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Keyword Action
Introduced Fifth Dawn
Last Used Evergreen
Reminder Text Scry N (To scry N, look at the top N cards of your library, then put any number of them on the bottom of your library and the rest on top in any order.)
Statistics 96 cards
{U}39.6% {R}15.6% {B}9.4% {W}7.3% {G}7.3% {X}5.2% {B/G}2.1% {W/U}1% {U/R}1% {land symbol}11.5%
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Scry is a keyword action that allows a player to look at a certain number of cards from the top of his or her library and put them on the bottom of the library or back on top in any order.[1] It primarily features on instants and sorceries, but has also appeared on creatures, an artifact, a land and an enchantment.

History[edit | edit source]

The first cards with scry were designed by Aaron Forsythe and printed in Fifth Dawn.[2] It was then expanded on several years later in Future Sight,[3] and returned in Magic 2011[4] and Theros block.[5] It became evergreen in Magic Origins.[6][7] When the mechanic became evergreen some older cards like Soldevi Excavations and Opt were errata'd to have the keyword.[8]

Originally scry was a keyword ability like flying or first strike. It has now been errata'd to be a "keyword action", like regenerate, attach, or counter. The original cycle of Fifth Dawn instants and sorceries with scry has been errata'd to have a period after "Scry N", indicating that it is no longer a keyword ability but an action.

According to Mark Rosewater, any color can scry 1, but scrying more is limited to certain colors.[9][10] Blue is the primary color to scry. It also gets the largest scry numbers with red getting the lowest.[11]

Rules[edit | edit source]

From the Comprehensive Rules (Commander 2018 (August 10, 2018))

  • 701.17. Scry
    • 701.17a To “scry N” means to look at the top N cards of your library, put any number of them on the bottom of your library in any order and the rest on top of your library in any order.
    • 701.17b If a player is instructed to scry 0, no scry event occurs. Abilities that trigger whenever a player scries won’t trigger.
    • 701.17c If multiple players scry at once, each of those players looks at the top cards of their library at the same time. Those players decide in APNAP order (see rule 101.4) where to put those cards, then those cards move at the same time.

From the glossary of the Comprehensive Rules (Commander 2018 (August 10, 2018))

To manipulate some of the cards on top of your library. See rule 701.17, “Scry.”

Rulings[edit | edit source]

  • When you scry, you may put all the cards you look at back on top of your library, you may put all of those cards on the bottom of your library, or you may put some of those cards on top and the rest of them on the bottom.
  • You choose how to order those cards no matter where you put them.
  • You perform the actions stated on a card in sequence. Some spells with scry, e.g. all of them in in the Fifth Dawn set, have scry as the last part of their text, so scrying is the last thing you do before the spell is put into its owner's graveyard. Other cards (e.g. Read the Bones) have scry followed by another effect, so scrying is done before following the other instructions.
  • Scry appears on some spells and abilities with one or more targets. If all of the spell or ability's targets are illegal when it tries to resolve, it will be countered and none of its effects will happen. You won't scry.

Examples[edit | edit source]

  • Fill with Fright - {3}{B}
    Target player discards two cards. Scry 2. (Look at the top two cards of your library, then put any number of them on the bottom of your library and the rest on top in any order.)
  • Judge Unworthy - {1}{W}
    Choose target attacking or blocking creature. Scry 3, then reveal the top card of your library. Judge Unworthy deals damage equal to that card's converted mana cost to that creature. (To scry 3, look at the top three cards of your library, then put any number of them on the bottom of your library and the rest on top in any order.)

Reminder text[edit | edit source]

As of Theros block the latest reminder text for Scry differs depending on the number.

If N is 1 the reminder text reads as follows: "Look at the top card of your library. You may put that card on the bottom of your library.".

Scry mulligan[edit | edit source]

In 2015 a change to the traditional "Paris" Mulligan was introduced using scry.[12][13] The Scry mulligan, also called Vancouver mulligan, is performed as follows: The player shuffles his or her hand back into the library, then draws a hand of one fewer card. This part might be repeated as long as the hand size is not zero. Once all players are done, their current hand becomes the opening hands. Each player with fewer cards than their starting hand size may then scry 1.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Aaron Forsythe. (May 18, 2007.) “Scry and Keyword Actions”,, Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Mark Rosewater. (May 17, 2004.) “Scry Me a River”,, Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Mark Rosewater. (May 14, 2007.) “The Scrying Game”,, Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Tom LaPille. (July 2, 2010.) “Scry Havoc”,, Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Sam Stoddard. (September 6, 2013.) “How Theros Got Its Scry On”,, Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Mark Rosewater. (June 8, 2015.) “Evergreen Eggs & Ham”,, Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Matt Tabak. (June 22, 2015.) “Magic Origins Mechanics Article”,, Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Mark Rosewater. (September 07, 2017.) "Why was Opt erratad to have scry?", Blogatog, Tumblr.
  9. Mark Rosewater. (March 1, 2017.) "Is there any effect that can be printed in every color and not be a break?", Blogatog, Tumblr.
  10. Mark Rosewater. (March 1, 2017.) "*Only* Scry 1? Does Scry for higher values only go in some colours?", Blogatog, Tumblr.
  11. Mark Rosewater. (June 5, 2017.) “Mechanical Color Pie 2017”,, Wizards of the Coast.
  12. Sam Stoddard. (August 7, 2015.) “Mulligans”,, Wizards of the Coast.
  13. Marc Calderaro (July 31, 2015) "The Vancouver Mulligan Rule",, Wizards of the Coast.

External links[edit | edit source]

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