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In Magic: The Gathering, can I choose not to use the "flying" ability of a creature when attacking (so that it can be blocked by non-flying creatures)?

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No, you cannot choose for a creature to behave as though it did not have Flying unless a card specifically says that you can.

While Flying is an ability, it is not one that you "use". It is just a fact about the creature, like the fact that it it is Blue or has 3 power (for example).

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While murgatroid99 is correct that a creature with flying cannot choose to use its ability, there are ways to remove flying temporarily. These include (taking a few random cards for demonstration):

  • Canopy Claws is an instant that can remove flying until end of turn.
  • Downdraft is an enchantment with a similar activated ability.
  • Swooping Talon lets you pay 1 mana to cause it to lose flying until the end of turn (which is designed to work with its Provoke ability).
  • Ribbon Snake lets any player pay 2 mana to cause it to lose flying until end of turn.
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    There's also the opposite approach of giving opponent creatures flying or reach (useful for the context provided in the question of allowing legal blockers).
    – ryanyuyu
    Sep 25, 2015 at 18:32
  • True, true. And sometimes they're equivalent processes, but other times maybe you'd prefer one or the other - maybe you want to draw out multiple blockers, or maybe you want to remove flying to protect your creature from Hurricane. But definitely in the context of this question it's a worthwhile consideration.
    – ConMan
    Sep 28, 2015 at 23:50

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