Meld is a Keyword Action (a little different than what we normally cover here) that can appear on any permanent type. It could theoretically appear on an Instant or Sorcery, but we have yet to see that occur and how specifically that would work. Anyway!
Meld appears in the ability text of one card that will specifically name another card in that text. If you control both cards and either activate or trigger the meld ability, you then exile both cards and return them to the battlefield melded – that is, turned to their back side and arranged so that they form one oversized card.
So that’s the basics. Here’s just a ton of notes:
- You can only meld the specifically named cards together. No melding mismatched pairs.
- If you create a token copy of one part of a meld pair and then try to meld that token, it won’t work out – the token blinks out of existence when it gets exiled, and the other half of the meld then stays in exile.
- While in practice meld cars function somewhat like double-face cards, as far as the rules are concerned they do not, so any rules around transforming double-face cards don’t apply here.
- If you control multiple copies of one part of a melding pair, you choose which copy gets melded when the ability triggers or is activated.
- Since the cards are leaving the battlefield and reentering as a brand new singular object, any Auras, counters, equipment, or anything else that was attached to those individual cards fall off or no longer apply.
- Anywhere other than the battlefield and when they are on the battlefield unmelded, meld cards only have the characteristics (total mana value, type, color, etc.) of their front unmelded side.
- When it’s on the battlefield, a melded pair has the characteristics of its combined back face – except for its total mana value, which is the combined value of both halves’ front side. However, if something becomes a copy of that back side, it has a total mana value of zero.
- The combined back half of a melded pair can be named by any effect that names a card.
- If any effect moves a melded pair from the battlefield to anywhere else, those cards unmeld, and are each affected separately.
Hoo boy, that was a lot. Meld has a lot to it that makes it tricky to bring back often – in addition to all the rules baggage it has as we just talked about, it requires a change in the printing process. As we can see in The Brothers’ War, it will come back when there’s a good reason for it to, but don’t expect to see it every few sets or anything.
If you want to start Melding some cards yourself, we have you covered over at cardkingdom.com!