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Modern is a non-rotating Constructed format that fills the niche between Standard and Legacy (previously filled by Extended). The Modern format consists of all Magic sets printed since the introduction of the modern card frame, starting with Eighth Edition and the Mirrodin block. Card sets do not rotate out of Modern. A list of legal sets and banned cards may be found here.

Note that cards exclusive to supplemental sets (Commander, Planechase, etc), are not legal for play.

Also note that lists have been restructured to fall in line with the Modern Nexus top decks page.

This page was last updated August 2016.

Tier One Strategies

Tier one strategies generally fall into a 4% or greater overall metagame share. It is extremely likely to see these decks throughout a tournament.

Abzan Company

Deck-Specific Potential Issues:

  • Eternal Witness, if gotten with Chord of Calling or Collected Company, can return the Chord/Company when the triggered ability goes on the stack.
  • Picking up the deck, searching for a card, and cutting that card to the top is an acceptable shortcut for infinite Viscera Seer activations. Scry 1 does not allow a player to reorder the deck, however, just to cut to a specific card on top.


Deck-Specific Potential Issues:

  • Blinkmoth Nexus and Inkmoth Nexus: if either of them gain +1/+1 counters (via Arcbound Ravager or Steel Overseer, for example), those counters aren't gone when they cease to be creatures at the end of turn.
  • Cranial Plating: by paying ManaB.gifManaB.gif, you can attach it at "instant" speed.
  • Springleaf Drum: you can tap a creature that has just entered the battlefield under you control.
  • Stony Silence: a foil to this deck, Stony Silence does prevent mana abilities from being activated, in particular those of Mox Opal and Darksteel Citadel.
  • Torpor Orb: in the case of copying effects (ex. Clone), the copy effect still resolves, as this is a replacement effect. However, if the copied card has an enters-the-battlefield triggered ability, that triggered ability will not trigger.

Death's Shadow Zoo

  • Description: A Zoo variant that utilizes Death's Shadow to deal a lot of damage very quickly. Yes, this involves doing a ton of damage to the player.
  • Colors: All?

Specific Card Notes


  • Description: Utilizing spells to drop key cards into the graveyard (Insolent Neonate or Faithless Looting), this deck proceeds to then utilize the dredge mechanic to set up a number of "free" creatures that will overwhelm the opponent.
  • Colors: ManaG.gifManaR.gifManaB.gifManaU.gif

Deck-Specific Potential Issues:

  • Prized Amalgam: The ability returning this creature from the graveyard is a delayed zone-change trigger. That means that the missed trigger remedy requires this trigger to be put on the stack automatically, no matter how much time has passed.
  • Insolent Neonate: The discard ability is a cost, so if a dredge card is discarded, it can be dredged by the draw. Additionally, costs can be paid in any order when activating an ability, so it's possible to discard a Bridge from Below. then sacrifice the Neonate with Bridge in the graveyard to get a zombie token.
  • Dredging too many cards: If a player dredges too many cards, the problem falls into an intermediate space between HCE, LEC, and GRV. The exact fix will depend on the specifics of the infraction; however, the LEC fix should always apply, since it's problematic to leave a known card on top of the library with dredge cards available.

Specific Card Notes


  • Description: a combo/aggro deck that seeks to utilize the infect mechanic on creatures like Blighted Agent and Inkmoth Nexus, in combination with spells that pump a creature's power like Rancor, Giant Growth, and Noble Hierarch, to quickly kill the opponent.
  • Colors: ManaB.gif or ManaG.gif, with the green version using lots of phyrexian mana spells

Deck-Specific Potential Issues:

  • Rancor and Apostle's Blessing: if Apostle's Blessing is cast on a creature and green is chosen, any Rancors on the creature will fall off during state-based actions and any Rancors on the stack targeting the creature will be countered upon resolution because it is no longer a legal target. This could happen in response to a green removal spell or ability such as Maelstrom Pulse. If Rancor "falls off," its triggered ability will trigger.
  • Rancor and Inkmoth Nexus: suppose an Inkmoth Nexus is activated and Rancor is cast on it. During the cleanup step, Inkmoth Nexus will stop being a creature. State-based actions are checked and Rancor is put into the graveyard since it is no longer attached to a creature. This will trigger Rancor's triggered ability, and both players will get priority during the cleanup step before the Rancor is returned to hand.
  • Pendelhaven: Some printings of this card do not make it obvious that this land is legendary.
  • Vines of Vastwood: This card does not grant Hexproof. For instance if an opponent redirects a Vines of Vastwood to their Spellskite, they can still redirect further spells to it that turn but cannot target it with their own spells or abilities.

Jeskai Control

Deck-Specific Potential Issues:

  • Shadow of Doubt: it affects both players.
  • Snapcaster Mage and X-spells: when casting a spell with flashback from the graveyard with X in the cost, X is announced after the player moves the card from the graveyard to the stack.
  • Nahiri, the Harbinger draws and discards as part of the resolution of a single ability. If a player discards Emrakul this way, they will draw a card before shuffling in the graveyard.

Specific Card Notes


  • Description: This is a midrange deck consisting of efficient and wide-ranging cards. Finishers vary but are typically difficult to remove.
  • Colors: ManaB.gifManaR.gifManaG.gif

Specific Card Notes


  • Description: a aggro-control deck that makes a Merfolk army (notice the redundancy of "Lords") and backs it up with various forms of disruption.
  • Colors: ManaU.gif, with occasional splashes for ManaW.gif or ManaB.gif

Deck-Specific Potential Issues:

Red-Green Tron

  • Description: a big-mana deck that uses cantrips and search effects to assemble "Urzatron" (the combination of Urza's Mine, Urza's Power Plant and Urza's Tower) as quickly as possible, to power out expensive, game-winning spells
  • Colors: ManaR.gif/ManaG.gif

Deck-Specific Potential Issues:

Specific Card Notes

Tier Two Strategies

Tier two strategies usually fall within 2% through 4% metagame share. Tier two represent currently tournament viable decks that may or may not be present at any given event.


  • Description: a midrange deck running arguably the best cards in its colors.
  • Colors: ManaW.gifManaB.gifManaG.gif

Ad Nauseam

  • Description: a combo deck that wins by performing the following: cast a "don't die" spell (ex. Angel's Grace and Phyrexian Unlife, then cast Ad Nauseam to put the entire deck into hand, then cast Lightning Storm and make it lethal with all of the lands drawn from Ad Nauseam.
  • Colors: ManaW.gif/ManaU.gif/ManaB.gif/ManaR.gif

Deck-Specific Potential Issues:

  • Ad Nauseam: Perform actions in the order written. That is (summarizing): 1.) reveal the card, 2.) add it to hand, 3.) record life loss. You then have the option to repeat those steps in order again. Once you opt to stop, the spell has finished resolving.
  • Lightning Storm: remember that priority is returned to the player who had it last after he or she casts a spell or activates an ability, and that the top-most object on the stack resolves as soon as both players pass priority.


  • Description: a deck that uses burn spells in conjunction with inexpensive creatures to deal 20 damage to the opponent as quickly as possible.
  • Colors: ManaR.gif, often ManaG.gif (Atarka's Command) and/or ManaW.gif (Boros Charm).

Deck-Specific Potential Issues:

  • Goblin Guide: if two or more attack, the defending player will reveal the top card of his or her library once for each trigger, even if it's a nonland card revealed from the first trigger. Players will usually agree to show it just once in this case as a shortcut.
  • Hell's Thunder and Hellspark Elemental: if an unearthed creature leaves the battlefield before the beginning of the end step, it is exiled.
  • Leyline of Punishment:
    • Spells and abilities that would normally cause a player to gain life still resolve, but the life-gain part simply has no effect.
    • If a cost includes life gain, that cost can't be paid.
    • Effects that would replace gaining life with some other effect won't be able to do anything because it's impossible for players to gain life.
    • Effects that replace an event with gaining life will end up replacing the event with nothing.
    • If an effect says to set a player's life total to a certain number, and that number is higher than the player's current life total, that part of the effect won't do anything.
    • Damage prevention shields don't have any effect. If a prevention effect has an additional effect, the additional effect will still work (if possible). Spells that create prevention effects can still be cast, and abilities that create prevention effects can still be activated.
    • Static abilities that prevent damage (including protection abilities) don't do so. If they have additional effects that don't depend on the amount of damage prevented, those additional effects will still work. Such effects are applied only once per source of damage.
  • Shattering Spree and Trinisphere: replicate is an optional additional cost for a spell. If a player chooses not to replicate a Shattering Spree, Trinisphere forces the owner to pay an additional Mana2.gif. If a player chooses to replicate a Shattering Spree once, the spell's total cost to cast (before Trinisphere) is ManaR.gifManaR.gif. Trinisphere forces the player to pay an extra Mana1.gif, in this case. If a player chooses to replicate a Shattering Spree twice, its total cost to cast is ManaR.gifManaR.gifManaR.gif, which satisfies Trinisphere.


  • Description: an aggressive stompy deck that plays expensive creatures cheaply via the fast mana of Eldrazi Temple.
  • Bant (ManaG.gifManaW.gifManaU.gif) is the most common color combination.

Deck-Specific Potential Issues:

  • World Breaker: You can't use Eldrazi Temple's second ability to bring back World Breaker as the card is not an Eldrazi in the graveyard.
  • Eldrazi Temple: Note that mana from the second ability can't be used to pay for triggered abilities.

Grixis Control

  • Description: a control deck that utilizes delve creatures to close out games quickly.
  • Colors: ManaR.gifManaB.gifManaU.gif

Grixis Delver

  • Description: a mix of Delver of Secrets with delve creatures, backed by disruption.
  • Colors: ManaR.gifManaB.gifManaU.gif

Deck-Specific Potential Issues:

  • Delver of Secrets: Although looking at the top card of the library during the upkeep is mandatory, the revealing of that card (if it's an instant or sorcery) is optional. The entire process (looking, revealing and transforming) are linked - once the trigger resolves, players cannot respond to the transformation.

Gruul Aggro

  • Description: an aggro deck that most notably uses Burning-Tree Emissary to fuel explosive early aggression.
  • Colors: ManaR.gif/ManaG.gif

Deck-Specific Potential Issues:

Kiki Chord

Deck-Specific Potential Issues:

Specific Card Notes


Deck-Specific Potential Issues:

  • Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle: if Prismatic Omen is destroyed in response to Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle's triggered abilities resulting from non-Mountain lands, the abilities won't resolve and no damage will be dealt. This happens because Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle's triggered ability contains an intervening "if" clause. (CR 603.4)

That means:

1. The ability won't trigger at all unless, at the time a Mountain enters the battlefield under your control, you control five or more Mountains other than that new one.

2. The ability will be removed from the stack and do nothing if you control fewer than five Mountains other than that new one by the time the ability resolves.

The same rules apply if one of the lands brought onto the battlefield by Scapeshift is no longer on the battlefield when Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle's triggered abilities have the chance to resolve. (ex. Tectonic Edge's second activated ability in response to several Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle triggers when the Valakut is the sixth Mountain)

Titan Shift

Tier Three Strategies

Normally at less than 2% of the metagame, tier three strategies represent fringe decks that may or may not do well in any given event.

Aggro Loam

Deck-Specific Potential Issues:

  • The retrace mechanic: whenever a spell or ability resolves, the active player receives priority. If the active player casts a spell that has retrace, that player may cast that card again after it resolves, before another player can remove the card from the graveyard.
  • Casting a spell with retrace from the graveyard moves that card from the graveyard and onto the stack. Cards that prevent players from casting spells from graveyards (ex. Grafdigger's Cage) do not allow a player to retrace.


  • Description: a deck that revolves around cheap creatures with hexproof (ex. Slippery Bogle) and enchant creature Auras to build an unstoppable monster.
  • Colors: ManaW.gif/ManaG.gif

Deck-Specific Potential Issues:

  • Daybreak Coronet: Daybreak Coronet cannot be cast if there are no creatures already enchanted by another Aura. If Daybreak Coronet winds up the only Aura attached to a creature, it will be put into its owner's graveyard the next time state-based actions are checked.
  • Ethereal Armor: Counts itself.
  • Spellskite: Auras target when cast as spells (but never any other time). Spellskite can't redirect an Aura spell to itself if Spellskite can't legally be enchanted by it; notably, it can't redirect Daybreak Coronet if Spellskite itself has no Auras.
  • Totem armor: if a creature enchanted with more than one Aura with totem armor is destroyed, only one totem armor will ultimately be destroyed. All other Auras stay attached. Also notice that totem armor is a replacement effect, not a triggered ability. An attacking creature spared from destruction/lethal damage via totem armor will not be removed from combat. If the creature and the enchantment(s) with totem armor would be destroyed simultaneously (ex. Engineered Explosives) the totem armor replacement effect will still take place and the creature will not be destroyed.

Death & Taxes

  • Also knowns as "hate bears".
  • Colors: Normally only ManaW.gif, sometimes splashing a second color (often ManaG.gif).

Deck-Specific Potential Issues:

  • AEther Vial and Serra Avenger: AEther Vial allows its controller to put a creature card onto the battlefield rather than cast it. This allows a player to ignore Serra Avenger's casting restriction.


Deck-Specific Potential Issues:

  • Vengevine: it doesn't matter if the creature spells cast in a turn were countered or not.

Specific Card Notes


  • Description: A "combo" deck designed to go wide with mana generating elves and then utilizing Ezuri, Renegade Leader in conjunction with "lords" to overwhelm the opponent.
  • Colors: ManaG.gif, often splashing ManaW.gif for sideboard cards.


  • Description: an aggro deck that focuses on Goblin tribal themes and a low mana curve to overwhelm the opponent with an immediate wave of attacking creatures
  • Colors: ManaR.gif

Deck-Specific Potential Issues:

Lantern Control

  • Description: combines Lantern of Insight, millrocks, and Ensnaring Bridge to prevent the opponent from plaing a game of Magic.
  • Colors: Normally ManaB.gif/ManaG.gif/ManaR.gif, sometimes splashing ManaU.gif or ManaW.gif

Deck-Specific Potential Issues:

Living End

  • Description: a deck that cycles and landcycles large creatures and uses a cascaded Living End (the only spell cheaper than the spells with cascade) to get them all onto the battlefield
  • Colors: ManaB.gif/ManaR.gif/ManaG.gif

Deck-Specific Potential Issues:

  • Ethersworn Canonist and Rule of Law: if a spell with cascade is cast with either of these on the battlefield, it will resolve as normal. The cascaded spell cannot be cast, as a spell was already cast that turn (the spell with cascade). The card is shuffled onto the bottom with the rest of the revealed cards.
  • Grafdigger's Cage: this does not stop Living End, as Living End exiles creature cards in graveyards first, then puts them onto the battlefield.


  • Description: a combo deck that uses cheap draw spells and "rituals" (mana-producing spells) to create a high spell count in order to get the most out of a storm spell.
  • Colors: ManaU.gif/ManaR.gif

Deck-Specific Potential Issues:

  • Manamorphose: you must name the color(s) to be added to your mana pool before drawing the card.
  • Pyromancer Ascension: if you cast a storm spell with an "active" Pyromancer Ascension out, you can copy the original spell, but you will not get the storm copies, as storm triggers whenever you cast a spell. Copies are (usually) not cast - they are placed on the stack. Each copy resolves separately and can be responded to separately (by countering a spell, or casting another spell).
  • Pyromancer Ascension's trigger does not have an intervening if clause. The trigger will put a quest counter on the Pyromancer Ascension even if all copies of the spell are removed from the graveyard in response.
  • "Rituals" (Desperate Ritual and Pyretic Ritual): they can be countered.

White-Blue Tron

  • Description: a big-mana deck that controls the game with countermagic and board sweepers, uses deck manipulation to find Urzatron pieces. and wins on the back of huge creatures or "infinite" Mindslaver recursion.
  • Colors: ManaW.gif/ManaU.gif

To be Sorted


  • Description: an aggro-control deck that uses disruptive creatures, often at instant speed. Additionally, its non-creature spells act as disruption (discard, tap lands/creatures effects), control (counterspell effects, token-producing effects) and high quantity of drawing.
  • Colors: ManaU.gif/ManaB.gif

Deck-Specific Potential Issues:

  • Mistbind Clique: champion a Faerie doesn't target a Faerie and the Faerie that will be championed (if it is) is chosen upon resolution, not when it triggers.
  • Mistbind Clique: if it leaves the battlefield with Champion a Faerie on the stack, and IF it still champions, it will not tap the lands, since it will not be on the battlefield when the champion ability resolves.
  • Spellstutter Sprite: its triggered ability checks the value of X twice - when it's added to the stack, and when it resolves.

Genesis Wave

Deck-Specific Potential Issues:

  • Elvish Visionary and Wistful Selkie: their triggered abilities could result in drawing from an empty library.
  • Genesis Wave and Auras: auras that would be put onto the battlefield (ex. Fertile Ground and Utopia Sprawl) can only enchant permanents that were on the battlefield prior to Genesis Wave's resolution, as all permanent cards revealed enter the battlefield simultaneously.
  • Genesis Wave and Eternal Witness: if put onto the battlefield via Genesis Wave, a target for Eternal Witness's triggered ability is declared after Genesis Wave completes resolution and after state-based actions happen, so Genesis Wave would be a legal target for the triggered ability.
  • Primeval Titan: its triggered ability is optional and allows the player to search for "up to" two land. Zero, one or two land are legal choices. A player could also "fail to find" land as this ability resolves, as that player is searching a hidden zone for cards of a certain value.


Deck-Specific Potential Issues:

  • Gifts Ungiven: note that this spell requires a target - an opponent. When Gifts Ungiven resolves, its controller MAY reveal up to four cards. Since the spell instructs the player to search for specific cards in a private zone, that player may fail to find as many cards as he or she chooses. If two or fewer cards are revealed, they will all go to the graveyard, as the (targeted) opponent chooses which of the revealed cards are sent there.

Hate Bears

  • Description: an aggro deck that buys itself time and applies pressure with its disruptive early drops (typically two-drops, hence the name).
  • Colors: ManaW.gif/ManaG.gif

Domain Zoo

  • Description: a pseudo hybrid of Jund and Zoo - a five-color deck that runs most of the format's more powerful cheap spells.
  • Colors: ManaW.gif/ManaU.gif/ManaB.gif/ManaR.gif/ManaG.gif

Jeskai Ascendancy

  • Description: a deck loaded with cantrips (ex. Gitaxian Probe) that seeks to abuse the combination of mana-producing creatures (ex. Arbor Elf) and its namesake Jeskai Ascendancy to create and attack with a large creature or two, or cast a spell that deals damage to a player equal to the size of the largest creature you have.
  • Colors: ManaW.gifManaU.gifManaR.gif with ManaG.gif for mana producers and Glittering Wish

Mono-Blue Tron

  • Description: similar to White-Blue Tron, but less reliant on sweepers and more dependent on counterspells.
  • Colors: ManaU.gif

Naya Midrange

  • Description: a midrange deck that runs burn-resilient creatures (a single Lightning Bolt isn't as effective, for example) in conjunction with planeswalkers and the format's best removal spells
  • Colors: ManaW.gif/ManaR.gif/ManaG.gif

Deck-Specific Potential Issues:

  • Domri Rade: both creatures must be on the battlefield in order to fight.
  • Lotus Cobra: its triggered ability is *not* a mana ability.


  • Description: a combo deck that revolves around discard outlets (ex. Faithless Looting) and "reanimation" spells (spells that put creatures onto the battlefield from the graveyard) to get expensive, powerful creatures into play quickly.
  • Colors: ManaB.gif, with ManaU.gif and/or ManaR.gif as additional colors

Deck-Specific Potential Issues:

  • Lightning Axe: if you cannot discard a card to satisfy the additional casting cost, you must pay the additional Mana5.gif. If you cannot pay either additional cost, Lightning Axe cannot be cast.
  • Through the Breach: putting a creature card from your hand onto the battlefield is optional.


  • Description: a midrange deck that overwhelms the opponent with a small army of creature tokens. "Anthem" effects (such as Honor of the Pure and Intangible Virtue) and free spells cast via Windbrisk Heights add pressure at minimal resource cost.
  • Colors: ManaW.gif/ManaB.gif

Deck-Specific Potential Issues:

  • Hero of Bladehold and Windbrisk Heights: the creatures must be declared as attackers in order to activate a Windbrisk Heights's second activated ability, not put onto the battlefield attacking.
  • Windbrisk Heights: to "play" the card here means to either play it if it is a land, or to cast it if it is not a land.

White-Blue Midrange

  • Description: a midrange deck that uses cheap creatures with strong enters-the-battlefield triggers to gain board advantage, in conjunction with countermagic and choice removal spells to keep control of the game.
  • Colors: ManaW.gif/ManaU.gif

Blue Moon

  • Description: a slower control deck that utilizes countermagic, spot removal, control effects and, most notably, mana denial. After it is established that the opponent can't cast much, if anything, thanks to Blood Moon and/or Spreading Seas, a creature of some sort will slowly but surely win the game.
  • Colors: ManaU.gif/ManaR.gif


  • Description: an aggressive tempo deck that plays cheap, explosive creatures in conjunction with removal and countermagic, to let these creatures deal as much damage as possible. Burn spells allow for extra reach.
  • Colors: ManaU.gif/ManaR.gif, ManaW.gif/ManaU.gif/ManaR.gif or ManaU.gif/ManaR.gif/ManaG.gif

Deck-Specific Potential Issues:

  • Delver of Secrets: Although looking at the top card of the library during the upkeep is mandatory, the revealing of that card (if it's an instant or sorcery) is optional. The entire process (looking, revealing and transforming) are linked - once the trigger resolves, players cannot respond to the transformation.

Soul Sisters

Deck-Specific Potential Issues:

  • Emeria, the Sky Ruin and Felidar Sovereign: both triggered abilities contain intervening "if" clauses. The triggered ability's condition is checked as its owner's upkeep begins. If the ability's condition hasn't been met, the ability doesn't trigger at all. If the ability's condition has been met, the ability triggers and goes on the stack. As the ability resolves, that condition is checked again. If that condition is below the trigger threshold, the ability is removed from the stack and has no effect. If the condition is still satisfied, the ability resolves.
  • Proclamation of Rebirth: if a player activates forecast, that player plays with that card revealed in his or her hand until it leaves the player's hand or until a step or phase that isn't an upkeep step begins, whichever comes first.

WUR Midrange

  • Description: a midrange deck that can be aggro-control against more controlling decks.
  • Colors: ManaW.gif/ManaU.gif/ManaR.gif


  • Description: a low-curve, aggressive deck that aims to overwhelm with cheap yet strong creatures, and use pump/burn spells as support and/or finishers. It's not unusual to see some builds run more disruptive spells (such as countermagic, discard and land destruction). If Burn is about quantity, Zoo is about quality.
  • Colors: ManaW.gif/ManaR.gif/ManaG.gif traditionally.

Specific Cards and Issues

Blood Moon/Magus of the Moon

  • Nonbasic lands are simply given thebasic land subtype Mountain. Card types and supertypes do not change.
  • If a land is given one or more basic land subtypes, it loses all abilities generated from its rules text and its old land subtypes, and it gains the appropriate mana ability for each basic land subtype given. (CR 305.7)
  • Replacement effects that modify how a land enters the battlefield still happen.
  • Putting this all together, a Breeding Pool would still be named Breeding Pool. It would lose its Forest and Island subtypes and gain the Mountain subtype. The player playing it still has the option to let it enter the battlefield tapped, or pay 2 life to let it enter the battlefield untapped.
  • Darksteel Citadel will be an Artifact Land - Mountain. It will tap for ManaR.gif and be destructible.
  • Dryad Arbor is a Land Creature - Mountain Dryad under Blood Moon It is still a creature, is green due to its color indicator and taps for ManaR.gif since it is a Mountain.
  • Suppose Adam casts a Blood Moon and Eric activates his Raging Ravine's second activated ability in response. Raging Ravine's ability resolves first, becoming a red and green 3/3 Land Creature - Elemental, with a triggered ability. Blood Moon resolves next.
    • Until end of turn, Raging Ravine is a red and green 3/3 Land Creature - Mountain Elemental, with a triggered ability. It retains the triggered ability because this is considered an ability granted by other effects. (CR 305.7)
    • As long as Blood Moon is on the battlefield, Raging Ravine can only be tapped for ManaR.gif. Its second activated ability (becomes a creature) cannot be activated since it no longer exists (in a game sense).

Blood Moon/Magus of the Moon and Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

  • With Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth, dependency applies (CR 613.7), since both effects are applied in Layer 4: Type-Changing Effects (CR 613.1d). In this specific case, Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth's effect is dependent of Blood Moon's and/or Magus of the Moon's effect. So, Blood Moon and Magus of the Moon effects are applied, and Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth is a Legendary Land - Mountain. Other nonbasic lands are Mountains per Blood Moon's and/or Magus of the Moon's static ability.

Chord of Calling and Wall of Roots Interaction

  • A player could give Wall of Roots a fifth -0/-1 counter AND tap it for convoke. State-based actions are not checked during the casting of a spell. When Chord of Calling has been cast, state-based actions are checked and take effect; Wall of Roots would be sent to the graveyard for having zero toughness.

Chromatic Sphere versus Chromatic Star

  • Chromatic Sphere's draw is tied in with the mana ability. You must choose the color of mana to be added AND complete the casting of the spell before drawing the card (CR 401.5).
  • Chromatic Star's draw comes from a triggered ability, separate from the mana ability. If used for mana, it will stack above the spell just cast or ability just activated/triggered.


  • It can be cast with X equal to 0. Even though players are always able to pay a cost of 0, they are not obligated to. (note that our communication policy states that players are assumed to have paid costs of 0 unless indicated.) Regardless of X being paid or not, Condescend's controller will still be able to scry 2.

Cumulative Upkeep

  • You must be able to pay a cumulative upkeep cost in its entirety exactly as written. Should you fail to do so, the permanent will be sacrificed. For example, if you put an age counter on Jötun Grunt, then cannot put exactly two cards from a single graveyard on the bottom of their owner's library (perhaps there's one card in each graveyard), Jötun Grunt will be sacrificed.

Dark Confidant

  • If its triggered ability is missed, the infraction is Missed Trigger, not Game Rule Violation. The fix is to ask the opponent if he wants the ability put on the stack. However, if the controller puts a card into their hand for Dark Confidant without revealing it, this IS a Game Rule Violation and should be handled accordingly. ("An error that an opponent can’t verify the legality of should have its penalty upgraded.")

Emrakul, the Aeons Torn

  • You get the additional turn only if you cast it.
  • IPG 2.1: the casting trigger changes the rules of the game. In order for the trigger to be considered missed, the trigger's controller must fail to prevent his or her opponent from starting his or her turn.


  • If you have fewer than 7 life, you cannot activate the ability.

Kataki, War's Wage

  • The triggered ability granted to other artifacts is detrimental no matter by which player the artifact is controlled.

Life from the Loam

  • You cannot dredge Life from the Loam if you have fewer than 3 cards in your library.

Liliana of the Veil

  • The discard happens simultaneously, but the active player(s) must choose what to discard before the opponent(s). Players can distinguish the chosen card without revealing it. For example, Adam activates the +1 ability. He sets aside his card to be discarded. Nathan does the same. Both players discard at the same time, the identity of the cards made public at this time.
  • You cannot use your own Liliana of the Veil's +1 loyalty ability to sneak your Loxodon Smiter and/or Obstinate Baloth into play. The discarding must be from an opponent's spell or ability.

Martyr of Sands

  • Sacrificing Martyr and revealing the cards in hand are part of the activation cost. Cards revealed stay in the zone they're in, unless otherwise specified.


  • CR 712 details what can and can't be done to, or on behalf of, a controlled player. MTR 3.15 states that a controlled player's sideboard may be viewed by the controlling player.
  • When a player controls another player's turn, it is tempting to vary the handling of missed triggers. However, the player being controlled is still responsible for their triggers. It should be remembered that they are not in control of the pacing of the game, so they should be given a reasonable time to notice the trigger before it is considered missed.

Monocolored Hybrid

  • Their converted mana costs are 6, so an Inquisition of Kozilek won't nab a Flame Javelin or Spectral Procession.

Nahiri, the Harbinger

  • If a player uses the +2 ability and draws before discard, the infraction is Hidden Card Error and the fix is to reveal the hand and the opponent chooses one card that cannot be discarded. Then proceed with discarding from the remaining cards.
  • w/ Emrakul, the Aeons Torn: If discarded to the +2 ability, the card should be drawn before the graveyard is shuffled into the library. If this is done in the wrong order, the infraction is a Game Rule Violation and we will backup only if we can rebuild the graveyard in it's entirety.

Prized Amalgam

  • Amalgam must be in the graveyard at the time a creature is put onto the battlefield. An Amalgam that ends up in your graveyard afterwards will remain in the graveyard.

Scavenging Ooze

  • Its activated ability targets. If the ability's target is illegal when the ability would resolve, the entire ability is countered. Scavenging Ooze will neither get a +1/+1 counter nor gain its controller 1 life if the targeted creature card is already gone.
  • Its activated ability cannot be used "in response" to casting a spell from a graveyard (ex. flashing back Lingering Souls or summoning Gravecrawler from the dead), as the spell is already on the stack at that point.


  • There will likely be known cards in the library in a particular order, so remember this when applying fixes involving shuffling.

Serra Ascendant

  • If it's involved in combat and is dealt 5 or fewer damage as a 1/1 while its controller is at 29 life, it will be a 6/6 with flying by the time state-based actions are checked.

Shortcutting Loops

  • CR 716.2 details the procedure taken in creating a shortcut for a loop. This is relevant for combo decks that win by performing repetitive action.


  • As you cast a spell, if a card in your hand could be spliced onto that spell, reveal that card. The revealed card's text box is added to the spell being cast. This happens before you choose targets.
    • For example, as you cast Through the Breach, you want to splice onto it Goryo's Vengeance. Reveal Goryo's Vengeance and add its text to Through the Breach. For all intents and purposes, Through the Breach now reads: "You may put a creature card from your hand onto the battlefield. That creature gains haste. Sacrifice that creature at the beginning of the next end step. Return target legendary creature card from your graveyard to the battlefield. That creature gains haste. Exile it at the beginning of the next end step." The entire spell is red and has a converted mana cost of five. This spell needs one target in order to be cast legally: a legendary creature card in your graveyard.
  • Note that the card to be spliced onto a spell must be in your hand.
    • For example. if a Desperate Ritual in your graveyard has flashback, you can splice a Desperate Ritual from your hand onto it. However, you cannot splice if the second Desperate Ritual is in the graveyard.

Split Cards

  • If revealed through cascade, if either side is less than the converted mana cost of the cascade spell, you may cast either side.
  • If revealed through Dark Confidant's triggered ability, its controller loses life equal to the sum of the costs.
  • A split card can only be fused if cast from hand.


  • The copies created from the triggered ability are not cast. When the triggered ability resolves, the copies are placed on the stack. Countering a card with storm only counters the original spell, so copies will remain on the stack.
  • If a player is using storm cards to win, it is highly recommended that he or she publicly keep track of the "storm count," as well as the amounts and kinds of mana created and spent while "going off." Dice and/or pen and paper are sufficient.


  • Spells go to the graveyard after resolution, but before state-based actions are checked. If graveyards contain only creatures and lands when a Lightning Bolt (an instant) targeting Tarmogoyf (a 2/3) resolves, it will be a 3/4 with 3 damage on it when state-based actions are next checked.

Thalia, Guardian of Thraben

  • Both players' noncreature spells cost one more mana to cast, not just the opponent's.


  • The hand is revealed.
  • A card MUST be taken, if possible.

Tribal Flames

  • X is not locked in until Tribal Flames resolves.


Vedalken Shackles

  • If a "manland" (ex. Treetop Village) is Shackled, control will not change back when it returns to being just a land. So long as Vedalken Shackles remains tapped, control of the permanent will not revert. It only cares about target legality when (1.) activated and (2.) when the activated ability resolves.

See also