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Keyword Ability
Type Activated
Introduced Urza's Saga
Last Used Amonkhet
Reminder Text Cycling [cost] (Discard this card: Draw a card.)
[type]cycling [cost] (Discard this card: Search your library for a [type] card, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library.)
Statistics 146 cards
{W}20% {U}18% {G}14% {B}14% {R}11% Multicolor 9% {land symbol}6%
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Cycling is a keyword ability that allows a player to pay a cost that includes discarding the card. When the activated ability resolves, that player draws a card.

Description[edit | edit source]

Cycling was created by Richard Garfield during Tempest design (although not premiering in print until Urza's Saga).[1]

Cycling has been perennially popular and has been featured in more blocks than any other non-evergreen keyword, appearing in the Urza's,[2] Onslaught, Time Spiral, and Alara blocks, the last of which introduced cards with hybrid cycling costs. It once again returned in Amonkhet block,[3] where it focused in blue and black and rewarded cycling cards that were put into the graveyard.[4][5]

Although cycling has been used repeatedly, it is not considered to be deciduous.[6]

Rules[edit | edit source]

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

  • 702.28. Cycling
    • 702.28a Cycling is an activated ability that functions only while the card with cycling is in a player's hand. "Cycling [cost]" means "[Cost], Discard this card: Draw a card."
    • 702.28b Although the cycling ability can be activated only if the card is in a player's hand, it continues to exist while the object is on the battlefield and in all other zones. Therefore objects with cycling will be affected by effects that depend on objects having one or more activated abilities.
    • 702.28c Some cards with cycling have abilities that trigger when they're cycled. "When you cycle [this card]" means "When you discard [this card] to pay an activation cost of a cycling ability." These abilities trigger from whatever zone the card winds up in after it's cycled.
    • 702.28d Some cards have abilities that trigger whenever a player "cycles or discards" a card. These abilities trigger only once when a card is cycled.
    • 702.28e Typecycling is a variant of the cycling ability. "[Type]cycling [cost]" means "[Cost], Discard this card: Search your library for a [type] card, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library." This type is usually a subtype (as in "mountaincycling") but can be any card type, subtype, supertype, or combination thereof (as in "basic landcycling").
    • 702.28f Typecycling abilities are cycling abilities, and typecycling costs are cycling costs. Any cards that trigger when a player cycles a card will trigger when a card is discarded to pay an activation cost of a typecycling ability. Any effect that stops players from cycling cards will stop players from activating cards' typecycling abilities. Any effect that increases or reduces a cycling cost will increase or reduce a typecycling cost. Any effect that looks for a card with cycling will find a card with typecycling.

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

A keyword ability that lets a card be discarded and replaced with a new card. See rule 702.28, "Cycling."

Typecycling[edit | edit source]

A variant of the ability, typecycling, allows the player to search his or her library for a card of a given subtype instead of drawing the top card of their library. The first cards with this ability appeared in Scourge and allowed a player to search for a land card with a specific land type. Future Sight then expanded the ability to search for cards with a specific creature type, but appears on only two cards: Vedalken Æthermage (wizard) and Homing Sliver (sliver). Conflux introduced basic land cycling.

Alara Reborn introduced the first cards with two landcycling abilities.

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

A variant of the cycling ability. See rule 702.28, "Cycling."

Basic Landcycling[edit | edit source]

Basic landcycling was introduced in Conflux.[7]

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

Basic Landcycling
See Typecycling.
  • Unlike the normal cycling ability, basic landcycling doesn't allow you to draw a card. Instead, it lets you search your library for a basic land card. You don't choose the type of basic land card you'll find until you're performing the search. After you choose a basic land card in your library, you reveal it, put it into your hand, then shuffle your library.
  • Basic landcycling is a form of cycling. Any ability that triggers on a card being cycled also triggers on a card being basic landcycled. Any ability that stops a cycling ability from being played also stops a basic landcycling ability from being played.
  • Basic landcycling is an activated ability. Effects that interact with activated abilities (such as Stifle or Rings of Brighthearth) will interact with basic landcycling. Effects that interact with spells (such as Remove Soul or Faerie Tauntings) will not.
  • You can choose not to find a basic land card, even if there is one in your library.

"Cycling from the battlefield"[edit | edit source]

"Cycling from the battlefield" or "Cycling from play" is an effect that appeared on eight permanents in Urza's Destiny. Each contained the rules text, "{2}, Sacrifice this permanent: Draw a card." This mechanic was designed by Mark Rosewater, who considers it a variation of cycling.[8]

Examples[edit | edit source]

  • Flame Jet - {1}{R}
    Flame Jet deals 3 damage to target player.
    Cycling {2} ({2}, Discard this card: Draw a card.)
  • Noble Templar - {5}{W}
    Creature — Human Cleric Soldier
    Plainscycling {2} ({2}, Discard this card: Search your library for a Plains card, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library.)

Permanents that reduce Cycling costs[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Mark Rosewater. (April 22, 2017.) "I had never played in a limited environment with Cycling and now I'm in love.", Blogatog, Tumblr.
  2. Brady Dommermuth. (June 01, 2009.) "Mechanically Inclined",, Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Matt Tabak. (April 3, 2017.) "Amonkhet Mechanics",, Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Dave Humpherys. (April 4, 2017.) "Developing Amonkhet",, Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Mark Rosewater. (July 3, 2017.) "Devastation Information, Part 1",, Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Mark Rosewater. (August 29, 2017.) "About Cycling, it's deciduous right now, correct?", Blogatog, Tumblr.
  7. Mark Rosewater. (January 23, 2009.) "When Worlds Collide, Part II",, Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Mark Rosewater. (July 28, 2011.) "Resource of Income",, Wizards of the Coast.

External links[edit | edit source]