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If a creature has one or more permanent +1/+1 counters are those counters considered "enchantments"?

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    What would lead you to believe that +1/+1 counters are enchantments? Sep 1 '13 at 14:40
  • @WesleyMurch See the discussion in the comments on Alex's answer - the summary is "old card rules text is confusing and you should look at the Oracle text."
    – Cascabel
    Sep 1 '13 at 14:41
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No. They are not objects on the battlefield, and they don't have the enchantment card type.


An enchantment is a permanent with the card type "enchantment".

109.2. If a spell or ability uses a description of an object that includes a card type or subtype, but doesn’t include the word “card,” “spell,” “source,” or “scheme,” it means a permanent of that card type or subtype on the battlefield.

A counter fails to match the definition of an enchantment for two reasons.

  • Counters aren't permanents. They aren't even objects.

    110.1. A permanent is a card or token on the battlefield. [...]

    121.1. A counter is a marker placed on an object or player that modifies its characteristics and/or interacts with a rule, ability, or effect. Counters are not objects and have no characteristics. Notably, a counter is not a token, and a token is not a counter. Counters with the same name or description are interchangeable.

  • Counters don't have the enchantment card type. They don't even have a card type. They aren't even objects.

    300.1. The card types are artifact, creature, enchantment, instant, land, phenomenon, plane, planeswalker, scheme, sorcery, tribal, and vanguard.

    109.3. An object’s characteristics are name, mana cost, color, color indicator, card type, subtype, supertype, expansion symbol, rules text, abilities, power, toughness, loyalty, hand modifier, and life modifier. Objects can have some or all of these characteristics. Any other information about an object isn’t a characteristic. For example, characteristics don’t include whether a permanent is tapped, a spell’s target, an object’s owner or controller, what an Aura enchants, and so on.

    109.1. An object is an ability on the stack, a card, a copy of a card, a token, a spell, a permanent, or an emblem.

    121.1. A counter is a marker placed on an object or player that modifies its characteristics and/or interacts with a rule, ability, or effect. Counters are not objects and have no characteristics. Notably, a counter is not a token, and a token is not a counter. Counters with the same name or description are interchangeable.

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No. Unlike tokens, counters aren't permanents in their own right. They're just... counters.

Here's a relevant bit of the comp rules:

121.1. A counter is a marker placed on an object or player that modifies its characteristics and/or interacts with a rule, ability, or effect. Counters are not objects and have no characteristics. Notably, a counter is not a token, and a token is not a counter. Counters with the same name or description are interchangeable.

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  • Or, looking at it from the other side, enchantments are things which say Enchantment explicitly on them!
    – Cascabel
    Sep 1 '13 at 14:03
  • Sorceress Queen (from Arabian Nights) reads "Tap to make another creature 0/2 until end of turn. Treat this exactly as if the numbers in the lower right of the target card were 0/2. All special characteristics and enchantments on the creature are unaffected". This seems to mean that a 2/3 creature with a +1/+1 counter would become 1/3. But what about Singing Tree (also AN) which reads "Tap to reduce attacking creature's power to 0". Then my 2/3 with +1/+1 becomes a 0/4, unless I'm missing something.
    – Julian
    Sep 1 '13 at 14:17
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    @Julian That's a different question which you might want to post separately. (This is a Q&A site, not a discussion forum). The answer is "layers!" - setting P/T happens before modifying it. Also, don't read the original rules text for old cards like that, read the Oracle text, found on gatherer. Here it is for Sorceress Queen.
    – Cascabel
    Sep 1 '13 at 14:33
  • @Julian (Or of course, you could edit this question to ask purely about Sorceress Queen and Singing Tree; an answer along the lines of my previous comment except more in depth would sort you out just fine.)
    – Cascabel
    Sep 1 '13 at 14:41
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    @Jefroni, That's wrong. "Enchantments" are permanents with the card type enchantment. Some thing with "Enchantment" explicitly written on them aren't enchantments (because they aren't on the battlefield or because their type has changed), and some things are enchantments even though "enchantment" isn't explicitly written on them (because they gained the type).
    – ikegami
    Sep 1 '13 at 19:10

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