Doppleganging a Faceless Butcher

Asked by hyena69 4 years ago

Ok, let us say that I have a couple of Faceless Butcher s in play. I then cast a Vesuvan Doppelganger copying one of the butchers. When the Vesuvan Butcher enters the battlefield one of my opponents creatures gets exiled, right?

Then during my upkeep I have the Doppelganger change to being a copy of my Bog Rats and bounce my doppelganger. Does the exiled creature return?

If I next round start copying the butcher again will that make a difference? Or if I copy the other butcher?

hyena69 says... #1

Reading Gatherer before asking is always wise. Unless I missread Gatherer the creature will return :-)

June 24, 2015 6:21 p.m.

pskinn01 says... Accepted answer #2

@hyena69: Yes, their creature would get exiled for question 1.

No, the creature does not return in the second question.

The ability that exiles the creature is totally different from the ability that brings that creature back.

So if you change the doppleganger to something other than the Faceless Butcher, the second ability won't be happen because it is no longer an ability of the doppleganer.

When a card references itself, it means this object. The object that exiled the creature never leaves the battlefield, so the second ability does not trigger. The object just becomes a different creature. This is also why changeng a doppleganger doesn't trigger enter the battlefield or leave the battlefield effects.

You could even target a creature with Faceless Butcher, target one of their creatures. Then while the first ability is on the stack, sac the Faceless Butcher (or kill it, or remove it somehow - bounce it...). This will cause the second ability to try to return the creature to play, which it can't at that time. So the first ability will then exile the creature permanently. (unless something lets your opponent get it from exile)

Making it a copy of any Faceless Butcher, would make a difference though. As the doppleganer is the same object (unless it was bounced). Since it is the same object, the creature exiled still could be returned when it leaves the battlefield.

June 24, 2015 6:40 p.m.

Rhadamanthus says... #3

@pskinn01: If Vesuvan Doppelganger enters as a Faceless Butcher, then turns into a Bog Rats, then turns into a Butcher again, the exiled creature can't come back. The abilities on Faceless Butcher are linked to each other, and the set of abilities Doppelganger gains when it turns back into a Butcher are different from the set it had when it first entered as a Butcher. The "exiled card" referenced by the new instance of the second ability doesn't exist, because the new instance of the first ability never exiled anything.

June 25, 2015 5:03 p.m.

pskinn01 says... #4

@Rhadamanthus: it was explained to me that the object (the doppelganger) is the same object since it did not leave play, so the link would not be broken. Since the second checks when Faceless Butcher leaves play, and the object did exile the other creature.

But you are correct per rule 607.4. If an object acquires a pair of linked abilities as part of the same effect, the abilities will be similarly linked to one another on that object even though they weren't printed on that object. They can't be linked to any other ability, regardless of what other abilities the object may currently have or may have had in the past.

thanks....the more you know...

June 25, 2015 5:26 p.m.

Rhadamanthus says... #5

You're right that it's still the same object, but linked abilities are linked to specific other abilities, as you found in 607.4.

Linked abilities are weird stuff. So are copy effects.

June 25, 2015 5:45 p.m.

TheRedMage says... #6

@ pskinn01: I think I can explain the confusion: There has been a change in the templating of this style of cards that affects this interaction.

Older creatures and spells (Faceless Butcher, Fiend Hunter, Portcullis, Oblivion Ring) have two linked triggered ability. As the previous posters explained, if your Vesuvan Doppelganger copies one of these creatures, and then copies a different creature, it will not have the triggered ability responsible for returning the exiled creature anymore, so if the doppelganger leaves the battlefield the exiled creature will stay in exile.

Newer creatures and spells (Colossal Whale, Banisher Priest, Banishing Light, Silkwrap) have a single triggered ability that creates an effect with a set duration. If the Faceless Butcher was a Banisher Priest, the fact that the doppelganger copied something else doesn't matter: the duration of the effect is still "until this object leaves the battlefield" and since, as you mentioned, the Vesuvan Doppelganger stays the same object as he copies different creatures, the ability will track it and return the exiled creature if the doppelganger goes away, regardless of what it was copying at the moment.

June 26, 2015 4:30 p.m.

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