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

Card Icon Abilities

Ability Icon Expansions Description
Adventure Adventure Throne of Eldraine Adventure Ability from Eldraine
Awaken Awaken Battle for ZendikarZendikar vs Eldrazi An Awaken ability triggers if a secondary mana cost is paid in addition to the card's main cost. (Auto-casts if the Awaken cost is fully paid.)
Berserker Berserker all Attacks the first enemy creature, instead of the enemy Planeswalker.
Convoke Convoke Guilds of Ravnica Costs one less mana for each creature and reinforcement you control, up to the number in the Convoke symbol.
Cycling Cycling AmonkhetHour of Devastation When you Cycle a card, draw a card. Cycling triggers when you Exile a card with Cycling from your hand, if you can pay at least the specified amount of mana from your cards in hand (including this one).
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 Defender or Reach is the creature which tries to block first.
Devoid Devoid Battle for ZendikarOath of the GatewatchZendikar vs Eldrazi Gains mana from Void Gem matches. Void Gems are created by cards with Ingest.
Double Strike Double Strike all Deals First Strike damage AND regular damage afterwards.
First Strike First Strike all First Strike damage is dealt damage before regular damage. The enemy only retaliates if it survives the First Strike.
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.)
Flying Flying all Can be blocked by creatures with Defender or Vigilance only if they also have Flying. (Can be blocked by creatures with Reach.)
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 Hexproof.)
Jump-start Jump-start Guilds of Ravnica Can be cast (and then Exiled) from your graveyard. The first Jump-start card in your graveyard gains the mana charged in any card which you Exile from your hand. (Can also be cast from your hand, like normal.)
Legendary Legendary all This is a Legendary card. Some effects only work on Legendary 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 Meld to form a single Melded creature.
Melded Melded Eldritch Moon This creature is a combination of a specific pair of creatures with Meld. Playing either of those two creatures reinforces this creature.
Menace Menace all This creature is Unblockable unless two or more creatures your opponent controls could block it.
Mentor Mentor Guilds of Ravnica Whenever this creature attacks, your other creatures with power lower than this creature's get a +1/+1 buff.
Protection from Black Protection from Black Core Set 2020 Gains Hexproof 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 Hexproof 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 Hexproof 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 Hexproof 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 Hexproof 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 Hexproof while the opponent controls a white creature. Damage received from white sources is reduced by half, rounded up.
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.)
Reach Reach all Blocks your opponent's creatures, becoming their attack target in place of your Planeswalker, including creatures with Flying. Your first creature with Defender or Reach is the creature which tries to block first.
Riot Riot Ravnica Allegiance When this creature enters play, choose one: It gets a +1/+1 buff, or it gains Haste.
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 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 This is a Token creature or support. If it would enter a graveyard, hand, library, or the Exile zone, it's removed from the game instead.
Trample Trample all Any damage in excess of a blocking creature's toughness is dealt to the Planeswalker instead of the blocking creature.
Transform Transform Shadows over InnistradEldritch MoonIxalanRivals of Ixalan When the specified conditions are met, this card becomes Transformed, flipping to its other side.
Transformed Transformed Shadows over InnistradEldritch MoonIxalanRivals of Ixalan Shown on the flipped side of a card with Transform.
Unblockable Unblockable all Cannot be blocked.
Vanguard Vanguard War of the Spark A Vanguard 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 Legendary, and are also only affected by effects which specifically name Vanguards as targets.
Vigilance Vigilance all Blocks your opponent's creatures, if able, becoming their attack target instead of your Planeswalker, if you control no creatures with Defender or Reach.

Card 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 New ability with Eldraine.
Adapt
Ravnica Allegiance When this creature enters play or is reinforced, Adapt Gems will be created such that the number of Adapt Gems associated with this creature is equal to the number beside its Adapt keyword. When you match this creature's Adapt gem, it is buffed for +1/+1 and its Adapt ability, if any, is triggered. If the opponent Destroys your Adapt gem, a new Adapt gem is created.
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.
Afflict
Hour of Devastation When a creature with Afflict is blocked, your opponent additionally takes damage equal to this creature's Power.
Afterlife
Ravnica Allegiance Whenever a creature with Afterlife dies or loses a reinforcement, create the specified number of Orzhov Spirits (1/1 flying Token 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 Afflict; and at 12+ reinforcements, gain +2/+2"].
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.
Converge
Battle for Zendikar Cards with Converge have an effect which scales for each different mana color used to pay for the card.
Crew
KaladeshAether RevoltIxalanDominaria Each card in your hand with Crew gains its specified amount of mana whenever a non-Token creature enters play on your side.
Cycle
AmonkhetHour of Devastation A card with Cycling may be Cycled in order to draw a card. Cycling 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 Cycling 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 Token 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 Token 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 Token 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 Token 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 Tokens into play. Each of your Supporting Servo Tokens gives the first creature you control +1/+1.
Historic
Dominaria Your cards with the Historic ability have their associated effect triggered by any Legendary 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 Devoid.
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.
Leader
DominariaCore Set 2019Guilds of Ravnica Your Leader creature Exiles your Token creatures of the specified subtype and converts each one into a reinforcement of itself. This effect occurs both as the Leader enters play, and as you play any Token creatures of the specified subtype.
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 New ability with Eldraine.
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 Vanguard support.
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, and give your Vanguard supports +1 shield.
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.
Renown
Origins The first time a creature with Renown deals Combat damage to an opponent, increase that creature's power and toughness by the number beside the Renown keyword.
Resourceful
Throne of Eldraine New ability with Eldraine.
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
special 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 Tokens into play on your side. Once you have four Treasure tokens, one of your existing Treasure Tokens is reinforced rather than a new one being created. Matching your Treasure Token adds 3 mana to a random card in your hand. Matching your opponent's Treasure Token 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.

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 Pay a card's cost and bring it into play directly from your hand, as opposed to an effect which creates a Token, or fetches a card from your library or graveyard into play.
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 For a Creature, increase a creature's Power and Toughness by the Power and Toughness of its base card, and increase the creature's reinforcement count by 1. For a Support, increase the Support's Shield count by the Shield count of its base card. 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. reinforcement does not count as buffing.
summon Bring a creature into play by any means. This includes casting, creating a Token, 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.