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Bloodthirst
Keyword Ability
Type Static
Introduced Guildpact
Last used Jurassic World
Reminder Text Bloodthirst N (If an opponent was dealt damage this turn, this permanent enters the battlefield with N +1/+1 counters on it.)
Storm Scale 3[1]
Statistics
22 cards
{B} 18.2% {R} 36.4% {G} 31.8% {R/G} 13.6%
Scryfall Search
keyword:"Bloodthirst"

Bloodthirst is a keyword ability. It appeared in the Ravnica block as the ability associated with the Gruul guild of the Guildpact set,[2] and later also appeared in Magic 2012.[3][4][5]

Description[ | ]

Bloodthirst was created by Brian Schneider.[6] It works by putting a number of +1/+1 counters on a permanent (so far only creatures) as it enters the battlefield, if an opponent has been dealt damage that turn. Originally, Bloodthirst was a Gruul mechanic, limiting it to green and red cards. After a cameo in Future Sight it returned in Magic 2012, where it tilted towards black over green.

Spectacle is a similar effect from the Rakdos in Ravnica Allegiance. Another variant of the effect was printed in Innistrad: Midnight Hunt, where the Vampires had effects that triggered with opponents losing life rather than taking damage: Mounted Dreadknight has quasi-Bloodthirst 1 and Vampire Socialite gives the same to other Vampires cast.

Bloodthirst rates at a 3 on the Storm Scale. It was poorly received during Guildpact due to being harder to trigger than it was on the return in Magic 2012, whence it was seen more favorably. With the payoff being a larger creature while requiring creatures attacking, the mechanic is broad and easy to develop.

Rules[ | ]

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

Bloodthirst
A keyword ability that can have a creature enter the battlefield with +1/+1 counters on it. See rule 702.54, “Bloodthirst.”

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

  • 702.54. Bloodthirst
    • 702.54a Bloodthirst is a static ability. “Bloodthirst N” means “If an opponent was dealt damage this turn, this permanent enters the battlefield with N +1/+1 counters on it.”
    • 702.54b “Bloodthirst X” is a special form of bloodthirst. “Bloodthirst X” means “This permanent enters the battlefield with X +1/+1 counters on it, where X is the total damage your opponents have been dealt this turn.”
    • 702.54c If an object has multiple instances of bloodthirst, each applies separately.

Rulings[ | ]

  • Bloodthirst checks for any kind of damage, including combat damage.
  • Life loss that isn't caused by damage (for example, the life loss caused by Blood Seeker's ability) doesn't cause a creature with bloodthirst to get counters, but damage from a source with infect (a mechanic from the Scars of Mirrodin block) does, even though it doesn't cause loss of life.
  • It doesn't matter who controlled the source of the damage dealt to your opponent. If an opponent was dealt damage by a source they controlled (such as Manabarbs, for example), creatures with bloodthirst that enter the battlefield under your control later that turn will get +1/+1 counters.
  • The creature with bloodthirst enters the battlefield with the +1/+1 counters already on it. For example, a 1/1 creature that enters the battlefield with two +1/+1 counters on it will enter as a 3/3 creature, not as a 1/1 creature that then becomes 3/3.
  • "Bloodthirst X" doesn't appear on any Magic 2012 cards.

Examples[ | ]

Example 1

Gristleback {2}{G}
Creature — Beast
2/2
Bloodthirst 1 (If an opponent was dealt damage this turn, this creature enters the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter on it.)
Sacrifice Gristleback: You gain life equal to Gristleback's power.

Example 2

Petrified Wood-Kin {6}{G}
Creature — Elemental Warrior
3/3
This spell can’t be countered.
Bloodthirst X (This creature enters the battlefield with X +1/+1 counters on it, where X is the damage dealt to your opponents this turn.)
Protection from instants

Example 3

Bloodlord of Vaasgoth {3}{B}{B}
Creature — Vampire Warrior
3/3
Bloodthirst 3 (If an opponent was dealt damage this turn, this creature enters the battlefield with three +1/+1 counters on it.)
Flying
Whenever you cast a Vampire creature spell, it gains bloodthirst 3.

Creatures that grant Bloodthirst[ | ]

References[ | ]

  1. Mark Rosewater (May 2, 2016). "Storm Scale: Ravnica and Return to Ravnica". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Aaron Forsythe (February 03, 2006). "Gruuling Workout". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Mark Rosewater (June 27, 2011). "Putting On a Core Set". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Tom LaPille (July 08, 2011). "Bloodthirst in the Water". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Doug Beyer (August 03, 2011). "The Bloodthirsty Chef". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Wizards of the Coast (February, 2006). "Ask Wizards - February 2006". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
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