Welcome to Mirage, the latest Magic: The Gathering® expansion and the second stand-alone set. Like other Magic expansions, Mirage is completely compatible with Magic, with new artifacts, creatures, and spells to use in your duels. Because it's a stand-alone expansion, you can also play Mirage by itself, without any other Magic cards. This gives you playing flexibility as well as an exciting new environment to explore.
This rulebook isn't meant to introduce new players to Magic. Instead, it's more a reference for those already familiar with the game. If you're just learning how to play using the rulebook, we recommend that you learn from a Magic: The Gathering Quick StartTM set or see Getting Help for our customer service information.
Additionally, the rules in this rulebook contain revisions from the Fourth EditionTM rules. For a summary of these changes, see Revisions to Fourth Edition Rules. The date of this version of the rules can be found below the credits inside the front cover of the rulebook.
This rulebook is divided into four sections.
Section I: New Rules explains what's new in the rules, both for Mirage and for the basic rules of the game.
Section II: The Main Rules details most of the rules that are actually needed during play.
Section III: Exploring the Rules describes some of the nooks and crannies of the rules, for more advanced players.
Section IV: Game Support is where you'll find the contact information for questions and comments.
Following Section IV is a glossary of common terms. The first time any of these terms appears in the text, it's printed in green.
Section I: New Rules
Additional Rules for MirageMirage introduces the following additional rules.
Flanking: Flanking is an ability that gives an advantage to attacking creatures. Whenever a creature without flanking is assigned to block a creature with flanking, the blocking creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn.
Bob attacks with a Mesa Pegasus (1/1, banding) and a Mtenda Herder (1/1, flanking) and forms them into a band. Sue assigns her Grizzly Bears to block the Herder; because the Bears doesn't have flanking, it gets -1/-1 until end of turn. She also assigns a Scryb Sprites to block the Pegasus, but the Sprites doesn't get -1/-1 until end of turn as it was assigned to block the Pegasus rather than the Herder.
Phasing: Phasing causes permanents to enter and leave play on their own.
When a permanent phases out, it leaves play and is set aside, much as if it had been removed from the game. Any enchantments on the permanent phase out along with it. The permanent also keeps any counters it has as well as any permanent changes that have been made to it. Otherwise, all effects that depend on the permanent being in play or that apply to it while it's in play end immediately. All damage on it is removed, and because it's considered out of play, any effects scheduled to affect it at end of turn are ignored.
A permanent that's phased out will phase in (that is, return to play) at the beginning of its controller's next untap phase. Note that it might or might not enter play under the control of that player, as only effects that gave control of it to someone permanently will remain on it when it phases out. When a permanent phases in, it enters play tapped if and only if it was tapped when it phased out. (In other words, it enters play tapped as appropriate instead of entering play untapped and then becoming tapped.) Effects that would normally trigger as the permanent comes into play are ignored. Permanents phase in without summoning sickness.
A permanent with phasing phases out automatically at the beginning of its controller's untap phase, at the same time as other permanents would be phasing in. It doesn't phase out on the turn in which it phased in.
If a token phases out, it's removed from the game entirely, because it has left play.
Revisions to Fourth Edition RulesIn the interest of improving and simplifying the game of Magic, we've made some revisions to the basic rules since Fourth Edition. Those changes, reflected in this rulebook, are summarized here for players already familiar with the Fourth Edition rules. For a fuller explanation of these rules, see the referenced pages.
See Mana and the Mana Pool.
Mana Sources: Introduced the concept of "mana sources." Everything that previously provided mana as an interrupt is now considered a mana source and can't be interrupted or countered.
Mana Burn: Mana burn now includes loss of life again.
Generic Mana: Introduced the term "generic mana." This
is the term now used to describe costs that can be paid with any type of
mana. Generic mana costs are represented by a number in a gray circle.
Abilities"Pumping Up" Abilities: Abilities can no longer be "pumped up." When you play an ability, you can now pay its cost only once, generating its effect only once each time it's activated. (See Paying Costs.)
Protection: Expanded the definition of protection. A creature can now have protection from anything, not just colors. (See Protection.)
Landhome: Introduced the term "landhome." This is the term
now used to descridethe group of abilities that
- keep the creature with the ability from attacking unless the defending player controls a land of the appropiate type, and
- cause the creature to be buried if its controller controls no lands of the appropiate type.
Granting an Ability Twice: Giving something an ability it already has is now cumulative with its old ability. (See Resolving Effects.)
Special Costs: Moved specials costs to be included in the activation cost. Now, everything that follows an ability's activation cost is an effect, not sometimes a cost. (Previously, any ability with a special cost was written in a "do X to do Y" format, where doing X was the ability's special cost.) (See Paying Costs.)
Interrupts That Target Spells and Effects: Such interrupts are now limited to only targeting the spell or effect they interrupt. These interrupts are played in batches, just as instants and other effects are. Finally, every spell or ability (except mana sources) may be interrupted.
Interrupts That Don't Target Spells or Effects: Such interrupts are now played using the same rules as instants. In other words, they must be added to a normal batch of effects and may not interrupt another spell or ability.
Damage and Damage Prevention
See Damage Prevention.
Packets of Damage: Damage is now organized into "packets." Damage dealt to the same creature or player by a given effect or other source consolidates into a single packet.
Triggering Damage Prevention: Only damage leads to damage prevention Neither destroying or burying something nor reducing a creature's toughness to 0 now leads to a damage-prevention step.
Damage-Prevention Timing: Damage and toughness reduction are no longer delayed. Damage prevention follows each resolution or damage-dealing step, although triggered effects are handled first. Damage prevention now occurs after each triggered effect as appropriate, not after each series of effects.
Damage-Prevention Targeting: You can no longer use damage-prevention effects if there are no packets to target, even if the effect prevents 0 damage.
Damage-Prevention Effects: The list of "damage-prevention effects"
has been simplified. The effects that are specifically licensed during damage
- those that prevent damage,
- those that redirect damage, and
- those that are usable only when someone or something is damaged (such as Eye for an Eye).
Using Regeneration: Regeneration is now a specialized effect. It can be used whenever a creature would be killed due to lethal damage or destroyed.
Regeneration and Damage: Removed the "ignores the damage" rule about regeneration. Regenerating a creature simply removes all damage it has suffered.
Regeneration and Combat: Regenerating a creature now removes it from combat.
Burial: Burial now prohibits any kind of salvation. Burying something
means that you can't prevent it from entering the graveyard at all.
Other"Play or Draw": Implemented the "Play or Draw" rule. Whoever takes the first turn skips his or her first draw phase. (See Beginning a Duel.)
Phases: Removed the "end" phase and replaced "heal creatures" with "cleanup." Effects that occur at the beginning or end of a phase are now treated the same as other specialized effects. Thus, the active player's effects must go off before the opponent's. (See Cleanup.)
End of Turn: Reversed the order of "until end of turn" and "at end of turn." Effects that happen at the end of the turn now occur after effects that last until the end of the turn have ended. (See Cleanup.)
On the Way to the Graveyard: Removed the concept of something being "on its way to graveyard." Creatures that have had lethal damage assigned to them can be sacrificed normally, as can permanents that are being put into the graveyard. (See Sacrifices.)
Activated Triggered Effects: Any effect that triggers on an event may be played as appropriate, even if the source of the effect is no longer in play by the time you would pay for it. For example, if an artifact triggers when an artifact is put into the graveyard from play, you may use its ability when the artifact itself is put into the graveyard, even though it won't be in play when you would pay for the ability. (See Specialized and Triggered Effects.)
Combat Damage: Introduced the term "combat damage." This term refers to damage that's dealt during the damage-dealing steps of combat. For example, Fog shuts down only combat damage. (See The Attack.)
Legendary: Expanded the definition of "legendary." Artifacts and enchantments can now be legendary, just as lands could before. "Legendary" creatures are still referred to as "legends." (See Legendary Cards.)
Local Enchantments: Introduced the term "local enchantment." This term replaces "non-global enchantment." (See Enchantments.)
Library Information: Information about the number of cards in the libraries is now public. (See Library.)