I have two questions regarding the exact rulings of the emblem gained by Tibalt, Cosmic Impostor.

Question 1 The emblem gained by Tibalt mentions the card (Tibalt) by name. Looking at rule 201.4a stated below, am I correct in assuming that the emblem only grants you the ability to cast cards exiled with the specific Tibalt which created the emblem? Meaning that if, for example, Tibalt got bounced and was then replayed, and the new Tibalt's ETB got countered (resulting in no emblem being created), then any cards exiled with this new Tibalt would not be playable from exile (even though you still have the old emblem)?

201.4a If an ability’s effect grants another ability to an object, and that second ability refers to that first ability’s source by name, the name refers only to the specific object which is that first ability’s source. The second ability does not refer to any other object with the same name as the first ability’s source. However, if the second ability also moved the first ability’s source to a different public zone, the name refers to the object the source became in its new zone. This is also true if the second ability is copied onto a new object.

Question 2 What is the ruling for if some ability changed the name of Tibalt, for example if Tibalt was made into a copy of another permanent? Looking at rule 706.11, I assume that the emblem would track whatever permanent Tibalt became? And if this permanent has some ability which allows it to exile cards, am I correct in assuming that these cards would be playable from exile?

706.11 If an effect refers to a permanent by name, the effect still tracks that permanent even if it changes names or becomes a copy of something else.

Thanks for your time.

  • 5
    Normally I would have answered this question by quoting the rules that you included in the question. What are you looking for in an answer that isn't addressed by those rule quotations?
    – murgatroid99
    Feb 9, 2021 at 1:02
  • @murgatroid99 I was simply unsure about whether I had interpreted the rules correctly or not
    – programmer
    Feb 9, 2021 at 7:31
  • @murgatroid99 it sounds like a misunderstanding of the difference between a triggered ability (when X happens, do Y) and a replacement effect (As X happens, do Y) Much of the issue becomes academic and moot once that's cleared up. There's no real way to have a tibalt without a matching emblem.
    – Andrew
    Feb 9, 2021 at 17:30
  • There absolutely are ways to have a Tibalt without a matching emblem, so the rest of the question is not moot.
    – murgatroid99
    Feb 9, 2021 at 18:04
  • @murgatroid99 How? There's no way to stop the replacement effect, nothing exists that can prevent emblems from being created, and modal DFCs cannot transform once in play.
    – Andrew
    Feb 9, 2021 at 18:28

3 Answers 3


No and yes respectively to your questions.

For your first question, your analysis of rule 201.4a is correct, however you have an incorrect assumption in your question. You assume that Tibalt's effect that creates the emblem can be countered separate of Tibalt, but it cannot. Tibalt's effect is worded thus (emphasis mine):

As Tibalt enters the battlefield, you get an emblem with "You may play cards exiled with Tibalt, Cosmic Impostor, and you may spend mana as though it were mana of any color to cast those spells."

Since it is worded "As ..." it is a replacement effect, not a triggered ability.

614.1c Effects that read “[This permanent] enters the battlefield with . . . ,” “As [this permanent] enters the battlefield . . . ,” or “[This permanent] enters the battlefield as . . . “ are replacement effects.

A triggered ability would be worded as "When Tibalt enters the battlefield ..."

603.6a Enters-the-battlefield abilities trigger when a permanent enters the battlefield. These are written, “When [this object] enters the battlefield, . . . “ or “Whenever a [type] enters the battlefield, . . .” Each time an event puts one or more permanents onto the battlefield, all permanents on the battlefield (including the newcomers) are checked for any enters-the-battlefield triggers that match the event.

Since it is written as a replacement effect, there is no ability that ever goes on the stack that can be countered to stop creating Tibalt's emblem separate from countering Tibalt himself! So you could never get into a situation where 201.4a could apply (under normal casting circumstances, copying Tibalt or some other jankiness can cause it to happen). If Tibalt hits the battlefield, so does his emblem.

For the second situation, your analysis of rule 706.11 is correct. The game will track Tibalt and any cards exiled by it, no matter if it's name changes or not.

  • While it's true that Tibalt does not have a triggered ability, it is absolutely possible to have a Tibalt without having a corresponding emblem, so it is incorrect to say that 201.4a could never apply. For example, Tibalt could become an artifact or creature and then another permanent could become a copy of it. In addition 201.4a applies even in the simpler case where two separate Tibalts are played and you get both emblems.
    – murgatroid99
    Feb 9, 2021 at 17:45
  • @murgatroid99 That's fair, I'll clarify my answer to reflect that under normal casting circumstances it won't apply. As with all things Magic, there's some way to make something janky happen.
    – Becuzz
    Feb 9, 2021 at 18:04
  • Casting a second Tibalt after you previously controlled a Tibalt is an entirely normal circumstance in which rule 201.4a would apply.
    – murgatroid99
    Feb 9, 2021 at 18:42
  • @murgatroid99 True, but once you have one emblem per Tibalt the end result is the same that anything exiled by either Tibalt is tracked and able to be cast. I'm not saying it never applies to Tibalt just that the number of situations where it makes a meaningful difference is fairly few,. Especially in the scenario the OP was asking about it isn't (usually) relevant.
    – Becuzz
    Feb 10, 2021 at 12:40

Yes to all - you found the relevant rules and interpreted them correctly.


Each specific Tibalt emblem will be tied to a specific Tibalt object, and there is no way to have a Tibalt walker without having an emblem also created. This is because the ability that creates the emblem isn't an ETB triggered ability, but a replacement effect, the word 'As' at the beginning of the ability marks it as a replacement effect, as explained in the Comprehensive Rules (emphasis mine):

614.1c Effects that read "[This permanent] enters the battlefield with...," "As [this permanent] enters the battlefield...," or "[This permanent] enters the battlefield as..." are replacement effects.

Replacement effects aren't separate from what they are replacing, you can't counter them without countering the event they replace - so when Tibalt enters the battlefield, the emblem enters at the same time.

Once the card is on the field, there is no way to transform from Valki into Tibalt. Not without returning it to hand and re-casting the Tibalt side as normal.

If Valki were in play and copied a creature that transforms in place (like Bloodline Keeper) nothing would happen (see 711.5). If Valki were to copy creature that exiles and transforms into a planeswalker (like Nicol Bolas, the Ravager) he would be exiled, but would not return (see 711.10a). These are because while they are all double-faced cards(DFCs), Modal DFCs and Transforming DFCs are covered by different parts of section 711 in the rules and handled in different ways (see 711.1).

711.5. Only permanents represented by transforming double-faced cards can transform. (See rule 701.28, “Transform.”) If a spell or ability instructs a player to transform any permanent that isn’t represented by a transforming double-faced card, nothing happens.

711.10a If a spell or ability puts a transforming double-faced card onto the battlefield “transformed,” it enters the battlefield with its back face up. If a player is instructed to put a card that isn’t a transforming double-faced card onto the battlefield transformed, that card stays in its current zone.

711.1 A double-faced card has a Magic card face on each side rather than a Magic card face on one side and a Magic card back on the other. There are two kinds of double-faced cards. Transforming double-faced cards include abilities on one or both of their faces that allow the card to “transform” (turn over to its other face) or allow the card to enter the battlefield “transformed” (with its back face up). Modal double-faced cards have two faces that are independent from one another and can’t transform.

Update: After a discussion on this question in chat with @Murgatroid99, there are ways to get a copy of Tibalt on the field without a matching emblem being created, though it seems all but one way (a clone like Vesuvan Shapeshifter that enters as one animated planeswalker (like Gideon Blackblade) to get loyalty without the emblem and still has the ability to change to something else later) will not have any loyalty counters, and die immediately, since placing starting loyalty counters on a planeswalker is also an enter the battlefield replacement effect.

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