Card types

Cards, tokens, permanents, and spells can have card types, supertypes, and subtypes. We have already seen the list of card types; this chapter will devote a page to each of them.

When an object's card type changes, the new card type replaces any existing card types. Counters, effects, and damage affecting the object remain with it, even if they are meaningless to the new card type.

Example. An animated Opal Acrolith's enters combat and is dealt 2 damage. If I play an effect that gives it +3/+3 until end of turn, it will become a 5/7. If I turn it into an enchantment with its last ability, it will become an enchantment without power or toughness.

If it becomes a creature again later in the same turn, it will be a 5/7 creature with 2 damage marked on it, as the damage and the power and toughness boost silently remain on the object even as it stops being a creature.

The damage will be removed and any continuous effects will expire during the cleanup step, even if Opal Acrolith is not a creature at that time.

Similarly, when one or more of an object's subtypes changes, the new subtype replaces any existing subtypes from the appropriate set, while the subtypes of other sets are unaffected. (The possible sets are: creature types, land types, artifact types, enchantment types, planeswalker types, or spell types.)

Example. Blood Moon turns all nonbasic lands into Mountains, which means that it will remove the Forest subtype from Dryad Arbor. However, it will not touch its types (so it's still a land creature), and it will not touch subtypes of other sets (so it's still a Dryad).

If an object's card type is removed, the subtypes correlated with that card type will also be removed for the entire time the object's card type is removed. Removing an object's subtype doesn't affect its card types at all.

Example. If a Dryad Arbor is enchanted by Song of the Dryads, all current types (land and creature) will be replaced by the new type (land). All subtypes not relevant to the new type (Dryad) will be lost for as long as Dryad Arbor remains a non-creature land. The result will be a Land - Forest without power or toughness.

Note: Only creatures are affected by "summoning sickness", the rule that prevents creatures from attacking and using abilities with Tap.gif in the activation cost if the controller hasn't controlled them continuously since the beginning of his most recent turn. This means that if I play a Dryad Arbor and immediately enchant it with Song of the Dryads, I'll be able to tap it immediately as it's not a creature any more; conversely, if I play a Mutavault and animate it, I won't be able to tap it for mana, as it's now a creature.
Note: Effects that change a permanent's type have special rules. You can read more about these effects on the type-changing effects page.

If an instruction requires a player to choose a subtype, that player must choose one, and only one, existing subtype for the appropriate card type.

Example. Engineered Plague requires you to choose a creature type when it enters the battlefield. It will be only possible to choose an existing subtype of the creature type, such as Goblin. Arcane is not a legal choice, as it is a spell subtype, used only for instant and sorcery cards. It is also not possible to choose an arbitrary word not listed as an existing creature type.

If Nature's Revolt is on the battlefield all Forests will be Creature Land - Forest. Despite this it's still not possible to choose Forest for Engineered Plague, as Forest is a land subtype, even if it appears on creature permanents.

A card that is both a land and another card type (for example, an artifact land) can only be played as a land. It can't be cast as a spell.