Artifacts are a type of permanent. They have no characteristics specific to their card type. Most have no colored mana in their mana cost, and are thus colorless permanents. However, there is not a strict relationship between artifacts and colorlessness: artifacts can be colored, and other types of permanents can be colorless.

Example. Executioner's Capsule, though it is black, has "Artifact" in its type line. It is an artifact.

Ulamog's Crusher, though it is colorless, does not have "Artifact" in its type line. It is not an artifact.

A player may cast an artifact during his or her main phase when the stack is empty and he or she has priority. When the artifact spell resolves, its controller puts it onto the battlefield under his or her control.

Artifacts may have one or more subtypes. They are listed as single words after a long dash (e.g., "Artifact — Equipment").


Equipment are a type of artifact that deserve a more in-depth examination. They are identified by the subtype "Equipment." They can be attached to a creature; an Equipment that is attached this way is said to "equip" the creature, and the creature is the "equipped creature."

Equipment can't be legally attached to an object that's not a creature. When an Equipment enters the battlefield, it does not immediately equip any creature unless an effect specifically says otherwise.

The normal method of equipping a creature is via the equip keyword ability. . Activating an equip ability attaches the Equipment to a target creature you control. The controller of the creature and the equipment must be the same to activate the equip ability; similarly, the controller must be the same when the equip ability resolves (otherwise the Equipment doesn't move). Other abilities may also attach an Equipment to a creature.

Example. I actvate the equip ability of my Bonesplitter targeting my Runeclaw Bear. In response, my opponent casts Act of Aggression, targeting the Runeclaw Bear. My opponent gains control of the Runeclaw Bear. When the equip ability resolves, the Runeclaw Bear is no longer a legal target, so the ability doesn't resolve and it's removed from the stack. The Bonesplitter stays where it was.

Once an Equipment is attached to a creature, the controller of each need not be the same. Gaining control of an Equipment doesn't give control of the equipped creature, nor does gaining control of an equipped creature give control of the attached Equipment.

Example. I control a Runeclaw Bear equipped by Cranial Plating. My opponent casts Zealous Conscripts, and it resolves. If he targets the Runeclaw Bear with the Conscripts' triggered ability, he'll gain control of the Runeclaw Bear, but not the Cranial Plating. Although my opponent controls the Runeclaw Bear, I may activate either of Cranial Plating's activated abilities to equip one of my own creatures (though timing restrictions still apply - I can't activate the equip ability on my opponent's turn).

Conversely, if my opponent targets the Cranial Plating with the Conscripts' triggered ability, he gains control of the Equipment, but I still control the Runeclaw Bear. He can activate either of Cranial Plating's activated abilities to attach it to a target creature he controls.

If an Equipment is equipping an illegal or nonexistent permanent, it becomes unattached as a state-based action. It remains on the battlefield. The most common cause of this is the equipped creature leaving the battlefield, but protection or type-changing effects can cause a permanent to be unable to be equipped.

Example. I animate Inkmoth Nexus and equip it with Cranial Plating. I attack with it, and pass the turn. During the cleanup step Inkmoth Nexus's type-changing effect ends, and the Cranial Plating falls off.

Example. My Runeclaw Bear is equipped with a Bonesplitter. I target it with Apostle's Blessing and choose to give it protection from artifacts until end of turn. The Bonesplitter falls off as a state-based action.

If an Equipment becomes a creature (for example, thanks to March of the Machines or Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas), it can't equip anything - including itself - and immediately falls off.