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Game Rules
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    100.1. These Magic rules apply to any Magic game with two or more players, including two-player games and multiplayer games.

    100.1a. A two-player game is a game that begins with only two players.

    100.1b. A multiplayer game is a game that begins with more than two players. See section 8, “Multiplayer Rules.”

    100.2. To play, each player needs his or her own deck of traditional Magic cards, small items to represent any tokens and counters, and some way to clearly track life totals.

    100.2a. In constructed play (a way of playing in which each player creates his or her own deck ahead of time), each deck must contain at least sixty cards. A constructed deck may contain any number of basic land cards and no more than four of any card with a particular English name other than basic land cards.

    100.2b. In limited play (a way of playing in which each player gets the same quantity of unopened Magic product and creates his or her own deck using only this product), each deck must contain at least forty cards. A limited deck may contain as many duplicates of a card as are included with the product.

    100.3. Some casual variants require additional items, such as specially designated cards, nontraditional Magic cards, and dice. See section 9, "Casual Variants."

    100.4. Each player may also have a sideboard, which is a group of additional cards the player may use to modify his or her deck between games of a match.

    100.4a. In constructed play, a sideboard may contain no more than fifteen cards. The four-card limit (see rule 100.2a) applies to the combined deck and sideboard.

    100.4b. In limited play involving individual players, all cards a player opens but doesn’t include in his or her deck are in that player’s sideboard.

    100.4c. In limited play involving the Two-Headed Giant multiplayer variant, all cards a team opens but doesn’t include in either player’s deck are in that team’s sideboard.

    100.4d. In limited play involving other multiplayer team variants, each card a team opens but doesn’t include in any player’s deck is assigned to the sideboard of one of those players. Each player has his or her own sideboard; cards may not be transferred between players.

    100.5. There is no maximum deck size.

    100.6. Most Magic tournaments (organized play activities where players compete against other players to win prizes) have additional rules covered in the Magic: The Gathering Tournament Rules (found at wizards.com/WPN/Events/Rules.aspx). These rules may limit the use of some cards, including barring all cards from some older sets.

    100.6a. Tournaments usually consist of a series of matches. A two-player match usually involves playing until one player has won two games. A multiplayer match usually consists of only one game.

    100.6b. Players can use the Magic Store & Event Locator at Wizards.com/Locator to find tournaments in their area.


    101.1. Whenever a card’s text directly contradicts these rules, the card takes precedence. The card overrides only the rule that applies to that specific situation. The only exception is that a player can concede the game at any time (see rule 104.3a).

    101.2. When a rule or effect allows or directs something to happen, and another effect states that it can’t happen, the “can’t” effect takes precedence.

    Example: If one effect reads “You may play an additional land this turn” and another reads “You can’t play land cards this turn,” the effect that precludes you from playing lands wins.

    101.2a. Adding abilities to objects and removing abilities from objects don’t fall under this rule. (See rule 112.10.)

    101.3. Any part of an instruction that’s impossible to perform is ignored. (In many cases the card will specify consequences for this; if it doesn’t, there’s no effect.)

    101.4. If multiple players would make choices and/or take actions at the same time, the active player (the player whose turn it is) makes any choices required, then the next player in turn order (usually the player seated to the active player’s left) makes any choices required, followed by the remaining nonactive players in turn order. Then the actions happen simultaneously. This rule is often referred to as the "Active Player, Nonactive Player (APNAP) order" rule.

    Example: A card reads “Each player sacrifices a creature.” First, the active player chooses a creature he or she controls. Then each of the nonactive players, in turn order, chooses a creature he or she controls. Then all creatures chosen this way are sacrificed simultaneously.

    101.4a. If an effect has each player choose a card in a hidden zone, such as his or her hand or library, those cards may remain face down as they’re chosen. However, each player must clearly indicate which face-down card he or she is choosing.

    101.4b. A player knows the choices made by the previous players when he or she makes his or her choice, except as specified in 101.4a.

    101.4c. If a player would make more than one choice at the same time, the player makes the choices in the order written, or in the order he or she chooses if the choices aren’t ordered.

    101.4d. If a choice made by a nonactive player causes the active player, or a different nonactive player earlier in the turn order, to have to make a choice, APNAP order is restarted for all outstanding choices.


    102.1. A player is one of the people in the game. The active player is the player whose turn it is. The other players are nonactive players.

    102.2. In a two-player game, a player’s opponent is the other player.

    102.3. In a multiplayer game between teams, a player’s teammates are the other players on his or her team, and the player’s opponents are all players not on his or her team.


    103.1. At the start of a game, each player shuffles his or her deck so that the cards are in a random order. Each player may then shuffle or cut his or her opponents’ decks. The players’ decks become their libraries.

    103.1a. If a player is using a sideboard (see rule 100.4) or double-faced cards being represented by checklist cards (see rule 711.9), those cards are set aside before shuffling.

    103.1b. In a Commander game, each player puts his or her commander from his or her deck face up into the command zone before shuffling. See rule 903.6.

    103.2. After the decks have been shuffled, the players determine which one of them will choose who takes the first turn. In the first game of a match (including a single-game match), the players may use any mutually agreeable method (flipping a coin, rolling dice, etc.) to do so. In a match of several games, the loser of the previous game chooses who takes the first turn. If the previous game was a draw, the player who made the choice in that game makes the choice in this game. The player chosen to take the first turn is the starting player. The game’s default turn order begins with the starting player and proceeds clockwise.

    103.2a. In a game using the shared team turns option, there is a starting team rather than a starting player.

    103.2b. In an Archenemy game, these methods aren’t used to determine who takes the first turn. Rather, the archenemy takes the first turn.

    103.3. Each player begins the game with a starting life total of 20. Some variant games have different starting life totals.

    103.3a. In a Two-Headed Giant game, each team's starting life total is 30.

    103.3b. In a Vanguard game, each player's starting life total is 20 plus or minus the life modifier of his or her vanguard card.

    103.3c. In a Commander game, each player's starting life total is 40.

    103.3d. In an Archenemy game, the archenemy's starting life total is 40.

    103.4. Each player draws a number of cards equal to his or her starting hand size, which is normally seven. (Some effects can modify a player's starting hand size.) A player who is dissatisfied with his or her initial hand may take a mulligan. First, the starting player declares whether or not he or she will take a mulligan. Then each other player in turn order does the same. Once each player has made a declaration, all players who decided to take mulligans do so at the same time. To take a mulligan, a player shuffles his or her hand back into his or her library, then draws a new hand of one fewer cards than he or she had before. If a player kept his or her hand of cards, those cards become the player's opening hand, and that player may not take any further mulligans. This process is then repeated until no player takes a mulligan. (Note that if a player's hand size reaches zero cards, that player must keep that hand.)

    103.4a. In a Vanguard game, each player's starting hand size is seven plus or minus the hand modifier of his or her vanguard card.

    103.4b. If an effect allows a player to perform an action "any time [that player] could mulligan," the player may perform that action at a time he or she would declare whether or not he or she will take a mulligan. This need not be in the first round of mulligans. Other players may have already made their mulligan declarations by the time the player has the option to perform this action. If the player performs the action, he or she then declares whether or not he or she will take a mulligan.

    103.4c. In a multiplayer game, the first time a player takes a mulligan, he or she draws a new hand of as many cards as he or she had before. Subsequent hands decrease by one card as normal.

    103.4d. In a multiplayer game using the shared team turns option, first each player on the starting team declares whether or not he or she will take a mulligan, then the players on each other team in turn order do the same. Teammates may consult while making their decisions. Then all mulligans are taken at the same time. A player may take a mulligan even after his or her teammate has decided to keep his or her opening hand.

    103.4e. The Commander casual variant uses an alternate mulligan rule. Each time a player takes a mulligan, rather than shuffling his or her entire hand of cards into his or her library, that player exiles any number of cards from his or her hand face down. Then the player draws a number of cards equal to one less than the number of cards he or she exiled this way. Once a player keeps an opening hand, that player shuffles all cards he or she exiled this way into his or her library.

    103.5. Some cards allow a player to take actions with them from his or her opening hand. Once all players have kept their opening hands, the starting player may take any such actions in any order. Then each other player in turn order may do the same.

    103.5a. If a card allows a player to begin the game with that card on the battlefield, the player taking this action puts that card onto the battlefield.

    103.5b. If a card allows a player to reveal it from his or her opening hand, the player taking this action does so. The card remains revealed until the first turn begins. Each card may be revealed this way only once.

    103.5c. In a multiplayer game using the shared team turns option, first each player on the starting team, in whatever order that team likes, may take such actions. Teammates may consult while making their decisions. Then each player on each other team in turn order does the same.

    103.6. In a Planechase game, the starting player moves the top card of his or her planar deck off that planar deck and turns it face up. If it’s a plane card, that card is the starting plane. If it’s a phenomenon card, the player puts that card on the bottom of his or her planar deck and repeats this process until a plane card is turned face up. (See rule 901, "Planechase.")

    103.7. The starting player takes his or her first turn.

    103.7a. In a two-player game, the player who plays first skips the draw step (see rule 504, “Draw Step”) of his or her first turn.

    103.7b. In a Two-Headed Giant game, the team who plays first skips the draw step of their first turn.

    103.7c. In all other multiplayer games, no player skips the draw step of his or her first turn.


    104.1. A game ends immediately when a player wins, when the game is a draw, or when the game is restarted.

    104.2. There are several ways to win the game.

    104.2a. A player still in the game wins the game if all of that player’s opponents have left the game. This happens immediately and overrides all effects that would prevent that player from winning the game.

    104.2b. An effect may state that a player wins the game. (In multiplayer games, this may not cause the game to end; see rule 104.3h.)

    104.2c. In a multiplayer game between teams, a team with at least one player still in the game wins the game if all other teams have left the game. Each player on the winning team wins the game, even if one or more of those players had previously lost that game.

    104.2d. In an Emperor game, a team wins the game if its emperor wins the game. (See rule 809.5.)

    104.3. There are several ways to lose the game.

    104.3a. A player can concede the game at any time. A player who concedes leaves the game immediately. He or she loses the game.

    104.3b. If a player’s life total is 0 or less, he or she loses the game the next time a player would receive priority. (This is a state-based action. See rule 704.)

    104.3c. If a player is required to draw more cards than are left in his or her library, he or she draws the remaining cards, and then loses the game the next time a player would receive priority. (This is a state-based action. See rule 704.)

    104.3d. If a player has ten or more poison counters, he or she loses the game the next time a player would receive priority. (This is a state-based action. See rule 704.)

    104.3e. An effect may state that a player loses the game.

    104.3f. If a player would both win and lose the game simultaneously, he or she loses the game.

    104.3g. In a multiplayer game between teams, a team loses the game if all players on that team have lost the game.

    104.3h. In a multiplayer game, an effect that states that a player wins the game instead causes all of that player’s opponents to lose the game. (This may not cause the game to end if the limited range of influence option is being used; see rule 801.)

    104.3i. In an Emperor game, a team loses the game if its emperor loses the game. (See rule 809.5.)

    104.3j. In a Commander game, a player that’s been dealt 21 or more combat damage by the same commander over the course of the game loses the game. (This is a state-based action. See rule 704. Also see rule 903.14.)

    104.3k. In a tournament, a player may lose the game as a result of a penalty given by a judge. See rule 100.6.

    104.4. There are several ways for the game to be a draw.

    104.4a. If all the players remaining in a game lose simultaneously, the game is a draw.

    104.4b. If a game that’s not using the limited range of influence option (including a two-player game) somehow enters a “loop” of mandatory actions, repeating a sequence of events with no way to stop, the game is a draw. Loops that contain an optional action don’t result in a draw.

    104.4c. An effect may state that the game is a draw.

    104.4d. In a multiplayer game between teams, the game is a draw if all remaining teams lose simultaneously.

    104.4e. In a multiplayer game using the limited range of influence option, the effect of a spell or ability that states that the game is a draw causes the game to be a draw for that spell or ability’s controller and all players within his or her range of influence. Only those players leave the game; the game continues for all other players.

    104.4f. In a multiplayer game using the limited range of influence option, if the game somehow enters a “loop” of mandatory actions, repeating a sequence of events with no way to stop, the game is a draw for each player who controls an object that’s involved in that loop, as well as for each player within the range of influence of any of those players. Only those players leave the game; the game continues for all other players.

    104.4g. In a multiplayer game between teams, the game is a draw for a team if the game is a draw for all remaining players on that team.

    104.4h. In the Emperor variant, the game is a draw for a team if the game is a draw for its emperor. (See rule 809.5.)

    104.4i. In a tournament, all players in the game may agree to an intentional draw. See rule 100.6.

    104.5. If a player loses the game, he or she leaves the game. If the game is a draw for a player, he or she leaves the game. The multiplayer rules handle what happens when a player leaves the game; see rule 800.4.

    104.6. One card (Karn Liberated) restarts the game. All players still in the game when it restarts then immediately begin a new game. See rule 714, "Restarting the Game."


    105.1. There are five colors in the Magic game: white, blue, black, red, and green.

    105.2. An object can be one or more of the five colors, or it can be no color at all. An object is the color or colors of the mana symbols in its mana cost, regardless of the color of its frame. An object's color or colors may also be defined by a color indicator or a characteristic-defining ability. See rule 202.2.

    105.2a. A monocolored object is exactly one of the five colors.

    105.2b. A multicolored object is two or more of the five colors.

    105.2c. A colorless object has no color.

    105.3. Effects may change an object’s color or give a color to a colorless object. If an effect gives an object a new color, the new color replaces all previous colors the object had (unless the effect said the object became that color “in addition” to its other colors). Effects may also make a colored object become colorless.

    105.4. If a player is asked to choose a color, he or she must choose one of the five colors. “Multicolored” is not a color. Neither is “colorless.”


    106.1. Mana is the primary resource in the game. Players spend mana to pay costs, usually when casting spells and activating abilities.

    106.1a. There are five colors of mana: white, blue, black, red, and green.

    106.1b. There are six types of mana: white, blue, black, red, green, and colorless.

    106.2. Mana is represented by mana symbols (see rule 107.4). Mana symbols also represent mana costs (see rule 202).

    106.3. Mana is produced by the effects of mana abilities (see rule 605). It may also be produced by the effects of spells, as well as by the effects of abilities that aren’t mana abilities.

    106.4. When an effect produces mana, that mana goes into a player’s mana pool. From there, it can be used to pay costs immediately, or it can stay in the player’s mana pool. Each player’s mana pool empties at the end of each step and phase.

    106.4a. If a player passes priority (see rule 116) while there is mana in his or her mana pool, that player announces what mana is there. If any mana remains in a player’s mana pool after he or she spends mana to pay a cost, that player announces what mana is still there.

    106.5. If an ability would produce one or more mana of an undefined type, it produces no mana instead.

    Example: Meteor Crater has the ability “T: Choose a color of a permanent you control. Add one mana of that color to your mana pool.” If you control no colored permanents, activating Meteor Crater’s mana ability produces no mana.

    106.6. Some spells or abilities that produce mana restrict how that mana can be spent, or have an additional effect that affects the spell or ability that mana is spent on. This doesn’t affect the mana’s type.

    Example: A player’s mana pool contains 1U which can be spent only to pay cumulative upkeep costs. That player activates Doubling Cube’s ability, which reads “3, T, Double the amount of each type of mana in your mana pool.” The player’s mana pool now has 2UU in it, 1U of which can be spent on anything.

    106.7. Some abilities produce mana based on the type of mana another permanent or permanents “could produce.” The type of mana a permanent could produce at any time includes any type of mana that an ability of that permanent would produce if the ability were to resolve at that time, taking into account any applicable replacement effects in any possible order. Ignore whether any costs of the ability could or could not be paid. If that permanent wouldn’t produce any mana under these conditions, or no type of mana can be defined this way, there’s no type of mana it could produce.

    Example: Exotic Orchard has the ability “T: Add to your mana pool one mana of any color that a land an opponent controls could produce.” If your opponent controls no lands, activating Exotic Orchard’s mana ability will produce no mana. The same is true if you and your opponent each control no lands other than Exotic Orchards. However, if you control a Forest and an Exotic Orchard, and your opponent controls an Exotic Orchard, then each Exotic Orchard could produce G.

    106.8. If an effect would add mana represented by a hybrid mana symbol to a player’s mana pool, that player chooses one half of that symbol. If a colored half is chosen, one mana of that color is added to that player’s mana pool. If a colorless half is chosen, an amount of colorless mana represented by that half’s number is added to that player’s mana pool.

    106.9. If an effect would add mana represented by a Phyrexian mana symbol to a player's mana pool, one mana of the color of that symbol is added to that player's mana pool.

    106.10. To "tap a permanent for mana" is to activate a mana ability of that permanent that includes the T symbol in its activation cost. See rule 605, “Mana Abilities.”

    106.11. One card (Drain Power) puts all mana from one player’s mana pool into another player’s mana pool. (Note that these may be the same player.) This empties the former player’s mana pool and causes the mana emptied this way to be put into the latter player’s mana pool. Which permanents, spells, and/or abilities produced that mana are unchanged, as are any restrictions or additional effects associated with any of that mana.


    107.1. The only numbers the Magic game uses are integers.

    107.1a. You can’t choose a fractional number, deal fractional damage, gain fractional life, and so on. If a spell or ability could generate a fractional number, the spell or ability will tell you whether to round up or down.

    107.1b. Most of the time, the Magic game uses only positive numbers and zero. You can't choose a negative number, deal negative damage, gain negative life, and so on. However, it's possible for a game value, such as a creature's power, to be less than zero. If a calculation or comparison needs to use a negative value, it does so. If a calculation that would determine the result of an effect yields a negative number, zero is used instead, unless that effect sets a player's life total to a specific value, doubles a player's life total, sets a creature's power or toughness to a specific value, or otherwise modifies a creature's power or toughness.

    Example: If a 3/4 creature gets -5/-0, it's a -2/4 creature. It doesn't assign damage in combat. Its total power and toughness is 2. You'd have to give it +3/+0 to raise its power to 1.

    Example: Viridian Joiner is a 1/2 creature with the ability "T: Add to your mana pool an amount of G equal to Viridian Joiner's power." An effect gives it -2/-0, then its ability is activated. The ability adds no mana to your mana pool.

    107.1c. If a rule or ability instructs a player to choose “any number,” that player may choose any positive number or zero, unless something (such as damage or counters) is being divided or distributed among “any number” of players and/or objects. In that case, a nonzero number of players and/or objects must be chosen if possible.

    107.2. If anything needs to use a number that can’t be determined, either as a result or in a calculation, it uses 0 instead.

    107.3. Many objects use the letter X as a placeholder for a number that needs to be determined. Some objects have abilities that define the value of X; the rest let their controller choose the value of X.

    107.3a. If a spell or activated ability has a mana cost, alternative cost, additional cost, and/or activation cost with an X, [-X], or X in it, and the value of X isn't defined by the text of that spell or ability, the controller of that spell or ability chooses and announces the value of X as part of casting the spell or activating the ability. (See rule 601, "Casting Spells.") While a spell is on the stack, any X in its mana cost equals the announced value. While an activated ability is on the stack, any X in its activation cost equals the announced value.

    107.3b. If a player is casting a spell that has an X in its mana cost, the value of X isn’t defined by the text of that spell, and an effect lets that player cast that spell while paying neither its mana cost nor an alternative cost that includes X, then the only legal choice for X is 0. This doesn’t apply to effects that only reduce a cost, even if they reduce it to zero. See rule 601, “Casting Spells.”

    107.3c. If a spell or activated ability has an X, [-X], or X in its cost and/or its text, and the value of X is defined by the text of that spell or ability, then that's the value of X while that spell or ability is on the stack. The controller of that spell or ability doesn't get to choose the value. Note that the value of X may change while that spell or ability is on the stack.

    107.3d. If a cost associated with a special action, such as a suspend cost or a morph cost, has an X or an X in it, the value of X is chosen by the player taking the special action as he or she pays that cost.

    107.3e. Sometimes X appears in the text of a spell or ability but not in a mana cost, alternative cost, additional cost, or activation cost. If the value of X isn’t defined, the controller of the spell or ability chooses the value of X at the appropriate time (either as it’s put on the stack or as it resolves).

    107.3f. If a card in any zone other than the stack has an X in its mana cost, the value of X is treated as 0, even if the value of X is defined somewhere within its text.

    107.3g. All instances of X on an object have the same value at any given time.

    107.3h. Some objects use the letter Y in addition to the letter X. Y follows the same rules as X.

    107.4. The mana symbols are W, U, B, R, G, and X; the numerals 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, and so on; the hybrid symbols (w/u), (w/b), (u/b), (u/r), (b/r), (b/g), (r/g), (r/w), (g/w), and (g/u); the monocolored hybrid symbols (2/w), (2/u), (2/b), (2/r), and (2/g); the Phyrexian mana symbols (w/P), (u/P), (b/P), (r/P), and (g/P); and the snow symbol S.

    107.4a. There are five primary colored mana symbols: W is white, U blue, B black, R red, and G green. These symbols are used to represent colored mana, and also to represent colored mana in costs. Colored mana in costs can be paid only with the appropriate color of mana. See rule 202, “Mana Cost and Color.”

    107.4b. Numeral symbols (such as 1) and variable symbols (such as X) represent generic mana in costs. Generic mana in costs can be paid with any type of mana. For more information about X, see rule 107.3.

    107.4c. Numeral symbols (such as 1) and variable symbols (such as X) can also represent colorless mana if they appear in the effect of a spell or ability that reads “add [mana symbol] to your mana pool” or something similar. (See rule 107.3e.)

    107.4d. The symbol 0 represents zero mana and is used as a placeholder for a cost that can be paid with no resources. (See rule 117.5.)

    107.4e. Hybrid mana symbols are also colored mana symbols. Each one represents a cost that can be paid in one of two ways, as represented by the two halves of the symbol. A hybrid symbol such as (w/u) be paid with either white or blue mana, and a monocolored hybrid symbol such as (2/b) can be paid with either one black mana or two mana of any type of mana. A hybrid mana symbol is all of its component colors.

    Example: (G/W)(G/W) can be paid by spending GG, GW, or WW.

    107.4f. Phyrexian mana symbols are colored mana symbols: (w/P) is white, (u/P) is blue, (B/P) is black, (R/P) is red, and (G/P) is green. A Phyrexian mana symbol represents a cost that can be paid either with one mana of its color or by paying 2 life.

    Example: (W/P)(W/P) can be paid by spending WW, by spending W and paying 2 life, or by paying 4 life.

    107.4g. In rules text, the Phyrexian symbol (P) with no colored background means any of the five Phyrexian mana symbols.

    107.4h. The snow mana symbol S represents one generic mana in a cost. This generic mana can be paid with one mana of any type produced by a snow permanent (see rule 205.4f). Effects that reduce the amount of generic mana you pay don’t affect S costs. (There is no such thing as "snow mana"; "snow" is not a type of mana.)

    107.5. The tap symbol is T. The tap symbol in an activation cost means “Tap this permanent.” A permanent that’s already tapped can’t be tapped again to pay the cost. A creature’s activated ability with the tap symbol in its activation cost can’t be activated unless the creature has been under its controller’s control continuously since his or her most recent turn began. See rule 302.6.

    107.6. The untap symbol is Q. The untap symbol in an activation cost means “Untap this permanent.” A permanent that’s already untapped can’t be untapped again to pay the cost. A creature’s activated ability with the untap symbol in its activation cost can’t be activated unless the creature has been under its controller’s control continuously since his or her most recent turn began. See rule 302.6.

    107.7. Each activated ability of a planeswalker has a loyalty symbol in its cost. Positive loyalty symbols point upward and feature a plus sign followed by a number. Negative loyalty symbols point downward and feature a minus sign followed by a number or an X. Neutral loyalty symbols don’t point in either direction and feature a 0. [+N] means “Put N loyalty counters on this permanent,” [-N] means “Remove N loyalty counters from this permanent,” and [0] means “Put zero loyalty counters on this permanent.”

    107.8. The text box of a leveler card contains two level symbols, each of which is a keyword ability that represents a static ability. The level symbol includes either a range of numbers, indicated here as “N1-N2,” or a single number followed by a plus sign, indicated here as “N3+.” Any abilities printed within the same text box striation as a level symbol are part of its static ability. The same is true of the power/toughness box printed within that striation, indicated here as “[P/T].” See rule 710, "Leveler Cards."

    107.8a. “(LEVEL N1-N2) [Abilities] [P/T]” means “As long as this creature has at least N1 level counters on it, but no more than N2 level counters on it, it’s [P/T] and has [abilities].”

    107.8b. “(LEVEL N3+) [Abilities] [P/T]” means “As long as this creature has N3 or more level counters on it, it’s [P/T] and has [abilities].”

    107.9. A tombstone icon appears to the left of the name of many Odyssey™ block cards with abilities that are relevant in a player’s graveyard. The purpose of the icon is to make those cards stand out when they’re in a graveyard. This icon has no effect on game play.

    107.10. A type icon appears in the upper left corner of each card from the Future Sight® set printed with an alternate “timeshifted” frame. If the card has a single card type, this icon indicates what it is: claw marks for creature, a flame for sorcery, a lightning bolt for instant, a sunrise for enchantment, a chalice for artifact, and a pair of mountain peaks for land. If the card has multiple card types, that’s indicated by a black and white cross. This icon has no effect on game play.

    107.11. The Planeswalker symbol is (PW). It appears on one face of the planar die used in the Planechase casual variant. See rule 901, "Planechase."

    107.12. The chaos symbol is (C). It appears on one face of the planar die used in the Planechase casual variant, as well as in abilities that refer to the results of rolling the planar die. See rule 901, "Planechase."

    107.13. The sun symbol appears in the upper left corner of the front face of double-faced cards. See rule 711, "Double-Faced Cards."

    107.14. The moon symbol appears in the upper left corner of the back face of double-faced cards. See rule 711, "Double-Faced Cards."

    107.15. A color indicator is a circular symbol that appears to the left of the type line on some cards. The color of the symbol defines the card’s color or colors. See rule 202, "Mana Cost and Color."


    108.1. Use the Oracle™ card reference when determining a card’s wording. A card’s Oracle text can be found using the Gatherer card database at Gatherer.Wizards.com.

    108.2. When a rule or text on a card refers to a "card," it means only a Magic card. Most Magic games use only traditional Magic cards, which measure approximately 2.5 inches (6.3 cm) by 3.5 inches (8.8 cm). Certain formats also use nontraditional Magic cards, oversized cards that may have different backs. Tokens aren’t considered cards—even a card that represents a token isn’t considered a card for rules purposes.

    108.2a. In the text of spells or abilities, the term “card” is used only to refer to a card that’s not on the battlefield or on the stack, such as a creature card in a player’s hand. For more information, see section 4, “Zones.”

    108.3. The owner of a card in the game is the player who started the game with it in his or her deck. If a card is brought into the game from outside the game rather than starting in a player’s deck, its owner is the player who brought it into the game. If a card starts the game in the command zone, its owner is the player who put it into the command zone to start the game. Legal ownership of a card in the game is irrelevant to the game rules except for the rules for ante. (See rule 407.)

    108.3a. In a Planechase game using the single planar deck option, the planar controller is considered to be the owner of all cards in the planar deck. See rule 901.6.

    108.3b. Some spells and abilities allow a player to take cards he or she owns from outside the game and bring them into the game. (See rule 400.10b.) If a card outside that game is involved in a Magic game, its owner is determined as described in rule 108.3. If a card outside that game is in the sideboard of a Magic game (see rule 100.4), its owner is considered to be the player who started the game with it in his or her sideboard. In all other cases, the owner of a card outside the game is its legal owner.

    108.4. A card doesn’t have a controller unless that card represents a permanent or spell; in those cases, its controller is determined by the rules for permanents or spells. See rules 110.2 and 111.2.

    108.4a. If anything asks for the controller of a card that doesn’t have one (because it’s not a permanent or spell), use its owner instead.

    108.5. Nontraditional Magic cards can’t start the game in any zone other than the command zone (see rule 408). If an effect would bring a nontraditional Magic card into the game from outside the game, it doesn’t; that card remains outside the game.

    108.6. For more information about cards, see section 2, “Parts of a Card.”


    109.1. An object is an ability on the stack, a card, a copy of a card, a token, a spell, a permanent, or an emblem.

    109.2. If a spell or ability uses a description of an object that includes a card type or subtype, but doesn’t include the word "card," "spell," "source," or "scheme," it means a permanent of that card type or subtype on the battlefield.

    109.2a. If a spell or ability uses a description of an object that includes the word “card” and the name of a zone, it means a card matching that description in the stated zone.

    109.2b. If a spell or ability uses a description of an object that includes the word “spell,” it means a spell matching that description on the stack.

    109.2c. If a spell or ability uses a description of an object that includes the word “source,” it means a source matching that description—either a source of an ability or a source of damage—in any zone. See rule 608.7.

    109.2d. If an ability of a scheme card includes the text "this scheme," it means the scheme card in the command zone on which that ability is printed.

    109.3. An object’s characteristics are name, mana cost, color, color indicator, card type, subtype, supertype, rules text, abilities, power, toughness, loyalty, hand modifier, and life modifier. Objects can have some or all of these characteristics. Any other information about an object isn’t a characteristic. For example, characteristics don’t include whether a permanent is tapped, a spell’s target, an object’s owner or controller, what an Aura enchants, and so on.

    109.4. Only objects on the stack or on the battlefield have a controller. Objects that are neither on the stack nor on the battlefield aren’t controlled by any player. See rule 108.4. There are four exceptions to this rule:

    109.4a. An emblem is controlled by the player that puts it into the command zone. See rule 113, “Emblems.”

    109.4b. In a Planechase game, a face-up plane or phenomenon card is controlled by the player designated as the planar controller. This is usually the active player. See rule 901.6.

    109.4c. In a Vanguard game, each vanguard card is controlled by its owner. See rule 902.6.

    109.4d. In an Archenemy game, each scheme card is controlled by its owner. See rule 904.7.

    109.5. The words “you” and “your” on an object refer to the object’s controller, its would-be controller (if a player is attempting to play, cast, or activate it), or its owner (if it has no controller). For a static ability, this is the current controller of the object it’s on. For an activated ability, this is the player who activated the ability. For a triggered ability, this is the controller of the object when the ability triggered, unless it’s a delayed triggered ability. To determine the controller of a delayed triggered ability, see rules 603.7d–f.


    110.1. A permanent is a card or token on the battlefield. A permanent remains on the battlefield indefinitely. A card or token becomes a permanent as it enters the battlefield and it stops being a permanent as it’s moved to another zone by an effect or rule.

    110.2. A permanent’s owner is the same as the owner of the card that represents it (unless it’s a token; see rule 110.5a). A permanent’s controller is, by default, the player under whose control it entered the battlefield. Every permanent has a controller.

    110.2a. If an effect instructs a player to put an object onto the battlefield, that object enters the battlefield under that player’s control unless the effect states otherwise.

    110.3. A nontoken permanent’s characteristics are the same as those printed on its card, as modified by any continuous effects. See rule 613, “Interaction of Continuous Effects.”

    110.4. There are five permanent types: artifact, creature, enchantment, land, and planeswalker. Instant and sorcery cards can’t enter the battlefield and thus can’t be permanents. Some tribal cards can enter the battlefield and some can’t, depending on their other card types. See section 3, “Card Types.”

    110.4a. The term “permanent card” is used to refer to a card that could be put onto the battlefield. Specifically, it means an artifact, creature, enchantment, land, or planeswalker card.

    110.4b. The term “permanent spell” is used to refer to a spell that will enter the battlefield as a permanent as part of its resolution. Specifically, it means an artifact, creature, enchantment, or planeswalker spell.

    110.4c. If a permanent somehow loses all its permanent types, it remains on the battlefield. It’s still a permanent.

    110.5. Some effects put tokens onto the battlefield. A token is a marker used to represent any permanent that isn't represented by a card.

    110.5a. A token is both owned and controlled by the player under whose control it entered the battlefield.

    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.

    Example: Jade Mage has the ability "2G: Put a 1/1 green Saproling creature token onto the battlefield." The resulting token has no mana cost, supertype, rules text, or abilities.

    110.5c. A spell or ability that creates a creature token sets both its name and its creature type. If the spell or ability doesn’t specify the name of the creature token, its name is the same as its creature type(s). A “Goblin Scout creature token,” for example, is named “Goblin Scout” and has the creature subtypes Goblin and Scout. Once a token is on the battlefield, changing its name doesn’t change its creature type, and vice versa.

    110.5d. If a spell or ability would create a token, but an effect states that a permanent with one or more of that token’s characteristics can’t enter the battlefield, the token is not created.

    110.5e. A token is subject to anything that affects permanents in general or that affects the token's card type or subtype. A token isn't a card (even if represented by a card that has a Magic back or that came from a Magic booster pack).

    110.5f. A token that’s phased out, or that’s in a zone other than the battlefield, ceases to exist. This is a state-based action; see rule 704. (Note that if a token changes zones, applicable triggered abilities will trigger before the token ceases to exist.)

    110.5g. A token that has left the battlefield can’t move to another zone or come back onto the battlefield. If such a token would change zones, it remains in its current zone instead. It ceases to exist the next time state-based actions are checked; see rule 704.

    110.6. A permanent’s status is its physical state. There are four status categories, each of which has two possible values: tapped/untapped, flipped/unflipped, face up/face down, and phased in/phased out. Each permanent always has one of these values for each of these categories.

    110.6a. Status is not a characteristic, though it may affect a permanent’s characteristics.

    110.6b. Permanents enter the battlefield untapped, unflipped, face up, and phased in unless a spell or ability says otherwise.

    110.6c. A permanent retains its status until a spell, ability, or turn-based action changes it, even if that status is not relevant to it.

    Example: Dimir Doppelganger says “1UB: Exile target creature card from a graveyard. Dimir Doppelganger becomes a copy of that card and gains this ability.” It becomes a copy of Jushi Apprentice, a flip card. Through use of Jushi Apprentice’s ability, this creature flips, making it a copy of Tomoya the Revealer with the Dimir Doppelganger ability. If this permanent then becomes a copy of Grizzly Bears, it will retain its flipped status even though that has no relevance to Grizzly Bears. If its copy ability is activated again, this time targeting a Nezumi Shortfang card (another flip card), this permanent’s flipped status means it will have the characteristics of Stabwhisker the Odious (the flipped version of Nezumi Shortfang) with the Dimir Doppelganger ability.

    110.6d. Only permanents have status. Cards not on the battlefield do not. Although an exiled card may be face down, this has no correlation to the face-down status of a permanent. Similarly, cards not on the battlefield are neither tapped nor untapped, regardless of their physical state.


    111.1. A spell is a card on the stack. As the first step of being cast (see rule 601, “Casting Spells”), the card becomes a spell and is moved to the top of the stack from the zone it was in, which is usually its owner’s hand. (See rule 405, “Stack.”) A spell remains on the stack as a spell until it resolves (see rule 608, “Resolving Spells and Abilities”), is countered (see rule 701.5), or otherwise leaves the stack. For more information, see section 6, “Spells, Abilities, and Effects.”

    111.1a. A copy of a spell is also a spell, even if it has no card associated with it. See rule 706.10.

    111.1b. Some effects allow a player to cast a copy of a card; if the player does, that copy is a spell as well. See rule 706.12.

    111.2. A spell’s owner is the same as the owner of the card that represents it, unless it’s a copy. In that case, the owner of the spell is the player under whose control it was put on the stack. A spell’s controller is, by default, the player who put it on the stack. Every spell has a controller.

    111.3. A noncopy spell’s characteristics are the same as those printed on its card, as modified by any continuous effects. See rule 613, “Interaction of Continuous Effects.”

    111.4. If an effect changes any characteristics of a permanent spell, the effect continues to apply to the permanent when the spell resolves. See rule 400.7.

    Example: If an effect changes a black creature spell to white, the creature is white when it enters the battlefield and remains white for the duration of the effect changing its color.


    112.1. An ability can be one of two things:

    112.1a. An ability is a characteristic an object has that lets it affect the game. An object’s abilities are defined by its rules text or by the effect that created it. Abilities can also be granted to objects by rules or effects. (Effects that do so use the words “has,” “have,” “gains,” or “gain.”) Abilities generate effects. (See rule 609, “Effects.”)

    112.1b. An ability can be an activated or triggered ability on the stack. This kind of ability is an object. (See section 6, “Spells, Abilities, and Effects.”)

    112.2. Abilities can affect the objects they’re on. They can also affect other objects and/or players.

    112.2a. Abilities can be beneficial or detrimental.

    Example: “[This creature] can’t block” is an ability.

    112.2b. An additional cost or alternative cost to cast a card is an ability of the card.

    112.2c. An object may have multiple abilities. If the object is represented by a card, then aside from certain defined abilities that may be strung together on a single line (see rule 702, "Keyword Abilities"), each paragraph break in a card's text marks a separate ability. If the object is not represented by a card, the effect that created it may have given it multiple abilities. An object may also be granted additional abilities by a spell or ability. If an object has multiple instances of the same ability, each instance functions independently. This may or may not produce more effects than a single instance; refer to the specific ability for more information.

    112.2d. Abilities can generate one-shot effects or continuous effects. Some continuous effects are replacement effects or prevention effects. See rule 609, “Effects.”

    112.3. There are four general categories of abilities:

    112.3a. Spell abilities are abilities that are followed as instructions while an instant or sorcery spell is resolving. Any text on an instant or sorcery spell is a spell ability unless it’s an activated ability, a triggered ability, or a static ability that fits the criteria described in rule 112.6.

    112.3b. Activated abilities have a cost and an effect. They are written as “[Cost]: [Effect.] [Activation instructions (if any).]” A player may activate such an ability whenever he or she has priority. Doing so puts it on the stack, where it remains until it’s countered, it resolves, or it otherwise leaves the stack. See rule 602, “Activating Activated Abilities.”

    112.3c. Triggered abilities have a trigger condition and an effect. They are written as “[Trigger condition], [effect],” and include (and usually begin with) the word “when,” “whenever,” or “at.” Whenever the trigger event occurs, the ability is put on the stack the next time a player would receive priority and stays there until it’s countered, it resolves, or it otherwise leaves the stack. See rule 603, “Handling Triggered Abilities.”

    112.3d. Static abilities are written as statements. They’re simply true. Static abilities create continuous effects which are active while the permanent with the ability is on the battlefield and has the ability, or while the object with the ability is in the appropriate zone. See rule 604, “Handling Static Abilities.”

    112.4. Some activated abilities and some triggered abilities are mana abilities. Mana abilities follow special rules: They don’t use the stack, and, under certain circumstances, a player can activate mana abilities even if he or she doesn’t have priority. See rule 605, “Mana Abilities.”

    112.5. Some activated abilities are loyalty abilities. Loyalty abilities follow special rules: A player may activate a loyalty ability of a permanent he or she controls any time he or she has priority and the stack is empty during a main phase of his or her turn, but only if no player has previously activated a loyalty ability of that permanent that turn. See rule 606, “Loyalty Abilities.”

    112.6. Abilities of an instant or sorcery spell usually function only while that object is on the stack. Abilities of all other objects usually function only while that object is on the battlefield. The exceptions are as follows:

    112.6a. Characteristic-defining abilities function everywhere, even outside the game. (See rule 604.3.)

    112.6b. An ability that states which zones it functions in functions only from those zones.

    112.6c. An object’s ability that allows a player to pay an alternative cost rather than its mana cost functions in any zone in which its mana cost can be paid (which, in general, means it functions on the stack). An object’s ability that otherwise modifies what that particular object costs to cast functions on the stack.

    112.6d. An object’s ability that restricts or modifies how that particular object can be played or cast functions in any zone from which it could be played or cast.

    112.6e. An object's ability that restricts or modifies what zones that particular object can be played or cast from functions everywhere, even outside the game.

    112.6f. An object’s ability that states it can’t be countered or can’t be countered by spells and abilities functions on the stack.

    112.6g. An object’s ability that modifies how that particular object enters the battlefield functions as that object is entering the battlefield. See rule 614.12.

    112.6h. An object's ability that states counters can't be placed on that object functions as that object is entering the battlefield in addition to functioning while that object is on the battlefield.

    112.6i. An object’s activated ability that has a cost that can’t be paid while the object is on the battlefield functions from any zone in which its cost can be paid.

    112.6j. A trigger condition that can’t trigger from the battlefield functions in all zones it can trigger from. Other trigger conditions of the same triggered ability may function in different zones.

    Example: Absolver Thrull has the ability “When Absolver Thrull enters the battlefield or the creature it haunts dies, destroy target enchantment.” The first trigger condition functions from the battlefield and the second trigger condition functions from the exile zone. (See rule 702.54, “Haunt.”)

    112.6k. An ability whose cost or effect specifies that it moves the object it’s on out of a particular zone functions only in that zone, unless that ability’s trigger condition, or a previous part of that ability’s cost or effect, specifies that the object is put into that zone.

    Example: Reassembling Skeleton says "1B: Return Reassembling Skeleton from your graveyard to the battlefield tapped." A player may activate this ability only if Reassembling Skeleton is in his or her graveyard.

    112.6m. An ability that modifies the rules for deck construction functions before the game begins. Such an ability modifies not just the Comprehensive Rules, but also the Magic: The Gathering Tournament Rules and any other documents that set the deck construction rules for a specific Constructed format. However, such an ability can’t affect the format legality of a card, including whether it’s banned or restricted. The current Magic: The Gathering Tournament Rules can be found at Wizards.com/WPN/Events/Rules.aspx.

    112.6n. Abilities of emblems, plane cards, vanguard cards, and scheme cards function in the command zone. See rule 113, “Emblems”; rule 901, “Planechase”; rule 902, “Vanguard”; and rule 904, “Archenemy.”

    112.7. The source of an ability is the object that generated it. The source of an activated ability on the stack is the object whose ability was activated. The source of a triggered ability (other than a delayed triggered ability) on the stack, or one that has triggered and is waiting to be put on the stack, is the object whose ability triggered. To determine the source of a delayed triggered ability, see rules 603.7d–f.

    112.7a. Once activated or triggered, an ability exists on the stack independently of its source. Destruction or removal of the source after that time won’t affect the ability. Note that some abilities cause a source to do something (for example, “Prodigal Pyromancer deals 1 damage to target creature or player”) rather than the ability doing anything directly. In these cases, any activated or triggered ability that references information about the source because the effect needs to be divided checks that information when the ability is put onto the stack. Otherwise, it will check that information when it resolves. In both instances, if the source is no longer in the zone it’s expected to be in at that time, its last known information is used. The source can still perform the action even though it no longer exists.

    112.8. The controller of an activated ability on the stack is the player who activated it. The controller of a triggered ability on the stack (other than a delayed triggered ability) is the player who controlled the ability’s source when it triggered, or, if it had no controller, the player who owned the ability’s source when it triggered. To determine the controller of a delayed triggered ability, see rules 603.7d–f.

    112.9. Activated and triggered abilities on the stack aren’t spells, and therefore can’t be countered by anything that counters only spells. Activated and triggered abilities on the stack can be countered by effects that specifically counter abilities, as well as by the rules (for example, an ability with one or more targets is countered if all its targets become illegal). Static abilities don’t use the stack and thus can’t be countered at all.

    112.10. Effects can add or remove abilities of objects. An effect that adds an ability will state that the object “gains” or “has” that ability. An effect that removes an ability will state that the object “loses” that ability. Effects that remove an ability remove all instances of it. If two or more effects add and remove the same ability, in general the most recent one prevails. (See rule 613, “Interaction of Continuous Effects.”)

    112.11. Effects can stop an object from having a specified ability. These effects say that the object "can’t have" that ability. If the object has that ability, it loses it. It’s also impossible for an effect to add that ability to the object. If a resolving spell or ability tries to create a continuous effect that would add the specified ability to such an object, that continuous effect is not created, although that resolving spell or ability can still create other continuous effects. Continuous effects created by static abilities that would add the specified ability won’t apply to that object.

    112.12. An effect that sets an object's characteristic, or simply states a quality of that object, is different from an ability granted by an effect. When an object "gains" or "has" an ability, that ability can be removed by another effect. If an effect defines a characteristic of the object ("[permanent] is [characteristic value]"), it's not granting an ability. (See rule 604.3.) Similarly, if an effect states a quality of that object ("[creature] can't be blocked," for example), it's neither granting an ability nor setting a characteristic.

    Example: Muraganda Petroglyphs reads, "Creatures with no abilities get +2/+2." A Runeclaw Bear (a creature with no abilities) enchanted by an Aura that says "Enchanted creature has flying" would not get +2/+2. A Runeclaw Bear enchanted by an Aura that says "Enchanted creature is red" or "Enchanted creature can't be blocked" would get +2/+2.


    113.1. Some effects put emblems into the command zone. An emblem is a marker used to represent an object that has one or more abilities, but no other characteristics.

    113.2. An effect that creates an emblem is written “[Player] gets an emblem with [ability].” This means that [player] puts an emblem with [ability] into the command zone. The emblem is both owned and controlled by that player.

    113.3. An emblem has no characteristics other than the abilities defined by the effect that created it. In particular, an emblem has no name, no types, no mana cost, and no color.

    113.4. Abilities of emblems function in the command zone.

    113.5. An emblem is neither a card nor a permanent. Emblem isn’t a card type.


    114.1. Some spells and abilities require their controller to choose one or more targets for them. The targets are object(s), player(s), and/or zone(s) the spell or ability will affect. These targets are declared as part of the process of putting the spell or ability on the stack. The targets can’t be changed except by another spell or ability that explicitly says it can do so.

    114.1a. An instant or sorcery spell is targeted if its spell ability identifies something it will affect by using the phrase “target [something],” where the “something” is a phrase that describes an object, player, or zone. The target(s) are chosen as the spell is cast; see rule 601.2c. (If an activated or triggered ability of an instant or sorcery uses the word target, that ability is targeted, but the spell is not.)

    Example: A sorcery card has the ability “When you cycle this card, target creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn.” This triggered ability is targeted, but that doesn’t make the card it’s on targeted.

    114.1b. Aura spells are always targeted. These are the only permanent spells with targets. An Aura’s target is specified by its enchant keyword ability (see rule 702.5, “Enchant”). The target(s) are chosen as the spell is cast; see rule 601.2c. An Aura permanent doesn’t target anything; only the spell is targeted. (An activated or triggered ability of an Aura permanent can also be targeted.)

    114.1c. An activated ability is targeted if it identifies something it will affect by using the phrase “target [something],” where the “something” is a phrase that describes an object, player, or zone. The target(s) are chosen as the ability is activated; see rule 602.2b.

    114.1d. A triggered ability is targeted if it identifies something it will affect by using the phrase “target [something],” where the “something” is a phrase that describes an object, player, or zone. The target(s) are chosen as the ability is put on the stack; see rule 603.3d.

    114.1e. Some keyword abilities, such as equip and provoke, represent targeted activated or triggered abilities. In those cases, the phrase “target [something]” appears in the rule for that keyword ability rather than in the ability itself. (The keyword’s reminder text will often contain the word “target.”) See rule 702, “Keyword Abilities.”

    114.2. Only permanents are legal targets for spells and abilities, unless a spell or ability (a) specifies that it can target an object in another zone or a player, (b) targets an object that can’t exist on the battlefield, such as a spell or ability, or (c) targets a zone.

    114.3. The same target can’t be chosen multiple times for any one instance of the word “target” on a spell or ability. If the spell or ability uses the word “target” in multiple places, the same object, player, or zone can be chosen once for each instance of the word “target” (as long as it fits the targeting criteria). This rule applies both when choosing targets for a spell or ability and when changing targets or choosing new targets for a spell or ability (see rule 114.6).

    114.4. A spell or ability on the stack is an illegal target for itself.

    114.5. Spells and abilities that can have zero or more targets are targeted only if one or more targets have been chosen for them.

    114.6. Some effects allow a player to change the target(s) of a spell or ability, and other effects allow a player to choose new targets for a spell or ability.

    114.6a. If an effect allows a player to "change the target(s)" of a spell or ability, each target can be changed only to another legal target. If a target can't be changed to another legal target, the original target is unchanged, even if the original target is itself illegal by then. If all the targets aren't changed to other legal targets, none of them are changed.

    114.6b. If an effect allows a player to “change a target” of a spell or ability, the process described in rule 114.6a is followed, except that only one of those targets may be changed (rather than all of them or none of them).

    114.6c. If an effect allows a player to "change any targets" of a spell or ability, the process described in rule 114.6a is followed, except that any number of those targets may be changed (rather than all of them or none of them).

    114.6d. If an effect allows a player to "choose new targets" for a spell or ability, the player may leave any number of the targets unchanged, even if those targets would be illegal. If the player chooses to change some or all of the targets, the new targets must be legal and must not cause any unchanged targets to become illegal.

    114.6e. When changing targets or choosing new targets for a spell or ability, only the final set of targets is evaluated to determine whether the change is legal.

    Example: Arc Trail is a sorcery that reads "Arc Trail deals 2 damage to target creature or player and 1 damage to another target creature or player." The current targets of Arc Trail are Runeclaw Bear and Llanowar Elves, in that order. You cast Redirect, an instant that reads "You may choose new targets for target spell," targeting Arc Trail. You can change the first target to Llanowar Elves and change the second target to Runeclaw Bear.

    114.7. Modal spells and abilities may have different targeting requirements for each mode. An effect that allows a player to change the target(s) of a modal spell or ability, or to choose new targets for a modal spell or ability, doesn’t allow that player to change its mode. (See rule 700.2.)

    114.8. Some objects check what another spell or ability is targeting. Depending on the wording, these may check the current state of the targets, the state of the targets at the time they were selected, or both.

    114.8a. An object that looks for a “[spell or ability] with a single target” checks the number of times any objects, players, or zones became the target of that spell or ability when it was put on the stack, not the number of its targets that are currently legal. If the same object, player, or zone became a target more than once, each of those instances is counted separately.

    114.8b. An object that looks for a “[spell or ability] that targets [something]” checks the current state of that spell or ability’s targets. If an object it targets is still in the zone it’s expected to be in or a player it targets is still in the game, that target’s current information is used, even if it’s not currently legal for that spell or ability. If an object it targets is no longer in the zone it’s expected to be in or a player it targets is no longer in the game, that target is ignored; its last known information is not used.

    114.8c. An object that looks for a “[spell or ability] that targets only [something]” checks the number of different objects or players that became the target of that spell or ability when it was put on the stack (as modified by effects that changed those targets), not the number of those objects or players that are currently legal targets. If that number is one (even if the spell or ability targets that object or player multiple times), the current state of that spell or ability’s target is checked as described in rule 114.8b.

    114.9. Spells and abilities can affect objects and players they don’t target. In general, those objects and players aren’t chosen until the spell or ability resolves. See rule 608, “Resolving Spells and Abilities.”

    114.9a. Just because an object or player is being affected by a spell or ability doesn’t make that object or player a target of that spell or ability. Unless that object or player is identified by the word “target” in the text of that spell or ability, or the rule for that keyword ability, it's not a target.

    114.9b. In particular, the word “you” in an object’s text doesn’t indicate a target.


    115.1. Special actions are actions a player may take when he or she has priority that don’t use the stack. These are not to be confused with turn-based actions and state-based actions, which the game generates automatically. (See rule 703, “Turn-Based Actions,” and rule 704, “State-Based Actions.”)

    115.2. There are six special actions:

    115.2a. Playing a land is a special action. To play a land, a player puts that land onto the battlefield from the zone it was in (usually that player's hand). By default, a player can take this action only once during each of his or her turns. A player can take this action any time he or she has priority and the stack is empty during a main phase of his or her turn. See rule 305, "Lands."

    115.2b. Turning a face-down creature face up is a special action. A player can take this action any time he or she has priority. See rule 707, “Face-Down Spells and Permanents.”

    115.2c. Some effects allow a player to take an action at a later time, usually to end a continuous effect or to stop a delayed triggered ability from triggering. Doing so is a special action. A player can take such an action any time he or she has priority, but only if the ability or effect allows it.

    115.2d. Some effects from static abilities allow a player to take an action to ignore the effect from that ability for a duration. Doing so is a special action. A player can take such an action any time he or she has priority.

    115.2e. A player who has a card with suspend in his or her hand may exile that card. This is a special action. A player can take this action any time he or she has priority, but only if he or she could begin to cast that card by putting it onto the stack. See rule 702.61, “Suspend.”

    115.2f. In a Planechase game, rolling the planar die is a special action. A player can take this action any time he or she has priority and the stack is empty during a main phase of his or her turn. Taking this action costs a player an amount of mana equal to the number of times he or she has previously taken this action on that turn. Note that this number won’t be equal to the number of times the player has rolled the planar die that turn if an effect has caused the player to roll the planar die that turn. See rule 901, “Planechase.”

    115.3. If a player takes a special action, that player receives priority afterward.


    116.1. Unless a spell or ability is instructing a player to take an action, which player can take actions at any given time is determined by a system of priority. The player with priority may cast spells, activate abilities, and take special actions.

    116.1a. A player may cast an instant spell any time he or she has priority. A player may cast a noninstant spell during his or her main phase any time he or she has priority and the stack is empty.

    116.1b. A player may activate an activated ability any time he or she has priority.

    116.1c. A player may take some special actions any time he or she has priority. A player may take other special actions during his or her main phase any time he or she has priority and the stack is empty. See rule 115, “Special Actions.”

    116.1d. A player may activate a mana ability whenever he or she has priority, whenever he or she is casting a spell or activating an ability that requires a mana payment, or whenever a rule or effect asks for a mana payment (even in the middle of casting or resolving a spell or activating or resolving an ability).

    116.2. Other kinds of abilities and actions are automatically generated or performed by the game rules, or are performed by players without receiving priority.

    116.2a. Triggered abilities can trigger at any time, including while a spell is being cast, an ability is being activated, or a spell or ability is resolving. (See rule 603, “Handling Triggered Abilities.”) However, nothing actually happens at the time an ability triggers. Each time a player would receive priority, each ability that has triggered but hasn’t yet been put on the stack is put on the stack. See rule 116.5.

    116.2b. Static abilities continuously affect the game. Priority doesn’t apply to them. (See rule 604, “Handling Static Abilities,” and rule 611, “Continuous Effects.”)

    116.2c. Turn-based actions happen automatically when certain steps or phases begin. They’re dealt with before a player would receive priority. See rule 116.3a. Turn-based actions also happen automatically when each step and phase ends; no player receives priority afterward. See rule 703, “Turn-Based Actions.”

    116.2d. State-based actions happen automatically when certain conditions are met. See rule 704. They’re dealt with before a player would receive priority. See rule 116.5.

    116.2e. Resolving spells and abilities may instruct players to make choices or take actions, or may allow players to activate mana abilities. Even if a player is doing so, no player has priority while a spell or ability is resolving. See rule 608, “Resolving Spells and Abilities.”

    116.3. Which player has priority is determined by the following rules:

    116.3a. The active player receives priority at the beginning of most steps and phases, after any turn-based actions (such as drawing a card during the draw step; see rule 703) have been dealt with and abilities that trigger at the beginning of that phase or step have been put on the stack. No player receives priority during the untap step. Players usually don’t get priority during the cleanup step (see rule 514.3).

    116.3b. The active player receives priority after a spell or ability (other than a mana ability) resolves.

    116.3c. If a player has priority when he or she casts a spell, activates an ability, or takes a special action, that player receives priority afterward.

    116.3d. If a player has priority and chooses not to take any actions, that player passes. If any mana is in that player’s mana pool, he or she announces what mana is there. Then the next player in turn order receives priority.

    116.4. If all players pass in succession (that is, if all players pass without taking any actions in between passing), the spell or ability on top of the stack resolves or, if the stack is empty, the phase or step ends.

    116.5. Each time a player would get priority, the game first performs all applicable state-based actions as a single event (see rule 704, “State-Based Actions”), then repeats this process until no state-based actions are performed. Then triggered abilities are put on the stack (see rule 603, “Handling Triggered Abilities”). These steps repeat in order until no further state-based actions are performed and no abilities trigger. Then the player who would have received priority does so.

    116.6. In a multiplayer game using the shared team turns option, teams rather than individual players have priority. See rule 805, "Shared Team Turns Option."

    116.7. If a player with priority casts a spell or activates an activated ability while another spell or ability is already on the stack, the new spell or ability has been cast or activated “in response to” the earlier spell or ability. The new spell or ability will resolve first. See rule 608, “Resolving Spells and Abilities.”


    117.1. A cost is an action or payment necessary to take another action or to stop another action from taking place. To pay a cost, a player carries out the instructions specified by the spell, ability, or effect that contains that cost.

    117.2. If a cost includes a mana payment, the player paying the cost has a chance to activate mana abilities. Paying the cost to cast a spell or activate an activated ability follows the steps in rules 601.2e–g.

    117.3. A player can’t pay a cost unless he or she has the necessary resources to pay it fully. For example, a player with only 1 life can’t pay a cost of 2 life, and a permanent that’s already tapped can’t be tapped to pay a cost. See rule 202, “Mana Cost and Color,” and rule 602, “Activating Activated Abilities.”

    117.3a. Paying mana is done by removing the indicated mana from a player’s mana pool. (Players can always pay 0 mana.) If excess mana remains in that player’s mana pool after making that payment, the player announces what mana is still there.

    117.3b. Paying life is done by subtracting the indicated amount of life from a player’s life total. (Players can always pay 0 life.)

    117.3c. Activating mana abilities is not mandatory, even if paying a cost is.

    Example: A player controls Lodestone Golem, which says "Nonartifact spells cost 1 more to cast." Another player removes the last time counter from a suspended sorcery card. That player must cast that spell if able, but doing so costs 1. The player is forced to spend 1 if enough mana is in his or her mana pool, but the player isn't forced to activate a mana ability to produce that 1. If he or she doesn't, the card simply remains exiled.

    117.4. Some costs include an X or an X. See rule 107.3.

    117.5. Some costs are represented by 0, or are reduced to 0. The action necessary for a player to pay such a cost is the player’s acknowledgment that he or she is paying it. Even though such a cost requires no resources, it is not automatically paid.

    117.5a. A spell whose mana cost is 0 must still be cast the same way as one with a cost greater than zero; it won’t cast itself automatically. The same is true for an activated ability whose cost is 0.

    117.6. Some mana costs contain no mana symbols. This represents an unpayable cost. An ability can also have an unpayable cost if its cost is based on the mana cost of an object with no mana cost. Attempting to cast a spell or activate an ability that has an unpayable cost is a legal action. However, attempting to pay an unpayable cost is an illegal action.

    117.6a. If an unpayable cost is increased by an effect or an additional cost is imposed, the cost is still unpayable. If an alternative cost is applied to an unpayable cost, including an effect that allows a player to cast a spell without paying its mana cost, the alternative cost may be paid.

    117.7. What a player actually needs to do to pay a cost may be changed or reduced by effects. If the mana component of a cost is reduced to nothing by cost reduction effects, it's considered to be 0. Paying a cost changed or reduced by an effect counts as paying the original cost.

    117.7a. If a cost is reduced by an amount of colored mana, but its colored mana component doesn't contain mana of that color, the cost is reduced by that amount of generic mana.

    117.7b. If a cost is reduced by an amount of colored mana that exceeds its mana component of that color, the cost's mana component of that color is reduced to nothing and the cost's generic mana component is reduced by the difference.

    117.7c. If a cost is reduced by an amount of mana represented by a hybrid mana symbol, the player paying that cost chooses one half of that symbol at the time the cost reduction is applied (see rule 601.2e). If a colored half is chosen, the cost is reduced by one mana of that color. If a colorless half is chosen, the cost is reduced by an amount of generic mana equal to that half's number.

    117.7d. If a cost is reduced by an amount of mana represented by a Phyrexian mana symbol, the cost is reduced by one mana of that symbol's color.

    117.8. Some spells and abilities have additional costs. An additional cost is a cost listed in a spell’s rules text, or applied to a spell or ability from another effect, that its controller must pay at the same time that player pays the spell’s mana cost or the ability’s activation cost. A cost is an additional cost only if it's phrased using the word “additional.” Note that some additional costs are listed in keywords; see rule 702.

    117.8a. Any number of additional costs may be applied to a spell as it’s being cast or to an ability as it’s being activated. The controller of the spell or ability announces his or her intentions to pay any or all of those costs as described in rule 601.2b.

    117.8b. Some additional costs are optional.

    117.8c. If an effect instructs a player to cast a spell "if able," and that spell has a mandatory additional cost that includes actions involving cards with a stated quality in a hidden zone, the player isn't required to cast that spell, even if those cards are present in that zone.

    117.8d. Additional costs don’t change a spell’s mana cost, only what its controller has to pay to cast it. Spells and abilities that ask for that spell’s mana cost still see the original value.

    117.8e. Some effects increase the cost to cast a spell or activate an ability without using the word “additional.” Those are not additional costs, and are not considered until determining the total cost of a spell or ability as described in rule 601.2e.

    117.9. Some spells have alternative costs. An alternative cost is a cost listed in a spell’s text, or applied to it from another effect, that its controller may pay rather than paying the spell’s mana cost. Alternative costs are usually phrased, “You may [action] rather than pay [this object’s] mana cost,” or “You may cast [this object] without paying its mana cost.” Note that some alternative costs are listed in keywords; see rule 702.

    117.9a. Only one alternative cost can be applied to any one spell as it’s being cast. The controller of the spell announces his or her intentions to pay that cost as described in rule 601.2b.

    117.9b. Alternative costs are always optional.

    117.9c. An alternative cost doesn’t change a spell’s mana cost, only what its controller has to pay to cast it. Spells and abilities that ask for that spell’s mana cost still see the original value.

    117.9d. If an alternative cost is being paid to cast a spell, any additional costs, cost increases, and cost reductions that affect that spell are applied to that alternative cost. (See rule 601.2e.)

    117.10. Each payment of a cost applies to only one spell, ability, or effect. For example, a player can’t sacrifice just one creature to activate the activated abilities of two permanents that each require sacrificing a creature as a cost. Also, the resolution of a spell or ability doesn’t pay another spell or ability’s cost, even if part of its effect is doing the same thing the other cost asks for.

    117.11. The actions performed when paying a cost may be modified by effects. Even if they are, meaning the actions that are performed don’t match the actions that are called for, the cost has still been paid.

    Example: A player controls Psychic Vortex, an enchantment with a cumulative upkeep cost of “Draw a card,” and Obstinate Familiar, a creature that says “If you would draw a card, you may skip that draw instead.” The player may decide to pay Psychic Vortex’s cumulative upkeep cost and then draw no cards instead of drawing the appropriate amount. The cumulative upkeep cost has still been paid.

    117.12. Some spells, activated abilities, and triggered abilities read, “[Do something]. If [a player] [does or doesn’t], [effect].” or “[A player] may [do something]. If [that player] [does or doesn’t], [effect].” The action [do something] is a cost, paid when the spell or ability resolves. The “If [a player] [does or doesn’t]” clause checks whether the player chose to pay an optional cost or started to pay a mandatory cost, regardless of what events actually occurred.

    Example: You control Standstill, an enchantment that says "When a player casts a spell, sacrifice Standstill. If you do, each of that player's opponents draws three cards." A spell is cast, causing Standstill's ability to trigger. Then an ability is activated that exiles Standstill. When Standstill's ability resolves, you're unable to pay the "sacrifice Standstill" cost. No player will draw cards.

    Example: Your opponent has cast Gather Specimens, a spell that says “If a creature would enter the battlefield under an opponent’s control this turn, it enters the battlefield under your control instead.” You control a face-down Dermoplasm, a creature with morph that says “When Dermoplasm is turned face up, you may put a creature card with morph from your hand onto the battlefield face up. If you do, return Dermoplasm to its owner’s hand.” You turn Dermoplasm face up, and you choose to put a creature card with morph from your hand onto the battlefield. Due to Gather Specimens, it enters the battlefield under your opponent’s control instead of yours. However, since you chose to pay the cost, Dermoplasm is still returned to its owner’s hand.

    117.12a. Some spells, activated abilities, and triggered abilities read, “[Do something] unless you [do something else].” This means the same thing as “You may [do something else]. If you don’t, [do something].”


    118.1. Each player begins the game with a starting life total of 20. Some variant games have different starting life totals.

    118.1a. In a Two-Headed Giant game, each team's starting life total of 30. See rule 810, “Two-Headed Giant Variant.”

    118.1b. In a Vanguard game, each player's starting life total is 20 plus or minus the life modifier of his or her vanguard card. See rule 902, “Vanguard.”

    118.1c. In a Commander game, each player's starting life total is 40. See rule 903, “Commander.”

    118.1d. In an Archenemy game, the archenemy's starting life total is 40. See rule 904, "Archenemy."

    118.2. Damage dealt to a player normally causes that player to lose that much life. See rule 119.3.

    118.3. If an effect causes a player to gain life or lose life, that player’s life total is adjusted accordingly.

    118.4. If a cost or effect allows a player to pay an amount of life greater than 0, the player may do so only if his or her life total is greater than or equal to the amount of the payment. If a player pays life, the payment is subtracted from his or her life total; in other words, the player loses that much life. (Players can always pay 0 life.)

    118.4a. If a cost or effect allows a player to pay an amount of life greater than 0 in a Two-Headed Giant game, the player may do so only if his or her team’s life total is greater than or equal to the total amount of life both team members are paying for that cost or effect. If a player pays life, the payment is subtracted from his or her team’s life total. (Players can always pay 0 life.)

    118.5. If an effect sets a player’s life total to a specific number, the player gains or loses the necessary amount of life to end up with the new total.

    118.6. If a player has 0 or less life, that player loses the game as a state-based action. See rule 704.

    118.7. If an effect says that a player can’t gain life, that player can’t make an exchange such that the player’s life total would become higher; in that case, the exchange won’t happen. In addition, a cost that involves having that player gain life can’t be paid, and a replacement effect that would replace a life gain event affecting that player won’t do anything.

    118.8. If an effect says that a player can’t lose life, that player can’t make an exchange such that the player’s life total would become lower; in that case, the exchange won’t happen. In addition, a cost that involves having that player pay life can’t be paid.

    118.9. Some triggered abilities are written, “Whenever [a player] gains life, ... .” Such abilities are treated as though they are written, “Whenever a source causes [a player] to gain life, ... .” If a player gains 0 life, no life gain event has occurred, and these abilities won’t trigger.

    Example: A player controls Ajani’s Pridemate, which reads “Whenever you gain life, you may put a +1/+1 counter on Ajani’s Pridemate,” and two creatures with lifelink. The creatures with lifelink deal combat damage simultaneously. Ajani’s Pridemate’s ability triggers twice.


    119.1. Objects can deal damage to creatures, planeswalkers, and players. This is generally detrimental to the object or player that receives that damage. An object that deals damage is the source of that damage.

    119.1a. Damage can’t be dealt to an object that’s neither a creature nor a planeswalker.

    119.2. Any object can deal damage.

    119.2a. Damage may be dealt as a result of combat. Each attacking and blocking creature deals combat damage equal to its power during the combat damage step.

    119.2b. Damage may be dealt as an effect of a spell or ability. The spell or ability will specify which object deals that damage.

    119.3. Damage may have one or more of the following results, depending on whether the recipient of the damage is a player or permanent, the characteristics of the damage’s source, and the characteristics of the damage’s recipient (if it’s a permanent).

    119.3a. Damage dealt to a player by a source without infect causes that player to lose that much life.

    119.3b. Damage dealt to a player by a source with infect causes that player to get that many poison counters.

    119.3c. Damage dealt to a planeswalker causes that many loyalty counters to be removed from that planeswalker.

    119.3d. Damage dealt to a creature by a source with wither and/or infect causes that many -1/-1 counters to be put on that creature.

    119.3e. Damage dealt to a creature by a source with neither wither nor infect causes that much damage to be marked on that creature.

    119.3f. Damage dealt by a source with lifelink causes that source’s controller to gain that much life, in addition to the damage’s other results.

    119.4. Damage is processed in a three-part sequence.

    119.4a. First, damage is dealt, as modified by replacement and prevention effects that interact with damage. (See rule 614, “Replacement Effects,” and rule 615, “Prevention Effects.”) Abilities that trigger when damage is dealt trigger now and wait to be put on the stack.

    119.4b. Next, damage that’s been dealt is processed into its results, as modified by replacement effects that interact with those results (such as life loss or counters).

    119.4c. Finally, the damage event occurs.

    Example: A player who controls Boon Reflection, an enchantment that says “If you would gain life, you gain twice that much life instead,” attacks with a 3/3 creature with wither and lifelink. It’s blocked by a 2/2 creature, and the defending player casts a spell that prevents the next 2 damage that would be dealt to the blocking creature. The damage event starts out as [3 damage is dealt to the 2/2 creature, 2 damage is dealt to the 3/3 creature]. The prevention effect is applied, so the damage event becomes [1 damage is dealt to the 2/2 creature, 2 damage is dealt to the 3/3 creature]. That’s processed into its results, so the damage event is now [one -1/-1 counter is put on the 2/2 creature, the active player gains 1 life, 2 damage is marked on the 3/3 creature]. Boon Reflection’s effect is applied, so the damage event becomes [one -1/-1 counter is put on the 2/2 creature, the active player gains 2 life, 2 damage is marked on the 3/3 creature]. Then the damage event occurs.

    Example: The defending player controls a creature and Worship, an enchantment that says “If you control a creature, damage that would reduce your life total to less than 1 reduces it to 1 instead.” That player is at 2 life, and is being attacked by two unblocked 5/5 creatures. The player casts Awe Strike, which says “The next time target creature would deal damage this turn, prevent that damage. You gain life equal to the damage prevented this way,” targeting one of the attackers. The damage event starts out as [10 damage is dealt to the defending player]. Awe Strike’s effect is applied, so the damage event becomes [5 damage is dealt to the defending player, the defending player gains 5 life]. That’s processed into its results, so the damage event is now [the defending player loses 5 life, the defending player gains 5 life]. Worship’s effect sees that the damage event would not reduce the player’s life total to less than 1, so it is not applied. Then the damage event occurs.

    119.5. Damage dealt to a creature or planeswalker doesn’t destroy it. Likewise, the source of that damage doesn’t destroy it. Rather, state-based actions may destroy a creature or planeswalker, or otherwise put it into its owner’s graveyard, due to the results of the damage dealt to that permanent. See rule 704.

    Example: A player casts Lightning Bolt, an instant that says “Lightning Bolt deals 3 damage to target creature or player,” targeting a 2/2 creature. After Lightning Bolt deals 3 damage to that creature, the creature is destroyed as a state-based action. Neither Lightning Bolt nor the damage dealt by Lightning Bolt destroyed that creature.

    119.6. Damage marked on a creature remains until the cleanup step, even if that permanent stops being a creature. If the total damage marked on a creature is greater than or equal to its toughness, that creature has been dealt lethal damage and is destroyed as a state-based action (see rule 704). All damage marked on a permanent is removed when it regenerates (see rule 701.12, “Regenerate”) and during the cleanup step (see rule 514.2).

    119.7. The source of damage is the object that dealt it. If an effect requires a player to choose a source of damage, he or she may choose a permanent; a spell on the stack (including a permanent spell); any object referred to by an object on the stack, by a prevention or replacement effect that’s waiting to apply, or by a delayed triggered ability that’s waiting to trigger (even if that object is no longer in the zone it used to be in); or, in certain casual variant games, a face-up card in the command zone. A source doesn’t need to be capable of dealing damage to be a legal choice. See rule 609.7, “Sources of Damage.”

    119.8. If a source would deal 0 damage, it does not deal damage at all. That means abilities that trigger on damage being dealt won’t trigger. It also means that replacement effects that would increase the damage dealt by that source, or would have that source deal that damage to a different object or player, have no event to replace, so they have no effect.


    120.1. A player draws a card by putting the top card of his or her library into his or her hand. This is done as a turn-based action during each player’s draw step. It may also be done as part of a cost or effect of a spell or ability.

    120.2. Cards may only be drawn one at a time. If a player is instructed to draw multiple cards, that player performs that many individual card draws.

    120.2a. If an effect instructs more than one player to draw cards, the active player performs all of his or her draws first, then each other player in turn order does the same.

    120.2b. If an effect instructs more than one player to draw cards in a game that's using the shared team turns option (such as a Two-Headed Giant game), first each player on the active team, in whatever order that team likes, performs his or her draws, then each player on each nonactive team in turn order does the same.

    120.3. If there are no cards in a player’s library and an effect offers that player the choice to draw a card, that player can choose to do so. However, if an effect says that a player can’t draw cards and another effect offers that player the choice to draw a card, that player can’t choose to do so.

    120.3a. The same principles apply if the player who's making the choice is not the player who would draw the card. If the latter player has no cards in his or her library, the choice can be taken. If an effect says that the latter player can't draw a card, the choice can't be taken.

    120.4. A player who attempts to draw a card from a library with no cards in it loses the game the next time a player would receive priority. (This is a state-based action. See rule 704.)

    120.5. If an effect moves cards from a player’s library to that player’s hand without using the word “draw,” the player has not drawn those cards. This makes a difference for abilities that trigger on drawing cards and effects that replace card draws, as well as if the player’s library is empty.

    120.6. Some effects replace card draws.

    120.6a. An effect that replaces a card draw is applied even if no cards could be drawn because there are no cards in the affected player’s library.

    120.6b. If an effect replaces a draw within a sequence of card draws, the replacement effect is completed before resuming the sequence.

    120.6c. Some effects perform additional actions on a card after it’s drawn. If the draw is replaced, the additional action is not performed on any cards that are drawn as a result of that replacement effect or any subsequent replacement effects.

    120.7. Some replacement effects and prevention effects result in one or more card draws. In such a case, if there are any parts of the original event that haven’t been replaced, those parts occur first, then the card draws happen one at a time.


    121.1. A counter is a marker placed on an object or player that modifies its characteristics and/or interacts with a rule, ability, or effect. Counters are not objects and have no characteristics. Notably, a counter is not a token, and a token is not a counter. Counters with the same name or description are interchangeable.

    121.1a. A +X/+Y counter on a creature or on a creature card in a zone other than the battlefield, where X and Y are numbers, adds X to that object's power and Y to that object's toughness. Similarly, -X/-Y counters subtract from power and toughness. See rule 613.3.

    121.1b. The number of loyalty counters on a planeswalker on the battlefield indicates how much loyalty it has. A planeswalker with 0 loyalty is put into its owner’s graveyard as a state-based action. See rule 704.

    121.1c. If a player has ten or more poison counters, he or she loses the game as a state-based action. See rule 704. A player is "poisoned" if he or she has one or more poison counters. (See rule 810 for additional rules for Two-Headed Giant games.)

    121.2. Counters on an object are not retained if that object moves from one zone to another. The counters are not "removed"; they simply cease to exist. See rule 400.7.

    121.3. If a permanent has both a +1/+1 counter and a -1/-1 counter on it, N +1/+1 and N -1/-1 counters are removed from it as a state-based action, where N is the smaller of the number of +1/+1 and -1/-1 counters on it. See rule 704.

    121.4. If a permanent with an ability that says it can’t have more than N counters of a certain kind on it has more than N counters of that kind on it, all but N of those counters are removed from it as a state-based action. See rule 704.

    121.5. If an effect says to “move” a counter, it means to take that counter from the object it’s currently on and put it onto a second object. If the first and second objects are the same object, nothing happens. If the first object has no counters, nothing happens; the second object doesn’t get a counter put on it. If the second object (or any possible second objects) is no longer in the correct zone when the effect would move the counter, nothing happens; a counter isn’t removed from the first object.

    121.6. Some spells and abilities refer to counters being "placed" on an object. This refers to putting counters on that object while it’s on the battlefield and also to an object entering the battlefield with counters on it as a result of a replacement effect (see rule 614.1c).



    200.1. The parts of a card are name, mana cost, illustration, color indicator, type line, expansion symbol, text box, power and toughness, loyalty, hand modifier, life modifier, illustration credit, legal text, and collector number. Some cards may have more than one of any or all of these parts.

    200.2. Some parts of a card are also characteristics of the object that has them. See rule 109.3.

    200.3. Some objects that aren’t cards (tokens, copies of cards, and copies of spells) have some of the parts of a card, but only the ones that are also characteristics. See rule 110.5 and rule 706.


    201.1. The name of a card is printed on its upper left corner.

    201.2. Two objects have the same name if the English versions of their names are identical.

    201.3. If an effect instructs a player to name a card, the player must choose the name of a card that exists in the Oracle card reference (see rule 108.1) and is legal in the format of the game the player is playing. (See rule 100.6.) If the player wants to name a split card, the player must choose the name of one of its halves, but not both. (See rule 708.) If the player wants to name a flip card’s alternative name, the player may do so. (See rule 709.) If the player wants to name the back face of a double-faced card, the player may do so. (See rule 711.) A player may not choose the name of a token unless it’s also the name of a card.

    201.4. Text that refers to the object it’s on by name means just that particular object and not any other objects with that name, regardless of any name changes caused by game effects.

    201.4a. If an ability's effect grants another ability to an object, and that second ability refers to that first ability’s source by name, the name refers only to the specific object that is that first ability’s source, not to any other object with the same name. This is also true if the second ability is copied onto a new object.

    Example: Gutter Grime has an ability that reads "Whenever a nontoken creature you control dies, put a slime counter on Gutter Grime, then put a green Ooze creature token onto the battlefield with 'This creature's power and toughness are each equal to the number of slime counters on Gutter Grime.'" The ability granted to the token only looks at the Gutter Grime that created the token, not at any other Gutter Grime on the battlefield. A copy of that token would also have an ability that referred only to the Gutter Grime that created the original token.

    201.4b. If an ability of an object refers to that object by name, and an object with a different name gains that ability, each instance of the first name in the gained ability that refers to the first object by name should be treated as the second name.

    Example: Quicksilver Elemental says, in part, "U: Quicksilver Elemental gains all activated abilities of target creature until end of turn." If it gains an ability that says "G: Regenerate Cudgel Troll," activating that ability will regenerate Quicksilver Elemental, not the Cudgel Troll it gained the ability from.

    Example: Glacial Ray is an instant with "splice onto Arcane" that says "Glacial Ray deals 2 damage to target creature or player." If it’s spliced onto a Kodama’s Reach, that Kodama’s Reach deals 2 damage to the target creature or player.

    Example: Dimir Doppelganger says "1UB: Exile target creature card from a graveyard. Dimir Doppelganger becomes a copy of that card and gains this ability." Dimir Doppelganger’s ability is activated targeting a Runeclaw Bear card. The Doppelganger becomes a copy of Runeclaw Bear and gains an ability that should be treated as saying "1UB: Exile target creature card from a graveyard. Runeclaw Bear becomes a copy of that card and gains this ability."

    201.4c. Text printed on some legendary cards refers to that card by a shortened version of its name. Instances of a card’s shortened name used in this manner are treated as though they used the card’s full name.

    201.5. If an ability of an object uses a phrase such as “this [something]” to identify an object, where [something] is a characteristic, it is referring to that particular object, even if it isn’t the appropriate characteristic at the time.

    Example: An ability reads “Target creature gets +2/+2 until end of turn. Destroy that creature at the beginning of the next end step.” The ability will destroy the object it gave +2/+2 to even if that object isn’t a creature at the beginning of the next end step.


    202.1. A card’s mana cost is indicated by mana symbols near the top of the card. (See rule 107.4.) On most cards, these symbols are printed in the upper right corner. Some cards from the Future Sight set have alternate frames in which the mana symbols appear to the left of the illustration.

    202.1a. The mana cost of an object represents what a player must spend from his or her mana pool to cast that card. Unless an object's mana cost includes Phyrexian mana symbols (see rule 107.4f), paying that mana cost requires matching the color of any colored mana symbols as well as paying the generic mana indicated in the cost.

    202.1b. Some objects have no mana cost. This normally includes all land cards, any other cards that have no mana symbols where their mana cost would appear, tokens (unless the effect that creates them specifies otherwise), and nontraditional Magic cards. Having no mana cost represents an unpayable cost (see rule 117.6). Note that lands are played without paying any costs (see rule 305, “Lands”).

    202.2. An object is the color or colors of the mana symbols in its mana cost, regardless of the color of its frame.

    202.2a. The five colors are white, blue, black, red, and green. The white mana symbol is represented by W, blue by U, black by B, red by R, and green by G.

    Example: An object with a mana cost of 2W is white, an object with a mana cost of 2 is colorless, and one with a mana cost of 2WB is both white and black.

    202.2b. Objects with no colored mana symbols in their mana costs are colorless.

    202.2c. An object with two or more different colored mana symbols in its mana cost is each of the colors of those mana symbols. Most multicolored cards are printed with a gold frame, but this is not a requirement for a card to be multicolored.

    202.2d. An object with one or more hybrid mana symbols and/or Phyrexian mana symbols in its mana cost is all of the colors of those mana symbols, in addition to any other colors the object might be. (Most cards with hybrid mana symbols in their mana costs are printed in a two-tone frame. See rule 107.4e.)

    202.2e. An object may have a color indicator printed to the left of the type line. That object is each color denoted by that color indicator. (See rule 204.)

    202.2f. Effects may change an object’s color, give a color to a colorless object, or make a colored object become colorless; see rule 105.3.

    202.3. The converted mana cost of an object is a number equal to the total amount of mana in its mana cost, regardless of color.

    Example: A mana cost of 3UU translates to a converted mana cost of 5.

    202.3a. The converted mana cost of an object with no mana cost is 0.

    202.3b. When calculating the converted mana cost of an object with an X in its mana cost, X is treated as 0 while the object is not on the stack, and X is treated as the number chosen for it while the object is on the stack.

    202.3c. When calculating the converted mana cost of an object with a hybrid mana symbol in its mana cost, use the largest component of each hybrid symbol.

    Example: The converted mana cost of a card with mana cost 1(w/u)(w/u) is 3.

    Example: The converted mana cost of a card with mana cost (2/b)(2/b)(2/b) is 6.

    202.3d. Each Phyrexian mana symbol in a card's mana cost contributes 1 to its converted mana cost.

    Example: The converted mana cost of a card with mana cost 1(W/P)(W/P) is 3.

    202.4. Any additional cost listed in an object’s rules text or imposed by an effect isn’t part of the mana cost. (See rule 601, “Casting Spells.”) Such costs are paid at the same time as the spell’s other costs.


    203.1. The illustration is printed on the upper half of a card and has no effect on game play. For example, a creature doesn’t have the flying ability unless stated in its rules text, even if it’s depicted as flying.


    204.1. The color indicator is printed to the left of the type line directly below the illustration. It consists of a circular symbol filled in with one or more colors. A color indicator is usually found on nonland cards without a mana cost.

    204.2. An object with a color indicator is each color denoted by that color indicator.


    205.1. The type line is printed directly below the illustration. It contains the card’s card type(s). It also contains the card’s subtype(s) and supertype(s), if applicable.

    205.1a. Some effects set an object's card type. In such cases, the new card type(s) replaces any existing card types. Counters, effects, and damage marked on the object remain with it, even if they are meaningless to the new card type. Similarly, when an effect sets one or more of an object's subtypes, the new subtype(s) replaces any existing subtypes from the appropriate set (creature types, land types, artifact types, enchantment types, planeswalker types, or spell types). If an object's card type is removed, the subtypes correlated with that card type will remain if they are also the subtypes of a card type the object currently has; otherwise, they are also 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.

    205.1b. Some effects change an object’s card type, supertype, or subtype but specify that the object retains a prior card type, supertype, or subtype. In such cases, all the object’s prior card types, supertypes, and subtypes are retained. This rule applies to effects that use the phrase “in addition to its types” or that state that something is “still a [type, supertype, or subtype].” Some effects state that an object becomes an “artifact creature”; these effects also allow the object to retain all of its prior card types and subtypes.

    Example: An ability reads, “All lands are 1/1 creatures that are still lands.” The affected lands now have two card types: creature and land. If there were any lands that were also artifacts before the ability’s effect applied to them, those lands would become “artifact land creatures,” not just “creatures,” or “land creatures.” The effect allows them to retain both the card type “artifact” and the card type “land.” In addition, each land affected by the ability retains any land types and supertypes it had before the ability took effect.

    Example: An ability reads, “All artifacts are 1/1 artifact creatures.” If a permanent is both an artifact and an enchantment, it will become an “artifact enchantment creature.”


    205.2a. The card types are artifact, creature, enchantment, instant, land, phenomenon, plane, planeswalker, scheme, sorcery, tribal, and vanguard. See section 3, “Card Types.”

    205.2b. Some objects have more than one card type (for example, an artifact creature). Such objects satisfy the criteria for any effect that applies to any of their card types.

    205.2c. Tokens have card types even though they aren’t cards. The same is true of copies of spells and copies of cards.


    205.3a. A card can have one or more subtypes printed on its type line.

    205.3b. Subtypes of each card type except plane are always single words and are listed after a long dash. Each word after the dash is a separate subtype; such objects may have multiple types. Subtypes of planes are also listed after a long dash, but may be multiple words; all words after the dash are, collectively, a single subtype.

    Example: “Basic Land — Mountain” means the card is a land with the subtype Mountain. “Creature — Goblin Wizard” means the card is a creature with the subtypes Goblin and Wizard. “Artifact — Equipment” means the card is an artifact with the subtype Equipment.

    205.3c. If a card with multiple card types has one or more subtypes, each subtype is correlated to its appropriate card type.

    Example: Dryad Arbor’s type line says “Land Creature — Forest Dryad.” Forest is a land type, and Dryad is a creature type.

    205.3d. An object can't gain a subtype that doesn't correspond to one of that object's types.

    205.3e. If an effect instructs a player to choose a subtype, that player must choose one, and only one, existing subtype, and the subtype he or she chooses must be for the appropriate card type. For example, the player can’t choose a land type if an instruction requires choosing a creature type.

    Example: When choosing a creature type, “Merfolk” or “Wizard” is acceptable, but “Merfolk Wizard” is not. Words like “artifact,” “opponent,” “Swamp,” or “truck” can’t be chosen because they aren’t creature types.

    205.3f. Many cards were printed with subtypes that are now obsolete. Many cards have retroactively received subtypes. Use the Oracle card reference to determine what a card’s subtypes are. (See rule 108.1.)

    205.3g. Artifacts have their own unique set of subtypes; these subtypes are called artifact types. The artifact types are Contraption, Equipment (see rule 301.5), and Fortification (see rule 301.6).

    205.3h. Enchantments have their own unique set of subtypes; these subtypes are called enchantment types. The enchantment types are Aura (see rule 303.4), Curse, and Shrine.

    205.3i. Lands have their own unique set of subtypes; these subtypes are called land types. The land types are Desert, Forest, Gate, Island, Lair, Locus, Mine, Mountain, Plains, Power-Plant, Swamp, Tower, and Urza’s.
    Of that list, Forest, Island, Mountain, Plains, and Swamp are the basic land types. See rule 305.6.

    205.3j. Planeswalkers have their own unique set of subtypes; these subtypes are called planeswalker types. The planeswalker types are Ajani, Ashiok, Bolas, Chandra, Domri, Elspeth, Garruk, Gideon, Jace, Karn, Kiora, Koth, Liliana, Nissa, Ral, Sarkhan, Sorin, Tamiyo, Tezzeret, Tibalt, Venser, Vraska, and Xenagos.
    If a player controls two or more planeswalkers that share a planeswalker type, that player chooses one of them, and the rest are put into their owners' graveyards. This "planeswalker uniqueness rule" is a state-based action. See rule 704.

    205.3k. Instants and sorceries share their lists of subtypes; these subtypes are called spell types. The spell types are Arcane and Trap.

    205.3m. Creatures and tribals share their lists of subtypes; these subtypes are called creature types. The creature types are Advisor, Ally, Angel, Anteater, Antelope, Ape, Archer, Archon, Artificer, Assassin, Assembly-Worker, Atog, Aurochs, Avatar, Badger, Barbarian, Basilisk, Bat, Bear, Beast, Beeble, Berserker, Bird, Blinkmoth, Boar, Bringer, Brushwagg, Camarid, Camel, Caribou, Carrier, Cat, Centaur, Cephalid, Chimera, Citizen, Cleric, Cockatrice, Construct, Coward, Crab, Crocodile, Cyclops, Dauthi, Demon, Deserter, Devil, Djinn, Dragon, Drake, Dreadnought, Drone, Druid, Dryad, Dwarf, Efreet, Elder, Eldrazi, Elemental, Elephant, Elf, Elk, Eye, Faerie, Ferret, Fish, Flagbearer, Fox, Frog, Fungus, Gargoyle, Germ, Giant, Gnome, Goat, Goblin, Golem, God, Gorgon, Graveborn, Gremlin, Griffin, Hag, Harpy, Hellion, Hippo, Hippogriff, Homarid, Homunculus, Horror, Horse, Hound, Human, Hydra, Hyena, Illusion, Imp, Incarnation, Insect, Jellyfish, Juggernaut, Kavu, Kirin, Kithkin, Knight, Kobold, Kor, Kraken, Lammasu, Leech, Leviathan, Lhurgoyf, Licid, Lizard, Manticore, Masticore, Mercenary, Merfolk, Metathran, Minion, Minotaur, Monger, Mongoose, Monk, Moonfolk, Mutant, Myr, Mystic, Nautilus, Nephilim, Nightmare, Nightstalker, Ninja, Noggle, Nomad, Nymph, Octopus, Ogre, Ooze, Orb, Orc, Orgg, Ouphe, Ox, Oyster, Pegasus, Pentavite, Pest, Phelddagrif, Phoenix, Pincher, Pirate, Plant, Praetor, Prism, Rabbit, Rat, Rebel, Reflection, Rhino, Rigger, Rogue, Salamander, Samurai, Sand, Saproling, Sable, Satyr, Scarecrow, Scorpion, Scout, Serf, Serpent, Shade, Shaman, Shapeshifter, Sheep, Siren, Skeleton, Slith, Sliver, Slug, Snake, Soldier, Soltari, Spawn, Specter, Spellshaper, Sphinx, Spider, Spike, Spirit, Splinter, Sponge, Squid, Squirrel, Starfish, Surrakar, Survivor, Tetravite, Thalakos, Thopter, Thrull, Treefolk, Triskelavite, Troll, Turtle, Unicorn, Vampire, Vedalken, Viashino, Volver, Wall, Warrior, Weird, Werewolf, Whale, Wizard, Wolf, Wolverine, Wombat, Worm, Wraith, Wurm, Yeti, Zombie, and Zubera.

    205.3n. Planes have their own unique set of subtypes; these subtypes are called planar types. The planar types are Alara, Arkhos, Azgol, Belenon, Bolas’s Meditation Realm, Dominaria, Equilor, Ergamon, Fabacin, Innistrad, Iquatana, Ir, Kaldheim, Kamigawa, Karsus, Kephalai, Kinshala, Kolbahan, Kyneth, Lorwyn, Luvion, Mercadia, Mirrodin, Moag, Mongseng, Muraganda, New Phyrexia, Phyrexia, Pyrulea, Rabiah, Rath, Ravnica, Regatha, Segovia, Serra’s Realm, Shadowmoor, Shandalar, Ulgrotha, Valla, Vryn, Wildfire, Xerex, and Zendikar.

    205.3p. Phenomenon cards, scheme cards, and vanguard cards have no subtypes.


    205.4a. A card can also have one or more supertypes. These are printed directly before its card types. The supertypes are basic, legendary, ongoing, snow, and world.

    205.4b. An object’s supertype is independent of its card type and subtype, even though some supertypes are closely identified with specific card types. Changing an object’s card types or subtypes won’t change its supertypes. Changing an object’s supertypes won’t change its card types or subtypes. When an object gains or loses a supertype, it retains any other supertypes it had.

    Example: An ability reads, “All lands are 1/1 creatures that are still lands.” If any of the affected lands were legendary, they are still legendary.

    205.4c. Any land with the supertype “basic” is a basic land. Any land that doesn’t have this supertype is a nonbasic land, even if it has a basic land type.
    Cards printed in sets prior to the Eighth Edition core set didn’t use the word “basic” to indicate a basic land. Cards from those sets with the following names are basic lands and have received errata in the Oracle card reference accordingly: Forest, Island, Mountain, Plains, Swamp, Snow-Covered Forest, Snow-Covered Island, Snow-Covered Mountain, Snow-Covered Plains, and Snow-Covered Swamp.

    205.4d. Any permanent with the supertype “legendary” is subject to the state-based action for legendary permanents, also called the “legend rule” (see rule 704.5k).

    205.4e. Any permanent with the supertype “world” is subject to the state-based action for world permanents, also called the “world rule” (see rule 704.5m).

    205.4f. Any permanent with the supertype “snow” is a snow permanent. Any permanent that doesn’t have this supertype is a nonsnow permanent, regardless of its name.

    205.4g. Any scheme card with the supertype "ongoing" is exempt from the state-based action for schemes (see rule 704.5w).


    206.1. The expansion symbol indicates which Magic set a card is from. It’s a small icon normally printed below the right edge of the illustration. It has no effect on game play.

    206.2. The color of the expansion symbol indicates the rarity of the card within its set. A red-orange symbol indicates the card is mythic rare. A gold symbol indicates the card is rare. A silver symbol indicates the card is uncommon. A black or white symbol indicates the card is common or is a basic land. A purple symbol signifies a special rarity; to date, only the Time Spiral® “timeshifted” cards, which were rarer than that set’s rare cards, have had purple expansion symbols. (Prior to the Exodus™ set, all expansion symbols were black, regardless of rarity. Also, prior to the Sixth Edition core set, with the exception of the Simplified Chinese Fifth Edition core set, Magic core sets didn’t have expansion symbols at all.)

    206.3. Previously, a spell or ability that affected cards from a particular set checked for that set's expansion symbol. These cards have received errata in the Oracle card reference to say they affect cards "originally printed" in a particular set. See rule 700.5 for details.

    206.4. Players may include cards from any printing in their constructed decks if those cards appear in sets allowed in that format (or those cards are specifically allowed by the Magic Tournament Rules). See the Magic Tournament Rules for the current definitions of the constructed formats (Wizards.com/WPN/Events/Rules.aspx).

    206.5. The full list of expansions and expansion symbols can be found in the Magic Products section of the Wizards of the Coast website (Wizards.com/Magic/TCG/Article.aspx?x=mtg/tcg/products/allproducts).


    207.1. The text box is printed on the lower half of the card. It usually contains rules text defining the card’s abilities.

    207.2. The text box may also contain italicized text that has no game function.

    207.2a. Reminder text is italicized text within parentheses that summarizes a rule that applies to that card. It usually appears on the same line as the ability it’s relevant to, but it may appear on its own line if it applies to an aspect of the card other than an ability.

    207.2b. Flavor text is italicized text that, like the illustration, adds artistic appeal to the game. It appears below the rules text.

    207.2c. An ability word appears in italics at the beginning of some abilities. Ability words are similar to keywords in that they tie together cards that have similar functionality, but they have no special rules meaning and no individual entries in the Comprehensive Rules. The ability words are battalion, bloodrush, channel, chroma, domain, fateful hour, grandeur, heroic, hellbent, imprint, inspired, join forces, kinship, landfall, metalcraft, morbid, radiance, sweep, tempting offer, and threshold.

    207.3. A guild icon appears in the text box of many Ravnica® and Return to Ravnica™ block cards. These cards either have the specified guild’s exclusive mechanic or somehow relate to the two colors associated with that guild. Guild icons have no effect on game play. Similarly, a faction icon appears in the text box of most Scars of Mirrodin™ block cards. These faction icons have no effect on game play.

    207.4. The chaos symbol (C) appears in the text box of each plane card to the left of a triggered ability that triggers whenever (C) is rolled on the planar die. The symbol itself has no special rules meaning.


    208.1. A creature card has two numbers separated by a slash printed in its lower right corner. The first number is its power (the amount of damage it deals in combat); the second is its toughness (the amount of damage needed to destroy it). For example, 2/3 means the object has power 2 and toughness 3. Power and toughness can be modified or set to particular values by effects.

    208.2. Rather than a fixed number, some creature cards have power and/or toughness that includes a star (*).

    208.2a. The card may have a characteristic-defining ability that sets its power and/or toughness according to some stated condition. (See rule 604.3.) Such an ability is worded “[This creature’s] [power or toughness] is equal to...” or “[This creature’s] power and toughness are each equal to...” This ability functions everywhere, even outside the game. If the ability needs to use a number that can’t be determined, including inside a calculation, use 0 instead of that number.

    Example: Lost Order of Jarkeld has power and toughness each equal to 1+*. It has the abilities "As Lost Order of Jarkeld enters the battlefield, choose an opponent" and "Lost Order of Jarkeld's power and toughness are each equal to 1 plus the number of creatures the chosen player controls." While Lost Order of Jarkeld isn't on the battlefield, there won't be a chosen player. Its power and toughness will each be equal to 1 plus 0, so it's 1/1.

    208.2b. The card may have a static ability that creates a replacement effect that sets the creature’s power and toughness to one of a number of specific choices as it enters the battlefield or is turned face up. (See rule 614, “Replacement Effects.”) Such an ability is worded “As [this creature] enters the battlefield ... ,” “As [this creature] is turned face up ... ,” or “[This creature] enters the battlefield as ...” and lists two or more specific power and toughness values (and may also list additional characteristics). The characteristics chosen with these effects affect the creature’s copiable values. (See rule 706.2.) While the card isn’t on the battlefield, its power and toughness are each considered to be 0.

    208.3. A noncreature permanent has no power or toughness, even if it’s a card with a power and toughness printed on it (such as a Licid that’s become an Aura).


    209.1. Each planeswalker card has a loyalty number printed in its lower right corner. This indicates its loyalty while it’s not on the battlefield, and it also indicates that the planeswalker enters the battlefield with that many loyalty counters on it.

    209.2. An activated ability with a loyalty symbol in its cost is a loyalty ability. Loyalty abilities follow special rules: A player may activate a loyalty ability of a permanent he or she controls any time he or she has priority and the stack is empty during a main phase of his or her turn, but only if none of that permanent’s loyalty abilities have been activated that turn. See rule 606, “Loyalty Abilities.”


    210.1. Each vanguard card has a hand modifier printed in its lower left corner. This is a number preceded by a plus sign, a number preceded by a minus sign, or a zero. This modifier is applied as the starting hand size and the maximum hand size of the vanguard card's owner are determined. See rule 103.4.


    211.1. Each vanguard card has a life modifier printed in its lower right corner. This is a number preceded by a plus sign, a number preceded by a minus sign, or a zero. This modifier is applied as the starting life total of the vanguard card's owner is determined. See rule 103.3.


    212.1. Each card features text printed below the text box that has no effect on game play.

    212.1a. The illustration credit for a card is printed on the first line below the text box. It follows the paintbrush icon or, on older cards, the abbreviation "Illus."

    212.1b. Legal text (the fine print at the bottom of the card) lists the trademark and copyright information.

    212.1c. Some card sets feature collector numbers. This information is printed in the form [card number]/[total cards in the set], immediately following the legal text.



    300.1. The card types are artifact, creature, enchantment, instant, land, phenomenon, plane, planeswalker, scheme, sorcery, tribal, and vanguard.

    300.2. Some objects have more than one card type (for example, an artifact creature). Such objects combine the aspects of each of those card types, and are subject to spells and abilities that affect either or all of those card types.

    300.2a. An object that's 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.

    300.2b. Each tribal card has another card type. Casting and resolving a tribal card follow the rules for casting and resolving a card of the other card type.


    301.1. A player who has priority may cast an artifact card from his or her hand during a main phase of his or her turn when the stack is empty. Casting an artifact as a spell uses the stack. (See rule 601, “Casting Spells.”)

    301.2. When an artifact spell resolves, its controller puts it onto the battlefield under his or her control.

    301.3. Artifact subtypes are always a single word and are listed after a long dash: “Artifact — Equipment.” Artifact subtypes are also called artifact types. Artifacts may have multiple subtypes. See rule 205.3g for the complete list of artifact types.

    301.4. Artifacts have no characteristics specific to their card type. Most artifacts have no colored mana symbols in their mana costs, and are therefore colorless. However, there is no correlation between being colorless and being an artifact: artifacts may be colored, and colorless objects may be card types other than artifact.

    301.5. Some artifacts have the subtype “Equipment.” An Equipment can be attached to a creature. It can’t legally be attached to an object that isn’t a creature.

    301.5a. The creature an Equipment is attached to is called the “equipped creature.” The Equipment is attached to, or “equips,” that creature.

    301.5b. An Equipment is cast and enters the battlefield just like any other artifact. An Equipment doesn’t enter the battlefield attached to a creature. The equip keyword ability attaches the Equipment to a creature you control (see rule 702.6, “Equip”). Control of the creature matters only when the equip ability is activated and when it resolves. Spells and other abilities may also attach an Equipment to a creature. If an effect attempts to attach an Equipment to an object that can't be equipped by it, the Equipment doesn't move.

    301.5c. An Equipment that’s also a creature can’t equip a creature. An Equipment that loses the subtype “Equipment” can’t equip a creature. An Equipment can’t equip itself. An Equipment that equips an illegal or nonexistent permanent becomes unattached from that permanent but remains on the battlefield. (This is a state-based action. See rule 704.) An Equipment can’t equip more than one creature. If a spell or ability would cause an Equipment to equip more than one creature, the Equipment’s controller chooses which creature it equips.

    301.5d. An Equipment’s controller is separate from the equipped creature’s controller; the two need not be the same. Changing control of the creature doesn’t change control of the Equipment, and vice versa. Only the Equipment’s controller can activate its abilities. However, if the Equipment grants an ability to the equipped creature (with “gains” or “has”), the equipped creature’s controller is the only one who can activate that ability.

    301.5e. An ability of a permanent that refers to the “equipped creature” refers to whatever creature that permanent is attached to, even if the permanent with the ability isn’t an Equipment.

    301.6. Some artifacts have the subtype “Fortification.” A Fortification can be attached to a land. It can’t legally be attached to an object that isn’t a land. Fortification's analog to the equip keyword ability is the fortify keyword ability. Rules 301.5a–d apply to Fortifications in relation to lands just as they apply to Equipment in relation to creatures, with one clarification relating to rule 301.5c: a Fortification that’s also a creature (not a land) can’t equip a land. Fortification’s analog to the equip keyword ability is the fortify keyword ability. (See rule 702.66, “Fortify.”)


    302.1. A player who has priority may cast a creature card from his or her hand during a main phase of his or her turn when the stack is empty. Casting a creature as a spell uses the stack. (See rule 601, “Casting Spells.”)

    302.2. When a creature spell resolves, its controller puts it onto the battlefield under his or her control.

    302.3. Creature subtypes are always a single word and are listed after a long dash: “Creature — Human Soldier,” “Artifact Creature — Golem,” and so on. Creature subtypes are also called creature types. Creatures may have multiple subtypes. See rule 205.3m for the complete list of creature types.

    Example: “Creature — Goblin Wizard” means the card is a creature with the subtypes Goblin and Wizard.

    302.4. Power and toughness are characteristics only creatures have.

    302.4a. A creature’s power is the amount of damage it deals in combat.

    302.4b. A creature’s toughness is the amount of damage needed to destroy it.

    302.4c. To determine a creature’s power and toughness, start with the numbers printed in its lower right corner, then apply any applicable continuous effects. (See rule 613, “Interaction of Continuous Effects.”)

    302.5. Creatures can attack and block. (See rule 508, “Declare Attackers Step,” and rule 509, “Declare Blockers Step.”)

    302.6. A creature’s activated ability with the tap symbol or the untap symbol in its activation cost can’t be activated unless the creature has been under its controller’s control continuously since his or her most recent turn began. A creature can’t attack unless it has been under its controller’s control continuously since his or her most recent turn began. This rule is informally called the “summoning sickness” rule.

    302.7. Damage dealt to a creature by a source with neither wither nor infect is marked on that creature (see rule 119.3). If the total damage marked on that creature is greater than or equal to its toughness, that creature has been dealt lethal damage and is destroyed as a state-based action (see rule 704). All damage marked on a creature is removed when it regenerates (see rule 701.12, “Regenerate”) and during the cleanup step (see rule 514.2).


    303.1. A player who has priority may cast an enchantment card from his or her hand during a main phase of his or her turn when the stack is empty. Casting an enchantment as a spell uses the stack. (See rule 601, “Casting Spells.”)

    303.2. When an enchantment spell resolves, its controller puts it onto the battlefield under his or her control.

    303.3. Enchantment subtypes are always a single word and are listed after a long dash: “Enchantment — Shrine.” Each word after the dash is a separate subtype. Enchantment subtypes are also called enchantment types. Enchantments may have multiple subtypes. See rule 205.3h for the complete list of enchantment types.

    303.4. Some enchantments have the subtype “Aura.” An Aura enters the battlefield attached to an object or player. What an Aura can be attached to is defined by its enchant keyword ability (see rule 702.5, “Enchant”). Other effects can limit what a permanent can be enchanted by.

    303.4a. An Aura spell requires a target, which is defined by its enchant ability.

    303.4b. The object or player an Aura is attached to is called enchanted. The Aura is attached to, or “enchants,” that object or player.

    303.4c. If an Aura is enchanting an illegal object or player as defined by its enchant ability and other applicable effects, the object it was attached to no longer exists, or the player it was attached to has left the game, the Aura is put into its owner’s graveyard. (This is a state-based action. See rule 704.)

    303.4d. An Aura can’t enchant itself. If this occurs somehow, the Aura is put into its owner’s graveyard. An Aura that’s also a creature can’t enchant anything. If this occurs somehow, the Aura becomes unattached, then is put into its owner’s graveyard. (These are state-based actions. See rule 704.) An Aura can’t enchant more than one object or player. If a spell or ability would cause an Aura to become attached to more than one object or player, the Aura’s controller chooses which object or player it becomes attached to.

    303.4e. An Aura’s controller is separate from the enchanted object’s controller or the enchanted player; the two need not be the same. If an Aura enchants an object, changing control of the object doesn’t change control of the Aura, and vice versa. Only the Aura’s controller can activate its abilities. However, if the Aura grants an ability to the enchanted object (with “gains” or “has”), the enchanted object’s controller is the only one who can activate that ability.

    303.4f. If an Aura is entering the battlefield under a player’s control by any means other than by resolving as an Aura spell, and the effect putting it onto the battlefield doesn’t specify the object or player the Aura will enchant, that player chooses what it will enchant as the Aura enters the battlefield. The player must choose a legal object or player according to the Aura’s enchant ability and any other applicable effects.

    303.4g. If an Aura is entering the battlefield and there is no legal object or player for it to enchant, the Aura remains in its current zone, unless that zone is the stack. In that case, the Aura is put into its owner’s graveyard instead of entering the battlefield.

    303.4h. If an effect attempts to put a permanent that isn't an Aura, Equipment, or Fortification onto the battlefield attached to an object or player, that permanent enters the battlefield unattached.

    303.4i. If an effect attempts to attach an Aura on the battlefield to an object or player, that object or player must be able to be enchanted by it. If the object or player can’t be, the Aura doesn’t move.

    303.4j. An ability of a permanent that refers to the “enchanted [object or player]” refers to whatever object or player that permanent is attached to, even if the permanent with the ability isn’t an Aura.


    304.1. A player who has priority may cast an instant card from his or her hand. Casting an instant as a spell uses the stack. (See rule 601, “Casting Spells.”)

    304.2. When an instant spell resolves, the actions stated in its rules text are followed. Then it’s put into its owner’s graveyard.

    304.3. Instant subtypes are always a single word and are listed after a long dash: “Instant — Arcane.” Each word after the dash is a separate subtype. The set of instant subtypes is the same as the set of sorcery subtypes; these subtypes are called spell types. Instants may have multiple subtypes. See rule 205.3k for the complete list of spell types.

    304.4. Instants can’t enter the battlefield. If an instant would enter the battlefield, it remains in its previous zone instead.

    304.5. If text states that a player may do something “any time he or she could cast an instant,” it means only that the player must have priority. The player doesn’t need to have an instant he or she could actually cast. Effects that would prevent that player from casting a spell or casting an instant don’t affect the player’s capability to perform that action (unless the action is actually casting a spell or casting an instant).


    305.1. A player who has priority may play a land card from his or her hand during a main phase of his or her turn when the stack is empty. Playing a land is a special action; it doesn’t use the stack (see rule 115). Rather, the player simply puts the land onto the battlefield. Since the land doesn’t go on the stack, it is never a spell, and players can’t respond to it with instants or activated abilities.

    305.2. A player can normally play one land during his or her turn; however, continuous effects may increase this number.

    305.2a. To determine whether a player can play a land, compare the number of lands the player can play this turn with the number of lands he or she has already played this turn (including lands played as special actions and lands played during the resolution of spells and abilities). If the number of lands the player can play is greater, the play is legal.

    305.2b. A player can't play a land, for any reason, if the number of lands the player can play this turn is equal to or less than the number of lands he or she has already played this turn. Ignore any part of an effect that instructs a player to do so.

    305.3. A player can’t play a land, for any reason, if it isn’t his or her turn. Ignore any part of an effect that instructs a player to do so.

    305.4. Effects may also allow players to "put" lands onto the battlefield. This isn't the same as "playing a land" and doesn't count as a land played during the current turn.

    305.5. Land subtypes are always a single word and are listed after a long dash. Land subtypes are also called land types. Lands may have multiple subtypes. See rule 205.3i for the complete list of land types.

    Example: “Basic Land — Mountain” means the card is a land with the subtype Mountain.

    305.6. The basic land types are Plains, Island, Swamp, Mountain, and Forest. If an object uses the words "basic land type," it's referring to one of these subtypes. A land with a basic land type has the intrinsic ability "T: Add [mana symbol] to your mana pool," even if the text box doesn't actually contain that text or the object has no text box. For Plains, [mana symbol] is W; for Islands, U; for Swamps, B; for Mountains, R; and for Forests, G. See rule 107.4a. Also see rule 605, "Mana Abilities."

    305.7. If an effect sets a land’s subtype to one or more of the basic land types, the land no longer has its old land type. It loses all abilities generated from its rules text, its old land types, and any copy effects affecting that land, and it gains the appropriate mana ability for each new basic land type. Note that this doesn’t remove any abilities that were granted to the land by other effects. Setting a land’s subtype doesn’t add or remove any card types (such as creature) or supertypes (such as basic, legendary, and snow) the land may have. If a land gains one or more land types in addition to its own, it keeps its land types and rules text, and it gains the new land types and mana abilities.

    305.8. Any land with the supertype “basic” is a basic land. Any land that doesn’t have this supertype is a nonbasic land, even if it has a basic land type.

    305.9. If an object is both a land and another card type, it can be played only as a land. It can’t be cast as a spell.


    306.1. A player who has priority may cast a planeswalker card from his or her hand during a main phase of his or her turn when the stack is empty. Casting a planeswalker as a spell uses the stack. (See rule 601, “Casting Spells.”)

    306.2. When a planeswalker spell resolves, its controller puts it onto the battlefield under his or her control.

    306.3. Planeswalker subtypes are always a single word and are listed after a long dash: “Planeswalker — Jace.” Each word after the dash is a separate subtype. Planeswalker subtypes are also called planeswalker types. Planeswalkers may have multiple subtypes. See rule 205.3j for the complete list of planeswalker types.

    306.4. If a player controls two or more planeswalkers that share a planeswalker type, that player chooses one of them, and the rest are put into their owners' graveyards. This is called the "planeswalker uniqueness rule." See rule 704.

    306.5. Loyalty is a characteristic only planeswalkers have.

    306.5a. The loyalty of a planeswalker card not on the battlefield is equal to the number printed in its lower right corner.

    306.5b. A planeswalker is treated as if its text box included, “This permanent enters the battlefield with a number of loyalty counters on it equal to its printed loyalty number.” This ability creates a replacement effect (see rule 614.1c).

    306.5c. The loyalty of a planeswalker on the battlefield is equal to the number of loyalty counters on it.

    306.5d. Each planeswalker has a number of loyalty abilities, which are activated abilities with loyalty symbols in their costs. Loyalty abilities follow special rules: A player may activate a loyalty ability of a permanent he or she controls any time he or she has priority and the stack is empty during a main phase of his or her turn, but only if none of that permanent’s loyalty abilities have been activated that turn. See rule 606, “Loyalty Abilities.”

    306.6. Planeswalkers can be attacked. (See rule 508, “Declare Attackers Step.”)

    306.7. If noncombat damage would be dealt to a player by a source controlled by an opponent, that opponent may have that source deal that damage to a planeswalker the first player controls instead. This is a redirection effect (see rule 614.9) and is subject to the normal rules for ordering replacement effects (see rule 616). The opponent chooses whether to redirect the damage as the redirection effect is applied.

    306.8. Damage dealt to a planeswalker results in that many loyalty counters being removed from it.

    306.9. If a planeswalker’s loyalty is 0, it’s put into its owner’s graveyard. (This is a state-based action. See rule 704.)


    307.1. A player who has priority may cast a sorcery card from his or her hand during a main phase of his or her turn when the stack is empty. Casting a sorcery as a spell uses the stack. (See rule 601, “Casting Spells.”)

    307.2. When a sorcery spell resolves, the actions stated in its rules text are followed. Then it’s put into its owner’s graveyard.

    307.3. Sorcery subtypes are always a single word and are listed after a long dash: “Sorcery — Arcane.” Each word after the dash is a separate subtype. The set of sorcery subtypes is the same as the set of instant subtypes; these subtypes are called spell types. Sorceries may have multiple subtypes. See rule 205.3k for the complete list of spell types.

    307.4. Sorceries can’t enter the battlefield. If a sorcery would enter the battlefield, it remains in its previous zone instead.

    307.5. If a spell, ability, or effect states that a player can do something only “any time he or she could cast a sorcery,” it means only that the player must have priority, it must be during the main phase of his or her turn, and the stack must be empty. The player doesn’t need to have a sorcery he or she could actually cast. Effects that would prevent that player from casting a spell or casting a sorcery don’t affect the player’s capability to perform that action (unless the action is actually casting a spell or casting a sorcery).

    307.5a. Similarly, if an effect checks to see if a spell was cast “any time a sorcery couldn’t have been cast,” it’s checking only whether the spell’s controller cast it without having priority, during a phase other than his or her main phase, or while another object was on the stack.


    308.1. Each tribal card has another card type. Casting and resolving a tribal card follows the rules for casting and resolving a card of the other card type.

    308.2. Tribal subtypes are always a single word and are listed after a long dash: “Tribal Enchantment — Merfolk.” The set of tribal subtypes is the same as the set of creature subtypes; these subtypes are called creature types. Tribals may have multiple subtypes. See rule 205.3m for the complete list of creature types.


    309.1. Plane is a card type seen only on nontraditional Magic cards. Only the Planechase casual variant uses plane cards. See rule 901, “Planechase.”

    309.2. Plane cards remain in the command zone throughout the game, both while they’re part of a planar deck and while they’re face up. They’re not permanents. They can’t be cast. If a plane card would leave the command zone, it remains in the command zone.

    309.3. Plane subtypes are listed after a long dash, and may be multiple words: “Plane — Serra’s Realm.” All words after the dash are, collectively, a single subtype. Planar subtypes are called planar types. A plane can have only one subtype. See rule 205.3n for the complete list of planar types.

    309.4. A plane card may have any number of static, triggered, and/or activated abilities. As long as a plane card is face up in the command zone, its static abilities affect the game, its triggered abilities may trigger, and its activated abilities may be activated.

    309.5. The controller of a face-up plane card is the player designated as the planar controller. Normally, the planar controller is whoever the active player is. However, if the current planar controller would leave the game, instead the next player in turn order that wouldn’t leave the game becomes the planar controller, then the old planar controller leaves the game. The new planar controller retains that designation until he or she leaves the game or a different player becomes the active player, whichever comes first.

    309.6. A face-up plane card that’s turned face down becomes a new object.

    309.7. Each plane card has a triggered ability that triggers “Whenever you roll (C).” These are called “chaos abilities.” Each one is indicated by a (C) to its left, though the symbol itself has no special rules meaning.


    310.1. Phenomenon is a card type seen only on nontraditional Magic cards. Only the Planechase casual variant uses phenomenon cards. See rule 901, “Planechase.”

    310.2. Phenomenon cards remain in the command zone throughout the game, both while they’re part of a planar deck and while they’re face up. They’re not permanents. They can’t be cast. If a phenomenon card would leave the command zone, it remains in the command zone.

    310.3. Phenomenon cards have no subtypes.

    310.4. The controller of a face-up phenomenon card is the player designated as the planar controller. Normally, the planar controller is whoever the active player is. However, if the current planar controller would leave the game, instead the next player in turn order that wouldn’t leave the game becomes the planar controller, then the old planar controller leaves the game. The new planar controller retains that designation until he or she leaves the game or a different player becomes the active player, whichever comes first.

    310.5. Each phenomenon card has a triggered ability that triggers when you encounter it. “When you encounter [this phenomenon]” means “When you move this card off a planar deck and turn it face up.”

    310.6. A face-up phenomenon card that’s turned face down becomes a new object.

    310.7. If a phenomenon card is face up in the command zone, and it isn’t the source of a triggered ability that has triggered but not yet left the stack, the planar controller planeswalks the next time a player would receive priority. (This is a state-based action; see rule 704. See also rule 701.21, “Planeswalk.”)


    311.1. Vanguard is a card type seen only on nontraditional Magic cards. Only the Vanguard casual variant uses vanguard cards. See rule 902, “Vanguard.”

    311.2. Vanguard cards remain in the command zone throughout the game. They’re not permanents. They can’t be cast. If a vanguard card would leave the command zone, it remains in the command zone.

    311.3. Vanguard cards have no subtypes.

    311.4. A vanguard card may have any number of static, triggered, and/or activated abilities. As long as a vanguard card is in the command zone, its static abilities affect the game, its triggered abilities may trigger, and its activated abilities may be activated.

    311.5. The owner of a vanguard card is the player who started the game with it in the command zone. The controller of a face-up vanguard card is its owner.

    311.6. Each vanguard card has a hand modifier printed in its lower left corner. This is a number preceded by a plus sign, a number preceded by a minus sign, or a zero. This modifier is applied to the starting hand size and maximum hand size of the vanguard card's owner (normally seven). The resulting number is both how many cards that player draws at the beginning of the game and his or her maximum hand size.

    311.7. Each vanguard card has a life modifier printed in its lower right corner. This is a number preceded by a plus sign, a number preceded by a minus sign, or a zero. This modifier is applied as the starting life total of the vanguard card's owner (normally 20) to is determined. See rule 103.3.


    312.1. Scheme is a card type seen only on nontraditional Magic cards. Only the Archenemy casual variant uses scheme cards. See rule 904, “Archenemy.”

    312.2. Scheme cards remain in the command zone throughout the game, both while they’re part of a scheme deck and while they’re face up. They’re not permanents. They can’t be cast. If a scheme card would leave the command zone, it remains in the command zone.

    312.3. Scheme cards have no subtypes.

    312.4. A scheme card may have any number of static, triggered, and/or activated abilities. As long as a scheme card is face up in the command zone, its static abilities affect the game, its triggered abilities may trigger, and its activated abilities may be activated.

    312.5. The owner of a scheme card is the player who started the game with it in the command zone. The controller of a face-up scheme card is its owner.

    312.6. If a non-ongoing scheme card is face up in the command zone, and it isn’t the source of a triggered ability that has triggered but not yet left the stack, that scheme card is turned face down and put on the bottom of its owner’s scheme deck the next time a player would receive priority. (This is a state-based action. See rule 704.)

    312.7. If an ability of a scheme card includes the text “this scheme,” it means the scheme card in the command zone that’s the source of that ability. This is an exception to rule 109.2.



    400.1. A zone is a place where objects can be during a game. There are normally seven zones: library, hand, battlefield, graveyard, stack, exile, and command. Some older cards also use the ante zone. Each player has his or her own library, hand, and graveyard. The other zones are shared by all players.

    400.2. Public zones are zones in which all players can see the cards’ faces, except for those cards that some rule or effect specifically allow to be face down. Graveyard, battlefield, stack, exile, ante, and command are public zones. Hidden zones are zones in which not all players can be expected to see the cards’ faces. Library and hand are hidden zones, even if all the cards in one such zone happen to be revealed.

    400.3. If an object would go to any library, graveyard, or hand other than its owner’s, it goes to its owner’s corresponding zone.

    400.4. Cards with certain card types can’t enter certain zones.

    400.4a. If an instant or sorcery card would enter the battlefield, it remains in its previous zone.

    400.4b. If a plane, phenomenon, vanguard, or scheme card would leave the command zone, it remains in the command zone.

    400.5. The order of objects in a library, in a graveyard, or on the stack can’t be changed except when effects or rules allow it. The same is true for objects arranged in face-down piles in other zones. Other objects in other zones can be arranged however their owners wish, although who controls those objects, whether they’re tapped or flipped, and what other objects are attached to them must remain clear to all players.

    400.6. If an object would move from one zone to another, determine what event is moving the object. If the object is moving to a public zone, all players look at it to see if it has any abilities that would affect the move. Then any appropriate replacement effects, whether they come from that object or from elsewhere, are applied to that event. If any effects or rules try to do two or more contradictory or mutually exclusive things to a particular object, that object’s controller—or its owner if it has no controller—chooses which effect to apply, and what that effect does. (Note that multiple instances of the same thing may be mutually exclusive; for example, two simultaneous “destroy” effects.) Then the event moves the object.

    400.7. An object that moves from one zone to another becomes a new object with no memory of, or relation to, its previous existence. There are seven exceptions to this rule:

    400.7a. Effects from spells, activated abilities, and triggered abilities that change the characteristics of a permanent spell on the stack continue to apply to the permanent that spell becomes.

    400.7b. Prevention effects that apply to damage from a permanent spell on the stack continue to apply to damage from the permanent that spell becomes.

    400.7c. If an ability of a permanent requires information about choices made as that permanent was cast as a spell, including what mana was spent to cast that spell, it uses information about the spell that became that permanent as it resolved.

    400.7d. Abilities that trigger when an object moves from one zone to another (for example, “When Rancor is put into a graveyard from the battlefield”) can find the new object that it became in the zone it moved to when the ability triggered, if that zone is a public zone.

    400.7e. Abilities of Auras that trigger when the enchanted permanent leaves the battlefield can find the new object that Aura became in its owner’s graveyard if it was put into that graveyard at the same time the enchanted permanent left the battlefield. It can also find the new object that Aura became in its owner’s graveyard as a result of being put there as a state-based action for not being attached to a permanent. (See rule 704.5n.)

    400.7f. If an effect grants a nonland card an ability that allows it to be cast, that ability will continue to apply to the new object that card became after it moved to the stack as a result of being cast this way.

    400.7g. A resolving spell or activated ability can perform actions on an object that moved from one zone to another while that spell was being cast or that ability was being activated, if that object moved to a public zone.

    400.8. If an object in the exile zone is exiled, it doesn’t change zones, but it becomes a new object that has just been exiled.

    400.9. If a face-up object in the command zone is turned face down, it becomes a new object.

    400.10. An object is outside the game if it isn’t in any of the game’s zones. Outside the game is not a zone.

    400.10a. Cards in a player’s sideboard are outside the game. See rule 100.4.

    400.10b. Some effects bring cards into a game from outside of it. Those cards remain in the game until it ends.

    400.10c. Cards outside the game can't be affected by spells or abilities, except for characteristic-defining abilities printed on them (see rule 604.3) and spells and abilities that allow those cards to be brought into the game.

    400.11. Some effects instruct a player to do something to a zone (such as “Shuffle your hand into your library”). That action is performed on all cards in that zone. The zone itself is not affected.


    401.1. When a game begins, each player’s deck becomes his or her library.

    401.2. Each library must be kept in a single face-down pile. Players can’t look at or change the order of cards in a library.

    401.3. Any player may count the number of cards remaining in any player’s library at any time.

    401.4. If an effect puts two or more cards on the top or bottom of a library at the same time, the owner of those cards may arrange them in any order. That library’s owner doesn’t reveal the order in which the cards go into his or her library.

    401.5. If a spell or ability causes a card to be drawn while another spell is being cast, the drawn card is kept face down until that spell becomes cast (see rule 601.2h). While face down, it’s considered to have no characteristics. The same is true with relation to another ability being activated. If an effect allows or instructs a player to reveal the card as it’s being drawn, it’s revealed after the spell becomes cast or the ability becomes activated.

    401.6. Some effects tell a player to play with the top card of his or her library revealed, or say that a player may look at the top card of his or her library. If the top card of the player’s library changes while a spell is being cast, the new top card won’t be revealed and can’t be looked at until the spell becomes cast (see rule 601.2h). The same is true with relation to an ability being activated.

    401.7. If an effect causes a player to play with the top card of his or her library revealed, and that particular card stops being revealed for any length of time before being revealed again, it becomes a new object.

    401.8. If an effect causes a player to put a card into a library “Nth from the top,” and that library has fewer than N cards in it, the player puts that card on the bottom of that library.


    402.1. The hand is where a player holds cards that have been drawn. Cards can be put into a player’s hand by other effects as well. At the beginning of the game, each player draws a number of cards equal to that player's starting hand size, normally seven. (See rule 103, “Starting the Game.”)

    402.2. Each player has a maximum hand size, which is normally seven cards. A player may have any number of cards in his or her hand, but as part of his or her cleanup step, the player must discard excess cards down to the maximum hand size.

    402.3. A player may arrange his or her hand in any convenient fashion and look at it as much as he or she wishes. A player can’t look at the cards in another player’s hand but may count those cards at any time.


    403.1. Most of the area between the players represents the battlefield. The battlefield starts out empty. Permanents a player controls are normally kept in front of him or her on the battlefield, though there are some cases (such as an Aura attached to another player’s permanent) when a permanent one player controls is kept closer to a different player.

    403.2. A spell or ability affects and checks only the battlefield unless it specifically mentions a player or another zone.

    403.3. Permanents exist only on the battlefield. Every object on the battlefield is a permanent. See rule 110, “Permanents.”

    403.4. Whenever a permanent enters the battlefield, it becomes a new object and has no relationship to any previous permanent represented by the same card, except for the cases listed in rule 400.7. (This is also true for any objects entering any zone.)

    403.5. Previously, the battlefield was called the “in-play zone.” Cards that were printed with text that contains the phrases “in play,” “from play,” “into play,” or the like are referring to the battlefield. Cards that were printed with that text have received errata in the Oracle card reference.


    404.1. A player’s graveyard is his or her discard pile. Any object that’s countered, discarded, destroyed, or sacrificed is put on top of its owner’s graveyard, as is any instant or sorcery spell that’s finished resolving. Each player’s graveyard starts out empty.

    404.2. Each graveyard is kept in a single face-up pile. A player can examine the cards in any graveyard at any time but normally can’t change their order. Additional rules applying to sanctioned tournaments may allow a player to change the order of cards in his or her graveyard.

    404.3. If an effect or rule puts two or more cards into the same graveyard at the same time, the owner of those cards may arrange them in any order.


    405.1. When a spell is cast, the physical card is put on the stack (see rule 601.2a). When an ability is activated or triggers, it goes on top of the stack without any card associated with it (see rules 602.2a and 603.3).

    405.2. The stack keeps track of the order that spells and/or abilities were added to it. Each time an object is put on the stack, it’s put on top of all objects already there.

    405.3. If an effect puts two or more objects on the stack at the same time, those controlled by the active player are put on lowest, followed by each other player’s objects in APNAP order (see rule 101.4). If a player controls more than one of these objects, that player chooses their relative order on the stack.

    405.4. Each spell has all the characteristics of the card associated with it. Each activated or triggered ability that’s on the stack has the text of the ability that created it and no other characteristics. The controller of a spell is the person who cast it. The controller of an activated ability is the player who activated it. The controller of a triggered ability is the player who controlled the ability’s source when it triggered, unless it’s a delayed triggered ability. To determine the controller of a delayed triggered ability, see rules 603.7d–f.

    405.5. When all players pass in succession, the top (last-added) spell or ability on the stack resolves. If the stack is empty when all players pass, the current step or phase ends and the next begins.

    405.6. Some things that happen during the game don’t use the stack.

    405.6a. Effects don’t go on the stack; they’re the result of spells and abilities resolving. Effects may create delayed triggered abilities, however, and these may go on the stack when they trigger (see rule 603.7).

    405.6b. Static abilities continuously generate effects and don’t go on the stack. (See rule 604, “Handling Static Abilities.”) This includes characteristic-defining abilities such as “[This object] is red” (see rule 604.3).

    405.6c. Mana abilities resolve immediately. If a mana ability both produces mana and has another effect, the mana is produced and the other effect happens immediately. If a player had priority before a mana ability was activated, that player gets priority after it resolves. (See rule 605, “Mana Abilities.”)

    405.6d. Special actions don’t use the stack; they happen immediately. See rule 115, “Special Actions.”

    405.6e. Turn-based actions don’t use the stack; they happen automatically when certain steps or phases begin. They’re dealt with before a player would receive priority (see rule 116.3a). Turn-based actions also happen automatically when each step and phase ends; no player receives priority afterward. See rule 703.

    405.6f. State-based actions don’t use the stack; they happen automatically when certain conditions are met. See rule 704. They are dealt with before a player would receive priority. See rule 116.5.

    405.6g. A player may concede the game at any time. That player leaves the game immediately. See rule 104.3a.

    405.6h. If a player leaves a multiplayer game, objects may leave the game, cease to exist, change control, or be exiled as a result. These actions happen immediately. See rule 800.4a.


    406.1. The exile zone is essentially a holding area for objects. Some spells and abilities exile an object without any way to return that object to another zone. Other spells and abilities exile an object only temporarily.

    406.2. To exile an object is to put it into the exile zone from whatever zone it’s currently in. An exiled card is a card that’s been put into the exile zone.

    406.3. Exiled cards are, by default, kept face up and may be examined by any player at any time. Cards "exiled face down" can't be examined by any player except when instructions allow it. However, once a player is allowed to look at a card exiled face down, that player may continue to look at that card as long as it remains exiled, even if the instruction allowing the player to do so no longer applies. A card exiled face down has no characteristics, but the spell or ability that exiled it may allow it to be played from exile. Unless that card is being cast face down (see rule 707.4), the card is turned face up just before the player announces that he or she is playing the card (see rule 601.2).

    406.4. Exiled cards that might return to the battlefield or any other zone should be kept in separate piles to keep track of their respective ways of returning. Exiled cards that may have an impact on the game due to their own abilities (such as cards with haunt) or the abilities of the cards that exiled them should likewise be kept in separate piles.

    406.5. An object may have one ability printed on it that causes one or more cards to be exiled, and another ability that refers either to “the exiled cards” or to cards “exiled with [this object].” These abilities are linked: the second refers only to cards that have been exiled due to the first. See rule 607, “Linked Abilities.”

    406.6. If an object in the exile zone becomes exiled, it doesn’t change zones, but it becomes a new object that has just been exiled.

    406.7. Previously, the exile zone was called the “removed-from-the-game zone.” Cards that were printed with text that “removes [an object] from the game” exiles that object. The same is true for cards printed with text that “sets [an object] aside.” Cards that were printed with that text have received errata in the Oracle card reference.


    407.1. Earlier versions of the Magic rules included an ante rule as a way of playing “for keeps.” Playing Magic games for ante is now considered an optional variation on the game, and it’s allowed only where it’s not forbidden by law or by other rules. Playing for ante is strictly forbidden under the Magic: The Gathering Tournament Rules (Wizards.com/WPN/Events/Rules.aspx).

    407.2. When playing for ante, each player puts one random card from his or her deck into the ante zone after determining which player goes first but before players draw any cards. Cards in the ante zone may be examined by any player at any time. At the end of the game, the winner becomes the owner of all the cards in the ante zone.

    407.3. A few cards have the text “Remove [this card] from your deck before playing if you’re not playing for ante.” These are the only cards that can add or remove cards from the ante zone or change a card’s owner.

    407.4. To ante an object is to put that object into the ante zone from whichever zone it’s currently in. The owner of an object is the only person who can ante that object.


    408.1. The command zone is a game area reserved for certain specialized objects that have an overarching effect on the game, yet are not permanents and cannot be destroyed.

    408.2. Emblems may be created in the command zone. See rule 113, "Emblems."

    408.3. In the Planechase, Vanguard, Commander, and Archenemy casual variants, nontraditional Magic cards and/or specially designated cards start the game in the command zone. Each variant has its own rules regarding such cards. See section 9, "Casual Variants."



    500.1. A turn consists of five phases, in this order: beginning, precombat main, combat, postcombat main, and ending. Each of these phases takes place every turn, even if nothing happens during the phase. The beginning, combat, and ending phases are further broken down into steps, which proceed in order.

    500.2. A phase or step in which players receive priority ends when the stack is empty and all players pass in succession. Simply having the stack become empty doesn’t cause such a phase or step to end; all players have to pass in succession with the stack empty. Because of this, each player gets a chance to add new things to the stack before that phase or step ends.

    500.3. A step in which no players receive priority ends when all specified actions that take place during that step are completed. The only such steps are the untap step (see rule 502) and certain cleanup steps (see rule 514).

    500.4. When a step or phase ends, any unused mana left in a player’s mana pool empties. This turn-based action doesn’t use the stack.

    500.5. When a phase or step ends, any effects scheduled to last “until end of” that phase or step expire. When a phase or step begins, any effects scheduled to last “until” that phase or step expire. Effects that last “until end of combat” expire at the end of the combat phase, not at the beginning of the end of combat step. Effects that last “until end of turn” are subject to special rules; see rule 514.2.

    500.6. When a phase or step begins, any abilities that trigger “at the beginning of” that phase or step are added to the stack.

    500.7. Some effects can give a player extra turns. They do this by adding the turns directly after the current turn. If a player gets multiple extra turns or if multiple players get extra turns during a single turn, the extra turns are added one at a time. The most recently created turn will be taken first.

    500.8. Some effects can add phases to a turn. They do this by adding the phases directly after the specified phase. If multiple extra phases are created after the same phase, the most recently created phase will occur first.

    500.9. Some effects can add steps to a phase. They do this by adding the steps directly after a specified step or directly before a specified step. If multiple extra steps are created after the same step, the most recently created step will occur first.

    500.10. Some effects can cause a step, phase, or turn to be skipped. To skip a step, phase, or turn is to proceed past it as though it didn’t exist. See rule 614.10.

    500.11. No game events can occur between turns, phases, or steps.


    501.1. The beginning phase consists of three steps, in this order: untap, upkeep, and draw.


    502.1. First, all phased-in permanents with phasing that the active player controls phase out, and all phased-out permanents that the active player controlled when they phased out phase in. This all happens simultaneously. This turn-based action doesn’t use the stack. See rule 702.25, “Phasing.”

    502.2. Second, the active player determines which permanents he or she controls will untap. Then he or she untaps them all simultaneously. This turn-based action doesn’t use the stack. Normally, all of a player’s permanents untap, but effects can keep one or more of a player’s permanents from untapping.

    502.3. No player receives priority during the untap step, so no spells can be cast or resolve and no abilities can be activated or resolve. Any ability that triggers during this step will be held until the next time a player would receive priority, which is usually during the upkeep step. (See rule 503, “Upkeep Step.”)


    503.1. First, any abilities that trigger at the beginning of the upkeep step and any abilities that triggered during the turn’s untap step go on the stack. (See rule 603, “Handling Triggered Abilities.”)

    503.2. Second, the active player gets priority. Players may cast spells and activate abilities.

    503.3. If a spell states that it may be cast only "after [a player's] upkeep step," and the turn has multiple upkeep steps, that spell may be cast any time after the first upkeep step ends.


    504.1. First, the active player draws a card. This turn-based action doesn’t use the stack.

    504.2. Second, any abilities that trigger at the beginning of the draw step and any other abilities that have triggered go on the stack.

    504.3. Third, the active player gets priority. Players may cast spells and activate abilities.


    505.1. There are two main phases in a turn. In each turn, the first main phase (also known as the precombat main phase) and the second main phase (also known as the postcombat main phase) are separated by the combat phase (see rule 506, “Combat Phase”). The precombat and postcombat main phases are individually and collectively known as the main phase.

    505.1a. Only the first main phase of the turn is a precombat main phase. All other main phases are postcombat main phases. This includes the second main phase of a turn in which the combat phase has been skipped. It is also true of a turn in which an effect has caused an additional combat phase and an additional main phase to be created.

    505.2. The main phase has no steps, so a main phase ends when all players pass in succession while the stack is empty. (See rule 500.2.)

    505.3. First, but only if the players are playing an Archenemy game (see rule 904), the active player is the archenemy, and it's the active player's precombat main phase, the active player sets the top card of his or her scheme deck in motion (see rule 701.22). This turn-based action doesn't use the stack.

    505.4. Second, any abilities that trigger at the beginning of the main phase go on the stack. (See rule 603, “Handling Triggered Abilities.”)

    505.5. Third, the active player gets priority. Players may cast spells and activate abilities. The active player may play a land.

    505.5a. The main phase is the only phase in which a player can normally cast artifact, creature, enchantment, planeswalker, and sorcery spells. Only the active player may cast these spells.

    505.5b. During either main phase, the active player may play one land card from his or her hand if the stack is empty, if the player has priority, and if he or she hasn't played a land this turn (unless an effect states the player may play additional lands). This action doesn't use the stack. Neither the land nor the action of playing the land is a spell or ability, so it can't be countered, and players can't respond to it with instants or activated abilities. (See rule 305, "Lands.")


    506.1. The combat phase has five steps, which proceed in order: beginning of combat, declare attackers, declare blockers, combat damage, and end of combat. The declare blockers and combat damage steps are skipped if no creatures are declared as attackers or put onto the battlefield attacking (see rule 508.4). There are two combat damage steps if any attacking or blocking creature has first strike (see rule 702.7) or double strike (see rule 702.4).

    506.2. During the combat phase, the active player is the attacking player; creatures that player controls may attack. During the combat phase of a two-player game, the nonactive player is the defending player; that player and planeswalkers he or she controls may be attacked.

    506.2a. During the combat phase of a multiplayer game, there may be one or more defending players, depending on the variant being played and the options chosen for it. Unless all the attacking player’s opponents automatically become defending players during the combat phase, the attacking player chooses one of his or her opponents as a turn-based action during the beginning of combat step. (Note that the choice may be dictated by the variant being played or the options chosen for it.) That player becomes the defending player. See rule 802, “Attack Multiple Players Option,” rule 803, “Attack Left and Attack Right Options,” and rule 809, “Emperor Variant.”

    506.2b. In the Two-Headed Giant multiplayer variant, the nonactive team is the defending team. See rule 810, “Two-Headed Giant Variant.”

    506.3. Only a creature can attack or block. Only a player or a planeswalker can be attacked.

    506.3a. If an effect would put a noncreature permanent onto the battlefield attacking or blocking, the permanent does enter the battlefield but it’s never considered to be an attacking or blocking permanent.

    506.3b. If an effect would put a creature onto the battlefield attacking under the control of any player except an attacking player, that creature does enter the battlefield, but it’s never considered to be an attacking creature.

    506.3c. If an effect would put a creature onto the battlefield attacking either a player not in the game or a planeswalker no longer on the battlefield or no longer a planeswalker, that creature does enter the battlefield, but it’s never considered to be an attacking creature.

    506.3d. If an effect would put a creature onto the battlefield blocking but the creature it would block isn't attacking either the first creature's controller or a planeswalker that player controls, that creature does enter the battlefield, but it's never considered to be a blocking creature.

    506.4. A permanent is removed from combat if it leaves the battlefield, if its controller changes, if it phases out, if an effect specifically removes it from combat, if it’s a planeswalker that’s being attacked and stops being a planeswalker, or if it’s an attacking or blocking creature that regenerates (see rule 701.12) or stops being a creature. A creature that’s removed from combat stops being an attacking, blocking, blocked, and/or unblocked creature. A planeswalker that’s removed from combat stops being attacked.

    506.4a. Once a creature has been declared as an attacking or blocking creature, spells or abilities that would have kept that creature from attacking or blocking don’t remove the creature from combat.

    506.4b. Tapping or untapping a creature that’s already been declared as an attacker or blocker doesn’t remove it from combat and doesn’t prevent its combat damage.

    506.4c. If a creature is attacking a planeswalker, removing that planeswalker from combat doesn’t remove that creature from combat. It continues to be an attacking creature, although it is attacking neither a player nor a planeswalker. It may be blocked. If it is unblocked, it will deal no combat damage.

    506.4d. A permanent that’s both a blocking creature and a planeswalker that’s being attacked is removed from combat if it stops being both a creature and a planeswalker. If it stops being one of those card types but continues to be the other, it continues to be either a blocking creature or a planeswalker that’s being attacked, whichever is appropriate.

    506.5. A creature attacks alone if it’s the only creature declared as an attacker during the declare attackers step. A creature is attacking alone if it’s attacking but no other creatures are. A creature blocks alone if it’s the only creature declared as a blocker during the declare blockers step. A creature is blocking alone if it’s blocking but no other creatures are.

    506.6. Some spells state that they may be cast “only [before/after] [a particular point in the combat phase],” in which that point may be “attackers are declared,” “blockers are declared,” “the combat damage step,” “the end of combat step,” “the combat phase,” or “combat.”

    506.6a. A spell that states it may be cast “only before (or after) attackers are declared” is referring to the turn-based action of declaring attackers. It may be cast only before (or after) the declare attackers step begins, regardless of whether any attackers are actually declared. (See rule 508.)

    506.6b. A spell that states it may be cast “only before (or after) blockers are declared” is referring to the turn-based action of declaring blockers. It may be cast only before (or after) the declare blockers step begins, regardless of whether any blockers are actually declared. (See rule 509.)

    506.6c. Some spells state that they may be cast only “during combat” or “during a certain player’s combat phase” in addition to the criteria described in rule 506.6. If a turn has multiple combat phases, such spells may be cast at an appropriate time during any of them.

    506.6d. Some spells state that they may be cast “only before (or after) [a particular point in the combat phase],” but don’t meet the additional criteria described in rule 506.6c. If a turn has multiple combat phases, such spells may be cast that turn only before (or after) the stated point of the first combat phase.

    506.6e. If a spell states that it may be cast “only before [a particular point in the combat phase],” but the stated point doesn’t exist within the relevant combat phase because the declare blockers step and the combat damage step are skipped (see rule 508.6), then the spell may be cast only before the declare attackers step ends. If the stated point doesn't exist because the relevant combat phase has been skipped, then the spell may be cast only before the precombat main phase ends.

    506.6f. If a spell states that it may be cast “only during combat after blockers are declared,” but the declare blockers step is skipped that combat phase (see rule 508.6), then the spell may not be cast during that combat phase.

    506.6g. Rules 506.6 and 506.6a–f apply to abilities that state that they may be activated only at certain times with respect to combat just as they apply to spells that state that they may be cast only at certain times with respect to combat.


    507.1. First, if the game being played is a multiplayer game in which the active player’s opponents don’t all automatically become defending players, the active player chooses one of his or her opponents. That player becomes the defending player. This turn-based action doesn’t use the stack. (See rule 506.2.)

    507.2. Second, any abilities that trigger at the beginning of combat go on the stack. (See rule 603, “Handling Triggered Abilities.”)

    507.3. Third, the active player gets priority. Players may cast spells and activate abilities.


    508.1. First, the active player declares attackers. This turn-based action doesn’t use the stack. To declare attackers, the active player follows the steps below, in order. If at any point during the declaration of attackers, the active player is unable to comply with any of the steps listed below, the declaration is illegal; the game returns to the moment before the declaration (see rule 717, “Handling Illegal Actions”).

    508.1a. The active player chooses which creatures that he or she controls, if any, will attack. The chosen creatures must be untapped, and each one must either have haste or have been controlled by the active player continuously since the turn began.

    508.1b. If the defending player controls any planeswalkers, or the game allows the active player to attack multiple other players, the active player announces which player or planeswalker each of the chosen creatures is attacking.

    508.1c. The active player checks each creature he or she controls to see whether it’s affected by any restrictions (effects that say a creature can’t attack, or that it can’t attack unless some condition is met). If any restrictions are being disobeyed, the declaration of attackers is illegal.

    Example: A player controls two creatures, each with a restriction that states “[This creature] can’t attack alone.” It’s legal to declare both as attackers.

    508.1d. The active player checks each creature he or she controls to see whether it’s affected by any requirements (effects that say a creature must attack, or that it must attack if some condition is met). If the number of requirements that are being obeyed is fewer than the maximum possible number of requirements that could be obeyed without disobeying any restrictions, the declaration of attackers is illegal. If a creature can't attack unless a player pays a cost, that player is not required to pay that cost, even if attacking with that creature would increase the number of requirements being obeyed.

    Example: A player controls two creatures: one that “attacks if able” and one with no abilities. An effect states “No more than one creature can attack each turn.” The only legal attack is for just the creature that “attacks if able” to attack. It’s illegal to attack with the other creature, attack with both, or attack with neither.

    508.1e. If any of the chosen creatures have banding or a “bands with other” ability, the active player announces which creatures, if any, are banded with which. (See rule 702.21, “Banding.”)

    508.1f. The active player taps the chosen creatures. Tapping a creature when it’s declared as an attacker isn’t a cost; attacking simply causes creatures to become tapped.

    508.1g. If any of the chosen creatures require paying costs to attack, the active player determines the total cost to attack. Costs may include paying mana, tapping permanents, sacrificing permanents, discarding cards, and so on. Once the total cost is determined, it becomes “locked in.” If effects would change the total cost after this time, ignore this change.

    508.1h. If any of the costs require mana, the active player then has a chance to activate mana abilities (see rule 605, “Mana Abilities”).

    508.1i. Once the player has enough mana in his or her mana pool, he or she pays all costs in any order. Partial payments are not allowed.

    508.1j. Each chosen creature still controlled by the active player becomes an attacking creature. It remains an attacking creature until it’s removed from combat or the combat phase ends, whichever comes first. See rule 506.4.

    508.2. Second, any abilities that triggered on attackers being declared go on the stack. (See rule 603, “Handling Triggered Abilities.”)

    508.2a. Abilities that trigger on a creature attacking trigger only at the point the creature is declared as an attacker. They will not trigger if a creature attacks and then that creature’s characteristics change to match the ability’s trigger condition.

    Example: A permanent has the ability “Whenever a green creature attacks, destroy that creature at end of combat.” If a blue creature attacks and is later turned green, the ability will not trigger.

    508.3. Third, the active player gets priority. Players may cast spells and activate abilities.

    508.4. If a creature is put onto the battlefield attacking, its controller chooses which defending player or which planeswalker a defending player controls it's attacking as it enters the battlefield (unless the effect that put it onto the battlefield specifies what it's attacking). Such creatures are "attacking" but, for the purposes of trigger events and effects, they never "attacked."

    508.4a. If the effect that put a creature onto the battlefield attacking specifies it's attacking a certain player, and that player is no longer in the game when the effect resolves, the creature is put onto the battlefield but is never considered an attacking creature. The same is true if the effect specifies a creature is put onto the battlefield attacking a planeswalker and that planeswalker is no longer on the battlefield or is no longer a planeswalker when the effect resolves.

    508.5. If an ability of an attacking creature refers to a defending player, or a spell or ability refers to both an attacking creature and a defending player, then unless otherwise specified, the defending player it's referring to is the player that creature was attacking at the time it became an attacking creature that combat, or the controller of the planeswalker that creature was attacking at the time it became an attacking creature that combat.

    508.5a. In a multiplayer game, any rule, object, or effect that refers to a "defending player" refers to one specific defending player, not to all of the defending players. If a spell or ability could apply to multiple attacking creatures, the appropriate defending player is individually determined for each of those attacking creatures. If there are multiple defending players that could be chosen, the controller of the spell or ability chooses one.

    508.6. If no creatures are declared as attackers or put onto the battlefield attacking, skip the declare blockers and combat damage steps.


    509.1. First, the defending player declares blockers. This turn-based action doesn’t use the stack. To declare blockers, the defending player follows the steps below, in order. If at any point during the declaration of blockers, the defending player is unable to comply with any of the steps listed below, the declaration is illegal; the game returns to the moment before the declaration (see rule 717, “Handling Illegal Actions”).

    509.1a. The defending player chooses which creatures that he or she controls, if any, will block. The chosen creatures must be untapped. For each of the chosen creatures, the defending player chooses one creature for it to block that’s attacking him, her, or a planeswalker he or she controls.

    509.1b. The defending player checks each creature he or she controls to see whether it’s affected by any restrictions (effects that say a creature can’t block, or that it can’t block unless some condition is met). If any restrictions are being disobeyed, the declaration of blockers is illegal.
    A restriction may be created by an evasion ability (a static ability an attacking creature has that restricts what can block it). If an attacking creature gains or loses an evasion ability after a legal block has been declared, it doesn’t affect that block. Different evasion abilities are cumulative.

    Example: An attacking creature with flying and shadow can’t be blocked by a creature with flying but without shadow.

    509.1c. The defending player checks each creature he or she controls to see whether it’s affected by any requirements (effects that say a creature must block, or that it must block if some condition is met). If the number of requirements that are being obeyed is fewer than the maximum possible number of requirements that could be obeyed without disobeying any restrictions, the declaration of blockers is illegal. If a creature can't block unless a player pays a cost, that player is not required to pay that cost, even if blocking with that creature would increase the number of requirements being obeyed.

    Example: A player controls one creature that “blocks if able” and another creature with no abilities. An effect states “Creatures can’t be blocked except by two or more creatures.” Having only the first creature block violates the restriction. Having neither creature block fulfills the restriction but not the requirement. Having both creatures block the same attacking creature fulfills both the restriction and the requirement, so that’s the only option.

    509.1d. If any of the chosen creatures require paying costs to block, the defending player determines the total cost to block. Costs may include paying mana, tapping permanents, sacrificing permanents, discarding cards, and so on. Once the total cost is determined, it becomes “locked in.” If effects would change the total cost after this time, ignore this change.

    509.1e. If any of the costs require mana, the defending player then has a chance to activate mana abilities (see rule 605, “Mana Abilities”).

    509.1f. Once the player has enough mana in his or her mana pool, he or she pays all costs in any order. Partial payments are not allowed.

    509.1g. Each chosen creature still controlled by the defending player becomes a blocking creature. Each one is blocking the attacking creatures chosen for it. It remains a blocking creature until it’s removed from combat or the combat phase ends, whichever comes first. See rule 506.4.

    509.1h. An attacking creature with one or more creatures declared as blockers for it becomes a blocked creature; one with no creatures declared as blockers for it becomes an unblocked creature. This remains unchanged until the creature is removed from combat, an effect says that it becomes blocked or unblocked, or the combat phase ends, whichever comes first. A creature remains blocked even if all the creatures blocking it are removed from combat.

    509.2. Second, for each attacking creature that’s become blocked, the active player announces that creature’s damage assignment order, which consists of the creatures blocking it in an order of that player’s choice. (During the combat damage step, an attacking creature can’t assign combat damage to a creature that’s blocking it unless each creature ahead of that blocking creature in its order is assigned lethal damage.) This turn-based action doesn’t use the stack.

    Example: Vastwood Gorger is blocked by Llanowar Elves, Runeclaw Bear, and Serra Angel. Vastwood Gorger's controller announces the Vastwood Gorger's damage assignment order as Serra Angel, then Llanowar Elves, then Runeclaw Bear.

    509.2a. During the declare blockers step, if a blocking creature is removed from combat or a spell or ability causes it to stop blocking an attacking creature, the blocking creature is removed from all relevant damage assignment orders. The relative order among the remaining blocking creatures is unchanged.

    509.3. Third, for each blocking creature, the defending player announces that creature’s damage assignment order, which consists of the creatures it’s blocking in an order of that player’s choice. (During the combat damage step, a blocking creature can’t assign combat damage to a creature it’s blocking unless each creature ahead of that blocked creature in its order is assigned lethal damage.) This turn-based action doesn’t use the stack.

    509.3a. During the declare blockers step, if an attacking creature is removed from combat or a spell or ability causes it to stop being blocked by a blocking creature, the attacking creature is removed from all relevant damage assignment orders. The relative order among the remaining attacking creatures is unchanged.

    509.4. Fourth, any abilities that triggered on blockers being declared go on the stack. (See rule 603, “Handling Triggered Abilities.”)

    509.4a. An ability that reads “Whenever [this creature] blocks, ...” generally triggers only once each combat for that creature, even if it blocks multiple creatures. It triggers if the creature is declared as a blocker. It will also trigger if that creature becomes a blocker as the result of an effect, but only if it wasn’t a blocking creature at that time. (See rule 509.1g.) It won’t trigger if the creature is put onto the battlefield blocking.

    509.4b. An ability that reads “Whenever [this creature] blocks a creature, ...” triggers once for each attacking creature the creature with the ability blocks. It triggers if the creature is declared as a blocker. It will also trigger if an effect causes that creature to block an attacking creature, but only if it wasn’t already blocking that attacking creature at that time. It won’t trigger if the creature is put onto the battlefield blocking.

    509.4c. An ability that reads “Whenever [this creature] becomes blocked, ...” generally triggers only once each combat for that creature, even if it’s blocked by multiple creatures. It will trigger if that creature becomes blocked by at least one creature declared as a blocker. It will also trigger if that creature becomes blocked by an effect or by a creature that’s put onto the battlefield as a blocker, but only if the attacking creature was an unblocked creature at that time. (See rule 509.1h.)

    509.4d. An ability that reads “Whenever [this creature] becomes blocked by a creature, ...” triggers once for each creature that blocks the named creature. It triggers if a creature is declared as a blocker for the attacking creature. It will also trigger if an effect causes a creature to block the attacking creature, but only if it wasn’t already blocking that attacking creature at that time. In addition, it will trigger if a creature is put onto the battlefield blocking that creature. It won’t trigger if the creature becomes blocked by an effect rather than a creature.

    509.4e. If an ability triggers when a creature blocks or becomes blocked by a particular number of creatures, the ability triggers if the creature blocks or is blocked by that many creatures when blockers are declared. Effects that add or remove blockers can also cause such abilities to trigger. This applies to abilities that trigger on a creature blocking or being blocked by at least a certain number of creatures as well.

    509.4f. If an ability triggers when a creature with certain characteristics blocks, it will trigger only if the creature has those characteristics at the point blockers are declared, or at the point an effect causes it to block. If an ability triggers when a creature with certain characteristics becomes blocked, it will trigger only if the creature has those characteristics at the point it becomes a blocked creature. If an ability triggers when a creature becomes blocked by a creature with certain characteristics, it will trigger only if the latter creature has those characteristics at the point it becomes a blocking creature. None of those abilities will trigger if the relevant creature’s characteristics change to match the ability’s trigger condition later on.

    Example: A creature has the ability “Whenever this creature becomes blocked by a white creature, destroy that creature at end of combat.” If the creature becomes blocked by a black creature that is later turned white, the ability will not trigger.

    509.4g. An ability that reads “Whenever [this creature] attacks and isn’t blocked, ...” triggers if no creatures are declared as blockers for that creature. It will trigger even if the creature was never declared as an attacker (for example, if it entered the battlefield attacking) . It won’t trigger if the attacking creature is blocked and then all its blockers are removed from combat.

    509.5. Fifth, the active player gets priority. Players may cast spells and activate abilities.

    509.6. If a spell or ability causes a creature on the battlefield to block an attacking creature, the active player announces the blocking creature’s placement in the attacking creature’s damage assignment order. The relative order among the remaining blocking creatures is unchanged. Then the defending player announces the attacking creature’s placement in the blocking creature’s damage assignment order. The relative order among the remaining attacking creatures is unchanged. This is done as part of the blocking effect.

    509.7. If a creature is put onto the battlefield blocking, its controller chooses which attacking creature it’s blocking as it enters the battlefield (unless the effect that put it onto the battlefield specifies what it’s blocking), then the active player announces the new creature’s placement in the blocked creature’s damage assignment order. The relative order among the remaining blocking creatures is unchanged. A creature put onto the battlefield this way is “blocking” but, for the purposes of trigger events and effects, it never “blocked.”

    Example: Giant Spider is blocked by Canyon Minotaur. The defending player casts Flash Foliage, which puts a Saproling token onto the battlefield blocking the Giant Spider. Giant Spider's controller announces the Giant Spider's damage assignment order as the Saproling token, then Canyon Minotaur.


    510.1. First, the active player announces how each attacking creature assigns its combat damage, then the defending player announces how each blocking creature assigns its combat damage. This turn-based action doesn’t use the stack. A player assigns a creature’s combat damage according to the following rules:

    510.1a. Each attacking creature and each blocking creature assigns combat damage equal to its power. Creatures that would assign 0 or less damage this way don’t assign combat damage at all.

    510.1b. An unblocked creature assigns its combat damage to the player or planeswalker it’s attacking. If it isn’t currently attacking anything (if, for example, it was attacking a planeswalker that has left the battlefield), it assigns no combat damage.

    510.1c. A blocked creature assigns its combat damage to the creatures blocking it. If no creatures are currently blocking it (if, for example, they were destroyed or removed from combat), it assigns no combat damage. If exactly one creature is blocking it, it assigns all its combat damage to that creature. If two or more creatures are blocking it, it assigns its combat damage to those creatures according to the damage assignment order announced for it. This may allow the blocked creature to divide its combat damage. However, it can’t assign combat damage to a creature that’s blocking it unless, when combat damage assignments are complete, each creature that precedes that blocking creature in its order is assigned lethal damage. When checking for assigned lethal damage, take into account damage already marked on the creature and damage from other creatures that’s being assigned during the same combat damage step, but not any abilities or effects that might change the amount of damage that’s actually dealt. An amount of damage that’s greater than a creature’s lethal damage may be assigned to it.

    Example: The damage assignment order of an attacking Vastwood Gorger (a 5/6 creature) is Pride Guardian (a 0/3 creature) then Llanowar Elves (a 1/1 creature). Vastwood Gorger can assign 3 damage to the Guardian and 2 damage to the Elves, 4 damage to the Guardian and 1 damage to the Elves, or 5 damage to the Guardian.

    Example: The damage assignment order of an attacking Vastwood Gorger (a 5/6 creature) is Pride Guardian (a 0/3 creature) then Llanowar Elves (a 1/1 creature). During the declare blockers step, the defending player casts Giant Growth targeting Pride Guardian, which gives it +3/+3 until end of turn. Vastwood Gorger must assign its 5 damage to the Guardian.

    Example: The damage assignment order of an attacking Vastwood Gorger (a 5/6 creature) is Pride Guardian (a 0/3 creature) then Llanowar Elves (a 1/1 creature). During the declare blockers step, the defending player casts Mending Hands targeting Pride Guardian, which prevents the next 4 damage that would be dealt to it. Vastwood Gorger can assign 3 damage to the Guardian and 2 damage to the Elves, 4 damage to the Guardian and 1 damage to the Elves, or 5 damage to the Guardian.

    Example: The damage assignment order of an attacking Enormous Baloth (a 7/7 creature) is Trained Armodon (a 3/3 creature) that already has 2 damage marked on it, then Foriysian Brigade (a 2/4 creature that can block an additional creature), then Silverback Ape (a 5/5 creature). The damage assignment order of an attacking Durkwood Boars (a 4/4 creature) is the same Foriysian Brigade, then Goblin Piker (a 2/1 creature). Among other possibilities, the active player may have the Baloth assign 1 damage to the Armodon, 1 damage to the Brigade, and 5 damage to the Ape, and have the Boars assign 3 damage to the Brigade and 1 damage to the Piker.

    510.1d. A blocking creature assigns combat damage to the creatures it’s blocking. If it isn’t currently blocking any creatures (if, for example, they were destroyed or removed from combat), it assigns no combat damage. If it’s blocking exactly one creature, it assigns all its combat damage to that creature. If it’s blocking two or more creatures, it assigns its combat damage to those creatures according to the damage assignment order announced for it. This may allow the blocking creature to divide its combat damage. However, it can’t assign combat damage to a creature that it’s blocking unless, when combat damage assignments are complete, each creature that precedes that blocked creature is assigned lethal damage. When checking for assigned lethal damage, take into account damage already marked on the creature and damage from other creatures that’s being assigned during the same combat damage step, but not any abilities or effects that might change the amount of damage that’s actually dealt. An amount of damage that’s greater than a creature’s lethal damage may be assigned to it.

    510.1e. Once a player has assigned combat damage from each attacking or blocking creature he or she controls, the total damage assignment (not solely the damage assignment of any individual attacking or blocking creature) is checked to see if it complies with the above rules. If it doesn't, the combat damage assignment is illegal; the game returns to the moment before that player began to assign combat damage. (See rule 717, "Handling Illegal Actions").

    510.2. Second, all combat damage that’s been assigned is dealt simultaneously. This turn-based action doesn’t use the stack. No player has the chance to cast spells or activate abilities between the time combat damage is assigned and the time it’s dealt. This is a change from previous rules.

    Example: Squadron Hawk (a 1/1 creature with flying) and Goblin Piker (a 2/1 creature) are attacking. Mogg Fanatic (a 1/1 creature with the ability "Sacrifice Mogg Fanatic: Mogg Fanatic deals 1 damage to target creature or player) blocks the Goblin Piker. The defending player sacrifices Mogg Fanatic during the declare blockers step to deal 1 damage to the Squadron Hawk. The Hawk is destroyed. The Piker deals and is dealt no combat damage this turn. If the defending player instead left Mogg Fanatic on the battlefield, the Fanatic and the Piker would have dealt lethal damage to one another, but the Squadron Hawk couldn't have been dealt damage.

    510.3. Third, any abilities that triggered on damage being assigned or dealt go on the stack. (See rule 603, “Handling Triggered Abilities.”)

    510.4. Fourth, the active player gets priority. Players may cast spells and activate abilities.

    510.5. If at least one attacking or blocking creature has first strike (see rule 702.7) or double strike (see rule 702.4) as the combat damage step begins, the only creatures that assign combat damage in that step are those with first strike or double strike. After that step, instead of proceeding to the end of combat step, the phase gets a second combat damage step. The only creatures that assign combat damage in that step are the remaining attackers and blockers that had neither first strike nor double strike as the first combat damage step began, as well as the remaining attackers and blockers that currently have double strike. After that step, the phase proceeds to the end of combat step.


    511.1. First, all “at end of combat” abilities trigger and go on the stack. (See rule 603, “Handling Triggered Abilities.”)

    511.2. Second, the active player gets priority. Players may cast spells and activate abilities.

    511.3. As soon as the end of combat step ends, all creatures and planeswalkers are removed from combat. After the end of combat step ends, the combat phase is over and the postcombat main phase begins (see rule 505).


    512.1. The ending phase consists of two steps: end and cleanup.


    513.1. First, all abilities that trigger “at the beginning of the end step” or “at the beginning of the next end step” go on the stack. (See rule 603, “Handling Triggered Abilities.”)

    513.1a. Previously, abilities that trigger at the beginning of the end step were printed with the trigger condition "at end of turn." Cards that were printed with that text have received errata in the Oracle card reference to say "at the beginning of the end step" or "at the beginning of the next end step."

    513.2. Second, the active player gets priority. Players may cast spells and activate abilities.

    513.3. If a permanent with an ability that triggers “at the beginning of the end step” enters the battlefield during this step, that ability won’t trigger until the next turn’s end step. Likewise, if a delayed triggered ability that triggers “at the beginning of the next end step” is created during this step, that ability won’t trigger until the next turn’s end step. In other words, the step doesn’t “back up” so those abilities can go on the stack. This rule applies only to triggered abilities; it doesn’t apply to continuous effects whose durations say “until end of turn” or “this turn.” (See rule 514, “Cleanup Step.”)


    514.1. First, if the active player’s hand contains more cards than his or her maximum hand size (normally seven), he or she discards enough cards to reduce his or her hand size to that number. This turn-based action doesn’t use the stack.

    514.2. Second, the following actions happen simultaneously: all damage marked on permanents (including phased-out permanents) is removed and all “until end of turn” and “this turn” effects end. This turn-based action doesn’t use the stack.

    514.3. Normally, no player receives priority during the cleanup step, so no spells can be cast and no abilities can be activated. However, this rule is subject to the following exception:

    514.3a. At this point, the game checks to see if any state-based actions would be performed and/or any triggered abilities are waiting to be put onto the stack (including those that trigger “at the beginning of the next cleanup step”). If so, those state-based actions are performed, then those triggered abilities are put on the stack, then the active player gets priority. Players may cast spells and activate abilities. Once the stack is empty and all players pass in succession, another cleanup step begins.




    601.1. Previously, the action of casting a spell, or casting a card as a spell, was referred to on cards as “playing” that spell or that card. Cards that were printed with that text have received errata in the Oracle card reference so they now refer to “casting” that spell or that card.

    601.1a. Some effects still refer to “playing” a card. “Playing a card” means playing that card as a land or casting that card as a spell, whichever is appropriate.

    601.2. To cast a spell is to take it from where it is (usually the hand), put it on the stack, and pay its costs, so that it will eventually resolve and have its effect. Casting a spell follows the steps listed below, in order. If, at any point during the casting of a spell, a player is unable to comply with any of the steps listed below, the casting of the spell is illegal; the game returns to the moment before that spell started to be cast (see rule 717, “Handling Illegal Actions”). Announcements and payments can’t be altered after they’ve been made.

    601.2a. The player announces that he or she is casting the spell. That card (or that copy of a card) moves from where it is to the stack. It becomes the topmost object on the stack. It has all the characteristics of the card (or the copy of a card) associated with it, and that player becomes its controller. The spell remains on the stack until it’s countered, it resolves, or an effect moves it elsewhere.

    601.2b. If the spell is modal the player announces the mode choice (see rule 700.2). If the player wishes to splice any cards onto the spell (see rule 702.46), he or she reveals those cards in his or her hand. If the spell has alternative or additional costs that will be paid as it's being cast such as buyback or kicker costs (see rules 117.8 and 117.9), the player announces his or her intentions to pay any or all of those costs (see rule 601.2e). A player can't apply two alternative methods of casting or two alternative costs to a single spell. If the spell has a variable cost that will be paid as it's being cast (such as an X in its mana cost; see rule 107.3), the player announces the value of that variable. If a cost that will be paid as the spell is being cast includes hybrid mana symbols, the player announces the nonhybrid equivalent cost he or she intends to pay. If a cost that will be paid as the spell is being cast includes Phyrexian mana symbols, the player announces whether he or she intends to pay 2 life or the corresponding colored mana cost for each of those symbols. Previously made choices (such as choosing to cast a spell with flashback from a graveyard or choosing to cast a creature with morph face down) may restrict the player's options when making these choices.

    601.2c. The player announces his or her choice of an appropriate player, object, or zone for each target the spell requires. A spell may require some targets only if an alternative or additional cost (such as a buyback or kicker cost), or a particular mode, was chosen for it; otherwise, the spell is cast as though it did not require those targets. If the spell has a variable number of targets, the player announces how many targets he or she will choose before he or she announces those targets. The same target can’t be chosen multiple times for any one instance of the word “target” on the spell. However, if the spell uses the word “target” in multiple places, the same object, player, or zone can be chosen once for each instance of the word “target” (as long as it fits the targeting criteria). If any effects say that an object or player must be chosen as a target, the player chooses targets so that he or she obeys the maximum possible number of such effects without violating any rules or effects that say that an object or player can’t be chosen as a target. The chosen players, objects, and/or zones each become a target of that spell. (Any abilities that trigger when those players, objects, and/or zones become the target of a spell trigger at this point; they’ll wait to be put on the stack until the spell has finished being cast.)

    Example: If a spell says “Tap two target creatures,” then the same creature can’t be chosen twice; the spell requires two different legal targets. A spell that says “Destroy target artifact and target land,” however, can target the same artifact land twice because it uses the word “target” in multiple places.

    601.2d. If the spell requires the player to divide or distribute an effect (such as damage or counters) among one or more targets, the player announces the division. Each of these targets must receive at least one of whatever is being divided.

    601.2e. The player determines the total cost of the spell. Usually this is just the mana cost. Some spells have additional or alternative costs. Some effects may increase or reduce the cost to pay, or may provide other alternative costs. Costs may include paying mana, tapping permanents, sacrificing permanents, discarding cards, and so on. The total cost is the mana cost or alternative cost (as determined in rule 601.2b), plus all additional costs and cost increases, and minus all cost reductions. If the mana component of the total cost is reduced to nothing by cost reduction effects, it is considered to be 0. It can’t be reduced to less than 0. Once the total cost is determined, any effects that directly affect the total cost are applied. Then the resulting total cost becomes “locked in.” If effects would change the total cost after this time, they have no effect.

    601.2f. If the total cost includes a mana payment, the player then has a chance to activate mana abilities (see rule 605, “Mana Abilities”). Mana abilities must be activated before costs are paid.

    601.2g. The player pays the total cost in any order. Partial payments are not allowed. Unpayable costs can’t be paid.

    Example: You cast Altar's Reap, which costs 1B and has an additional cost of sacrificing a creature. You sacrifice Thunderscape Familiar, whose effect makes your black spells cost 1 less to cast. Because a spell's total cost is "locked in" before payments are actually made, you pay B, not 1B, even though you're sacrificing the Familiar.

    601.2h. Once the steps described in 601.2a–g are completed, the spell becomes cast. Any abilities that trigger when a spell is cast or put onto the stack trigger at this time. If the spell’s controller had priority before casting it, he or she gets priority.

    601.3. Some spells specify that one of their controller’s opponents does something the controller would normally do while it’s being cast, such as choose a mode or choose targets. In these cases, the opponent does so when the spell’s controller normally would do so.

    601.3a. If there is more than one opponent who could make such a choice, the spell’s controller decides which of those opponents will make the choice.

    601.3b. If the spell instructs its controller and another player to do something at the same time as the spell is being cast, the spell’s controller goes first, then the other player. This is an exception to rule 101.4.

    601.4. Casting a spell that alters costs won’t affect spells and abilities that are already on the stack.

    601.5. A player can’t begin to cast a spell that’s prohibited from being cast.

    601.5a. If an effect allows a card that’s prohibited from being cast to be cast face down, and the face-down spell would not be prohibited, that spell can be cast face down. See rule 707, “Face-Down Spells and Permanents.”


    602.1. Activated abilities have a cost and an effect. They are written as “[Cost]: [Effect.] [Activation instructions (if any).]”

    602.1a. The activation cost is everything before the colon (:). An ability’s activation cost must be paid by the player who is activating it.

    Example: The activation cost of an ability that reads “2, T: You gain 1 life” is two mana of any type plus tapping the permanent that has the ability.

    602.1b. Some text after the colon of an activated ability states instructions that must be followed while activating that ability. Such text may state which players can activate that ability, may restrict when a player can activate the ability, or may define some aspect of the activation cost. This text is not part of the ability’s effect. It functions at all times. If an activated ability has any activation instructions, they appear last, after the ability’s effect.

    602.1c. An activated ability is the only kind of ability that can be activated. If an object or rule refers to activating an ability without specifying what kind, it must be referring to an activated ability.

    602.1d. Previously, the action of using an activated ability was referred to on cards as "playing" that ability. Cards that were printed with that text have received errata in the Oracle card reference so they now refer to "activating" that ability.

    602.2. To activate an ability is to put it onto the stack and pay its costs, so that it will eventually resolve and have its effect. Only an object’s controller (or its owner, if it doesn’t have a controller) can activate its activated ability unless the object specifically says otherwise. Activating an ability follows the steps listed below, in order. If, at any point during the activation of an ability, a player is unable to comply with any of those steps, the activation is illegal; the game returns to the moment before that ability started to be activated (see rule 717, “Handling Illegal Actions”). Announcements and payments can’t be altered after they’ve been made.

    602.2a. The player announces that he or she is activating the ability. If an activated ability is being activated from a hidden zone, the card that has that ability is revealed. That ability is created on the stack as an object that’s not a card. It becomes the topmost object on the stack. It has the text of the ability that created it, and no other characteristics. Its controller is the player who activated the ability. The ability remains on the stack until it’s countered, it resolves, or an effect moves it elsewhere.

    602.2b. The remainder of the process for activating an ability is identical to the process for casting a spell listed in rules 601.2b–h. Those rules apply to activating an ability just as they apply to casting a spell. An activated ability’s analog to a spell’s mana cost (as referenced in rule 601.2e) is its activation cost.

    602.3. Some abilities specify that one of their controller’s opponents does something the controller would normally do while it’s being activated, such as choose a mode or choose targets. In these cases, the opponent does so when the ability’s controller normally would do so.

    602.3a. If there is more than one opponent who could make such a choice, the ability’s controller decides which of those opponents will make the choice.

    602.3b. If the ability instructs its controller and another player to do something at the same time as the ability is being activated, the ability’s controller goes first, then the other player. This is an exception to rule 101.4.

    602.4. Activating an ability that alters costs won’t affect spells and abilities that are already on the stack.

    602.5. A player can’t begin to activate an ability that’s prohibited from being activated.

    602.5a. A creature’s activated ability with the tap symbol (T) or the untap symbol (Q) in its activation cost can’t be activated unless the creature has been under its controller’s control since the start of his or her most recent turn. Ignore this rule for creatures with haste (see rule 702.10).

    602.5b. If an activated ability has a restriction on its use (for example, “Activate this ability only once each turn”), the restriction continues to apply to that object even if its controller changes.

    602.5c. If an object acquires an activated ability with a restriction on its use from another object, that restriction applies only to that ability as acquired from that object. It doesn’t apply to other, identically worded abilities.

    602.5d. Activated abilities that read “Activate this ability only any time you could cast a sorcery” mean the player must follow the timing rules for casting a sorcery spell, though the ability isn’t actually a sorcery. The player doesn’t actually need to have a sorcery card that he or she could cast.

    602.5e. Activated abilities that read “Activate this ability only any time you could cast an instant” mean the player must follow the timing rules for casting an instant spell, though the ability isn’t actually an instant. The player doesn’t actually need to have an instant card that he or she could cast.


    603.1. Triggered abilities have a trigger condition and an effect. They are written as “[Trigger condition], [effect],” and begin with the word “when,” “whenever,” or “at.” They can also be expressed as “[When/Whenever/At] [trigger event], [effect].”

    603.2. Whenever a game event or game state matches a triggered ability’s trigger event, that ability automatically triggers. The ability doesn’t do anything at this point.

    603.2a. Because they aren’t cast or activated, triggered abilities can trigger even when it isn’t legal to cast spells and activate abilities. Effects that prevent abilities from being activated don’t affect them.

    603.2b. When a phase or step begins, all abilities that trigger “at the beginning of” that phase or step trigger.

    603.2c. An ability triggers only once each time its trigger event occurs. However, it can trigger repeatedly if one event contains multiple occurrences. See also rule 509.4.

    Example: A permanent has an ability whose trigger condition reads, “Whenever a land is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, . . . .” If someone casts a spell that destroys all lands, the ability will trigger once for each land put into the graveyard during the spell’s resolution.

    603.2d. Some trigger events use the word "becomes" (for example, "becomes attached" or "becomes blocked"). These trigger only at the time the named event happens -- they don't trigger if that state already exists or retrigger if it persists. An ability that triggers when a permanent "becomes tapped" or "becomes untapped" doesn't trigger if the permanent enters the battlefield in that state.

    Example: An ability that triggers when a permanent “becomes tapped” triggers only when the status of a permanent that’s already on the battlefield changes from untapped to tapped.

    603.2e. If a triggered ability’s trigger condition is met, but the object with that triggered ability is at no time visible to all players, the ability does not trigger.

    603.2f. An ability triggers only if its trigger event actually occurs. An event that’s prevented or replaced won’t trigger anything.

    Example: An ability that triggers on damage being dealt won’t trigger if all the damage is prevented.

    603.3. Once an ability has triggered, its controller puts it on the stack as an object that’s not a card the next time a player would receive priority. See rule 116, “Timing and Priority.” The ability becomes the topmost object on the stack. It has the text of the ability that created it, and no other characteristics. It remains on the stack until it’s countered, it resolves, a rule causes it to be removed from the stack, or an effect moves it elsewhere.

    603.3a. A triggered ability is controlled by the player who controlled its source at the time it triggered, unless it’s a delayed triggered ability. To determine the controller of a delayed triggered ability, see rules 603.7d–f.

    603.3b. If multiple abilities have triggered since the last time a player received priority, each player, in APNAP order, puts triggered abilities he or she controls on the stack in any order he or she chooses. (See rule 101.4.) Then the game once again checks for and resolves state-based actions until none are performed, then abilities that triggered during this process go on the stack. This process repeats until no new state-based actions are performed and no abilities trigger. Then the appropriate player gets priority.

    603.3c. If a triggered ability is modal, its controller announces the mode choice when he or she puts the ability on the stack. If one of the modes would be illegal (due to an inability to choose legal targets, for example), that mode can’t be chosen. If no mode can be chosen, the ability is removed from the stack. (See rule 700.2.)

    603.3d. The remainder of the process for putting a triggered ability on the stack is identical to the process for casting a spell listed in rules 601.2c–d. If a choice is required when the triggered ability goes on the stack but no legal choices can be made for it, or if a rule or a continuous effect otherwise makes the ability illegal, the ability is simply removed from the stack.

    603.4. A triggered ability may read “When/Whenever/At [trigger event], if [condition], [effect].” When the trigger event occurs, the ability checks whether the stated condition is true. The ability triggers only if it is; otherwise it does nothing. If the ability triggers, it checks the stated condition again as it resolves. If the condition isn’t true at that time, the ability is removed from the stack and does nothing. Note that this mirrors the check for legal targets. This rule is referred to as the “intervening ‘if’ clause” rule. (The word “if” has only its normal English meaning anywhere else in the text of a card; this rule only applies to an “if” that immediately follows a trigger condition.)

    Example: Felidar Sovereign reads, “At the beginning of your upkeep, if you have 40 or more life, you win the game.” Its controller’s life total is checked as that player’s upkeep begins. If that player has 39 or less life, the ability doesn’t trigger at all. If that player has 40 or more life, the ability triggers and goes on the stack. As the ability resolves, that player’s life total is checked again. If that player has 39 or less life at this time, the ability is removed from the stack and has no effect. If that player has 40 or more life at this time, the ability resolves and that player wins the game.

    603.5. Some triggered abilities’ effects are optional (they contain “may,” as in “At the beginning of your upkeep, you may draw a card”). These abilities go on the stack when they trigger, regardless of whether their controller intends to exercise the ability’s option or not. The choice is made when the ability resolves. Likewise, triggered abilities that have an effect “unless” something is true or a player chooses to do something will go on the stack normally; the “unless” part of the ability is dealt with when the ability resolves.

    603.6. Trigger events that involve objects changing zones are called “zone-change triggers.” Many abilities with zone-change triggers attempt to do something to that object after it changes zones. During resolution, these abilities look for the object in the zone that it moved to. If the object is unable to be found in the zone it went to, the part of the ability attempting to do something to the object will fail to do anything. The ability could be unable to find the object because the object never entered the specified zone, because it left the zone before the ability resolved, or because it is in a zone that is hidden from a player, such as a library or an opponent’s hand. (This rule applies even if the object leaves the zone and returns again before the ability resolves.) The most common zone-change triggers are enters-the-battlefield triggers and leaves-the-battlefield triggers.

    603.6a. Enters-the-battlefield abilities trigger when a permanent enters the battlefield. These are written, “When [this object] enters the battlefield, ..." or “Whenever a [type] enters the battlefield, ...” Each time an event puts one or more permanents onto the battlefield, all permanents on the battlefield (including the newcomers) are checked for any enters-the-battlefield triggers that match the event.

    603.6b. Continuous effects that modify characteristics of a permanent do so the moment the permanent is on the battlefield (and not before then). The permanent is never on the battlefield with its unmodified characteristics. Continuous effects don’t apply before the permanent is on the battlefield, however (see rule 603.6e).

    Example: If an effect reads “All lands are creatures” and a land card is played, the effect makes the land card into a creature the moment it enters the battlefield, so it would trigger abilities that trigger when a creature enters the battlefield. Conversely, if an effect reads “All creatures lose all abilities” and a creature card with an enters-the-battlefield triggered ability enters the battlefield, that effect will cause it to lose its abilities the moment it enters the battlefield, so the enters-the-battlefield ability won’t trigger.

    603.6c. Leaves-the-battlefield abilities trigger when a permanent moves from the battlefield to another zone, or when a phased-in permanent leaves the game because its owner leaves the game. These are written as, but aren’t limited to, “When [this object] leaves the battlefield, . . .” or “Whenever [something] is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, . . . .” An ability that attempts to do something to the card that left the battlefield checks for it only in the first zone that it went to. An ability that triggers when a card is put into a certain zone “from anywhere” is never treated as a leaves-the-battlefield ability, even if an object is put into that zone from the battlefield.

    603.6d. Normally, objects that exist immediately after an event are checked to see if the event matched any trigger conditions. Continuous effects that exist at that time are used to determine what the trigger conditions are and what the objects involved in the event look like. However, some triggered abilities must be treated specially. Leaves-the-battlefield abilities, abilities that trigger when a permanent phases out, abilities that trigger when an object that all players can see is put into a hand or library, abilities that trigger specifically when an object becomes unattached, abilities that trigger when a player loses control of an object, and abilities that trigger when a player planeswalks away from a plane will trigger based on their existence, and the appearance of objects, prior to the event rather than afterward. The game has to “look back in time” to determine if these abilities trigger.

    Example: Two creatures are on the battlefield along with an artifact that has the ability “Whenever a creature dies, you gain 1 life.” Someone plays a spell that destroys all artifacts, creatures, and enchantments. The artifact’s ability triggers twice, even though the artifact goes to its owner’s graveyard at the same time as the creatures.

    603.6e. Some permanents have text that reads “[This permanent] enters the battlefield with . . . ,” “As [this permanent] enters the battlefield . . . ,” “[This permanent] enters the battlefield as . . . ,” or “[This permanent] enters the battlefield tapped.” Such text is a static ability—not a triggered ability—whose effect occurs as part of the event that puts the permanent onto the battlefield.

    603.6f. Some Auras have triggered abilities that trigger on the enchanted permanent leaving the battlefield. These triggered abilities can find the new object that permanent card became in the zone it moved to; they can also find the new object the Aura card became in its owner’s graveyard after state-based actions have been checked. See rule 400.7.

    603.7. An effect may create a delayed triggered ability that can do something at a later time. A delayed triggered ability will contain “when,” “whenever,” or “at,” although that word won’t usually begin the ability.

    603.7a. Delayed triggered abilities come from spells or other abilities that create them on resolution, or are created as the result of a replacement effect being applied. That means a delayed triggered ability won’t trigger until it has actually been created, even if its trigger event occurred just beforehand. Other events that happen earlier may make the trigger event impossible.

    Example: Part of an effect reads “When this creature leaves the battlefield,” but the creature in question leaves the battlefield before the spell or ability creating the effect resolves. In this case, the delayed ability never triggers.

    Example: If an effect reads “When this creature becomes untapped” and the named creature becomes untapped before the effect resolves, the ability waits for the next time that creature untaps.

    603.7b. A delayed triggered ability will trigger only once—the next time its trigger event occurs—unless it has a stated duration, such as “this turn.”

    603.7c. A delayed triggered ability that refers to a particular object still affects it even if the object changes characteristics. However, if that object is no longer in the zone it’s expected to be in at the time the delayed triggered ability resolves, the ability won’t affect it. (Note that if that object left that zone and then returned, it’s a new object and thus won’t be affected. See rule 400.7.)

    Example: An ability that reads “Exile this creature at the beginning of the next end step” will exile the permanent even if it’s no longer a creature during the next end step. However, it won’t do anything if the permanent left the battlefield before then.

    603.7d. If a spell creates a delayed triggered ability, the source of that delayed triggered ability is that spell. The controller of that delayed triggered ability is the player who controlled that spell as it resolved.

    603.7e. If an activated or triggered ability creates a delayed triggered ability, the source of that delayed triggered ability is the same as the source of that other ability. The controller of that delayed triggered ability is the player who controlled that other ability as it resolved.

    603.7f. If a static ability generates a replacement effect which causes a delayed triggered ability to be created, the source of that delayed triggered ability is the object with that static ability. The controller of that delayed triggered ability is the same as the controller of that object at the time the replacement effect was applied.

    603.8. Some triggered abilities trigger when a game state (such as a player controlling no permanents of a particular card type) is true, rather than triggering when an event occurs. These abilities trigger as soon as the game state matches the condition. They'll go onto the stack at the next available opportunity. These are called state triggers. (Note that state triggers aren't the same as state-based actions.) A state-triggered ability doesn't trigger again until the ability has resolved, has been countered, or has otherwise left the stack. Then, if the object with the ability is still in the same zone and the game state still matches its trigger condition, the ability will trigger again.

    Example: A permanent’s ability reads, “Whenever you have no cards in hand, draw a card.” If its controller plays the last card from his or her hand, the ability will trigger once and won’t trigger again until it has resolved. If its controller casts a spell that reads “Discard your hand, then draw that many cards,” the ability will trigger during the spell’s resolution because the player’s hand was momentarily empty.

    603.9. Some triggered abilities trigger specifically when a player loses the game. These abilities trigger when a player loses or leaves the game, regardless of the reason, unless that player leaves the game as the result of a draw. See rule 104.3.

    603.10. Some objects have a static ability that’s linked to a triggered ability. (See rule 607, “Linked Abilities.”) These objects combine both abilities into one paragraph, with the static ability first, followed by the triggered ability. A very few objects have triggered abilities which are written with the trigger condition in the middle of the ability, rather than at the beginning.

    Example: An ability that reads “Reveal the first card you draw each turn. Whenever you reveal a basic land card this way, draw a card” is a static ability linked to a triggered ability.


    604.1. Static abilities do something all the time rather than being activated or triggered. They are written as statements, and they’re simply true.

    604.2. Static abilities create continuous effects, some of which are prevention effects or replacement effects. These effects are active as long as the permanent with the ability remains on the battlefield and has the ability, or as long as the object with the ability remains in the appropriate zone, as described in rule 112.6.

    604.3. Some static abilities are characteristic-defining abilities. A characteristic-defining ability conveys information about an object’s characteristics that would normally be found elsewhere on that object (such as in its mana cost, type line, or power/toughness box). Characteristic-defining abilities function in all zones. They also function outside the game.

    604.3a. A static ability is a characteristic-defining ability if it meets the following criteria: (1) It defines an object’s colors, subtypes, power, or toughness; (2) it is printed on the card it affects, it was granted to the token it affects by the effect that created the token, or it was acquired by the object it affects as the result of a copy effect or text-changing effect; (3) it does not directly affect the characteristics of any other objects; (4) it is not an ability that an object grants to itself; and (5) it does not set the values of such characteristics only if certain conditions are met.

    604.4. Many Auras, Equipment, and Fortifications have static abilities that modify the object they’re attached to, but those abilities don’t target that object. If an Aura, Equipment, or Fortification is moved to a different object, the ability stops applying to the original object and starts modifying the new one.

    604.5. Some static abilities apply while a spell is on the stack. These are often abilities that refer to countering the spell. Also, abilities that say “As an additional cost to cast ...,” “You may pay [cost] rather than pay [this object]’s mana cost,” and “You may cast [this object] without paying its mana cost” work while a spell is on the stack.

    604.6. Some static abilities apply while a card is in any zone that you could cast or play it from (usually your hand). These are limited to those that read, “You may [cast/play] [this card] ...,” “You can’t [cast/play] [this card] ...,” and “[Cast/Play] [this card] only ...”

    604.7. Unlike spells and other kinds of abilities, static abilities can’t use an object’s last known information for purposes of determining how their effects are applied.


    605.1. Some activated abilities and some triggered abilities are mana abilities, which are subject to special rules. Only abilities that meet either of the following two sets of criteria are mana abilities, regardless of what other effects they may generate or what timing restrictions (such as “Activate this ability only any time you could cast an instant”) they may have.

    605.1a. An activated ability is a mana ability if it meets three criteria: it doesn't have a target, it could put mana into a player's mana pool when it resolves, and it's not a loyalty ability. (See rule 606, "Loyalty Abilities.")

    605.1b. A triggered ability without a target that triggers from activating a mana ability and could put mana into a player’s mana pool when it resolves is a mana ability.

    605.2. A mana ability remains a mana ability even if the game state doesn’t allow it to produce mana.

    Example: A permanent has an ability that reads “T: Add G to your mana pool for each creature you control.” This is still a mana ability even if you control no creatures or if the permanent is already tapped.

    605.3. Activating an activated mana ability follows the rules for activating any other activated ability (see rule 602.2), with the following exceptions:

    605.3a. A player may activate an activated mana ability whenever he or she has priority, whenever he or she is casting a spell or activating an ability that requires a mana payment, or whenever a rule or effect asks for a mana payment, even if it’s in the middle of casting or resolving a spell or activating or resolving an ability.

    605.3b. An activated mana ability doesn’t go on the stack, so it can’t be targeted, countered, or otherwise responded to. Rather, it resolves immediately after it is activated. (See rule 405.6c.)

    605.4. Triggered mana abilities follow all the rules for other triggered abilities (see rule 603, “Handling Triggered Abilities”), with the following exception:

    605.4a. A triggered mana ability doesn’t go on the stack, so it can’t be targeted, countered, or otherwise responded to. Rather, it resolves immediately after the mana ability that triggered it, without waiting for priority.

    Example: An enchantment reads, "Whenever a player taps a land for mana, that player adds one mana to his or her mana pool of any type that land produced." If a player taps lands for mana while casting a spell, the additional mana is added to the player's mana pool immediately and can be used to pay for the spell.

    605.5. Abilities that don’t meet the criteria specified in rules 605.1a–b and spells aren’t mana abilities.

    605.5a. An ability with a target is not a mana ability, even if it could put mana into a player’s mana pool when it resolves. The same is true for a triggered ability that could produce mana but triggers from an event other than activating a mana ability, or a triggered ability that triggers from activating a mana ability but couldn’t produce mana. These follow the normal rules for activated or triggered abilities, as appropriate.

    605.5b. A spell can never be a mana ability, even if it could put mana into a player’s mana pool when it resolves. It’s cast and resolves just like any other spell. Some older cards were printed with the card type “mana source”; these cards have received errata in the Oracle card reference and are now instants.


    606.1. Some activated abilities are loyalty abilities, which are subject to special rules.

    606.2. An activated ability with a loyalty symbol in its cost is a loyalty ability. Normally, only planeswalkers have loyalty abilities.

    606.3. A player may activate a loyalty ability of a permanent he or she controls any time he or she has priority and the stack is empty during a main phase of his or her turn, but only if no player has previously activated a loyalty ability of that permanent that turn.

    606.4. The cost to activate a loyalty ability of a permanent is to put on or remove from that permanent a certain number of loyalty counters, as shown by the loyalty symbol in the ability’s cost.

    606.5. A loyalty ability with a negative loyalty cost can’t be activated unless the permanent has at least that many loyalty counters on it.


    607.1. An object may have two abilities printed on it such that one of them causes actions to be taken or objects or players to be affected and the other one directly refers to those actions, objects, or players. If so, these two abilities are linked: the second refers only to actions that were taken or objects or players that were affected by the first, and not by any other ability.

    607.1a. An ability printed on an object within another ability that grants that ability to that object is still considered to be “printed on” that object for these purposes.

    607.1b. An ability printed on an object that fulfills both criteria described in rule 607.1 is linked to itself.

    607.2. There are different kinds of linked abilities.

    607.2a. If an object has an activated or triggered ability printed on it that instructs a player to exile one or more cards and an ability printed on it that refers either to “the exiled cards” or to cards “exiled with [this object],” these abilities are linked. The second ability refers only to cards in the exile zone that were put there as a result of an instruction to exile them in the first ability.

    607.2b. If an object has an ability printed on it that generates a replacement effect which causes one or more cards to be exiled and an ability printed on it that refers either to "the exiled cards" or to cards "exiled with [this object]," these abilities are linked. The second ability refers only to cards in the exile zone that were put there as a direct result of a replacement event caused by the first ability. See rule 614, “Replacement Effects.”

    607.2c. If an object has an activated or triggered ability printed on it that puts one or more objects onto the battlefield and an ability printed on it that refers to objects "put onto the battlefield with [this object]," those abilities are linked. The second can refer only to objects put onto the battlefield as a result of the first.

    607.2d. If an object has an ability printed on it that causes a player to "choose a [value]" or "name a card" and an ability printed on it that refers to "the chosen [value]," "the last chosen [value]," or "the named card," those abilities are linked. The second ability refers only to a choice made as a result of the first ability.

    607.2e. If an object has an ability printed on it that causes a player to choose from between two or more words that otherwise have no rules meaning and an ability printed on it that refers to a choice involving one or more of those words, those abilities are linked. The second can refer only to a choice made as a result of the first ability.

    607.2f. If an object has an ability printed on it that causes a player to pay a cost as it enters the battlefield and an ability printed on it that refers to the cost paid “as [this object] entered the battlefield,” these abilities are linked. The second ability refers only to a cost paid as a result of the first ability.