Creatures – magic the gathering

Ally – Creature subme. Most creature
types describe a species or a profession, the Ally
type describes creatures that are capable of
working together to create powerful effects.

Amplify (?) – Allows players to reveal a
number of cards (from their hand) that share a
type with the card being cast to place that
number of +1/ +1 counters on the ampli?ed card
when it enters the battle?eld.

Annihilator X (Offense) – One of the most
devastating triggered keywords, annihilator
forces opponents to sacri?ce X permanents
whenever a creature with annihilator attacks.
Since this triggers ‘when’ the creature attacks all
of the sacri?ces must be made before blockers
are declared.

Anthem – Slang. An effect that gives
several permanents a bonus. A basic example is
an enchantment that grants +1 / +1 to your
creatures. Anthems can be temporary or
permanent, can grant additional Power /
Toughness or other abilities, and in every
instance I know of, they are cumulative. If you
have four of the same permanent that grants
+1/ +1 to your creatures, your creatures all have
+4/ +4. Same thing if you have two of one kind
and two of another, they all add up. I have rarely
heard ‘anthem’ used to describe an effect that
has a one-time effect, such as untapping all of
your creatures, but this is rare and confusing so
I avoid that use.

Art / Artwork – The image that appears in
the upper half of a Magic card is called the art,
or artwork. Artists are credited at the bottom of
each card, next to the little paintbrush icon.

Artifact (31L) – Permanent that can have
other types such as, creature, or land and

subtypes such as equipment.

At end of turn (Trigger) – This phrase
describes a timing trigger condition for an
ability or effect.

Attach (?) – The ‘instant speed’ version
of m. Some equipment have this activated
ability and can be equipped to a creature any
time the attach cost is paid.

Aura Swap – An activated ability that
allows a player to exchange an aura on the
battle?eld with an aura in their hand (even if
the card in hand does not have aura swap).


Banding (Combat) – A notoriously
confusing, and retired keyword. Creatures with
banding can ‘team up’ to act as a single creature,
and up to one creature without banding can be
tacked on to each band. A band of creatures can
only use abilities that all of the individual
creatures in the band have. Attacking bands are
declared before the declare attackers step. When
a band of creatures attacks, a single blocker may
be assigned to block the entire band. If a
creature with banding is assigned to block; the
defending player chooses how the attacking
creature assigns damage (this is most effective
when multiple creatures are assigned to block,
the usual intended result is that all of the
blocking creatures survive).

Bands with other (Combat) – This is
always followed by a Lait, such as color,
subtype, or keyword (such as ?u’ng ). Most of the
same rules as regular banding apply except only
one creature with ‘bands with other’ is required
(any number of other creatures that have the
named trait may join the band).

Magic the Gathering

See de?nitions section.

Static – See de?nitions section.

As always, I have used my own wording
whenever possible to make these concepts as
clear as possible. Due to the exacting nature of
the rules of the game this is not always possible.
For the most concise rules I recommend viewing
Wizard’s of?cial documentation online at Magic/ rules.


Ability words (AW) – Ability words are
used to describe a rule or condition that appears
on multiple cards, and just like keyword
abilities, it would take up too much space in
the rules text to fully explain the ability, so a
keyword exists. Ability words are not activated
or triggered in the same sense as abilities and
they can not be countered by actions that would
counter an activated ability or a triggered
ability. Rather, they describe a condition
(see battalion and m) that is created by other
game actions. Ability words describe the
necessary state for certain triggered and
activated abilities to occur in. Return to

Absorb X (Defense) – Whenever a creature

with absorb would receive damage, X damage is
prevented. If the creature has absorb 2, and
both three damage from a spell and three
damage from combat are assigned to it, it will
actually take only one damage from each source.
Act – This is an Addendum category
abbreviation for Keyword Actions. Keyword
Actions are not abilities, per se, but they do
appear as keywords. They each have a well-

de?ned result and are recognizable as m.
Return to Categories.

Activated – Activated abilities occur
whenever the activation cost has been paid.
Activated abilities always separate the cost from
the effect with a colon (:). The entire cost must
be paid each time, so an ability that requires a
creature to tap would normally only be playable
once per turn. Activated is a category of ability.
Back to m.

Af?nity (?) – A card with af?nity for a
certain type costs X less colorless mana to cast
for each p_ermanent of the type named. For
example, if you have three artifacts on the
battle?eld and you are casting a spell with
af?nity for artifacts, the casting cost of the
af?nity spell is reduced by three colorless mana.

Aggro – The ‘A’ in B.R.E.A.D. Aggro is
gamer slang for aggression. Generally it includes
anything that deals damage, though in this case
it is the category of preferred dealers of damage
(based on M). It can also be used to describe
the cards that will ‘draw aggro’, the ones that are
such obvious threats to your opponents that
their presence may mask another threat. A bear
is aggro, a bear with ?rst-strike is more aggro, a
bear with ?rst strike and deathtouch is going to
draw aggro before the others.

All -The use of the word “all” in a card’s
rules text implies that the card will effect
everything in the game that has the named trait,
for example, “all creatures”. Using the words ‘all’
or ‘M’ in the rules text allows cards to effect
game objects without targeting them, regardless
of any protection they may have. For example, a
white card that destroys all creatures will place a
destroy effect on every creature in play, even
creatures with protection from white, hexproof,

Magic: The Adept’s Addendum: Keywords and Abilities


Magic is always changing, every new expert
level expansion bloc contains new keywords and
abilities and it can be challenging to keep up
with all of the new terminology. Here you will
?nd a list of past and present keywords with
their meanings and notes about how they
function in-game, as well as de?nitions for some
of the common language in the game. Use the
in-line links to fully explore each term and how
it relates to others. This publication will be
updated regularly to include the latest features
of the game within a short time of each new

There may be some information in this
section that you don’t already know, but will
need in order to fully understand the rest of this
book. Take a few minutes to read through how
the rest of the Adept’s Addendum is arranged
and notated.

There are a number of ways a keyword can
apply its effect to gameplay. The way the ability
occurs can be important when you’re playing
a combo or when another player is trying
to counter your play. For example; a spell that
can only counter an activated ability has no
effect on triggered abilities. These distinctions
are not always made clear by the rules text of a
card, but they are important to note. The
categories of effects and abilities include, but
are not limited
to: Activated, Triggered, m, m
M, Discard and Replacement.

There are a lot of phrases and terms in use
by the Magic community that new players

probably will not understand at ?rst, so you’ll
see a good number of words that are not
keywords. These include terms from a variety of
topics including card types, phases of the

turn, zones, traits,and many more. Non
keywords have none of the abbreviations

(M, M, EG, KW, etc.) associated with
keyword categorization.


Abbreviations appear at the beginning of
most of the de?nitions in this book. The
following list describes these categories and how
they appear along with links to their de?nitions.
There is also a link at the end of each de?nition
to return to this section.

Act – Keyword Actions
See de?nitions section.

AW – Ability Words
See de?nitions section

CIP – Comes Into Play
See de?nitions section.

Combat (offense and / or defense) – If
an ability is only useful on one side of combat
(see w) it will be included in the notes at the
beginning of the de?nition. If the ability is
useful on either side it will simply be noted as a
combat ability. Some abilities are defensive but
they are not strictly combat abilities (such as
hexproof and shroud) these have mostly been
left without any kind of combat notation
because their effects extend far beyond the

combat phase.
ETB – Enters the Battle?eld

See de?nitions section.
Grave – See de?nitions section.

Replacement – See de?nitions section.
SBA – State-Based Actions

Cheating with foils and card orientation

Foils are slightly thicker than regular cards, more stiff and are usually a bit curved. Even with sleeves it’s possible to tell if a face down card is foil by looking at it or feeling/bending it a bit. (is there a legitimate situation where you could be given the chance to feel/bend a card that’s not revealed?)

Another thing is whether the card (sleeved or not) is pointing up or down while in the library. I always sleeve may cards and make sure they are all facing the same direction, but as far as I know it’s not required. It would be easy to turn one card upside down so I know when it’s on the top of my library.

It seems like these two things could be used to cheat. Are they any rules about this? Is it even an issue?



The rules simply say that you can not have marked cards, without enumerating all the specific way they might be marked. From section 3.1 of the tournament rules.

So if someone is acturally able to identify cards by messing with their orientation, or determining whether they are a foil, or anything else, they’re breaking the rules. ( note that bends are explicitly mentioned, so that part of “is it a foil” is right out.)

Exactly how someone might get caught doing this and what the consequences are of course depend on the situation and the level of play. If someone accidentally has a card turn the wrong way at FNM, I doubt they’ll be thrown out of the building. But if you’re at a serious tournament and you notice your opponent carefully feeling the thickness of the top card of their library, things probably aren’t going to go well for them.

In any case, the takeaway here for everyone is sleeve your cards and don’t cheat. Cheating is bad, and if you think you see it,  call a judge, but at an FNM or a kitchen table, it’s possible to be friendly about little things. If there’s a card out of place, just talk to your opponent, and fix things. They’re probably a person who just like you is trying to play Magic and not cheat, and all it takes is a few words to turn the card around and get back to the game. I don’t think any of this is real problem – it’s a kind of dumb way to try to cheat, one that won’t ever get you much information. but if you do suspect it’s happening,  just pretend you’re dealing with nicked sleeves and handle it how ever you’d handle that.