Abilities

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Overview

This page describes abilities of cards. Abilities can influence creature combat, the gem board, cards in hand, or other aspects of the game.

Abilities fall into one of three categories:

  • Icon abilities - Abilities denoted by an icon on a card
  • Keyword abilities - Abilities denoted by a keyword on a card, which is typically capitalised, bolded, and underlined in the card's text
  • General abilities and effects - General terms used in card descriptions which may or may not be capitalised, and which have a well-defined effect

Many abilities are explained interactively in-game in tutorial battles. A table showing which abilities are taught in which tutorial battles can be found at Training (Story).

Icon Abilities

Icon abilities are represented by an icon on the card having the ability. The color of the icon has a meaning as follows:

  • A white icon represents an active ability which originally appeared on the card.
  • A yellow icon represents an active ability which has been granted by an effect during the game.
  • A red icon represents an ability which has been Disabled by an effect, or an ability on a Disabled creature.

Combat abilities

These abilities affect how attacking and blocking creatures interact in combat.

See Combat Basics for more information about creature combat.

Ability Icon Expansions Description
Berserker Berserker all Attacks the first enemy creature it can, instead of the enemy Planeswalker. A creature with both BerserkerBerserker and MenaceMenace acts like it does not have BerserkerBerserker.
Deathtouch Deathtouch all Whenever this creature deals combat damage to another creature, the other creature is Destroyed.
Defender Defender all Blocks your opponent's creatures' attacks, becoming their attack target in place of your Planeswalker. Your first creature with DefenderDefender or ReachReach is the creature which tries to block first.
Double Strike Double Strike all Deals First StrikeFirst Strike damage AND regular damage afterwards.
First Strike First Strike all First StrikeFirst Strike damage is dealt damage before regular damage. A creature without First StrikeFirst Strike which receives First StrikeFirst Strike damage in combat only retaliates if it survives that damage.
Flying Flying all Can be blocked by creatures with DefenderDefender or VigilanceVigilance, or attacked by creatures with BerserkerBerserker, only if they also have FlyingFlying. (Can be blocked by creatures with ReachReach.)
Menace Menace all This creature is UnblockableUnblockable unless two or more creatures your opponent controls could block it. A creature with both MenaceMenace and BerserkerBerserker acts like it does not have BerserkerBerserker.
Reach Reach all Blocks your opponent's creatures, becoming their attack target in place of your Planeswalker, including creatures with FlyingFlying. Your first creature with DefenderDefender or ReachReach is the creature which tries to block first.
Trample Trample all Any damage in excess of a blocking creature's toughness is dealt to the Planeswalker instead of the blocking creature.
Unblockable Unblockable all Cannot be blocked.
Vigilance Vigilance all Blocks your opponent's creatures, if able, and if it will survive the combat damage, becoming their attack target instead of your Planeswalker, if you control no creatures with DefenderDefender or ReachReach.

Other icon abilities

Ability Icon Expansions Description
Adapt Adapt Ravnica Allegiance When this creature enters play or is reinforced, AdaptAdapt Gems will be created such that the number of AdaptAdapt Gems associated with this creature is equal to the number beside its AdaptAdapt keyword. When you match this creature's AdaptAdapt gem, it gains the AdaptAdapt icon; it's buffed for +1/+1; and its AdaptAdapt ability, if any, is triggered. If the opponent Destroys your AdaptAdapt gem, a new AdaptAdapt gem is created.
Adventure Adventure Throne of Eldraine AdventureAdventure cards are a special type of Split CardsSplit Card with a Spell side and a Creature side. If you cast the Spell side, the Creature side returns to your hand.
Afflict Afflict Hour of Devastation When a creature with AfflictAfflict is blocked, your opponent additionally takes damage equal to this creature's Power.
Awaken Awaken Battle for ZendikarZendikar vs Eldrazi An AwakenAwaken ability triggers if a secondary mana cost is paid in addition to the card's main cost. (Auto-casts if the AwakenAwaken cost is fully paid.)
Bravery Bravery Core Set 2021 A creature with BraveryBravery enters play in the first creature slot, regardless of defensive abilities.
Buried Buried Theros Beyond Death A card with BuriedBuried can be cast from the graveyard when it has mana equal to its BuriedBuried cost (the number in the tombstone icon) in one of several ways, such as EscapeEscape, FlashbackFlashback, or Jump-startJump-start. Matching a Graveyard Gem gives 3 mana to the first card in your graveyard with BuriedBuried.
Converge Converge Battle for Zendikar Cards with ConvergeConverge have an effect which scales for each different mana color used to pay for the card.
Convoke Convoke Guilds of Ravnica Costs one less mana for each creature and reinforcement you control, up to the number in the ConvokeConvoke symbol.
Copy Copy all A card which is a copy gains the CopyCopy icon and may be treated differently by some effects.
Cycling Cycling AmonkhetHour of DevastationIkoria: Lair of Behemoths When you Cycle a card, draw a card. CyclingCycling triggers when you Exile a card with CyclingCycling from your hand, if you can pay at least the specified amount of mana from your cards in hand (including this one).
Devoid Devoid Battle for ZendikarOath of the GatewatchZendikar vs Eldrazi Gains mana from Void Gem matches. Void Gems are created by cards with Ingest.
Devotion Devotion Theros Beyond Death Some abilities become more powerful if you have a higher DevotionDevotion to a color. Your DevotionDevotion to a color is the number of mono-colored, non-copy cards of that color you've cast during the current fight.
Experience Experience Daxos vs Kalemne Some abilities or effects become more powerful if your Planeswalker has more ExperienceExperience points.
Enchanted Enchanted Theros Beyond Death Some cards grant or remove an EnchantedEnchanted effect, which may be positive or negative, to a creature in play. Enchanted creatures gain the EnchantedEnchanted icon.
Equip Equip Zendikar Rising When a creature you control attacks, cards with EquipEquip in your hand gain the specified amount of mana.
Escape Escape Theros Beyond Death Some cards with BuriedBuried also have EscapeEscape. A card in the graveyard with EscapeEscape can only be cast from the graveyard if it has full mana and you have 3 other cards in your graveyard, which are Exiled when the EscapeEscape card is cast.
Flash Flash Zendikar vs EldraziRivals of IxalanDominariaCore Set 2019Guilds of Ravnica Before an opponent's creature attacks, if this card is Disabled, you may cast it for its normal mana cost. (Can also be cast during your turn, like normal.)
Flashback Flashback From the Vault: Odyssey Some cards with BuriedBuried also have FlashbackFlashback. As well as being able to gain mana from Graveyard Gems like all BuriedBuried cards, the first FlashbackFlashback card in your graveyard gains 2 mana when another card with FlashbackFlashback enters the graveyard. If a card with FlashbackFlashback is cast from the graveyard, it is Exiled.
Haste Haste all Attacks the turn it enters play.
Hexproof Hexproof all Cannot be targeted by enemy spells and abilities. (Effects which don't require a target to be selected still affect creatures with HexproofHexproof.)
Jump-start Jump-start Guilds of Ravnica Some cards with BuriedBuried also have Jump-startJump-start. As well as being able to gain mana from Graveyard Gems like all BuriedBuried cards, the first Jump-startJump-start card in your graveyard gains the mana charged in any card Exiled from your hand. If a card with Jump-startJump-start is cast from the graveyard, it is Exiled.
Kicker Kicker Zendikar Rising When you cast a card or activate an ability with KickerKicker, you may drain additional mana from cards in your hand to trigger its KickerKicker effect.
Landforming Landforming Zendikar Rising When you cast a card with LandformingLandforming, if you made a horizontal match with a swap in the same turn, the card's LandformingLandforming effect is triggered.
Leader Leader DominariaCore Set 2019Guilds of RavnicaZendikar Rising Your LeaderLeader creature Exiles your TokenToken creatures of the specified subtype and converts each one into a reinforcement of itself. This effect occurs both as the LeaderLeader enters play, and as you play any TokenToken creatures of the specified subtype.
Legendary Legendary all This is a LegendaryLegendary card. Some effects only work on LegendaryLegendary cards.
Lifelink Lifelink all Your Planeswalker gains life equal to the combat damage dealt by this creature.
Meld Meld Eldritch Moon When this creature and another specified creature are both in play on your side, they MeldMeld to form a single MeldedMelded creature.
Melded Melded Eldritch Moon This creature is a combination of a specific pair of creatures with MeldMeld. Playing either of those two creatures reinforces this creature.
Mentor Mentor Guilds of Ravnica Whenever this creature attacks, your other creatures with power lower than this creature's get a +1/+1 buff.
Mutate Mutate Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths A card with MutateMutate may be cast as a MutationMutation targeting a non-TokenToken creature you control which has not already gained a MutationMutation. If you do, that creature gains the MutationMutation ability written on the card with MutateMutate, and is reinforced.
Mutation Mutation Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths A card gains the MutationMutation icon, and cannot gain further MutationsMutation, once it has been the target of a card with MutateMutate cast as a MutationMutation. Each MutationMutation ability of a creature, whether an original Mutation ability of the card or one granted by another card with MutateMutate, triggers each time that creature is reinforced via casting.
Party Party Zendikar Rising Your PartyParty consists of up to one each of a Cleric, Rogue, Warrior, and Wizard amongst creatures and supports you control. PartyParty effects on your cards are triggered if the corresponding PartyParty condition is met. (If a creature or support has more than one party subtype, it only counts as one party member.)
Prevent Damage Prevent Damage all Damage effects applied to this creature or Planeswalker, including combat damage, are reduced to zero. (Other effects, including Destroy, are not prevented.)
Protection from Black Protection from Black Core Set 2020 Gains HexproofHexproof while the opponent controls a black creature. Damage received from black sources is reduced by half, rounded up.
Protection from Blue Protection from Blue Core Set 2020 Gains HexproofHexproof while the opponent controls a blue creature. Damage received from blue sources is reduced by half, rounded up.
Protection from Colorless Protection from Colorless Core Set 2020 Gains HexproofHexproof while the opponent controls a colorless creature. Damage received from colorless sources is reduced by half, rounded up.
Protection from Green Protection from Green Core Set 2020 Gains HexproofHexproof while the opponent controls a green creature. Damage received from green sources is reduced by half, rounded up.
Protection from Red Protection from Red Core Set 2020 Gains HexproofHexproof while the opponent controls a red creature. Damage received from red sources is reduced by half, rounded up.
Protection from White Protection from White Core Set 2020 Gains HexproofHexproof while the opponent controls a white creature. Damage received from white sources is reduced by half, rounded up.
Renown Renown Origins The first time a creature with RenownRenown deals Combat damage to an opponent, it gains the RenownRenown icon, and its power and toughness are increased by the number beside the RenownRenown keyword.
Resilient Resilient Theros Beyond Death After being matched (and losing 1 shield), a support gem in play with ResilientResilient gains 1 shield, then changes its color.
Riot Riot Ravnica Allegiance When this creature enters play, choose one: It gets a +1/+1 buff, or it gains HasteHaste.
Split Card Split Card Guilds of Ravnica You can select which side of this card you want to play. Tap the flip symbol on the card to change its side. Mana gained charges both sides, up to a maximum of the cost of the currently selected side.
Stored Mana Stored Mana Core Set 2019Guilds of Ravnica This card stores extra mana up to a maximum of the number in the Stored ManaStored Mana icon, and triggers additional effects when cast. (Auto-casts if the Stored Mana is full.) A Stored Mana card can't have its mana drained or raised.
Token Token all Creature or supports created by other cards or abilities enter play as a TokenToken. If a token would enter a graveyard, hand, library, or the Exile zone, it's removed from the game instead.
Transform Transform Shadows over InnistradEldritch MoonIxalanRivals of Ixalan When the specified conditions are met, this card becomes TransformedTransformed, flipping to its other side.
Transformed Transformed Shadows over InnistradEldritch MoonIxalanRivals of Ixalan Shown on the flipped side of a card with TransformTransform.
Vanguard Vanguard War of the Spark A VanguardVanguard is a special support card representing a Planeswalker. Vanguards have activated abilities which increase or decrease the shield amount to perform an effect, and can be used once per turn per Vanguard. Vanguards are considered LegendaryLegendary, and are also only affected by effects which specifically name Vanguards as targets.

Keyword Abilities

Ability Expansions Description
Activate
all The specified number of normal Gems become Activated Gems associated with this card. When you match one of your Activated Gems, its associated ability is triggered. If your opponent Destroys one of your Activated Gems which is caused by an ongoing effect, a new Gem becomes Activated on your turn after next.
Adamant
Throne of Eldraine When you cast a card, its Adamant effect triggers if you matched gems of the specified color during your turn.
Addendum
Ravnica Allegiance When you cast a card with Addendum, its Addendum effect triggers if the card had full mana at the start of your turn.
Afterlife
Ravnica Allegiance Whenever a creature with Afterlife dies or loses a reinforcement, create the specified number of Orzhov Spirits (1/1 flying TokenToken creature).
Aftermath
Hour of Devastation When in the graveyard, Activate for the number beside the Aftermath keyword on the back of the card. Matching one or more Activated Gems of your Aftermath card triggers the effect on the back of the card, and then Exiles the card.
Amass
War of the Spark Create the specified number of Zombie Army tokens [1/1, with "At 0+ reinforcements, gain +1/+1; at 8+ reinforcements, gain AfflictAfflict; and at 12+ reinforcements, gain +2/+2"].
Anticipation
Theros Beyond Death Whenever you cast a card during your opponent's turn (such as a card with FlashFlash), the Anticipation effect is triggered on all of your cards in play with Anticipation.
Basic Evergreen
Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths Refers to a set of basic icon abilities: BerserkerBerserker, DeathtouchDeathtouch, DefenderDefender, Double StrikeDouble Strike, First StrikeFirst Strike, FlyingFlying, HexproofHexproof, LifelinkLifelink, MenaceMenace, ReachReach, TrampleTrample, and VigilanceVigilance.
Can't Attack
all A creature with Can't Attack can't attack.
Can't Block
all A creature with Can't Block can't block.
City's Blessing
Rivals of Ixalan Some abilities become more powerful if you have the City's Blessing. You gain the City's Blessing for the rest of the game when you play a card with Ascend if the sum of your creatures, supports, and reinforcements is greater than or equal to 10.
Companion
Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths If your deck meets the condition in the Companion tooltip, your cards in play with Companion gain the Companion ability described on the card.
Constellation
Theros Beyond Death Whenever you cast an Aura spell or play an Enchantment support or creature, the Constellation effect is triggered on all of your cards in play with Constellation.
Crew
KaladeshAether RevoltIxalanDominaria Each card in your hand with Crew gains its specified amount of mana whenever a non-TokenToken creature enters play on your side.
Cycle
AmonkhetHour of Devastation A card with CyclingCycling may be Cycled in order to draw a card. CyclingCycling triggers when you Exile this card from your hand, if you can pay at least the specified amount of mana from your hand's cards (including this one). Mana is paid for CyclingCycling starting from the top card in your hand.
Delirium
Shadows over InnistradEldritch Moon An associated effect is triggered if there are 5 or less Gems on the board of the specified color, or the card's color if unspecified.
Destroy
all Destroying a card moves it to the graveyard. Cards are most often Destroyed from play, but may be Destroyed from other zones like your hand or library. Destroying a TokenToken removes it from the game. Destroying a gem means to remove the gem from the board by a gem match, or by a card's effect.
Disable
all Creatures in play which an effect Disables cannot attack or block, and stop all of their Abilities from working. A second meaning is to Disable cards in your hand, to prevent them from auto-casting when they're full of mana.
Discard
all Discarding moves one or more cards from the target player's hand into their graveyard. Unless otherwise specified, cards are Discarded starting from the bottom of their hand.
Embalm
AmonkhetHour of Devastation When in the graveyard, Activate for the number beside the Embalm keyword. Matching one or more Activated Gems of your Embalm creature Exiles the creature, and brings a Zombie TokenToken copy of the creature into play (minus the Embalm ability).
Emerge
Eldritch Moon When a creature you control is Destroyed, your cards with Emerge gain the specified amount of mana.
Energize
KaladeshAether Revolt The specified number of normal gems become Energized Gems. Matching Energized gems can trigger Overload effects.
Enrage
IxalanRivals of Ixalan Whenever a creature with Enrage receives damage, it triggers a specified effect.
Eternalize
Hour of Devastation When in the graveyard, Activate for the number beside the Eternalize keyword. Matching one or more Activated Gems of your Eternalize creature Exiles the creature, and brings a 4/4 Zombie TokenToken copy of the creature into play (minus the Eternalize ability).
Exert
AmonkhetHour of Devastation A normal gem becomes an Activated Gem with a timer equal to the number beside the Exert keyword. The timer counts down by 1 at the start of your turn. If you match the Gem or the timer reaches zero, the associated effect is triggered, and a new Gem becomes Activated at the start of your next turn.
Exile
all Exiling a card moves it to the Exiled zone. Cards cannot usually be accessed after being Exiled. Exiled cards are not considered Destroyed and do not go to the graveyard. Exiling a TokenToken removes it from the game.
Explore
IxalanRivals of Ixalan Convert gems equal to twice the number beside the Explore keyword to the colors of the creature targeted by your Explore effect. If a match doesn't happen, also buff the creature's power and toughness by the number beside the Explore keyword.
Fabricate
KaladeshAether Revolt Bring the specified number of Supporting Servo support TokensToken into play. Each of your Supporting Servo TokensToken gives the first creature you control +1/+1.
Ferocious
Theros Beyond Death While you control a creature with a base power of at least 5, all of your creatures in play with Ferocious have their associated Ferocious effect active.
Fight
Core Set 2020 When two creatures Fight, each creature deals damage equal to its power to the other creature.
Food
Throne of Eldraine Your effects which create Food bring 1/1 tokenToken supports with 1 shield into play on your side. When one of your Food Tokens is destroyed by anyone, you gain 3 life. Other creatures or supports in play other than Food Tokens may also have the Food sub-type.
Heroic
Theros Beyond Death Whenever you cast a spell targeting your creature with Heroic, its associated Heroic effect is triggered.
Historic
Dominaria Your cards with the Historic ability have their associated effect triggered by any LegendaryLegendary card, Artifact, or Saga being played on your side, or being in play on your side.
Ingest
Battle for ZendikarOath of the GatewatchZendikar vs Eldrazi The specified number of normal Gems of your opponent's color become Void Gems. Void Gems may be consumed by a Process ability, or matched on the board. Matching Void Gems only gives mana to cards with DevoidDevoid.
Investigate
Shadows over Innistrad A normal gem becomes an Activated Gem with a two-turn timer. The timer counts down by 1 at the start of your turn. If any player matches your Investigate Gem or its timer reaches zero, you draw a card.
Landfall
Battle for ZendikarOath of the GatewatchZendikar vs EldraziShadows over InnistradEldritch Moon Your cards with Landfall have their associated effects triggered whenever you match 4 or more gems of the specified color, or any color if no color is specified.
Madness
Shadows over InnistradEldritch Moon All of your cards with Madness gain their specified amount of mana whenever a card is Discarded (not Exiled) from your hand. A card with Madness is immune to being Discarded itself.
Mill
Throne of Eldraine Mill effects on your cards are active while the opponent's graveyard contains at least the specified number of cards.
Morbid
Core Set 2021 If any creature dies or loses a reinforcement, the associated effect becomes active until the end of the turn.
Overflow
Core Set 2020 When you draw a card with Overflow, if you then have 5 or more cards, you may exile that card to trigger the associated effect.
Overload
KaladeshAether Revolt Each of your Overload abilities of a specified number is triggered any time you Destroy that many or more Energized Gems in a single match.
Partner
War of the Spark An associated effect is triggered if you control a VanguardVanguard support.
Populate
Core Set 2021 Reinforce the first creature tokenToken you control with the greatest base power.
Process
Battle for Zendikar Process only works if the specified number of Void Gems are present. If so, then that many Void Gems become gems of your opponent's color, and the associated effect is triggered. Void Gems are created by cards with Ingest.
Proliferate
War of the Spark Gain 1 loyalty, give your buffed creatures +1/+1, give your VanguardVanguard supports +1 shield, and read the next chapter of each of your Sagas.
Prowess
Core Set 2021 Whenever you cast a spell or support, the associated effect is triggered.
Raided
IxalanRivals of Ixalan If one of your creatures attacked on your last turn, a Raided effect on one of your cards triggers this turn. Only the first Raided effect on a turn triggers; any further Raided effects do nothing.
Rally
Battle for ZendikarZendikar vs Eldrazi Your creatures with Rally have their associated effects triggered whenever you bring a creature with the Ally subtype into play.
Regenerate
all At the start of your turn, your creatures with Regenerate regain the specified amount of toughness which had previously been lost by taking damage.
Renewal
Core Set 2021 If you gained the specified amount of life or more in a turn, the associated effect becomes active until the end of the turn.
Resourceful
Throne of Eldraine The associated effects of your cards in play with Resourceful are triggered whenever you draw a card beyond the first in a turn, up to a maximum number of times per turn equal to the number beside the Resourceful keyword.
Saga
Dominaria When you play a Saga, the first chapter's effects are triggered. At the start of each of your turns, the next chapter's effects are triggered. A Saga is Destroyed at the end of a turn in which its final chapter was triggered. Reinforcing a Saga triggers the current chapter but does not advance to the next chapter.
Spectacle
Ravnica Allegiance At the end of any turn, if your opponent lost life during that turn, each card in your hand with Spectacle gains its specified amount of mana.
Surveil
Guilds of Ravnica Look at the top four cards of your library, and choose any number up to the number beside the Surveil keyword. Those cards are discarded, and the rest return to your library.
Threshold
From the Vault: Odyssey If you have the specified number of copies of this card in your graveyard, the associated ability is triggered.
Trap
all The specified number of normal Gems become Trap Gems associated with this card. When your opponent destroys one of your Trap Gems, its associated ability is triggered. If you match one of your Trap Gems which is caused by an ongoing effect, a new Gem becomes Trapped on your next turn.
Treasure
IxalanAether Revolt Your effects which find Treasures bring the specified number of Treasure TokensToken into play on your side. Once you have four Treasure tokens, one of your existing Treasure TokensToken is reinforced rather than a new one being created. Matching your Treasure TokenToken adds 3 mana to a random card in your hand. Matching your opponent's Treasure TokenToken adds 2 mana to a random card in your hand, and 2 mana to a random card in your opponent's hand.
Undergrowth
Guilds of Ravnica An Undergrowth effect on a card occurs when a card with Undergrowth is played. Undergrowth effects are described in terms of a number, X, which is the number of creatures in your graveyard, up to a maximum of the number beside the Undergrowth keyword.
Wizardry
Zendikar Rising Whenever you cast a spell or a Wizard card, the associated effect is triggered.

General abilities and effects

Ability Description
buff Increase a creature's Power and/or Toughness by a specified amount. Does not count as reinforcing.
cast Play a card from your hand or pay its cost from another zone, such as the graveyard. (Effects which create a TokenToken or fetches a card into play do not count as casting.)
combat damage Damage dealt by a creature by its normal attack, equal to its Power.
copy Copying a card in any zone creates a copy of the card in your hand. In a previous release of the game, copies cannot be cast on the same turn they are copied.
damage Damage to a Planeswalker causes life loss equal to the amount of damage. Damage to a Creature causes its health to be reduced by the amount of damage.
draw Move the top card of your library to your hand. Cards in which may have effects which trigger when cards are drawn. A card can only be drawn if the hand contains less than 5 cards.
fetch Move a card from one specified zone (such as your library) to another (such as your hand). A fetch effect does not count as drawing a card, and does not trigger draw effects.
life loss Reduce a Planeswalker's health by the amount of life lost. life loss may be caused by damage, or it may be caused directly. Direct life loss does not count as damage.
reinforce When you play a Creature or Support which is already in play on your side, you reinforce that card in play. reinforcement can also be triggered by the effects of other cards. Reinforcing a Creature increases its Power and Toughness by the Power and Toughness of the base card, and, if the Creature has one or more MutationMutation abilities, triggers each of those abilities. Reinforcing a Support increases its Shield count by the Shield count of the base card. Reinforcement does not count as buffing.
summon Bring a creature into play by any means. This includes casting, creating a TokenToken, or fetching a creature into play from your library or graveyard.
trigger Some abilities have a condition which must be met for the ability to work. When an ability's condition is met, the ability is triggered, and its effect occurs.