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An anchor word is a word that precedes a choice on a modal spell, to give the respective abilities a bit of flavor and signify the choice. Anchor words don't have a specific rule attached to them, but always tie the existence of a continuous effect to the choice.[1]


Anchor words were introduced in Fate Reforged, where the "Siege"-cycle featured the choice between "Khans" and "Dragons".[2][3]

Anchor words also appeared in Unstable and Modern Horizons. The flavor words from Adventures in the Forgotten Realms have a similar function.

List of anchor words[]


From the glossary of the Comprehensive Rules (November 19, 2021—Innistrad: Crimson Vow)

Anchor Word
A word that precedes one of two abilities a permanent may enter the battlefield with. See rule 614.12b.

From the Comprehensive Rules (November 19, 2021—Innistrad: Crimson Vow)

  • 614.12b Some replacement effects cause a permanent to enter the battlefield with its controller’s choice of one of two abilities, each marked with an anchor word and preceded by a bullet point. “[Anchor word] — [ability]” means “As long as [anchor word] was chosen as this permanent entered the battlefield, this permanent has [ability].” The abilities preceded by anchor words are each linked to the ability that causes a player to choose between them. See rule 607, “Linked Abilities.”



  1. a b Ethan Fleischer (July 30, 2019). "Know Your Anchor Words.". Twitter.
  2. Mark Rosewater (January 12, 2015). "Fate-ful Stories, Part 1". Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Matt Tabak (January 15, 2015). "Fate Reforged Update Bulletin — Comprehensive Rule Changes". Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Adam Styborski (November 14, 2017). "Welcome to Flavortown! (Or Not)". Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Mark Rosewater (November 27, 2017). "Unstable Scraps, Part 1". Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Wizards of the Coast (January 14, 2015). "Fate Reforged Release Notes". Wizards of the Coast.