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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What do shiny ovals mean on Magic the Gathering cards?

I have just bought a set of Oath of the Gatewatch cards, and a few of them have a small shiny oval on the bottom center, like Corrupted Crossroads. What does this mean?
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If my creature with deathtouch and 0 power blocks one of my opponent's creatures, does my opponent's creature die?

Deathtouch means that "any creature dealt damage by another creature with deathtouch is destroyed", but what if that creature with deathtouch is 0/1? I suppose a better title would be 'does a creature ...
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How many creatures should be in a draft deck?

How many creatures should the average, typical draft deck contain? Obviously this depends on a multitude of factors, including the kinds of creatures in your deck, the kinds of non-creatures you have ...
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How do I find out a fair price for my Magic the Gathering cards?

Back in the day, I would check Scrye magazine to figure out how much my Magic cards should sell for, but they folded two years ago. Where's a good place to price my collection these days?
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When is Darksteel Juggernaut's power and toughness determined? Can they change?

The relevant part of Darksteel Juggernaut's rules text states: Darksteel Juggernaut's power and toughness are each equal to the number of artifacts you control. When is Darksteel Juggernaut's ...
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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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What is “summoning sickness” and how does it affect my creatures?

Note: this is intended to be a canonical question about summoning sickness. "Summoning sickness", broadly, is the rule that stops you from attacking or paying {T} costs with a creature that you just ...
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How does Perplexing Chimera work with multiple triggers on the stack?

Perplexing Chimera is a new card in Born of the Gods. It reads as follows Enchantment Creature - Chimera Whenever an opponent casts a spell, you may exchange control of Perplexing Chimera and ...
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Do Pack Rat copies give devotion?

If I make a copy of Pack Rat using its ability, does that copy retain the mana cost, and thus increase my devotion to black by one? ie. I have nothing on the battlefield but one Pack Rat and some ...
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How much damage do my other Goblins deal if my Goblin Chieftain dies during the first strike step?

I was playing against my son tonight and an issue came up that we disagreed on. We looked in the rules, but that just made things murkier for us. I attacked with Goblin Chieftain (2/2), Goblin ...
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What is a quick way to test or simulate card strategies for deck building games?

Dominion is the specific example I would like to play with but this certainly applies to any game that involves decks of cards being shuffled and drawn. I often see references to various simulations ...
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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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Finding places to play Magic the Gathering games

A friend of mine recently got MTG for the XBox and is talking us into getting real cards. I'm all up for starting but I dread the idea of playing the same two people over and over with no change ...
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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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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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How many missed triggers are necessary before you begin to have Game Losses and/or DQs?

While reviewing the latest changes to the Magic Infraction Procedure Guide, I notice that a missed trigger is considered a Warning, but that, Judges should not intervene in a missed trigger ...
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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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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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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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Why does Mana-Burn exist in Magic: The Gathering?

My understanding of Mana-Burn is that if you have any left over mana in your mana-pool at the end of your turn, you loose that many life. But why is this rule necessary? The only time I see it come ...
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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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Would Pillar of Flames get rid of a Blightsteel Colossus?

Blightsteel Colossus is indestructible. The rules for indestructable says: 700.4. If a permanent is indestructible, rules and effects can’t destroy it. (See rule 701.6, “Destroy.”) Such permanents ...
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If I lose control of an equipped creature, does the equipment stay attached to it?

If I have an equipped creature and my opponent Mind Controls it, does my equipment remain attached to it? Can I re-equip that equipment to one of my creatures on my turn? I assume since I control the ...
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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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What happens when I sacrifice a blocking creature?

In Magic:The Gathering it is possible to trigger abilities of creatures at the same time you can play instants? I play it that I can block with a creature and sacrifice it at the same time. The ...
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How can I tell which cards or sets are currently legal in various formats?

I haven't played Magic: the Gathering since the days of Onslaught and Mirrodin, and I would like to try to catch back up. Since all my cards are quite dated now, I may be more interested in formats ...
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Does a creature that has both double strike and first strike deal damage three times or only twice?

In the new Dark Ascension expansion, the card Markov Blademaster has double strike. Stormkirk Captain gives all other Vampires first strike and +1/+1. This means that the Blademaster has double and ...
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Can Trait Doctoring be used to change words like “nonblack”?

Trait Doctoring reads: Change the text of target permanent by replacing all instances of one color word with another or one basic land type with another until end of turn. Doom Blade, for ...
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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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Etiquette for the Stack in MTG

More often than not it doesn't matter, you cast a spell and it either lands in its designated spot on the field, or it resolves and heads into the graveyard. What I always wondered is, whenever there ...
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How do I handle casting a spell with a cost of X when the casting cost is reduced?

If I play a spell with {X} in the mana cost, and I have a card out that reduces the casting cost by 2 generic mana, what happens to the X? Does it start at -2? For example: I have Arcane Melee in ...
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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 ...
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Rally The Ancestors and 3 Lilianas

I cast Rally The Ancestors and bring back 3 Liliana, Heretical Healer and 2 Jace Vryn's Prodigy and 1 Clever Impersonator from the graveyard. How many zombie tokens can I get? Am I allowed to make the ...
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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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Does priority matter in Magic?

When does priority actually matter in magic? I have been playing Magic since Time Spiral and have never once seen the rules for priority matter. I've never heard a question from a player about a ...
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Ensnaring Bridge and Cranial Plating

Let's say that I have an Ensnaring Bridge in play, and no cards in my hand. My opponent has a 0/2 Ornithopter in play, and also a Cranial Plating (and some other artifacts to pump it up). Can he ...
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Are there any cards that turn creatures into land?

There are dozens of cards that turn land into creatures, but are there any cards that turn creatures into land ?
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What are effective strategies for playing control against aggro-control?

In Magic, there's a style of deck known as "aggro-control", which plays a mixture of cheap threats and disruption (especially counterspells). Against a pure control deck, aggro-control seeks to set up ...
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What is the correct creature type for Lesser and Greater Werewolf?

I noticed that the text of the Lesser/Greater Werewolf card reads Lycanthrope but the oracle text at Gatherer reads the type as Werewolf. I think that the Gather errata (oracle) should be the ...
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Why do double-faced planeswalkers from Origins get exiled before being transformed?

In Magic the Gathering Origins set, there is a cycle of 5 creatures, each that are double-sided and have a planeswalker on the back side. Previously when double-sided cards were used, the cards had a ...
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Do I draw a card if I enchant an opponent's Eidolon of Blossoms with Hypnotic Siren?

The situation is just as stated in the title: my opponent controls Eidolon of Blossoms: Whenever Eidolon of Blossoms or another enchantment enters the battlefield under your control, draw a card. ...
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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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Do you have to have exactly 60 cards in a Magic the Gathering deck?

Do you have to have exactly 60 cards in a Magic the Gathering deck? Some people I've talked to at FNM say yes, others say no.
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Are copied spells cast from the graveyard?

If you copy Increasing Confusion or any other "cast from the graveyard" spell with Increasing Vengeance, does the copy act like it was cast from the graveyard? Or, since the copy technically was not ...
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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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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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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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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 activate an activated ability more than once per turn?

I am using the card Blood Bairn, which has the following activated ability: Sacrifice another creature: Blood Bairn gets +2/+2 until end of turn. I use my Blood Bairn in conjunction with ...