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Magic: The Gathering Rules FAQ



Frequently Asked Questions about rules of the game "Magic: The Gathering(R).

This FAQ about rules of the game "Magic: The Gathering(R) was compiled and written by Patrik Linell (pls@claymore.nu) with numerous contributions by others.

By Patrik Linell (pls@claymore.nu), based on the FAQ by Laurie Cheers, which was in turn based on the FAQ by Bill Dugan.

Copyright (c) 2003 Patrik Linell. All rights reserved. This article is freely distributable except that it may not be sold nor included in any compilation (book, magazine, disk, CD-ROM, or otherwise) which is for sale, without the express written consent of the author.

-01 What does bury mean? (Magic: The Gathering Rules)
Bury X is an old term for Destroy X. It can't be regenerated. ...
-02 What is a mana source? (Magic: The Gathering Rules)
Something that doesn't exist anymore. During Fifth Edition rules, ...
-03 What is an interrupt? (Magic: The Gathering Rules)
Again, something that doesn't exist anymore. Interrupts used to be ...
-04 What is "summoning sickness"? (Magic: The Gathering Rules)
The affliction that makes creatures unable to attack and tap for ...
-05 What does "mana" and "mana pool" mean? Is it my lands? (Magic: The Gathering Rules)
No. Repeat after me: Mana is not the same thing as lands. This is ...
-06 What's a "permanent"? (Magic: The Gathering Rules)
A permanent is a card or token that's in play, and only one that's ...
-07 What's the difference between a "creature" and a "creature card"? (Magic: The Gathering Rules)
A creature is a term reserved for a permanent. In other words, ...
-08 What's the difference between a "Creature - X" card and a "Summon X" card? (Magic: The Gathering Rules)
Age. Prior to Sixth Edition, creature cards read Summon X. ...
-09 What's a "spell"? (Magic: The Gathering Rules)
A spell is a card on the stack, and only one on the stack. In ...
-10 What's a "pseudospell"? (Magic: The Gathering Rules)
It's a marker on the stack to represent an ability. When a spell ...
-11 What does "resolve" mean? (Magic: The Gathering Rules)
Spells, and most abilities, cannot take effect as soon as they are ...
-12 What do "respond" and "in response" mean? (Magic: The Gathering Rules)
Because a spell or ability cannot resolve as soon as it is cast, ...
-13 What does "counter" mean? (Magic: The Gathering Rules)
To counter a spell is to cause it to go to the graveyard without ...
-14 What does "countered on resolution" mean? (Magic: The Gathering Rules)
It's what happens to a spell that tries to resolve and cannot for ...
-15 Who is the "controller" of a card? (Magic: The Gathering Rules)
The controller of the card is the player who can use its ...
-16 Who is the "owner" of a card? (Magic: The Gathering Rules)
The 'owner' of a card is the player who brought it to the game, ...
-17 Who is the "active player"? (Magic: The Gathering Rules)
The player whose turn it is. Usually if both players can do ...
-18 What is a "modal" spell? (Magic: The Gathering Rules)
A modal spell is, in general terms, one which can do more than ...
-19 What's "the stack"? What is "priority"? (Magic: The Gathering Rules)
The Stack is a timing system. It's a zone of play, like your ...
-20 What does "play" mean? (Magic: The Gathering Rules)
Three things, in general. To play a land means putting it into ...
-21 What's the difference between "playing" and "putting into play"? (Magic: The Gathering Rules)
To play a spell or ability means to announce it, as I said ...
-22 What is the "converted mana cost" of a card? (Magic: The Gathering Rules)
The total amount of mana in its mana cost, printed in the top ...
-23 What's Mana Burn? (Magic: The Gathering Rules)
It's what happens if you add mana to your pool but don't use it ...
-24 Can I play Agonizing Demise (Destroy target nonblack creature) on a red and black creature? (Magic: The Gathering Rules)
No. A creature that is black isn't nonblack. If it has any other ...
-25 Can I use a Circle of Protection: Black (Magic: The Gathering Rules)
(1: The next time a black ...
-26 Can I choose 'gold', 'artifact', or 'colorless' when asked to choose a color? (Magic: The Gathering Rules)
No. Magic has exactly five colors in it: White, green, blue, red ...
-27 Does a Coastal Tower (that can produce both white and blue mana) count as both a plains and an island? (Magic: The Gathering Rules)
No, because it doesn't say it does. Unless the land itself says it ...
-28 If I play a Chimeric Idol, and then activate it so it becomes a creature, can it then attack this turn? (Magic: The Gathering Rules)
No. All permanents have summoning sickness, but only creatures ...
-29 When something asks me to choose a creature type, can I choose "blue" or "artifact" or "Recidivist"? (Magic: The Gathering Rules)
No. When choosing a creature type, you must choose an existing ...
-30 What is the overall structure of the combat phase? (Magic: The Gathering Rules)
The Combat Phase is divided into 5 steps. Note that there is only ...
-31 Can I play Terminate (destroy target creature) on an attacker to stop its combat damage being dealt? (Magic: The Gathering Rules)
Yes. You simply play Terminate before combat damage goes on the stack....
-32 Will a blocking creature still deal combat damage if it gets tapped? (Magic: The Gathering Rules)
Yes, the rule saying otherwise was taken out in Sixth Edition....
-33 Can a Giant Spider (may block as though it had flying) block Treetop Rangers (can't be blocked except by creatures with flying)? (Magic: The Gathering Rules)
Yes. Basically, the controller of Giant Spider chooses whether to ...
-34 What does protection from Foo protect against? (Magic: The Gathering Rules)
Exactly four things, namely the following:...
-35 How does trample work? (Magic: The Gathering Rules)
Basically, if an attacking creature with trample manages to kill ...
-36 How does trample work against protection? (Magic: The Gathering Rules)
Trample doesn't care about what's going to happen to the damage ...
-37 What does Phasing mean? (Magic: The Gathering Rules)
Phasing is a 'disadvantage' ability, which essentially means you ...
-38 When a creature dies, can I regenerate it later on in the turn? (Magic: The Gathering Rules)
No. Regeneration prevents a creature from being destroyed, ...
-39 What can I regenerate from? (Magic: The Gathering Rules)
Destruction, ie lethal damage and spells/abilities that say they ...
-40 Can I regenerate from a Sacrifice? (Magic: The Gathering Rules)
No. It doesn't say destroy....
-41 What's the difference between a cost and an effect? (Magic: The Gathering Rules)
Costs happen immediately, effects go on the stack. If you ...
-42 How do I tell whether something is a cost or an effect? (Magic: The Gathering Rules)
In general, the mana cost in the top right hand corner of a spell ...
-43 If a spell is countered, do you still have to pay its cost? (Magic: The Gathering Rules)
Yes. By the time it can be countered it's been announced, had its ...
-44 Can additional costs, such as kicker costs, be reduced by Familiars? (Magic: The Gathering Rules)
Yes. When calculating what you have to pay to cover the cost of a ...









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