Core Set 2021 introduced the keyword 'mill':

Mill N cards (Put the top N cards from the library into your/their graveyard.)

which was named after the card Millstone with the ability

{2}: Take the top two cards of target player's library and place them in target player's graveyard.

See e.g. this MTG Wiki article:

Ultimately, the term "mill" was chosen both in reference to the original card and because it was already so popular as an informal term—it has permeated into other games and some dictionaries, despite the oblique etymology.

Are there any other keywords which were named after one of the first cards on which they appeared?

  • FWIW, Lifelink came to my mind, but the keyword existed before the card.
    – GendoIkari
    Jun 12 at 18:50

1 Answer 1


There are several abilities that could qualify, though I have not found official confirmation.

Obvious examples include:

  • Fear Card debuted in Alpha (1993), was made a keyword ability in Time Spiral (2003), though it was a non-keyword mechanic since Alpha (1993). Obsoleted since in favor of Menace.

  • Flash Card debuted in Mirage (1996), was made a keyword ability in Time Spiral (2006)

  • Exile Was a mechanic since Alpha (1993), the card debuted in Alliances (1996), was made a keyword action in the M10 rules update (2009)


  • Lifelink. The card debuted in Alpha (1993) as Spirit Link and was made a keyword ability in Future Sight (2007). It worked exactly the same as the card it originated from, i.e. as a triggered ability that triggered on dealing damage. In the M10 rules update (where it also got its own card: Lifelink) it was redesigned into a static ability so that it could save a player from death to combat damage with a lifelink creature of their own, and thus diverged from its cardboard origin.

  • Mana Clash Debuted in The Dark (1994), made a keyword action as Clash in Lorwyn (2007). Both feature a similar mechanic, producing a binary result (win or loss) in a unique, randomized way.

Keyword debuted at the same time as the card of the same (or similar) name, so doesn't technically count for your question:

  • Regeneration Debuted in Alpha (1993) both as a card and a mechanic/keyword action.

  • Vigilance Debuted in Champions of Kamigawa (2004) both as a card and a keyword mechanic, though it was a non-keyword mechanic since Alpha (1993)

  • 1
    Exile is a borderline example in that exile existed as a mechanic for several years before the card, but it still shares its name with a card featuring it.
    – Cadence
    Jun 13 at 4:54
  • 2
    @Cadence Exile was first printed with the old "remove from the game" wording, so it likely influenced the choice of name for the exile zone
    – Caleth
    Jun 13 at 8:27
  • Intimidation is another likely example Jun 20 at 1:51
  • Intimidation obsoleted fear not menace. Fear used to be only for black creatures
    – Neil Meyer
    Jun 21 at 16:23

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