Keyword action

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A keyword action is a word or words, usually a verb, that substitutes for a piece of rules text.[1] Many keywords are summarized in reminder text, especially in core sets.

Keyword actions are somewhat different from keyword abilities, and both are distinct from ability words.

Differences between keywords actions, keyword abilities, and ability words[edit | edit source]

Keywords actions and keyword abilities are closely related. Both represent a longer segment of rules text and may allow variable costs and effects. Because they have a specific rules meaning and are listed in the Comprehensive Rules, keywords of either type can be referenced from other cards. They differ in that keyword abilities are either characteristics of objects or are objects themselves, whereas keyword actions describe game-related actions.

For example, the keyword ability enchant, as in Enchant creature, states a restriction on the valid targets for an aura. The related keyword action attach describes the process of physically putting such an aura onto its target.

Ability words have no rules meaning, but exist to name and flavorfully link otherwise unnamed mechanics. Because they are have no rules meaning, like flavor text and reminder text, ability words are rendered in italics. Ability words are never referenced on other cards.[2]

Rules[edit | edit source]

From the Comprehensive Rules (August 23, 2019—Commander 2019)

From the glossary of the Comprehensive Rules (August 23, 2019—Commander 2019)

Keyword Action
A verb, such as “destroy” or “cast,” used as a game term rather than as its normal English meaning. See rule 701, “Keyword Actions.”

Monstrosity (and Ante) seems to be the exception to the rule, because it is not a verb.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Aaron Forsythe (May 18, 2007). "Scry and Keyword Actions". Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Mark Rosewater (July 28, 2008). "Ability Word To Your Mother". Wizards of the Coast.