We have begun migration of most wikis to our new host, Amazon Web Services. All but the top 100 wikis are in read-only mode until the migration is complete. Estimated completion: TBD -- Update: Fri 10/20 11pm UTC - We have encountered some unexpected issues. Our staff is working around the clock to complete this process as quickly as possible. Thank you for your patience.

Explore

From MTG Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Explore
Introduced: Ixalan
Last Used: Ixalan
Reminder Text: Explore (Reveal the top card of your library. Put that card into your hand if it's a land. Otherwise, put a +1/+1 counter on this creature, then put the card back on top or into your graveyard.)
Statistics:
Gatherer search for "Explore"

Explore is a keyword action introduced in Ixalan. [1][2]

Description[edit | edit source]

If a creature you control explores, you reveal the top card of your library. If the revealed card is a land, representing your creature finding some new territory you can check out, put that card into your hand. If it's not a land card, your creature comes back empty-handed but still benefits from the attempt. Specifically, you put a +1/+1 counter on it. Then, you decide whether the nonland card goes back on top of your library or into your graveyard.

Most creatures that explore, do so because of an triggered ability when they enter the battlefield. Creatures may also explore as a result of an activated ability.

Ixalan has a few cards with abilities that trigger whenever a creature you control explores.

Rules[edit | edit source]

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

  • 701.38. Explore
    • 701.38a Certain abilities instruct a permanent to explore. To do so, that permanent’s controller reveals the top card of his or her library. If a land card is revealed this way, that player puts that card into his or her hand. Otherwise, that player puts a +1/+1 counter on the exploring permanent and may put the revealed card into his or her graveyard.
    • 701.38b A permanent “explores” after the process described in rule 701.38a is complete, even if some or all of those actions were impossible.
    • 701.38c If a permanent changes zones before an effect causes it to explore, its last known information is used to determine which object explored and who controlled it.

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

Explore
A keyword action that causes a player to reveal the top card of his or her library and then to take different actions depending on whether a land card is revealed this way. See rule 701.38, “Explore.”

Rulings[edit | edit source]

  • Once an ability that causes a creature to explore begins to resolve, no player may take any other actions until it's done. Notably, opponents can't try to remove the exploring creature after you reveal a nonland card but before it receives a counter.[3]
  • If no card is revealed, most likely because that player's library is empty, the exploring creature receives a +1/+1 counter.
  • If a resolving spell or ability instructs a specific creature to explore but that creature has left the battlefield, the creature still explores. If you reveal a nonland card this way, you won't put a +1/+1 counter on anything, but you may put the revealed card into your graveyard. Effects that trigger "whenever a creature you control explores" trigger if appropriate.

Example[edit | edit source]

  • Tishana's Wayfinder - {2}{G}
    Creature — Merfolk Scout
    2/2
    When Tishana's Wayfinder enters the battlefield, it explores. (Reveal the top card of your library. Put that card into your hand if it's a land. Otherwise put a +1/+1 counter on this creature, then put the card back or put it into your graveyard.)

Rulings[edit | edit source]

  • Creatures can't explore unless an effect allows it to do so.
  • When an triggered or activated ability resolves, if the creature is no longer on the battlefield, it can still explore. If you reveal a land card, you'll still put it into your hand. If you reveal a nonland card, you won't put a +1/+1 counter on the now-absent creature, but you will decide whether the card goes back on your library or into the graveyard.


  1. Matt Tabak. (August 28, 2017.) “Ixalan Mechanics”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Gavin Verhey. (September 14, 2017.) “A Win-Win Exploration”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Wizards of the Coast. (September 15, 2017.) “Ixalan Release Notes”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.