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Comprehensive Rules
 
 

The Comprehensive Rules is designed to be the end-all, be-all documentation of Magic: The Gathering rules.

In the Comprehensive Rules, everything from banding to the layering of continuous effects are described and explained. As Wizards of the Coast warns, it is not for the faint of heart. While all the rules for Magic are in the Comprehensive Rules, it's not meant for everyday use; rather, it's reserved for specific cases during competitive games. In most ordinary situations, the basic rulebook is sufficient.

History[]

The Fourth Edition card set, released in mid-1995, marked the first attempt to formalize Magic rules into a coherent system.[1] Major overhauls were executed for Fifth Edition,[2] Classic Sixth Edition,[3] and Magic 2010.[4][5]

Referencing the rules[]

When making a reference to a specific rule, the clearest way to do it is as follows [CR <rule>]. As an example, if someone explains mana abilities and ends their explanation with [CR 605.1], then they make a reference to rule 605.1 which states:

From the Comprehensive Rules (September 24, 2021—Innistrad: Midnight Hunt)

  • 605.1. Some activated abilities and some triggered abilities are mana abilities, which are subject to special rules. Only abilities that meet either of the following two sets of criteria are mana abilities, regardless of what other effects they may generate or what timing restrictions (such as “Activate only as an instant”) they may have.
    • 605.1a An activated ability is a mana ability if it meets all of the following criteria: it doesn’t require a target (see rule 115.6), it could add mana to a player’s mana pool when it resolves, and it’s not a loyalty ability. (See rule 606, “Loyalty Abilities.”)
    • 605.1b A triggered ability is a mana ability if it meets all of the following criteria: it doesn’t require a target (see rule 115.6), it triggers from the activation or resolution of an activated mana ability (see rule 605.1a) or from mana being added to a player’s mana pool, and it could add mana to a player’s mana pool when it resolves.

The Comprehensive Rules are available from Wizards of the Coast in TXT, PDF, and DOCX formats, and are 252 pages long as of June 2021.

Rules are numbered, and many are divided into subrules. Subrules skip the lower-case letters "l" and "o", to avoid confusion with the numbers "1" and "0". So, for example, 704.5k is followed by 704.5m, then 704.5n, and 704.5p.

Current version[]

From the Comprehensive Rules (September 24, 2021—Innistrad: Midnight Hunt)

The Comprehensive Rules ends with a glossary of terms used in the document and on cards throughout the game.

References[]

  1. Dan Gray (June 1, 2009). "Simple Rules are the Holy Grail of Magic". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Tom Wylie (October 1996). "Murk Dwellers". The Duelist, p. 51. Leaner and Meaner.
  3. Bill Rose (January 1999). "Letter to the Magic Player Community"
  4. Aaron Forsythe and Mark L. Gottlieb (June 10, 2009). "Magic 2010 Rules Changes". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Mark Rosewater (August 5, 2013). "Twenty Things That Were Going To Kill Magic". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
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