Why would anyone exert Trueheart Twins? It doesn't have an exert perk.

You may exert Trueheart Twins as it attacks. (It won't untap during your next untap step.)

Whenever you exert a creature, creatures you control get +1/+0 until end of turn.

To contrast it, here's Nef-Crop Entangler. Notice how this card says "when you do [exert], it gets..."


You may exert Nef-Crop Entangler as it attacks. When you do, it gets +1/+2 until end of turn. (An exerted creature won't untap during your next untap step.)

Here's a list of creatures with exert. Nearly all of them follow the latter format. (There are a couple, but not very many, that seem to have no exert perk)

  • 6
    "creatures you control get +1/+0 until end of turn" is most definitely a perk :)
    – ikegami
    Commented May 4, 2017 at 20:26
  • 2
    It's seem obvious to me... Commented May 5, 2017 at 13:16
  • @ikegami not sure if this explains my thoughts or not, but basically, I was thinking there would always be multiple creatures with EXERT on the battlefield, thus making it a disadvantage to tap Trueheart Twins, since it would lock it for two turns, when its effect would still fire for tapping someone else with a direct exert ability. Commented May 5, 2017 at 15:25
  • one of my friends pointed out that if true heart twins is the only creature with exert on the bfield, it could still trigger the +1 / 0 indirectly. As soon as there are multiple creatures with exert, it would no longer benefit to exert true heart twins. Commented May 5, 2017 at 15:26
  • 1
    That makes absolutely no sense. Say you have a Trueheart Twins and two Nef-Crop Entangler on the 'field. If you only exert the NCE, TT will get +2/+0 and NCEs will get +3/+2. If you exert TT too, TT will get +3/+0, and the NCEs will get +4/+2. An extra +1/+0 per creature you control can add up to a large amount!
    – ikegami
    Commented May 5, 2017 at 15:32

3 Answers 3


Because it will still trigger its second ability "Whenever you exert a creature, creatures you control get +1/+0 until end of turn.", and sometimes you want your team to get the extra +1/+0 until end of turn.

  • I hadn't thought about it possibly being the only creature with exert on the battlefield. As soon as 2 creatures with exert are on the bfield, it seems to be a bad move to exert both, rather than just the one with a direct effect, since the +1/0 provided by true heart twins doesn't require itself to be exerted (though that can fire it). Commented May 5, 2017 at 15:30
  • 1
    @Goldentoa11 If it is a good idea or not depends on a lot of things. If they extra +1/+0 wins you the game you don't really care if it is locked down next turn for example.
    – diego
    Commented May 5, 2017 at 15:39
  • 2
    @Goldentoa11 In case diego didn't already make it clear, if you exert two creatures, the ability will trigger twice and everything will get +2/+0.
    – Rainbolt
    Commented May 5, 2017 at 16:56

Trueheart Twins is a kinda exert lord, but it also benefits from the ability ("a creature" includes itself). So, every creature that exerts can give your team +1/+0 when it's on the battlefield, including itself.

  • What do you mean by "is a kinda exert lord"? Commented May 5, 2017 at 15:43
  • @Goldentoa11 Lords typically benefit a group (usually a creature type) but don't apply to themselves. As this benefits itself, that's why I used "kinda"
    – JonTheMon
    Commented May 5, 2017 at 16:02

Some abilities have no direct benefit. They let you do something for a cost, but the result is ... nothing.

These abilities can still be useful if indirectly they benefit you.

Suppose you had a land that read "Tap: gain 0 mana". Seemingly pointless; it has no direct benefit for paying the cost.

Now give it, or another card, the ability "Whenever you tap any land, you may lose 2 life to gain 1 black mana". Now the ability to tap your land lets you trigger the "whenever you tap" ability.

Without the "Tap: gain 0 mana" ability, you wouldn't be able to trigger the other effect.

This is the same case here. This creature can exert for no direct benefit. This is seemingly useless, unless you have abilities that are triggered by creatures exerting (or you really don't want it untapped next turn).

It also has an ability that is triggered by itself exerting; namely, when any creature exerts, it also grants all of your creatures +1/+0.

Without the ability to exert for no direct benefit, it could not trigger its "whenever a creature exerts" ability itself. Which would make it a worse card.

  • 2
    I think it's a little misleading/confusing to say that it can exert "for no reason" and then go on to say that it triggers its own ability that pumps your creatures when you exert it.
    – murgatroid99
    Commented May 4, 2017 at 17:06
  • @murgatroid99 replaced "reason" with "direct benefit"; I had done this later in the answer, but missed an earlier use.
    – Yakk
    Commented May 4, 2017 at 17:20
  • @Beofett The action of exerting provides no direct benefit. The other feature of the card takes any exertion and adds an effect to it, but that is not directly part of the exertion ability of the card. Hence, no direct benefit; like how a land that can be tapped to grant 0 mana grants no direct benefit from the tapping.
    – Yakk
    Commented May 4, 2017 at 19:39
  • 2
    @Beofett I'm saying that the exertion ability itself provides no direct benefit. It indirectly triggers another ability (on the same card) which provides the benefit. I'm not sure what you think I'm justifying? The "you can exert this creature" ability clearly is a different "kind" of ability than "you can exert this creature to get X", in that it is missing the "to get X"; I am describing that as an ability with "no direct benefit". Do you have a suggestion for a better way to describe that kind of ability?
    – Yakk
    Commented May 4, 2017 at 19:54
  • How about "triggering exert will also trigger the other ability"?
    – Beofett
    Commented May 4, 2017 at 19:57

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