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Keyword Action
Introduced Scars of Mirrodin
Last Used New Phyrexia
Reminder Text Proliferate (You choose any number of permanents and/or players with counters on them, then give each another counter of a kind already there.)
Statistics 14 cards
{U}43% {X}29% {B}14% {G}7% {R}7%
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Proliferate is a keyword action introduced in Scars of Mirrodin. When a player proliferates, he or she chooses any number of players and/or permanents with a counter on them, then puts another of those counters on these players or permanents.[1][2] In Scars, proliferate only appeared on blue and artifact cards. In Mirrodin Besieged, it shows up in black and green (one card each).[3]

Description[edit | edit source]

For example, a player proliferates and chooses an opponent with a Poison counter, a Planeswalker card with a loyalty counter, a creature with a -1/-1 counter and an artifact with a charge counter on it. Then that opponent gets another poison counter, the planeswalker gets another loyalty counter, the creature now has two -1/-1 counters and the artifact two charge counters on it. Note that proliferate does not target, so permanents with shroud or hexproof can be chosen.

Thematically, the Proliferate mechanic is tied in with the Phyrexia faction in Scars of Mirrodin and its related Infect mechanic. As such, each of the cards that have been printed with proliferate are marked with the symbol of the Phyrexia faction. Only featured on blue and artifact cards in Scars of Mirrodin, it has spread to black and green in Mirrodin Besieged, illustrating the block theme/storyline of the Phyrexian infestation taking over Mirrodin.

Proliferate was considered as the Simic guild mechanic for Ravnica Allegiance.[4]

Rules[edit | edit source]

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

  • 701.26. Proliferate
    • 701.26a To proliferate means to choose any number of permanents and/or players that have a counter, then give each exactly one additional counter of a kind that permanent or player already has.
    • 701.26b If a permanent or player chosen this way has more than one kind of counter, the player who is proliferating chooses which kind of counter to add.
    • 701.26c In a Two-Headed Giant game, poison counters are shared by the team. If more than one player on a team is chosen this way, only one of those players can be given an additional poison counter. See rule 810, "Two-Headed Giant Variant."

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

To give an additional counter to any number of players and/or permanents that already have a counter. See rule 701.26, "Proliferate."

Rulings[edit | edit source]

  • You can choose any player that has a counter, including yourself.
  • You can choose any permanent that has a counter, including ones controlled by opponents. You can't choose cards in any zone other than the battlefield, even if they have counters on them, such as suspended cards or a Lightning Storm on the stack.
  • You don't have to choose every permanent or player that has a counter, only the ones you want to add another counter to. Since "any number" includes zero, you don't have to choose any permanents at all, and you don't have to choose any players at all.
  • If a permanent chosen this way has multiple kinds of counters on it, only a single new counter is put on that permanent.
  • Players can respond to the spell or ability whose effect includes proliferating. Once that spell or ability starts to resolve, however, and its controller chooses which permanents and players will get new counters, it's too late for anyone to respond.
  • When you proliferate in a Two-Headed Giant game, you may give one poison counter to a team that already has one.

Reminder text[edit | edit source]

The latest reminder text for proliferate reads "You choose any number of permanents and/or players with counters on them, then give each another counter of a kind already there."

Examples[edit | edit source]

  • Fuel for the Cause - {2}{U}{U}
    Counter target spell, then proliferate. (You choose any number of permanents and/or players with counters on them, then give each another counter of a kind already there.)

Development[edit | edit source]

Mark Rosewater originally developed a mechanism for creatures to amplify infect by adding -1/-1 counters to those already on other creatures. This mechanism futhered the metaphor of a Phyrexian disease spreading. Eventually, it grew to affect all counters.[5][6]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Mark Rosewater. (September 20, 2010.) "Something Wicked This Way Comes, Part 3",, Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Doug Beyer. (October 06, 2010.) "Spreading the Infection",, Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Mark Rosewater. (January 24, 2011.) "Under Besiege, Part 2",, Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Mark Rosewater. (January 2, 2019.) "Building Allegiances, Part 1",, Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Mark Rosewater. (October 04, 2010.) "Proliferate Crazy Nights",, Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Tom LaPille. (October 08, 2010.) "Proliferate Expectations",, Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Mark Rosewater. (December 19, 2018.) "Was proliferate ever considered for Simic's guild mechanic in Ravnica Allegiance?", Blogatog, Tumblr.

External links[edit | edit source]