Unblockable

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Unblockable is a slang term used to describe the mechanic that prevents creatures from being blocked. On cards it appears as Can't be blocked.

Magic Duels symbol

For example:

  • Phantom Warrior - {1}{U}{U}
    Creature — Illusion Warrior
    2/2
    Phantom Warrior can't be blocked.

History[edit | edit source]

R&D tried to keyword this evasion ability only to discover that there are so many variations on it that they couldn't. Oficially it used to be an attribute of a creature, until it was made obsolete in Magic 2014, where the text Is unblockable was changed to Can't be blocked.[1][2][3] Cards that used the term have received errata in the Oracle card reference. Can't be blocked is primary in blue That color both has creatures with this ability and grants it through spells and Auras.[3]

Granting unblockability[edit | edit source]

A creature's ability that grants unblockability can be static (Covert Operative), triggered (Bubbling Beebles) or activated (Blockade Runner). Some spells also grant a creature unblockability, often along with shroud. Additionally, some effects that grant unblockability may only target creatures with power 2 or less (Dwarven Warriors).

Spells and Artifacts that grant Unblockable[edit | edit source]

Enchantments

target creature

Instants

Sorceries

Artifacts

Equipment

Land

Cards that allow a player to block an unblockable attacking creature[edit | edit source]

Instants

Creature

"Cannot be blocked (except) by"[edit | edit source]

A variant of 'unblockable' restricts unblockability to a certain subset of creatures, often naming a color, creature type, number of power or greater, number of blocking creatures or creatures with a certain keyword ability.

Example of "Cannot be blocked (except) by"[edit | edit source]

  • Wanderbrine Rootcutters - {2}{U/B}{U/B}
    Creature — Merfolk Rogue
    3/3
    Wanderbrine Rootcutters can't be blocked by green creatures.
  • Treetop Rangers - {2}{G}
    Creature — Elf
    2/2
    Treetop Rangers can't be blocked except by creatures with flying.

Creatures that are "Cannot be blocked (except) by"[edit | edit source]

Cannot be blocked by [color]

Cannot be blocked by artifact creatures

Cannot be blocked by creature tokens

Cannot be blocked except by [color or artifact creatures]

Cannot be blocked by [creature type]

Cannot be blocked except by [creature type]

Cannot be blocked by creatures with [keyword ability]

Cannot be blocked except by creatures with [keyword ability]

Cannot be blocked by more than [number of blocking creatures]

Cannot be blocked except by [number of blocking creatures]

two or more creatures (Menace)

three or more creatures

Cannot be blocked by creatures with [number of power] or greater

Cannot be blocked by creatures with greater power (Skulk)

Cannot be blocked by creatures power [number of power] or less



Spells and Artifacts that grant "Cannot be blocked (except) by"[edit | edit source]

Cannot be blocked by [color]

Cannot be blocked by artifact creatures

Cannot be blocked except by [color or artifact creatures]

  • Seeker {2}{W}{W} (artifact and/or white)

Cannot be blocked by [creature type]

Cannot be blocked except by [creature type]

Cannot be blocked by creatures with [keyword ability]

Cannot be blocked except by creatures with [keyword ability]

Cannot be blocked by more than [number of blocking creatures]

Cannot be blocked except by [number of blocking creatures]

Cannot be blocked by creatures with [number of power] or greater

Cannot be blocked by creatures with greater power (Skulk)

Rules (obsolete)[edit | edit source]

From the glossary of the Comprehensive Rules (Commander 2017 (August 25, 2017))

Unblockable (Obsolete)
A term that meant “can’t be blocked.” Cards that used this term have received errata in the Oracle card reference.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Matt Tabak. (May 23, 2013.) “Magic 2014 Core Set Rules Preview”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Mark Rosewater. (August 13, 2014.) "What is the reason for "unblockable" not being a keyword?", Blogatog, Tumblr.
  3. a b Mark Rosewater. (June 5, 2017.) “Mechanical Color Pie 2017”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.