Magic: The Gathering is a collectible card game for 2 or more players, set in a variety of fantastical realms. The cards represent the player's resources and available spells and their interactions lead to an often high paced battle of wits.

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Can a Dimir Keyrune receive a Cipher, and does the encoded spell stay?

Here's the scenario (I hope I get this right by the rules): last turn, I summoned my Dimir Keyrune onto the battlefield. This turn, if I transform it into that "2/2 blue and black Horror artifact ...
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Mimic Vat and Misthollow Griffin

Given that Misthollow Griffin can be cast from exile, if you somehow use Mimic Vat to imprint the Misthollow Griffin and then cast Misthollow Griffin and remove it from exile, can you still make ...
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What is the resolution of tapping a blocking creature?

Let's say I have declared a blocker during the correct phase and during the activate abilities step I choose to tap the blocker to use its ability. All the abilities resolve and now we move to the ...
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In MTG, what happens when Sakashima the Imposter copies Halcyon Glaze?

If I cast Sakashima the Imposter, copying Halcyon Glaze, what happens? My guess is that Sakashima becomes a 4/4 Enchantment Creature - Illusion until the end of the turn (that's the current state of ...
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Has the significance of the term 'cast' changed?

Spellshock currently has the following wording in the Gatherer: Whenever a player casts a spell, Spellshock deals 2 damage to that player. However, the original wording shown in the card image ...
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Can you cast a creature with Bestow while you control a Steel Golem?

You control a Steel Golem, which says "you can't cast creature spells". Can you pay the Bestow cost on, say, a Hopeful Eidolon, and cast it as an aura enchanting the Steel Golem? My reading of the ...
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Becoming better at sideboarding

One of the keys to tournament performance in Magic is proper sideboarding. This seems to be a point of failure with many Magic players that want to move up from casual play and compete in tournaments ...
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What does it take to play a Battle of Wits deck successfully at a tournament?

Magic tournament rules specify that players must be able to randomize their decks in an appropriate amount of time (three minutes for pre-game procedures). As Matt Sperling points out, this may be ...
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Why does Wizards of the Coast print terrible MTG cards?

I understand that there needs to be a wide variety of power levels in Magic: The Gathering. Even bad cards will see play in limited formats, some because they fill a specific niche (flying removal, ...
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What is the most effective creature that can be resurrected from the graveyard in MTG?

I am currently designing a legacy deck around the new graveyard focused cards from Innistrad. My goal is to get cards in my own graveyard quickly and utilize those as best as I can. Innistrad offers a ...
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Are enchantments and artifacts considered spells?

In Magic: The Gathering, are enchantments and artifacts considered spells? More precisely, can I use Cancel (which says "Counter target spell.") on an enchantment or an artifact?
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Why was the banding ability 'removed' from MTG? What was so complicated about it?

While the banding ability was never actually removed from the game, no cards have been printed that use the ability in any set following sixth edition and it has never appeared on any rules summary ...
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Can I use a Corpse Cur to get a Vector Asp back from the graveyard?

I attack with a Vector Asp and use his activated ability to give him infect until the end of the turn. It's blocked by a 2/2 creature and goes to the graveyard. If I cast Corpse Cur next, can I ...
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If I Unsummon a blocking creature will my attacker damage my opponent?

Suppose Player 1 has a Dragon on the table and Unsummon in hand, while Player 2 has two Spiders on the table. Player 1 chooses to attack with the Dragon and Player 2 chooses to block with one of the ...
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Building a Blue Deck on a budget?

My daughter is a huge Blue card fan (she loves mermaids especially). How can I build a solid blue deck on a limited budget with easily obtainable cards?
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What's the strategic advantage of building around alternate win conditions?

In MTG, there are several ways to win that don't involve damaging your opponent. The most prominent is milling (running an opponent out of cards to draw), but there are also special cards like Felidar ...
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Grave Betrayal vs. Blightsteel Colossus

My opponent has to sacrifice a creature. He sacrifices a Blightsteel Colossus. I have Grave Betrayal on the battlefield. Will my opponent get to shuffle the colossus into his deck again, or will it ...
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Can I tap a creature with summoning sickness to pay “tap an untapped creature you control” costs?

I have a Chosen of Markov on the battlefield and I played a vampire earlier this turn. Can I tap both to transform Chosen of Markov even though I just played the vampire? Extra Example: I play Battle ...
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How do two Notion Thieves interact with each other?

Notion Thief's text reads: If an opponent would draw a card except the first one he or she draws in each of his or her draw steps, instead that player skips that draw and you draw a card. ...
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Where can I get my Magic the Gathering play critiqued?

I started playing Magic again last year right after the release of Dark Ascension after a long hiatus. I decided to get more serious in trying to win, but I've hit a roadblock in my play. I go x-1 in ...
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Learning to build multi-color decks in Magic

I'm a MTG noob, and currently I've only built single-color decks. However, I want to explore the art of building decks that use cards of multiple colors. What are the advantages of a multicolor ...
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What happens when you blink a cipher-ed creature?

if I have a cipher ability encoded on a creature, and I cast a Restoration Angel, thus exiling and returning the creature to play, does the creature still have the cipher ability? How about creatures ...
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When should you side lands in and out?

Some Magic writers advise players to side out a land when on the draw in Limited, in order to improve the probability of drawing a strong starting hand. Is it reasonable to do the same (side out a ...
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How long can I wait before choosing to counter a spell?

Today, I was playing a duel, and my friend played a Wall of Reverence, which he then ended up enchanting with an Ethereal Armor. Between those two actions he asked me if I would counter it, to which I ...
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Does 'fight' involve combat?

The text for Ulvenwald Tracker says: {1}{G}, {T} : Target creature you control fights another target creature. (Each deals damage equal to its power to the other.) Does this have anything to do with ...
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Why are MUD decks called MUD?

I have done numerous Google searches, and come up with nothing remotely definitive for the reason for the name MUD given to MUD decks. The definition of MUD appears to be, an artifact deck, that uses ...
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Can I counter a land-creature?

Say my opponent plays Dryad Arbor. Can I counter it with a Cancel from my hand? I know that lands can't be countered because they don't go on the stack, but what about land-creatures?
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Can I change the order of cards when they change zones?

While goldfishing with my new UG self-mill standard deck, I realized that I have a particular habit that is probably not legal. When I cast Forbidden Alchemy, I have a habit of unintentionally ...
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What are the ramifications of turning a planeswalker into a creature?

An answer on another question tells of a way to turn planeswalkers into creatures: Basically you start by playing the Mycosynth Lattice which turns all your permanents into artifacts, this ...
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How can I play around graveyard hate?

Graveyard-based strategies are common in casual and tournament MTG. The graveyard offers players easy ways to cheat on costs (e.g. Reanimator), grind out incremental advantage (e.g. Sun Titan decks, ...
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“Creature does not untap” on Mutavault

I have a Mutavault on the battlefield, which has been animated so it is temporarily a 2/2 creature. My opponent has a Shipbreaker Kraken, which has the following monstrous ability: When ...
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How can I beat green Tron with a control deck?

I've been building a Modern control deck based around the Gifts reanimator engine. The general gameplan is to slow your opponent using counters and removal until you can reanimate a big creature for ...
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Can Meddling Mage Be Used as a Counter?

If a player activated an Æther Vial with two counters on it to drop in a Meddling Mage and named a spell already on the stack, would the named spell resolve?
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Does killing a face-down morph trigger the death triggers printed on the card?

Consider a card like Ashcloud Phoenix (or, for that matter, any card with a death triggers that's turned face down by an Ixidron). When Ashcloud Phoenix dies, return it to the battlefield face ...
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If there are two Lighthouse Chronologist with three players, will one player be pereptually skipped?

If you would play a game with 3 people (let's call them A, B, and C) and A and B have a Lighthouse chronologist, will this make A get a turn after B, and make B get a turn after A without C getting a ...
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How can I mana ramp in a Commander game without helping my opponents?

I'm working on a Commander deck and I'm looking at ways to ramp my mana that won't aid my opponents. I may eventually use all the listed ramp cards, but, I'd like to keep the restriction for the ...
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Dark Confidant and split cards

On my upkeep controlling a Dark Confidant I trigger revealing a card and losing life to it's cmc cost. What happens if I have a split card with 2 identifiable spells? Do I get to choose which one I ...
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Are tokens copying Essence of the Wild still tokens?

Some of my friends and I got into an argument about Essence of the Wild. With Essence on the battlefield, I played Fungal Sprouting and put 6 1/1 green saproling creature tokens on to battlefield. ...
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Timings of Mana Costs vs Mana Payments

If I have 7 lands and a Wild Cantor (or another creature that sacrifices to produce mana, e.g. an Eldrazi Spawn token) in play, and there are no other creatures on the battlefield, can I cast ...
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How do I interrupt a loop after multiple iterations?

This is a question regarding infinite loops and shortcuts at Competitive REL. Here is a potential scenario. Both my opponent and myself are at 20 life each. I have no creatures on the ...
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What happens when a commander is exiled?

Let's say you have a commander on the field, and an opponent uses Sisters Of Stone Death to force your commander to block the sisters and then exiles your commander? Does it remain exiled, or does it ...
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Do you die instantaneously if your life total hits 0?

Way back when, the first combo I built a deck around was Force of Nature with a Spirit Link on it. If, at the beginning of my upkeep, I have less than 8 life and I don't pay the upkeep, will I lose ...
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What's a cantrip?

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 ...
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When two card texts confict, which takes priority?

Let's suppose there are creatures in play and someone plays Humility. It's clear that all the creatures lose their abilities. How is this situation changed if True Conviction were in play? Is the ...
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How does poison work in Commander?

In Commander / EDH players have 40 life. In normal magic 10 poison counters results in a player being eliminated. Is it still 10 poison counters in Commander / EDH? In Commander / EDH a player is ...
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Why do cards have different rarity levels in Magic: The Gathering?

I've been reflecting on this concept and trying to come up with a concise answer: Why do different levels of card rarity exist in MtG? In order for this concept of different numbers of different cards ...
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Can poison counters be removed?

Is there some way to remove or counteract poison counters? Specifically, once you've already accumulated them, not when you are dealt them. For example, say I already have 9 poison counters. Is there ...
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Is Mana Weaving ok if it's followed by a thorough shuffle?

My friends and I are relatively new to MtG. At some point, one of them introduced us to the idea of mana weaving, and we'd do this to declump our decks prior to a very thorough shuffling. However, at ...
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Will I lose the game if I dip below 0hp whilst there's a spell that'll heal me on the stack?

Take the following situation I'm at 2 life, I cast Sphinx's Revelation for 2 life gain on the stack. My opponent casts something like Warleader's Helix which deals 4 damage to me I then cast another ...
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In plain English, how does casting spells and using creature abilities work with the stack and priority?

I'm a relatively new player to Magic: the Gathering. I was reading the expanded rules to try to understand exactly when it's okay to cast instants (e.g. Cancel) and use some abilities (e.g. Goblin ...