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Part 10 – Understanding Mechanics (all of them)
by Aburame Shino and olibuhero22

 

Alright. Now that you are finished learning the basic keywords of the game, now I'm going to teach you about every other card mechanic ever printed in the game. There are a total of 35 set-based keywords in the game of Magic (with the exception of Cycling, which is in both Urza and Onslaught block, and Equipment which exists in both Mirrodin and Kamigawa block), which can be hard for you to remember if you are just getting started.

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Flanking:
(Whenever a creature without flanking blocks this creature, the blocking creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn.)

Flanking is a neat combat trick you can use if you know the opponent doesn't have any Flanking creatures in their deck. It can make opposing creatures weak enough for your creature to destroy them. Of course, Flanking doesn't work on other Flanking creatures, but chances are your opponent won't be running any creatures with that ability.

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Shadow:
(This creature may block or be blocked by only creatures with shadow.)

Shadow is probably one of the most annoying evasion mechanics in the game. Unlike flying and fear, which are pretty rampant throughout the entire game of Magic, shadow only exists in the tempest block. Even though a creature with Shadow is pretty much guaranteed to hit the opponent, the main downside with the ability is that creatures with Shadow cannot block non-shadow creatures. So if you decide to use creatures with Shadow, don't use too many or you won't be able to stop the opponent's attacks.

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Banding:
(You may band this creature with other creatures with banding. If you do, those creatures attack in a group instead of alone.)

Banding is quite possibly the most confusing keyworded ability in the entire game of magic. I never bothered to learn every last detail about Banding, but it basically allows your creatures to attack in a clump and combine their power during combat. For example, if you have three Benalish Heroes banded together and your opponent blocks one of them with a Rogue Elephant, instead of the one damage from one of the Benalish Hero being dealt to the Rogue Elephant, all three damage from all of the Heroes is dealt to the Rogue Elephant.

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Rampage X:
(Whenever this creature becomes blocked, it gets +X/+X until end of turn for each creature blocking it beyond the first.)

I never was a big fan of Rampage. Basically, the more blockers you use to block an attacking creature, the stronger the Rampage creature gets. More times than not though, if you're attacking with a Rampage creature, if it's big enough, your opponent will only be blocking with one creature anyway. And since Rampage requires more than one creature to block the creature, it does not trigger and the Rampage creature doesn't get a boost.

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Cumulative Upkeep X: (Last appeared in Weatherlight)
(At the beginning of your upkeep, put an age counter on this permanent, then sacrifice it unless you pay X for each age counter on it.)

Cumulative Upkeep is a nifty ability that lets cards stay in play only as long as you can keep paying the Cumulative Upkeep as it gets higher and higher. Some cards use abilities depending on how many Age counters are on it from Cumulative Upkeep, while in other cases it's used to make sure you have to pay in order to keep a card in play for an excess amount of time. Either way, a card with Cumulative Upkeep can be annoying to both the player using the card and to that player's opponent.

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Phasing: (Mirage)
(At the beginning of your turn, if this card is in play, phase out this creature. At the beginning of your turn, if this card is phased out, phase it back in.)

Phasing is a really goofy mechanic for people who want to have a fun game. At the beginning of your turn, if you control any cards with phasing, you are forced to remove them from the game, also known as "phasing them out". Also at the beginning of your turn, if you have any cards phased out, you have to return them to play. One of the key differences between phasing out a creature and removing it from the game is that a creature that phases out is not affected by summoning sickness when it returns to play. For example, you play a Breezekeeper. During your next turn, Breezekeeper phases out. Then during the turn after that, Breezekeeper phases in and you are allowed to attack with it.

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Buyback: (Tempest)
(You may pay this spell's buyback cost in addition to any other costs as you play this spell. If you do, put this spell into your hand instead of your graveyard as part of its resolution.)

Buyback is a great way to reuse a card over and over again without having to get rid of it. Most buyback costs are quite high compared to the actual cost of the spell (Example, Whispers of the Muse), but if you can produce enough mana to properly use Buyback, then I suggest you use it as much as you can. Your opponent may know what's in your hand, but if you're playing the game well enough, it shouldn't matter.

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Horsemanship: (Portal 3 Kingdoms)
(This creature can't be blocked except by creatures with Horsemanship.)

Horsemanship is the exact same thing as Flying. The only difference is that Horsemanship only exists in Portal 3 Kingdoms. But since you probably understand flying, I see no reason to get into detail about Horsemanship.

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Cycling: (First appeared in Urza, variants in Onslaught)
(Discard this card from your hand: Draw a card.)

I like to call Cycling "Trash for Treasure" since you can get rid of a card that you don't need (trash) in order to get a brand new card (treasure). Cycling is a great way to mill through your deck by getting rid of cards that you will not need during the game. That way you do not get stuck having a useless card in your hand where any other card would be helpful.

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Echo: (Urza block)
(At the beginning of your next upkeep after this permanent comes under your control, sacrifice it unless you pay its mana cost.)

Echo is just like playing for a spell twice. Once when you summon it, then again the turn after you play it. Most cards with Echo have bigger stats or bigger abilities than a creature of it's cost would normally have. For example, a 2/2 creature for 1 mana would usually have a huge downside which would make it unplayable like Goblin Cohort. However, if you give the card Echo like with Pouncing Jaguar, you don't have to worry about any huge downsides.

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Fading X: (Masques)
(This creature comes into play with X fade counters on it. At the beginning of your upkeep, remove a fade counter from it. If you can't, sacrifice it.)

Tick, tock, tick, tock. What's that sound? That's the sound of your creature's existance fading away. Fading is kinda like a countdown. As long as there's a Fade counter on the card, it can stay in play. Then, after it runs out of counters, it goes to the graveyard. This makes sure cards with powerful abilities, such as Blastoderm, cannot stay in play for a long amount of time.

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Kicker: (Invasion)
(You may pay this spell's kicker cost in addition to any other costs as you play this spell.)

The kicker cost doesn't do anything with just the kicker cost. The Kicker cost is made to add on to the spell's ability to give you a much better ability or add on to an existing ability. For example, a Kavu Titan alone is a bear (a 2/2 creature for 2). However, if you pay the kicker cost of 2G, you get to turn it from a 2/2 creature to a 5/5 creature with trample.

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Flashback: (Odyssey)
(You may play this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then remove it from the game.)

If you want to pull a sneaky trick on your opponent, Flashback is one of the best ways to do that. Most nonexperienced people don't expect you to play a spell from the graveyard, so if the opponent tries to attack you when your hand is empty, flashback that Moment's Peace and save your life. That'll also prepare you to strike back on them.

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Threshold: (Odyssey)
(You have threshold as long as you have seven or more cards in your graveyard)

Just like Kicker, Threshold is built to make sure you get more bang for your buck. Only diffence is that you don't have to pay any Threshold costs and just happens. All you have to do is have seven or more cards in your graveyard, which isn't incredibly hard to do.

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Madness: (Torment)
(You may play this card for its madness cost at the time you discard it.)

Hand Disruption's worst enemy. If you discard a card with Madness and you have the mana to pay it's Madness cost, you get to play the card just like you could if you were to hardcast it. The only difference is that you can play the Madness cost anytime you could play an instant. So if you discard a Basking Rootwalla to a Wild Mongrel during your opponent's turn, you can pay the 0 mana for it's Madness cost and put it into play as an instant.

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Morph: (Onslaught)
(You may play this face down as a 2/2 creature for 3. Turn it face up any time for its morph cost.)

Morph allows you to play normally unusable creatures face-down as blank 2/2 creatures for three mana. The good thing about this is your deck could have nothing but green mana in it and still be able to play an Exalted Angel or a Blistering Firecat face-down. The only problem with doing that is you wouldn't be able to flip either of those creatures face-up because you don't have the proper mana to do so.

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Amplify X: (Onslaught)
(As this creature comes into play, put X +1/+1 counter on it for each creature card you reveal in your hand that shares a creature type with this creature.)

Amplify is a great way to give your creatures a powerup for running other creatures that share a creature-type with it. Cards such as Ghastly Remains are useless unless they are used specifically in a Zombie deck, and Amplify makes sure you can summon the Remains without it dying with it's 0 power and toughness.

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Double Strike: (Onslaught)
(This creature deals both first strike and regular combat damage.)

If you thought First Strike was a powerful ability, just wait until you deal with a creature that has Double Strike. Not only does it deal it's first strike damage, but it will also deal regular combat damage. So if a creature with double strike has a power of 4, if it deals combat damage to a creature or an opponent, it deals 8 damage instead of 4. Also, if a creature with double strike attacks, is blocked by opposing creature, and the first strike damage is enough to destroy the other creature, the regular combat damage will be dealt to the opponent's life. For example, my 3/3 Double Striking creature attacks and is blocked by a 2/1 creature. The 3 first strike damage from my Double Striking creature would destroy the blocking creature, then the 3 regular combat damage is dealt to the opponent.

Correction: From Saturday School, "If one creature blocks a double striker, and that creature dies to the first strike, then nothing happens with the normal damage (there's no one to assign it to-- having trample would let you assign the extra damage to the defending player though)." -chaoslord

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Provoke:
(Legions)
(When this attacks, you may have target creature defending player controls untap and block it if able.)

If you've ever played Yu-gi-oh!, you'd know that you choose what creatures to attack on the opponent's side of the field, then if their field is clear, you get to attack directly. Provoke is basically the exact same thing as that, forcing your opponent to block with a creature of your choice. One key thing to note about Provoke is that a creature does not have to be tapped in order to trigger Provoke's ability. You can have an untapped creature block a provoker just as easily as a tapped creature.

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Storm: (Scourge)
(When you play this spell, copy it for each spell played before it this turn.)

Ever wish that when you casted a spell you could get multiple copies of it at once? Storm is a great way to do that. For each other spell that is played that turn, Storm makes another copy of that spell. For example, let's say you play three spells then you cast a Mind's Desire. You'd get the regular copy of Mind's Desire, then you'd get three more copies of Mind's Desire on the stack. So instead of removing one card, you instead get to remove four cards.

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Landcycling: (Scourge)
(Discard this card: Search your library for a Land card, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library.)

Landcycling works exactly the same way as regular Cycling does. The only difference is that instead of drawing, you get to search your library for the appropriate land card and put it into your hand. For example, if you decide to use Eternal Dragon's Plainscycling, you discard Eternal Dragon from your hand then search your library for a plains card and put it into your hand. This is a great way to keep you from getting mana screwed during the game.

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Affinity for ____:
(Mirrodin)
(This spell costs 1 less to play for each ____ you control.)

Affinity is quite possible the most broken creature ability ever made. For more cards of the appropriate type that you control, the spell costs 1 colorless mana less to play. For example, let's say you control four artifacts and have a Frogmite in hand. Instead of having to pay four colorless mana in order to cast Frogmite, since it has Affinity for Artifacts and you control four artifacts, Frogmite costs absolutely nothing to play.

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Entwine: (Mirrodin)
(Choose both if you pay the entwine cost.)

During the Mirrodin block, they printed twenty-four different cards that had two abilities that you chose one of to use. However, those spells also had an ability called Entwine, where if you pay the Entwine cost, you get to use both abilities instead of one of them. For example, let's say you play Tooth and Nail with the Entwine. You would be able to search your library for two creature cards and put them into your hand, then you'd get to choose two creature cards in your hand and put them into play.

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Equip X: (Mirrodin)
(X: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery.)

I'm sure you know about Enchant Creature cards, which lets you put them on a creature in play in order to make them stronger, make them weaker, or give them a special ability. Also during the Mirrodin block, the game got a new type of "Enchant Creature" card, in the form of artifacts called equipment. By paying the equip cost on the artifact, you are allowed to attach the equipment to one of your creatures just like you could an Enchant Creature. One of the key differences between equipment and Enchant Creature cards is that if you pay the Equip cost of an equipment while it is already attached to a creature, you can attach it to another creature. Also, if the equipped creature leaves play, the equipment stays in play instead of going to the graveyard along with the creature.

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Imprint: (Mirrodin)
(The removed card is imprinted on this artifact.)

Cards with Imprint usually cannot do anything by themselves. But if you imprint a card onto the artifact with Imprint, that artifact gains other abilities. For example, you can play an Isochron Scepter without any cards imprinted on it, but that would be silly. To make it usable in any way, when you put it into play, you get to remove an instant with Converted Mana Cost 2 or less in your hand from the game and imprint it on that artifact. So whenever you use the Scepter's ability, you get to play a copy of the imprinted card. Each card has a different imprint ability, and gains different powers depending on what's imprinted on it.

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Modular X: (Darksteel)
(This comes into play with X +1/+1 counters on it. When it's put into a graveyard, you may put its +1/+1 counters on target artifact creature.)

Modular is a great way for a creature to donate it's strength to another creature when it is destroyed. When a creature with Modular dies, it gives away it's +1/+1 counters to another artifact creature. For example, let's say you control an Arcbound Overseer with eight +1/+1 counters on it and it gets put into the graveyard. Let's also say you control a wimpy Alpha Myr. When the Overseer is destroyed, it can give away all eight of it's counters to the Alpha Myr, turning the weak 2/1 creature into a massive 10/9 creature. However, if that same Alpha Myr is destroyed, since it does not have Modular, it cannot give away it's newly acquired counters.

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Indestructible: (Darksteel)
("Destroy" effects and lethal damage don't destroy this card.)

The strength of the most powerful spells are brushed off by this ability. A 14/14 creature is coming at you? Normally that'd cost you a creature. However, you control an 1/1 Indestructible creature. And because of that, you can block with him and he will not be destroyed. The only way to get an Indestructible creature off of the field is to return it to the owner's hand, sacrifice it, or remove it from the game entirely.

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Scry X: (Fifth Dawn)
(Look at the top X cards of your library. Put any number of them on the bottom of your library and the rest on top in any order.)

I like to think of Scrying as legel deck stacking. Did you just cast that Condescend and scry'd to see two lands on top of your deck? If you want to, you can put both of those cards on the bottom of your deck and probably won't see them for the rest of the game. Also, let's say you Condescend and have two powerful cards on top of your deck, but you don't want them in that order. If you want to, you can switch the position of them, or you can put one on the top and one on the bottom of your deck. Either way, you're certain that your next draw will not be a disappointment.

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Sunburst: (Fifth Dawn)
(This comes into play with a counter on it for each color of mana used to pay its cost.)

This card is a great way to promote using as many of the five colors of mana as you can, even though it's normally a really bad idea to run all five colors in one deck. Sunburst was used on a collection of Artifacts and Artifact Creatures to help promote multiple color use, making your cards stronger for each color of mana you spend on the card. for example, if I play a Suntouched Myr playing three green mana to cast it, it'll only get one +1/+1 counter. However, if you play one black, one white, and one green mana on the Myr, it'll come into play with three +1/+1 counters.


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Bushido X: (Champions of Kamigawa)
(When this blocks or becomes blocked, it gets +X/+X until end of turn.)

This is what Rampage should've been when it was first printed. Not only does Bushido trigger when the opponent blocks with two creatures, but it'll trigger if your opponent blocks with just one creature. This makes it much harder to destroy a creature as a result of combat. For example, most one-drop creatures have a power and toughness of one, making it easy for it to destroy another one-drop creature. However, this is not the case with Devoted Retainer, which when combined with it's bushido can take down more one-drop creatures without being destroyed.

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Soulshift X: (Champions of Kamigawa)
(When this is put into a graveyard from play, you may return target Spirit card with converted mana cost X or less from your graveyard to your hand.)

Just because a creature is destroyed does not mean it cannot come back to life. Soulshift is a good example of this fact of Magic. If your creature goes to the graveyard, if it has soulshift, you get to return another weaker spirit card from your graveyard to your hand to be replayed. One key thing to remember about this ability is that if a creature has a Soulshift greater than or equal to it's own converted mana cost, the creature is allowed to return itself to your hand.

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Splice onto Arcane: (Champions of Kamigawa)
(As you play an Arcane spell, you may reveal this card from your hand and pay its splice cost. If you do, add this card's effects to that spell.)

Arcane is a keyword that was given to Instants and Sorcerys during the Kamigawa block. At first nobody saw a reason for this, then they were introduced to cards that had Splice onto Arcane. By paying a spell's Splice cost and revealing the card from your hand, you are allowed to add it's effect to another Arcane card that you have played. For example, if you have two Glacial Rays in your hand and you decide to play one, as you cast that spell, you are allowed to pay the other Ray's splice cost and reveal it from your hand to add it's effect to the other Glacial Ray. So instead of having one instance of the "Deals 2 damage" ability, it would have two instances, so you could deal 4 damage to a creature or player or you could deal 2 damage to two different targets.

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Creature Offering:
(You may play this card any time you could play an instant by sacrificing a creature and paying the difference in mana costs between this and the sacrificed creature. Mana cost includes color.)

There were only five cards printed with the Creature Offering ability, but they are all powerful in their own way. By sacrificing a creature of the proper type and paying the difference in mana cost, you get to play the creature as an instant. For example, I control a Sosuke, Son of Seshiro and I sacrifice it to summon a Patron of the Orochi. Since Sosuke costs 2GG and Patron of the Orochi costs 6GG, I would have to pay four colorless mana to cast the Patron.

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Ninjutsu X: (Betrayers of Kamigawa)
(X, Return an unblocked attacker you control to hand: Put this card into play from your hand tapped and attacking.)

Ninjutsu is a great way to screw your opponent for letting even the weakest creatures get an attack through. By paying the Ninjutsu cost and returning an unblocked attacker to the owner's hand, you are allowed to play the Ninja in your hand tapped and attacking. Quick note that a creature that has been Ninjutsu'd into play cannot be blocked. Also, creatures played through their Ninjutsu cost are basically unaffected by Summoning Sickness since they will lose their summoning sickness during your next turn. For example, if I play a Ninja of the Deep Hours through it's Ninjutsu cost. My opponent would not be able to block it since the Declare Blockers step has been passed. Also, I would be able to attack with Ninja of the Deep Hours during my next turn.

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Channel: (Champions of Kamigawa)
(Discard this card: *Insert effect here*)

Channel is yet another ability similar to Cycling. The difference between actual Cycling and Channeling is that instead of getting to draw a card, you get a different ability. For example, I decide to Channel my Ghost-Lit Redeemer. Instead of getting to draw a card like I would if I were to Cycle a card, I would gain four life from Ghost-Lit Redeemer.

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Sweep:
(Return any number of ____ cards you control to their owner's hand. *Insert effect here*)

I felt that this was a waste of a mechanic, since they only printed four cards with this ability name when they didn't need to. Each card with Sweep makes you have to return a different kind of land to your hand. And for each land you return, the ability gets stronger. For example, I play Sink into Takenuma and return three swamps to my hand. My opponent would be forced to discard three cards from his or her hand. But if I returned zero swamps to my hand, my opponent would not have to discard any cards.

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Epic:
(For the rest of the game, you can't play spells. At the beginning of each of your upkeeps, copy this spell except for its epic ability.)

By casting a spell with Epic, you will have just gained a power that most people would not want to gain. By surrendering the ability to play anymore spells for the rest of the game, you get to play a copy of the Epic spell during each of your upkeeps. Now this can be both a good and a bad thing, depending on the moment that you play the Epic spell. For example, if you cast a Neverending Torment when you have one card in your hand, you won't be getting any use out of the Epic spell for a while. However, if you were to have six or seven cards in your hand, you would be able to remove your opponent's entire deck from the game within a matter of a couple turns.

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Convoke:
(Each creature you tap while playing this spell reduces its cost by 1 colorless mana or by one mana of that creature’s color.)

A very useful ability mostly found in green and white cards. This ability lets you tap creatures for (technically) mana, which in turn lets you play high cost (and low cost) creatures, instants, and sorceries (i.e. Autochthon Wurn, Scatter the Seeds, Overwhelm, etc.).

Example - You want to play the instant Scatter the Seeds (Mana Cost: 3 colorless, 2 Forests), but you only have 3 mana (1 Forests and 2 Plains), but you also have 2 green creatures and a white creature in play. Since you don't have enough mana, but you do have creatures you can use to reduce the spells cost, you an tap all your mana and any two of your three creatures, and you will be able to sucessfully play Scatter the Seeds .

Ruling Issues on Convoke:

Example - Your in the same scenerio as above except you have five creatures, and you tap out all your mana and two of your creature and your opponent counters it with Mana Leak . Now, you CANNOT tap your three remaining creatures to counter Mana Leak. I know this sounds silly, but I have had younger players try and do this.

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Dredge X
(If you would draw a card, instead you may put exactly X cards from the top of your library into your graveyard. If you do, return this card from your graveyard to your hand. Otherwise, draw a card.)

The concept of Dredge can be kind of tricky, but for more experienced players, they can just read the rule for Dredge and completly understand it. Now, you can choose that instead of you drawing for your turn, you pick up (NOT DRAW) X amount of cards, depending on what number Dredge it is (i.e. Dredge 2, Dredge 3, etc.), and put those cards in your graveyard and return a card with Dredge X back to your hand. You can use Dredge whenever you draw a card.

Example - You have a Golgari Brownscale in your graveyard. You enter your Draw Step and choose that instead of drawing a card this turn, you would rather use the cards ability to Dredge 2. So, you pick up the top two cards of your library, place them in your graveyard, and return Golgari Brownscale to your hand.

Example 2 - Your opponent has the land Mikokoro, Center of the Sea in play and during their turn, they use the cards ability that has them tap two mana and Mikokoro so each player draws a card. This is also an opportunity to use the Dredge ability. Say you want to get Golgari Brownscale back again, you would just pick up the first two cards of your library, place them into your graveyard, and put Golgari Brownscale into your hand, all during your opponent's turn!

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Transmute X
(X, Discard this card: Search your library for a card with the same converted mana cost as this card, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library. Play only as a sorcery.)

Transmute is a very nifty ability. It allows you to play a certain mana cost, discard the card that your paying the Transmute cost for, and search your library for a card with the exact same converted mana cost and put it in your hand. A setback, but not a huge one, is that you can only play this ability as a sorcery (only during your turn).

Example - You have the card Drift of Phantasms in your hand. You can pay 2 blue mana and any other mana to use the ability Transmute. Now that you have payed the Transmute cost, you discard Drift of Phantasms and search your library for a card with the same CMC (Converted Mana Cost) as Drift of Phantasms like Dimir Doppelganger , Dimir Cutpurse , etc.

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Radiance
(Target creature and each other creature that shares a color with target creature _______.)

This mechanic is very fun, and is used in the Boros Guild. This mechanic is used many different ways. The list of Boros cards with radiance if you want to check them out are: Rally the Righteous, Brightflame , Cleansing Beam, Incite Hysteria, Surge of Zeal, and Wojek Embermage

Example:
You are running a Boros Deck using Red and White cards and you play the card Rally the Righteous on one of your red creatures, now this untaps all of your red creatures, and all of your creatures that have red in their casting cost (gold creatures), and gives them all +2/+0 until the end of your turn.

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Haunt:
(When this card/spell is put into a graveyard from play, remove it from the game haunting target creature.)

The best way to explain how this card works is to compare the ability to a Enchantment - Aura with Enchant Creature. When the creature (such as Blind Hunter) or the spell (such as Cry of Contrition) goes to the graveyard, the card is treated as an Enchant Creature and is put on any creature in play if there is one in play. After the creature that card haunts goes to the graveyard, the effect of that card activates again. So the "Drain life" ability on Blind Hunter would activate once when it comes into play, and then again when the creature it's haunting goes to the graveyard.

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Replicate X:
(When you play this spell, copy it for each time you paid its replicate cost. You may choose new targets for the copies.)

Have there ever been any moments where you really wanted to use a spell a couple more times to keep yourself from losing the game? This is a great ability which could help you. By paying the replicate cost a multitude of times, you get more and more copies of the spell. Not only does this give you more advantage for fewer cards, this also makes the spell hard to counter, because even if you counter the original spell, the replicated copies would still go through. For example, let's say you pay the replicate cost on Gigadrowse four times, and your opponent counters the original spell with a Rewind. Unfortunately the original Gigadrowse would get countered, but because the replicated copies are treated as separate spells, the other four copies will still go off as normal, letting you tap four permanents.

*Quick ruling tidbit*

The replicate ability has to be used while the spell is being played. Once the original spell resolves, you are no longer allowed to make more copies of the spell. So, for example, let's say you play a Siege of Towers without any replicated copies and your opponent Frazzles it. Because you chose not to make any replicated copies right away, you are not allowed to make a copy to replace the one that got countered.

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Bloodthirst X:
(If an opponent was dealt damage this turn, this creature comes into play with X +1/+1 counter on it.)

You know how some carnivorous animals tend to get more anxious when they spell blood? Think of Bloodthirst kinda like that. Since the creatures spell blood, from the opponent being dealt damage, they are more anxious from battle and thus are more willing to get into combat, as shown by them coming into play with +1/+1 counters. A great example of this is Scab-Clan Mauler, who starts off as a weak 1/1, but becomes a 3/3 if the opponent is hurt first. Bloodthirst is a great way for creatures to get stronger for the opponent being in pain. You could only deal one damage, but that would still be enough for creatures with Bloodthirst to get stronger.

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Bloodthirst X:
(If an opponent was dealt damage this turn, this creature comes into play with X +1/+1 counters on it.)

A very powerful mechanic that allows your creatures to get stronger as they come into play. As powerful as this mechanic is, it is also very easy to understand. The first thing you must do is deal damage to your opponent. This could be done several different ways: You could use a burn spell on your opponent, you could attack your opponent and deal damage with creatures. After you deal damage, you can play a creature with the mechanic Bloodthurst X and it will come into play with a specified number of +1/+1 counters.

Example - Your turn. You draw a Scab-Clan Mauler. You play a burn spell (any spell that can deal damage to a creature or player) and target the player). You have now dealt damage to your opponent, now you can play Scab-Clan Mauler. Now since it has Bloodthirst 2, Scab-Clan Mauler will come into play with 2 +1/+1 counters, hence making it a 3/3 with Trample.

Example 2 - Lets look at the card Petrified Wood-Kin. You draw it and realize it has Bloodthirst X (this means that the amount of +1/+1 counters it gets when it comes into play is equal to the toal amount of damage you do to you opponent before you play it). Lets keep things simple and say that you play Lava Spike, it deals three damage to your opponent. Now you play Petrified Wood-Kin. Since you dealt three damage to it, it comes into play with 3 +1/+1 counters, making it a 6/6 with Protection from Instants.

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Haunt:
(When this card is put into a graveyard from play, remove it from the game haunting target creature).

A very interesting mechanic, Haunt allows you to do some pretty interesting things, from discarding to gaining and losing life, etc. The thing with Haunt is that the Haunt mechanic never really activates until it hits the graveyard. When the card with Haunt hits the graveyard, you remove it from the game and choose a creature (doesn't have to be your own) to be "Haunted". Now, when the creature that is haunted is put into a graveyard, the ability of the creature that was used to Haunt the creature that now goes into the graveyard goes off. That may have been a little confusing, read below in the example for a better understanding.

Example - Your Turn. You draw a Blind Hunter. You play Blind Hunter, its ability goes off. After Blind Hunter's ability goes off, your opponent plays Last Gasp, targeting Blind Hunter and sending it to the graveyard (after giving it -3/-3). Since Blind Hunter was put into the graveyard, the Haunt ability goes off. You remove Blind Hunter from the game haunting target creature, lets say you have a Frostling in play. You target Frostling for the Haunt, and Frostling is now  haunted. Later on in the game, you sacrifice Frostling for one reason or another. When Frostling
hits the graveyard, the Haunt ability goes off. That means that your opponent would lose 2 life and you would gain to life, according to Blind Hunter's effect.

Reminder!: When a creature you control that has the Haunt ability is put in a graveyard, you must remove the creature from the game and haunt a creature, assuming that there is a possible target.

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Replicate X:
(When you play this spell, copy it for each time you paid its replicate cost. You may choose new targets for the copies.)

A cool mechanic that is a cousin to the mechanic Storm (refer to Post #10, Lesser Known Mechanics). This mechanic allows you to copy a spell for each time you paid the replicate cost, an you can choose new targets for the copies. Simple enough.

Example - Your Turn. You draw Gigadrowse. You play Gigadrowse and pay the replication cost 3 times. This means that you will be able to tap 4 creatures (1 for the original spell, and 3 for the 3 copies). This is a very easy to understand mechanic, although, see below.

READ THIS! - There is something that people who are reading this should know. As it is with the Storm mechanic, countering the original spell may not cover all the bases. As it goes in phases, the period in which you may counter a spell is after the period in which you pay the replicate cost. Look at it like this:

Player 1 plays Gigadrowse and pays the replication cost 3 times.
Player 2 counters the original spell.

Since the original spell was the only one countered, the other 3 copies would still remain and later resolve.



And there you have it. You have just seen every mechanic ever made within the game of Magic the Gathering. This may be a lot for you to take in at once, but as you play the game more and more, you will slowly be able to remember all of these abilities without even thinking about it. This has been Aburame Shino, have a nice day.

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