Magic: The Gathering is a collectible card game with extremely detailed and at times complex rules. However, only a basic understanding of the rules is necessary to play the game. The most important rule is that if the text on a card contradicts a game rule, the card text always takes precedence. Magic is thus constantly breaking its own rules, making it a highly challenging and intricate game.

Wizards of the Coast makes the Comprehensive Rules of the game available on its Web site.

Areas of play[]

At any given time, every card is located in one of the following "zones":

Library: A player's deck. These cards are kept face down and should be randomly ordered (shuffled) to begin the game. A deck must have a minimum of 40 cards when using limited play (constructing decks from a limited card pool via either drafting or sealed deck), or a minimum of 60 cards when using constructed play (bring decks constructed from whatever cards the player has available).

Graveyard: A player's discard pile. When a card in play is destroyed, it is put in its owner's graveyard. These cards are face up, and can be examined by any player at any time. The order at which the cards are cannot be changed by anybody. PLayers when discarding cards can choose the order at which each card is discarded.

Hand: A player's hand of cards that can be played. They are kept hidden from other players. The number of cards each player has is public. If a player has more than seven cards in their hand, they must discard any extras at the end of their turn unless a card says otherwise.

In play: Most cards need to be put into play to have an effect in the game. Unlike other zones, the in play zone is shared by all players.

The stack: This is the place for cards that have been played from hand but not yet resolved. While on the stack, they are called "spells." This zone is also shared by all players. See the stack.

Removed from Game: Cards that have been removed from the game by a certain effect wind up here. Unless a card says otherwise, cards in this zone are face-up.

Beginning and ending the game[]

At the beginning of a game, each player shuffles his or her deck. For a standard game, each player's deck must contain at least 40 cards. A randomly selected player decides which player will take the first turn. Each player then draws seven cards from his or her library to form his or her starting hand. In turn order, each player may then decide to mulligan; that player shuffles his or her hand and library together and draws a new hand of one less card. A player can do this as many times as he or she wishes, drawing one less card each time.

The player who takes the first turn does not draw a card for that turn.

A player wins the game by eliminating all opponents. Players begin the game with 20 life; if a player ever has 0 or less life, he or she immediately loses. Additionally, if a player is required to draw a card but has no cards left in his or her library, he or she loses. Specific cards may dictate other ways of winning or losing the game.

Paying costs[]

Tapping and untapping[]

To tap a card means to temporarily use it. Tapped cards are turned sideways to indicate that they have been used for certain purposes that turn, and may not be used that way again that turn. At the beginning of each player's turn, that player untaps all cards he or she controls and returns them to their original orientation, allowing them to be used again. The mechanic allows cards to be used only once per turn cycle.

Mana pool and Mana burn[]

When a card that produces mana is tapped for mana, that mana is put in the "Mana Pool". Mana in the Mana pool can be used to pay card costs, or they can "float". For example, It is the first turn for a player. That player plays a Swamp. He then Taps that swamp to add a black mana to his mana pool. Then, he uses that mana in the mana pool to play a dark ritual. Dark ritual adds 3 black mana to that player's mana pool. He then uses Two of them to play Night's Whisper, which costs 1 colorless and 1 black (1B). The player used two of the three black mana that is on his mana pool. The one left over is "floating" meaning it can be used any time during the main phase. At the end of main phases, any "floating mana" is burned, and if that player did not use the last black mana to play anything else during his main phase, that "floating" black mana is then removed from that player's Mana pool and the player takes 1 damage. Players take damage for each mana unused on the mana pool.

Mana costs and colors[]

All cards except lands have a mana cost. This is the amount of mana that must be spent to play that card as a spell. Each mana symbol in the top right corner of the card represents one mana of that color that must be paid. There may be a number in a gray circle next to the mana symbols. This represents how much additional mana must be paid; this additional mana can be of any color or colorless.

Wiki mana

These cards all cost 3 mana to play.

For example, these four cards all cost 3 mana. However, the card on the left requires three black mana, while the card on the right can be paid for with three mana of any color or combination of colors. The middle two cards require 2 and 1 mana, respectively, that must be black; the remainder can be any color. Note that the first three cards are black, but Disrupting Scepter is colorless.


These cards are both green and black regardless of how they enter play.

Some cards may require their owner to pay mana of two or more colors. These cards have multiple colors. Some cards also use hybrid mana (sometimes called guild mana), which can be paid with one of two different colours. For example, the card Golgari Guildmage can be played by spending either two black, two green, or one black and one green mana. In all cases, a card's color is determined by the mana symbols in its cost, and not by the specific mana used to play it. A card's color can change from effects of other cards.


There are three main types of abilities that cards in play, or "permanents," may have: activated abilities, triggered abilities, and static abilities.

Activated abilities are abilities of a card that their controller can use whenever he or she wants (and can pay for it). These abilities are always written in the form "{Cost}: {Effect}". Paying the cost allows a player to produce the effect. Costs may include paying mana, tapping the card, discarding cards, or other things. Like instants, these abilities can be played at nearly any time during the game (see timing and the stack). Activated Abilities, like instants, go on the stack.

Triggered abilities are not used by any player, but simply look for a particular event, time, or game state, and then produce an effect when that event/time/state occurs. These abilities contain a trigger condition (which will use one of the words 'when, 'whenever', or 'at'), usually at the start of the ability, and then an effect. Whenever the trigger condition is met, the card puts the effect on the stack. The card may also lay out additional conditions that must be met for the effect to occur (using the word "if"). Note that abilities starting with "as" or "if" are not triggered abilities and therefore does not use the stack.

Triggered abilities are automatically "played" whenever their condition is met. They go on the stack and resolve like other spells and abilities. If multiple triggered abilities' conditions are met at the same time, those controlled by the active player are put on the stack first. Each player may choose the order in which his or her triggered abilities are played. Triggered abilities are played by the card that produces the effect, not the player who controls that card.

Static abilities are general effects that alter cards in play or the rules of the game. If an ability is not activated or triggered, it is static. These abilities are always "on". Static abilities only work while the card is in play, unless otherwise stated or if the ability only makes sense if it applies from a different zone. For example, a card that refers to playing itself from the graveyard will only work from the graveyard; one that refers to playing any other card from the graveyard will not. A static ability takes effect as soon as the card is in play. Once the card leaves play, the ability stops working. Static abilities never use the stack, although they may change the game state and trigger triggered abilities.

Types of cards[]


Land cards tap to produce mana that is used to play other cards. They cost no mana to play; however, a player may play no more than one land on each of his or her turns. There are five types of basic lands, one for each color. These lands can each be tapped to produce one mana of the appropriate color. Other lands are non-basic and may produce other combinations or amounts of mana, or may have other abilities. Lands are not spells and cannot be countered. Playing a land does not use the stack.

The five basic lands

Kami Shivan


Creatures represent people or beasts that are summoned to attack opposing players and defend their controller from the attacks of enemy creatures. Once in play, they do not require any additional mana unless they specifically say so. They cannot attack or use an ability with the "tap symbol" in its cost on the first turn they come into play. This is informally known as "summoning sickness." Creatures have two values that represent their strength in combat: power and toughness. These values are printed on the lower right-hand corner of the card, with a slash separating them. The first number is the creature's power; the amount of damage it deals in combat. The second number is its toughness; if it receives that much damage in a single turn, it is destroyed and placed in the graveyard.

Creatures also have one or more creature types, located after the word "creature" in the type line. Creature types are simply markers and have no inherent abilities; for example, being a Bird does not automatically give a creature the flying ability. Some non-creature cards have the "Tribal" type, which allows them to have creature types without being creatures themselves.

Enchantments Artifacts 9th


Enchantments represent persistent magical effects; they are spells that remain in play and alter some aspect of the game.

Some enchantments are attached to other cards in play (often creatures); these are known as Auras. They describe what they can be attached to in their "Enchant <something>" ability. For example, an Aura with "Enchant green creature" can only be attached to a green creature. If the card an Aura is attached to leaves play, or stops matching the Enchant ability, the Aura goes to the graveyard.


Artifacts represent magical items, animated constructs, pieces of equipment, or other objects and devices. Like enchantments, artifacts remain in play until something removes them. Artifacts are distinct from other cards in that they are colorless, and can be played using any color or colors of mana.

Many artifacts are also creatures; they may attack and defend as other creatures, and are affected by anything that affects either artifacts or creatures.

Some artifacts are Equipment. Equipment cards come into play just like any other artifact, but may be attached to creatures using their Equip ability. Unlike Auras, however, if an Equipment is attached to a creature and the creature is killed, the Equipment stays in play.


Planeswalkers are powerful spellcasters that can be recruited to help a player. A planeswalker card is cast the same as any other spell, and remains in play once cast. Each planeswalker has a planeswalker type; if one is in play and another with the same planeswalker type is played, both are put into their owner's graveyards.

Planeswalkers' abilities are based on their loyalty, which is tracked with counters. A planeswalker card has a number printed in the lower right corner; this is its starting loyalty, and it comes into play with that many loyalty counters. The planeswalker's abilities each have a positive or negative loyalty cost; this is how many counters must be added (if positive) or removed (if negative) to play that ability. Abilities with negative loyalty costs may only be played if there are enough loyalty counters to remove. Regardless of the loyalty costs, a single planeswalker may only use one of its abilities once per turn, and only on its controller's turn during his or her main phase.[1]

Although they are not creatures, planeswalkers may be affected by damage. Whenever damage is dealt to a planeswalker, remove that many loyalty counters from it. A planeswalker with no loyalty counters, either through use of its abilities or through damage, is put into its owner's graveyard. There are two ways to deal damage to a planeswalker. If a player uses any spell or ability that would deal damage to an opponent, the player may instead choose to deal the damage to one of that opponent's planeswalkers. Note that planeswalkers are neither creatures nor players, so most spells and abilities cannot target them directly. Additionally, if a player attacks an opponent who controls a planeswalker, the player may declare any or all of the attacking creatures to be attacking the planeswalker instead. Those creatures may be blocked normally, but if not blocked deal damage to the planeswalker instead of the player. Planeswalkers count as Permanents.


All objects that remain in play are called 'Permanents'. So Lands, Creatures, Enchantments, Artifacts and Planeswalkers are all types of Permanent.

Soul Feast Naturalize

Sorceries and Instants[]

Sorceries and instants both represent one-shot or short-term magical spells. They are never put into the in-play zone. Instead, they take effect and then are immediately put into the player's graveyard. Despite the similarities, the sorceries and instants are two distinct card types.

Sorceries and instants differ only in when they can be played. Sorceries may only be played during the player's main phases, and only when nothing else is on the stack. Instants, on the other hand, can be played at any time, including during other player's turns and while another spell or ability is waiting to resolve (see timing and the stack).

Parts of a turn[]

Force of nature

This creature requires four green mana during its controller's upkeep step, or it damages its controller. Since a player untaps first, four of the same lands used to play the card may be tapped to pay its upkeep cost every turn.

Beginning phase[]

The beginning phase is composed of three parts, or "steps." The first thing a player does is untap all cards he or she controls in the "untap step." Then, any abilities that trigger on the "upkeep step" happen. These often include cards that require mana payments every turn. Then the player draws a card in the "draw step." The player who takes the first turn does not draw a card on the first turn as a balancing factor.

First main phase[]

Most of the game's actions happen during the main phase. With the exception of Instants and cards with flash, cards can only be played during a player's main phase. At the end of the first main phase, mana burn occurs.

Combat phase[]

The combat phase is split up into steps. It represents a point in the magical duel where the active player sends his or her creatures to "attack" the opposing player, in the hopes of doing damage to the player or the player's creatures. Except for instants, players may not play cards during combat. Instants and activated abilities may be played during each step.

Beginning of Combat[]
This step allows players to play spells and abilities that may alter how combat progresses. For example, only untapped creatures may attack, so the defender might play a spell or ability that will tap a creature, preventing it from attacking.
The player whose turn it is declares which creatures he or she controls will attack. Creatures that are tapped or that were played this turn may not attack. Attacking causes a creature to become tapped. A player can attack with as many creatures as he or she wants; they all tap and attack at the same time.
The player being attacked may block the attacking creatures with his or her own creatures, but is not required to do so. Tapped creatures cannot block, but blocking doesn't tap a creature. Each creature may only block one attacking creature, but multiple creatures may all block the same attacker. As with attacking creatures, blocking creatures all block at the same time. The attacking player determines how damage is dealt among multiple creatures that block one creature.
Attacking creatures that weren't blocked deal damage equal to their power to the player or planeswalker(s) they attacked; the amount of damage caused is deducted from the player's life total. Attacking creatures that were blocked deal damage equal to their power to the creature or creatures that blocked them, and blocking creatures deal damage equal to their power to the attacking creature they blocked. If a creature could deal damage to several creatures that blocked it, the player that controls the attacking creature chooses how to distribute the damage. An attacker that is blocked, but whose blocker is removed from combat before this time deals no damage at all to the defending creature. If a creature is dealt as much or more damage than its toughness, it is destroyed and must be put in its controller's graveyard. Combat damage uses the stack, unlike other game actions; so players may respond to it with instants or abilities. Players decide how their creatures' damage will be assigned as combat damage is "played", and it is dealt when it "resolves". Creatures that leave play while combat damage is on the stack still deal their damage; damage that was assigned to them is not dealt. Assignment of combat damage (and its placing on the stack) takes place twice in this step. First, creatures with the first strike or double strike abilities assign their damage as indicated above. After this combat damage has resolved, state based effects are checked and each player receives priority and may elect to play spells and abilities. Then, creatures that lack the first strike ability and that are still involved in combat deal damage. (Creatures may have been removed from combat due to a spell or ability, or due to receiving lethal damage during the first strike combat damage step. Those creatures do not deal damage in the 'normal' combat damage step.)
End of Combat[]
This step allows players to play spells and abilities in combat, but before the main part of the player's turn starts again. Many effects that trigger off of events in combat occur in this step.

Second main phase[]

After the combat phase there is another main phase. If the player hadn't played a land in their first main phase, they can play it now; along with any other cards that may have been played in the first main phase, if they wish. At the end of the second main phase, mana burn occurs.

End phase[]

The end phase has two steps: "End of turn" and "Cleanup". During the first, abilities that trigger "at end of turn" take place. Then, during the cleanup step, the player whose turn it is discards down to his or her current hand limit, normally 7 cards. Effects that last "until end of turn" or "this turn" wear off, and non-lethal damage is removed from creatures. Players may play instants or abilities during the end of turn step, but not during the cleanup step.

Timing and the stack[]

The most versatile aspect of Magic is that after most spells and abilities are played, but before they actually take effect, all players get a chance to "respond" to them. This means they can play a different spell or ability that will take effect first, often either invalidating or reinforcing the effect of the first spell. The mechanism that accomplishes this is called "the stack." It is where spells and abilities go to wait for any responses that may get played.

Some spells and abilities (spells that get put into play as creatures, artifacts, or enchantments; sorcery spells; and abilities that say "play this ability only any time you could play a sorcery") cannot be played as responses. They can only be played when the stack is empty, only on the turn of whoever plays them, and only in a main phase. Others (activated abilities, triggered abilities, instant spells, and any other spells that have the ability "flash," which means "you may play this spell any time you could play an instant") can be played on anybody's turn and in most phases of the game, go on the stack "on top of" anything that is already there, and will resolve first. Many players refer to this difference as "speed," but that is a misleading term, and should not be used. Neither is "faster" than the other, the only difference is when they can be played.

In addition, the ability split-second discontinues any further action on the stack. If a card with split-second is played, no other spells or activated abilities (that are not mana abilities) can be played on the stack.

Lands, most abilities that produce mana, and certain other actions are a special case; they bypass the rules below and take effect immediately. Lands may still only be played during the main phase, and only once per turn.

The stack[]

This mechanic is nearly identical to the concept of a stack in computer science.

When a player plays a spell, it does not immediately take effect. Instead, it is placed on the stack. Then that player, followed by each player in turn order, will have a chance to respond to it with spells or abilities. Each new spell or ability is put on top of the stack in turn, with the newest on top and the oldest at the bottom. Once all players decline to respond to the latest spell or ability, the top-most one on the stack resolves. If it was a sorcery, instant, or ability, the player carries out the instructions; if it was a creature, enchantment, or artifact, it comes into play.

Every time a spell or ability finishes resolving, players (starting with the player whose turn it is) can once again add more to the stack; if they don't, the new top-most spell or ability will resolve. If there is no spell or ability waiting to resolve, the game goes on to the next step or phase.

A player can add as many spells or abilities to the stack as they can afford while they have priority, but they are not required to. If a player wants to play multiple spells before passing priority to the next player, they can do so as long as they have enough mana to pay for those spells.

When the stack is empty and after a spell or ability resolves, the player whose turn it is gets priority first. If they don't play anything, and their opponents don't either, the game proceeds to the next part of the turn.


Alice is attacking Anthony with a Hill Giant, a 3/3 creature (meaning it has 3 power and 3 toughness). Anthony chooses to block with his Grizzly Bears, a weaker 2/2 creature. If nothing else happened, the Hill Giant would deal 3 damage to the Grizzly Bears and kill them, while the Bears would deal 2 damage to the Giant, which would survive.

However, Anthony decides to play his Giant Growth spell on his Grizzly Bears before combat damage is dealt. He taps a forest to pay for the spell, and puts it on the stack. Alice, who does not want to give the Grizzly Bears a chance to grow to 5/5 and kill her Hill Giant, responds by playing Shock. She taps one mountain, tells Anthony she is targeting the Grizzly Bears, and puts Shock on the stack on top of Giant Growth.

If Anthony had no other spells, then Alice's Shock would resolve first and deal 2 damage to the Grizzly Bears, killing them. His Giant Growth would then go to the graveyard with no effect because the Bears would no longer be in play and would thus be an illegal target. Fortunately for Anthony, he has another spell to play. He taps a plains and plays Mending Hands on his Grizzly Bears. Now Mending Hands is on top of the stack, with Shock and then Giant Growth beneath it.

Stack example

Since both players are out of spells to play, the top spell resolves. Mending Hands creates a "damage prevention shield" that can prevent up to 4 points of damage on the Grizzly Bears, and is put into Anthony's graveyard. Neither player chooses to play anything else at this point, so Shock resolves. It attempts to deal 2 damage to Grizzly Bears, but Mending Hands' damage shield prevents the damage, and Shock is put into Alice's graveyard. Finally, Giant Growth resolves and makes Grizzly Bears a 5/5 creature until end of turn. Giant Growth then goes to Anthony's graveyard.

Once combat damage is dealt, the now 5/5 Grizzly Bears will deal 5 damage to the Hill Giant and destroy it. Hill Giant will attempt to deal 3 damage to the Grizzly Bears, but the remainder of Mending Hands' damage shield will prevent a further 2 damage (totaling 4 damage) and Grizzly Bears will only take 1 damage.

When the turn ends, the single point of damage is removed from the Grizzly Bears, and the Giant Growth effect wears off at the same time. When Anthony's turn comes around again, he'll find his Grizzly Bears undamaged and 2/2.


Certain spells allow a player to counter other spells. These spells target the spell they are to counter, and must be played while the first spell is on the stack. If a spell is countered, it is moved from the stack to its owner's graveyard. It does not resolve, and has no effect. If the spell would create a permanent, it never comes into play. Some spells state that they cannot be countered. However, the ability "can't be the target of spells or abilities" only applies while in play, and so a card with such an ability can still be countered.

There is one other way for a spell to be countered. If the spell targets something (such as Giant Growth or Shock), then the target must be legal both when the spell is played and when it resolves. A spell can't be played without legal targets. If the target becomes illegal while the spell is on the stack, then the spell is countered just before it would start to resolve. If a spell is countered this way, then no part of the spell - even an untargeted effect of the spell - takes place.

If a spell has multiple targets, then all of them must be illegal for the spell to be countered. For example, the card Swelter deals 2 damage to two target creatures. If one creature becomes an illegal target before Swelter resolves, the other will still be damaged. But if they are both illegal, then the entire spell is countered. Note that a spell must have all targets available for it to be played. If there is only one legal target for Swelter, then Swelter cannot be played.

Keyword abilities[]

Some cards have abilities that are not fully explained on the card. These are known as "keyword" abilities, and consist of a word or phrase whose meaning is defined by the rules. Keyword abilities are usually given reminder text in the set in which they are introduced. There are over forty such abilities; only the most common are explained here. For a full list, see List of Magic: The Gathering keywords.

Combat abilities[]


A creature with defender may not attack.


A creature with haste may attack or use an ability with the "tap symbol" in its cost the turn it comes into play. Creatures without the haste ability cannot use any "tap" activation abilities, or attack, until they have begun a turn under the control of the current player.


A creature with bushido will gain +X/+X until the end of the turn whenever it blocks or is blocked by a creature. The "X" is determined by a number following the word "bushido" on the card.


A creature with vigilance does not tap to attack. This doesn't circumvent the restriction that tapped creatures can't attack.

First strike and double strike[]

Creatures with first strike or double strike deal damage before creatures without it. If any creatures in combat have first strike or double strike, then the combat damage step those creatures deal damage first. Then any creature with lethal damage is destroyed, and then any surviving creatures without first strike deal damage.
Double strike allows a creature to deal damage twice, once during the first strike damage step and once during the regular damage step. If an attacker with double strike kills all its blockers with first strike damage, it does not get to deal regular damage to the defending player (unless it has trample). Double strike overrides first strike, and having multiple instances of either has no additional effect. A creature with first strike twice still deals damage at the same time as a creature that only has the ability once.


Normally when a creature is blocked, it deals all its damage to the blocker and none to the defending player. A creature with trample may deal its extra damage to the defending player. When the attacking player is deciding how to assign damage to blocking creatures, he also decides how much damage attackers with trample will deal to the defending player. However, he must first assign enough damage to destroy all blocking creatures. Specifically, he must assign damage equal to the blocker's toughness, less any damage already present. If a creature with trample has no blockers left when damage is assigned, it deals full damage to the defending player.
If the defending player controls a creature with "trample" and this creature blocks, no damage from this creature will be dealt to the attacking player. Only creatures that are attacking may assign their excess damage to a player.
A creature with trample that attacks a planeswalker and is blocked may assign any extra damage to the planeswalker. It may not assign any damage to the defending player.


A creature with reach may block creatures with flying.


When a creature with deathtouch deals damage to a creature, that creature is destroyed after damage resolves.

Evasion abilities[]

Evasion abilities affect how creatures block. A creature that has an evasion ability is more difficult to block in some fashion. If a creature has multiple kinds of evasion abilities, all of them apply. For example, a creature with both flying and fear can be blocked neither by a blue creature with flying or by a black creature without flying.

Edit: Clarification: Flying creatures can only be blocked by flying creatures and creatures with fear can be blocked only by black or artifact creatures. If your creature has Flying and Fear, the blocker must have Flying and be black/artifact; If the blocker just is black, it cannot block; if it just has Flying it cannot block.


A creature with flying can only be blocked by another creature with flying or by a creature with reach. It may still block non-flying creatures normally.


A creature with fear may only be blocked by black creatures and/or by artifact creatures. Creatures that are both black and some other color may block a creature with fear, as may artifact creatures that have gained a color.


Landwalk is a category of several related abilities. A creature will not have the ability landwalk but will have mountainwalk, swampwalk, and so on. If the defending player controls a land of the appropriate type, the creature cannot be blocked by any creature, even if the blocker also has landwalk. Different types of landwalk on the same creature apply separately.


A creature with shadow can only block or be blocked by other creatures with shadow.

Other abilities[]


All Auras have the ability Enchant <quality>. An Aura may only be attached to an object or player that has the specified quality. When an Aura is played, it must target the object or player and comes into play attached to that object or player. If the object or player ever stops having the specified quality, or if it leaves play, the Aura is put into its owner's graveyard. If an Aura has multiple enchant abilities, all of them apply and must be satisfied.
Note that an Aura targets the card it will enchant as it is being played, but not once it is in play. Thus, while a card with shroud may not be the target of an Aura being played, a card enchanted by an Aura can later gain shroud without losing any Auras already attached.


All Equipment has the ability Equip <cost>. Equipment comes into play not attached to any creature. Equip {cost} means "{Cost}: Attach this Equipment to target creature you control. Play this ability only any time you could play a sorcery." Equip may not be used to unattach an equipment. If the targeted creature is not in play when the equip ability resolves, the equipment stays where it is. If an Equipment has multiple equip abilities, any of them may be used.


Protection, like landwalk, is not a single ability but a family of abilities. A permanent will not have protection; it will have protection from <quality>. For example, it might have protection from black, protection from blue, protection from creatures, etc. Protection has a number of effects.
  • A permanent with protection may not be targeted by spells with the given quality or by abilities of cards with the given quality.
  • It may not be enchanted by Auras with the given quality, and if it is a creature it may not be equipped by Equipment with the given quality. If a permanent with an Aura attached to it gains a protection ability that would prevent it from being enchanted, the Aura is put into the graveyard. In the case of Equipment, it becomes unattached but remains in play.
  • Any damage that would be dealt by something with the quality to the permanent with protection is prevented.
  • If a creature has protection, it may not be blocked by other creatures with the quality. This is an evasion ability.
If a permanent has protection from multiple different qualities, all of them apply.
An easy way to remember what protection stops is to remember the acronym DEBT: Damage, Enchant/Equip, Block, Target. Protection does not affect anything that does not do one of those four things.


A card with flash may be played any time an instant could be played. See timing and the stack.


A permanent or a player with shroud cannot be the target of spells or abilities. If a player has shroud, he cannot be the target of any spell or ability until he loses shroud. The same goes with creatures. If a card would give all your creatures shroud, your opponents cannot target any of your creatures until they lose shroud. If a creature would give your other creatures shroud, a player cannot play a spell targeting the other creatures until the card giving your creatures shroud is destroyed. If a card would deal damage to all of your creatures, including the creature giving the others shroud, it would form a domino effect and the damage would be dealt to all the creatures.


Indestructible permanents can't be destroyed, either by effects that say "destroy" or by lethal damage. If a spell or effect tries to destroy an indestructible permanent, nothing happens; if enough damage is dealt to an indestructible creature, it is not destroyed. Effects that do other things to an indestructible permanent work normally, so it may still be returned to a player's hand, removed from the game, and so on. In addition, a creature with a toughness of 0 or less is put into the graveyard, and indestructible creatures are not immune to this effect. For example, if you play an Indestructible creature with a toughness of 1 and your opponent plays a spell or ability that gives that creature -1 toughness, the indestructible creature is destroyed since no damage was dealt to it. Another example of this is forcing that player to Sacrifice the Indestructable Permanent with another card's ability.


Clash is an action that involves two players. Both players reveal the top card of their libraries and compare converted mana costs. A player whose card had the highest converted mana cost wins the clash. If there is no highest converted mana cost, no one wins the clash. Regardless of the result, each player may choose to put the revealed card on either the top or bottom of his or her library.
A card without a mana cost, such as a land, has a converted mana cost of zero. A card with an X in the mana cost has the X treated as zero.


A card that has fading comes into play with "X" fade counters on it, where "X" is the number following the word "fading" on the card. At the beginning of your upkeep, remove a fade counter your card. If you can't remove a fading counter, then you must sacrifice your card. Thus having this card destroyed and sent to the graveyard.


A card with madness can be played as it is discarded from a player's hand for it's madness cost, which is indicated on the card. A card played with it's madness cost may be played as an instant.


A card with morph may be played face-down for 3 mana. As long as it is face-down, it is a 2/2 colorless creature with no abilities. You may flip a face-down card face-up by paying its morph cost. This action does not use the stack, but you must have priority to do it. Whenever a face-down card leaves play, or if the game ends, it must be revealed to all players to show that it had morph. In the event that a morphed card is removed from the game, its ability activates when it returns to play


A card with Echo requires the player to pay an additional cost at the beginning of their next upkeep. Creatures with echo are usually priced inexpensively, with the full cost essentially spread out over two turns.


A creature with Changeling is every creature type all at once.


To scry X, look at the top X cards of your library, then you may put any of those cards on the bottom of your library and the rest at the top of your library in any order.

Sometimes you can choose to make the oppent discard a number of cards or you draw a certain number of cards


Modular is always listed with a number; an artifact creature with modular comes into play with that many +1/+1 counters on it. When that creature is put into a graveyard, you can put its +1/+1 counters onto any other artifact creature in play.


Flanking can best be thought of as a reverse of Bushido. A card with flanking will have a numerical value attached to it. When the creature with flanking is attacking, a defending creature will get -X/-X where X is the value of the flanking. For example, if the attacking creature has Flanking 1, and the defending creature is a 3/3, then the defending creature would have its power and toughness reduced to 2/2 until end of turn. Flanking only takes effect if the blocking creature does not have Flanking.


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