From the Comprehensive Rules (Guilds of Ravnica (January 25, 2019))
- 700. General
- 700.1. Anything that happens in a game is an event. Multiple events may take place during the resolution of a spell or ability. The text of triggered abilities and replacement effects defines the event they're looking for. One "happening" may be treated as a single event by one ability and as multiple events by another.
Example: If an attacking creature is blocked by two creatures, this is one event for a triggered ability that reads "Whenever [this creature] becomes blocked" but two events for a triggered ability that reads "Whenever [this creature] becomes blocked by a creature."
- 700.2. A spell or ability is modal if it has two or more options in a bulleted list preceded by instructions for a player to choose a number of those options, such as "Choose one -." Each of those options is a mode. Modal cards printed prior to the Khans of Tarkir(r) set didn't use bulleted lists for the modes; these cards have received errata in the Oracle card reference so the modes do appear in a bulleted list.
- 700.2a The controller of a modal spell or activated ability chooses the mode(s) as part of casting that spell or activating that ability. If one of the modes would be illegal (due to an inability to choose legal targets, for example), that mode can't be chosen. (See rule 601.2b.)
- 700.2b The controller of a modal triggered ability chooses the mode(s) as part of putting that ability on the stack. If one of the modes would be illegal (due to an inability to choose legal targets, for example), that mode can't be chosen. If no mode is chosen, the ability is removed from the stack. (See rule 603.3c.)
- 700.2c If a spell or ability targets one or more targets only if a particular mode is chosen for it, its controller will need to choose those targets only if they chose that mode. Otherwise, the spell or ability is treated as though it did not have those targets. (See rule 601.2c.)
- 700.2d If a player is allowed to choose more than one mode for a modal spell or ability, that player normally can't choose the same mode more than once. However, a few modal spells include the instruction "You may choose the same mode more than once." If a particular mode is chosen multiple times, the spell is treated as if that mode appeared that many times in sequence. If that mode requires a target, the same player or object may be chosen as the target for each of those modes, or different targets may be chosen.
- 700.2e Some spells and abilities specify that a player other than their controller chooses a mode for it. In that case, the other player does so when the spell or ability's controller normally would do so. If there is more than one other player who could make such a choice, the spell or ability's controller decides which of those players will make the choice.
- 700.2f Modal spells and abilities may have different targeting requirements for each mode. Changing a spell or ability's target can't change its mode.
- 700.2g A copy of a modal spell or ability copies the mode(s) chosen for it. The controller of the copy can't choose a different mode. (See rule 706.10.)
- 700.3. Some effects cause objects to be temporarily grouped into piles.
- 700.3a Each of the affected objects must be put into exactly one of those piles, unless the effect specifies otherwise.
- 700.3b Each object in a pile is still an individual object. The pile is not an object.
- 700.3c Objects grouped into piles don't leave the zone they're currently in. If cards in a graveyard are split into piles, the order of the graveyard must be maintained.
Example: Fact or Fiction reads, "Reveal the top five cards of your library. An opponent separates those cards into two piles. Put one pile into your hand and the other into your graveyard." While an opponent is separating the revealed cards into piles, they're still in their owner's library. They don't leave the library until they're put into their owner's hand or graveyard.
- 700.3d A pile can contain zero or more objects.
- 700.4. The term dies means "is put into a graveyard from the battlefield."
- 700.5. A player's devotion to [color] is equal to the number of mana symbols of that color among the mana costs of permanents that player controls. A player's devotion to [color 1] and [color 2] is equal to the number of mana symbols among the mana costs of permanents that player controls that are [color 1], [color 2], or both colors.
- 700.6. The term historic refers to an object that has the legendary supertype, the artifact card type, or the Saga subtype.
- 700.7. If an ability of an object uses a phrase such as "this [something]" to identify an object, where [something] is a characteristic, it is referring to that particular object, even if it isn't the appropriate characteristic at the time.
Example: An ability reads "Target creature gets +2/+2 until end of turn. Destroy that creature at the beginning of the next end step." The ability will destroy the object it gave +2/+2 to even if that object isn't a creature at the beginning of the next end step.
- 700.8. Some cards refer to cards with a name originally printed in a particular set.
- 700.8a One card (City in a Bottle) refers to permanents and cards with a name originally printed in the Arabian Nights(tm) expansion. Those names are Abu Ja'far, Aladdin, Aladdin's Lamp, Aladdin's Ring, Ali Baba, Ali from Cairo, Army of Allah, Bazaar of Baghdad, Bird Maiden, Bottle of Suleiman, Brass Man, Camel, City in a Bottle, City of Brass, Cuombajj Witches, Cyclone, Dancing Scimitar, Dandƒn, Desert, Desert Nomads, Desert Twister, Diamond Valley, Drop of Honey, Ebony Horse, Elephant Graveyard, El-Hajjƒj, Erg Raiders, Erhnam Djinn, Eye for an Eye, Fishliver Oil, Flying Carpet, Flying Men, Ghazb n Ogre, Giant Tortoise, Guardian Beast, Hasran Ogress, Hurr Jackal, Ifh-Biff Efreet, Island Fish Jasconius, Island of Wak-Wak, Jandor's Ring, Jandor's Saddlebags, Jeweled Bird, Jihad, Jun£n Efreet, Juz m Djinn, Khab l Ghoul, King Suleiman, Kird Ape, Library of Alexandria, Magnetic Mountain, Merchant Ship, Metamorphosis, Mijae Djinn, Moorish Cavalry, Nafs Asp, Oasis, Old Man of the Sea, Oubliette, Piety, Pyramids, Repentant Blacksmith, Ring of Ma'r–f, Rukh Egg, Sandals of Abdallah, Sandstorm, Serendib Djinn, Serendib Efreet, Shahrazad, Sindbad, Singing Tree, Sorceress Queen, Stone-Throwing Devils, Unstable Mutation, War Elephant, Wyluli Wolf, and Ydwen Efreet.
- 700.8b One card (Golgothian Sylex) refers to permanents with a name originally printed in the Antiquities(tm) expansion. Those names are Amulet of Kroog, Argivian Archaeologist, Argivian Blacksmith, Argothian Pixies, Argothian Treefolk, Armageddon Clock, Artifact Blast, Artifact Possession, Artifact Ward, Ashnod's Altar, Ashnod's Battle Gear, Ashnod's Transmogrant, Atog, Battering Ram, Bronze Tablet, Candelabra of Tawnos, Circle of Protection: Artifacts, Citanul Druid, Clay Statue, Clockwork Avian, Colossus of Sardia, Coral Helm, Crumble, Cursed Rack, Damping Field, Detonate, Drafna's Restoration, Dragon Engine, Dwarven Weaponsmith, Energy Flux, Feldon's Cane, Gaea's Avenger, Gate to Phyrexia, Goblin Artisans, Golgothian Sylex, Grapeshot Catapult, Haunting Wind, Hurkyl's Recall, Ivory Tower, Jalum Tome, Martyrs of Korlis, Mightstone, Millstone, Mishra's Factory, Mishra's War Machine, Mishra's Workshop, Obelisk of Undoing, Onulet, Orcish Mechanics, Ornithopter, Phyrexian Gremlins, Power Artifact, Powerleech, Priest of Yawgmoth, Primal Clay, The Rack, Rakalite, Reconstruction, Reverse Polarity, Rocket Launcher, Sage of Lat-Nam, Shapeshifter, Shatterstorm, Staff of Zegon, Strip Mine, Su-Chi, Tablet of Epityr, Tawnos's Coffin, Tawnos's Wand, Tawnos's Weaponry, Tetravus, Titania's Song, Transmute Artifact, Triskelion, Urza's Avenger, Urza's Chalice, Urza's Mine, Urza's Miter, Urza's Power Plant, Urza's Tower, Wall of Spears, Weakstone, Xenic Poltergeist, Yawgmoth Demon, and Yotian Soldier.
- 700.8c One card (Apocalypse Chime) refers to permanents with a name originally printed in the Homelands(tm) expansion. Those names are Abbey Gargoyles; Abbey Matron; Aether Storm; Aliban's Tower; Ambush; Ambush Party; Anaba Ancestor; Anaba Bodyguard; Anaba Shaman; Anaba Spirit Crafter; An-Havva Constable; An-Havva Inn; An-Havva Township; An-Zerrin Ruins; Apocalypse Chime; Autumn Willow; Aysen Abbey; Aysen Bureaucrats; Aysen Crusader; Aysen Highway; Baki's Curse; Baron Sengir; Beast Walkers; Black Carriage; Broken Visage; Carapace; Castle Sengir; Cemetery Gate; Chain Stasis; Chandler; Clockwork Gnomes; Clockwork Steed; Clockwork Swarm; Coral Reef; Dark Maze; Daughter of Autumn; Death Speakers; Didgeridoo; Drudge Spell; Dry Spell; Dwarven Pony; Dwarven Sea Clan; Dwarven Trader; Ebony Rhino; Eron the Relentless; Evaporate; Faerie Noble; Feast of the Unicorn; Feroz's Ban; Folk of An-Havva; Forget; Funeral March; Ghost Hounds; Giant Albatross; Giant Oyster; Grandmother Sengir; Greater Werewolf; Hazduhr the Abbot; Headstone; Heart Wolf; Hungry Mist; Ihsan's Shade; Irini Sengir; Ironclaw Curse; Jinx; Joven; Joven's Ferrets; Joven's Tools; Koskun Falls; Koskun Keep; Labyrinth Minotaur; Leaping Lizard; Leeches; Mammoth Harness; Marjhan; Memory Lapse; Merchant Scroll; Mesa Falcon; Mystic Decree; Narwhal; Orcish Mine; Primal Order; Prophecy; Rashka the Slayer; Reef Pirates; Renewal; Retribution; Reveka, Wizard Savant; Root Spider; Roots; Roterothopter; Rysorian Badger; Samite Alchemist; Sea Sprite; Sea Troll; Sengir Autocrat; Sengir Bats; Serra Aviary; Serra Bestiary; Serra Inquisitors; Serra Paladin; Serrated Arrows; Shrink; Soraya the Falconer; Spectral Bears; Timmerian Fiends; Torture; Trade Caravan; Truce; Veldrane of Sengir; Wall of Kelp; Willow Faerie; Willow Priestess; Winter Sky; and Wizards' School.