Question about Mass Diminish and copying

Spiderman

CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant
Staff member
After a Mass Diminish (Creatures have base 1/1), if any tokens are copied like from Populate, do they also come in as 1/1 or are they at their original p/t?
 

Oversoul

The Tentacled One
The tokens will be 1/1. Notably, that is their original P/T. When you create the copy, you copy the base P/T, and the process doesn't take into account what the P/T used to be or what it will be in the future due to some effect. The token was created as a copy of a 1/1, so the token is a 1/1. The effect of Mass Diminish would end and the original would change back to what it had been before. But the copy was never anything but a 1/1.
 

Mooseman

Isengar Tussle
Oddly, I have to disagree since coying tokens are different then other objects. The original effect that created the token set it's "copiable" P/T
I fear that means my death in the commander game.

110.5b The spell or ability that creates a token may define the values of any number of characteristics for the token. This becomes the token's "text." The characteristic values defined this way are functionally equivalent to the characteristic values that are printed on a card; for example, they define the token's copiable values. A token doesn't have any characteristics not defined by the spell or ability that created it.
 

Oversoul

The Tentacled One
706.2. When copying an object, the copy acquires the copiable values of the original object’s characteristics and, for an object on the stack, choices made when casting or activating it (mode, targets, the value of X, whether it was kicked, how it will affect multiple targets, and so on). The “copiable values” are the values derived from the text printed on the object (that text being name, mana cost, color indicator, card type, subtype, supertype, rules text, power, toughness, and/or loyalty), as modified by other copy effects, by its face-down status, and by “as . . . enters the battlefield” and “as . . . is turned face up” abilities that set power and toughness (and may also set additional characteristics). Other effects (including type-changing and text-changing effects), status, and counters are not copied.

And then the examples, directly below that...

Example: Chimeric Staff is an artifact that reads, “{X}: Chimeric Staff becomes an X/X artifact creature until end of turn.” Clone is a creature that reads, “You may have Clone enter the battlefield as a copy of any creature on the battlefield.” After a Staff has become a 5/5 artifact creature, a Clone enters the battlefield as a copy of it. The Clone is an artifact, not a 5/5 artifact creature. (The copy has the Staff’s ability, however, and will become a creature if that ability is activated.)

Example: Clone enters the battlefield as a copy of a face-down Grinning Demon (a creature with morph {2}{B}{B}). The Clone is a colorless 2/2 creature with no name, no types, no abilities, and no mana cost. It will still be face up. Its controller can’t pay {2}{B}{B} to turn it face up.


If a Clone of a 5/5 Chimeric Staff doesn't stop being a 5/5 after the end of the turn, then why would a copy of a 1/1 afflicted by Mass Diminish behave any differently?
 

Spiderman

CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant
Staff member
Oversoul said:
If a Clone of a 5/5 Chimeric Staff doesn't stop being a 5/5 after the end of the turn
Wait, wait, wait, from the example above, it says the Clone is a copy of the *artifact*, not as the 5/5 artifact creature. So it was never a creature to begin with, unless it itself uses it's X ability afterwards.

Here's what from above seems to support what Mooseman says (bold mine):

The “copiable values” are the values derived from the text printed on the object (that text being name, mana cost, color indicator, card type, subtype, supertype, rules text, power, toughness, and/or loyalty), as modified by other copy effects, by its face-down status, and by “as . . . enters the battlefield” and “as . . . is turned face up” abilities that set power and toughness (and may also set additional characteristics).
But it doesn't mention spell effect or abilities that set power and toughness, such as Mass Diminish.... so a copy created by Populate would seemingly have the original P/T of the token....

I'm gonna poke around some more unless someone else finds something sooner...
 

Mooseman

Isengar Tussle
I believe that is the ruling Spidey. If you copy a Werebear that has been Giant Growthed, your copy would be just a 2/2 Werebear.
 

Oversoul

The Tentacled One
Wait, wait, wait, from the example above, it says the Clone is a copy of the *artifact*, not as the 5/5 artifact creature. So it was never a creature to begin with, unless it itself uses it's X ability afterwards.
Bah, that's what I get for posting while tired. I was going to cite the Grinning Demon example. Of course the Clone copies all of the characteristics (including textbox) of Chimeric Staff, so that's a very different case.

I was hoping they'd have an example with Humble or some other card like that. But I haven't seen one. It's bugging me because I'd have thought this wouldn't be that obscure of an interaction.

I believe that is the ruling Spidey. If you copy a Werebear that has been Giant Growthed, your copy would be just a 2/2 Werebear.
Giant Growth applies modifiers to P/T. Mass Diminish sets base P/T. I think WotC deliberately added "base" to the rules text of cards like that a while back because the two effects function very differently, but it wasn't as intuitively obvious.

Giant Growth on a 2/2 leave you with a 2/2 that has +3/3 temporarily. So a Clone of the 2/2 is a 2/2 even though the creature it was copying was a 5/5 at the time. Its base power and toughness were what Clone checked, not the modifiers. Mass Diminish on a 2/2 leaves you with a 1/1 and the effect of a spell that will have it become a 2/2 again at a specified point. A Clone of that 1/1 is a 1/1. The Clone was unaffected by Mass Diminish because it entered the battlefield after Mass Diminish resolved. So the effect of Mass Diminish reverting the power and toughness of creatures doesn't do anything to the Clone. The Clone was a 1/1 with no abilities the whole time (ever since it copied the Mass Diminish-afflicted creature).
 

Mooseman

Isengar Tussle
Doesn't matter if it set or modifies for copiable purposes. A werebear that is affected by the mass diminish will still be copied as a 2/2 werebear, since the copiable values are the printed text on the card.

Humble examples won't work, since humble will affect the copy as it ETB to be 1/1.
 

Spiderman

CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant
Staff member
Here's something that may apply: From the Commander 2019 Release Notes under the Populate mechanic:

The new token doesn't copy whether the original token is tapped or untapped, whether it has any counters on it or Auras and Equipment attached to it, or any noncopy effects that have changed its power, toughness, color, and so on.
So it appears a copy *would* retain the original token's P/T... still looking though...
 

Oversoul

The Tentacled One
Ah ha! I finally found it. I asked the question on another website and got a correct, but poorly-written and confusing, answer (the person quoted a rule at me that I'd already cited here and then restated it in a vague and unhelpful way). That was frustrating, but I happened across real confirmation just now, when I looked at the rulings on Gigantoplasm...

However, the effect of that ability isn’t copiable. That is, if Gigantoplasm is a copy of a creature with base power and toughness 2/2 and you activate its ability making it a 4/4 creature, another creature that becomes a copy of Gigantoplasm will have base power and toughness 2/2.
That case is comparable for our purposes. Mystery solved.
 

Spiderman

CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant
Staff member
From researching all of this, I think copying tokens are treated differently. Both from what I quoted above from the Commander 2019 mechanics and if you looked further down on the Gigantoplasm rulings, it says:

If the chosen creature is a token, Gigantoplasm copies the original characteristics of that token as stated by the effect that put the token onto the battlefield. Gigantoplasm isn’t a token, even if it’s copying one.
So the original characteristics of a token are its original P/T.
 
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