I know that creatures that have "can't be blocked except by creatures with flying", like Treetop Rangers, can't be blocked by creatures with reach like Giant Spider since it does not have flying. What about creatures that don't have reach but have a description like "may block as though it had flying", for example Canopy Spider?

Basically, can Treetop Rangers be blocked by Canopy Spider even though it can't be blocked by Giant Spider?


No, Canopy Spider cannot block Treetop Ranger

In the errata of the card Canopy Spider, which appears to the right of the card image, the creature's text has been replaced with the Reach keyword. The errata text always overrules what is physically written on the card, so Canopy Spider has reach and no other abilities.

The rulings on Treetop Rangers specifically states that creatures without flying can't block it, even if they have reach.

It's important to check any older cards that seem to have a 'keyword before it was a keyword' to see if their text has changed, as there are quite a few.


The text “can block as though it had flying” does not exist on any cards any more; any cards that used to have it, such as Canopy Spider, have received errata to have Reach instead. Note that even Giant Spider was printed at one time with the “can block as though it had flying” text.

When determining the correct card text of any card, all that matters is what is written in the Oracle card database at gatherer.wizards.com. It does not matter which printed version of the card you are playing with.*

However, to answer your question in terms of MTG history, back when those cards did have that text, yes, they could block Treetop Rangers. This is because for the purposes of declaring them as blockers, you acted as though they had flying. The errata to use Reach changed this interaction.


Creatures with reach (and without flying) won't be able to block creatures that say they "can't be blocked except by creatures with flying," simply because those creatures don't actually have flying (and will no longer act as though they do). Cards affected by this change are Elven Riders, Silhana Ledgewalker, Treetop Bracers, Treetop Rangers, and Treetop Scout.

*The un-card R&D's Secret Lair aside.

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