We are new to the game, I have been skipping over tokens for a few weeks here trying to get to know the game a little at a time. But I have finally starting diving in to the token aspect. I understand the creature tokens and how they work. But I found a card that say something about destroy non-creature permanent. What is a non-creature permanent? I am assuming it is like a non-creature token. What would be some examples of that?

3 Answers 3


A permanent is anything on the battlefield (a.k.a. "in play"),CR 110 whether represented by a card or a token. A noncreature permanent is any permanent that is not a creature.

For example, Icy Manipulator, when on the battlefield, would be a noncreature permanent. A land like a Forest, when on the battlefield, would also be a noncreature permanent. Treasure tokens, if you've seen those, would also be noncreature permanents.

More precisely, permanents can have any of five types: land, creature, artifact, enchantment, and planeswalker.CR 110.4 A single permanent usually has one of these types, but it can have more than one (for example, Juggernaut), and some permanents can even gain or lose types due to things happening in the game (for example, vehicles like Fleetwheel Cruiser). The only thing that matters for deciding whether something is a "noncreature permanent" is, at the moment you need to make the decision, whether it is a permanent and whether it has the type "creature". If it has other types as well, that doesn't matter. If it became a creature in the past or is going to stop being a creature in the future, that doesn't matter for deciding whether it's a noncreature permanent right now.

Note that cards which represent permanents when they're on the battlefield do not represent permanents while they're in your hand, in the graveyard, in your library, or anywhere else other than the battlefield.CR 110.1 Anywhere else, they're just cards. (There's a rarely used term, "permanent card", which means a card that isn't on the battlefield but would be a permanent if it were.)

  • It might be worth mentioning (or it might just be a tangent that only causes confusion) things that temporarily become creatures.
    – KRyan
    Apr 30, 2018 at 3:36
  • 1
    @KRyan Hm, that is a good point but it's a relatively rare occurrence. It would probably disrupt the main flow of the answer but it could go in a "footnote".
    – David Z
    Apr 30, 2018 at 3:39
  • Certainly more common than “permanent card” :P Artifacts are the usual suspects here; there’s a lot of effects like Ensoul Artifact, not to mention artifacts like Azorius Keyrune with the effect built in.
    – KRyan
    Apr 30, 2018 at 3:44
  • That's true. Let me edit.
    – David Z
    Apr 30, 2018 at 4:14
  • There is also a combination of cards which can cause a permanent to have no types at all, but it's not something that would realistically come up and I don't actually remember it. Apr 30, 2018 at 12:59

I suggest your first touchstone should be the Basic Rules, which is a PDF linked to from MTG's rules page in case you ever need to google it up. The PDF begins talking about permanents and types on page 5.

Permanents are cards on the battlefield. They may be lands, enchantments, artifacts, planeswalkers, or creatures. They may also be tokens representing one of those things, such as the gold tokens found in Ixalan, which are artifact tokens.

They're called "permanents" because they stick around, at least until they get removed by a spell like that — unlike instants and sorceries, which normally just do their thing then go to the graveyard.

A card's only a permanent whilst it's on the battlefield. This means a card in a library, hand, graveyard, or in exile isn't considered a permanent. Nor is a spell that's still being cast — it's just a spell card on the stack at that point, not a permanent.

A card that wants a "noncreature permanent" target can target a permanent that is any of those types, as long as the card is not also a creature. For example, For example, Gilded Sentinel is an Artifact Creature. "Noncreature" means the spell is looking for a permanent that does not have the quality of being a Creature, and since Gilded Sentinel is a Creature (among its other types) it cannot be a target of that spell.


Non-creature permanents are objects on the battlefield that aren't creatures, which given the existing card types means they're artifacts, enchantments, lands, and/or planeswalkers.

If a permanent has multiple types including creature, for example an artifact creature, it's not a non-creature permanent.

Tokens aren't related here. This is just about card types. A creature token isn't a non-creature permanent, and an artifact token is a non-creature permanent.

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