I have this card I recently got called Aclazotz, Deepest Betrayal. I understand it for the most part, except for the last line:

When Aclazotz dies, return it to the battlefield tapped and transformed under its owner’s control.

My question is: what does it mean for Aclazotz to be “transformed”? I’m not sure what this means.

For context I have not played for a while, but got this card in a booster pack that I got for Christmas.

2 Answers 2


Transform is an action related to double-sided cards. In the case of Aclazotz, if you turn the card over you should see that instead of the usual Magic card back (complete with "Deckmaster" branding) there is a second card named "Temple of the Dead".

When Aclazotz dies, you flip the card over and place Temple of the Dead onto the battlefield, tapped. Temple also has an ability that lets you transform it back into Aclazotz, although not every transformable card does this.

Some notes regarding transforming cards:

  • You cannot directly cast or play the back side.

  • If you do not have card sleeves with opaque backs, then you may want to use a proxy for Aclazotz when it is in your deck and hand (since otherwise it will be somewhat obvious).

  • Except for when it is on the battlefield as Temple of the Dead, for most purposes the card is Aclazotz (e.g. when considering card type, mana value, etc).

  • 2
    In tournament settings read "may want" as "are required"
    – Caleth
    Jan 2 at 13:53

To transform a permanent, you flip it on its other side. It will continue the game as that other permanent.

Aclazotz, Deepest Betrayal and all other transforming cards are double-faced, which means they have another card face on their back rather than the traditional card back of most cards. In your case, the back side is called "Temple of the Dead".

701.28a To transform a permanent, turn it over so that its other face is up. Only transforming tokens and permanents represented by transforming double-faced cards can transform.

All transforming cards have a way of transforming, and some of them can transform back again.

For gameplay purposes, the current back side of a transforming permanent is non-existant. Only the currently visible side matters. In any other zone but the battlefield, the card has the characteristics of its front face, marked by the up-facing arrow in the top left of the card.

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