Magic the Gathering Evergreen Keywords

Deathtouch is a static ability that causes damage dealt by an object to be especially effective against creatures.

702.2. Deathtouch

  • 702.2a Deathtouch is a static ability.
  • 702.2b A creature with toughness greater than 0 that’s been dealt damage by a source with deathtouch since the last time state-based actions were checked is destroyed as a state-based action. See rule 704.
  • 702.2c Any nonzero amount of combat damage assigned to a creature by a source with deathtouch is considered to be lethal damage for the purposes of determining if a proposed combat damage assignment is valid, regardless of that creature’s toughness. See rules 510.1c–d.
  • 702.2d The deathtouch rules function no matter what zone an object with deathtouch deals damage from.
  • 702.2e If an object changes zones before an effect causes it to deal damage, its last known information is used to determine whether it had deathtouch.
  • 702.2f Multiple instances of deathtouch on the same object are redundant.

Defender is a static ability that renders a creature unable to attack.

702.3. Defender

  • 702.3a Defender is a static ability.
  • 702.3b A creature with defender can’t attack.
  • 702.3c Multiple instances of defender on the same creature are redundant.

Double strike is an evergreen keyword ability that allows a creature to deal combat damage twice per combat phase — once during the first combat damage step, along with any creatures that have first strike, and again during the second combat damage step along with creatures that have neither keyword.

702.4. Double Strike

  • 702.4a Double strike is a static ability that modifies the rules for the combat damage step. (See rule 510, “Combat Damage Step.”)
  • 702.4b If at least one attacking or blocking creature has first strike (see rule 702.7) or double strike as the combat damage step begins, the only creatures that assign combat damage in that step are those with first strike or double strike. After that step, instead of proceeding to the end of combat step, the phase gets a second combat damage step. The only creatures that assign combat damage in that step are the remaining attackers and blockers that had neither first strike nor double strike as the first combat damage step began, as well as the remaining attackers and blockers that currently have double strike. After that step, the phase proceeds to the end of combat step.
  • 702.4c Removing double strike from a creature during the first combat damage step will stop it from assigning combat damage in the second combat damage step.
  • 702.4d Giving double strike to a creature with first strike after it has already dealt combat damage in the first combat damage step will allow the creature to assign combat damage in the second combat damage step.
  • 702.4e Multiple instances of double strike on the same creature are redundant.

Enchant is a keyword ability that restricts what an Aura can target and be attached to. Aura is an enchantment subtype.

702.5. Enchant

  • 702.5a Enchant is a static ability, written “Enchant [object or player].” The enchant ability restricts what an Aura spell can target and what an Aura can enchant.
  • 702.5b For more information about Auras, see rule 303, “Enchantments.”
  • 702.5c If an Aura has multiple instances of enchant, all of them apply. The Aura’s target must follow the restrictions from all the instances of enchant. The Aura can enchant only objects or players that match all of its enchant abilities.
  • 702.5d Auras that can enchant a player can target and be attached to players. Such Auras can’t target permanents and can’t be attached to permanents.

Equip is a keyword ability found on artifacts with the subtype “Equipment”. By paying the equip cost, you can attach the artifact to a creature, who is referred to in the text as the “equipped creature”.

702.6. Equip

  • 702.6a Equip is an activated ability of Equipment cards. “Equip [cost]” means “[Cost]: Attach this permanent to target creature you control. Activate this ability only any time you could cast a sorcery.”
  • 702.6b For more information about Equipment, see rule 301, “Artifacts.”
  • 702.6c “Equip [quality] creature” is a variant of the equip ability. “Equip [quality] [cost]” means “[Cost]: Attach this permanent to target [quality] creature you control. Activate this ability only any time you could cast a sorcery.” This ability doesn’t restrict what the Equipment may be attached to.
  • 702.6d An “equip [quality] creature” ability is an equip ability, and an “equip [quality] creature” cost is an equip cost. Any effect that modifies how or whether a player may activate an equip ability of an object affects “equip [quality] creature” abilities of that object. Any effect that increases or reduces an equip cost will increase or reduce a “equip [quality] creature” cost.
  • 702.6e If a permanent has multiple equip abilities, any of its equip abilities may be activated.

First strike is an evergreen keyword ability that changes the rules for combat by adding an additional combat damage step before the normal combat damage step.

702.7. First Strike

  • 702.7a First strike is a static ability that modifies the rules for the combat damage step. (See rule 510, “Combat Damage Step.”)
  • 702.7b If at least one attacking or blocking creature has first strike or double strike (see rule 702.4) as the combat damage step begins, the only creatures that assign combat damage in that step are those with first strike or double strike. After that step, instead of proceeding to the end of combat step, the phase gets a second combat damage step. The only creatures that assign combat damage in that step are the remaining attackers and blockers that had neither first strike nor double strike as the first combat damage step began, as well as the remaining attackers and blockers that currently have double strike. After that step, the phase proceeds to the end of combat step.
  • 702.7c Giving first strike to a creature without it after combat damage has already been dealt in the first combat damage step won’t preclude that creature from assigning combat damage in the second combat damage step. Removing first strike from a creature after it has already dealt combat damage in the first combat damage step won’t allow it to also assign combat damage in the second combat damage step (unless the creature has double strike).
  • 702.7d Multiple instances of first strike on the same creature are redundant.

Flash is a keyword ability which allows the card it is printed on to be casted at any time you could cast an Instant.

702.8. Flash

  • 702.8a Flash is a static ability that functions in any zone from which you could play the card it’s on. “Flash” means “You may play this card any time you could cast an instant.”
  • 702.8b Multiple instances of flash on the same object are redundant.

Flying is an evergreen evasion ability that makes creatures without flying unable to block creatures with flying.

702.9. Flying

  • 702.9a Flying is an evasion ability.
  • 702.9b A creature with flying can’t be blocked except by creatures with flying and/or reach. A creature with flying can block a creature with or without flying. (See rule 509, “Declare Blockers Step,” and rule 702.17, “Reach.”)
  • 702.9c Multiple instances of flying on the same creature are redundant.

Haste is a keyword ability that allows a creature to circumvent summoning sickness. Creatures with haste can attack or use activated abilities with the {T} or {Q} symbol in the activation cost even if they have not been continuously controlled by a player since the beginning of that player’s most recent turn.

702.10. Haste

  • 702.10a Haste is a static ability.
  • 702.10b If a creature has haste, it can attack even if it hasn’t been controlled by its controller continuously since their most recent turn began. (See rule 302.6.)
  • 702.10c If a creature has haste, its controller can activate its activated abilities whose cost includes the tap symbol or the untap symbol even if that creature hasn’t been controlled by that player continuously since their most recent turn began. (See rule 302.6.)
  • 702.10d Multiple instances of haste on the same creature are redundant.

Hexproof is an evergreen keyword ability that prevents a permanent or player from being the target of spells or abilities played by opponents.

702.11. Hexproof

  • 702.11a Hexproof is a static ability.
  • 702.11b “Hexproof” on a permanent means “This permanent can’t be the target of spells or abilities your opponents control.”
  • 702.11c “Hexproof” on a player means “You can’t be the target of spells or abilities your opponents control.”
  • 702.11d “Hexproof from [quality]” is a variant of the hexproof ability. “Hexproof from [quality]” on a permanent means “This permanent can’t be the target of [quality] spells your opponents control or abilities your opponents control from [quality] sources.” A “hexproof from [quality]” ability is a hexproof ability.
  • 702.11e Any effect that causes an object to lose hexproof will cause an object to lose all “hexproof from [quality]” abilities. Any effect that allows a player to choose a creature with hexproof as a target as though it didn’t have hexproof will allow a player to choose a creature with a “hexproof from [quality]” ability. Any effect that looks for a card with hexproof will find a card with a “hexproof from [quality]” ability.
  • 702.11f “Hexproof from [quality A] and from [quality B]” is shorthand for “hexproof from [quality A]” and “hexproof from [quality B]”; it behaves as two separate hexproof abilities. If an effect causes an object with such an ability to lose hexproof from [quality A], for example, that object would still have hexproof from [quality B].
  • 702.11g Multiple instances of the same hexproof ability on the same permanent or player are redundant.

Indestructible is an evergreen keyword ability. Indestructible permanents can’t be destroyed by rules or effects.

702.12. Indestructible

  • 702.12a Indestructible is a static ability.
  • 702.12b A permanent with indestructible can’t be destroyed. Such permanents aren’t destroyed by lethal damage, and they ignore the state-based action that checks for lethal damage (see rule 704.5g).
  • 702.12c Multiple instances of indestructible on the same permanent are redundant.

Lifelink is a keyword ability introduced in Future Sight. Damage dealt by a source with lifelink causes that source’s controller to gain that much life.

702.15. Lifelink

  • 702.15a Lifelink is a static ability.
  • 702.15b Damage dealt by a source with lifelink causes that source’s controller, or its owner if it has no controller, to gain that much life (in addition to any other results that damage causes). See rule 120.3.
  • 702.15c If a permanent leaves the battlefield before an effect causes it to deal damage, its last known information is used to determine whether it had lifelink.
  • 702.15d The lifelink rules function no matter what zone an object with lifelink deals damage from.
  • 702.15e If multiple sources with lifelink deal damage at the same time, they cause separate life gain events (see rules 119.9–10).

    Example: A player controls Ajani’s Pridemate, which reads “Whenever you gain life, put a +1/+1 counter on Ajani’s Pridemate,” and two creatures with lifelink. The creatures with lifelink deal combat damage simultaneously. Ajani’s Pridemate’s ability triggers twice.

  • 702.15f Multiple instances of lifelink on the same object are redundant.

Menace is an evergreen keyword ability. Creatures with menace can’t be blocked except by two or more creatures.

702.110. Menace

  • 702.110a Menace is an evasion ability.
  • 702.110b A creature with menace can’t be blocked except by two or more creatures. (See rule 509, “Declare Blockers Step.”)
  • 702.110c Multiple instances of menace on the same creature are redundant.

Reach is an evergreen keyword ability that replaces the “[This creature] can block as though it had flying” ability seen on creatures such as Giant Spider.

702.17. Reach

  • 702.17a Reach is a static ability.
  • 702.17b A creature with flying can’t be blocked except by creatures with flying and/or reach. (See rule 509, “Declare Blockers Step,” and rule 702.9, “Flying.”)
  • 702.17c Multiple instances of reach on the same creature are redundant.

Trample is a keyword ability that changes the rules for assigning damage in the Combat Damage Step. An attacker with trample can deal excess damage to the defending player or planeswalker even if it is blocked

702.19. Trample

  • 702.19a Trample is a static ability that modifies the rules for assigning an attacking creature’s combat damage. The ability has no effect when a creature with trample is blocking or is dealing noncombat damage. (See rule 510, “Combat Damage Step.”)
  • 702.19b The controller of an attacking creature with trample first assigns damage to the creature(s) blocking it. Once all those blocking creatures are assigned lethal damage, any remaining damage is assigned as its controller chooses among those blocking creatures and the player or planeswalker the creature is attacking. When checking for assigned lethal damage, take into account damage already marked on the creature and damage from other creatures that’s being assigned during the same combat damage step, but not any abilities or effects that might change the amount of damage that’s actually dealt. The attacking creature’s controller need not assign lethal damage to all those blocking creatures but in that case can’t assign any damage to the player or planeswalker it’s attacking.

    Example: A 2/2 creature that can block an additional creature blocks two attackers: a 1/1 with no abilities and a 3/3 with trample. The active player could assign 1 damage from the first attacker and 1 damage from the second to the blocking creature, and 2 damage to the defending player from the creature with trample.

    Example: A 6/6 green creature with trample is blocked by a 2/2 creature with protection from green. The attacking creature’s controller must assign at least 2 damage to the blocker, even though that damage will be prevented by the blocker’s protection ability. The attacking creature’s controller can divide the rest of the damage as they choose between the blocking creature and the defending player.

  • 702.19c If an attacking creature with trample is blocked, but there are no creatures blocking it when damage is assigned, all its damage is assigned to the player or planeswalker it’s attacking.
  • 702.19d If a creature with trample is attacking a planeswalker, none of its combat damage can be assigned to the defending player, even if that planeswalker has been removed from combat or the damage the attacking creature could assign is greater than the planeswalker’s loyalty.
  • 702.19e Multiple instances of trample on the same creature are redundant.
Vigilance is a keyword ability on creatures that allows the creature to attack without tapping.

702.20. Vigilance

  • 702.20a Vigilance is a static ability that modifies the rules for the declare attackers step.
  • 702.20b Attacking doesn’t cause creatures with vigilance to tap. (See rule 508, “Declare Attackers Step.”)
  • 702.20c Multiple instances of vigilance on the same creature are redundant.