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From the Comprehensive Rules (June 7, 2024—Modern Horizons 3)

  • 700. General
    • 700.1. Anything that happens in a game is an event. Multiple events may take place during the resolution of a spell or ability. The text of triggered abilities and replacement effects defines the event they’re looking for. One “happening” may be treated as a single event by one ability and as multiple events by another.

      Example: If an attacking creature is blocked by two creatures, this is one event for a triggered ability that reads “Whenever [this creature] becomes blocked” but two events for a triggered ability that reads “Whenever [this creature] becomes blocked by a creature.”

    • 700.2. A spell or ability is modal if it has two or more options in a bulleted list preceded by instructions for a player to choose a number of those options, such as “Choose one —.” Each of those options is a mode. Modal cards printed prior to the Khans of Tarkir™ set didn’t use bulleted lists for the modes; these cards have received errata in the Oracle card reference so the modes do appear in a bulleted list.
      • 700.2a The controller of a modal spell or activated ability chooses the mode(s) as part of casting that spell or activating that ability. If one of the modes would be illegal (due to an inability to choose legal targets, for example), that mode can’t be chosen. (See rule 601.2b.)
      • 700.2b The controller of a modal triggered ability chooses the mode(s) as part of putting that ability on the stack. If one of the modes would be illegal (due to an inability to choose legal targets, for example), that mode can’t be chosen. If no mode is chosen, the ability is removed from the stack. (See rule 603.3c.)
      • 700.2c If a spell or ability targets one or more targets only if a particular mode is chosen for it, its controller will need to choose those targets only if they chose that mode. Otherwise, the spell or ability is treated as though it did not have those targets. (See rule 601.2c.)
      • 700.2d If a player is allowed to choose more than one mode for a modal spell or ability, that player normally can’t choose the same mode more than once. However, some modal spells include the instruction “You may choose the same mode more than once.” If a particular mode is chosen multiple times, the spell is treated as if that mode appeared that many times in sequence. If that mode requires a target, the same player or object may be chosen as the target for each of those modes, or different targets may be chosen.
      • 700.2e Some spells and abilities specify that a player other than their controller chooses a mode for it. In that case, the other player does so when the spell or ability’s controller normally would do so. If there is more than one other player who could make such a choice, the spell or ability’s controller decides which of those players will make the choice.
      • 700.2f Modal spells and abilities may have different targeting requirements for each mode. Changing a spell or ability’s target can’t change its mode.
      • 700.2g A copy of a modal spell or ability copies the mode(s) chosen for it. The controller of the copy can’t choose a different mode. (See rule 707.10.)
      • 700.2h Some modal spells use plus signs (+) rather than bullet points, with each plus sign followed by a cost. This indicates that each mode has an additional cost that must be paid as the spell is cast if that mode is chosen. If more than one such mode is chosen, all additional costs must be paid to cast that spell. Paying these costs follows the rules for paying additional costs in rules 601.2b and 601.2f–h.
    • 700.3. Some effects cause objects to be temporarily grouped into piles.
      • 700.3a Each of the affected objects must be put into exactly one of those piles, unless the effect specifies otherwise.
      • 700.3b Each object in a pile is still an individual object. The pile is not an object.
      • 700.3c Objects grouped into piles don’t leave the zone they’re currently in. If cards in a graveyard are split into piles, the order of the graveyard must be maintained.

        Example: Fact or Fiction reads, “Reveal the top five cards of your library. An opponent separates those cards into two piles. Put one pile into your hand and the other into your graveyard.” While an opponent is separating the revealed cards into piles, they’re still in their owner’s library. They don’t leave the library until they’re put into their owner’s hand or graveyard.

      • 700.3d A pile can contain zero or more objects.
    • 700.4. The term dies means “is put into a graveyard from the battlefield.”
    • 700.5. A player’s devotion to [color] is equal to the number of mana symbols of that color among the mana costs of permanents that player controls. A player’s devotion to [color 1] and [color 2] is equal to the number of mana symbols among the mana costs of permanents that player controls that are [color 1], [color 2], or both colors.
      • 700.5a A player’s devotion to each color and combination of colors, taking into account any effects that modify devotion, is calculated after considering any copy, control, or text-changing effects but before any other effects that modify the characteristics of permanents. This is an exception to 613.10. See also rule 613, “Interaction of Continuous Effects.”

        Example: Altar of the Pantheon is an artifact with no colored mana in its cost and an ability that says “Your devotion to each color and each combination of colors is increased by one.” Purphoros, God of the Forge is a permanent mana cost {3}{R} and an ability that says “As long as your devotion to red is less than five, Purphoros isn’t a creature.” If a player controls both of these permanents and another permanent that costs {R}{R}{R}, that player’s devotion to red is calculated to be five before Purphoros’s type-changing effect is applied, and Purphoros is a creature.

    • 700.6. The term historic refers to an object that has the legendary supertype, the artifact card type, or the Saga subtype.
    • 700.7. If an ability uses a phrase such as “this [something]” to identify an object, where [something] is a characteristic, it is referring to that particular object, even if it isn’t the appropriate characteristic at the time.

      Example: An ability reads “Target creature gets +2/+2 until end of turn. Destroy that creature at the beginning of the next end step.” The ability will destroy the object it gave +2/+2 to even if that object isn’t a creature at the beginning of the next end step.

    • 700.8. Some cards refer to a player’s party. A player’s party consists of up to one Cleric creature that player controls, up to one Rogue creature they control, up to one Warrior creature they control, and up to one Wizard creature they control.
      • 700.8a If a spell, ability, or effect needs to determine the number of creatures in a player’s party, the calculation of that number is performed automatically by the game and results in a number between zero and four. Players don’t declare which specific creatures they control are in their party for such an effect.
      • 700.8b If a creature has multiple creature types for which it could be the party member, it is counted as the party member for only one of those types. If there are different ways to count such a creature that results in different numbers of creatures in a player’s party, it is counted in such a way to get the highest result.
      • 700.8c A player has a full party if there are four creatures in that player’s party.
      • 700.8d One card, Stick Together, instructs players to choose a party from among creatures they control. To do so, for each of the creature types listed in rule 700.8, each player chooses up to one creature they control of that type.
    • 700.9. Some cards refer to modified creatures. A creature is modified if it has one or more counters on it (see rule 122), if it is equipped (see rule 301.5), or if it is enchanted by an Aura that is controlled by that creature’s controller. (see rule 303.4). If an ability of a permanent checks to see whether that permanent is modified, the answer is always no if that permanent isn’t a currently a creature.
    • 700.10. Some cards refer to a permanent “that was activated this turn.” This means that the permanent was the source of an ability that was activated this turn, regardless of whether that permanent still has that activated ability or the player who activated it is still in the game.
    • 700.11. Some cards refer to whether a player has “descended this turn.” This means that a permanent card has been put into that player’s graveyard from anywhere this turn. “The number of times [a player] descended this turn” means “the number of permanent cards put into [that player’s] graveyard from anywhere this turn.” In both cases, no permanent cards put into the player’s graveyard that turn are required to still be in that graveyard.
    • 700.12. The term outlaw refers to an object that has the Assassin, Mercenary, Pirate, Rogue, and/or Warlock creature types.
      • 700.12a Some cards refer to outlaws that a player controls. Only outlaw permanents are considered for these effects unless otherwise specified.
    • 700.13. Some cards refer to committing a crime. A player commits a crime as that player casts a spell, activates an ability, or puts a triggered ability on the stack and that spell or ability targets at least one opponent; at least one permanent, spell, or ability an opponent controls; and/or at least one card in an opponent’s graveyard.