2001 rules question: Illusionary mask

Hello, this is an odd question that I have been unable to find an answer for.

We are playing an old school format that includes every card up to and including those released in the Apocalypse expansion. From a B/R point of view this is right before Fact or fiction got the axe.

You can find more information about the format here.

The card in question is Illusionary mask. I did a lot of digging and found one of Oscar Tan's articles which states that the mask's wording at that point in time was:

Illusionary Mask - 2
X: Put a creature card with converted mana cost X or less from your hand into play face down. If the face-down creature deals damage, is dealt damage, or becomes tapped, turn it face up. Play this ability only any time you could play a sorcery.

This leaves a bit to be desired, to say the least.

  • If I cast swords to plowshares on the facedown creature does my opponent gain life and how much?

  • What is the size of the facedown creature?

  • If that creature is say, a Birds of paradise, can I tap it for mana while it is face down?

I also attempted to find Stephen Menendian's starcitygames article on Tainted Mask, but it seems to have disappeared into the void. As a side note in case he reads this, his article on GAT is also gone (How to clip a lotus and grow a tog)

Crystal keep is somewhat online again. Here are some notes:

  • This card allows you to put a creature card into play without playing it and while ignoring the colored mana requirements in its cost. [D'Angelo 2001/08/15]

  • The creature is considered to be a 0/1 colorless creature with no name, creature type, expansion symbol, or abilities, and a mana cost of 0. None of the true characteristics of the card apply. This is true as long as it is face down. [CompRules 2001/07/23 - 504.2]

  • The creature enters play face down, so none of its "comes into play" abilities will trigger or have any effect. [CompRules 2001/07/23 - 504.2]

  • The controller may turn it face up any time that player has priority. This action does not go on the stack. [CompRules 2001/07/23 - 504.3]

  • When turned face up, the creature regains its full characteristics. [CompRules 2001/07/23 - 504.4]

  • The creature's "comes into play" abilities (and any other abilities relating to the creature coming into play) do not trigger when it turns face up. [CompRules 2001/07/23]

last edited by bigbadevil

That's not the article I was looking for. He once wrote an article on the original GAT deck, the article you linked to is from a much later period 🙂

So it’s not a 2/2 because morph hasn’t been established. And based on the card text, simply targeting the card isn’t enough to reveal the creature. I think 0/1 makes the most logical sense, but that is making assumptions.

Maybe go with “undefined”, and once it’s exiled by plow you can gain life equal to the exiled creatures power?

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