If a face-down creature has a "When this dies [...]" effect (i.e. because of Ixidron), will that effect activate when it dies?

  • Done. That should clear up any timing issues.
    – user1873
    Dec 23, 2012 at 4:25
  • 1
    Ixidron doesn't give anything a "When this dies ..." ability...
    – David Z
    Dec 25, 2012 at 4:43
  • 1
    I'm voting to close this as unclear because it's not clear whether the creature's death trigger is (a) on its front face or (b) granted to it by something else, and that's significant. Jan 24, 2020 at 17:06

2 Answers 2


Short answer: Yes, if it had one, but the creature lost that ability when it was turned face-down.

"When this dies" is a leaves-the-battlefield ability [603.6c], and leaves-the-battlefield abilities trigger based on their existence, and the appearance of objects, prior to the event rather than afterward [603.3d].

So it doesn't matter what abilities the creature would have if it was face-up or will have in the graveyard; all that matters is what ability it actually does have. Only leaves-the-battlefield abilities the face-down creature has just prior to dying will trigger when it dies. Normally, that wouldn't be any, but some cards (such as Cauldron Haze) could grant them some.


It will not, if that ability was granted from some rules text on the card. It will if something else is granting it that ability after Ixidron turned it face-down (Cauldron of Souls).from the CR:

707.2a If a face-up permanent is turned face down by a spell or ability, it becomes a 2/2 face-down creature with no text, no name, no subtypes, no expansion symbol, and no mana cost. These values are the copiable values of that object’s characteristics.

There are no turn-based actions that instruct you to turn a creature face up when they go to the graveyard.

110.6. A permanent's status is its physical state. There are four status categories, each of which has two possible values: tapped/untapped, flipped/unflipped, face up/face down, and phased in/phased out. Each permanent always has one of these values for each of these categories.

110.6c A permanent retains its status until a spell, ability, or turn-based action changes it, even if that status is not relevant to it.

  • What concerns me is the timing minutiae: isn't the card considered face-up by the time it gets to the graveyard, thus restoring the effect?
    – Circeus
    Dec 23, 2012 at 3:07
  • "110.6d. Only permanents have status. Cards not on the battlefield do not." Which to me means a card going in the graveyard loses its face down status (otherwise cards with Unearth and other such things would lose it from Ixidron, and I'm fairly sure they do not).
    – Circeus
    Dec 23, 2012 at 6:00
  • @Circeus, It doesn't lose its face-down status. It's a brand new object with no memory of its past self.
    – ikegami
    Dec 23, 2012 at 6:23
  • @Circeus, I'd have to check but this could well be another case of the very common "last known information" rule, where things happen based on the state of play at the moment a card left its zone, rather than the card's new condition... Dec 23, 2012 at 9:20
  • @Circeus, it surely does lose its face-down status, in the same way that object ceasing to exist lose their status. But, it doesn't gain a face-up status. This means that it has no text (707.2a), and that continues to remain true until an ability, spell, etc. tells you otherwise (110.6c)
    – user1873
    Dec 23, 2012 at 14:29

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