Stealing

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Stealing is the nickname for the mechanic that allows a player to gain control of an opponent's permanent.[1][2]

Stealing permanents permanently is primary in blue. It can steal any type of permanent but most often steals creatures.[3] The same mechanic is tertiary in black.[4] Stealing permanents temporarily is primary in red. Red takes control of permanents, mostly creatures, for the turn, gives them haste, and then returns them at end of turn.[4]

The first cards with stealing appeared on blue cards in Alpha (Control Magic and Steal Artifact). Arabian Nights added a few new twists to this idea. Old Man of the Sea was a permanent that could tap to take control of a permanent as long as it remained tapped. This particular mechanic spawned numerous copies (for example Willow Satyr, Rubinia Soulsinger, Preacher, Seasinger, Merieke Ri Berit, Rootwater Matriarch, Coffin Queen and Helm of Possession).

Aladdin moved stealing into red, allowed the stealing of multiple items with one card, and introduced the concept of unmarked control; that is, cards that allow a player to steal another player's permanent without an in-play reminder that you do not own the permanent.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Mark Rosewater (August 05, 2002). "It Happened One Nights". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Devin Low (February 29, 2008). "Be Careful with Stealing". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Mark Rosewater (January 24, 2018). "Aren’t control magic effects pretty undermining to the spirit of blue removal?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  4. a b Mark Rosewater (June 5, 2017). "Mechanical Color Pie 2017". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.