if I have Mirror March out and cast Worldsoul Colossus with X=5. Would the copies keep the +1/+1 counters where the X paid effect would still be on the bottom of the stack under the mirror march copies or does that not matter and they'd enter as 0/0s and die?


If you read the Gatherer rulings on Mirror March, they say

If the copied creature has {X} in its mana cost, X is 0.

which comes from the comprehensive rules:

107.3f If a card in any zone other than the stack has an {X} in its mana cost, the value of {X} is treated as 0, even if the value of X is defined somewhere within its text

The Colossus is on the battlefield when the Mirror March tries to copy it. The battlefield is not the stack, so X is treated as 0 for all the copies.

So yes, the copies will all come into play with zero counters and die, unless you have any other effect that boosts them immediately, like Glorious Anthem.

  • So to hypothetically copy it and keep the counters you would have to copy the spell being cast, not the creature entering the field. Is that correct? – Austin Duesing Jun 5 '20 at 6:17
  • @AustinDuesing Yes, copying the spell would also copy the value of {X}. The capability to copy creature spells (or any other kind of permanent spell) is rather rare, however. I won't say it doesn't exist, but I am not aware of anything that does it. – Arthur Jun 5 '20 at 6:22
  • @Arthur there actually is one: Ertai's Meddling. But Ertai's Meddling is weird and not really a copy spell. – Arcanist Lupus Jun 6 '20 at 12:57

To clarify one point, in the question you say:

Would the copies keep the +1/+1 counters where the X paid effect would still be on the bottom of the stack under the mirror march copies...

However, when the Mirror March trigger resolves the Worldsoul Colossus is no longer on the stack (which is what I think you're referring to when you say "the X paid effect"). The order of operations here is:

  1. Player casts Worldsoul Colossus, choosing the value of X
  2. Worldsoul Colossus resolves, entering the battlefield with with X +1/+1 counters
  3. Now Mirror March triggers, and when this trigger resolves you create some number of copies of Worldsoul Colossus (a creature on the battlefield)

When copying objects, rule 706.2 says:

706.2. When copying an object, the copy acquires the copiable values of the original object’s characteristics ... The copiable values are the values derived from the text printed on the object ... Other effects (including type-changing and text-changing effects), status, and counters are not copied.

(emphasis mine)

So the copies of Worldsoul Colossus are just 0/0s with converted mana cost 2 that die immediately (well, the next time state based effects are checked).

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