I've just started playing mtg like a week ago and the first deck I've bought was Abzan Siege. Problem is I'm a bit confused on one thing, how many counters can you put on a creature at each turn? Is it only one +1/+1 per turn or as many as I want as long as I have sufficient lands?

  • 2
    Your question is a little ambiguous, or you're asking two questions in one. One question is, "How many +1/+1 counters can I put on a creature per turn?", the answer to which is, "As many as your abilities/spells allow". The other is, "How many times can I use Outlast per turn?", the answer to which is, "As many times as you can pay the cost", which is probably once per creature per turn, assuming you don't have a way to untap between casts. Dec 30, 2014 at 22:25

3 Answers 3


The deck Abzan Siege has several different ways of putting +1/+1 counters on creatures and how often you can do it depends on exactly which card is doing it.

For any of the cards with Outlast like Abzan Battle Priest you can normally only activate the ability once each turn since tapping the creature is part of the cost of the ability in addition to the mana you need to pay. If you can find a way to untap the creature on your turn you can activate it again, but since you can only activate Outlast as a sorcery your Ivorytusk Fortress will not help you get additional activations out of it.

For ones with a triggered ability like Armament Corps you get to distribute the counters only once when the creature enters the battlefield.

For ones with an activated ability that doesn't require tapping like High Sentinels of Arashin you can activate the ability as many times as you want as long as you have the mana to pay for it.


I assume that you are talking about the Outlast ability on cards like Longshot Squad. In that case you can only activate the ability once per turn in most cases. The rule for Outlast, 702.106a says

Outlast is an activated ability. "Outlast [cost]" means “[Cost], {T}: Put a +1/+1 counter on this creature. Activate this ability only any time you could cast a sorcery."

This is also clarified in the reminder text on that card, which says

Outlast {1}{G} ({1}{G}, {T}: Put a +1/+1 counter on this creature. Outlast only as a sorcery.)

Part of the cost of activating the ability is tapping the creature. So, once you activate it, you can't activate it again until you untap the creature again, which is usually your next untap step.


You can't put counters on creatures just for the fun of it. You can only do so when an effect tells you to.

But there is no separate rule giving a maximum number of counters that can be added in this way. So however many counters you are instructed to put on a creature by the effects of spells and abilities, that is the number of counters you can put on that creature each turn. If effects tell you to put a million +1/+1 counters on a creature, then you put a million +1/+1 counters on.

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