List of Magic slang

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Magic: The Gathering players have invented many new terms over the years the game has existed, covering a wide variety of aspects of the game, from deckbuilding to card mechanics. A(n incomplete) list of these slang terms, abbreviations and nick names is listed here.

Current terms

Note that this glossary is not a list of Magic: The Gathering "keywords". Most terms listed below are informal, player-created terms and are not truly a part of the game rules. For official game terms, please refer to the glossary found in the Comprehensive Rules.

A

A

Design shorthand for Artifact.[1]

Accel

Short for 'acceleration', accel are the elements in a deck which help it gain access to mana faster than the standard one-additional-mana-per-turn rate. It generally refers to placing additional mana-producing permanents into play, but also refers to one-use spells that provide a temporary mana boost (i.e. Dark Ritual). The most famous category of acceleration cards are the Moxes and Black Lotus, which significantly increase the amount of mana available in the early turns of a game.

Used interchangeably with ramp.

Aggro

Short for 'aggressive', aggro is used to define a deck or archetype which is highly dependent on creature combat and aggressive attacks (also 'beatdown'). The aim is to develop an advantage in the game before the opponent. Usually, Aggro decks have a low mana curve and try to overwhelm the opponent before they can build any board presence or stabilize.

Aggro-control

A deck archetype which incorporates elements of both aggro and control decks. Aggro-control is similar to - and in many cases used synonymously with - tempo.

Allied colors

The five pairs of colors which are adjacent on the color wheel: ({W}/{U}), ({U}/{B}), ({B}/{R}), ({R}/{G}) and ({G}/{W}).

Alpha strike

A final all-out attack for a lethal amount of damage, intended to win the game that turn.

Answer

  • Noun: a card or series of plays which neutralizes a threat
  • Verb: to play such a card.

Anthem effect

Named after Glorious Anthem, any effect which buffs or pumps your entire team.

Archetype

  1. A specific branch of very influential or competitive decks in a metagame. Deck archetypes tend to revolve around a particular card, combo, or strategy.
  2. Any of the core strategy groups a deck can fall into: control, combo, or aggro (beatdown) (or some hybrid of these "pure" strategies).

Aristocrat

Any creature that has an activated ability involving sacrificing another creature. E.g. Teysa, Orzhov Scion; Falkenrath Aristocrat (the type namer); Varolz, the Scar-Striped.

As-fan

How a booster pack looks like "as fanned", i.e. spread out across the table in a fan-like shape.[2] Typically used to describe the relative frequency of different types of cards or effects in a given set.

Attrition

Playing for a long game in which you win through incremental advantages and value, rather than just playing a big bomb.

Abzan

Clan of Tarkir representing White/Black/Green. Now used to describe any White/Black/Green card or deck.

Azorius

Ravnican guild representing White/Blue. Now used to describe any White/Blue card or deck.

B

B

Design shorthand for Black.[1]

Bad beat story

Complaining about losing a game, especially if the teller of the story is trying to shift the blame for their loss away from their own play mistakes to external factors like mana screw.

Bah-roken

The superlative form of 'broken'.

Bait

  • Verb: to play a card which you expect your opponent to counter so that they will not be able to counter your next (presumably better) spell.
  • Noun: a card which you play, expecting it to be countered or destroyed.

Bank

The collective list of items that are not found in hands, the battlefield, the graveyard, or the library, but still have a demonstrable effect on the game. For example, items in the bank include items in the command zone, poison counters, energy counters, experience counters, and cards that are temporarily in exile, such as spells suspended with time counters.

Bant

Alara shard representing Blue/White/Green. Now used to describe any Blue/White/Green card or deck.

Barn

Abbreviation for “Barnacle” – derogatory term for a less skilled player who hangs around pros hoping to learn from them.

Battle

To attack, especially to attack with (a creature). “Battle into” can be used to denote what potential blockers your opponent has. “I battled my 4/4 into his 2/2.”

Bear

A 2/2 creature costing two mana, such as Grizzly Bears.[3] See also: hate bear, Hill Giant, Gray Ogre

Beatdown

One of the most popular terms in early tournament Magic could mean a variety of things:

  • Verb: To attack with most or all of your creatures every turn, without a thought of card advantage, until you have put your opponent into range for your endgame hammer (such as Kaervek's Torch, Fireblast, or another direct damage spell). Often split in verb form: e.g. "I beat you down for 5".
  • Noun: Used as a description of a card or event. "Fireblast was such a beatdown; he was mana-screwed and I wrecked him so the game was a beatdown."
  • Noun: The player with less inevitability than his/her opponent and who therefore must attack as much as possible. Failure to recognize "Who's the Beatdown?" is a common, fatal mistake for new players.
  • Adjective: Ties in with the beatdown-principles above: "beatdown deck; beatdown creature".

Beater

A creature which will deliver beats. Also usually implies that the creature has a decently large body but few relevant abilities.

Beating

A very good play, usually either a blowout or a threat to which the opponent has no answer. Often implies that it was an unexpected or surprising play.

Beats

Repeated attacks by creatures or the damage done by those attacks.

Beatstick

(also "stick") A creature that is effective to attack with. They are usually but not necessarily, large creatures.

Big

  • Big (creature) – high power and toughness.
  • Big (deck) – higher mana curve (than another deck) and thus, presumably, more impactful threats.

Big Butt

Of a creature, a high toughness relative to its power, making it ideal for defense. Examples are the 1/4 Horned Turtle and the 1/7 Kami of Old Stone. It is less common, but not unheard of, for a creature with a high power and low toughness to be referred to as having a "small butt".

Bin

The graveyard

Blinking

Exiling a permanent, then returning it to the battlefield, as with Venser, the Sojourner. The term originally referred to Blinking Spirit's ability to return itself to your hand, and its usage declined along with the popularity of its namesake. It was reintroduced into the lexicon with Time Spiral's Momentary Blink.

Used interchangeably with flickering.

Blank

A card which is not relevant in the current board state or cannot be cast; a useless card (especially in hand or being drawn).

Bloodlust

Triggered ability that gives a creature a number of +1/+1 counters when dealing combat damage to a player. For example, Falkenrath Marauders has bloodlust 2 and Erdwal Ripper has bloodlust 1.

Blow up

To destroy (a permanent, especially a land).

Blowout

A spell or line of play which is very good and punishes the opponent severely for a decision they made.

Bo1

Best-of-one. A match existing of only one game. In MTG Arena, this is called Arena Standard.

Bo3

Best-of-three. A match existing of three games. In MTG Arena, this is called traditional (e.g. "Traditional Play", "Traditional Ranked", "Traditional Draft").

Board

The collection of permanents currently on the table. Each player has their own "board" and the word also describes the entire battlefield. Usage: "There's a lot of creatures on the board."

Board presence

The collection of permanents a particular player controls in play.

Board state

The current situation or state of a game.

Board Wipe

A spell which destroys/exile/neutralizes all creatures currently in play. Famous examples include Wrath of God and Jokulhaups. Also known as a board sweep in some groups.

Body

A creature’s power and toughness. Also a creature, especially in the context of combat, usually implying that it is reasonable, but not amazingly powerful.

Bolt

Dealing three damage to a target, as with Lightning Bolt.[4]

Bolt Test

See Lightning Bolt Test

Boltbait

A small, powerful creature that is rendered impractical to play because it attracts removal spells (like Lightning Bolt). That is, it is so potentially dangerous that it's killed as soon as it's played. Hypnotic Specter is a classic example of boltbait.

Bomb

A card powerful enough to change the course of the game on its own. Usually used in the context of limited formats, where drafting or opening a bomb greatly improves one's chances. This is largely due to the relative scarcity of quality removal and other answers in limited formats, compared to constructed.

Bombo

  1. A combo which seems to work, but upon further rules clarification is actually discovered to be invalid.[5]
  2. A nonbo - a negative interaction between cards.[6]

Boros

  1. The Boros Legion, the red/white guild from Ravnica block.
  2. Any red/white deck, such as the Boros Bushwhacker deck[7] that was popular during Zendikar's time in Standard.

Bounce

An effect or spell that returns a permanent to its owner's hand.[4]

Break

  1. Of a format, to create a deck so much more powerful than the other decks that it dominates the format's metagame. ("After Pro Tour Paris in 2011, Caw-blade broke Standard.")
  2. Of a card, to create a deck in which that card becomes broken. ("Johnny's new deck is an attempt to break Spellweaver Helix in Modern.")

Brewing

To think about or design an original decklist or rogue deck. Sometimes, building decks in a not very well defined format e.g. after a rotation.

Broken

A card that's overly powerful - usually a card that you can't afford to play without if you're playing in those colors. When a card is officially broken is of some debate within the Magic community; players frequently declare cards they hate to be broken, even if they're not. Likewise, it's a term that's frequently used sarcastically ("Carnival of Souls? Man, that's broken!" or more precisely "Buh-ROKEN!").

Brown

A deck with all or almost all of the cards being artifacts. A reference to the look of artifacts in older sets of Magic.

Burn

Burn out

To kill your opponent using burn spells.

C

C

Design shorthand for Colorless.[1]

Cantrip

A spell that has "Draw a card" tacked on as an additional effect, such as Cremate, Snakeform, or Wildsize.

Slowtrip

A delayed version of a cantrip seen on older cards like Feral Instinct. Until Weatherlight, all cantrips waited until the next upkeep to draw the card.

Capping

Searching an opponent's library for specific cards and exiling them in order to deprive the opponent of their use at some future time. Named after the card Jester's Cap, the first card to use the effect. This strategy is effective against combo decks which usually rely on one or two specific cards in order to work at all, and control decks which have a lot of control elements but very few win conditions, but is close to useless against most aggro decks, which usually don't rely on any specific card to win.

Card pool

  1. In a limited tournament, the set of cards a player has available to build a deck (in addition to basic land cards).
  2. The total set of cards that exist in a game or format for players to use.

CC

Casting cost, the overall number of mana required to cast a spell, regardless of color.

Chase rare

A valuable rare card that is highly desirable.

Cheerios

A type of deck that plays a large number of 0-cost Equipment spells, combined with creatures such as Puresteel Paladin and Sram, Senior Edificer. The many 0's are reminiscent of the American brand of cereal, that consists of pulverized oats in the shape of a torus.

Cheese

  • An early term used to describe any direct damage spell, or a deck that relied on direct damage spells to win. Early Red Goblin/Lightning Bolt/Fireball decks were called "Cheese and Weenies".
  • More recently: any tactic which completely avoids combat in order to win or bring oneself closer to winning.

Chump-block

A block made solely to preserve the blocking player's life total, where the blocking creature dies without killing the attacking creature.[4]

Clock

A threat that will lead to victory over an opponent in a finite number of turns, thus giving the opponent a known time limit in which to either win or answer the threat. For example, if a player is at 20 life and an unblockable creature with a power of 4 is played by their opponent, that player is said to be on a 5-turn clock.

CMC

Short for Converted mana cost.

Color bleed

A situation where a card has an effect that is usually not found in its colors, such as Mana Tithe, a white counterspell.

Color screw

A specific type of mana screw where a player, while perhaps having plenty of mana/acceleration, lacks the correct color to play certain spells. e.g. A player may have six Mountains, but lacks the Swamp they need to cast a Wrecking Ball.

Combo

Short for "combination".

  • Card combination: Any combination of two or more cards which produces a beneficial effect, designed to gain an advantage over the opponent.[8][9][10]
  • One of the three basic archetypes along with aggro and control.
    • Combo deck: A deck or archetype which uses a combo as its victory condition. The deck is designed entirely for the purpose of setting up and protecting the combo.

Control

Ways in which players use cards to control the flow of the game.[11]

  • Control card: Any card designed to help a player control cards in the game. Control cards might destroy an opponent's useful cards, keep an opponent from playing useful cards, or force the opponent to discard his cards before he uses them.
  • One of the three basic archetypes along with aggro and combo.
    • Control deck or archetype: A deck or archetype which attempts to gain a decisive advantage using control cards to hinder the opponent and protect its victory condition. A control deck makes sacrifices in speed in order to improve chances of playing past an opponent's defenses.
  • Part of a deck: The controlling elements in a deck.

Control Slaver

A control deck designed to control all of the opponent's turns by recurring Mindslaver with a Goblin Welder.

Crack

  1. To open (a booster pack).
  2. To sacrifice something for an effect. Most often said of fetch lands or artifacts. See also Pop.
  3. To attack.

Creatureball

A creature with an X in its cost determining how big it's going to be. Mostly green. Named in analog to Fireball.[12]

Crimp

Crimping is the rippled press at the top and bottom of each booster pack to press it closed. A crimped card was misaligned and got caught in the press. Crimps can happen on the top or bottom of a card. While crimps are a little less common than miscuts, they're usually desired less by collectors.

Cubing

Playing Cube Draft.

Curve

  1. The notional mean power level of cards. The power level of a card can be judged by players as being 'above', 'on' or 'below the curve'. For example, the power and toughness of most CMC 2 creatures is 2/2. A 2/2 creature with CMC 2 is considered on the curve, while a 3/3 of the same cost would be above the curve and a 1/1 creature would be below the curve. Often, but not always, creatures that are above or below the curve have a corresponding drawback or ability to balance the card.
  2. mana curve: the spread of spells in a deck by converted mana cost. A well-designed curve allows a deck to use all or almost all of its available mana each turn, maximising its tempo advantages. This is usually of most concern to aggro and aggro-control decks.

Curve out

To cast a series of spells “on curve.” For example, a 2-drop on turn 2, a 3 mana card on turn 3, and a 4 mana card on turn 4. See mana curve.

Cut

To remove a card from one’s deck. Alternatively, “Make the cut” means to be included in a deck, especially at the time it was built, although often just barely.

D

Damage race

A damage race (or simply a race) occurs when neither player is able to take firm control of the game. Their only course of action is to try to win the game before the other's creatures strikes the finishing blow. Races are most often driven by one or both players having creatures with evasion (flying, "can't be blocked", etc.).[13]

Dead card

A card in hand that is irrelevant or unplayable. This may also be expressed with the phrase dead draw if the card was just drawn from the deck.

Dead on Board

A game state where a player knows, based on the state of the battlefield and other public information, that they're about to lose the game. Sometimes shortened to "DOBs" (pronounced "Dobbs").

"I'm at 4 life and I only have one blocker. If I don't draw a creature this turn, I'm dead on board to my opponent's alpha strike."

Deciduous

Mechanics that are not evergreen, but may show up from time to time in a set that needs it. It's a tool in R&D's toolbox that they're allowed to use, but it's not something they expect to use in every set.[2][14] Deciduous mechanics are Protection, Hybrid mana, split cards and double-faced cards.[15] Colored artifacts, Curses and Vehicles are also considered to be deciduous.

Decking

To run a player's library out of cards, thus causing them to lose the game for being unable to draw cards when required to do so (see Winning and losing). The original method of doing this involved the card Millstone, and is therefore also commonly known as milling (see Mill).

Deck thinning

Cards that are used to reduce the size of one's deck to increase the chances of drawing needed cards.

Digging

Looking for specific cards for the matchup or situation from your deck, primarily through the use of draw effects, draw then discard effects, look at the top X cards effects, or reveal the top X cards effects.

Dimir

Ravnican guild representing Blue/Black. Now used to describe any Blue/Black card or deck.

Discard Outlet

An ability that allows a player to discard cards at any time, often without paying a mana cost. This allows the cards to be used while in the graveyard, and triggers Madness effects.

Disruption

Cards that try to stump opponents’ attempts to do whatever it is that their deck wants to do, or get in the way of their strategy. Usually, this refers to hand disruption, like discard spells. However, counterspells, for example, can also “disrupt” a combo.

Dog

Short for “underdog” – a deck (or player) which is not favored to win a certain matchup.

Dome

  1. (verb) To deal direct damage to target player.
  2. A player being targeted (as in the expression "to go to the dome").

Dork

A creature with unimpressive combat stats, usually to the point that they are considered essentially “unable to attack.” Usually, though, dorks have some other relevant ability. For example, mana dorks, like Llanowar Elves, tap for mana.

Drain

A card that causes an opponent to take damage or lose life, while its controller gains life, as with Drain Life. Mostly in black.

Draw-Go

  1. A stagnating period of gameplay in which each player simply draws a card and passes the turn. A draw-go situation can occur because each player is waiting for the other to make the first move, or when neither player has a beneficial spell to play and controls no important cards on the table. Common during the first few turns of a game when neither player has many lands.
  2. A deck that, because of its reactive nature, often plays spells primarily during the opponent's turn.

Draws Hate

When an EDH player gets targeted by their opponents due to the power of their commander or another card.

Drop

  1. A permanent which can be played without major strategic consideration. Usually used in the context of "2-drop", "3-drop" etc, referring to the turn when a permanent can first be played, which is equal to its converted mana cost.
  2. See Land drop.

Duals/Dual lands

Any lands that produce multiple colors of mana, especially the original cycle of double-typed lands (Tundra, Underground Sea, Badlands, etc.).

Dud

A card that is generally not worth playing, either because its mana cost is too high for whatever benefit it gives, or because the benefit it gives isn't particularly advantageous. Also Dreg.

Dude

A creature. Used more often when describing token creatures.

Dude Ranch

A land capable of churning out creature tokens every turn. For example, Kjeldoran Outpost.

Duel

In the early days of Magic, each game was called a duel (cf. Duel Decks).

Durdle

Taking game actions that do not have a visible effect on the board state or do not lead directly toward killing one's opponent; taking game actions that "do nothing." The purpose of durdling is generally to improve one's in-hand card quantity or quality. Durdling is a common feature of defensive decks.

"Dude, you're playing Boros, why all the durdle? Just burn her dudes and swing."

E

E

Design shorthand for Energy.[1]

Eat

  1. To block a small creature with a larger one so that only the attacking creature dies.
  2. Of a creature, to cause another creature to be sacrificed; "My Thallid Omnivore eats my Saproling."
  3. Of a creature, to die to a removal spell preventing that spell from being used elsewhere; "My elf ate a lightning bolt which is as much value as I could have hoped to get out of it."

Edict

Cards like Chainer's Edict, Cruel Edict, etc. which force a player to sacrifice a creature.

Eggs

Cheap artifacts that can be cracked to get mana and/or draw cards. Almost always seen in the context of Second Sunrise decks like Stanislav Cifka's winning deck from Pro Tour Return to Ravnica.[16]

Comes from the Odyssey "egg" cycle (Skycloud Egg, Darkwater Egg, Shadowblood Egg, Mossfire Egg, Sungrass Egg).

EDH

Shortened form of Elder Dragon Highlander, the old name of the Commander format before it was officially recognized by Wizards of the Coast. See also Highlander.

Enemy colors

The five pairs of colors which are opposite on the color wheel: ({W}/{B}), ({B}/{G}), ({G}/{U}), ({U}/{R}) and ({R}/{W}).

Engine

A card or combination of cards which produce a powerful, often repeatable, effect, which does not win the game outright on its own, but is effective in “powering” other strategies. An engine often converts one resource into another. For example, Channel converts life points to mana, Mind Over Matter converts cards in hand to untaps of permanents, Skullclamp converts small creatures into cards in hand, and so on. Engines often form the heart of combos and are often restricted in tournaments due to being too effective.

EOT

End of turn.

Esper

Alara shard representing Blue/White/Black. Now used to describe any Blue/White/Black card or deck.

ETB

Short for "enters the battlefield", used to refer to a variety of abilities which trigger when a creature enters the battlefield. (Before M10, this was "comes into play" or "CIP"/"CIPT".)

ETBT

Shorthand for "enters the battlefield tapped", a common drawback on nonbasic lands. Sometimes pronounced "itty bitty". Before M10, this was "comes into play tapped" or CIPT.[2]

EV

Expected Value: the amount of value which you can expect to receive from a given tournament or event. Generally, this means the average value of the prizes for all players minus the entry fee.

Evasion

Any ability of a creature that improves its chances of damaging the defending player by restricting which creatures can block it, like flying, landwalk or "can't be blocked".

F

F6

Passing priority until end of turn. Born from MTGO online. Used when playing against extremely long turn combo decks such as (formerly legal) KCI and Eggs in Modern Format.

Face

The opponent, in the context of targeting a spell "to the face". Also Dome.

Faction

A mechanically and flavorfully distinct group of cards within a set, interacting with other groups within that set (e.g. Ravnican guilds).[17]

Fast mana

A one-shot effect (either an instant, a sorcery, or a creature with an enters-the-battlefield trigger) such as Seething Song that adds mana. Originally in black, but now primarily in red and secondarily in green. See also Ritual

Fatty

A large (usually 4/4 or 5/3 or greater) creature, generally offensive in nature.[18] A fatty is the opposite of a weenie.[19]

Fat Pants

A creature enchantment or equipment that increases the enchanting creature's toughness higher than the amount it increases the creature's power. This comes from the card Hero's Resolve (aka Heroic Pants), which gives the creature it enchants +1 power but +5 toughness.

Fetch

  1. A fetch land.
  2. (verb) To use a fetch land's ability and sacrifice it to find another land.

FBB

Foreign Black-bordered. The first printing of a core set in a non-english language.

Finisher

A card capable of winning or “finishing” the game outright.

Firebreathing

A creature ability that allows the creature to get a power boost for a certain amount of mana (usually red), multiple times in a turn. The ability was first seen on the Alpha set's Shivan Dragon, which had the basic form of the ability "{R}: Shivan Dragon gets +1/+0 until end of turn". The name comes from the aura Firebreathing, which grants any creature the ability. The concept is that the red mana (fire) turns into a power boost (the fire hurts the creature's enemy more).

Fish

A blue aggro-control deck. Older versions featured a merfolk (fish) theme.

Fizzle

When a spell or ability gets countered due to lack of targets.

Fixing

  1. Short for mana fixing, as in "to fix one's mana."
  2. The process used by Wizards of the Coast to create less powerful versions of older, popular, but broken (overpowered) cards. For example Shock is considered a fixed version of Lightning Bolt.

Flickering

Exiling a permanent, then returning it to the battlefield, as with Ghostly Flicker or Flickerwisp. Originated with Urza's Destiny's Flicker. Used interchangeably with blinking.

Flipwalker

A double-faced card with a (legendary) creature that transforms into a planeswalker.[20]

Floating

Refers to mana in a player's mana pool that has not been used, especially after that player has just played a spell or ability. Usually, a player will only tap as much mana as required by the particular spell or ability they wish to play, and only when they wish to play it. However, in various situations a player may leave some amount of mana in their mana pool.

The most common situation in which this occurs is when a player is using a recurring loop of spells or abilities to produce an arbitrarily large amount of mana. Each iteration of the loop produces extra mana, which is left floating until the player has acquired enough excess mana to achieve their desired end.

The rules require a player who has mana in their mana pool after spending some, or when passing priority, to announce what mana is left. This is usually accomplished with a set of dice or a notepad.

FNM

Abbreviated form of Friday Night Magic.

French vanilla

A creature that only has a keyword ability.[21]

FTW

For The Win. Often declared as "X for the win" where X is the card that wins the game (directly or indirectly). The worse the card, the more likely the phrase will be used. "Chimney Imp for the win!!"

FWB

Foreign white-bordered. The regular printing of a core set in a non-english language.

G

G

Design shorthand for Green.[1]

Gas

Cards which you would like to draw, that are relevant, or that “fuel” your game plan. Generally, non-land cards. "This hand is nothing but gas!" Conversely, when you're at the end of the game and are low on resources, you've run out of gas.

Gauntlet

A group of decks that are expected in a metagame or top decks to playtest against.

Geddon

Technically, the card Armageddon. In casual terms, something that blows up all lands, or at least blows up a lot of lands.

GG

"Good Game." Also said as "geeg" in a more sarcastic form.

Glass cannon

A deck with high potential, but easily disrupted. Glass cannons are usually combo decks such as All-In Red and Elf-Ball.

Go big

To invest some resource (mana is common, but it can be cards in hand or the graveyard, or simply a particular card sequence) to create an effect that is too large for the turn it is cast.[22]

Go deep

To play a strategy that is exceptionally ambitious, unlikely, and/or high-risk high-reward. Used primarily when discussing Limited formats. "You're playing seven copies of Foundry Street Denizen?" "Yeah, I went real deep in this draft."

Go off

When a combo player does their (usually game winning) combo.

Go over

  1. To be able to deal more damage than your opponent or be able to trump their best card or play.
  2. Attacking with flying creatures, which “fly over” your opponents non-flying defenders.

Go tall

Strategy where things get stronger over time, e.g. green putting a lot of +1/+1 counters on its creatures.

Go wide

A creature-based strategy, often making use of tokens, to overwhelm the opponent by attacking with a huge number of small creatures, rather than a few very large creatures (which might be called going 'tall').

God

For the creature type, see God.
  1. Optimal, as in "God hand" or "God draw", the best a player could have. E.g "With a God hand, this deck can pull off a turn three win." The best possible hand is also called "the nuts" or a "nut draw".
  2. One of the God cards from Theros block: legendary enchantment creatures with the subtype God that have indestructible, an ability that makes them not a creature unless you have enough board presence of their color(s), and some other enchantment-like abilities.

God pack

  1. A booster pack that contains more rares than may be expected.
  2. An exceptionally rare pack from Journey into Nyx containing all fifteen Theros Gods.[23]

Goldfishing

Playing without an opponent: drawing a starting hand and proceeding to play until an opponent who does nothing to stop you from accomplishing the gameplan is defeated. Used in basic initial deck testing.

Golgari

Ravnican guild representing Black/Green. Now used to describe any Black/Green card or deck.

Gravy train

Within the world of professional Magic, "being on the Gravy train" means being qualified for all the Pro Tours. This typically means being a Gold- or Platinum-level pro in the Pro Players Club. Can also refer to Grave Titan.

Gray Ogre

Any 2/2 creature that costs three mana. Comes from Gray Ogre. See also: Bear, Hill Giant.

Griefer

A player who enjoys another player’s misery, tormenting their opponent by playing land destruction, countering all of their spells, or playing a deck that wins before they can get off the ground. Also a card that furthers that goal.[24][25][26]

Grinder

Someone who plays game after game after game in order to get qualifying points, esp. at mid-level tournaments like PTQ’s.

Grip

A full hand of cards.

Grixis

Alara shard representing Blue/Red/Black. Now used to describe any Blue/Red/Black card or deck.

Ground pounder

A creature with a decently large body but without evasion or many relevant abilities.

Group Hug

A strategy in multiplayer games based on helping the opponents with effects like Howling Mine or Heartbeat of Spring. A similar strategy known as Bear Hug helps opponents in a way that will ultimately harm them or provide you with an advantage.

Group slug

A play on "group hug", group slug is a multiplayer archetype involving shared pain, usually in the form of direct damage, life loss or sacrifice. It typically involves permanents with triggered abilities that deal damage to opponents. Group slug decks are most often red or black.

Gruul

Ravnican guild representing Red/Green. Now used to describe any Red/Green card or deck.

H

H

Design shorthand for unnamed Hybrid.[1]

Hack

To change the type of a card, as with Magical Hack.

Hard cast

To cast a card by paying its full mana cost, rather than “cheating” it into play or paying an alternate cost.

Hard counter

A counterspell which counters a spell unconditionally, like Cancel. The opposite would be a soft counter, which can’t counter a spell all the time. For example, Mana Leak.

Hate

  1. "X hate", "hate for X". Altering the composition of one's deck not to make it generally better, but to try to lower the effective power of an opponent's powerful card or deck.[2][27][28] For example, in Vintage, blue cards and artifacts are considered to be considerably more powerful than other cards, and decks often include hate for blue or artifacts. See also: Metagame, Splash damage.
  2. Hate card. A card that seeks to inhibit the effectiveness or power level of another card or strategy. These cards help to balance the metagame in the event that one card or strategy has become too dominant.
  3. Hate draft, hate pick. In a draft, to select a card one will probably not play to keep it from others.[29]
Hate bear

A hate card that is also a Bear, such as Leonin Arbiter or Ash Zealot.[30]

Hardcasting

To cast a permanent spell normally, from your hand, paying its mana cost. This term is used to describe situations that deviate from the norm or to describe a card's rules text. "I won by hardcasting Darksteel Colossus." "You must hardcast Hypnox for its ability to work."

Heater

Taken from the vernacular of poker, a "heater" is when everything is going right; a lucky streak.

Hellbent

Playing the game without any cards in hand, based on the hellbent mechanic. Also known as top decking.

Hit

To deal damage (by attacking with a creature).

Hold up

To keep the resources needed to cast the spell available so that you could cast it if necessary; to have access to a card in your hand at the expense of actually casting a card. For example, you might leave mana untapped during your main phase in order to “hold up” a counterspell.

High flying

A creature with flying that can only block creatures that also have flying, such as Cloud Djinn. Generally, a creature with high flying costs less than a creature with flying.[2]

Highlander

A casual format in which, excluding basic land, there can be no two cards with the same name in the deck. The term has its origins in the catchphrase of the movie Highlander: "There can be only one". This format goes by the name "Singleton" in official Wizards of the Coast communications and advertising even though the format is almost exclusively referred to as Highlander by players. This is most likely to avoid any trademark issues that might arise. An ancestor of the now more popular Commander.

Hill Giant

Any 3/3 creature that costs four mana. Comes from Hill Giant. See also: Bear, Gray Ogre.[31]

Hoser

A card, deck, or style of play that is extremely powerful against another certain deck or archetype. E.g. Wrath of God "hoses" or is a hoser of creature-based decks. See also: Hate.

House

A card that is extremely powerful.

I

Iconic and characteristic

Each color has an iconic, or marquee, creature type which is well known as the monster representative of everything the color embodies. Iconic creatures show up only a few times per set (and many times only once).[2] They are almost exclusively rare or mythic rare and show up on splashy cards.[32][33] The current iconic creatures are:[34]

Iconic creatures are different from characteristic creatures, which show up many times per set and are found in all rarities, especially at common. They are smaller humanoid that appear on more mundane cards including vanilla and french vanilla creatures. The characteristic creatures are:[2]

In the air

When attacking, combat damage dealt by creatures with flying. See also On the ground

Ineffable, The

Yawgmoth. Used on some Magic: The Gathering forums. For example, 'Will of the Ineffable' refers to Yawgmoth's Will.

Inevitability

In a given matchup, the deck with inevitability is the one that becomes more and more likely to win as the game continues. While still a theoretical science, inevitability can go to the deck with more threats, a better late game, an unstoppable trump card, or the deck that simply has more cards in its library to prevent decking.[36]

Inflatable

See Pumpable.

Instantment

An enchantment with flash. Mirage and Visions both contained spells of this sort, as did Mercadian Masques and Prophecy.[37]

Izzet

Ravnican guild representing Blue/Red. Now used to describe any Blue/Red card or deck.

J

Jam

To play a spell confidently or enthusiastically. Often implies that a blowout is possible, but the caster of the spell has weighed the odds and decided that it is the right play. Also to pick a card in a draft under similar conditions.

Jank

A card or deck that does not appear to be very good, often with regards to consistency. Also: a Janky card.[4]

Jacetice League

Derogatory term for the group of planeswalkers led by Jace Beleren and Gideon Jura, formally known as The Gatewatch.[38] Generally used due to a perceived overuse of Jace in the storyline.

Jeskai

Clan of Tarkir representing Blue/Red/White. Now used to describe any Blue/Red/White card or deck.

Jund

Alara shard representing Black/Red/Green. Now used to describe any Black/Red/Green card or deck.

Junk Rare

A rare card that is considered to be of little or no value, and is quite cheap as a result. Examples include Dismiss into Dream and One with Nothing.

K

Keeper

  1. A deck built to abuse the most powerful cards in Vintage.
  2. A favorable initial hand of cards.

Kitchen table

A casual play environment, often without clear formats. The opposite of tournament play.

L

L

Design shorthand for Land.[1]

Land drop

The one land you can play every turn, as opposed to any other lands you may be able to get onto the battlefield. See also drop, curve.

Landfall

Triggered ability that occurs whenever a land enters the battlefield, named after the Landfall mechanic. For example, Evolution Sage or Tireless Tracker

Landstill

A deck featuring Standstill and manlands.

LD

Land destruction — a viable but unpopular strategy for victory in which a player uses spells and abilities to destroy an opponent's land, making it impossible for them to play any spells.

Lightning Bolt Test

Also know as Bolt Test - In Modern does a creature that costs more than 2 mana die to Lightning Bolt? If it does, does it provide value for you (e.g. ETB or die trigger)? If not, it fails the Bolt Test.

The purpose of the test is to have a fast way to judge if a creature is most likely playable or not. The test is done in a vacuum so it is not 100% definitive. That's why Eldrazi Displacer (which technically may cost 2) and Merrow Reejerey for example are present in the format.

Legs

"On legs", see on a stick.

Lenticular

Cards that appear on their surface to be very simple, but once you understand more about how to use them, they become more complex. The term comes from a technique, sometimes used on trading cards, where multiple images are stuck on a card with a system that allows you to see different pictures as you tilt the card.[39]

Lethal

Opportunity to deal enough damages to deplete the opponent Life points to 0.

Lobotomy

A spell or effect that allows a player to search a zone - particularly a player's library - for specific cards and exile them. So called since the first card printed with this effect was Lobotomy; other more recent examples include Surgical Extraction and Slaughter Games.

Lock, lockdown

During a match, a period where a player, through card interactions, has made it difficult or impossible for the opponent to mount an effective defense. "Breaking out" of a lockdown takes skill and luck, but often an effective lockdown will allow the lockdown player to secure victory before the other player can break out. In many tournament communities, decks are built with the tools to break out of locks, reducing the effectiveness of most lockdown cards. As a result, some decks specialize in lockdown strategies and use an arsenal of locks in order to form an exceptionally strong lockdown, followed by a swift victory.

Loose

  1. Loose play: a play that could have had a bad result. Often, it implies a mistake or incorrect play which could have been bad but wasn’t.
  2. Loose deck: a risky, inconsistent deck.

Lucksack

A consistently lucky person, usually used with a slightly resentful tone, i.e., "He is such a lucksack, that Wrath of God won him the game!" Also can be used in verb form, i.e., "He lucksacked into that Corrupt!"

Lucky charms

Cycles of artifacts that let you gain a life when you cast a spell of a certain color.[40]

M

M

R&D lingo for a mana symbol of a specific, arbitrary color.[1] Additionally, N and O are used for a second and third color in Multicolored cards costs. Commonly used for discussing Cycles. See also WUBRG.

Usage:

(Before Oath of the Gatewatch, this was "C". Now "C" is used for {C}.)

Maindeck

To have a card in your initial deck, not in your sideboard.

Magical Christmas Land

A extremely rare situation where a deck or combo goes as hoped or extremely well, Used derogatory in reference to decks that are inconsistent or very weak to disruption.

"Is this combo viable? It can swing for 8 on the second turn!" "Only in Magical Christmas Land."

Manland, man land

A land that can change into a creature. The most famous of these is Mishra's Factory from the Antiquities expansion.

Mana curve

The distribution of cards across casting costs in a deck. A deck is said to have a low curve if it has mostly cheap spells, while it can be said to have a high curve if it has more expensive cards. The top of the curve (or "top end") is the most expensive card or cards in your deck. A card is said to be played on curve if it is played as early as you could intend to cast it (usually on the turn corresponding to its mana cost).

Mana dork

A cheap-costed creature such as Llanowar Elves, Birds of Paradise or Noble Hierarch that produces mana. Variant of dorks.

Mana fixing

An effect that helps you avoid color screw by helping you get the correct colors of mana to cast your spells. Dual lands are a common example.

Mana flood

During a match, a situation where a player draws too many land cards and/or acceleration cards, resulting in too much available mana and too few useful spells.

Mana optimization

A theory that is the basis for the mana curve. Mana optimization theory states that a player who best uses the mana available to them in every turn will win the game. At its most basic level applies to the player who uses the most mana in a turn, e.g. a player who spends 5 mana in a turn will be able to do more and more powerful things than a player with only 3 mana available. Conversely, the player who spends fewer resources to produce the same effect will have greater mana optimization.

Mana rock

An artifact that taps for mana, such as Manalith, Fellwar Stone, or Dimir Signet.

Mana screw

  1. When a player doesn't draw enough mana generation cards (usually land) for their deck to work effectively.
  2. When a player doesn't draw cards that produce the correct colors for their deck to work effectively (also known as "color screw").
  3. Another meaning of mana screw is having a problem with colors available to play (also known as "color screw"). In multicolored decks, there is a chance of having lands that provide mana of one color and spells of another color. This is a color screw.
  4. When a player draws only land cards and/or mana sources (usually called "mana flood").

Mana threshold

The minimum amount of mana needed to be able to cast most of the spells in a deck.[37] Rarely used.

Mana weaving

The act of seperating the main deck from the land cards, shuffling the deck, and then sticking the lands one by one into the deck. This is against the rules.

Mardu

Clan of Tarkir representing Red/White/Black. Now used to describe any Red/White/Black card or deck.

MBC

Mono-Black Control or Mono-Black Creatures.

Metagame

The game outside the game – choices about what and how to play dictated by logic or community standards, rather than rules.

Midrange

A general archetype of deck focused on playing medium to larger sized creatures.

Mill

Putting cards from a player's library directly into their graveyard. Named after Millstone.[4]

Mirror match

A match between very similar or identical decks, as though each player were playing their own image in a mirror.

75-card mirror

A mirror match in which both decks and sideboards are identical.

Midrange

Aggressive decks that flip the standard aggro-control deck archetype by attempting to control the early game, then going aggressive with large creatures in the mid to late game.

Mise

A very lucky happening, most commonly used to refer to a needed card being drawn at the right moment ("Drawing that Black Lotus was an excellent mise,") or the act of doing so ("I mised that Lotus just in time"). MiseTings (so named for the expression) defined a mise as "something unusually great or unexpected" or the act of obtaining such. The expression "mise" is derived from the phrase "might as well" - as in 'mise well draw that wrath'. Its meaning has since changed to the usage described above, however. The joke set Unhinged had a card called Mise, which played on this by giving the player great card advantage, but only if that player is lucky enough to know the top card of their library.

Misplay

A mistake or blunder.

Mono

A deck composed a single color of cards. E.g: Mono-blue, mono-red.

N

N

Design shorthand for an unnamed number.[1]

Narrative equity

The concept in card design that people give weight to choices based upon the ability to later tell a story about it.[41]

Narrow card

A card that is only effective in a specific set of situation.

Naya

Alara shard representing Red/White/Green. Now used to describe any Red/White/Green card or deck.

Netdeck

Any deck copied from the internet or a published tournament listing and changed to deal with the local metagame. The practice of using such decks is referred to as "netdecking".

New World Order

R&D lingo for the practice of strictly limiting the complexity of commons. Introduced to the community by Mark Rosewater in one of his columns. Abbreviated to NWO.[42]

Nonbo

An interaction between two or more cards that is disadvantageous instead of having a profitable effect (which would be a combo). An example is Crystalline Sliver and Magma Sliver, since Crystalline Silver gives shroud to each Sliver, preventing them from being targetable by other Slivers with Magma Sliver's ability.

The Nut

A very good draw or play.

Nut Draw

The ideal opening hand.

O

O

Previously design shorthand for Gold cards (multicolored). Now shorthand for a specific, arbitrary color. See M.[1]

Off-color

A card not in the main colors of a deck.

On a stick

Refers to a creature or other permanent that has an ability which another card can produce. For example: Kamahl is a "Lightning Bolt on a stick". Can also refer to a card imprinted on an Isochron Scepter, which itself is sometimes referred to as "The Stick". More often than not refers to an artifact having the ability (hence, stick). Often "on legs" instead when referring specifically to a creature.

On the ground

When attacking, combat damage dealt by creatures without flying. See also In the air.

Orzhov

Ravnican guild representing White/Black. Now used to describe any White/Black card or deck.

Outs

Ways for a losing player to get back into the game. See also mise, topdeck mode.

Usage: "When he enchanted his Uril, the Miststalker with Shield of the Oversoul, my only out was to topdeck a Terminus."

P

Pass out

A card that is the last one picked in a booster draft.

Pauper

The Pauper Magic format, in which the only cards allowed are commons.

Paupers

The players of the Pauper Magic. Paupers spend less money on their hobby than players who also use uncommons and rares (especially the chase rares).

Permission

A style of play that involves hardcore/dedicated counter-magic. The permission player attempts to counter every important spell the opponent plays, and simply to draw plenty of extra cards to ensure more counters are available. The term "permission" comes from the way the opponent will end up asking whether each of their spells resolves or is countered.

Piker

A 2/1 creature for two mana. Named after Goblin Piker.

Pile

  1. A deck or collection of cards which are either unplayable or would appear to be unplayable. Cards which are unreliable or anti-synergistic or weak may constitute a 'pile'. This term is often used to describe a deck which attempts to do something, and succeeds, but does so inefficiently. For example, "My deck is an absolute pile, but somehow it wins." It can also be used to refer to "The Stack," a collection of interesting cards used as a shared deck in the format of the same name. This usage is primarily to distinguish it from the rules concept of the stack.
  2. The groups of cards that one sets up as an effect of cards like Doomsday, Gifts Ungiven, and Fact or Fiction.

Pinger

A creature with an ability that deals 1 damage to a target ("pinging" it), usually by tapping. The archetypal examples are Prodigal Sorcerer and Prodigal Pyromancer. See also Tim.

Pip

A colored mana symbol in a card's casting cost, when counting them. Not to be confused with converted mana cost. For example, Necropotence has 3 pips and converted mana cost 3.

Pitch

To exile a card from your hand as part of an alternative cost (see pitch card). For example, Force of Will allows you to pay for it by pitching a card.

Play around

To play in such a way that you are not blown out by a given card which you suspect you opponent to have in hand.

Playable

  1. A card that is good enough to play in the context of drafting
  2. Description of a card that is good enough to be played in a certain format. “This card might be Standard-playable.”

Player types

The characterization of a Magic player by psychographic or aesthetic profiles.[43] Cards are usually designed with these profiles in mind. References to them in casual Magic play are usually in jest, but most players do nonetheless tend to subscribe to one of the styles, or a combination of them.

  • Timmy/Tammy. Playing for fun.[44]
  • Johnny/Jenny. Playing for the mental challenge, building complex and creative decks.[45]
  • Spike. The tournament player', agressive and competitive. Spike gets their greatest joy from proving something by winning.[46]
  • Mel. Someone who enjoys the delicate and interesting interactions between the mechanical components and mechanics.[47]
  • Vorthos. The "flavor player", someone who enjoys the flavor of Magic separate from the game itself. A Vorthos evaluates the components like the name, the illustration and the card concept both in isolation and in conjunction.[47]

Playset

Four copies a of a card. This phrase is generally used either when referring to the number of cards in a deck or the number of which a player is in possession. Cards are often sold in playsets.

Poke

See ping.

Pop

The act of sacrificing a permanent, usually for an effect, e.g. popping Pyrite Spellbomb to deal two damage to a target. In some areas, also known as "cracking" said permanent.

Pre-revisionist

Any Magic: The Gathering literature published before the advent of the Weatherlight Saga in 1997. Much of this information has since been invalidated by more recently published material, but anything not specifically contradicted is still considered canon.

Pro-

Short for protection from something, e.g. pro-blue means protection from blue.

Prime Time

Slang for Primeval Titan

Prison

See also: Prison deck.

An effect, usually white but sometimes blue, that prevents a creature from attacking and/or blocking. Owes its name to Prison Term, but also includes effects such as Pacifism.

Proxy

A card that represents another card in casual play. (Not used in reference to checklist cards, which are allowed in tournaments.)

Pumping

To temporarily increase a creature's power and/or toughness with a spell or ability. A “pump spell” is a spell that does just that (e.g. Giant Growth).[48]

Punch

When a spell or ability makes a creature deals damage to another creature or player based on its power.

Punt

An extreme bad play, or the act of making such a play. "I punted pretty hard when I cast an Obliterate against an opponent with Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre in play."

Q

Q

Design shorthand for Untap.[1]

R

R

Design shorthand for Red.[1]

Race

A board state in which both players are attacking every turn and neither are saving their creatures to block. They are “racing” to deal 20 damage first.

Rainbow

Five-color. Used to describe a deck, card, or activation cost. Also WUBRG, for White blUe Black Red Green

Rakdos

Ravnican guild representing Black/Red. Now used to describe any Black/Red card or deck.

Ramp

  1. A card which “accelerates” your mana, giving you an additional, reusable mana source beyond the usual one land per turn. Named after Rampant Growth. Another famous example is Llanowar Elves.
  2. A deck containing many such cards, usually combined with fatties.
  3. To play such a card.

Reanimation

An effect that returns a card from a graveyard directly to the battlefield. Named for the card Reanimate, from Tempest.

Reclamation

Any effect that gets cards out of the graveyard for reuse. Used most often to refer to effects like Reclaim and Disentomb that return a card from the graveyard to the hand.

Recursion

A combo in which a card that returns cards from the graveyard is itself returned from the graveyard, leading to a repeatable loop. E.g. Second Sunrise, Conjurer's Bauble, Reshape and mana artifacts.

Red Zone

Attacking with creatures.[49] Named after the red central area on certain official playmats where attacking creatures were moved.

Removal

Spells that destroy or otherwise remove an opponent's permanents.

Reset button

A card which wipes out one or more whole categories of permanents. For example Armageddon, Jokulhaups, Nevinyrral's Disk and Wrath of God.

Response, Responsive strategy

Plays made in order to neutralize an opponent's threat. Responsive cards form the strategic base of any control deck.

Rip

To draw one or more cards. Usually implies that the cards are good. See Topdeck.

Ritual

Cards like Dark Ritual or Rite of Flame that add a certain amount of mana as a one-shot effect. Rituals originated in black but have been shifted to red.[50]

The Rock

Short for "The Rock and His Millions," a term referencing WWE wrestler The Rock, who always spoke of his millions of fans. Describes most Black/Green control decks. The original version of the deck abused the combo of Phyrexian Plaguelord and Deranged Hermit.

Rogue deck

A deck which does not seem to follow the trends of a particular metagame. Using a deck or strategy that is unorthodox or non-conventional.

RTFC

Abbreviation for "Read The F***ing Card" or "Read The Friendly Card". Often used by judges at tournaments who have to explain something about a card to someone who would not have asked the question in the first place if they had RTFC.

Run

  1. To include a card in a deck.
  2. To play a card, especially when you think there a high chance it will be immediately countered or destroyed.

S

S

Design shorthand for Snow.[1]

Saboteur

An ability that triggers when a creature deals combat damage to a player, e.g. Scroll Thief.

Sac

  1. Sacrificing a permanent. As an example, a player might remark, "I'll sac my Chromatic Sphere to my Grinding Station." A sacrifice is often done to pay a cost, so a player might also say "I sac two mountains to play Fireblast."
  2. Short for Lucksack (q.v.)

Sac Outlet

An ability on a permanent that allows creatures to be sacrificed, usually without paying mana costs. This kind of ability is useful to fizzle spells that have other useful text, like Electrolyze (preventing the caster from drawing a card), or to prevent side-effects, like the exile clause on Lava Coil (allowing the creature to go to the graveyard, where it may be used again).

Sandbag

To stockpile lands in one’s hand rather than playing them. Sometimes done as a bluff but often for value, like waiting to draw a card with landfall or retrace.

Sarnath'd

A slang term used on Internet Magic fora indicating an acknowledgement and occasionally frustration that a user has been beaten to the punch; specifically, the term denotes that the user has expressed an essentially identical thought as another user who has posted immediately before the user. The term "Sarnath'd" originates from MiseTings, where a user ("Sarnath") would repeatedly beat others to the punch.

Send in

To attack with (a creature).

Serve

To attack.

Scoop

To concede the game, "scooping" one's cards off the table.

Scrub

A player that makes consistent, unwise choices; whether in regard to construction of a deck or decisions made during gameplay. Usually, this is someone who is relatively inexperienced with tournament play. Scrub can also be used to describe an adept player who makes one or more significant player errors during a game or tournament. In that situation, the player in question is said to have "scrubbed out". Another characteristic of such a player is the outright refusal to improve.

Selesnya

Ravnican guild representing Green/White. Now used to describe any Green/White card or deck.

Shard

Sets of three colors in an unbroken chain on the color pie. The five Shards of Alara gave them names: Bant ({G}/{W}/{U}), Esper ({W}/{U}/{B}), Grixis ({U}/{B}/{R}), Jund ({B}/{R}/{G}), and Naya ({R}/{G}/{W}).

Shave

To remove one or more copies of a card from a deck but still keep at least one copy, especially when sideboarding.

Shell

An overall deck type or archetype which houses a particular card or combo.

Shock land

Dual lands that share a common effect which allows the player to enter them onto the battlefield untapped by paying two life. Named for Shock, which is not a land but deals two damage.

Side (in/out)

The act of exchanging cards to and from the sideboard between games. A card added to the main deck is sided in, and a card removed from the main deck is sided out.

Signal

A clue on what colors or archetypes drafters to your right and left are drafting based on what cards are present or missing in a pack.

Singleton

  1. A single copy of a card included in a deck or sideboard.
  2. A format in which only one copy of each card is permitted.

Silver bullet

A card that, while not necessarily useful all the time, is particularly good in a specific scenario or against a certain type of deck, especially if only one copy of the card is played in your deck. These cards are often found in sideboards, and some decks play a wide variety of silver bullets with tutors to find the correct one for the situation.

Simic

Ravnican guild representing Green/Blue. Now used to describe any Green/Blue card or deck.

Sligh

A mono-red deck archetype that usually wins by gaining tempo on the opponent by playing cheap creatures followed by red damage spells that are used to destroy possible blockers. Named after a player who popularized the archetype.

Slow-roll

Deliberately delaying a play, either for dramatic effect or for straightforward material benefit.

Smash

To attack.

Snap-

  1. To do something with confidence that it is the right decision. A "snap-[action]" (snap-pick, snap-block, snap-mulligan, etc.) is decided upon quickly without requiring much thought.
  2. To recur an instant or sorcery from your graveyard using Snapcaster Mage

Solidarity

A combo deck featuring many blue instants and capable of winning on its opponent's turn.

Spellslinger

A draft archetype in which you play a minimal number of permanents and generally win by some sort of combo or massive burn spell.

Spellslinging

Employees of WotC sitting down at a table at a tournament and challenging any and all comers to games of Magic, often showing off new cards.[51][52]

Speed bump

A small creature used to block a large attacker, holding it off for one turn.[37] See also Chump-block.

Splash

To add cards of another color or strategy to a deck predominantly of another color (or colors) or strategy. E.g "My deck is white blue splash red."

Splash damage

A situation where hate against a popular deck hurts the strategies of other decks, even though the hate may not have been directed at them. This is an important consideration for deckbuilders. See also: Metagame

Square

A creature whose power and toughness are the same, for instance a Kalonian Tusker (3/3) or an Angel token (4/4). A square creature is equally strong on attack or defense; you don't have to use it quickly like a small-ass, but you don't want to durdle behind it like a big-ass wall.

Squirrelcraft

The combo of Squirrel Nest and Earthcraft, which generates any number of 1/1 Squirrel tokens.

Stabilize

When one player is being attacked repeatedly, (i.e. by the beatdown player) they can be said to have “stabilized” when that player can no longer make profitable attacks, and the slower, or control, player is more or less in control of the game.

Stats

Also “combat stats” or “statistics”: a creature’s power and toughness, as well as any relevant combat abilities, like first strike.

STAX

A Vintage artifact deck designed to lock down the opponent with cards like Smokestack, Sphere of Resistance, and Crucible of Worlds. A derivation of the phrase $T4KS, which means The Four Thousand Dollar Solution. A Deck originally created as a metagame deck to counteract Gro-A-Tog and its fragile land base. The name was also partially inspired by the deck's extensive use of stacking multiple triggered abilities in upkeep. Also the card name Smokestack kind of ends with the word "stack".

Stompy

An aggressive mono-green deck consisting of outrageously-cheap fatties, generally with a mana curve topping off at two, and pump spells. Several Stompy decks run only nine lands total; by comparison, a lean Sligh deck wouldn't dare run less than eighteen, and most tournament-quality decks run a minimum of twenty-four.

Strictly better, strictly worse

A card is "strictly better" than another card if it's not only better overall, but there's also no reasonable situation where the other card would be better - there's no drawback to balance out the advantages.

Stripland

Any land card that can be sacrificed to destroy another land. Strip a land: sacrifice a land to destroy another. Comes from Strip Mine.

Sultai

Clan of Tarkir representing Black/Green/Blue. Now used to describe any Black/Green/Blue card or deck.

Super trample

The ability of creatures to assign their combat damage as though they weren't blocked. As with its cousin Trample, Super Trample is typically found on Green creatures. It was introduced in Portal Second Age.

Sweeper

A board wiper.

Swing

  1. To attack with one or more creatures.
  2. A dramatic change in the game such that one player who was previously losing is now winning.
  3. A change in the difference between life totals. e.g. Casting Lightning Helix targeting an opponent creates a "6-point life swing."

Synergy

The small, positive interactions of individual cards in a deck.

T

T

Design shorthand for Tap.[1]

Tabling

If a card “tables” while you are drafting, that means you have seen it twice, i.e., you passed it once and it went all the way around the table. See also wheel.

Tapped out

Describes a player who has run out of mana (usually because all their mana-generating permanents have been tapped), and therefore is unable to play any more spells or abilities.

Tank

To tank, or go into the tank, is to think about your next play for a long time.

Team

The collection of all your creatures in play. As in, “I’ll send in my team.”

Tech

A previously undiscovered improvement to an existing strategy, deck or archetype. A card or use of a card which is an improvement on deckbuilding “technology” in the current metagame. Often an individual's innovation appearing in large tournament events, serving to throw other strategies off balance by changing some part of how a deck usually works. Tech is generally researched in secret by an individual or a team prior to a large tournament in order to keep competitors from knowing what tricks will be put into a competing deck. Tech cards are frequently advantageous in specific scenarios, and are thus included in response to expectations of the metagame.

Telegraph

To make play decisions or tap your mana in a way that leads your opponent to believe you have a given card.

Tempo

How efficiently a player uses their mana.

Temur

Clan of Tarkir representing Green/Blue/Red. Now used to describe any Green/Blue/Red card or deck.

Threat

A card, usually a creature, which puts an opponent under pressure. A threat puts the opponent under a clock or forces them to have an answer in order to avoid losing the game.

Tier

Refers to the popularity of a certain deck or deck archetype. Tier 1 decks are the most popular decks, Tier 2 decks are less popular, Tier 3 decks are the least popular. Tier is often confused with the power level of a certain deck. Although sometimes it's true that more popular decks are more powerful, many powerful decks do not achieve a good Tier level. Also, cards tend to be referred to similarly, based on their popularity in these decks. For example, a Tier 1 card is one that shows up in many top level decks, and is easy to trade or sell.

Timewalking

  1. To take an additional turn (Time Walk.
  2. Wasting a turn, essentially giving the opponent two turns in a row.

To the Air(!)

Originating with the card Angelic Blessing, this can be said whenever a creature without flying gains flying. More frequently said when the now-flying creature is about to deal lethal damage.

Top 8

In tournament play, a single-elimination tournament whose participants are chosen from those of a previous Swiss tournament. Winners will play each other in later rounds, and losers play each other for ranking. Placing anywhere in the top 8 is widely seen as a success for the player, his deck, and his team.

Topdeck

  1. To play a card you just drew, especially at exactly the time you need it. This is also known as a "mise" or "rip". Many non-scientific "techniques" have been developed to perform a perfect topdeck, but many tournament players build their decks using "tutors", which are cards that actually move desired cards to the top of the deck. The chances of a top deck are dependent on the number of "wanted" cards left in the deck. For a burn deck to top deck something Bolt-like is not as impressive as drawing a card of which there is only one copy of in the deck and which only covers a single situation.
  2. To have no cards in hand, so that you are topdecking (sense 1) every card you draw.
  3. To put a card on top of your library from somewhere else, usually your graveyard or elsewhere in your library.
Topdeck Mode

Topdecking (sense 2): where a player has no cards in hand and relies solely on the cards they draw each turn to be able to play effectively. It is a situation players try to avoid as it means the player relies entirely on the luck of the draw. See also Draw-Go.

Top-down

An approach to design that builds a card, set or block around a flavorful concept, molding mechanics to fit that concept. For example, Theros block is a top-down design based on Greek mythology, and many of its cards are top-down designed with specific myths in mind.[53] The opposite is bottom-up design, where the mechanics come first and the flavor comes later.[54] All sets based on a real-world mythological setting are designed with a top-down approach.

...to the head/dome/face

'X to the head/face/dome' is a term used to announce damage dealt directly to a player instead of a creature. E.g 'Deal 3 to the head' or 'Fireball for 6 to the dome'.

Tradebait

Tradebait are cards which a player trades for not because they want the card for a deck or their collection, but because they might be able to trade it later on to someone else for cards that they are after.

Trade up

Trading up is when a person trades card(s) that are worth less value for card(s) that are worth more. This generally refers to the value of the individual cards, not the total value of all cards traded—for example, trading fifteen $1 cards for one $10 card is still considered "trading up."

Tribe

A large group of creatures which share a creature type and work well together in a deck. Such a deck is called a tribal deck. An example of a competitive tribe is Goblins, which work together in order to win with astounding numbers and force. Rebels previously had a similar strategy, allowing the Rebel player to win with sheer numbers and utility of creatures. Many other competitive tribe-based decks also exist.

Trick, Combat trick

A spell or ability used by a player to alter the outcome of a combat. Common ways in which this is achieved include increasing or decreasing a creatures' power and/or toughness, by granting or removing abilities from a creature or even removing the creature entirely from combat or play. Giant Growth is a classic green combat trick.

Tuck

To put a card on the bottom of its owner's library, or shuffle it into its owner's library. For example, Condemn tucks an attacking creature.

Tutor

A spell that allows a player to search their library for another card. Many such cards have "Tutor" in their name, a pattern established by Demonic Tutor and the four tutors from Mirage block (Enlightened Tutor, Mystical Tutor, Worldly Tutor, and Vampiric Tutor) and continued throughout the years with cards like Diabolic Tutor. Can be used as a verb, as in "I'll tutor up my combo piece." See also silver bullet.

U

U

Design shorthand for Blue.[1]

UBER

Acronym for "Ultimate Big Endgame Ramp." A drafting strategy that aims to accelerate its mana development (eg. with card draw, non-land mana sources, etc.) and survive the early game with defensive creatures and removal spells, in order to win with an expensive late-game threat.

Ultimate

A planeswalker's ability that provides the biggest effect at the cost of removing most loyalty counters. For example, the effect of Garruk, Primal Hunter has Garruk's controller put a 6/6 green Wurm creature token onto the battlefield for each land he or she controls.

Un-sets

Joke sets produced by Wizards of the Coast. So far there have been three Un-sets, namely Unglued, Unhinged and Unstable. Cards from these sets have silver borders (for example, Ass Whuppin' affects only silver-bordered permanents, meaning cards from Un-sets) and are not legal in any tournament, except for basic lands (which have black borders instead, or no borders in the case of Unstable).

Utility land

A land that has an effect other than mana generation, such as Rogue's Passage.

V

Value

Any sort of advantage or extra damage or effect that a player can get. Often, it is card advantage but for example, also playing a card with kicker without paying a kicker cost gets less “value” than waiting until you can cast it kicked.

Vanilla

A creature with no rules text[21] (text that grants the creature extra abilities), for example Grizzly Bears.

Variance

Circumstances or factors that are not entirely under a player’s control, such as what decks they get paired against, which cards they draw and how often they win the opportunity to play first in a match. Players often talk about reducing variance by making plays whose outcome they can predict more accurately.

Voltron

A deck archetype with the goal of casting one creature, then using other cards such as Auras and Equipment to enhance that creature and making it a true threat to the opponent. The archetype's name derives from the Japanese animated series Voltron which features several small robots that combine into one large robot.[55]

W

W

Design shorthand for White.[1]

Walker

Short for planeswalker.

Wedge

Sets of three colors (a color and its two enemies) that form a wedge shape, or an acute triangle.[56] The five clans of the Khans of Tarkir set, each associated with a wedge, gave them names: Abzan ({W}/{B}/{G}), Jeskai ({U}/{R}/{W}), Sultai ({B}/{G}/{U}), Mardu ({R}/{W}/{B}), and Temur ({G}/{U}/{R}).

Weenie

A small creature, with low power and toughness. Any archetype or deck which uses Weenies as the victory condition is also referred to as a Weenie Deck, most commonly in white, hence "White Weenie". Usually abbreviated to lowercase 'w' to distinguish it from the color W and preceding it by the color of the deck; White Weenie becomes Ww, and Black White Weenies becomes BWw.

Wheel

  1. Of a card in booster draft, to make a complete lap around the table without being drafted.
  2. ("wheel everyone") To force all players to discard their hand and then draw cards, as with Wheel of Fortune.

Whiff

The use of an effect that allows a player to look at, discard, or reveal a number of random cards from the top of their deck and choose a number of cards from among them, but in which the cards in question do not contain any viable choices, either due to typing, color, or game state.

Win condition

The method that a deck uses to win; for example, a rapid stream of cheap creatures for aggro, a specific creature (e.g. a Voltron) and support, milling the opponent's library, or an alternative win condition card such as Azor's Elocutors. Power of individual cards would then determine the strength of the deck's win condition, while disruptability and stability determine its consistency. Often shortened to "wincon".

Windmill slam

A booster draft pick that is especially easy to make because of how powerful and exciting the card is. Can be a noun or a verb. Comes from the "windmill" action of taking a card from the pack, raising one's arm high, and slamming it down on the table in excitement. Often shortened to "Slam". See also: bomb, snap-pick.

"Archangel Avacyn is a windmill slam first pick in Shadows over Innistrad draft."

"Hey, what would you have taken out of this pack?" "Slam the planeswalker. It's a bomb."

WotC or Wizards

Short for Wizards of the Coast, the company behind Magic.

Wrath

A spell or effect which destroys or removes all creatures in play – named for the original card, Wrath of God.

WUBRG

The five colors of Magic: White, Blue, Black, Red, and Green. Pronounced "woo-berg."

X

X

Design shorthand for a variable on a card.[1]

Y

Yard

Short for graveyard.

Z

Z

Design shorthand for Multicolor.[1]

Obsolete terms

Changes in the game have rendered some slang terms obsolete, while others have simply fallen out of use over time.

0-9

187

A creature with a "comes into play" ability, like Flametongue Kavu or Nekrataal. The term "187" comes from, depending on who you ask, the California penal code for a murder [57] (Flametongue Kavu and Nekrataal, both tournament staples in their time, killed a lot of creatures.[58]).

Mostly deprecated, with most people using CIP (Comes Into Play) or ETB (Enters The Battlefield) instead.

A

Arc

A set of three colors that forms an arc, or an obtuse triangle (a color and its two allies). These tricolor combinations are now known as Shards.

B

Barn

A player who follows around much better, more famous players, hoping to benefit from their experience and success (short for "barnacle'). Usually negative. Its history comes from its association with the term "Hull". This, however, is the more popular of the two words.

Basilisk

The Basilisk-ability refers to variations on deathtouch, especially mechanics which have a similar effect but work differently. First seen on the Alpha set's Cockatrice and Thicket Basilisk, it also includes variations like Sylvan Basilisk and Cruel Deceiver.

The introduction of Deathtouch as a keyword has rendered this term obsolete.

C

C (lingo)

R&D lingo for a mana symbol of a specific, arbitrary color, prior to Oath of the Gatewatch colorless mana symbol {C} introduction.[59]

CIP

Short for "comes into play", the term for "enters the battlefield" prior to M10 rules changes.[60]

CIPT

Short for "comes into play tapped", the term for "enters the battlefield tapped" before M10 rules changes.[61]

COP, CoP or Cop

Circle of Protection, one of a series of enchantments with an activated ability that prevents damage from particular sources (usually of a given color, such as Circle of Protection: Red, but also Circle of Protection: Artifacts). Also used as a verb: "cop your Bog Wraith" would mean prevent the damage from your Bog Wraith by using my Circle of Protection: Black. Pronounced either "cop" or "cee oh pee".[37]

The last printing of a Circle of Protection was in 2005, so this term is rarely seen today.

E

EOTFOFYL

"End of turn, Fact or Fiction, you lose." Fact or Fiction has such versatility and ability that it can win the game solely by forcing your opponent to give you at least one card that you need from the top five cards in your library. Michelle Bush coined this phrase after playing the card at its debut tournament.

G

Global enchantment

An enchantment that does not attach to something but rather affects the entire game, i.e. that is not an Aura. Since the introduction of the Aura subtype in Ninth Edition, they are referred to simply as "non-Aura enchantments".

Gro

Refers to a class of decks featuring Quirion Dryad. The original gro deck was Miracle Grow, first piloted successfully by Alan Comer, earning 9th place in the 2001 Grand Prix Vegas,[62] though others followed (such as Super Gro).

Mostly obsolete, as Quirion Dryad left Extended in 2008, and the powerful Tarmogoyf is available at the same mana cost for contemporary decks.

H

Hull

A player who attracts many players, often less skilled. Associated with the word "Barn": The Barns (barnacles) are constantly following the Hull around in order to leech off of them or simply to attain another level of play or social status.

L

Long.dec

An explosive combo deck in the Vintage format that abused Burning Wish to fetch Yawgmoth's Will, eventually building up a high enough Storm count to win with Tendrils of Agony. Long.dec boasted the impressive ability to win more than half the time on the first turn, prompting the restriction of Burning Wish and Lion's Eye Diamond in Vintage in 2003.[63] Later versions of the deck included "Grim Long" and "Death Long", featuring Grim Tutor and Death Wish as ways to replace the restricted Burning Wish.

M

Mana burn

An obsolete game concept in which a player lost a certain amount of life equal to the amount of unused mana in their mana pool at the end of a phase. Common slang for this term was "burn", for example someone might say they "burned for 3" when they lost 3 life due to Mana Burn. Some decks forced opponents to generate mana to kill them with mana burn. Now defunct in tournament Magic, as the rules for mana burn were removed with the release of Magic 2010.

P

Prosperous Bloom, ProsBloom

An old Mirage-era combo deck based around Prosperity, Cadaverous Bloom, and Squandered Resources.

R

Raffinity

Ravager Affinity, the deck using cards with affinity for artifacts and an Arcbound Ravager - Disciple of the Vault combo that dominated Mirrodin block and standard. Raffinity is despised by most players (who did not play the deck) for its simple yet dominating and flexible gameplay. Raffinity is designed to take out one player as fast as possible, and it caused a huge series of bans in standard and Mirrodin block.

RFG

Short for 'removed from the game', the term used before M10 for what is now called "exiled".

S

Super Shroud

Hexproof. Before it was keyworded in M12, it was written explicitly on cards as "[Object] can't be the target of spells or abilities your opponents control", and known as super shroud because it's better than shroud. Also (formerly) known as trollshroud (q.v.).

T

Trix

A combo deck based around the interaction of Illusions of Grandeur and Donate.

Trollshroud

Hexproof. Before it was keyworded in M12, it was written explicitly on cards as "[Object] can't be the target of spells or abilities your opponents control", and known as trollshroud due to its use on Troll Ascetic. Also (formerly) known as super shroud (q.v.).

Card nicknames and abbreviations

The Magic community has given many nicknames to cards, and a number of those nicknames have passed into the mainstream and become part of M:TG terminology.

#

5ML

Five Moxes and a Black Lotus. Once considered by many players to be essential for a winning Vintage tournament deck.[37]

A

Academy

Tolarian Academy, one of the key components of decks during Combo Winter.

AK

Accumulated Knowledge.

B

BBE

Bloodbraid Elf.

BEB

Blue Elemental Blast.

BFEP

"Best Fatty Ever Printed" is a nickname for Verdant Force, coined by Jamie Wakefield.

Big Blue

Time Walk, Time Twister and Ancestral Recall, part of the Power Nine.[4]

Blinky

Blinking Spirit, once known as "the most annoying creature in Magic".[37]

The Blob

the collection of cards in the Affinity deck.

Bob

Dark Confidant, created by Bob Maher when he won the 2004 Magic Invitational Tournament.

Bolt

Lightning Bolt or, sometimes, Chain Lightning and other 3-damage burn spells, such as Incinerate.

Buffy

Rashka the Slayer, originally designed to block and kill the Sengir Vampire, provided it hadn't increased in power. The nickname is derived from the movie Buffy the Vampire Slayer as the T.V. show first aired after Homelands was released.

Butt Stallion

Diamond Mare. A reference to the Borderlands video game series, in which the main antagonist Handsome Jack has a pony made out of diamonds whose name is Butt Stallion.

C

Cap'n Tickles

Giant Solifuge. The origin of this nickname is unclear, but its usage was popularized by Evan Erwin of Star City Games in his web show "The Magic Show."

Cat Jesus

Leonin Arbiter. Named due to its incredible importance in modern Death and Taxes to turn Ghost Quarter into a Strip Mine and Path to Exile into the best removal spell ever made.

Chimney Pimp

Chimney Imp, an incredibly underpowered card from Mirrodin. Often written in a variant of leet speak (such as 7he p1mp, t3h p!mp, etc). In a similar manner as Throat Wolf, it became a common joke in the official Magic forums that the Pimp was an extremely broken card because "it untaps for free", which in fact is a trait shared by almost all permanents.

CoB

City of Brass.

CoP

Circle of Protection.[4]

D

Deed

Pernicious Deed.

Deep Anal

Deep Analysis.

Dog

Isamaru, Hound of Konda.

Drain

Mana Drain, or cards with effects similar to Drain Life.

DRS

Deathrite Shaman.

Dr. Teeth

Psychatog. Sometimes this card is announced as "The doctor's in."

Dude Ranch

Kjeldoran Outpost, a land that produces 1/1 soldier tokens (dudes).

E

E-wit

Eternal Witness

Edict

Diabolic Edict, Chainer's Edict, Cruel Edict, and other cards that force a player to sacrifice a creature.

Ernie

Erhnam Djinn.[64]

ESG

Elvish Spirit Guide.

Fat Moti

Mahamoti Djinn, so called because it is a fat creature.[4]

F

Finkel

Shadowmage Infiltrator, the card made by Invitational winner Jon Finkel in the Odyssey set. Occasionally called "Infilmage Finkletrator" as an affectionate play on the name.

Finkel's Cloak

Sleeper's Robe, because it grants the Shadowmage Infiltrator's abilities onto any other creature, even though the Robe was printed earlier than the Infiltrator itself.

Finkel Suit

Mask of Riddles from Alara Reborn, because, being Equipment, creatures can slip in and out of the suit, becoming Finkel whenever the player has the mana and inclination.

Force, FoW

Force of Will.

Fishstick

Elvish Mystic.

G

Gary

Gray Merchant of Asphodel [65]

Goyf

Tarmogoyf.

H

Hippy

Hypnotic Specter, one of the most beloved cards in Magic.

Hymn

Hymn to Tourach.

I

I am Superman

Pemmin's Aura. The designer who named the card decided to make a tribute to Morphling, which was known as "Superman". Since it was an enchantment which gave the enchanted creature the same abilities that Superman possessed, he made the name Pemmin's Aura, an anagram for the phrase "I am Superman". When asked "Who's Pemmin?" he simply responded "The guy who made the aura", as there was no background for said character, although it did end up in the flavor text of another card in Scourge: Stifle.[66]

J

Jens

Jens Thoren's Solemn Simulacrum, the card he created when he won the 2002 Magic Invitational Tournament. Also known as Robo-Jens or Sad Robot due to the pensive facial expression in the artist's portrait of Thoren.

Jewelry

The original five moxes[4]Mox Jet, Mox Ruby, Mox Sapphire, Mox Emerald, and Mox Pearl.

Jigsaw

Plaguecrafter. Plaguecrafter's flavor text could easily be interpreted as something Jigsaw, the recurring villian from the Saw horror movie franchise would say.

K

Keg

Powder Keg.

L

Larry Niven's Disk

Nevinyrral's Disk. "Nevinyrral" is Larry Niven spelled backwards. The disk is evocative of a magical device in his short story series "The Magic Goes Away".

M

Mana Birds

Birds of Paradise.[4]

Mis-D

Misdirection.

Miss Tickles

Falkenrath Aristocrat, due to the card's similarities to Giant Solifuge (both 4/1, both have haste, both are difficult to deal with via spells, both have an evasion ability).

Misty

Stoneforge Mystic.

Moxes

Plural short form for Mox Pearl, Mox Sapphire, Mox Jet, Mox Ruby, and Mox Emerald. Can also refer to Mox Diamond or Chrome Mox.

Mox Monkey

Gorilla Shaman, with the ability to destroy low-costed artifacts quite inexpensively, is called the "Mox Monkey" because he can destroy (or often "eat") the oft-used Moxes for a minimal cost, netting a great card advantage.

N

Necro

Necropotence. Also a verb, for example "I necro for three" means "I pay 3 life to take 3 cards".[37]

O

Oath

Oath of Druids, or a deck featuring the card.

Ophie the One-Eyed Snake

Ophidian, a card that powered many blue control decks to victory with its card-drawing mechanic which could be used every turn. Its art depicts a one-eyed snake, giving him the nickname among control players and their opponents.

Order of Light Beer

Order of Leitbur

OwN

One with Nothing, a card from Saviors of Kamigawa previously perceived to have no practical purpose, though the results of Pro Tours: Honolulu has had some players suggesting it as an answer to the "Owling Mine" deck that had gained prominence during the tournament. It is sometimes, ironically, used as a pun of the term owned.

P

Pat Sajak

Magus of the Wheel. The card shares an effect similar to Wheel of Fortune. Named after the host of the American version of the Wheel of Fortune game show.

Path

Path to Exile, a powerful removal spell similar to Swords to Plowshares and shortened in a similar way.

PORN

Often used to refer to the card Masticore due to its similarity to the word "masturbate', and the phallus-like structure coming out of its mouth.

Powerpuff Girls

Three legendary angels from Avacyn Restored, named after the cartoon characters Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup who are three superhero girls who can fly. One is dressed in red, one in blue, and one in green. — Gisela, Blade of Goldnight, Bruna, Light of Alabaster and Sigarda, Host of Herons.[67]

Primetime

Primeval Titan

Pump Knights

Four functionally equivalent white and black knights from Ice Age and Fallen EmpiresOrder of Leitbur, Order of the White Shield, Order of the Ebon Hand, and Knight of Stromgald. The name refers to their +1/+0 pumping ability.

R

REB

Red Elemental Blast.

Recall

Ancestral Recall.

Rectal Agony

A deck featuring Academy Rector and Tendrils of Agony. The deck uses Rector to fetch a Yawgmoth's Bargain. The Bargain draws many cards, allowing the player to play many spells and Tendrils as a finisher.

Ritual

Dark Ritual. Alternatively shortened to "Dark Rit" or even further to just "Rit."

S

Sac Elder

Sakura-Tribe Elder, which is usually sacrificed (see "sac") for mana acceleration (see "accel"). Other nicknames include Saccy Tribe Elder, Tribe-Elder, Saccy Chan and sometimes just 'Elder.

Sammy

Samite Healer.[4]

Sex Monkey

Uktabi Orangutan. Its art depicts monkeys in a position that resembles the sexual act in its background, hence the appellation. The background was noticed during the reign of the "Artifact" block, where it became wildly popular because of its ability to destroy an opponent's artifacts. The flavor text of the card also reinforces this interpretation, as it refers to monkeys in gold coats marrying. In Unhinged, there was a parody of the card, called Uktabi Kong, with a larger version of the original Orangutan in the foreground, and an expectant pair of monkeys in the background, playing on the original art and its implications. The effects of that card are relevant to the act, too, allowing you to tap two Apes to generate another one.

SFM

Stoneforge Mystic.

Snape

Thieving Amalgam, named 'Snape' due to its creature types.

Snappie

Snapcaster Mage

Stick

Isochron Scepter, a powerful card in the Mirrodin set which allows a player to imprint an instant on the Scepter and activate the Scepter to cast a copy of that card. The name is derived from the card's art, which shows a humanoid woman holding the scepter (which obviously looks like a stick).
Card on a stick
An Isochron Scepter in play with a particular card imprinted on it.
"No" stick
1. Counterspell, when imprinted on the Stick, since it lets the player say "no" to an opponent's spell once per turn.
2. A popular deck which imprinted Orim's Chant on Stick, preventing the opponent from playing anything except instants and cards with Flash.
X on a stick
A creature with some useful ability. For example, Temporal Adept is a "boomerang on a stick", because his ability resembles the card Boomerang, while being a creature.

SoLoMoxes

Sol Ring, Black Lotus, and the five Moxes from Alpha.

STEve

Sakura-Tribe Elder. See also Sac Elder.

Stripwaste

A combination of Strip Mine and Wasteland.

Sunny-T

Sun Titan.

Superman

Morphling, a very powerful creature which received the name because it could fly and was practically invulnerable. The nickname has also been acknowledged by WOTC in Pemmin's Aura, an aura that grants Morphling's abilities to the enchanted creature and which name is an anagram of "I am Superman".

Swords

Swords to Plowshares, the best creature-removal spell ever printed. Creatures targeted by a Swords to Plowshares are said to be "Plowed". Sometimes abbreviated STP.

T

Tim

The classic nickname for the card Prodigal Sorcerer, named after the enchanter from Monty Python's Holy Grail. Rod of Ruin was sometimes referred to as "Tim on a stick", while Pirate Ship was of course "Tim on a ship" [4]

'Tog

Psychatog, once the most powerful creature in Magic, allowing for you to easily attack for the win in a single attack when playing a control deck.

Urzatron

The card trio Urza's Power Plant, Urza's Mine, and Urza's Tower all in play, which combine to provide {C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C} (seven colorless mana) with three lands. Often shortened to Tron.

V

Vic

Enthralling Victor.

W

Walk

Short for Time Walk.

Welder

Goblin Welder.

WoG

Wrath of God, long a staple card due to its ability to destroy many creatures using only one card.

Y

YawgWin, Yawgmoth's Win

Yawgmoth's Will, which allows all previously played cards to be played a second time, netting an enormous advantage, and usually wins the game for its caster immediately.

Yoshi

Yotian Soldier.

External links

References

  1. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Mark Rosewater (July 03, 2017). "What are all the one letter abbreviations used for things like colours and types etc?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  2. a b c d e f g Mark Rosewater (November 7, 2016). "A Few More Words from R&D". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Magic Arcana (May 26, 2003). "White's "Bears"". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  4. a b c d e f g h i j k l Melody Alder. (1998). The Duelist #22, 40-42
  5. Mark Gottlieb (April 15, 2004). "Attack of the Bombos". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Ken Nagle (November 09, 2009). "Premium Deck Series: Slivers". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Wizards of the Coast (October 21, 2009). "Boros Bushwhacker". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Mike Flores (June 29, 2014). "Two-Card Combinations". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Mike Flores (July 07, 2014). "Three-Card Combinations". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  10. Melissa DeTora (August 4, 2017). "Philosophy of Combo". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  11. Melissa DeTora (October 6, 2017). "Philosophy of Control". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  12. Mark Rosewater (June 5, 2017). "Mechanical Color Pie 2017". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  13. Reid Duke (May 4, 2015). "Damage Racing". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  14. Mark Rosewater (June 8, 2015). "Evergreen Eggs & Ham". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  15. Mark Rosewater (June 30, 2017). "What mechanics and tools are currently considered Deciduous?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  16. Brian David-Marshall (October 20, 2012). "Video Deck Tech: Second Breakfast with Stanislav Cifka". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  17. Mark Rosewater (October 15, 2018). "Faction Packed". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  18. Mark Rosewater (March 26, 2007). "Fatty, Fatty, Two By Four". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  19. Aaron Forsythe (March 30, 2007). "Fat: A Retrospective". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  20. Mark Rosewater (May 04, 2019). "Where are flip walkers (one side a creature) on the storm scale?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  21. a b Mark Rosewater (November 09, 2013). "Wait, I thought Vanilla was (...)". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  22. Quinn Murphy (June 21, 2016). "The Art of Going Big". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  23. Wizards of the Coast (April 28, 2014). "A Divine Gift". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  24. Mark Rosewater (March 25, 2018). "What’s a griefer card?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  25. Mark Rosewater (February 10, 2013). "You need a name for the griefer persona to be black.". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  26. Mark Rosewater (August 19, 2014). "I am a griefer. I enjoy games of magic where my opponent doesn't get to play Magic.". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  27. Zac Hill (April 20, 2012). "Gonna Hate". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  28. Mark Rosewater (February 19, 2002). "Hate Is Enough". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  29. Gavin Verhey (July 28, 2016). "Don't Hate Draft!". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  30. Sam Stoddard (October 31, 2014). "Hate Bears in Commander". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  31. Monty Ashley (August 16, 2010). "The Legion of Hill Giants". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  32. Mark Rosewater (October 19, 2009). "Care for a bite?". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  33. Mark Rosewater (November 11, 2013). "Building a Better Monster". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  34. Mark Rosewater (August 10, 2014). "What are the iconic creatures for the other colors?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  35. Mark Rosewater (March 29, 2014). "Do all colors have a characteristic race?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  36. Reid Duke (December 8, 2014). "Inevitability". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  37. a b c d e f g Beth Moursund. (2007). Magic: The Gathering Official Strategy Guide, Wizards of the Coast
  38. Pterodactyl42 (March 25, 2016). "MaRo responds to Jacetice League Rebuttal". reddit/r/magicTCG.
  39. Mark Rosewater (March 31, 2014). "Lenticular Design". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  40. Mark Rosewater (July 31, 2014). "What do people mean when they say "lucky charms" as of late?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  41. Mark Rosewater (July 9, 2018). "Narrative Equity". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  42. Mark Rosewater (December 05, 2011). "New World Order". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  43. Mark Rosewater (March 11, 2002). "Timmy, Johnny, and Spike". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  44. Mark Rosewater (March 09, 2009). "Designing For Timmy". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  45. Mark Rosewater (August 03, 2009). "Designing For Johnny". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  46. Mark Rosewater (November 30, 2009). "Designing For Spike". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  47. a b Mark Rosewater (August 31, 2015). "Vorthos and Mel". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  48. Mark Rosewater (May 18, 2015). "Modern Mailbag". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  49. Magic Arcana (October 24, 2002). "The Red Zone". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  50. Mark Rosewater (December 25, 2016). "What's the flavour justification for Red's "rituals" being called rituals?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  51. Tom LaPille (March 04, 2011). "Spellslinging". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  52. Zac Hill (June 08, 2012). "Spellslinging". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  53. Mark Rosewater (June 09, 2003). "Top Down and Goal". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  54. Mark Rosewater (January 28, 2017). "The distinction between top-down and bottom-up design". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  55. Robby Rothe (April 11, 2012). "Building your own Voltron through white cards". Gathering Magic.
  56. Mark Rosewater (June 06, 2011). "On Wedge". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  57. Mark Rosewater (June 21, 2014). "Actually 187 is the California Penal Code for murder". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  58. Mark Rosewater (June 21, 2014). "To further clarify, the term "187".". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  59. Mark Rosewater (December 14, 2015). "Has that notation changed now that colorless has taken over the C?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  60. Mark Rosewater (December 12, 2011). "Flashback to the Future". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  61. Mark Rosewater (May 20, 2013). "Gates Foundation". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  62. Mike Flores (February 07, 2008). "Top 10 Extended Decks of All Time". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  63. Randy Buehler (December 19, 2003). "Classic Developments". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  64. Magic Arcana (April 30, 2002). "Sketches: Erhnam Djinn". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  65. Mark Rosewater (January 18, 2016). "I would love some trivia about my favorite card Gray Merchant of Asphodel.". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  66. Mark Gottlieb (June 12, 2003). "Grand Designs". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  67. Mark Rosewater (April 23, 2012). "Avacyn-gle Ladies, Part 1". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.