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Magic: The Gathering Rules - 1. Game Concepts

Updated: Jul 8


Break The Spell Instant for Magic The Gathering

Image Credit: Wizards of The Coast


100. General


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


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


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


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


100.2a In constructed play (a way of playing in which each player creates their own deck ahead of time), each deck has a minimum deck size of 60 cards. A constructed deck may contain any number of basic land cards and no more than four of any card with a particular English name other than basic land cards. For the purposes of deck construction, cards with interchangeable names have the same English name (see rule 201.3).


100.2b In limited play (a way of playing in which each player gets the same quantity of unopened Magic product such as booster packs and creates their own deck using only this product and basic land cards), each deck has a minimum deck size of 40 cards. A limited deck may contain as many duplicates of a card as are included with the product.


100.2c Commander decks are subject to additional deckbuilding restrictions and requirements. See rule 903, “Commander,” for details.


100.2d Some formats and casual play variants allow players to use a supplementary deck of nontraditional Magic cards (see rule 108.2a). These supplementary decks have their own deck construction rules. See rule 717, “Attraction Cards;” rule 901, “Planechase;” and rule 904, “Archenemy.”


100.3. Some cards require coins or traditional dice. Some casual variants require additional items, such as specially designated cards, nontraditional Magic cards, and specialized dice.


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


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


100.4b In limited play involving individual players, all cards in a player’s card pool not included in their deck are in that player’s sideboard.


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


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


100.5. If a deck must contain at least a certain number of cards, that number is referred to as a minimum deck size. There is no maximum deck size for non-Commander decks.


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


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


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


100.7. Certain cards are intended for casual play and may have features and text that aren’t covered by these rules. These include Mystery Booster playtest cards, promotional cards and cards in “Un-sets” that were printed with a silver border, and cards in the Unfinity™ expansion that have an acorn symbol at the bottom of the card.


101. The Magic Golden Rules


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


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

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


101.2a Adding abilities to objects and removing abilities from objects don’t fall under this rule. (See rule 113.10.)


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


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

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


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


101.4b A player knows the choices made by the previous players when making their choice, except as specified in 101.4a.


101.4c If a player would make more than one choice at the same time, the player makes the choices in the order specified. If no order is specified, the player chooses the order.


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


101.4e If multiple players would make choices or take actions while starting the game, the starting player is considered the active player and each other player is considered a nonactive player.



102. Players


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


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


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


102.4. A spell or ability may use the term “your team” as shorthand for “you and/or your teammates.” In a game that isn’t a multiplayer game between teams, “your team” means the same thing as “you.”


103. Starting the Game


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


103.1a In a game using the shared team turns option, there is a starting team rather than a starting player.


103.1b In an Archenemy game, these methods aren’t used to determine who takes the first turn. Rather, the archenemy takes the first turn.


103.1c One card (Power Play) states that its controller is the starting player. This effect applies after this determination has happened and supersedes these methods.


103.2. Some games require additional steps that are taken after the starting player has been determined. Perform the actions listed in 103.2a–e in order, as applicable.


103.2a If any players are using sideboards (see rule 100.4) or cards being represented by substitute cards (see rule 713), those cards are set aside. After this happens, each player’s deck is considered their starting deck.


103.2b If any players wish to reveal a card with a companion ability that they own from outside the game, they may do so. A player may reveal no more than one card this way, and they may do so only if their deck fulfills the condition of that card’s companion ability. The revealed card remains outside the game. (See rule 702.139, “Companion.”)


103.2c In a Commander game, each player puts their commander from their deck face up into the command zone. See rule 903.6.


103.2d In a constructed game, each player playing with sticker sheets reveals all of their sticker sheets and chooses three of them at random. In a limited game, each player chooses up to three sticker sheets from among those in the sealed product they opened and reveals them. In either case, that player has access to only the stickers on the chosen sheets during the game, and those sticker sheets remain revealed. (See rule 123, “Stickers.”)


103.2e In a Conspiracy Draft game, each player puts any number of conspiracy cards from their sideboard into the command zone. See rule 905.4.


103.3. After the starting player has been determined and any additional steps performed, each player shuffles their deck so that the cards are in a random order. Each player may then shuffle or cut their opponents’ decks. The players’ decks become their libraries.


103.3a In a game using one or more supplementary decks of nontraditional cards (see rule 100.2d), each supplementary deck’s owner shuffles it so the cards are in a random order. Each player may then shuffle or cut their opponents’ supplementary decks.


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


103.4a In a Two-Headed Giant game, each team’s starting life total is 30.


103.4b In a Vanguard game, each player’s starting life total is 20 plus or minus the life modifier of their vanguard card.


103.4c In a Commander game, each player’s starting life total is 40.


103.4d In a two-player Brawl game, each player’s starting life total is 25. In a multiplayer Brawl game, each player’s starting life total is 30.


103.4e In an Archenemy game, the archenemy’s starting life total is 40.


103.5. Each player draws a number of cards equal to their starting hand size, which is normally seven. (Some effects can modify a player’s starting hand size.) A player who is dissatisfied with their initial hand may take a mulligan. First, the starting player declares whether they will take a mulligan. Then each other player in turn order does the same. Once each player has made a declaration, all players who decided to take mulligans do so at the same time. To take a mulligan, a player shuffles the cards in their hand back into their library, draws a new hand of cards equal to their starting hand size, then puts a number of those cards equal to the number of times that player has taken a mulligan on the bottom of their library in any order. Once a player chooses not to take a mulligan, the remaining cards become that player’s opening hand, and that player may not take any further mulligans. This process is then repeated until no player takes a mulligan. A player can take mulligans until their opening hand would be zero cards, after which they may not take further mulligans.


103.5a In a Vanguard game, each player’s starting hand size is seven plus or minus the hand modifier of their vanguard card.


103.5b If an effect allows a player to perform an action “any time [that player] could mulligan,” the player may perform that action at a time they would declare whether they will take a mulligan. This need not be in the first round of mulligans. Other players may have already made their mulligan declarations by the time the player has the option to perform this action. If the player performs the action, they then declare whether they will take a mulligan.


103.5c In a multiplayer game and in any Brawl game, the first mulligan a player takes doesn’t count toward the number of cards that player will put on the bottom of their library or the number of mulligans that player may take. Subsequent mulligans are counted toward these numbers as normal.


103.5d In a multiplayer game using the shared team turns option, first each player on the starting team declares whether that player will take a mulligan, then the players on each other team in turn order do the same. Teammates may consult while making their decisions. Then all mulligans are taken at the same time. A player may take a mulligan even after a teammate has decided to keep their opening hand.


103.6. Some cards allow a player to take actions with them from their opening hand. Once the mulligan process (see rule 103.5) is complete, the starting player may take any such actions in any order. Then each other player in turn order may do the same.


103.6a If a card allows a player to begin the game with that card on the battlefield, the player taking this action puts that card onto the battlefield.


103.6b If a card allows a player to reveal it from their opening hand, the player taking this action does so. The card remains revealed until the first turn begins. Each card may be revealed this way only once.


103.6c In a multiplayer game using the shared team turns option, first each player on the starting team, in whatever order that team likes, may take such actions. Teammates may consult while making their decisions. Then each player on each other team in turn order does the same.


103.7. In a Planechase game, the starting player moves the top card of their planar deck off that planar deck and turns it face up. If it’s a phenomenon card, the player puts that card on the bottom of their planar deck and repeats this process until a plane card is turned face up. The face-up plane card becomes the starting plane. (See rule 901, “Planechase.”)


103.8. The starting player takes their first turn.


103.8a In a two-player game, the player who plays first skips the draw step (see rule 504, “Draw Step”) of their first turn.


103.8b In a Two-Headed Giant game, the team who plays first skips the draw step of their first turn.


103.8c In all other multiplayer games, no player skips the draw step of their first turn.


104. Ending the Game


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


104.2. There are several ways to win the game.


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


104.2b An effect may state that a player wins the game.


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


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


104.3. There are several ways to lose the game.


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


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


104.3c If a player is required to draw more cards than are left in their library, they draw the remaining cards and then lose the game the next time a player would receive priority. (This is a state-based action. See rule 704.)


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


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


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


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


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


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


104.3j In a Commander game, a player who’s been dealt 21 or more combat damage by the same commander over the course of the game loses the game. (This is a state-based action. See rule 704. See also rule 903.10.)


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


104.6. One card (Karn Liberated) restarts the game. All players still in the game when it restarts then immediately begin a new game. See rule 724, “Restarting the Game.”


105. Colors


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


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


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


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


105.2c A colorless object has no color.


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


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


105.5. If an effect refers to a color pair, it means exactly two of the five colors. There are ten color pairs: white and blue, white and black, blue and black, blue and red, black and red, black and green, red and green, red and white, green and white, and green and blue.


106. Mana


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


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


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


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


106.3. Mana is produced by the effects of mana abilities (see rule 605). It may also be produced by the effects of spells, as well as by the effects of abilities that aren’t mana abilities. A spell or ability that produces mana instructs a player to add that mana. If mana is produced by a spell, the source of that mana is that spell. If mana is produced by an ability, the source of that mana is the source of that ability (see rule 113.7).


106.4. When an effect instructs a player to add mana, that mana goes into a player’s mana pool. From there, it can be used to pay costs immediately, or it can stay in the player’s mana pool as unspent mana. Each player’s mana pool empties at the end of each step and phase, and the player is said to lose this mana. Cards with abilities that produce mana or refer to unspent mana have received errata in the Oracle™ card reference to no longer explicitly refer to the mana pool.


106.4a If any mana remains in a player’s mana pool after mana is spent to pay a cost, that player announces what mana is still there.


106.4b If a player passes priority (see rule 117) while there is mana in their mana pool, that player announces what mana is there.


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

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


106.6. Some spells or abilities that produce mana restrict how that mana can be spent, have an additional effect that affects the spell or ability that mana is spent on, or create a delayed triggered ability (see rule 603.7a) that triggers when that mana is spent. This doesn’t affect the mana’s type.

Example: A player’s mana pool contains {R}{G} which can be spent only to cast creature spells. That player activates Doubling Cube’s ability, which reads “{3}, {T}: Double the amount of each type of unspent mana you have.” The player’s mana pool now has {R}{R}{G}{G} in it, {R}{G} of which can be spent on anything.


106.6a Some replacement effects increase the amount of mana produced by a spell or ability. In these cases, any restrictions or additional effects created by the spell or ability will apply to all mana produced. If the spell or ability creates a delayed triggered ability that triggers when the mana is spent, a separate delayed triggered ability is created for each mana produced. If the spell or ability creates a continuous effect or replacement effect if the mana is spent, a separate effect is created once for each mana produced.


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

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


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


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


106.10. If an effect would add mana represented by a generic mana symbol to a player’s mana pool, that much colorless mana is added to that player’s mana pool.


106.11. If an effect would add mana represented by one or more snow mana symbols to a player’s mana pool, that much colorless mana is added to that player’s mana pool.


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


106.12a An ability that triggers whenever a permanent “is tapped for mana” or is tapped for mana of a specified type triggers whenever such a mana ability resolves and produces mana or the specified type of mana.


106.12b A replacement effect that applies if a permanent “is tapped for mana” or tapped for mana of a specific type and/or amount modifies the mana production event while such an ability is resolving and producing mana or the specified type and/or amount of mana.


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


107. Numbers and Symbols


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


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


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

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

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

Example: Chameleon Colossus is a 4/4 creature with the ability “{2}{G}{G}: Chameleon Colossus gets +X/+X until end of turn, where X is its power.” An effect gives it -6/-0, then its ability is activated. It remains a -2/4 creature. It doesn’t become -4/2.


107.1c If a rule or ability instructs a player to choose “any number,” that player may choose any positive number or zero.


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


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


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


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


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


107.3d If a cost associated with a special action, such as a suspend cost or a morph cost, has an {X} or an X in it, the value of X is chosen by the player taking the special action immediately before they pay that cost.


107.3e If a spell or ability refers to the {X} or X in the mana cost, alternative cost, additional cost, or activation cost of another object, any X in that spell or ability’s text uses the value of X chosen or defined for the other object.


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


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


107.3h If an effect instructs a player to pay an object’s mana cost that includes {X}, the value of X is treated as 0 unless the object is a spell on the stack. In that case, the value of X is the value chosen or determined for it as the spell was cast.


107.3i Normally, all instances of X on an object have the same value at any given time.


107.3j If an object gains an ability, the value of X within that ability is the value defined by that ability, or 0 if that ability doesn’t define a value of X. This is an exception to rule 107.3i. This may occur with ability-adding effects, text-changing effects, or copy effects.


107.3k If an object’s activated ability has an {X}, [-X], or X in its activation cost, the value of X for that ability is independent of any other values of X chosen for that object or for other instances of abilities of that object. This is an exception to rule 107.3i.


107.3m If an object’s enters-the-battlefield triggered ability or replacement effect refers to X, and the spell that became that object as it resolved had a value of X chosen for any of its costs, the value of X for that ability is the same as the value of X for that spell, although the value of X for that permanent is 0. This is an exception to rule 107.3i.


107.3n If a delayed triggered ability created by a resolving spell or ability refers to X, X is not defined in the text of that triggered ability, and the spell or ability that created it had a value of X chosen for any of its costs, the value of X for the triggered ability is the same as the value of X for the spell of ability that created it.


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


107.4. The mana symbols are {W}, {U}, {B}, {R}, {G}, and {C}; the numerical symbols {0}, {1}, {2}, {3}, {4}, and so on; the variable symbol {X}; the hybrid symbols {W/U}, {W/B}, {U/B}, {U/R}, {B/R}, {B/G}, {R/G}, {R/W}, {G/W}, and {G/U}; the monocolored hybrid symbols {2/W}, {2/U}, {2/B}, {2/R}, and {2/G}; the Phyrexian mana symbols {W/P}, {U/P}, {B/P}, {R/P}, and {G/P}; the hybrid Phyrexian symbols {W/U/P}, {W/B/P}, {U/B/P}, {U/R/P}, {B/R/P}, {B/G/P}, {R/G/P}, {R/W/P}, {G/W/P}, and {G/U/P}; and the snow mana symbol {S}.


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


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


107.4c The colorless mana symbol {C} is used to represent one colorless mana, and also to represent a cost that can be paid only with one colorless mana.


107.4d The symbol {0} represents zero mana and is used as a placeholder for a cost that can be paid with no resources. (See rule 118.5.)


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

Example: {G/W}{G/W} can be paid by spending {G}{G}, {G}{W}, or {W}{W}.


107.4f Phyrexian mana symbols are colored mana symbols: {W/P} is white, {U/P} is blue, {B/P} is black, {R/P} is red, and {G/P} is green. A Phyrexian mana symbol represents a cost that can be paid either with one mana of its color or by paying 2 life. There are also ten hybrid Phyrexian mana symbols. A hybrid Phyrexian mana symbol represents a cost that can be paid with one mana of either of its component colors or by paying 2 life. A hybrid Phyrexian mana symbol is both of its component colors.

Example: {W/P}{W/P} can be paid by spending {W}{W}, by spending {W} and paying 2 life, or by paying 4 life.


107.4g In rules text, the Phyrexian symbol {P} with no colored background means any of the fifteen Phyrexian mana symbols.


107.4h When used in a cost, the snow mana symbol {S} represents a cost that can be paid with one mana of any type produced by a snow source (see rule 106.3). Effects that reduce the amount of generic mana you pay don’t affect {S} costs. The {S} symbol can also be used to refer to mana of any type produced by a snow source spent to pay a cost. Snow is neither a color nor a type of mana.


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


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


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


107.8. The text box of a leveler card contains two level symbols, each of which is a keyword ability that represents a static ability. The level symbol includes either a range of numbers, indicated here as “N1-N2,” or a single number followed by a plus sign, indicated here as “N3+.” Any abilities printed within the same text box striation as a level symbol are part of its static ability. The same is true of the power/toughness box printed within that striation, indicated here as “[P/T].” See rule 711, “Leveler Cards.”


107.8a “{LEVEL N1-N2} [Abilities] [P/T]” means “As long as this creature has at least N1 level counters on it, but no more than N2 level counters on it, it has base power and toughness [P/T] and has [abilities].”


107.8b “{LEVEL N3+} [Abilities] [P/T]” means “As long as this creature has N3 or more level counters on it, it has base power and toughness [P/T] and has [abilities].”


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


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


107.11. The Planeswalker symbol is {PW}. It appears on one face of the planar die used in the Planechase casual variant. It has five tines at the top and tapers to a point at the bottom. See rule 901, “Planechase.”


107.12. The chaos symbol is {CHAOS}. It appears on one face of the planar die used in the Planechase casual variant, as well as in abilities that refer to the results of rolling the planar die. It looks like a swirling vortex. See rule 901, “Planechase.”


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


107.14. The energy symbol is {E}. It represents one energy counter. To pay {E}, a player removes one energy counter from themselves.


107.15. The text box of a Saga card contains chapter symbols, each of which is a keyword ability that represents a triggered ability. A chapter symbol includes a Roman numeral, indicated here as “rN”. The text printed in the text box striation to the right of a chapter symbol is the effect of the triggered ability it represents. See rule 714, “Saga Cards.”


107.15a “{rN}—[Effect]” means “When one or more lore counters are put onto this Saga, if the number of lore counters on it was less than N and became at least N, [effect].”


107.15b “{rN1}, {rN2}—[Effect]” is the same as “{rN1}—[Effect]” and “{rN2}—[Effect].”


107.16. The text box of a Class card contains class level bars, each of which is a keyword ability that represents both an activated ability and a static ability. A class level bar includes the activation cost of its activated ability and a level number. Any abilities printed within the same text box section as the class level bar are part of its static ability. See rule 716, “Class Cards.”


107.16a “[Cost]: Level N — [Abilities]” means “[Cost]: This Class’s level becomes N. Activate only if this Class is level N-1 and only as a sorcery” and “As long as this Class is level N or greater, it has [abilities].”


107.17. The ticket symbol is {TK}. It represents one ticket counter.


107.17a A ticket symbol with a number inside it represents a ticket cost. To pay that cost, a player removes that many ticket counters from themselves.


108. Cards


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


108.2. When a rule or text on a card refers to a “card,” it means only a Magic card or an object represented by a Magic card.


108.2a Most Magic games use only traditional Magic cards, which measure approximately 2.5 inches (6.3 cm) by 3.5 inches (8.8 cm). Traditional Magic cards are included in players’ decks. Certain formats also use nontraditional Magic cards. Nontraditional Magic cards are not included in players’ decks. They may be used in supplementary decks. Additionally, they may be oversized, have different card backs, or both.


108.2b Tokens aren’t considered cards—even a card-sized game supplement that represents a token isn’t considered a card for rules purposes.


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


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


108.3b Some spells and abilities allow a player to take cards they own from outside the game and bring them into the game. (See rule 400.11b.) If a card outside that game is involved in a Magic game, its owner is determined as described in rule 108.3. If a card outside that game is in the sideboard of a Magic game (see rule 100.4), its owner is considered to be the player who started the game with it in their sideboard. In all other cases, the owner of a card outside the game is its legal owner.


108.4. A card doesn’t have a controller unless that card represents a permanent or spell; in those cases, its controller is determined by the rules for permanents or spells. See rules 110.2 and 112.2.


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


108.5. Nontraditional Magic cards can’t start the game in any zone other than the command zone (see rule 408). If an effect would bring a nontraditional Magic card other than a dungeon card (see rule 309, “Dungeons”) into the game from outside the game, it doesn’t; that card remains outside the game.


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


109. Objects


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


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


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


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


109.2c If a spell or ability uses a description of an object that includes the word “source,” it means a source matching that description—a source of an ability, of damage, or of mana—in any zone. See rules 113.7 and 609.7.


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


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


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


109.4a The controller of a mana ability is determined as though it were on the stack. See rule 605, “Mana Abilities.”


109.4b A triggered ability that has triggered but is waiting to be placed on the stack is controlled by the player who controlled its source at the time it triggered, unless it’s a delayed triggered ability. To determine the controller of a delayed triggered ability, see rules 603.7d–f. See also rule 603, “Handling Triggered Abilities.”


109.4c An emblem is controlled by the player who puts it into the command zone. See rule 114, “Emblems.”


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


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


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


109.4g In a Conspiracy Draft game, each conspiracy card is controlled by its owner. See rule 905.5.


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


110. Permanents


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


110.2. A permanent’s owner is the same as the owner of the card that represents it (unless it’s a token; see rule 111.2). A permanent’s controller is, by default, the player under whose control it entered the battlefield. Every permanent has a controller.


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


110.2b If an effect causes a player to gain control of another player’s permanent spell, the first player controls the permanent that spell becomes, but the permanent’s controller by default is the player who put that spell onto the stack. (This distinction is relevant in multiplayer games; see rule 800.4c.)


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


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


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


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


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


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


110.5a Status is not a characteristic, though it may affect a permanent’s characteristics.


110.5b Permanents enter the battlefield untapped, unflipped, face up, and phased in unless a spell or ability says otherwise.


110.5c A permanent retains its status until a spell, ability, or turn-based action changes it, even if that status is not relevant to it.

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


110.5d Only permanents have status. Cards not on the battlefield do not. Although an exiled card may be face down, this has no correlation to the face-down status of a permanent. Similarly, cards not on the battlefield are neither tapped nor untapped, regardless of their physical state.


111. Tokens


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


111.2. The player who creates a token is its owner. The token enters the battlefield under that player’s control.


111.3. The spell or ability that creates a token may define the values of any number of characteristics for the token. This becomes the token’s “text.” The characteristic values defined this way are functionally equivalent to the characteristic values that are printed on a card; for example, they define the token’s copiable values. A token doesn’t have any characteristics not defined by the spell or ability that created it.

Example: Jade Mage has the ability “{2}{G}: Create a 1/1 green Saproling creature token.” The resulting token has no mana cost, supertypes, rules text, or abilities.


111.4. A spell or ability that creates a token sets both its name and its subtype(s). If the spell or ability doesn’t specify the name of the token, its name is the same as its subtype(s) plus the word “Token.” Once a token is on the battlefield, changing its name doesn’t change its subtype(s), and vice versa.

Example: Dwarven Reinforcements is a sorcery that says, in part, “Create two 2/1 red Dwarf Berserker creature tokens.” The tokens created as it resolves are each named Dwarf Berserker Token and each have the creature types Dwarf and Berserker.

Example: Minsc, Beloved Ranger says, in part, “When Minsc, Beloved Ranger enters the battlefield, create Boo, a legendary 1/1 red Hamster creature token with trample and haste.” That token’s subtype is Hamster, but because Minsc specifies that the token’s name is Boo, neither “Hamster” nor “Token” are part of its name.

Example: Spitting Image is a sorcery that says, in part, “Create a token that’s a copy of target creature.” All of that token’s characteristics will match the copiable characteristics of the creature targeted by that spell. If Spitting Image targets Doomed Dissenter, a Human creature, the name of the token the spell creates will be Doomed Dissenter, not Human Token or Doomed Dissenter Token.


111.5. If a spell or ability would create a token, but a rule or effect states that a permanent with one or more of that token’s characteristics can’t enter the battlefield, the token is not created. Similarly, if an effect would create a token that is a copy of an instant or sorcery card, no token is created.


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


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


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


111.9. Some effects instruct a player to create a legendary token. These may be written “create [name], a . . .” and list characteristics for the token. This is the same as an instruction to create a token with the listed characteristics that has the given name.


111.10. Some effects instruct a player to create a predefined token. These effects use the definition below to determine the characteristics the token is created with. The effect that creates a predefined token may also modify or add to the predefined characteristics.


111.10a A Treasure token is a colorless Treasure artifact token with “{T}, Sacrifice this artifact: Add one mana of any color.”


111.10b A Food token is a colorless Food artifact token with “{2}, {T}, Sacrifice this artifact: You gain 3 life.”


111.10c A Gold token is a colorless Gold artifact token with “Sacrifice this artifact: Add one mana of any color.”


111.10d A Walker token is a 2/2 black Zombie creature token named Walker.


111.10e A Shard token is a colorless Shard enchantment token with “{2}, Sacrifice this enchantment: Scry 1, then draw a card.”


111.10f A Clue token is a colorless Clue artifact token with “{2}, Sacrifice this artifact: Draw a card.”


111.10g A Blood token is a colorless Blood artifact token with “{1}, {T}, Discard a card, Sacrifice this artifact: Draw a card.”


111.10h A Powerstone token is a colorless Powerstone artifact token with “{T}: Add {C}. This mana can’t be spent to cast a nonartifact spell.”


111.10i An Incubator token is a transforming double-faced token. Its front face is a colorless Incubator artifact with “{2}: Transform this artifact.” Its back face is a 0/0 colorless Phyrexian artifact creature named Phyrexian Token.


111.10j A Cursed Role token is a colorless Aura Role enchantment token named Cursed with enchant creature and “Enchanted creature has base power and toughness 1/1.”


111.10k A Monster Role token is a colorless Aura Role enchantment token named Monster with enchant creature and “Enchanted creature gets +1/+1 and has trample.”


111.10m A Royal Role token is a colorless Aura Role enchantment token named Royal with enchant creature and “Enchanted creature gets +1/+1 and has ward {1}.”


111.10n A Sorcerer Role token is a colorless Aura Role enchantment token named Sorcerer with enchant creature and “Enchanted creature gets +1/+1 and has ‘Whenever this creature attacks, scry 1.’”


111.10p A Virtuous Role token is a colorless Aura Role enchantment token named Virtuous with enchant creature and “Enchanted creature gets +1/+1 for each enchantment you control.”


111.10q A Wicked Role token is a colorless Aura Role enchantment token named Wicked with enchant creature, “Enchanted creature gets +1/+1,” and “When this Aura is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, each opponent loses 1 life.”


111.10r A Young Hero Role token is a colorless Aura Role enchantment token named Young Hero with enchant creature and “Enchanted creature has ‘Whenever this creature attacks, if its toughness is 3 or less, put a +1/+1 counter on it.’”


111.10s A Map token is a colorless Map artifact token with “{1}, {T}, Sacrifice this artifact: Target creature you control explores. Activate only as a sorcery.” See rule 701.40, “Explore.”


111.10t A Junk token is a colorless Junk artifact token with “{T}, Sacrifice this artifact: Exile the top card of your library. You may play that card this turn. Activate only as a sorcery.”


111.11. If an effect instructs a player to create a token that is a copy of a nonexistent object, no token is created (see rule 707, “Copying Objects”). This does not apply to an effect that would use the last known information of an object.

Example: Mimic Vat has a triggered ability whose effect gives you the option to exile a card and an activated ability that says “Create a token that’s a copy of a card exiled with Mimic Vat. It gains haste. Exile it at the beginning of the next end step.” If no card has been exiled with Mimic Vat’s triggered ability, no token is created.


111.12. A copy of a permanent spell becomes a token as it resolves. The token has the characteristics of the spell that became that token. The token is not “created” for the purposes of any replacement effects or triggered abilities that refer to creating a token.


112. Spells


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


112.1a A copy of a spell is also a spell, even if it has no card associated with it. See rule 707.10.


112.1b Some effects allow a player to cast a copy of a card; if the player does, that copy is a spell as well. See rule 707.12.


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


112.2a Some effects instruct a player to create a copy of a card and say they may cast it. In that case, the owner of that copy is the player who is instructed to create it and given permission to cast it.


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


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

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


113. Abilities


113.1. An ability can be one of three things:


113.1a An ability can be a characteristic an object has that lets it affect the game. An object’s abilities are defined by its rules text or by the effect that created it. Abilities can also be granted to objects by rules or effects. (Effects that grant abilities usually use the words “has,” “have,” “gains,” or “gain.”) Abilities generate effects. (See rule 609, “Effects.”)


113.1b An ability can be something that a player has that changes how the game affects the player. A player normally has no abilities unless granted to that player by effects.


113.1c An ability can be an activated or triggered ability on the stack. This kind of ability is an object. (See section 6, “Spells, Abilities, and Effects.”)


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


113.2a Abilities can be beneficial or detrimental.

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


113.2b An additional cost or alternative cost to cast a card is an ability of the card.


113.2c An object may have multiple abilities. If the object is represented by a card, then aside from certain defined abilities that may be strung together on a single line (see rule 702, “Keyword Abilities”), each paragraph break in a card’s text marks a separate ability. If the object is not represented by a card, the effect that created it may have given it multiple abilities. An object may also be granted additional abilities by a spell or ability. If an object has multiple instances of the same ability, each instance functions independently. This may or may not produce more effects than a single instance; refer to the specific ability for more information.


113.2d Abilities can generate one-shot effects or continuous effects. Some continuous effects are replacement effects or prevention effects. See rule 609, “Effects.”


113.3. There are four general categories of abilities:


113.3a Spell abilities are abilities that are followed as instructions while an instant or sorcery spell is resolving. Any text on an instant or sorcery spell is a spell ability unless it’s an activated ability, a triggered ability, or a static ability that fits the criteria described in rule 113.6.


113.3b Activated abilities have a cost and an effect. They are written as “[Cost]: [Effect.] [Activation instructions (if any).]” A player may activate such an ability whenever they have priority. Doing so puts it on the stack, where it remains until it’s countered, it resolves, or it otherwise leaves the stack. See rule 602, “Activating Activated Abilities.”


113.3c Triggered abilities have a trigger condition and an effect. They are written as “[Trigger condition], [effect],” and include (and usually begin with) the word “when,” “whenever,” or “at.” Whenever the trigger event occurs, the ability is put on the stack the next time a player would receive priority and stays there until it’s countered, it resolves, or it otherwise leaves the stack. See rule 603, “Handling Triggered Abilities.”


113.3d Static abilities are written as statements. They’re simply true. Static abilities create continuous effects which are active while the permanent with the ability is on the battlefield and has the ability, or while the object with the ability is in the appropriate zone. See rule 604, “Handling Static Abilities.”


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


113.5. Some activated abilities are loyalty abilities. Loyalty abilities follow special rules: A player may activate a loyalty ability of a permanent they control any time they have priority and the stack is empty during a main phase of their turn, but only if no player has previously activated a loyalty ability of that permanent that turn. See rule 606, “Loyalty Abilities.”


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


113.6a Characteristic-defining abilities function everywhere, even outside the game and before the game begins. (See rule 604.3.)


113.6b An ability that states which zones it functions in functions only from those zones.


113.6c An ability that states which zones it doesn’t function in functions everywhere except for the specified zones, even outside the game and before the game begins.


113.6d An object’s ability that allows a player to pay an alternative cost rather than its mana cost or otherwise modifies what that particular object costs to cast functions on the stack.


113.6e An object’s ability that restricts or modifies how that particular object can be played or cast functions in any zone from which it could be played or cast and also on the stack. An object’s ability that grants it another ability that restricts or modifies how that particular object can be played or cast functions only on the stack.


113.6f An object’s ability that restricts or modifies what zones that particular object can be played or cast from functions everywhere, even outside the game.


113.6g An object’s ability that states it can’t be countered or can’t be copied functions on the stack.


113.6h An object’s ability that modifies how that particular object enters the battlefield functions as that object is entering the battlefield. See rule 614.12.


113.6i An object’s ability that states counters can’t be put on that object functions as that object is entering the battlefield in addition to functioning while that object is on the battlefield.


113.6j An object’s activated ability that has a cost that can’t be paid while the object is on the battlefield functions from any zone in which its cost can be paid.


113.6k A trigger condition that can’t trigger from the battlefield functions in all zones it can trigger from. Other trigger conditions of the same triggered ability may function in different zones.

Example: Absolver Thrull has the ability “When Absolver Thrull enters the battlefield or the creature it haunts dies, destroy target enchantment.” The first trigger condition functions from the battlefield and the second trigger condition functions from the exile zone. (See rule 702.55, “Haunt.”)


113.6m An ability whose cost or effect specifies that it moves the object it’s on out of a particular zone functions only in that zone, unless its trigger condition or a previous part of its cost or effect specifies that the object is put into that zone or, if the object is an Aura, that the object it enchants leaves the battlefield. The same is true if the effect of that ability creates a delayed triggered ability whose effect moves the object out of a particular zone.

Example: Reassembling Skeleton says “{1}{B}: Return Reassembling Skeleton from your graveyard to the battlefield tapped.” A player may activate this ability only if Reassembling Skeleton is in their graveyard.


113.6n An ability that modifies the rules for deck construction functions before the game begins. Such an ability modifies not just the Comprehensive Rules, but also the Magic: The Gathering Tournament Rules and any other documents that set the deck construction rules for a specific format. However, such an ability can’t affect the format legality of a card, including whether it’s banned or restricted. The current Magic: The Gathering Tournament Rules can be found at WPN.Wizards.com/en/resources/rules-documents.


113.6p Abilities of emblems, plane cards, vanguard cards, scheme cards, and conspiracy cards function in the command zone. See rule 114, “Emblems”; rule 901, “Planechase”; rule 902, “Vanguard”; rule 904, “Archenemy”; and rule 905, “Conspiracy Draft.”


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


113.7a Once activated or triggered, an ability exists on the stack independently of its source. Destruction or removal of the source after that time won’t affect the ability. Note that some abilities cause a source to do something (for example, “Prodigal Pyromancer deals 1 damage to any target”) rather than the ability doing anything directly. In these cases, any activated or triggered ability that references information about the source for use while announcing an activated ability or putting a triggered ability on the stack checks that information when the ability is put onto the stack. Otherwise, it will check that information when it resolves. In both instances, if the source is no longer in the zone it’s expected to be in at that time, its last known information is used. The source can still perform the action even though it no longer exists.


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


113.9. Activated and triggered abilities on the stack aren’t spells, and therefore can’t be countered by anything that counters only spells. Activated and triggered abilities on the stack can be countered by effects that specifically counter abilities. Static abilities don’t use the stack and thus can’t be countered at all.


113.10. Effects can add or remove abilities of objects. An effect that adds an ability will state that the object “gains” or “has” that ability, or similar. An effect that removes an ability will state that the object “loses” that ability.


113.10a An effect that adds an activated ability may include activation instructions for that ability. These instructions become part of the ability that’s added to the object.


113.10b Effects that remove an ability remove all instances of it.


113.10c If two or more effects add and remove the same ability, in general the most recent one prevails. See rule 613 for more information about the interaction of continuous effects.


113.11. Effects can stop an object from having a specified ability. These effects say that the object “can’t have” that ability. If the object has that ability, it loses it. It’s also impossible for an effect or keyword counter to add that ability to the object. If a resolving spell or ability creates a continuous effect that would add the specified ability to such an object, that part of that continuous effect does not apply; however, other parts of that continuous effect will still apply, and that resolving spell or ability can still create other continuous effects. Continuous effects created by static abilities that would add the specified ability won’t apply to that object.


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

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


114. Emblems


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


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


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


114.4. Abilities of emblems function in the command zone.


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


115. Targets


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


115.1a An instant or sorcery spell is targeted if its spell ability identifies something it will affect by using the phrase “target [something],” where the “something” is a phrase that describes an object and/or player. The target(s) are chosen as the spell is cast; see rule 601.2c. (If an activated or triggered ability of an instant or sorcery uses the word target, that ability is targeted, but the spell is not.)

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


115.1b Aura spells are always targeted. An Aura’s target is specified by its enchant keyword ability (see rule 702.5, “Enchant”). The target is chosen as the spell is cast; see rule 601.2c. An Aura permanent doesn’t target anything; only the spell is targeted. (An activated or triggered ability of an Aura permanent can also be targeted.)


115.1c An activated ability is targeted if it identifies something it will affect by using the phrase “target [something],” where the “something” is a phrase that describes an object and/or player. The target(s) are chosen as the ability is activated; see rule 602.2b.


115.1d A triggered ability is targeted if it identifies something it will affect by using the phrase “target [something],” where the “something” is a phrase that describes an object and/or player. The target(s) are chosen as the ability is put on the stack; see rule 603.3d.


115.1e Some keyword abilities, such as equip and modular, represent targeted activated or triggered abilities, and some keyword abilities, such as mutate, cause spells to have targets. In those cases, the phrase “target [something]” appears in the rule for that keyword ability rather than in the ability itself. (The keyword’s reminder text will often contain the word “target.”) See rule 702, “Keyword Abilities.”


115.2. Only permanents are legal targets for spells and abilities, unless a spell or ability (a) specifies that it can target an object in another zone or a player, or (b) targets an object that can’t exist on the battlefield, such as a spell or ability. See also rule 115.4.


115.3. The same target can’t be chosen multiple times for any one instance of the word “target” on a spell or ability. If the spell or ability uses the word “target” in multiple places, the same object or player can be chosen once for each instance of the word “target” (as long as it fits the targeting criteria). This rule applies both when choosing targets for a spell or ability and when changing targets or choosing new targets for a spell or ability (see rule 115.7).


115.4. Some spells and abilities that refer to damage require “any target,” “another target,” “two targets,” or similar rather than “target [something].” These targets may be creatures, players, planeswalkers, or battles. Other game objects, such as noncreature artifacts or spells, can’t be chosen.


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


115.6. A spell or ability that requires targets may allow zero targets to be chosen. Such a spell or ability is still said to require targets, but that spell or ability is targeted only if one or more targets have been chosen for it.


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


115.7a If an effect allows a player to “change the target(s)” of a spell or ability, each target can be changed only to another legal target. If a target can’t be changed to another legal target, the original target is unchanged, even if the original target is itself illegal by then. If all the targets aren’t changed to other legal targets, none of them are changed.


115.7b If an effect allows a player to “change a target” of a spell or ability, the process described in rule 115.7a is followed, except that only one of those targets may be changed (rather than all of them or none of them).


115.7c If an effect allows a player to “change any targets” of a spell or ability, the process described in rule 115.7a is followed, except that any number of those targets may be changed (rather than all of them or none of them).


115.7d If an effect allows a player to “choose new targets” for a spell or ability, the player may leave any number of the targets unchanged, even if those targets would be illegal. If the player chooses to change some or all of the targets, the new targets must be legal and must not cause any unchanged targets to become illegal.


115.7e When changing targets or choosing new targets for a spell or ability, only the final set of targets is evaluated to determine whether the change is legal.

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


115.7f A spell or ability may “divide” or “distribute” an effect (such as damage or counters) among one or more targets. When changing targets or choosing new targets for that spell or ability, the original division can’t be changed.


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


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


115.9a An object that looks for a “[spell or ability] with [a number of] targets” checks the number of times any object or player was chosen as the target of that spell or ability when it was put on the stack, not the number of its targets that are currently legal. If the same object or player became a target more than once, each of those instances is counted separately.


115.9b An object that looks for a “[spell or ability] that targets [something]” checks the current state of that spell or ability’s targets. If an object it targets is still in the zone it’s expected to be in or a player it targets is still in the game, that target’s current information is used, even if it’s not currently legal for that spell or ability. If an object it targets is no longer in the zone it’s expected to be in or a player it targets is no longer in the game, that target is ignored; its last known information is not used.


115.9c An object that looks for a “[spell or ability] that targets only [something]” checks the number of different objects or players that were chosen as targets of that spell or ability when it was put on the stack (as modified by effects that changed those targets), not the number of those objects or players that are currently legal targets. If that number is one (even if the spell or ability targets that object or player multiple times), the current state of that spell or ability’s target is checked as described in rule 115.9b.


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


115.10a Just because an object or player is being affected by a spell or ability doesn’t make that object or player a target of that spell or ability. Unless that object or player is identified by the word “target” in the text of that spell or ability, or the rule for that keyword ability, it’s not a target.


115.10b In particular, the word “you” in an object’s text doesn’t indicate a target.


116. Special Actions


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


116.2. There are eleven special actions:


116.2a Playing a land is a special action. To play a land, a player puts that land onto the battlefield from the zone it was in (usually that player’s hand). By default, a player can take this action only once during each of their turns. A player can take this action any time they have priority and the stack is empty during a main phase of their turn. See rule 305, “Lands.”


116.2b Turning a face-down creature face up is a special action. A player can take this action any time they have priority. See rule 708, “Face-Down Spells and Permanents.”


116.2c Some effects allow a player to take an action at a later time, usually to end a continuous effect or to stop a delayed triggered ability from triggering. Doing so is a special action. A player can take such an action any time they have priority, unless that effect specifies another timing restriction, for as long as the effect allows it.


116.2d Some effects from static abilities allow a player to take an action to ignore the effect from that ability for a duration. Doing so is a special action. A player can take such an action any time they have priority.


116.2e One card (Circling Vultures) has the ability “You may discard Circling Vultures any time you could cast an instant.” Doing so is a special action. A player can take such an action any time they have priority.


116.2f A player who has a card with suspend in their hand may exile that card. This is a special action. A player can take this action any time they have priority, but only if they could begin to cast that card by putting it onto the stack. See rule 702.62, “Suspend.”


116.2g A player who has chosen a companion may pay {3} to put that card from outside the game into their hand. This is a special action. A player can take this action any time they have priority and the stack is empty during a main phase of their turn, but only if they haven’t done so yet this game. (See rule 702.139, “Companion.”)


116.2h A player who has a card with foretell in their hand may pay {2} and exile that card face down. This is a special action. A player may take this action any time they have priority during their turn. See rule 702.143, “Foretell.”


116.2i In a Planechase game, rolling the planar die is a special action. A player can take this action any time they have priority and the stack is empty during a main phase of their turn. Taking this action costs a player an amount of mana equal to the number of times they have previously taken this action on that turn. Note that this number won’t be equal to the number of times the player has rolled the planar die that turn if an effect has caused the player to roll the planar die that turn. See rule 901, “Planechase.”


116.2j In a Conspiracy Draft game, turning a face-down conspiracy card in the command zone face up is a special action. A player can take this action any time they have priority. See rule 905.4a.


116.2k A player who has a card with plot in their hand may exile that card. This is a special action. A player can take this action any time they have priority during their own turn while the stack is empty. See rule 702.170, “Plot.”


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


117. Timing and Priority


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


117.1a A player may cast an instant spell any time they have priority. A player may cast a noninstant spell during their main phase any time they have priority and the stack is empty.


117.1b A player may activate an activated ability any time they have priority.


117.1c A player may take some special actions any time they have priority. A player may take other special actions during their main phase any time they have priority and the stack is empty. See rule 116, “Special Actions.”


117.1d A player may activate a mana ability whenever they have priority, whenever they are casting a spell or activating an ability that requires a mana payment, or whenever a rule or effect asks for a mana payment (even in the middle of casting or resolving a spell or activating or resolving an ability).


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


117.2a Triggered abilities can trigger at any time, including while a spell is being cast, an ability is being activated, or a spell or ability is resolving. (See rule 603, “Handling Triggered Abilities.”) However, nothing actually happens at the time an ability triggers. Each time a player would receive priority, each ability that has triggered but hasn’t yet been put on the stack is put on the stack. See rule 117.5.


117.2b Static abilities continuously affect the game. Priority doesn’t apply to them. (See rule 604, “Handling Static Abilities,” and rule 611, “Continuous Effects.”)


117.2c Turn-based actions happen automatically when certain steps or phases begin. They’re dealt with before a player would receive priority. See rule 117.3a. Turn-based actions also happen automatically when each step and phase ends; no player receives priority afterward. See rule 703, “Turn-Based Actions.”


117.2d State-based actions happen automatically when certain conditions are met. See rule 704. They’re dealt with before a player would receive priority. See rule 117.5.


117.2e Resolving spells and abilities may instruct players to make choices or take actions, or may allow players to activate mana abilities. Even if a player is doing so, no player has priority while a spell or ability is resolving. See rule 608, “Resolving Spells and Abilities.”


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


117.3a The active player receives priority at the beginning of most steps and phases, after any turn-based actions (such as drawing a card during the draw step; see rule 703) have been dealt with and abilities that trigger at the beginning of that phase or step have been put on the stack. No player receives priority during the untap step. Players usually don’t get priority during the cleanup step (see rule 514.3).


117.3b The active player receives priority after a spell or ability (other than a mana ability) resolves.


117.3c If a player has priority when they cast a spell, activate an ability, or take a special action, that player receives priority afterward.


117.3d If a player has priority and chooses not to take any actions, that player passes. If any mana is in that player’s mana pool, they announce what mana is there. Then the next player in turn order receives priority.


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


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


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


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


118. Costs


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


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


118.3. A player can’t pay a cost without having the necessary resources to pay it fully. For example, a player with only 1 life can’t pay a cost of 2 life, and a permanent that’s already tapped can’t be tapped to pay a cost. See rule 202, “Mana Cost and Color,” and rule 602, “Activating Activated Abilities.”


118.3a Paying mana is done by removing the indicated mana from a player’s mana pool. (Players can always pay 0 mana.) If excess mana remains in that player’s mana pool after making that payment, the player announces what mana is still there.


118.3b Paying life is done by subtracting the indicated amount of life from a player’s life total. (Players can always pay 0 life.)


118.3c Activating mana abilities is not mandatory, even if paying a cost is.

Example: A player controls Lodestone Golem, which says “Nonartifact spells cost {1} more to cast.” Another player removes the last time counter from a suspended sorcery card. That player must cast that spell if able, but doing so costs {1}. The player is forced to pay that cost if enough mana is in their mana pool, but the player isn’t forced to activate a mana ability to produce that mana. If they don’t, the card simply remains exiled.


118.4. Some costs include an {X} or an X. See rule 107.3.


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


118.5a A spell whose mana cost is {0} must still be cast the same way as one with a cost greater than zero; it won’t cast itself automatically. The same is true for an activated ability whose cost is {0}.


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


118.6a If an unpayable cost is increased by an effect or an additional cost is imposed, the cost is still unpayable. If an alternative cost is applied to an unpayable cost, including an effect that allows a player to cast a spell without paying its mana cost, the alternative cost may be paid.


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


118.7a Effects that reduce a cost by an amount of generic mana affect only the generic mana component of that cost. They can’t affect the colored or colorless mana components of that cost.


118.7b If a cost is reduced by an amount of colored or colorless mana, but the cost doesn’t require mana of that type, the cost is reduced by that amount of generic mana.


118.7c If a cost is reduced by an amount of colored mana that exceeds its mana component of that color, the cost’s mana component of that color is reduced to nothing and the cost’s generic mana component is reduced by the difference.


118.7d If a cost is reduced by an amount of colorless mana that exceeds its colorless mana component, the cost’s colorless mana component is reduced to nothing and the cost’s generic mana component is reduced by the difference.


118.7e If a cost is reduced by an amount of mana represented by a hybrid mana symbol, the player paying that cost chooses one half of that symbol at the time the cost reduction is applied (see rule 601.2f). If a colored half is chosen, the cost is reduced by one mana of that color. If a generic half is chosen, the cost is reduced by an amount of generic mana equal to that half’s number.


118.7f If a cost is reduced by an amount of mana represented by a Phyrexian mana symbol, the cost is reduced by one mana of that symbol’s color.


118.7g If a cost is reduced by an amount of mana represented by one or more snow mana symbols, the cost is reduced by that much generic mana.


118.8. Some spells and abilities have additional costs. An additional cost is a cost listed in a spell’s rules text, or applied to a spell or ability from another effect, that its controller must pay at the same time they pay the spell’s mana cost or the ability’s activation cost. Note that some additional costs are listed in keywords; see rule 702.


118.8a Any number of additional costs may be applied to a spell as it’s being cast or to an ability as it’s being activated. The controller of the spell or ability announces their intentions to pay any or all of those costs as described in rule 601.2b.


118.8b Some additional costs are optional.


118.8c If an effect instructs a player to cast a spell “if able,” and that spell has a mandatory additional cost that includes actions involving cards with a stated quality in a hidden zone, the player isn’t required to cast that spell, even if those cards are present in that zone.


118.8d Additional costs don’t change a spell’s mana cost, only what its controller has to pay to cast it. Spells and abilities that ask for that spell’s mana cost still see the original value.


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


118.9a Only one alternative cost can be applied to any one spell as it’s being cast. The controller of the spell announces their intentions to pay that cost as described in rule 601.2b.


118.9b Alternative costs are generally optional. An effect that allows you to cast a spell may require a certain alternative cost to be paid.


118.9c An alternative cost doesn’t change a spell’s mana cost, only what its controller has to pay to cast it. Spells and abilities that ask for that spell’s mana cost still see the original value.


118.9d If an alternative cost is being paid to cast a spell, any additional costs, cost increases, and cost reductions that affect that spell are applied to that alternative cost. (See rule 601.2f.)


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


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

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


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

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

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


118.12a Some spells, activated abilities, and triggered abilities read, “[Do something] unless [a player does something else].” This means the same thing as “[A player may do something else]. If [that player doesn’t], [do something].”


118.12b Some effects offer a player a choice to search a zone and take additional actions with the cards found in that zone, followed by an “If [a player] does” clause. This clause checks whether the player chose to search, not whether the player took any of the additional actions.


118.13. Some costs contain mana symbols that can be paid in multiple ways. These include hybrid mana symbols and Phyrexian mana symbols.


118.13a If the mana cost of a spell or the activation cost of an activated ability contains a mana symbol that can be paid in multiple ways, the choice of how to pay for that symbol is made as its controller proposes that spell or ability (see rule 601.2b).


118.13b If a cost paid during the resolution of a spell or ability contains a mana symbol that can be paid in multiple ways, the player paying that cost chooses how to pay for that symbol immediately before they pay that cost.


118.13c If the cost associated with a special action contains a mana symbol that can be paid in multiple ways, the player taking the special action chooses how to pay for that symbol immediately before they pay that cost.


118.14. Some effects say that “mana of any type can be spent” to pay a cost. This means that players may spend mana as though it were colorless mana or mana of any color to pay that cost. If that effect also gives a player permission to cast spells, this applies only to mana that player spends to cast spells that way. See rule 609.4b.


119. Life


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


119.1a In a Two-Headed Giant game, each team’s starting life total is 30. See rule 810, “Two-Headed Giant Variant.”


119.1b In a Vanguard game, each player’s starting life total is 20 plus or minus the life modifier of their vanguard card. See rule 902, “Vanguard.”


119.1c In a Commander game, each player’s starting life total is 40. See rule 903, “Commander.”


119.1d. In a two-player Brawl game, each player’s starting life total is 25. In a multiplayer Brawl game, each player’s starting life total is 30. See rule 903.12, “Brawl Option.”


119.1e In an Archenemy game, the archenemy’s starting life total is 40. See rule 904, “Archenemy.”


119.2. Damage dealt to a player normally causes that player to lose that much life. See rule 120.3.


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


119.4. If a cost or effect allows a player to pay an amount of life greater than 0, the player may do so only if their life total is greater than or equal to the amount of the payment. If a player pays life, the payment is subtracted from their life total; in other words, the player loses that much life.


119.4a If a cost or effect allows a player to pay an amount of life greater than 0 in a Two-Headed Giant game, the player may do so only if their team’s life total is greater than or equal to the total amount of life both team members are paying for that cost or effect. If a player pays life, the payment is subtracted from their team’s life total.


119.4b Players can always pay 0 life, no matter what their (or their team’s) life total is, and even if an effect says players can’t pay life.


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


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


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


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


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


119.10. Some replacement effects are written, “If [a player] would gain life, . . . .” Such abilities are treated as though they are written, “If a source would cause [a player] to gain life, . . . .” If a player gains 0 life, no life gain event would occur, and these effects won’t apply.


120. Damage


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


120.1a Damage can’t be dealt to an object that’s not a battle, a creature, or a planeswalker.


120.2. Any object can deal damage.


120.2a Damage may be dealt as a result of combat. Each attacking and blocking creature deals combat damage equal to its power during the combat damage step.


120.2b Damage may be dealt as an effect of a spell or ability. The spell or ability will specify which object deals that damage.


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


120.3a Damage dealt to a player by a source without infect causes that player to lose that much life.


120.3b Damage dealt to a player by a source with infect causes that source’s controller to give the player that many poison counters.


120.3c Damage dealt to a planeswalker causes that many loyalty counters to be removed from that planeswalker.


120.3d Damage dealt to a creature by a source with wither and/or infect causes that source’s controller to put that many -1/-1 counters on that creature.


120.3e Damage dealt to a creature by a source with neither wither nor infect causes that much damage to be marked on that creature.


120.3f Damage dealt by a source with lifelink causes that source’s controller to gain that much life, in addition to the damage’s other results.


120.3g Combat damage dealt to a player by a creature with toxic causes that creature’s controller to give the player a number of poison counters equal to that creature’s total toxic value, in addition to the damage’s other results. See rule 702.164, “Toxic.”


120.3h Damage dealt to a battle causes that many defense counters to be removed from that battle.


120.4. Damage is processed in a four-part sequence.


120.4a First, if an effect that’s causing damage to be dealt states that excess damage that would be dealt to a permanent is dealt to another permanent or player instead, the damage event is modified accordingly. If the first permanent is a creature, the excess damage is the amount of damage in excess of what would be lethal damage, taking into account damage already marked on the creature and damage from other sources that would be dealt at the same time. (See rule 120.6.) Any amount of damage greater than 1 is excess damage if the source dealing that damage to a creature has deathtouch. (See rule 702.2.) If the first permanent is a planeswalker, the excess damage is the amount of damage in excess of that planeswalker’s loyalty, taking into account damage from other sources that would be dealt at the same time. If the first permanent is a battle, the excess damage is the amount of damage in excess of that battle’s defense, taking into account damage from other sources that would be dealt at the same time. If the first permanent has multiple card types from among the list of creature, planeswalker, and battle, the excess damage is the greatest of the calculated amounts for each of the card types it has.


120.4b Second, damage is dealt, as modified by replacement and prevention effects that interact with damage. (See rule 614, “Replacement Effects,” and rule 615, “Prevention Effects.”) Abilities that trigger when damage is dealt trigger now and wait to be put on the stack.


120.4c Third, damage that’s been dealt is processed into its results, as modified by replacement effects that interact with those results (such as life loss or counters).


120.4d Finally, the damage event occurs.

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

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


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

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


120.6. Damage marked on a creature remains until the cleanup step, even if that permanent stops being a creature. If the total damage marked on a creature is greater than or equal to its toughness, that creature has been dealt lethal damage and is destroyed as a state-based action (see rule 704). All damage marked on a permanent is removed when it regenerates (see rule 701.15, “Regenerate”) and during the cleanup step (see rule 514.2).


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


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


120.9. If an ability triggers on damage being dealt by a specific source or sources, and the effect refers to the “damage dealt,” it refers only to the damage dealt by the specified sources and not to any damage dealt at the same time by other sources.


120.10. Some triggered abilities check whether a permanent has been dealt excess damage. These abilities check after the permanent has been dealt damage by one or more sources. If those sources together dealt an amount of damage to a creature greater than lethal damage, excess damage equal to the difference was dealt to that creature. If those sources together dealt an amount of damage to a planeswalker greater than that planeswalker’s loyalty before the damage was dealt, excess damage equal to the difference was dealt to that planeswalker. If those sources together dealt an amount of damage to a battle greater than that battle’s defense before the damage was dealt, excess damage equal to the difference was dealt to that battle. If a permanent has multiple card types from among the list of creature, planeswalker, and battle, the excess damage dealt to that permanent is the greatest of the calculated amounts for each of the card types it has.


121. Drawing a Card


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


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


121.2a An instruction to draw multiple cards can be modified by replacement effects that refer to the number of cards drawn. This modification occurs before considering any of the individual card draws. See rule 616.1g.


121.2b Some effects say that a player can’t draw more than one card each turn. Such an effect applies to individual card draws. Instructions to draw multiple cards may still be partially carried out. However, if an effect offers the player a choice to draw multiple cards, the affected player can’t choose to do so. Similarly, the player can’t pay a cost that includes drawing multiple cards.


121.2c If more than one player is instructed to draw cards, the active player performs all of their draws first, then each other player in turn order does the same.


121.2d If more than one player is instructed to draw cards in a game that’s using the shared team turns option (such as a Two-Headed Giant game), first each player on the active team, in whatever order that team likes, performs their draws, then each player on each nonactive team in turn order does the same.


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


121.3a The same principles apply if the player who’s making the choice is not the player who would draw the card. If the latter player has no cards in their library, the choice can be taken. If an effect says that the latter player can’t draw a card, the choice can’t be taken.


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


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


121.6. Some effects replace card draws.


121.6a An effect that replaces a card draw is applied even if no cards could be drawn because there are no cards in the affected player’s library.


121.6b If an effect replaces a draw within a sequence of card draws, the replacement effect is completed before resuming the sequence.


121.6c Some effects perform additional actions on a card after it’s drawn. If the draw is replaced, the additional action is not performed on any cards that are drawn as a result of that replacement effect or any subsequent replacement effects.


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


121.8. If a spell or ability causes a card to be drawn while another spell is being cast, the drawn card is kept face down until that spell becomes cast (see rule 601.2i) or until the casting process is reversed (see rule 730, “Handling Illegal Actions”). The same is true with relation to another ability being activated. If an effect allows or instructs a player to reveal the card as it’s being drawn, it’s revealed after the spell becomes cast or the ability becomes activated. While face down, the drawn card is considered to have no characteristics and can’t be used to pay any part of the cost of the spell or ability that would require the card to have specific characteristics.


121.9. If an effect gives a player the option to reveal a card as they draw it, that player may look at that card as they draw it before choosing whether to reveal it.


122. Counters


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


122.1a A +X/+Y counter on a creature or on a creature card in a zone other than the battlefield, where X and Y are numbers, adds X to that object’s power and Y to that object’s toughness. Similarly, -X/-Y counters subtract from power and toughness. See rule 613.4c.


122.1b A keyword counter on a permanent or on a card in a zone other than the battlefield causes that object to gain that keyword. The keywords that a keyword counter can be are flying, first strike, double strike, deathtouch, haste, hexproof, indestructible, lifelink, menace, reach, shadow, trample, and vigilance, as well as any variants of those keywords. See rule 613.1f.


122.1c One or more shield counters on a permanent create a single replacement effect and a single prevention effect that protect the permanent. These effects are “If this permanent would be destroyed as the result of an effect, instead remove a shield counter from it” and “If damage would be dealt to this permanent, prevent that damage and remove a shield counter from it.” See rule 614, “Replacement Effects,” and rule 615, “Prevention Effects.”


122.1d One or more stun counters on a permanent create a single replacement effect that stops the permanent from untapping. That effect is “If a permanent with a stun counter on it would become untapped, instead remove a stun counter from it.”


122.1e The number of loyalty counters on a planeswalker on the battlefield indicates how much loyalty it has. A planeswalker with 0 loyalty is put into its owner’s graveyard as a state-based action. See rule 704.


122.1f If a player has ten or more poison counters, that player loses the game as a state-based action. See rule 704. A player is “poisoned” if they have one or more poison counters. (See rule 810 for additional rules for Two-Headed Giant games.)


122.1g The number of defense counters on a battle on the battlefield indicates how much defense it has. A battle with 0 defense is put into its owner’s graveyard if it isn’t the source of an ability that has triggered but not yet left the stack. This state-based action doesn’t use the stack. See rule 704.


122.1h One or more finality counters on a permanent create a single replacement effect that stops the permanent from going to the graveyard. That effect is “If this permanent would be put into a graveyard from the battlefield, exile it instead.”


122.1i One or more rad counters on a player cause a triggered ability to trigger at the beginning of that player’s precombat main phase. See rule 725, “Rad Counters.”


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


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


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


122.5. If an effect says to “move” a counter, it means to remove that counter from the object it’s currently on and put it onto a second object. If either of these actions isn’t possible, it’s not possible to move a counter, and no counter is removed from or put onto anything. This may occur if the first and second objects are the same object; if the first object doesn’t have the appropriate kind of counter on it; if the second object can’t have counters put onto it; or if either object is no longer in the correct zone.


122.6. Some spells and abilities refer to counters being put on an object. This refers to putting counters on that object while it’s on the battlefield and also to an object that’s given counters as it enters the battlefield.


122.6a If an object enters the battlefield with counters on it, the effect causing the object to be given counters may specify which player puts those counters on it. If the effect doesn’t specify a player, the object’s controller puts those counters on it.


122.7. An ability that triggers “When/Whenever the Nth [kind] counter” is put on an object triggers when one or more counters of the appropriate kind are put on the object such that the object had fewer than N counters on it before the counters were put on it and N or more counters on it after.


122.8. If a triggered ability instructs a player to put one object’s counters on another object and that ability’s trigger condition or effect checks that the object with those counters left the battlefield, the player doesn’t move counters from one object to the other. Rather, the player puts the same number of each kind of counter the first object had onto the second object.


123. Stickers


123.1. A sticker is a marker placed on an object that modifies its characteristics and/or interacts with a rule, ability, or effect. Stickers are not objects. Notably, a sticker is not a counter or a token. Changes to an object from stickers are not part of its copiable values. There are four kinds of stickers: name stickers; ability stickers; power and toughness stickers; and art stickers.


123.2. Stickers are found in boosters of the Unfinity expansion on numbered inserts. Each insert has a predetermined combination of stickers. Any rule that refers to a sticker sheet refers to the specific combination of stickers found on one of those inserts. Sticker sheets are not cards and have no characteristics. Each sticker sheet can be found at Gatherer.Wizards.com.


123.2a In constructed play, a player who chooses to play with stickers must start the game with at least ten sticker sheets selected before play begins, and each of their sticker sheets must be unique. There is no maximum number of sticker sheets a player may start the game with. Each player playing with sticker sheets reveals all of their sticker sheets and chooses three of them at random. See rule 103, “Starting the Game.”


123.2b In limited play, each player chooses up to three sticker sheets from among those in the sealed products they opened and reveals them. See rule 103, “Starting the Game.”


123.2c Each player has access to only the stickers on the chosen sheets during the game, and those sticker sheets remain revealed.


123.3. If an effect instructs a player to put a sticker on an object, that player chooses a sticker that is not currently on any objects they own from among the stickers they have access to and puts it on that object.


123.3a Each sticker a player has access to is discrete and is distinct from each other sticker they have access to. Two stickers are never considered to be the same sticker, even if they have the same text or information on them.


123.3b A player can’t put a sticker on an object that they don’t own. If an effect would cause them to do so, that part of the effect does nothing.


123.3c A sticker may have a ticket cost represented by a number inside a ticket symbol (see rule 107.17a). In order to put a sticker with a ticket cost on an object, the player who owns that object must pay that much {TK}. If they don’t have that much {TK}, they can’t put that sticker on an object.


123.3d If a sticker that is already on an object is moved to another object, that sticker’s ticket cost does not need to be paid again.


123.4. Some rules and effects refer to a “stickered” object. An object is “stickered” if it currently has any kind of sticker on it. An object without any stickers on it is not a stickered object, even if it previously had stickers on it.


123.5. Stickers on an object are not retained as that object moves to a hidden zone. Stickers are retained as that object moves to a public zone and continue to apply to the new object it becomes in that zone; this is an exception to rule 400.7.


123.5a If one or more cards with stickers on them enter the battlefield as part of a melded permanent, all of those stickers are on the permanent that object becomes on the battlefield. They maintain their relative timestamp order.


123.5b If an object with a sticker on it becomes a component of a merged permanent on the battlefield, that sticker is on that merged permanent.


123.5c If a melded or merged permanent with one or more stickers on it moves from the battlefield to another public zone, only one of the objects it becomes will retain those stickers. Its owner chooses which of the objects it becomes in its new zone retains any stickers that are on it. Effects from those stickers will continue to apply to only that object.


123.6. A name sticker consists only of one or more words. A name sticker on a permanent or on a card in a zone other than the battlefield causes the word on that sticker to be added to the text of that object’s name. This is a text-changing effect. See rule 613.1c and rule 612, “Text-Changing Effects.”


123.6a For the purposes of rules and effects related to name stickers, a “word” in an object’s name is any series of non-space characters that are separated from other non-space characters by one or more spaces. Hyphenated words and words with punctuation are considered to be one word. Blank lines, such as the one in “Wolf in ________ Clothing,” are not considered words in a card’s name.


123.6b As a name sticker is placed on an object, that object’s controller chooses a position in that object’s name for the word in the name sticker to be added, then announces that object’s new name. That word can be added at the beginning of the object’s name or after any number of the other words that are currently in its name. The new name can be further modified by other name stickers. If that object has no name, its name becomes the word added by the name sticker. Name stickers never modify or remove any of the other words in that name.

Example: As a player puts a name sticker with the word “Dark” printed on it onto a creature named Bear Cub, that creature’s controller chooses whether its new name is “Dark Bear Cub,” “Bear Dark Cub,” or “Bear Cub Dark.” They then announce the new name to all players.


123.6c The text that a name sticker is modifying may change due to other effects and/or a permanent’s face-down status (see rule 708, “Face-Down Spells and Permanents”). To determine the name of an object with one or more name stickers, start with the object’s copiable values, then apply each name sticker’s effect and each other text-changing effect in timestamp order. The position of each name sticker will continue to be after the number of words that were before it in the object’s name when it was placed. If there are fewer words in the object’s current name, the word on that sticker is added at the end of its name instead. The position and timestamp order of each name sticker on an object is remembered as the object that sticker is on moves from one public zone to another, and it continues to apply to the new object it becomes in that zone (see rule 123.5). This is an exception to rule 400.7.

Example: Fae of Wishes, an adventurer card, is in exile with a name sticker on it adding the word “Mana” after its second word, so its name is “Fae of Mana Wishes.” An effect allows that player to cast Granted, its Adventure, from exile. The name of that spell on the stack is “Granted Mana.” After that card is exiled as the Adventure resolves, the sticker’s position (after the second word) is remembered, so the name of the exiled card is once again “Fae of Mana Wishes.”

Example: A player owns a creature named It That Betrays on the battlefield. Using name stickers, they add the word “Eldrazi” to its name after the third word, such that its new name is “It That Betrays Eldrazi.” Later, that creature becomes a copy of a creature named Seeker of the Way. The name sticker continues to apply after the third word, so its new name is “Seeker of the Eldrazi Way.”

Example: A creature with a name sticker on it becomes enchanted by Witness Protection, an Aura that changes the creature’s name to “Legitimate Businessperson.” Since Witness Protection is also a text-changing effect, and it has a later timestamp than the name sticker, the word on that name sticker is not part of the creature’s name. Its name is “Legitimate Businessperson.”


123.6d Some effects refer to the number of one or more specific letters on a name sticker. A lowercase letter and its uppercase equivalent are the same letter.


123.6e Some effects refer to the number of “unique vowels” on a name sticker. These count the number of different vowels that appear on that sticker, even if one or more of them appear more than once. The vowels are A, E, I, O, U, and Y. A lowercase letter and its uppercase equivalent are the same letter.


123.7. An ability sticker is a sticker with one or more abilities printed on it. An ability sticker on a permanent or on a card in a zone other than the battlefield causes that object to gain the ability that is printed on that sticker. See rule 613.1f.


123.7a If an effect refers to an ability of an ability sticker, it refers to the ability that sticker grants to the object it is on, even if the object it is on doesn’t currently have that ability due to another effect.


123.8. A power and toughness sticker is a sticker that has two numbers and a slash printed on it, resembling the power and toughness of a creature card. A power and toughness sticker on a creature or on a creature or Vehicle card in a zone other than the battlefield sets that object’s power and toughness to the values printed on that sticker (see rule 613.4b). If more than one power and toughness sticker is on a creature, use timestamp order to determine which one takes precedence (see rule 613.7).


123.8a An effect that refers to the power and/or toughness of a sticker refers only to the printed power and/or toughness values on a power and toughness sticker. It does not refer to any printed value on any other stickers.


123.9. An art sticker on a permanent has no effect on game play other than to act as a marker that other spells and abilities can identify.



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