Play

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Play
Keyword Action
Introduced Alpha
Last Used Evergreen
Reminder Text No official reminder text
Gatherer Search
Play

Play is a keyword action. It was introduced in Alpha but was only was haphazardly used in those early times. Then it temporary replaced Cast in the Sixth Edition rules changes in the sense of "playing a spell". It was mostly abandoned again from Magic 2010 on. [1]

Rules[edit | edit source]

From the Comprehensive Rules (Core Set 2019 (July 13, 2018))

  • 701.13. Play
    • 701.13a To play a land means to put it onto the battlefield from the zone it’s in (usually the hand). A player may play a land if they have priority, it’s the main phase of their turn, the stack is empty, and they haven’t played a land this turn. Playing a land is a special action (see rule 115), so it doesn’t use the stack; it simply happens. Putting a land onto the battlefield as the result of a spell or ability isn’t the same as playing a land. See rule 305, “Lands.”
    • 701.13b To play a card means to play that card as a land or to cast that card as a spell, whichever is appropriate.
    • 701.13c Some effects instruct a player to “play” with a certain aspect of the game changed, such as “Play with the top card of your library revealed.” “Play” in this sense means to play the Magic game.
    • 701.13d Previously, the action of casting a spell, or casting a card as a spell, was referred to on cards as “playing” that spell or that card. Cards that were printed with that text have received errata in the Oracle card reference so they now refer to “casting” that spell or that card.
    • 701.13e Previously, the action of using an activated ability was referred to on cards as “playing” that ability. Cards that were printed with that text have received errata in the Oracle card reference so they now refer to “activating” that ability.

From the glossary of the Comprehensive Rules (Core Set 2019 (July 13, 2018))

Play
1. To play a land is to put a land onto the battlefield as a special action. See rule 115, “Special Actions,” and rule 305, “Lands.”
2. To play a card is to play that card as a land or cast that card as a spell, whichever is appropriate. See rule 601, “Casting Spells.”
3. (Obsolete) Casting a spell used to be known as playing a spell. Cards with that text have received errata in the Oracle card reference. See Cast.
4. (Obsolete) Activating an activated ability used to be known as playing an activated ability. Cards with that text have received errata in the Oracle card reference. See Activate.
5. (Obsolete) The battlefield used to be known as the in-play zone. Cards that were printed with text that contains the phrases “in play,” “from play,” “into play,” or the like are referring to the battlefield and have received errata in the Oracle card reference. See Battlefield.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Mark Rosewater. (June 8, 2015.) “Evergreen Eggs & Ham”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
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