Humble causes a creature to become 0/1 and lose all abilities. If the target creature has an artifact equipped, giving it +1/+1, before this instant is played, does the target lose any benefits applied from the artifact?


Short Answer

The creature will be a 1/2.

Long Answer

The Comprehensive Rules define a layer system. When multiple effects need to be applied, the layer system describes the order in which they happen. Humble sets the base power and toughness to 0/1 in layer 7b.

613.3b Layer 7b: Effects that set power and/or toughness to a specific number or value are applied.

Since the equipment modifies the power and toughness by giving the creature +1/+1, we know that it applies in layer 7c*.

613.3c Layer 7c: Effects that modify power and/or toughness (but don’t set power and/or toughness to a specific number or value) are applied.

We know that 7b applies before 7c because of rule 613.3.

613.3. Within layer 7, apply effects in a series of sublayers in the order described [...]

7b comes before 7c. Therefore, the example creature is first set to 0/1, then modified to 1/2.


In the Magic 2015 Update Bulletin, the word "base" was added to cards like Humble. This was supposed to make it clear to players that it applies before other effects that might modify power and toughness. Prior to Magic 2015, cards like Humble still worked the same way, but it was less obvious. In other words, it was a nonfunctional change aimed solely at improving clarity.

*The phrase "Equipped creature gets +1/+1" is an ability of the equipment, not an ability granted to the creature. If the equipment said "Equipped creature gains 'This creature gets +1/+1'", then it would actually be applied in Layer 6 instead.

  • 1
    It may be useful to state that "Equipped creature gets +1/+1" is not an ability granted to the creature, since that is actually why it ends up being a 1/2. If it were an ability granted to the equipped creature it would have been removed in Layer 6.
    – diego
    Jul 30 '15 at 16:18
  • It is an ability of the equipment granting a P/T boost to the equipped creature as a Continuous Effect. For it to grant the equipped creature an ability it would have to be worded something like "Equipped creature gains 'This creature gets +1/+1'" or something equally awkward.
    – diego
    Jul 30 '15 at 16:31
  • @diego Thanks for helping. I made it a footnote so that it would interfere less with the flow.
    – Rainbolt
    Jul 30 '15 at 16:35

The artifact still gives the equipped creature its +1/+1 bonus, because of the order in which power and toughness are calculated:

a) characteristics (the creature itself)

b) effects that set power/toughness to specific numbers (such as Humble)

c) effects that adjust power/toughness but don't set them to specific numbers (+/- effects such as equipment and enchantments)

d) counters (+1/+1 or -1/-1)

e) effects that switch power and toughness

So after Humble resolves, the creature will be a 1/2.

  • Welcome to Board and Card Games!
    – Rainbolt
    Jul 30 '15 at 23:15

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