Phasing

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Phasing
(Phase Out)
Keyword Ability
Type Static
Introduced Mirage
Last Used Core Set 2021
Reminder Text Phasing (This phases in or out before you untap during each of your untap steps. While it's phased out, it's treated as though it doesn't exist.)
Phase out (While it’s phased out, it’s treated as though it doesn’t exist. It phases in before its controller untaps during their next untap step.)
Storm Scale 8[1]
Statistics 36 cards
{W} 8.3% {U} 72.2% {B} 2.8% {G} 5.6% {U/R} 2.8% {G/U} 2.8% {artifact symbol} 2.8% {land symbol} 2.8%
Scryfall Search
oracle:"Phasing"

Phasing is a keyword ability that causes permanents to "phase in" and "phase out".[2]

Description[edit]

During each player's untap step, before the active player untaps, all phased-in permanents with phasing that player controls "phase out". At the same time, all phased-out permanents under that player's control "phase in". Spells and abilities can also cause permanents to phase in or out. When a permanent phases out, it is treated as though it didn't exist; a phased-out permanent can't be affected by anything in the game that doesn't specifically mention phased-out permanents.

When a permanent phases in or out, it does not change zones or leave the battlefield, so no enters-the-battlefield or leaves-the-battlefield triggered abilities will trigger. Any Auras, Equipments, and/or Fortifications attached to that permanent phase out with it; this is called "phasing out indirectly". A permanent that phases in is treated by the game rules as the same object that phased out. As a result, (and unlike a permanent that is flickered), it retains any counters that were on it, and, if it's a creature, it is unaffected by summoning sickness, so that it can attack and use activated abilities with the tap ({T}) or untap ({Q}) symbols in their activation costs during the turn it phases back in. Auras, Equipment, and/or Fortifications attached to that permanent "phase in indirectly" when the permanent itself phases in.

History[edit]

Phasing inspired the design of the Flicker-ability.[3] R&D didn't consider Phasing a well-understood mechanic, but used it nonetheless to clean up a few Oracle wordings early on.[4] These were later reverted.[5]).

For a long time, the only tournament-legal cards with phasing had been printed during Mirage block.[6] Its only reappearance was as an example of an outdated mechanic in Unhinged's Old Fogey.

Change to keyword action[edit]

Thirteen years later it made a surprise return as an one-off on Commander 2017's Teferi's Protection.[6] This featured a new reminder text: (When permanents are phased out, they're treated as if they don't exist. They phase in before you untap during your untap step.) As of Commander 2017, tokens which phase out phase back in the same as nontoken permanents, instead of ceasing to exist as a state-based action.[7]

As of 2020, R&D is considering to give phasing deciduous status as a keyword action ("phase out"), because it allows for different design space than flickering, e.g Auras and Equipment don't "fall off" of and "enters the battlefield" and "leaves the battlefield" effects don't work.[8][9] They are not interested in the permanent keyword phasing where an object continually phases in and out every turn.[10] Two Teferi cards in Core Set 2021 made use of the technology (Teferi, Master of Time and Teferi, Timeless Voyager) These featured the following reminder text (Treat it and anything attached to it as though they don’t exist until its controller’s next turn). It also made the return of Oubliette in Double Masters possible.

Rules[edit]

From the glossary of the Comprehensive Rules (August 7, 2020—Double Masters)

Phasing
A keyword ability that causes a permanent to sometimes be treated as though it does not exist. See rule 702.25, “Phasing.”

From the Comprehensive Rules (August 7, 2020—Double Masters)

  • 702.25. Phasing
    • 702.25a Phasing is a static ability that modifies the rules of the untap step. During each player’s untap step, before the active player untaps permanents, all phased-in permanents with phasing that player controls “phase out.” Simultaneously, all phased-out permanents that had phased out under that player’s control “phase in.”
    • 702.25b If a permanent phases out, its status changes to “phased out.” Except for rules and effects that specifically mention phased-out permanents, a phased-out permanent is treated as though it does not exist. It can’t affect or be affected by anything else in the game. A permanent that phases out is removed from combat. (See rule 506.4.)

      Example: You control three creatures, one of which is phased out. You cast a spell that says “Draw a card for each creature you control.” You draw two cards.

      Example: You control a phased-out creature. You cast a spell that says “Destroy all creatures.” The phased-out creature is not destroyed.

    • 702.25c If a permanent phases in, its status changes to “phased in.” The game once again treats it as though it exists.
    • 702.25d The phasing event doesn’t actually cause a permanent to change zones or control, even though it’s treated as though it’s not on the battlefield and not under its controller’s control while it’s phased out. Zone-change triggers don’t trigger when a permanent phases in or out. Tokens continue to exist on the battlefield while phased out. Counters remain on a permanent while it’s phased out. Effects that check a phased-in permanent’s history won’t treat the phasing event as having caused the permanent to leave or enter the battlefield or its controller’s control.
    • 702.25e If a continuous effect generated by the resolution of a spell or ability modifies the characteristics or changes the controller of any objects, a phased-out permanent won’t be included in the set of affected objects. This includes continuous effects that reference the permanent specifically, unless they also specifically refer to the permanent as phased out.
    • 702.25f Continuous effects that affect a phased-out permanent may expire while that permanent is phased out. If so, they will no longer affect that permanent once it’s phased in. In particular, effects with “for as long as” durations that track that permanent (see rule 611.2b) end when that permanent phases out because they can no longer see it.
    • 702.25g When a permanent phases out, any Auras, Equipment, or Fortifications attached to that permanent phase out at the same time. This alternate way of phasing out is known as phasing out “indirectly.” An Aura, Equipment, or Fortification that phased out indirectly won’t phase in by itself, but instead phases in along with the permanent it’s attached to.
    • 702.25h If an object would simultaneously phase out directly and indirectly, it just phases out indirectly.
    • 702.25i An Aura, Equipment, or Fortification that phased out directly will phase in attached to the object or player it was attached to when it phased out, if that object is still in the same zone or that player is still in the game. If not, that Aura, Equipment, or Fortification phases in unattached. State-based actions apply as appropriate. (See rules 704.5m and 704.5n.)
    • 702.25j Abilities that trigger when a permanent becomes attached or unattached from an object or player don’t trigger when that permanent phases in or out.
    • 702.25k Phased-out permanents owned by a player who leaves the game also leave the game. This doesn’t trigger zone-change triggers. See rule 800.4.
    • 702.25m If an effect causes a player to skip their untap step, the phasing event simply doesn’t occur that turn.
    • 702.25n In a multiplayer game, game rules may cause a phased-out permanent to leave the game or to be exiled once a player leaves the game. (See rules 800.4a and 800.4c.) If a phased-out permanent phased out under the control of a player who has left the game, that permanent phases in during the next untap step after that player’s next turn would have begun.
    • 702.25p Multiple instances of phasing on the same permanent are redundant.

Examples[edit]

Example 1

Sandbar Crocodile {4}{U}
Creature — Crocodile
6/5
Phasing (This phases in or out before you untap during each of your untap steps. While it's phased out, it's treated as though it doesn't exist.)

Example 2

Vodalian Illusionist {2}{U}
Creature — Merfolk Wizard
2/2
{U}{U}, {T}: Target creature phases out. (While it’s phased out, it’s treated as though it doesn’t exist. It phases in before its controller untaps during their next untap step.)

See also[edit]

  • Phased out — an obsolete game zone previously used to deal with phased-out permanents prior to the Magic 2010 rules

Enchantments that grant Phasing[edit]

References[edit]