Magic: The Gathering Comprehensive Rules

Effective November 11, 2016
Last updated November 11, 2016


This document is designed for people who’ve moved beyond the basics of the Magic: The Gathering® game. If you’re a beginning Magic™ player, you’ll probably find these rules intimidating. They’re intended to be the ultimate authority for the game, and you won’t usually need to refer to them except in specific cases or during competitive games.

For casual play and most ordinary situations, you’ll find what you need in the Magic: The Gathering basic rules. You can download a copy of the basic rules PDF from the Wizards of the Coast® Magic rules website at If you’re sure this is where you want to be, keep reading.

This document includes a series of numbered rules followed by a glossary. Many of the numbered rules are divided into subrules, and each separate rule and subrule of the game has its own number. (Note that subrules skip the letters “l” and “o” due to potential confusion with the numbers “1” and “0”; subrule 704.5k is followed by 704.5m, then 704.5n, then 704.5p, for example.)

We at Wizards of the Coast recognize that no matter how detailed the rules, situations will arise in which the interaction of specific cards requires a precise answer. If you have questions, you can get the answers from us at Additional contact information is on the last page of these rules.

In response to play issues and to keep these rules as current as possible, changes may have been made to this document since its publication. You can download the most recent version from the Magic rules website at


1. Game Concepts

100. General
101. The Magic Golden Rules
102. Players
103. Starting the Game
104. Ending the Game
105. Colors
106. Mana
107. Numbers and Symbols
108. Cards
109. Objects
110. Permanents
111. Spells
112. Abilities
113. Emblems
114. Targets
115. Special Actions
116. Timing and Priority
117. Costs
118. Life
119. Damage
120. Drawing a Card
121. Counters

2. Parts of a Card

200. General
201. Name
202. Mana Cost and Color
203. Illustration
204. Color Indicator
205. Type Line
206. Expansion Symbol
207. Text Box
208. Power/Toughness
209. Loyalty
210. Hand Modifier
211. Life Modifier
212. Information Below the Text Box

3. Card Types

300. General
301. Artifacts
302. Creatures
303. Enchantments
304. Instants
305. Lands
306. Planeswalkers
307. Sorceries
308. Tribals
309. Planes
310. Phenomena
311. Vanguards
312. Schemes
313. Conspiracies

4. Zones

400. General
401. Library
402. Hand
403. Battlefield
404. Graveyard
405. Stack
406. Exile
407. Ante
408. Command

5. Turn Structure

500. General
501. Beginning Phase
502. Untap Step
503. Upkeep Step
504. Draw Step
505. Main Phase
506. Combat Phase
507. Beginning of Combat Step
508. Declare Attackers Step
509. Declare Blockers Step
510. Combat Damage Step
511. End of Combat Step
512. Ending Phase
513. End Step
514. Cleanup Step

6. Spells, Abilities, and Effects

600. General
601. Casting Spells
602. Activating Activated Abilities
603. Handling Triggered Abilities
604. Handling Static Abilities
605. Mana Abilities
606. Loyalty Abilities
607. Linked Abilities
608. Resolving Spells and Abilities
609. Effects
610. One-Shot Effects
611. Continuous Effects
612. Text-Changing Effects
613. Interaction of Continuous Effects
614. Replacement Effects
615. Prevention Effects
616. Interaction of Replacement and/or Prevention Effects

7. Additional Rules

700. General
701. Keyword Actions
702. Keyword Abilities
703. Turn-Based Actions
704. State-Based Actions
705. Flipping a Coin
706. Copying Objects
707. Face-Down Spells and Permanents
708. Split Cards
709. Flip Cards
710. Leveler Cards
711. Double-Faced Cards
712. Meld Cards
713. Checklist Cards
714. Controlling Another Player
715. Ending the Turn
716. The Monarch
717. Restarting the Game
718. Subgames
719. Taking Shortcuts
720. Handling Illegal Actions

8. Multiplayer Rules

800. General
801. Limited Range of Influence Option
802. Attack Multiple Players Option
803. Attack Left and Attack Right Options
804. Deploy Creatures Option
805. Shared Team Turns Option
806. Free-for-All Variant
807. Grand Melee Variant
808. Team vs. Team Variant
809. Emperor Variant
810. Two-Headed Giant Variant
811. Alternating Teams Variant

9. Casual Variants

900. General
901. Planechase
902. Vanguard
903. Commander
904. Archenemy
905. Conspiracy Draft



Published by Wizards of the Coast LLC, PO Box 707, Renton, WA 98057-0707, USA. Wizards of the Coast, Magic: The Gathering, Magic, Oracle, Arabian Nights, Antiquities, Homelands, Exodus, Odyssey, Mirrodin, Kamigawa, Ravnica: City of Guilds, Time Spiral, Future Sight, Lorwyn, Shadowmoor, Zendikar, Scars of Mirrodin, Innistrad, Return to Ravnica, Khans of Tarkir, Magic Origins, Shadows over Innistrad, and Magic: The Gathering—Conspiracy are trademarks of Wizards of the Coast LLC in the USA and other countries. ©2016 Wizards. U.S. Pat. No. RE 37,957.