Card type dictates many of the general rules regarding when and how a card may be played.
Cards may have more than one card type, such as artifact land or enchantment creature, and types may be changed during gameplay. A card may possess any supertype, regardless of its type, and can gain any subtype that corresponds to a type on that card.
Starting with Magic 2015, tokens printed on the reverse side of marketing cards are printed with a type line. This type line appears to depict the card type "Token" for creature tokens, or the card type "Emblem" and the corresponding Planeswalker subtype for emblem tokens. However, neither tokens nor emblems are card types, and these labels are included solely to help identify the tokens. Additionally, while the creature subtype on such token cards is correct, emblems are neither cards nor permanents and have no types or subtypes.
Most of the other currently supported card types are exclusive to casual variants and the supplemental products that support those formats. Phenomenon and plane cards are exclusive to the Planechase format. Scheme cards are used by the player designated as the archenemy in the Archenemy format. Vanguard cards are used in the format of the same name. The conspiracy type has appeared only in the Conspiracy product.
While most casual play-oriented card types have appeared only on oversized cards, cards with the conspiracy type are printed at the normal size, to allow them to fit into booster packs. Because this would allow those cards to be mixed into a normal deck, cards with the conspiracy type are explicitly banned outside of the Conspiracy format.
After the Future Sight block the tribal type has been used most recently in Rise of the Eldrazi on four cards having the "Tribal Eldrazi" typing. However, it is now unlikely to be reprinted on new cards (in premier sets). Modern Horizons 2 had tribal as a one-of (Altar of the Goyf).
Interrupt and mana source were created for older versions of the game's timing system, under which spells were played in a batch and interrupts functioned similarly to the split second keyword. When the batch was replaced by the stack in Sixth Edition, those types became obsolete, and cards that had those types became instants.
The Future Sight futureshifted card frame supported type icons for each card type then in the game. These icons were a set of claw marks for creatures, a flame for sorcery, a lightning bolt for instant, a sunrise for enchantment, a chalice for artifact, and a pair of mountain peaks for land. Cards with multiple card types were indicated by a black and white cross. There was no type icon for the planeswalker type, as it did not yet exist.
- Card Type
- A characteristic. Except for abilities on the stack, each object has a card type, even if that object isn’t a card. Each card type has its own rules. See rule 205, “Type Line,” and section 3, “Card Types.”
- 205.2. Card Types
- 205.2a The card types are artifact, conspiracy, creature, dungeon, enchantment, instant, land, phenomenon, plane, planeswalker, scheme, sorcery, tribal, and vanguard. See section 3, “Card Types.”
- 205.2b Some objects have more than one card type (for example, an artifact creature). Such objects satisfy the criteria for any effect that applies to any of their card types.
- 205.2c Tokens have card types even though they aren’t cards. The same is true of copies of spells and copies of cards.
- 300. General
- 300.1. The card types are artifact, conspiracy, creature, dungeon, enchantment, instant, land, phenomenon, plane, planeswalker, scheme, sorcery, tribal, and vanguard.
- 300.2. Some objects have more than one card type (for example, an artifact creature). Such objects combine the aspects of each of those card types, and are subject to spells and abilities that affect either or all of those card types.
- 300.2a An object that’s both a land and another card type (for example, an artifact land) can only be played as a land. It can’t be cast as a spell.
- 300.2b Each tribal card has another card type. Casting and resolving a tribal card follow the rules for casting and resolving a card of the other card type.
Some cards printed for special purposes are not supported in the Comprehensive Rules and may have card types defined elsewhere.
- For example, the Hero's Path event run during Theros block used hero cards, which are unplayable outside of that event (e.g. The Hunter).
- Blake Rasmussen (July 2, 2014). "Magic 2015 tokens". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Trick Jarrett (May 26, 2014). "No Conspiracies Allowed". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater (September 19, 2011). "Scary Stories, Part 1". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater (May 18, 2021). "I need to stress that the Tribal card is a sign that Modern Horizons is willing to use retired things". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- Mark Rosewater (October 4, 2004). "Change For the Better". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Arcana (May 24, 2007). "Future Sight’s Card Type Symbols". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.