Colorless

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The colorless mana symbol

In Magic: The Gathering, colorless has two in-game meanings. It is either a type of objects, or a type of mana. Note that colorless is not a color, and is not represented in the color wheel.[1]

Colorless objects[edit | edit source]

An object (a card or spell) with no colored mana symbols in their mana costs is colorless. Most artifacts are colorless, as are some creatures like the Eldrazi and some non-permanents like Ghostfire. Karn is a colorless planeswalker. Colorless gets access to pretty much everything, but at inefficient mana costs. For example, the destruction of permanents costs a minimum of {7}.[2][3]

Devoid is a characteristic-defining keyword ability which states that a card is colorless, regardless of the colors in that card's mana cost.

Colorless cards come before colored cards in collector number.

Colorless mana[edit | edit source]

Colorless mana ({C}) has no color.

History[edit | edit source]

The idea of colorless mana was already introduced in Alpha with Basalt Monolith, Mana Vault and Sol Ring.[4] It set the premise that most mana comes in one of the five colors (white, blue, black, red, or green), but there is a sixth subset of mana that is not any color. This mana could only be used to pay for costs that don't require color (for example artifacts).

In early sets, the text for Sol Ring was still spelled out as "Add 2 colorless mana to your mana pool". However, from Odyssey onwards, this was officially changed for editing reasons to "Add {2} to your mana pool".

The cost of many cards includes generic mana (e.g., {1}, {2}), meaning that a player can use that number of any mana (colored or colorless) to pay for it. Though one can use colorless mana to pay for generic mana costs, they are not the same thing. Generic is a type of cost, whereas colorless is a type of mana; a player cannot produce generic mana and, originally, there were no colorless costs. The latter changed with Oath of the Gatewatch.[5]

R&D came to the conclusion that they had to stop using the mana circle with a number to represent both generic and colorless mana. Changing the representation of colorless mana was easier, as it's represented far less, so they decided to made the new mana symbol {C} that represents one colorless mana.[6] In our example the text for Sol Ring now is "Add {C}{C}". One of the consequences of introducing a colorless mana symbol was the change to over 300 cards in Oracle, the central database of official card wordings.[7]

Colorless mana cost[edit | edit source]

While colorless mana being added to your mana pool is an evergreen mechanic, colorless mana cost is not.[8] A mana cost that only can be paid with colorless mana was first introduced in Oath of the Gatewatch and only appears in this one set.

Rules[edit | edit source]

From the Comprehensive Rules (Ravnica Allegiance (January 25, 2019))

  • 107.4c The colorless mana symbol {C} is used to represent one colorless mana, and also to represent a cost that can be paid only with one colorless mana.

From the Comprehensive Rules (Ravnica Allegiance (January 25, 2019))

  • 106.10. If an effect would add mana represented by a generic mana symbol to a player's mana pool, that much colorless mana is added to that player's mana pool.

From the Comprehensive Rules (Ravnica Allegiance (January 25, 2019))

  • 202.2b Objects with no colored mana symbols in their mana costs are colorless.

From the glossary of the Comprehensive Rules (Ravnica Allegiance (January 25, 2019))

Colorless
1. An object with no color is colorless. Colorless is not a color. See rule 105, "Colors," and rule 202, "Mana Cost and Color."
2. A type of mana. See rule 106, "Mana," and rule 107.4c.

References[edit | edit source]