Mutate, gaining abilities (e.g. Mairsil, Experiment Kraj, etc.), and copying with a different name (e.g. either Lazav). I think editing this question to that is borderline allowed; that would expand the question beyond what is currently asked, but the current answer would very nearly address it.
    – murgatroid99
    Commented Apr 4, 2020 at 20:28
  • 1
    @murgatroid99 I agree; while both questions have the same answer of quoting 201.4; there are 2 different and unrelated scenarios involving that rule. I really wish the MTG had just used “this [creature]” instead of the card’s name!
    – GendoIkari
    Commented Apr 4, 2020 at 22:25

1 Answer 1


From the article

Some creatures, like Bristling Boar above, have abilities that refer to themselves by name. Remember that from a rules perspective, a card using its own name in an ability really just means "me." For example, if Cloudpiercer ends up on top of Bristling Boar, that ability will work on the resulting creature.

As per Rule 201.4:

Text that refers to the object it’s on by name means just that particular object and not any other objects with that name, regardless of any name changes caused by game effects.

From this it is clear that the second ability will apply to the resulting creature, even if it is not named "Rayami, First of the Fallen"

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