Rules Q&A - The Keyword FAQ

110 posts / 0 new
Last post
Rules Q&A Keyword FAQ

Introduction

The purpose of this thread is to compile a list of frequently asked questions about each keyword in Magic, and the answers to those questions. If you think you have a common question about how a particular keyword works, check here to see if you can find the answer before asking about it in a new thread in RQ&A.

If you find a rules error or a broken link in this FAQ, please PM me so that I can fix it. Be aware that I may not respond; if it's nitpicky, I might decide to leave it out in the interests of clarity.

There are still many topics that this FAQ doesn't cover, so if you think there is something that needs to be covered or answered, please make a post in this thread.

If you have some other comment, PM me if you think it is important.


Table of Contents


Resources
  • Magic: The Gathering Comprehensive Rules (TXT file; also available in DOC, RTF, and PDF formats.)
    The complete rules for the game of Magic; there is a full section for each keyworded ability outlining its functionality. Beginners might not want to go here; they're very intimidating for the uninitiated.

  • Set FAQs
    The official FAQs for each released set. Each FAQ contains information about the new keywords contained in that set. Note, however, that these FAQs are released when the set is released and never updated. As such, they may contain information or rulings that are outdated or inaccurate.

  • Gatherer
    Look up a card with the keyword you want to learn about in Gatherer and check for relevant rulings. They'll be listed down at the bottom of the window; you may have to scroll down to see them.


Contributors:

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to this FAQ in any way.

Extra-special thanks to Gardevior for doing a whole bunch of stuff so I wouldn't have to, and to cyphern for helping me update the terminology and rules excerpts for M10.

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

First Strike
Back to the Table of Contents

Comprehensive Rules entry for this keyword:
702.7. First Strike

702.7a First strike is a static ability that modifies the rules for the combat damage step. (See rule 510, "Combat Damage Step.")

702.7b If at least one attacking or blocking creature has first strike 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.

702.7c Giving first strike to a creature without it after combat damage has already been dealt in the first combat damage step won't prevent that creature from assigning combat damage in the second combat damage step. Removing first strike from a creature after it has already dealt combat damage in the first combat damage step won't allow it to also assign combat damage in the second combat damage step (unless the creature has double strike).

702.7d Multiple instances of first strike on the same creature are redundant.

For general information about the combat phase, check the Combat, Attacking, Blocking, and Combat Damage entries in the Main Rules Q&A FAQ.

Specific Questions

Q: What does first strike do?
A: In combat, creatures with first strike (and double strike) will deal damage...well, first, before creatures without first strike get the chance to deal their combat damage. This means that if the creature with first strike deals enough damage to kill the creatures it's blocking/being blocked by, those creatures will die and the creature with first strike won't be dealt damage at all.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Can I cast spells and abilities in between first strike creatures dealing damage and normal creatures dealing damage?
A: Yes. After first strike damage is dealt, you will have to get priority at some point (and thus get a chance to cast spells and activate abilities) before the game can move on to the normal combat damage step.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: What happens if a creature gains or loses first strike in the middle of combat?
A: Creatures gaining or losing first strike after the first combat damage step has started will have no effect on combat--things proceed just as they would have if the creature hadn't gained/lost the ability.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: My first strike creature isn't blocked. Does it still deal its damage before the regular creatures do?
A: Yes. First strike doesn't "turn off" if the creature is unblocked. The first striker will still deal damage before regular creatures get to deal theirs. This doesn't make a difference very often, but it can matter occasionally.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: How does first strike interact with double strike?
A: It doesn't. A creature with both first strike and double strike works exactly the same as a creature with only double strike. First strike works by making the creature deal its combat damage in the first of two combat damage steps. Double strike works by making the creature deal its combat damage in both steps. Thus, adding first strike to double strike is completely and utterly redundant.

Back to the Table of Contents

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Flanking
Back to the Table of Contents

Comprehensive Rules entry for this keyword:
702.23. Flanking

702.23a Flanking is a triggered ability that triggers during the declare blockers step. (See rule 509, "Declare Blockers Step.") "Flanking" means "Whenever this creature becomes blocked by a creature without flanking, the blocking creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn."

702.23b If a creature has multiple instances of flanking, each triggers separately.

For general information about the combat phase, check the Combat, Attacking, Blocking, and Combat Damage entries in the Main Rules Q&A FAQ.

Specific Questions

Q: What does flanking do?
A: When a creature with flanking attacks and is blocked, any creatures blocking it that don't have flanking themselves get -1/-1 until the end of the turn. This happens right after the creature is declared as a blocker, before it gets the chance to deal combat damage. (Even if the blocker has first strike or double strike.)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: What happens if flanking kills the blocking creature? Does the flanking creature get to assign damage to the defending player?
A: Not unless it has trample. Once a creature has become blocked, it stays blocked for the rest of combat, even if the creatures blocking it leave the battlefield.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Does flanking target?
A: No. Anything that targets will use the actual word "target", either in the rules text of the card itself or, if a keyword is involved, in the rules of the game. (And in those cases, the reminder text for the keyword will include the word "target".)

Thus, since flanking does not use the word "target" at all, it doesn't target.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: What happens if my creature has multiple instances of flanking?
A: Each instance will trigger and resolve independently, and the results are cumulative. Two instances of flanking will result in each non-flanking blocker getting -1/-1 and then -1/-1 again, for a total of -2/-2. Three instances add up to -3/-3, four add up to -4/-4, and so on and so forth.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: What happens if my flanking creature is blocked by multiple creatures?
A: Each of the blocking creatures will get -1/-1 unless they have flanking; flanking triggers once for each blocking creature without flanking.

Back to the Table of Contents

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Flying
Back to the Table of Contents

Comprehensive Rules entry for this keyword:
702.9. Flying

702.9a Flying is an evasion ability.

702.9b A creature with flying can't be blocked except by creatures with flying and/or reach. A creature with flying can block a creature with or without flying. (See rule 509, "Declare Blockers Step," and rule 702.16, "Reach.")

702.9c Multiple instances of flying on the same creature are redundant.

For general information about the combat phase, check the Combat, Attacking, Blocking, and Combat Damage entries in the Main Rules Q&A FAQ.

Specific Questions

Q: What does flying do?
A: Simple: attacking creatures with flying cannot be blocked by creatures that don't have either flying or reach--they "fly over" those creatures.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Flying creatures can "swoop down" and block creatures without flying, right?
A: Yes.

Back to the Table of Contents

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Haste
Back to the Table of Contents

Comprehensive Rules entry for this keyword:
702.10. Haste

702.10a Haste is a static ability.

702.10b If a creature has haste, it can attack even if it hasn't been controlled by its controller continuously since his or her most recent turn began. (See rule 302.6.)

702.10c If a creature has haste, its controller can activate its activated abilities whose cost includes the tap symbol or the untap symbol even if that creature hasn't been controlled by that player continuously since his or her most recent turn began. (See rule 302.6.)

702.10d Multiple instances of haste on the same creature are redundant.

For general information about the combat phase, check the Combat, Attacking, Blocking, and Combat Damage entries in the Main Rules Q&A FAQ.

Specific Questions

Q: What does haste do?
A: Read the Main Rules Q&A FAQ entry on Summoning Sickness. Read it? Good. None of that applies to creatures with haste; they are able to , :symq:, or attack even if they just entered the battlefield.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Do artifacts and lands have haste?
A: No; they don't need it. Noncreature permanents aren't subject to summoning sickness in the first place. (Note that they're immune because they're not creatures, not because they're artifacts or lands.)

Back to the Table of Contents

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Landwalk
Back to the Table of Contents

Comprehensive Rules entry for this keyword:
702.13. Landwalk

702.13a Landwalk is a generic term that appears within an object's rules text as "[type]walk," where [type] is usually a subtype, but can be the card type land, any land type, any supertype, or any combination thereof.

702.13b Landwalk is an evasion ability.

702.13c A creature with landwalk is unblockable as long as the defending player controls at least one land with the specified subtype (as in "islandwalk"), with the specified supertype (as in "legendary landwalk"), without the specified supertype (as in "nonbasic landwalk"), or with both the specified supertype and the specified subtype (as in "snow swampwalk"). (See rule 509, "Declare Blockers Step.")

702.13d Landwalk abilities don't "cancel" one another.
Example: If a player controls a snow Forest, that player can't block an attacking creature with snow forestwalk even if he or she also controls a creature with snow forestwalk.

702.13e Multiple instances of the same kind of landwalk on the same creature are redundant.

For general information about the combat phase, check the Combat, Attacking, Blocking, and Combat Damage entries in the Main Rules Q&A FAQ.

Specific Questions

Q: What does landwalk do?
A: A creature with a particular type of landwalk is completely unblockable if the defending player controls a land with that particular land type. For example, a creature with forestwalk is unblockable if the defending player controls a land with the type "forest".

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Can creatures with, say, forestwalk be blocked by other creatures with forestwalk?
A: Not if the defending player controls a forest. Landwalk makes a creature completely unblockable, even by other creatures with landwalk.

Back to the Table of Contents

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Protection
Back to the Table of Contents

Comprehensive Rules entry for this keyword:
702.15. Protection

702.15a Protection is a static ability, written "Protection from [quality]." This quality is usually a color (as in "protection from black") but can be any characteristic value. If the quality happens to be a card name, it is treated as such only if the protection ability specifies that the quality is a name. If the quality is a card type, subtype, or supertype, the ability applies to sources that are permanents with that card type, subtype, or supertype and to any sources not on the battlefield that are of that card type, subtype, or supertype. This is an exception to rule 109.2.

702.15b A permanent or player with protection can't be targeted by spells with the stated quality and can't be targeted by abilities from a source with the stated quality.

702.15c A permanent or player with protection can't be enchanted by Auras that have the stated quality. Such Auras attached to the permanent or player with protection will be put into their owners' graveyards as a state-based action. (See rule 704, "State-Based Actions.")

702.15d A permanent with protection can't be equipped by Equipment that have the stated quality or fortified by Fortifications that have the stated quality. Such Equipment or Fortifications become unattached from that permanent as a state-based action, but remain on the battlefield. (See rule 704, "State-Based Actions.")

702.15e Any damage that would be dealt by sources that have the stated quality to a permanent or player with protection is prevented.

702.15f Attacking creatures with protection can't be blocked by creatures that have the stated quality.

702.15g "Protection from [quality A] and from [quality B]" is shorthand for "protection from [quality A]" and "protection from [quality B]"; it behaves as two separate protection abilities. If an effect causes an object with such an ability to lose protection from [quality A], for example, that object would still have protection from [quality B].

702.15h "Protection from all [characteristic]" is shorthand for "protection from [quality A]," "protection from [quality B]," and so on for each possible quality the listed characteristic could have; it behaves as multiple separate protection abilities. If an effect causes an object with such an ability to lose protection from [quality A], for example, that object would still have protection from [quality B], [quality C], and so on.

702.15i "Protection from everything" is a variant of the protection ability. A permanent with protection from everything has protection from each object regardless of that object's characteristic values. Such a permanent can't be targeted by spells or abilities, enchanted by Auras, equipped by Equipment, fortified by Fortifications, or blocked by creatures, and all damage that would be dealt to it is prevented.

702.15j Multiple instances of protection from the same quality on the same permanent or player are redundant.

For general information about the combat phase, check the Combat, Attacking, Blocking, and Combat Damage entries in the Main Rules Q&A FAQ.

Specific Questions

Q: What does protection do?
A: Protection is an ability that protects a permanent or player from certain (very specific) kinds of effects. Things that are {foo} will often have a hard time dealing with a permanent with "protection from {foo}". Note, however, that protection is not foolproof, and does not protect against all possible actions. It only stops four very specific things.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Okay, so what are those four things?
A: The four things protection from X will do are usually abbreviated D-E-B-T, and are as follows:
D: Prevent all damage from X sources.
E: Cannot be equipped/enchanted by X auras or equipment.
B: Cannot be blocked by X creatures.
T: Cannot be targeted by X spells or abilities from X sources.

Anything that does one of these four things will be stopped by Protection, and anything that doesn't, won't.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Let's see a for-example--can Wrath of God kill a Black Knight? Can Pestilence kill a White Knight?
A: Wrath of God does not target, nor does it deal damage (and it's obviously not doing either of the others), so it can kill Black Knight. Pestilence does not say target either, but it does deal damage, which protection from black will prevent. So a Wrath will kill a creature with protection from white, but a Pestilence will not kill a creature with protection from black.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Does protection function when the creature it's on isn't on the battlefield? (ie, Can I Zombify a creature with protection from black or Cancel a creature spell with protection from blue?)
A: No, protection doesn't work when the creature it's on isn't on the battlefield, so you can Zombify and Cancel those protection-from-black/blue creatures as much as you like.

For an ability (any ability) to work outside of the battlefield, it has to either define a characteristic of the card (like Transguild Courier, Woodland Changeling, or Maro), specifically say it works outside of the battlefield (like Anger or Glory) or else do something that would logically mean it has to function somewhere else (like Squee, Goblin Nabob--you can't exactly return Squee from your graveyard if he isn't there in the first place). If an ability doesn't say it works somewhere else, and it would make sense for that ability to work while it's on the battlefield, then it works only on the battlefield. Protection is one such ability.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: My opponent's creature has an Aura or Equipment attached to it that boosts its power or toughness. That creature blocks or becomes blocked by a creature of mine which has protection from that Aura or Equipment. Does the boost apply?
A: Yes. Your creature may have protection from the Aura or Equipment, but the Aura/Equipment isn't trying to do anything to your creature. It may provide a bonus to a creature, which then deals more damage than it normally would to your creature, but protection can't do anything about that.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: What does "protection from everything" do?
A: It means that the thing with protection is protected in the manner described above from every possible object in the game. It doesn't mean anything more than that. See the FAQ entry for Progenitus for a full description.

Back to the Table of Contents

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Shadow
Back to the Table of Contents

Comprehensive Rules entry for this keyword:
702.26. Shadow

702.26a Shadow is an evasion ability.

702.26b A creature with shadow can't be blocked by creatures without shadow, and a creature without shadow can't be blocked by creatures with shadow. (See rule 509, "Declare Blockers Step.")

702.26c Multiple instances of shadow on the same creature are redundant.

For general information about the combat phase, check the Combat, Attacking, Blocking, and Combat Damage entries in the Main Rules Q&A FAQ.

Specific Questions

Q: What does shadow do?
A: Creatures with shadow cannot either block or be blocked by creatures that don't have shadow.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Can creatures with shadow always be blocked by other creatures with shadow? (For example, can my Dauthi Slayer be blocked by my opponent's Soltari Priest even if I give the Slayer flying?)
A: No. Different abilities that make creatures harder to block are cumulative--they all apply at once. If your creature has both shadow and flying, for example, it can't be blocked except by creatures that have both shadow and either flying or reach.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: I enchant a creature that has shadow with AEther Web. What happens?
A: That creature will be completely unable to block anything. This is due to a ruling that states that if a creature "can block [something] as though [some condition were true]" it always does so.

So the creature can't block creatures without shadow because it has shadow. It will also be unable to block creatures with shadow, because it has to block those creatures as though they didn't have shadow, as though they were normal creatures, and it can't block normal creatures because it has shadow.

Yes, this is weird. But that's how it works.

Back to the Table of Contents

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Trample
Back to the Table of Contents

Comprehensive Rules entry for this keyword:
702.18. Trample

702.18a Trample is a static ability that modifies the rules for assigning an attacking creature's combat damage. The ability has no effect when a creature with trample is blocking or is dealing noncombat damage. (See rule 510, "Combat Damage Step.")

702.18b The controller of an attacking creature with trample first assigns damage to the creature(s) blocking it. Once all those blocking creatures are assigned lethal damage, any remaining damage is assigned as its controller chooses among those blocking creatures and the player or planeswalker the creature is attacking. 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. The attacking creature's controller need not assign lethal damage to all those blocking creatures but in that case can't assign any damage to the player or planeswalker it's attacking.
Example: A 2/2 creature with an ability that enables it to block multiple attackers blocks two attackers: a 1/1 with no abilities a 3/3 with trample. The active player could assign 1 damage from the first attacker and 1 damage from the second to the blocking creature, and 2 damage to the defending player from the creature with trample.
Example: A 6/6 green creature with trample is blocked by a 2/2 creature with protection from green. The attacking creature's controller must assign at least 2 damage to the blocker, even though that damage will be prevented by the blocker's protection ability. The attacking creature's controller can divide the rest of the damage as he or she chooses between the blocking creature and the defending player.

702.18c If an attacking creature with trample is blocked, but there are no creatures blocking it when damage is assigned, all its damage is assigned to the player or planeswalker it's attacking.

702.18d If a creature with trample is attacking a planeswalker, none of its combat damage can be assigned to the defending player, even if that planeswalker has been removed from combat or the damage the attacking creature could assign is greater than the planeswalker's loyalty.

702.18e Multiple instances of trample on the same creature are redundant.

For general information about the combat phase, check the Combat, Attacking, Blocking, and Combat Damage entries in the Main Rules Q&A FAQ.

Specific Questions

Q: What does trample do?
A: Trample is an ability that is only relevant when the creature with trample is attacking and is blocked.

During the combat damage step of the combat phase, once you have assigned lethal damage to all creatures blocking your trampler, you can assign the rest of the damage any way you choose between those blocking creatures and the defending player.

Example: You attack Mr. X with a Force of Nature (8/8 trample) and he blocks with a Hill Giant (3/3). When you assign the Force of Nature's damage, you assign 3 damage to the Hill Giant (lethal damage) and can split the rest (5) however you like between the Giant and Mr. X.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: What is "lethal damage", for trample purposes?
A: "Lethal damage" is defined as damage equal to the creature's current toughness, minus any damage that's already on it. This takes into account any damage that's being assigned at the same time as well.

Example: An opponent blocks your Trained Armodon (3/3) and Moss Kami (5/5 trample) with a Foriysian Brigade (2/4, can block two creatures). Trample takes into account the 3 damage you're assigning to the Brigade from the Armodon, meaning you only have to have the Kami deal 1 damage to the Brigade (for a total of 4--lethal damage), and the rest (4) can be assigned to the defending player.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: My opponent blocks my trample creature with two or more creatures. Do I have to assign lethal damage to all of the blocking creatures in order to "trample over", or just to one of them?
A: You have to assign lethal damage to all the creatures blocking your trampler before you can assign any to the defending player.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: What happens if my opponent blocks my trample creature with a creature with protection from it, an indestructible creature, or with a card like Wall of Shadows?
A: Your creature will still be able to "trample over" (if its power is greater than the blocker's toughness). Lethal damage is defined as damage equal to the creature's toughness (minus damage already on it or being assigned at the same time), not damage that will actually manage to kill the creature. Trample doesn't care whether or not the creature has some ability that will prevent the damage.

Example: If your Force of Nature (8/8 trample) is blocked by a Wall of Shadows (0/1, prevent all damage creatures it blocks would deal to it), you only need to assign 1 damage to the Wall and you can assign the rest (7) to your opponent.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Can I voluntarily assign more than lethal damage to the blocking creature?
A: Yes you can. The attacking player decides how to assign the excess damage.

Example: If you really want to kill a Hill Giant with your Force of Nature, but you know your opponent can prevent 4 damage with Mending Hands, you may assign 7 damage to the Hill Giant and only 1 to your opponent.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: What happens if all the blocking creatures leave the combat before damage is assigned?
A: All the damage from the trample creature is automatically assigned to your opponent.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Does trample have any effect when the creature with trample is blocking?
A: No; trample is only relevant when attacking.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Will an ability that triggers on dealing combat damage to an opponent trigger when my creature tramples over to him?
A: Yes; the excess damage dealt to your opponent is still combat damage.

Back to the Table of Contents

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Banding and Bands with Other
Back to the Table of Contents

Comprehensive Rules entry for these keywords:
702.20. Banding

702.20a Banding is a static ability that modifies the rules for combat.

702.20b "Bands with other" is a special form of banding. If an effect causes a permanent to lose banding, the permanent loses all "bands with other" abilities as well.

702.20c As a player declares attackers, he or she may declare that one or more attacking creatures with banding and up to one attacking creature without banding (even if it has "bands with other") are all in a "band." He or she may also declare that one or more attacking [quality] creatures with "bands with other [quality]" and any number of other attacking [quality] creatures are all in a band. A player may declare as many attacking bands as he or she wants, but each creature may be a member of only one of them. (Defending players can't declare bands but may use banding in a different way; see rule 702.20j.)

702.20d All creatures in an attacking band must attack the same player or planeswalker.

702.20e Once an attacking band has been announced, it lasts for the rest of combat, even if something later removes banding or "bands with other" from one or more of the creatures in the band.

702.20f An attacking creature that's removed from combat is also removed from the band it was in.

702.20g Banding doesn't cause attacking creatures to share abilities, nor does it remove any abilities. The attacking creatures in a band are separate permanents.

702.20h If an attacking creature becomes blocked by a creature, each other creature in the same band as the attacking creature becomes blocked by that same blocking creature.
Example: A player attacks with a band consisting of a creature with flying and a creature with swampwalk. The defending player, who controls a Swamp, can block the flying creature if able. If he or she does, then the creature with swampwalk will also become blocked by the blocking creature(s).

702.20i If one member of a band would become blocked due to an effect, the entire band becomes blocked.

702.20j During the combat damage step, if an attacking creature is being blocked by a creature with banding, or by both a [quality] creature with "bands with other [quality]" and another [quality] creature, the defending player (rather than the active player) chooses how the attacking creature's damage is assigned. That player can divide that creature's combat damage as he or she chooses among any number of creatures blocking it. This is an exception to the procedure described in rule 510.1c.

702.20k During the combat damage step, if a blocking creature is blocking a creature with banding, or both a [quality] creature with "bands with other [quality]" and another [quality] creature, the active player (rather than the defending player) chooses how the blocking creature's damage is assigned. That player can divide that creature's combat damage as he or she chooses among any number of creatures it's blocking. This is an exception to the procedure described in rule 510.1d.

702.20m Multiple instances of banding on the same creature are redundant. Multiple instances of "bands with other" of the same kind on the same creature are redundant.

For general information about the combat phase, check the Combat, Attacking, Blocking, and Combat Damage entries in the Main Rules Q&A FAQ.

Specific Questions

Q: What is banding and what does it do?
A: Banding is really two separate abilities. They are commonly referred to as 'mutual assistance' and 'damage sharing.' Both of these abilities apply when a banding creature attacks, but only damage sharing applies when one blocks. Below are descriptions that cover the basics of these two abilities.

Mutual Assistance - Banding allows you to group creatures together when they attack, often called attacking in a band. In an attacking band, all creatures in the band except for one must have banding. Any creature that blocks any member of the band blocks the entire band (even if it couldn't block those creatures normally).
For example, I could attack you with Benalish Hero and Grizzly Bears in a band. If you block either the Hero or the Bears, you block the entire band.

Creatures in a band do not share abilities; if I form an attacking band out of a Benalish Hero and an Leonin Skyhunter, you could block the entire band with one non-flying creature by blocking the Hero.

Basically, this part of the ability allows you to "gang-attack" your opponent with a whole bunch of small creatures in the same way that you can "gang-block" attacking creatures. (To "gang-block" is to block a single attacking creature with multiple creatures, usually so you can kill the attacker.)


Damage Sharing - Normally, the controller of a creature gets to decide how to assign that creature's combat damage. However, banding allows the controller of a banding creature to decide how to assign the combat damage of any creatures blocking or blocked by the bander, and lets them divide up that damage however they wish, ignoring the normal damage-ordering rules.
For example, let's say I attack with Benalish Hero (1/1) and a Grizzly Bear (2/2) in a band, and you block the band with a 3/3 creature. Because your 3/3 is blocking my banding creature, I get to choose how your creature deals its combat damage. I could assign all three to the Benalish Hero, and then the Grizzly Bear would survive.

Using this aspect of banding is different from forming a band to attack in that it works no matter how many creatures with banding are present.
For example, let's say you attack with an 8/8 creature. I could block with eight 1/1 creatures. As long as just one of these creatures had banding, I could assign all the combat damage from the 8/8 creature to just one of my 1/1 creatures.

This part of the banding ability works especially well against attacking creatures with trample, as you can decide to assign all combat damage to the creatures blocking the trample creature and not have any assigned to the defending player.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: I think I get it--so what is bands with other?
A: Bands with other is a special form of banding.

When creatures with "bands with other" attack, they can form a band consisting of themselves plus any number of creatures that match the quality given after the words "bands with other"--so a creature with "bands with other wolves" could attack in a band with a whole bunch of Wolves.

Other than that, bands with other works the same as normal banding. (Note that this is a change from the original implementation of bands with other, which was insanely counterintuitive and utterly useless to boot.)

Back to the Table of Contents

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Rampage
Back to the Table of Contents

Comprehensive Rules entry for these keywords:
702.20. Rampage

702.20a Rampage is a triggered ability. "Rampage N" means "Whenever this creature becomes blocked, it gets +N/+N until end of turn for each creature blocking it beyond the first." (See rule 509, "Declare Blockers Step.")

702.20b The rampage bonus is calculated only once per combat, when the triggered ability resolves. Adding or removing blockers later in combat won't change the bonus.

702.20c If a creature has multiple instances of rampage, each triggers separately.

For general information about the combat phase, check the Combat, Attacking, Blocking, and Combat Damage entries in the Main Rules Q&A FAQ.

Specific Questions

Q: What does rampage do?
A: When a creature with rampage X attacks, if it is blocked by more than one creature, it gets +X/+X until the end of the turn for each creature blocking it beyond the first. So if it is blocked by two creatures, it will bet +X/+X once, and if it is blocked by three, it will get +X/+X twice, and so on.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: What happens when a creature with rampage is blocked by only one creature?
A: Not much. While rampage will trigger regardless of how many creatures block the rampager, it only actually does anything if more than one creature is blocking.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: What happens when a creature with rampage blocks?
A: Nothing. Rampage only works when the creature it's on is attacking.

Back to the Table of Contents

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Cumulative Upkeep
Back to the Table of Contents

Comprehensive Rules entry for this keyword:
702.22. Cumulative Upkeep

702.22a Cumulative upkeep is a triggered ability that imposes an increasing cost on a permanent. "Cumulative upkeep [cost]" means "At the beginning of your upkeep, if this permanent is on the battlefield, put an age counter on this permanent. Then you may pay [cost] for each age counter on it. If you don't, sacrifice it." If [cost] has choices associated with it, each choice is made separately for each age counter, then either the entire set of costs is paid, or none of them is paid. Partial payments aren't allowed.
Example: A creature has "Cumulative upkeep or " and two age counters on it. When its ability next triggers and resolves, the creature's controller puts an age counter on it and then may pay , , , or to keep the creature on the battlefield.
Example: A creature has "Cumulative upkeep -- Sacrifice a creature" and one age counter on it. When its ability next triggers and resolves, its controller can't choose the same creature to sacrifice twice. Either two different creatures must be sacrificed, or the creature with cumulative upkeep must be sacrificed.

702.22b If a permanent has multiple instances of cumulative upkeep, each triggers separately. However, the age counters are not connected to any particular ability; each cumulative upkeep ability will count the total number of age counters on the permanent at the time that ability resolves.
Example: A creature has two instances of "Cumulative upkeep -- Pay 1 life." The creature currently has no counters but both cumulative upkeep abilities trigger. When the first ability resolves, the controller adds a counter and then chooses to pay 1 life. When the second ability resolves, the controller adds another counter and then chooses to pay an additional 2 life.

Specific Questions

Q: What does cumulative upkeep do?
A: Cumulative upkeep is an ability that imposes a rising cost upon a permanent. If you wish to keep the permanent on the battlefield, you must pay a cost, and the longer the permanent remains on the battlefield, the higher that cost becomes.

At the beginning of your upkeep, you put an age counter on the permanent with cumulative upkeep. Then, you must pay the cumulative upkeep cost once for every age counter on that permanent--if there is one counter, you pay it once, if there are two you pay it twice, and so on. If you don't pay the cost, you must sacrifice the permanent with cumulative upkeep.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Can I choose not to pay all or part of my card's cumulative upkeep?
A: There's no going halfway on this: you have to either pay all of the cost or none of the cost. If you can't or don't wish to pay all of the cost, you have to sacrifice the card.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: My card has cumulative upkeep " or " (or " or ", or "discard a card or pay 2 life", or some other cost with multiple options). Can I choose to pay some of the full cost with one and some of it with the other?
A: Yes; you can divide up your payments between payment options however you like, as long as you're still paying the cost the right number of times.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: My card has cumulative upkeep "an opponent gains 1 life" or "gain control of a land an opponent controls". In a multiplayer game, can I divide my "payments" among multiple opponents?
A: Yes, you can. The choice of opponent for each single payment is made individually.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: My card has a trigger that works when I pay the cumulative upkeep--how many times will that trigger each time I pay?
A: Just once. The card triggers on you paying the total cost, not on each individual payment.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: My card has an ability that triggers when it dies that counts the number of age counters on it. If I have to sacrifice it because I can't pay its cost, how many counters does that ability "see"?
A: When the cumulative upkeep trigger resolves, it puts an age counter on the permanent first, and then makes you sacrifice it unless you pay. The trigger will see that counter that was just put on it in addition to any others it might have had.

Back to the Table of Contents

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Vigilance
Back to the Table of Contents

Comprehensive Rules entry for this keyword:
702.19. Vigilance

702.19a Vigilance is a static ability that modifies the rules for the declare attackers step.

702.19b Attacking doesn't cause creatures with vigilance to tap. (See rule 508, "Declare Attackers Step.")

702.19c Multiple instances of vigilance on the same creature are redundant.

For general information about the combat phase, check the Combat, Attacking, Blocking, and Combat Damage entries in the Main Rules Q&A FAQ.

Specific Questions

Q: What does vigilance do?
A: Normally, when a creature attacks, it becomes tapped. Creatures with vigilance don't--they just stay untapped instead.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Does a creature with vigilance have to tap to pay for activated abilities with in the cost?
A: Yes. Vigilance only means the creature doesn't tap to attack. It doesn't mean the creature doesn't have to tap to do other things that require tapping.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: So if my creature doesn't tap to attack, does that mean it can attack the turn I cast it?
A: No. "Summoning Sickness" prevents a creature from attacking, period; it doesn't matter whether or not a tap is required to do so.

Back to the Table of Contents

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Phasing
Back to the Table of Contents

Comprehensive Rules entry for this keyword:
702.24. Phasing

702.24a Phasing is a static ability that modifies the rules of the untap step. During each player's untap step, before the active player untaps his or her permanents, all phased-in permanents with phasing that player controls "phase out." Simultaneously, all phased-out permanents that had phased out under that player's control "phase in."

702.24b If a permanent phases out, its status changes to "phased out." Except for rules and effects that specifically mention phased-out permanents, a phased-out permanent is treated as though it does not exist. It can't affect or be affected by anything else in the game.
Example: You control three creatures, one of which is phased out. You cast a spell that says "Draw a card for each creature you control." You draw two cards.
Example: You control a phased-out creature. You cast Wrath of God, which says "Destroy all creatures. They can't be regenerated." The phased-out creature is not destroyed.

702.24c If a permanent phases in, its status changes to "phased in." The game once again treats it as though it exists.

702.24d The phasing event doesn't actually cause a permanent to change zones or control, even though it's treated as though it's not on the battlefield and not under its controller's control while it's phased out. Zone-change triggers don't trigger when a permanent phases in or out. Counters remain on a permanent while it's phased out. Effects that check a phased-in permanent's history won't treat the phasing event as having caused the permanent to leave or enter the battlefield or its controller's control.

702.24e Continuous effects that affect a phased-out permanent may expire while that permanent is phased out. If so, they will no longer affect that permanent once it's phased in. In particular, effects with "for as long as" durations that track that permanent (see rule 611.2b) end when that permanent phases out because they can no longer see it.

702.24f When a permanent phases out, any Auras, Equipment, or Fortifications attached to that permanent phase out at the same time. This alternate way of phasing out is known as phasing out "indirectly." An Aura, Equipment, or Fortification that phased out indirectly won't phase in by itself, but instead phases in along with the permanent it's attached to.

702.24g If an object would simultaneously phase out directly and indirectly, it just phases out indirectly.

702.24h An Aura, Equipment, or Fortification that phased out directly will phase in attached to the object or player it was attached to when it phased out, if that object is still in the same zone or that player is still in the game. If not, that Aura, Equipment, or Fortification phases in unattached. State-based actions apply as appropriate. (See rules 704.5n and 704.5p.)

702.24i Abilities that trigger when a permanent becomes attached or unattached from an object or player don't trigger when that permanent phases in or out.

702.24j Phased-out permanents owned by a player who leaves the game also leave the game. This doesn't trigger zone-change triggers. See rule 800.4.

702.24k Phased-out tokens cease to exist as a state-based action. See rule 704.5d.

702.24m If an effect causes a player to skip his or her untap step, the phasing event simply doesn't occur that turn.

702.24n Multiple instances of phasing on the same permanent are redundant.

Specific Questions

Q: What is Phasing?
A: Phasing is an ability from the Mirage block (Mirage, Visions, Weatherlight.)
At the beginning of your untap step, before you untap anything, all phased-in permanents with phasing phase out and all cards that phased out under your control phase in. Then, untap all (phased-in) permanents you control.

To be phased out means that the game effectively treats the phased-out permanent as though it doesn't exist. This means that they can't be targeted, aren't affected by a Wrath of God, don't count for Reckless One, and so on.
To phase in means simply that they stop being phased-out and the game once more realizes they exist.

Now, this is where it gets complicated:
  • Since the permanent never actually leaves the battlefield, it "remembers" everything about what it looked like when it was phased-in--whether it was tapped or untapped, any counters that were on it, which permanent (if any) it was attached to, and so on and so forth, and when it phases back in, it will look the same.
  • Auras and Equipment attached to the permanent phase out along with the enchanted or equipped permanent if the latter phases out. This is called "phasing out indirectly." They phase back in when the enchanted permanent phases back in. (If, for some reason, that permanent doesn't phase back in, they stay phased-out permanently.)

Essentially, all of this means that you only get use of permanents with phasing every other turn; the rest of the time, they don't exist.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Are permanents that phase in affected by summoning sickness?
A: No. A permanent that phases out never actually leaves the battlefield, so it won't be affected by summoning sickness when it reappears.

Back to the Table of Contents

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Buyback
Back to the Table of Contents

Comprehensive Rules entry for this keyword:
702.25. Buyback

702.25a Buyback appears on some instants and sorceries. It represents two static abilities that function while the spell is on the stack. "Buyback [cost]" means "You may pay an additional [cost] as you cast this spell" and "If the buyback cost was paid, put this spell into its owner's hand instead of into that player's graveyard as it resolves." Paying a spell's buyback cost follows the rules for paying additional costs in rules 601.2b and 601.2e-g.

Specific Questions

Q: What does buyback do?
A: Buyback gives you the option of paying an extra cost when you cast a spell. If you do, that spell returns to your hand when it finishes resolving instead of being put into your graveyard like it normally would.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Does paying buyback change the mana cost or converted mana cost of the spell?
A: No. The mana cost (and thus the converted mana cost) of a spell is determined solely by what appears in the top-right corner of the card. Buyback cannot alter that.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: If I pay for Buyback on a spell, but my opponent counters it or its targets become illegal, do I still get the card back?
A: No. Buyback tries to give you the card when the spell finishes resolving. If it's countered, it never gets that far.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Can I pay Buyback when I'm casting a copy of a spell? If so, what happens?
A: Yes, you can, but it won't do you any good. The copy will go to your hand, but then cease to exist before you can do anything about it.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: If I'm casting a card of my opponent's (with, say, Grinning Totem), can I pay buyback? If so, what happens?
A: You can pay the buyback if you wish, but again, it won't do you much good. The card will go to its owner's hand, and you aren't its owner. You just gave your opponent his spell back.

Back to the Table of Contents

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Horsemanship
Back to the Table of Contents

Comprehensive Rules entry for this keyword:
702.29. Horsemanship

702.29a Horsemanship is an evasion ability.

702.29b A creature with horsemanship can't be blocked by creatures without horsemanship. A creature with horsemanship can block a creature with or without horsemanship. (See rule 509, "Declare Blockers Step.")

702.29c Multiple instances of horsemanship on the same creature are redundant.

For general information about the combat phase, check the Combat, Attacking, Blocking, and Combat Damage entries in the Main Rules Q&A FAQ.

Specific Questions

Q: What does horsemanship do?
A: An attacking creature with horsemanship can't be blocked except by other creatures with horsemanship.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: So, isn't this pretty much the same as flying, only with a different name? Why didn't they just use flying?
A: Yes, it's quite similar to flying, with mostly just a name-change.

R&D created horsemanship for the Portal: Three Kingdoms set. They wanted to have creatures with "flying", but the mechanic didn't make any flavorful sense in the setting they were using for that set, so they remade it with a name that did make sense.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: So can creatures with flying block creatures with horsemanship? (And vice versa?)
A: Nope. While the abilities are almost identical as far as wording goes, they're still separate and distinct.

Back to the Table of Contents

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Cycling
Back to the Table of Contents

Comprehensive Rules entry for this keyword:
702.27. Cycling

702.27a Cycling is an activated ability that functions only while the card with cycling is in a player's hand. "Cycling [cost]" means "[Cost], Discard this card: Draw a card."

702.27b Although the cycling ability can be activated only if the card is in a player's hand, it continues to exist while the object is on the battlefield and in all other zones. Therefore objects with cycling will be affected by effects that depend on objects having one or more activated abilities.

702.27c Some cards with cycling have abilities that trigger when they're cycled. "When you cycle [this card]" means "When you discard [this card] to pay a cycling cost." These abilities trigger from whatever zone the card winds up in after it's cycled.

702.27d Typecycling is a variant of the cycling ability. "[Type]cycling [cost]" means "[Cost], Discard this card: Search your library for a [type] card, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library." This type is usually a subtype (as in "mountaincycling") but can be any card type, subtype, supertype, or combination thereof (as in "basic landcycling").

702.27e Typecycling abilities are cycling abilities, and typecycling costs are cycling costs. Any cards that trigger when a player cycles a card will trigger when a card is discarded to pay a typecycling cost. Any effect that stops players from cycling cards will stop players from activating cards' typecycling abilities. Any effect that increases or reduces a cycling cost will increase or reduce a typecycling cost.


Specific Questions

Q: What does cycling do?
A: Cycling is a mechanic that lets you get rid of unwanted cards in your hand and replace them with new, potentially more useful ones. Any time you have priority, you may discard a card with cycling and pay its cycling cost. If you do, you draw a card.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Is cycling a spell or an ability?
A: Cycling is an activated ability.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: It's an activated ability? So can I Squelch a, say, Decree of Justice to stop the ability from making tokens?
A: Not quite. Cycling itself is an activated ability, and can be Squelched, but all that the actual cycling ability does is draw a card. The other stuff is a triggered ability that triggers off of the card being cycled. You cannot Squelch that.

If you want to stop your opponent both from drawing a card and from doing whatever the cycling trigger does, you'll need to counter both abilities separately.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: If an ability triggers when I cycle a card, what happens first: the "draw a card" part, or the triggered ability?
A: The triggered ability. The ability triggers off of you actually activating the cycling ability, which means it will go onto the stack on top of the cycling ability, and will therefore resolve first.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: So what's typecycling?
A: It's exactly like regular cycling, only instead of drawing a card you search your library for a card with a specific type, reveal it, and put it into your hand, then shuffle your library. (This ability was formerly called "landcycling"; it was expanded to allow it to apply to cards of any type.)

Back to the Table of Contents

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Echo
Back to the Table of Contents

Comprehensive Rules entry for this keyword:
702.28. Echo

702.28a Echo is a triggered ability. "Echo [cost]" means "At the beginning of your upkeep, if this permanent came under your control since the beginning of your last upkeep, sacrifice it unless you pay [cost]."

702.28b Urza block cards with the echo ability were printed without an echo cost. These cards have been given errata in the Oracle card reference; each one now has an echo cost equal to its mana cost.

Specific Questions

Q: What does echo do?
A: Echo is a mechanic that essentially allows you to spread out a permanent's cost over two turns. You spend some amount of mana to get the permanent onto the battlefield as normal, and then at the beginning of your next upkeep, you must sacrifice the permanent unless you pay its echo cost.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: I gain control of an opponent's creature that has echo--do I have to pay the echo cost if I want to keep it?
A: Yes. Echo will trigger if you haven't controlled the creature continuously since the beginning of your last upkeep, no matter how long the card may have been on the battlefield before.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: My opponent steals one of my echo creatures temporarily--do I have to pay echo again during my next upkeep?
A: Yes. Even though you had the creature before, you still haven't controlled it continuously since the beginning of your last upkeep, and echo will trigger.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: I have an old echo card that doesn't seem to have an echo cost--what do I pay?
A: When echo originally debuted, the echo cost was automatically the same as the card's mana cost, so there was no other cost printed on the card. In these cases, the echo cost is invariably the mana cost of the card.

Back to the Table of Contents

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Fading
Back to the Table of Contents

Comprehensive Rules entry for this keyword:
702.30. Fading

702.30a Fading is a keyword that represents two abilities. "Fading N" means "This permanent enters the battlefield with N fade counters on it" and "At the beginning of your upkeep, remove a fade counter from this permanent. If you can't, sacrifice the permanent."

Specific Questions

Q: What does fading do?
A: Fading is an ability that causes permanents to stay on the battlefield for a limited time.

Cards with fading enter the battlefield with a specified number of fade counters on them. At the beginning of each of your upkeeps, you must remove a fade counter from that permanent. When you try to remove a fade counter but there are none left to remove, you have to sacrifice the permanent.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Do I have to sacrifice the permanent with fading as soon as I remove the last fade counter from it?
A: No. The permanent sticks around until you try to remove a fade counter when there aren't any left to remove.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: What happens if I forget to remove a fade counter?
A: The triggered ability that makes you remove fade counters is mandatory, not optional; you must back up and remove a counter. (If there are none left to remove, you must back up and sacrifice the permanent.)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Isn't fading the same as vanishing? How are they different?
A: Fading and vanishing are very similar, but have a few subtle differences. Here are the main ones:
  • Fading uses fade counters. Vanishing uses time counters.
    The only difference is the name, but this is important for things like Timebender that manipulate specific kinds of counters.

  • Fading causes the permanent to be sacrificed at the beginning of your upkeep if you can't remove a counter. Vanishing causes the permanent to be sacrificed whenever the last counter is removed.
    Usually, this just means a permanent with Fading N will stay on the battlefield a turn longer than a permanent with Vanishing N. Also, Vanishing's sacrifice ability triggers as soon as the last counter is removed, no matter when that is. Fading will only trigger at the beginning of the upkeep, no matter how many counters are present.

  • Vanishing can be permanently circumvented by countering the sacrifice ability. Fading can only be temporarily circumvented this way.
    If you counter vanishing's sacrifice ability, the permanent will stay on the battlefield indefinitely. If you counter the fading trigger that would cause your permanent to be sacrificed, it will simply trigger again at the beginning of your next upkeep.

Back to the Table of Contents

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Kicker
Back to the Table of Contents

Comprehensive Rules entry for this keyword:
702.31. Kicker

702.31a Kicker is a static ability that functions while the spell with kicker is on the stack. "Kicker [cost]" means "You may pay an additional [cost] as you cast this spell." Paying a spell's kicker cost(s) follows the rules for paying additional costs in rules 601.2b and 601.2e-g.

702.31b The phrase "Kicker [cost 1] and/or [cost 2]" means the same thing as "Kicker [cost 1], kicker [cost 2]."

702.31c Multikicker is a variant of the kicker ability. "Multikicker [cost]" means "You may pay an additional [cost] any number of times as you cast this spell." A multikicker cost is a kicker cost.

702.31d If a spell's controller declares the intention to pay any of that spell's kicker costs, that spell has been "kicked." If a spell has two kicker costs or has multikicker, it may be kicked multiple times. See rule 601.2b.

702.31e Objects with kicker or multikicker have additional abilities that specify what happens if they are kicked. These abilities are linked to the kicker or multikicker abilities printed on that object: they can refer only to those specific kicker or multikicker abilities. See rule 607, "Linked Abilities."

702.31f Objects with more than one kicker cost have abilities that each correspond to a specific kicker cost. They contain the phrases "if it was kicked with its [A] kicker" and "if it was kicked with its [B] kicker," where A and B are the first and second kicker costs listed on the card, respectively. Each of those abilities is linked to the appropriate kicker ability.

702.31g If part of a spell's ability has its effect only if that spell was kicked, and that part of the ability includes any targets, the spell's controller chooses those targets only if that spell was kicked. Otherwise, the spell is cast as if it did not have those targets. See rule 601.2c.

Specific Questions


Q: What does kicker do?
A: A card with Kicker allows you to pay an additional cost as you cast it. If you do, that card does gets better somehow.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: So what about multikicker?
A: It's exactly the same thing, only you can pay the cost as many times as you want, rather than just once.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: When do I have to pay a card's kicker costs?
A: You must pay any kicker costs when you cast the spell; you can't wait until later to do so.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Can I pay a non-multikicker kicker cost more than once?
A: No. You either pay the cost once, or not at all. You can only pay a kicker cost multiple times if it's multikicker, not just regular kicker.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: If I'm choosing not to pay the spell's kicker, do I still have to choose targets for the kicker effect?
A: No. Deciding not to pay kicker means you don't have to choose targets for the parts of the spell that are kicker-specific.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Does paying kicker or multikicker change the mana cost or converted mana cost of the spell?
A: No. The mana cost (and thus the converted mana cost) of a spell is determined solely by what appears in the top-right corner of the card. Kicker costs do not alter that--they just change what you end up paying.


Back to the Table of Contents

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Flashback
Back to the Table of Contents

Comprehensive Rules entry for this keyword:
702.32. Flashback

702.32a Flashback appears on some instants and sorceries. It represents two static abilities: one that functions while the card is in a player's graveyard and the other that functions while the card is on the stack. "Flashback [cost]" means "You may cast this card from your graveyard by paying [cost] rather than paying its mana cost" and "If the flashback cost was paid, exile this card instead of putting it anywhere else any time it would leave the stack." Casting a spell using its flashback ability follows the rules for paying alternative costs in rules 601.2b and 601.2e-g.

Specific Questions

Q: What does flashback do?
A: Flashback is a mechanic that allows you to cast cards in your graveyard. (They're casted much the same way you would cast a card from your hand.) After you cast a card this way, it gets exiled the next time it would leave the stack.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: When can I cast a card for its flashback cost?
A: Any time you could normally ast it. Flashback doesn't change the times you can ast the card, just where you're casting it from.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: What's the mana cost and/or converted mana cost of a spell that's been flashed back?
A: The same as it always is. The mana cost (and therefore the converted mana cost) of a card is determined by what's sitting in the top-right corner of the card, not by what you actually spend to cast the card.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Do cards that alter the amount a spell costs to cast also reduce the amount you pay for flashback?
A: Yes; effects that cause you to pay more or less for a spell affect the total cost of the spell, which includes additional and alternate (like Flashback) costs, not just the mana cost.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: I flash back a spell, and it's countered. Where does the spell go?
A: It gets exiled. When you flash back a spell, it gets exiled instead the next time it would leave the stack, no matter how it would leave.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: What happens if I flash back a spell, and something happens that would make the card go somewhere specific? (eg, It was Remanded, it was Hindered, it has buyback and the buyback was paid, there's an Eye of the Storm on the battlefield...whatever)
A: If the effect that's trying to move the card is trying to move it to anywhere except the exile zone, the card gets exiled instead. It can't go to your hand or your library or your graveyard--it will be exiled.

Note that while this screws up most things that try to do things with spells, things that exile the card directly (such as Eye of the Storm and Spelljack) will work just fine. This is because flashback's own exile effect only kicks in if the card isn't going to be exiled anyway.

Back to the Table of Contents

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

This section has been removed. For information on Threshold, see the [post=10159806]Ability Words[/post] section.

[post=9971785]Back to the Table of Contents[/post]

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Madness
Back to the Table of Contents

Comprehensive Rules entry for this keyword:
702.33. Madness

702.33a Madness is a keyword that represents two abilities. The first is a static ability that functions while the card with madness is in a player's hand. The second is a triggered ability that functions when the first ability is applied. "Madness [cost]" means "If a player would discard this card, that player discards it, but may exile it instead of putting it into his or her graveyard" and "When this card is exiled this way, its owner may cast it by paying [cost] rather than paying its mana cost. If that player doesn't, he or she puts this card into his or her graveyard."

702.33b Casting a spell using its madness ability follows the rules for paying alternative costs in rules 601.2b and 601.2e-g.

Specific Questions


Q: What does madness do?
A: Essentially, when you discard a card that has Madness, you're given the option of casting that card for its madness cost. (The mechanism's a bit more complex than just that, but that's the gist of it.)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Can I discard a card just because I want to in order to cast it with madness?
A: No. You can't discard something just because you feel like it, for the same reason you can't just decide to gain 50 life on a whim. In order to do anything, including things like discarding cards and sacrificing permanents, there has to be some rule or some card that's allowing you to do so.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Can I cast a card with madness for its madness cost if I discarded it earlier?
A: No. You have to decide whether or not to use madness as you're actually discarding the card. Once you've decided not to, you can't "back up" later and cast it.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: If I cast a spell by paying its madness cost, what is the mana cost or converted mana cost of the spell?
A: Whatever it is normally. The mana cost (and therefore the converted mana cost) of a card is determined by what's sitting in the top-right corner of the card, not by what you actually spend to cast the card.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Do cards that alter the amount a spell costs to ast also reduce the amount you pay for madness?
A: Yes; effects that cause you to pay more or less for a spell affect the total cost of the spell, which includes additional and alternate (like madness) costs, not just the mana cost.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Can I cast a madness spell if I am discarding the card as a cost?
A: Yes. Madness doesn't care how you're discarding the card; all that matters is that you're discarding it.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Can I cast non-instant cards with Madness whenever I discard them? Even on my opponent's turn?
A: Yes. Madness circumvents the normal timing restrictions; you can ast any card with madness when you discard it, no matter whose turn it is or whether or not you could cast the spell normally.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Do madness cards go to the graveyard as a result of being discarded before being put on the stack?
A: No. When you cast a card with madness, it still counts as being discarded, but it doesn't actually get to your graveyard before you cast it. That means your opponent can't remove it from your graveyard "in response" to stop you from casting the spell. Abilities that trigger on a card being discarded, however, will still trigger.

Do note that while your opponent won't be able to remove it from your graveyard, they could remove it from the exile zone in order to stop you.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: I heard something about some sort of trick involving playing lands or casting sorceries that you could do with Madness. What is it and how does it work?
A: This "trick" is a loophole in the rules that has since been closed.

Madness used to work slightly differently, which made it possible in some cases to play lands or cast sorceries after you discarded the madness card, but before you cast it. This is no longer the case; the madness rules were changed slightly and the loop was closed.


Back to the Table of Contents

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Fear
Back to the Table of Contents

Comprehensive Rules entry for this keyword:
702.34. Fear

702.34a Fear is an evasion ability.

702.34b A creature with fear can't be blocked except by artifact creatures and/or black creatures. (See rule 509, "Declare Blockers Step.")

702.34c Multiple instances of fear on the same creature are redundant.

For general information about the combat phase, check the Combat, Attacking, Blocking, and Combat Damage entries in the Main Rules Q&A FAQ.

Specific Questions

Q: What does fear do?
A: A creature with fear can't be blocked except by artifact creatures and black creatures.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Can I use a text-altering spell like Mind Bend to change what fear does?
A: No. Since no color words actually appear on the card, text-altering effects can't change it.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: If I block a creature with fear with a black or artifact creature, and then my opponent alters my blocker to no longer be black or an artifact creature, what happens?
A: Absolutely nothing. Changing creatures after they've already been declared as blockers won't do anything, even if they would no longer be able to block.

Back to the Table of Contents

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Morph
Back to the Table of Contents

Comprehensive Rules entry for this keyword:
702.35. Morph

702.35a Morph is a static ability that functions in any zone from which you could play the card it's on, and the morph effect works any time the card is face down. "Morph [cost]" means "You may cast this card as a 2/2 face-down creature, with no text, no name, no subtypes, no expansion symbol, and no mana cost by paying rather than paying its mana cost." (See rule 707, "Face-Down Spells and Permanents.")

702.35b To cast a card using its morph ability, turn it face down. It becomes a 2/2 face-down creature card, with no text, no name, no subtypes, no expansion symbol, and no mana cost. Any effects or prohibitions that would apply to casting a card with these characteristics (and not the face-up card's characteristics) are applied to casting this card. These values are the copiable values of that object's characteristics. (See rule 613, "Interaction of Continuous Effects," and rule 706, "Copying Objects.") Put it onto the stack (as a face-down spell with the same characteristics), and pay rather than pay its mana cost. This follows the rules for paying alternative costs. You can use morph to cast a card from any zone from which you could normally play it. When the spell resolves, it enters the battlefield with the same characteristics the spell had. The morph effect applies to the face-down object wherever it is, and it ends when the permanent is turned face up.

702.35c You can't cast a card face down if it doesn't have morph.

702.35d If you have priority, you may turn a face-down permanent you control face up. This is a special action; it doesn't use the stack (see rule 115). To do this, show all players what the permanent's morph cost would be if it were face up, pay that cost, then turn the permanent face up. (If the permanent wouldn't have a morph cost if it were face up, it can't be turned face up this way.) The morph effect on it ends, and it regains its normal characteristics. Any abilities relating to the permanent entering the battlefield don't trigger when it's turned face up and don't have any effect, because the permanent has already entered the battlefield.

702.35e See rule 707, "Face-Down Spells and Permanents," for more information on how to cast cards with morph.

Specific Questions


Q: What does morph do?
A: Morph is an ability that applies whenever you could cast a card with Morph. Instead of casting it normally, you may choose to cast it face-down as a colorless, typeless 2/2 creature. It remains that way as long as it's face down. Any time you have priority, you may pay that card's morph cost to turn it face-up; when you do, it stops being a colorless, typeless 2/2 and reverts to its "normal" characteristics, whatever they may be.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: What is a face-down creature's name, creature type, mana cost or converted mana cost?
A: A face down creature has no mana cost (and therefore a converted mana cost of 0), a P/T of 2/2, no creature type, and no name. It basically looks like this:

_____ - {}
Creature
2/2


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: My face-down creature has some counters, Auras, and/or Equipment on it. If I turn if face-up, does it keep all that stuff?
A: Yes. It's still the same creature it was before; it's just changed a bit. It hasn't left the battlefield or done anything that might remove any of that, so all of it will remain.

Note that while turning the creature face-up doesn't make it a new creature and so doesn't inherently remove Auras or Equipment, it may cause your creature to suddenly be illegal for certain Auras or Equipment to be attached to that creature, which may cause them to fall off because the creature they're attached to is no longer legal.

For example, if you turn a face-down Akroma, Angel of Fury face-up, it will suddenly have protection from white and from blue, which will cause any white or blue Auras on it to be put into the graveyard. And if you turn your face-down Zoetic Cavern face-up, any Equipment attached to it (and any Auras that can't enchant a face-up Cavern) will fall off, because it's no longer legal for them to be attached to the Cavern.

Counters, however, will remain on a card no matter how its characteristics might change.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Can I respond to someone turning a morph creature face-up?
A: No. Turning a creature with morph face-up for its morph cost is a special action that does not use the stack and cannot be responded to.

However, you can respond to any triggered abilities that trigger on the morph being turned face-up, and you do get a chance to cast spells and activate abilities after the morph has been turned face-up. To find out more about exactly what constitutes a triggered ability, see the Triggered Abilities section of the Main Rules FAQ.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: When I turn a creature face-up, does it count as entering the battlefield?
A: No, it does not. It was already on the battlefield; it just turned face-up.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Can I turn my face-up creature with morph face-down again?
A: Not unless you have a card that lets you do so. Nothing about morph itself lets you turn your face-up creatures face-down again. All morph does is let you cast it face-down and then let you turn it face-up; it doesn't allow you to reverse the process.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Does turning a creature face-up or face-down tap or untap it?
A: No. Turning a permanent face up or face down doesn't change whether it's tapped or untapped.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Can my opponent look at my face-down creatures?
A: No. (That would kind of ruin the point.) Each player may only look at face-down creatures he or she controls.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Can a face-down spell be countered?
A: Yes; it's still a spell, and can still be countered. (Remember that it has to be revealed when it hits the graveyard.)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Can a morphed red creature block a creature with protection from red? If so, what happens if I turn the creature face-up?
A: Yes, you can do that. Face-down creatures are colorless, so you can block with the morph, and if you turn it face-up, nothing much happens; the pro: red creature will still be blocked. Blocking restrictions only matter as blockers are being declared; after that, they don't matter.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: My spell or ability tries to turn a morphed creature face-up. Do I have to pay the creature's morph cost?
A: No. If a spell or ability instructs you to turn a face-down permanent face up, you don't have to pay that permanent's morph cost to do so.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Can a card like Meddling Mage stop me from casting a card with morph?
A: It will stop you from casting it face-up, but you can still cast it face-down, as face-down morph cards have no name.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: My face-down morph creature is exiled with a card like Otherworldly Journey. When it comes back, will it be face-up or face-down? What happens if it phases out instead?
A: If your creature is exiled, it will be exiled face-up and will come back onto the battlefield face-up. This is because the creature "forgets" that it was face-down when it changes zones, and permanents always enter the battlefield face-up unless something specifically says otherwise.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Can I turn my morph creature face-up while it's still on the stack?
A: No; you can only turn morph cards face-up while the creature is on the battlefield.


Back to the Table of Contents

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Amplify
Back to the Table of Contents

Comprehensive Rules entry for this keyword:
702.36. Amplify

702.36a Amplify is a static ability. "Amplify N" means "As this object enters the battlefield, reveal any number of cards from your hand that share a creature type with it. This permanent enters the battlefield with N +1/+1 counters on it for each card revealed this way. You can't reveal this card or any other cards that are entering the battlefield at the same time as this card."

702.36b If a creature has multiple instances of amplify, each one works separately.

Specific Questions

Q: What does amplify do?
A: As a permanent with amplify X is entering the battlefield, you can choose to reveal any number of cards from your hand that share at least one creature type with it. For each card revealed that way, that permanent enters the battlefield with X +1/+1 counters on it.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: What happens if the creature with amplify has multiple creature types?
A: If a creature with amplify has multiple creature types, you can reveal cards of any of its types.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: What's the difference between amplify 1 and amplify 2?
A: The number of counters that you get. If you reveal two cards for a creature with amplify 1, it gets two +1/+1 counters, one for each card you revealed. If you reveal two cards for a creature with amplify 2, it gets four +1/+1 counters; two for each card revealed.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: It gets the counters when it enters the battlefield, right?
A: Not quite; it gets them as it enters the battlefield. There is no point when the creature is on the battlefield without the counters.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: What if two creatures with amplify enter the battlefield at the same time? Can I reveal the same cards for both of them?
A: Yes, you can.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: If I use Clone or a similar card on a creature with amplify, do I reveal Shapeshifters or cards of the copied creature's types?
A: Cards of the copied creature's types.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: If I use Artificial Evolution on a card with amplify, can I make it get rid of the counters?
A: No. After you've used it, amplify no longer cares what its creature types are.

However, you can use the Evolution to change the card's creature type while it's still a spell on the stack (to, say, Leviathan), and that can stop your opponent from getting any counters on it in the first place.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: What happens if my opponent uses Desertion on my creature?
A: Then your opponent is the one that gets to reveal cards for it.

Back to the Table of Contents

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Double Strike
Back to the Table of Contents

Comprehensive Rules entry for this keyword:
702.4. Double Strike

702.4a Double strike is a static ability that modifies the rules for the combat damage step. (See rule 510, "Combat Damage Step.")

702.4b If at least one attacking or blocking creature has first strike (see rule 702.7) or double strike 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.

702.4c Removing double strike from a creature during the first combat damage step will stop it from assigning combat damage in the second combat damage step.

702.4d Giving double strike to a creature with first strike after it has already dealt combat damage in the first combat damage step will allow the creature to assign combat damage in the second combat damage step.

702.4e Multiple instances of double strike on the same creature are redundant.

For general information about the combat phase, check the Combat, Attacking, Blocking, and Combat Damage entries in the Main Rules Q&A FAQ.

Specific Questions

Q: What is double strike and how does it work?
A: A creature with double strike deals both first strike combat damage and normal combat damage during combat.

For example, I attack you with a 1/1 creature with double strike. If you don't block it, it will deal 1 damage to you, and then another 1 damage to you, for a total of 2 damage. If you do block it, my double striker will deal 1 damage to the blocker(s), and then another 1 damage. If the blocking creature(s) doesn't have first strike or double strike, it will only deal damage to my doublestriker if it survives the first blow. If it does so, then it will deal its damage at the same time my doublestriker delivers the second blow.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: If my double strike creature is unblocked, will it deal damage to my opponent twice?
A: Yes. Double strike doesn't care whether the creature was blocked or not; it deals damage twice regardless.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Do I get to attack twice?
A: No, you do not get to attack twice. Double strike causes a creature to deal damage twice in a single combat phase.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: There's a triggered ability that will do something whenever my creature with double strike deals damage. (For example, it's equipped with Sword of Fire and Ice.) Do I get the trigger twice?
A: Yes. Your double strike creature is dealing damage two separate times, so you will get two separate triggers.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: What happens if my creature is blocked, but the first hit kills all the blocking creatures? Does the second hit go to my opponent?
A: No, it does not. A creature that has become blocked will remain blocked for the rest of combat, no matter what happens to the defending creatures, and blocked creatures will not deal damage to the defending player unless there is something that specifically allows them to, such as trample.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: What if a creature has both trample and double strike?
A: During each combat damage step, the controller must assign lethal damage to any surviving blocking creatures. Any "extra" damage can be assigned to the player, and if there are no surviving blockers, all of the damage is assigned to the player.

For example, a 2/1 double strike trample creature attacks and is blocked by a 1/1. The player assigns 1 damage to the 1/1 and 1 damage to the player. The defending player takes 1 damage and the creature is destroyed. Then, when normal damage is assigned, the controller assigns both of the points of damage to the defending player.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: How does double strike interact with first strike?
A: It doesn't. A creature with both first strike and double strike works exactly the same as a creature with only double strike. First strike works by making the creature deal its combat damage in the first of two combat damage steps. Double strike works by making the creature deal its combat damage in both steps. Thus, adding first strike to double strike is completely and utterly redundant.

Back to the Table of Contents

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Provoke
Back to the Table of Contents

Comprehensive Rules entry for this keyword:
702.37. Provoke

702.37a Provoke is a triggered ability. "Provoke" means "Whenever this creature attacks, you may choose to have target creature defending player controls block this creature this combat if able. If you do, untap that creature."

702.37b If a creature has multiple instances of provoke, each triggers separately.

For general information about the combat phase, check the Combat, Attacking, Blocking, and Combat Damage entries in the Main Rules Q&A FAQ.

Specific Questions

Q: What does provoke do?
A: Provoke is an ability that allows you to force your opponent's creatures into combat. When you attack with a creature with provoke, you may untap a target creature the defending player controls and have that creature block yours if able.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Can my opponent respond to provoke? Or do I just choose what blocks?
A: Provoke is a triggered ability and uses the stack, so your opponent can respond to it.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Does the creature I target with provoke have to be tapped?
A: No, it does not, but if it is, it untaps.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: I target a creature with a tap-ability with provoke, and it untaps. What happens if my opponent uses its ability to tap it again right away?
A: The creature is tapped, and thus cannot block, so it doesn't.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: What if I have a creature with flying (or some other evasion ability) and provoke? Can I make a creature block it that normally couldn't?
A: No, you cannot. Provoke only makes the creature block if it's able to. If your creature can fly over it, it can't block, and so doesn't.

Back to the Table of Contents

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Storm
Back to the Table of Contents

Comprehensive Rules entry for this keyword:
702.38. Storm

702.38a Storm is a triggered ability that functions on the stack. "Storm" means "When you cast this spell, put a copy of it onto the stack for each other spell that was cast before it this turn. If the spell has any targets, you may choose new targets for any of the copies."

702.38b If a spell has multiple instances of storm, each triggers separately.

Specific Questions

Q: What does storm do?
A: Storm is an ability that makes your spells better if other spells have been cast during the same turn. When you cast a spell with storm, in addition to the original spell, you create a copy of it for each spell that was cast before it during the current turn.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Do the storm copies count for future storm counts?
A: No. Storm only counts spells that have been cast, and storm copies are put directly onto the stack, not cast.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: What about copies created by ?
A: Read the card you're asking about. If the card says it copies a card, and then lets you cast that copy, it counts for storm because you cast it. If it just says you copy a spell, it doesn't count for storm, as the copies are put directly onto the stack, not cast.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Does making a storm copy count as casting a spell?
A: No. The copies are put directly onto the stack; they are not cast.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: How does storm interact with replicate?
A: It doesn't. At all. Replicate copies are never cast, so they don't count for storm, and if you somehow replicate a storm spell, the replicate copies will not themselves storm, for that very same reason. (And you can't replicate storm copies, either, again, because you're not casting them.)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: What happens if an opponent responds to my storm spell by casting some other spell? Do I get another copy?
A: No. Storm only counts spells that have been cast before yours; spells cast after it won't count.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: What happens if my opponent counters the original storm spell?
A: That one spell will be countered, but all the copies would still be there. Countering the original spell does nothing to the copies.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Can storm be responded to? Can it be Stifled?
A: Yes; storm is a triggered ability, so it can be both responded to and stifled.

Back to the Table of Contents

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Affinity
Back to the Table of Contents

Comprehensive Rules entry for this keyword:
702.39. Affinity

702.39a Affinity is a static ability that functions while the spell is on the stack. "Affinity for [text]" means "This spell costs you less to cast for each [text] you control."

702.39b The affinity ability reduces only the amount of generic mana a spell's controller has to pay; it doesn't reduce how much colored mana that player has to pay.

702.39c If a spell has multiple instances of affinity, each of them applies.

Specific Questions

Q: What does affinity do?
A: Affinity is a mechanic that makes your spells cheaper if you control certain kinds of permanents; your spells with affinity for X cost less to cast for each X you control. The more of the appropriate kind of permanent you control, the cheaper your spells become.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Can affinity reduce the amount of colored mana I pay?
A: No.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Does affinity change the mana cost or converted mana cost of the spell?
A: No; the mana cost and converted mana cost of a spell is determined solely by what's in the top-right corner of the card. Nothing else matters.

Back to the Table of Contents

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Entwine
Back to the Table of Contents

Comprehensive Rules entry for this keyword:
702.40. Entwine

702.40a Entwine is a static ability of modal spells (see rule 700.2) that functions while the spell is on the stack. "Entwine [cost]" means "You may choose all modes of this spell instead of just one. If you do, you pay an additional [cost]." Using the entwine ability follows the rules for choosing modes and paying additional costs in rules 601.2b and 601.2e-g.

702.40b If the entwine cost was paid, follow the text of each of the modes in the order written on the card when the spell resolves.

Specific Questions

Q: What does entwine do?
A: Entwine is an ability of modal spells (spells with "Choose one--") that allows you to choose both options if you pay the entwine cost.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: If I entwine a spell, in what order do I do the two parts?
A: You follow the instructions of the card in the order the card lists them.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: If I entwine a spell, can I do anything in between the two parts of the spell?
A: No, you cannot. You have to do it all at once. (Yes, it's a shame you can't both attack with that creature you Grab the Reins'd and sacrifice it, but that's the way these things go.)

Back to the Table of Contents

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Equip
Back to the Table of Contents

Comprehensive Rules entry for this keyword:
702.6. Equip

702.6a Equip is an activated ability of Equipment cards. "Equip [cost]" means "[Cost]: Attach this permanent to target creature you control. Activate this ability only any time you could cast a sorcery."

702.6b For more information about Equipment, see rule 301, "Artifacts."

702.6c If a permanent has multiple instances of equip, any of its equip abilities may be activated.

Specific Questions

Q: What does Equip do?
A: Equip is an ability of Equipment cards that allows you to pay some cost to attach them to a target creature you control. This attachment is permanent, and an Equip ability can only be played during your main phase, when you have priority and the stack is empty.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

See the main Rules Q&A FAQ entry on Equipment.

Back to the Table of Contents

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

This section has been removed. For information on Imprint, see the [post=10159806]Ability Words[/post] section.

[post=9971785]Back to the Table of Contents[/post]

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Modular
Back to the Table of Contents

Comprehensive Rules entry for this keyword:
702.41. Modular

702.41a Modular represents both a static ability and a triggered ability. "Modular N" means "This permanent enters the battlefield with N +1/+1 counters on it" and "When this permanent is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, you may put a +1/+1 counter on target artifact creature for each +1/+1 counter on this permanent."

702.41b If a creature has multiple instances of modular, each one works separately.

Specific Questions

Q: What does modular do?
A: A creature with modular X enters the battlefield with X +1/+1 counters on it, and when the creature dies you may put its +1/+1 counters onto a target artifact creature you control.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: When my creature with modular dies, do I put all of its +1/+1 counters on some other artifact creature, or just the ones it got from the modular ability?
A: All of them. +1/+1 counters are +1/+1 counters, no matter where they came from; modular doesn't care.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: When my creature with modular dies, can I split the counters among multiple artifact creatures?
A: No. Either one creature gets all of the counters, or none of them get any.

Back to the Table of Contents

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Scry
Back to the Table of Contents

Comprehensive Rules entry for this keyword:
701.18. Scry

701.18a To "scry N" means to look at the top N cards of your library, put any number of them on the bottom of your library in any order, and put the rest on top of your library in any order.


Specific Questions

Q: What does scry mean?
A: To "scry X" means to look at the top X cards of your library, put any number of them on the bottom of your library in any order, and put the rest on top of your library in any order.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: When do I scry for a spell or ability?
A: When a spell or ability resolves, you follow its instructions in the order they appear on the card. If scry comes first on the card, you do it first. If it comes last, you do it last. If it comes in the middle, you do it in the middle.

Back to the Table of Contents

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Sunburst
Back to the Table of Contents

Comprehensive Rules entry for this keyword:
702.42. Sunburst

702.42a Sunburst is a static ability that functions as an object is entering the battlefield from the stack. "Sunburst" means "If this object is entering the battlefield from the stack as a creature, it enters the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter on it for each color of mana spent to cast it. If this object is entering the battlefield from the stack and isn't entering the battlefield as a creature, it enters the battlefield with a charge counter on it for each color of mana spent to cast it."

702.42b Sunburst applies only as the spell is resolving and only if one or more colored mana was spent on its costs. Mana paid for additional or alternative costs applies.

702.42c Sunburst can also be used to set a variable number for another ability. If the keyword is used in this way, it doesn't matter whether the ability is on a creature spell or on a noncreature spell.
Example: The ability "Modular -- Sunburst" means "This permanent enters the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter on it for each color of mana spent to cast it" and "When this permanent is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, you may put a +1/+1 counter on target artifact creature for each +1/+1 counter on this permanent."

702.42d If an object has multiple instances of sunburst, each one works separately.

Specific Questions

Q: What does sunburst do?
A: A permanent with sunburst enters the battlefield with a counter on it for each different color of mana that was spent to pay its mana cost. If it's a creature, those counters are +1/+1 counters. If it's not a creature, those counters are charge counters.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: I put a card with sunburst onto the battlefield through some method other than "casting" it. Does it get any counters?
A: No.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Can I pay more than the cost of the sunburst card so I get more counters?
A: Only if you have some way of increasing the total cost or paying some alternate cost. You can't pay extra for a cost for no reason.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: I use copying card (such as Sculpting Steel) to copy a permanent with Sunburst. How many counters do I get?
A: You get counters based on the mana you used to cast the copy card.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: There's a March of the Machines on the battlefield, and I cast a noncreature artifact with sunburst. What kind of counters do I get?
A: You get charge counters. The type of counter you get is determined before you begin applying continuous effects like the Machines' animation.

Back to the Table of Contents

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Bushido
Back to the Table of Contents

Comprehensive Rules entry for this keyword:
702.43. Bushido

702.43a Bushido is a triggered ability. "Bushido N" means "Whenever this creature blocks or becomes blocked, it gets +N/+N until end of turn." (See rule 509, "Declare Blockers Step.")

702.43b If a creature has multiple instances of bushido, each triggers separately.

For general information about the combat phase, check the Combat, Attacking, Blocking, and Combat Damage entries in the Main Rules Q&A FAQ.

Specific Questions

Q: What does bushido do?
A: When a creature with bushido X blocks or becomes blocked, it gets +X/+X until the end of the turn.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: My bushido creature gets blocked by more than one creature at once--do I get the bonus more than once?
A: No. Bushido triggers only once per block, no matter how many creatures are blocking.

Back to the Table of Contents

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Soulshift
Back to the Table of Contents

Comprehensive Rules entry for this keyword:
702.44. Soulshift

702.44a Soulshift is a triggered ability. "Soulshift N" means "When this permanent is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, you may return target Spirit card with converted mana cost N or less from your graveyard to your hand."

702.44b If a permanent has multiple instances of soulshift, each triggers separately.

Specific Questions

Q: What does soulshift do?
A: When a creature with soulshift X goes to a graveyard from the battlefield, you may return a target Spirit card with converted mana cost X or less from your graveyard to your hand.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: If a creature with soulshift goes to the graveyard at the same time as some other creatures, can the soulshift return one of the creatures that died at the same time?
A: Yes. By the time you choose targets, all of those other creatures are in the graveyard too, making them legal targets. (Note that they still have to be Spirits!)

Back to the Table of Contents

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Splice
Back to the Table of Contents

Comprehensive Rules entry for this keyword:
702.45. Splice

702.45a Splice is a static ability that functions while a card is in your hand. "Splice onto [subtype] [cost]" means "You may reveal this card from your hand as you cast a [subtype] spell. If you do, copy this card's text box onto that spell and pay [cost] as an additional cost to cast that spell." Paying a card's splice cost follows the rules for paying additional costs in rules 601.2b and 601.2e-g.
Example: Since the card with splice remains in the player's hand, it can later be cast normally or spliced onto another spell. It can even be discarded to pay a "discard a card" cost of the spell it's spliced onto.

702.45b You can't choose to use a splice ability if you can't make the required choices (targets, etc.) for that card's instructions. You can't splice any one card onto the same spell more than once. If you're splicing more than one card onto a spell, reveal them all at once and choose the order in which their instructions will be followed. The instructions on the main spell have to be followed first.

702.45c The spell has the characteristics of the main spell, plus the text boxes of each of the spliced cards. The spell doesn't gain any other characteristics (name, mana cost, color, supertypes, card types, subtypes, etc.) of the spliced cards. Text copied onto the spell that refers to a card by name refers to the spell on the stack, not the card from which the text was copied.
Example: Glacial Ray is a red card with splice onto Arcane that reads, "Glacial Ray deals 2 damage to target creature or player." Suppose Glacial Ray is spliced onto Reach Through Mists, a blue spell. The spell is still blue, and Reach Through Mists deals the damage. This means that the ability can target a creature with protection from red and deal 2 damage to that creature.

702.45d Choose targets for the added text normally (see rule 601.2c). Note that a spell with one or more targets will be countered if all of its targets are illegal on resolution.

702.45e The spell loses any splice changes once it leaves the stack (for example, when it's countered, it's exiled, or it resolves).

Specific Questions

Q: What does splice do?
A: Splice onto X allows you to "splice" your spells onto one another, customizing your spells and getting multiple different effects from a single spell. When you cast an X spell, you may reveal any number of cards with Splice onto X in your hand and pay their splice costs in addition to the card's normal mana cost. If you do, that spell has all of those other spell's effects in addition to its own.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: I don't get it--why would I splice the card onto some other spell when I could just cast it?
A: When you splice a card onto some other spell, the card with splice stays in your hand, meaning you'll be able to cast it or splice it onto some other spell later. You can use this to essentially re-use your spells over and over--with a single Glacial Ray in your hand, all of your other Arcane spells will deal 2 damage in addition to what they normally do, as long as you can pay for the splicing.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: When do I have to say I'm splicing some cards onto my spell?
A: As you're casting it. After that, it's too late; you can't go back and splice cards on retroactively.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Can I splice the same card onto the same spell more than once?
A: No, you can only splice a particular card onto a spell once. (Though if you have multiple copies of a card in hand, you can splice each of them onto the spell once.)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: I somehow copy a spell that has had spells spliced onto it. (Using, say, Twincast.) Do I get the stuff that's spliced onto the spell, too?
A: Yes, you do.

Back to the Table of Contents

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Defender
Back to the Table of Contents

Comprehensive Rules entry for this keyword:
702.3. Defender

702.3a Defender is a static ability.

702.3b A creature with defender can't attack.

702.3c Multiple instances of defender on the same creature are redundant.

For general information about the combat phase, check the Combat, Attacking, Blocking, and Combat Damage entries in the Main Rules Q&A FAQ.

Specific Questions

Q: What does defender do?
A: A creature with defender can't attack.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: "Defender"? So what happened to walls?
A: All walls have received errata to have defender; the wall creature type no longer has any rules associated with it. That means that turning creatures into walls won't stop them from attacking, and changing your walls into something else won't allow them to attack. (Except for Mistform Wall.)

Back to the Table of Contents

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Offering
Back to the Table of Contents

Comprehensive Rules entry for this keyword:
702.46. Offering

702.46a Offering is a static ability of a card that functions in any zone from which the card can be cast. "[Subtype] offering" means "You may cast this card any time you could cast an instant by sacrificing a [subtype] permanent. If you do, the total cost to cast this card is reduced by the sacrificed permanent's mana cost."

702.46b The permanent is sacrificed at the same time the spell is announced (see rule 601.2a). The total cost of the spell is reduced by the sacrificed permanent's mana cost (see rule 601.2e).

702.46c Generic mana in the sacrificed permanent's mana cost reduces generic mana in the total cost to cast the card with offering. Colored mana in the sacrificed permanent's mana cost reduces mana of the same color in the total cost to cast the card with offering. Colored mana in the sacrificed permanent's mana cost that doesn't match colored mana in the colored mana cost of the card with offering, or is in excess of the card's colored mana cost, reduces that much generic mana in the total cost.

Specific Questions

Q: What does offering do?
A: Offering is an ability that allows you to cast your spells more cheaply and at times you normally couldn't by sacrificing a permanent of the appropriate kind. You may cast a card using offering any time you have priority. When you cast a card using offering, you must sacrifice a permanent of the appropriate kind, and the cost of the spell with offering is reduced by the sacrificed permanent's mana cost.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Can I sacrifice multiple creatures to reduce the cost of an offering even more?
A: No. You can only sacrifice one creature per offering.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: My opponent tries to use offering to bring a creature out--can I kill the creature he's sacrificing in response in order to stop it?
A: No, you cannot. Sacrificing the creature is part of the cost of casting the creature; by the time you can respond, the creature's already dead.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: How is the cost reduction of offering calculated?
A: Colorless mana in the sacrificed creature's cost will reduce only colorless costs of the Patron, but colored costs will reduce either their color (if present) or colorless mana (if it isn't).

For example, you sacrifice Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker to cast Patron of the Akki. The total cost you will pay is - , which comes to .

Or, you sacrifice Hellhole Rats to cast Patron of the Nezumi. The total cost you will pay is - , which comes to .

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Can offering reduce additional costs imposed by cards such as Sphere of Resistance?
A: Yes; offering applies to all costs, not just the card's "natural" mana cost. (Though it might be hard to find creatures of the appropriate type with casting costs higher than 6 in the first place...)

Back to the Table of Contents

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Sign In to post comments