Abilities and effects

Not everything that's able to affect a game has a physical representation. Abilities can be as powerful as spells, but they only live on the stack for a brief moment before disappearing; while they share many similarities with spells, they also have peculiarities and a strict (and important) categorization.

However, there's something even more impalpable than abilities. Effects are the ghost of spells and abilities past, lingering results of objects that resolved. We'll learn to differentiate between an ability and its effect, and then explore the different types of effects and the minutiae and pitfalls each one possesses - since everything in the game is or has an effect, except perhaps vanilla creatures, this chapter is bigger than it appears.[1]

There's a class of effects that has a tendency to throw judges running in panic: Continuous effects. The interactions between them have historically been a focal point of judge testing, but, as we'll see, it's not a difficult topic if treated systematically and with a bit of - nudge nudge wink wink - Humility.





  1. As Commodore Guff once said in a tragicomic display of fourth-wall breakage, I ought to know—I wrote it.
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