How does cipher work?

  • #1
    Do I use the cipher ability exiling it from the stack (therefore having to pay for it)? Or do I exile it from my hand, and if so, is it instant speed?

    EDIT: Haha, someone posted an explanation while I was typing this. Disregard my question.
  • #2
    was thinking similar question , seems like you exile it after play, but I don't understand quite how the effect works, is it just a copy of any card after dealing combat damage or what?
  • #3
    As the last part of the spell's effect while it's resolving, Cipher takes effect. You exile the card (and it won't end up in the graveyard like spells usually do), and choose one of your creatures to encode it to. As long as that card is encoded to the creature, you'll get to cast a copy of it whenever the creature deals combat damage to a player.
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  • #4
    Quote from Rhadamanthus
    As long as that card is encoded to the creature, you'll get to cast a copy of it whenever the creature deals combat damage to a player.


    A copy of it meaning you need to have the same spell card on your hand or a copy of it like Reverberate does? I hope you guys get my question :\
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  • #5
    Quote from disinuwebe
    A copy of it meaning you need to have the same spell card on your hand or a copy of it like Reverberate does? I hope you guys get my question :\
    Neither.

    The Cipher trigger creates a copy of the exiled card. This copy is created in the Exile zone because that is where the original is. You then get permission to cast the copy of the card.

    If you decide not to, the copy of the card ceases to exist.
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  • #6
    Can't you exile a cipher card from the graveyard? It says "exile card", and cards are cards as well in the graveyard, are they not?
  • #7
    Quote from Billy Budapest
    Can't you exile a cipher card from the graveyard? It says "exile card", and cards are cards as well in the graveyard, are they not?


    Example card first....

    Whispering Madness 2UB
    Sorcery
    Each player discards their hand and draws cards equal to the greatest number discarded this way.
    Cipher (Then you may exile this spell card encoded on a creature you control. Whenever that creature deals combat damage to a player, its controller may cast a copy of this card without paying its mana cost.)


    Your question is a little unclear do you mean.... Can you exile any cipher card in your graveyard when you play a cipher card?

    If thats your question then..... Cipher says "exile THIS SPELL" so its pertaining to the card being cast not a cipher card in your graveyard.
  • #8
    Quote from .handslikeguns
    Example card first....

    Whispering Madness 2UB
    Sorcery
    Each player discards their hand and draws cards equal to the greatest number discarded this way.
    Cipher (Then you may exile this spell card encoded on a creature you control. Whenever that creature deals combat damage to a player, its controller may cast a copy of this card without paying its mana cost.)


    Your question is a little unclear do you mean.... Can you exile any cipher card in your graveyard when you play a cipher card?

    If thats your question then..... Cipher says "exile THIS SPELL" so its pertaining to the card being cast not a cipher card in your graveyard.


    It says exile this spell "card". When the spell is on the stack its not a card, but when it goes to the graveyard after resolving (or even not being resolved), it is a card again (a card in the graveyard).

    I think it could be clearer if it says something like "exile this spell card instead of putting it in the graveyard, if it is encoded on a creature".
  • #9
    Another question, is it the case that an encoded creature with double-strike can perform the associated action twice (assuming it hits the player both times) in succession? And if there is another double strike creature attacking, then the first execution of the encoded creature's action can encode the second creature, which can then execute the action on its second strike phase? (for a total of 3 activations of the encoded ability).
  • #10
    You're right that a double strike creature would get two copies, but the copies don't get encoded on anything. Notice the reminder text on Cipher says "you may exile this spell card...". The copy of the spell isn't a card, and it can't be encoded on anything.

    To your earlier comment about the spell not being a card on the stack: A card is always a card. Just because effects don't usually refer to them as such when they're on the stack or the battlefield doesn't mean they stop being cards.
    Last edited by Rhadamanthus: 1/8/2013 7:54:35 PM
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  • #11
    Quote from Merestil Haye
    Neither.

    The Cipher trigger creates a copy of the exiled card. This copy is created in the Exile zone because that is where the original is. You then get permission to cast the copy of the card.

    If you decide not to, the copy of the card ceases to exist.


    Alright! Thanks mate Smile
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  • #12
    Sorry guys, I have a very silly question about cipher. Can the copies created by cipher be countered? I'm a little confused with the words "cast a copy".

    Thanks in advance.

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  • #13
    Yes. Copies of spells go on the stack just like regular spells and can be countered (unless the copy has the "can't be countered" ability). Casting a copy works exactly like casting a regular spell and will trigger things that look for casting or be prevented from being cast.
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  • #14
    If the original hard cast of a cipher spell gets countered, can you encode it in response?
  • #15
    No. Cipher isn't an activated ability of the card. It's part of the effect of the resolving spell.

    Notice how the reminder text starts with "Then you may exile this spell card..." That means after you're done doing everything else written above it, you can decide whether to apply Cipher and encode the card. If the spell doesn't resolve (because it got countered, for example), then you never even get to that part of the spell's effect.
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  • #16
    Another question:

    When the creature with the encoded cypher card dies, the card with cypher remains exiled?

    Thanks in advance!!!:)

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  • #17
    So in that case, say I resolve hands of binding first, then encode it. My opponent has a presence of two creatures, this means that the resolved spell effects one creature so far. Then I can encode it on my flier and upon successfully dealing damage, a second copy of the same spell would resolve on the same turn, ending in two opposing tapped creatures?
    Last edited by elMochaLatte: 1/11/2013 10:29:29 AM
  • #18
    Quote from Idiotic Specter
    Another question:

    When the creature with the encoded cypher card dies, the card with cypher remains exiled?

    Thanks in advance!!!:)


    That's right. Cipher doesn't say to move it anywhere else if something happens to the creature, so the card stays in exile. It won't be encoded to anything.

    Quote from elMochaLatte
    So in that case, say I resolve hands of binding first, then encode it. My opponent has a presence of two creatures, this means that the resolved spell effects one creature so far. Then I can encode it on my flier and upon successfully dealing damage, a second copy of the same spell would resolve on the same turn, ending in two opposing tapped creatures?

    That's right. If you can hit with the creature you encode to in the same turn you cast the Cipher spell, you'll end up getting 2 casts in a single turn. That's part of why Cipher is good.
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  • #19
    Also notice the gr8 options in playing cipher-instants post-blocking. And thinking of it, http://magiccards.info/avr/en/225.html (alchemist's refuge) .. UBG seems pretty broken. Unblockable creatures with WHATEVER you want to have .. sick!

    Regards Q

    /E: i'd love to see a mystic artifact or entchantment "All your instant and sorcery spells have Cypher"
  • #20
    Except there arent really any Cypher cards worthy of that strategy, as Stolen Identity/Plague thing requires you to have 9 lands (!). Perhaps if you can find a way to abuse Whispering Madness, but we really need some more cheap and impactful cipher cards.
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  • #21
    so what would happen if they realese an x cost cypher card would all the copies have perminent # of the original on the x cast like reverberate does?
  • #22
    Quote from BishopOdarkness
    so what would happen if they realese an x cost cypher card would all the copies have perminent # of the original on the x cast like reverberate does?
    No; the copies cast through Cipher are "fresh" copies of the card, not copies of the original spell. They do not preserve any choices made when casting the original spell.

    The rules require that if you cast a card with X in its mana cost without paying its mana cost (unless that spell has an additional cost which also includes X) then you must choose a value of 0 for X. This would apply to any copies of "X" spells cast through Cipher: X would have to be 0.

    For this reason it is highly unlikely that there will be any "X" spells printed with Cipher.
  • #23
    I almost got excited about cipher when I realized that the copy of the spell also has cipher. So when a creature triggers the encoded spell, the copy of the spell also has cipher, which can encode on the same or different creature.

    So why doesn't this work? Because part of the resolution of the spell is exiling the spell. Because the copy is not a real card, it goes away when it gets exiled. When the new encoding tries to trigger, it tries to copy a spell which isn't there.

    *
    (Dang)
  • #24
    Quote from Mablung
    So why doesn't this work? Because part of the resolution of the spell is exiling the spell. Because the copy is not a real card, it goes away when it gets exiled. When the new encoding tries to trigger, it tries to copy a spell which isn't there.
    Not quite right.

    The reason you can't encode a copy of a Cipher card is that a copy of a card is not itself a card. The rules definition of the Cipher ability (as posted in the FAQ) says that "as long as the spell is represented by a card" you may exile it. Since a copy of a card is not a card, you never get to exile the copy.
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  • #25
    Now I have a question. since cipher effect is a encoded on a creature can the same creature be encoded with multiple ciphers effects, and if so can it be off the same effect from the same card giving a double effect.

    Example: I have invisible stalker(1/1 hexproof, unblockable) out and i cast paranoid delusions( target player mills three, cipher). I encoded invisible stalker and the next turn cast another paranoid delusions. Can I place a second cipher on invisible stalker and will the effect double for being encoded twice?
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