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Banding

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Banding
Type: Static
Introduced: Alpha
Last Used: Weatherlight
Reminder Text: Banding (Any creatures with banding, and up to one without, can attack in a band. Bands are blocked as a group. If any creatures with banding you control are blocking or being blocked by a creature, you divide that creature's combat damage, not its controller, among any of the creatures it's being blocked by or is blocking.)
Statistics: 47 cards
Artifact 15% Land 13% Multicolor 4%
{W}57% {G}9% {R}2%
Gatherer search for "Banding"

Banding is a keyword ability with different effects depending on whether the banding creature is attacking or blocking. It was introduced in Alpha,[1] and no longer used in newer cards.

Description[edit | edit source]

By nature, this is primarily a white ability (distributing damage - or another way of preventing damage by having it go to another creature). Banding was first printed in Alpha ("Bands" was the original keyword used to represent the ability).

While acknowledging that Banding was flavorful and effective if used properly, it has been effectively abandoned by designers for being overly confusing.[2] The last basic set in which Banding appeared was the Fifth Edition [3], and the last tournament-legal set was Weatherlight. The most recent card to be printed with banding is Greater Morphling in Unhinged.

Rules[edit | edit source]

From the Comprehensive Rules (Ixalan (September 29, 2017))

  • 702.21. Banding
    • 702.21a Banding is a static ability that modifies the rules for combat.
    • 702.21b “Bands with other” is a special form of banding. If an effect causes a permanent to lose banding, the permanent loses all “bands with other” abilities as well.
    • 702.21c As a player declares attackers, he or she may declare that one or more attacking creatures with banding and up to one attacking creature without banding (even if it has “bands with other”) are all in a “band.” He or she may also declare that one or more attacking [quality] creatures with “bands with other [quality]” and any number of other attacking [quality] creatures are all in a band. A player may declare as many attacking bands as he or she wants, but each creature may be a member of only one of them. (Defending players can’t declare bands but may use banding in a different way; see rule 702.21j.)
    • 702.21d All creatures in an attacking band must attack the same player or planeswalker.
    • 702.21e Once an attacking band has been announced, it lasts for the rest of combat, even if something later removes banding or “bands with other” from one or more of the creatures in the band.
    • 702.21f An attacking creature that’s removed from combat is also removed from the band it was in.
    • 702.21g Banding doesn’t cause attacking creatures to share abilities, nor does it remove any abilities. The attacking creatures in a band are separate permanents.
    • 702.21h If an attacking creature becomes blocked by a creature, each other creature in the same band as the attacking creature becomes blocked by that same blocking creature.

      Example: A player attacks with a band consisting of a creature with flying and a creature with swampwalk. The defending player, who controls a Swamp, can block the flying creature if able. If he or she does, then the creature with swampwalk will also become blocked by the blocking creature(s).

    • 702.21i If one member of a band would become blocked due to an effect, the entire band becomes blocked.
    • 702.21j During the combat damage step, if an attacking creature is being blocked by a creature with banding, or by both a [quality] creature with “bands with other [quality]” and another [quality] creature, the defending player (rather than the active player) chooses how the attacking creature’s damage is assigned. That player can divide that creature’s combat damage as he or she chooses among any number of creatures blocking it. This is an exception to the procedure described in rule 510.1c.
    • 702.21k During the combat damage step, if a blocking creature is blocking a creature with banding, or both a [quality] creature with “bands with other [quality]” and another [quality] creature, the active player (rather than the defending player) chooses how the blocking creature’s damage is assigned. That player can divide that creature’s combat damage as he or she chooses among any number of creatures it’s blocking. This is an exception to the procedure described in rule 510.1d.
    • 702.21m Multiple instances of banding on the same creature are redundant. Multiple instances of “bands with other” of the same kind on the same creature are redundant.

From the glossary of the Comprehensive Rules (Ixalan (September 29, 2017))

Banding, “Bands with Other”
Banding is a keyword ability that modifies the rules for declaring attackers and assigning combat damage. “Bands with other” is a specialized version of the ability. See rule 702.21, “Banding.”

Attacking and Blocking[edit | edit source]

Attacking[edit | edit source]

Any number of attacking creatures with banding can join together with up to one attacking creature without banding; the defending player must either block the entire band or allow it to be unblocked. If a blocking creature can block any one creature in the band, it can block the entire band.

Example
A given creature with banding attacks and bands with a creature with flying. The opposing player is then allowed to block the entire band with Stratozeppelid.

In addition, if an attacking creature with banding becomes blocked, the attacking player chooses how damage from the blocking creatures is assigned.

Blocking[edit | edit source]

When blocking, if at least one creature blocking an attacker has banding, then the defending player may choose how the creature blocked by the creature(s) with banding assigns combat damage. This is a change from the normal rule in which the attacking player always chooses how his or her attacking creatures assign combat damage.

Cards that grant Banding[edit | edit source]

Enchantments

Enchanted creature

Wall creatures you control

Instant

Artifacts

Bands with other[edit | edit source]

A variant of banding, "bands with other" restricts banding to working with other creatures of a given type or quality (such as creatures that have a certain name). However, before the Magic 2010 rules changes (which came several years later than any cards featuring the ability), it was probably the most counter-intuitive ability in the game, because instead of allowing banding of with creatures of the given type, it only allowed banding with creatures with the same "bands with other" ability.[4][5][6]

There are eight cards in the Legends set with "Bands with other" in the card text. Five banding lands can give the ability to legendary creatures, one creature can create tokens with the ability (Master of the Hunt) and two cards can remove the ability (Shelkin Brownie and Tolaria).

There are no tournament-legal creature cards that have "bands with other" ability. The only creature card actually printed with "bands with other" ability is Old Fogey in Unhinged. Mark Rosewater rates the mechanic an 11 on the Storm Scale of 10.[7]

Examples[edit | edit source]

  • Benalish Hero - {W}
    Creature — Human Soldier
    1/1
    Banding (Any creatures with banding, and up to one without, can attack in a band. Bands are blocked as a group. If any creatures with banding you control are blocking or being blocked by a creature, you divide that creature's combat damage, not its controller, among any of the creatures it's being blocked by or is blocking.)
  • Master of the Hunt - {2}{G}{G}
    Creature — Human
    2/2
    {2}{G}{G}: Put a 1/1 green Wolf creature token named Wolves of the Hunt onto the battlefield. It has "bands with other creatures named Wolves of the Hunt." (Any creatures named Wolves of the Hunt can attack in a band as long as at least one has "bands with other creatures named Wolves of the Hunt." Bands are blocked as a group. If at least two creatures named Wolves of the Hunt you control, one of which has "bands with other creatures named Wolves of the Hunt," are blocking or being blocked by the same creature, you divide that creature's combat damage, not its controller, among any of the creatures it's being blocked by or is blocking.)

External links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Brady Dommermuth. (June 01, 2009.) “Mechanically Inclined”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Mark Rosewater. (Dec 1, 2003.) “The Baby and the Bathwaters”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Mark Rosewater. (June 8, 2015.) “Evergreen Eggs & Ham”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Mark Gottlieb. (March 06, 2002.) “Absurd or Ridiculous? You Decide”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Mark Rosewater. (November 10, 2003.) “Make No Mistake”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Magic Arcana. (Dec 10, 2009.) “Friendly Goblin”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Mark Rosewater. (July 11, 2017.) "I remember you rated one mechanic an 11 on the storm scale.", Blogatog, Tumblr.