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In discussions of Magic cards, I've heard a card called a cantrip on several occasions, but I haven't been able to find a definition of what that term means for MtG. Is a cantrip a particular card, a card with a particular mechanism, or what?

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

A cantrip is any spell that allows you to draw a card in addition to it's regular effect (e.g. Peek). It is typically of low casting cost, and the drawing is a secondary effect.

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The original cantrips were in Ice Age, and typically read "draw a card at the beginning of next turn's upkeep". Eventually Wizards decided that was too much faff and changed the card-draw to be an immediate effect. Some people call the Ice Age cards "slowtrips" as a result! – thesunneversets Sep 19 '11 at 12:58

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