Surveil

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Surveil
Keyword Action
Introduced Guilds of Ravnica
Last Used Guilds of Ravnica
Reminder Text Surveil N (Look at the top N cards of your library, then put any number of them into your graveyard and the rest on top of your library in any order.)
Surveil 1 (Look at the top card of your library. You may put it into your graveyard.)
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Surveil

Surveil is a keyword action that allows a player to look at a certain number of cards from the top of their library and put them in the graveyard or back on top in any order. It was introduced in Guilds of Ravnica for House Dimir of Ravnica.[1][2]

Description[edit | edit source]

The instruction to surveil always includes a number, such as surveil 2 on Deadly Visit. Look at that many cards from the top of your library.[3] From those cards, put as many cards as you like back on top of your library in any order. Put the rest into your graveyard. Surveil helps you set up better draws for the future. Even if all the cards you looked at end up in the graveyard, you're that much closer to what you need.

Surveil is very reminiscent of the scry ability, the difference being putting cards into your graveyard instead of putting them on the bottom of your library. The graveyard is a much readier resource

Rules[edit | edit source]

From the Comprehensive Rules (Guilds of Ravnica (October 5, 2018))

  • 701.41. Surveil
    • 701.41a To “surveil N” means to look at the top N cards of your library, then put any number of them into your graveyard and the rest on top of your library in any order.
    • 701.41b If an effect allows you to look at additional cards while you surveil, those cards are included among the cards you may put into your graveyard and on top of your library in any order.

From the glossary of the Comprehensive Rules (Guilds of Ravnica (October 5, 2018))

Surveil
To manipulate some of the cards on top of your library, sending some of them to your graveyard and rearranging the rest. See rule 701.41, “Surveil.”

Rulings[edit | edit source]

  • Some spells that instruct you to surveil require targets. You can't cast a spell without choosing legal targets. If all of those targets become illegal, the spell doesn't resolve and you won't surveil.
  • When you surveil, you may put all the cards you look at back on top of your library, you may put all of those cards into your graveyard, or you may put some of those cards on top and the rest of them into your graveyard.
  • You perform the actions stated on a card in sequence. For some spells and abilities, you'll surveil last. For others, you'll surveil and then perform other actions.
  • An ability that triggers "whenever you surveil" triggers after you're done surveilling, even if you have fewer cards in your library than the number of cards you're instructed to surveil. It even triggers if you have no cards in your library.

Examples[edit | edit source]

  • Dimir Informant - {2}{U}
    Creature — Human Rogue
    1/4
    When Dimir Informant enters the battlefield, surveil 2. (Look at the top two cards of your library, then put any number of them into your graveyard and the rest on the top of your library in any order.)
  • Thought Erasure - {U}{B}
    Sorcery
    Target opponent reveals their hand. You choose a nonland card from it. That player discards that card.
    Surveil 1. (Look at the top card of your library. You may put it into your graveyard.)

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Mark Rosewater. (September 17, 2018.) “Guild to Order, Part 2”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Wizards of the Coast. (September 20, 2018.) “Guilds of Ravnica Release Notes”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Matt Tabak. (September 4, 2018.) “Guilds of Ravnica Mechanics”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.