Creature

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The Future Sight symbol for Creature cards.
Comprehensive Rules
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300. General
301. Artifacts
302. Creatures
303. Enchantments
304. Instants
305. Lands
306. Planeswalkers
307. Sorceries
308. Tribals
309. Planes
310. Phenomena
311. Vanguards
312. Schemes
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Creatures represent warriors, minions, beasts and monsters that serve the player, usually by fighting on his or her behalf. Because almost all creatures can attack each turn to reduce an opponent's life, or block the opponent's attackers, creature cards are fundamental to most deck strategies.

Creatures are played on the player's own main phase, when the stack is empty. When a creature comes into play or changes controllers, it has what is commonly called "summoning sickness" until the beginning of its controllers next turn. A creature with summoning sickness cannot attack or use an activated ability with the tap symbol in its cost, but it can block or use any other abilities it has. A tapped creature cannot attack, block, or become tapped as a cost.

On the bottom-right corner of each creature card is that creature's power and toughness, respectively. The power is the amount of damage a creature deals to an opponent or other creatures in combat, and the toughness is the amount of damage a creature can survive. A creature with damage equal to or greater than its toughness has "lethal damage," and is destroyed. Similarly, a creature whose toughness is reduced to zero or less will go to its owner's graveyard (though it is technically not destroyed.) Any damage a creature takes will accumulate until the end of the turn, when all damage is removed from all creatures.

Unlike other card types, almost all creature cards have a subtype, also referred to as a "creature type." There are no rules inherent to creature types, but there are many cards that affect specific types. In addition, creature types are often associated with particular colors and abilities, typically for flavor purposes. For example, angels are almost always large white flying creatures, spiders are typically green creatures with high toughness and an ability to block flyers, and goblins are often small red creatures with self-destructive abilities.

Rules

From the Comprehensive Rules (Born of the Gods)

  • 302. Creatures
    • 302.1. A player who has priority may cast a creature card from his or her hand during a main phase of his or her turn when the stack is empty. Casting a creature as a spell uses the stack. (See rule 601, "Casting Spells.")
    • 302.2. When a creature spell resolves, its controller puts it onto the battlefield under his or her control.
    • 302.3. Creature subtypes are always a single word and are listed after a long dash: "Creature — Human Soldier," "Artifact Creature — Golem," and so on. Creature subtypes are also called creature types. Creatures may have multiple subtypes. See rule 205.3m for the complete list of creature types.
      Example: Example: “Creature — Goblin Wizard” means the card is a creature with the subtypes Goblin and Wizard.
    • 302.4. Power and toughness are characteristics only creatures have.
      • 302.4a A creature's power is the amount of damage it deals in combat.
      • 302.4b A creature's toughness is the amount of damage needed to destroy it.
      • 302.4c To determine a creature's power and toughness, start with the numbers printed in its lower right corner, then apply any applicable continuous effects. (See rule 613, "Interaction of Continuous Effects.")
    • 302.5. Creatures can attack and block. (See rule 508, "Declare Attackers Step," and rule 509, "Declare Blockers Step.")
    • 302.6. A creature's activated ability with the tap symbol or the untap symbol in its activation cost can't be activated unless the creature has been under its controller's control continuously since his or her most recent turn began. A creature can't attack unless it has been under its controller's control continuously since his or her most recent turn began. This rule is informally called the "summoning sickness" rule.
    • 302.7. Damage dealt to a creature by a source with neither wither nor infect is marked on that creature (see rule 119.3). If the total damage marked on that creature is greater than or equal to its toughness, that creature has been dealt lethal damage and is destroyed as a state-based action (see rule 704). All damage marked on a creature is removed when it regenerates (see rule 701.12, "Regenerate") and during the cleanup step (see rule 514.2).

See also

Card types
Groups Supertypes Card types Subtypes
Spell
(non-permanent)
Instant FUT Instant symbol.png Trap Arcane
Sorcery FUT Sorcery symbol.png
Permanent Basic,
Elite,
Legendary,
Snow,
World
Artifact FUT Artifact symbol.png Equipment, Fortification, Contraption
Creature FUT Creature symbol.png (…)
Enchantment FUT Enchantment symbol.png Aura, Curse, Shrine
Land FUT Land symbol.png (…)
Planeswalker FUT Planeswalker symbol.png (…)
Miscellaneous Tribal (…)
Plane (…)
Phenomenon
Ongoing Scheme
Vanguard
Obsolete Mono,
Poly,
Continuous
Interrupt,
Mana Source,
Summon
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