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Creature type

A creature type is any subtype used for the further classification of creature and kindred cards as well as creature tokens.

History[ | ]

Main article: Creature type/History

Originally, in Alpha, creature types were largely for flavor-related reasons.[1] This was continued until Fallen Empires, when creatures types had in-game mechanical implications. The first block in which creature types mattered was Tempest, particularly via the Licids and Slivers, both of which creature types shared a mechanical identity among its creature cards. Masques block revisited this, albeit with Spellshapers; Odyssey block, with its typal cards; Onslaught block, with its typal cards;[2] and Time Spiral block and Lorwyn–Shadowmoor block, with the kindred card type.[3]

The kindred card type is no longer supported for Standard sets, but may appear in supplemental sets.[4] Expansions and non-expansion sets alike continue to feature creature types for purposes other than flavor.

Grand Creature Type Update[ | ]

The "Grand Creature Type Update" was a mass update of creature types, as part of the regular Oracle update for Lorwyn in October 2007.[5] The update was refined with Morningtide.[6]

Race/class model[ | ]

Main articles: Race and Creature class

The race/class model is the concept that each Magic card depicting a sapient being should have a creature class as well as a race subtype.[7][8][9][10]

It was concurrent with Mirrodin's design that the creative team managed to convince R&D that the race/class system needed to be adopted.[11] Before that time, creatures had one creature type. Sometimes, it was merely a race; other times, it was merely a class. The race/class system was designed to help align Magic with many other fantasy-based games. Along with the race/class model, the Human subtype was introduced. At that time, it was an open question whether creature types on existing cards should be changed. In the end the decision was made in favor of having consistent creature types in the core set (Ninth Edition).[12] The final step was made with the Grand Creature Type Update, as part of the regular Oracle update for Lorwyn.[13]

Notably, neither Nameless Race, nor the Faceless One and the Go-Shintai cycle from Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty have either race or class (although the latter do have an enchantment type, both of which contribute to the text-shrinkingly long type line), and some creature cards, such as Arcanis the Omnipotent, Nameless One and Adarkar Sentinel, lack one or the other. Interstingly Squallmonger has no race for no reason beyond the entity in the art is too alien to match an existing race. Phyrexian cards initially were printed without a race either (e.g., Priests of Norn and Tormentor Exarch); the rationale at the time was that these creatures were so far modified and removed from any species to be identifiable. In 2021 the Phyrexian creature type was introduced on Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider and past cards were errata'd to include the type where applicable.

There are five cards that cause creatures to lose all their creature types: Nameless Inversion, Ego Erasure, Darksteel Mutation, Amoeboid Changeling, and Curse of Conformity. Three are targeted, and two do so as a blanket player-based effect. Some others cause creatures to lose their types as a byproduct of losing creature status altogether.

Not all non-race creature types have to be classes or occupations. Types as Child, Coward, Elder, Guest and Peasant are categories you can apply to creatures.[14][15]

Rules[ | ]

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

Creature Type
A subtype that’s correlated to the creature card type and the kindred card type. See rule 302, “Creatures,” and rule 308, “Kindreds.” See rule 205.3m for the list of creature types.

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

  • 205.3m Creatures and kindreds share their lists of subtypes; these subtypes are called creature types. One creature type is two words long: Time Lord. All other creature types are one word long: Advisor, Aetherborn, Alien, Ally, Angel, Antelope, Ape, Archer, Archon, Armadillo, Army, Artificer, Assassin, Assembly-Worker, Astartes, Atog, Aurochs, Avatar, Azra, Badger, Balloon, Barbarian, Bard, Basilisk, Bat, Bear, Beast, Beaver, Beeble, Beholder, Berserker, Bird, Blinkmoth, Boar, Bringer, Brushwagg, Camarid, Camel, Capybara, Caribou, Carrier, Cat, Centaur, Child, Chimera, Citizen, Cleric, Clown, Cockatrice, Construct, Coward, Coyote, Crab, Crocodile, C’tan, Custodes, Cyberman, Cyclops, Dalek, Dauthi, Demigod, Demon, Deserter, Detective, Devil, Dinosaur, Djinn, Doctor, Dog, Dragon, Drake, Dreadnought, Drone, Druid, Dryad, Dwarf, Efreet, Egg, Elder, Eldrazi, Elemental, Elephant, Elf, Elk, Employee, Eye, Faerie, Ferret, Fish, Flagbearer, Fox, Fractal, Frog, Fungus, Gamer, Gargoyle, Germ, Giant, Gith, Gnoll, Gnome, Goat, Goblin, God, Golem, Gorgon, Graveborn, Gremlin, Griffin, Guest, Hag, Halfling, Hamster, Harpy, Hellion, Hippo, Hippogriff, Homarid, Homunculus, Horror, Horse, Human, Hydra, Hyena, Illusion, Imp, Incarnation, Inkling, Inquisitor, Insect, Jackal, Jellyfish, Juggernaut, Kavu, Kirin, Kithkin, Knight, Kobold, Kor, Kraken, Llama, Lamia, Lammasu, Leech, Leviathan, Lhurgoyf, Licid, Lizard, Manticore, Masticore, Mercenary, Merfolk, Metathran, Minion, Minotaur, Mite, Mole, Monger, Mongoose, Monk, Monkey, Moonfolk, Mount, Mouse, Mutant, Myr, Mystic, Nautilus, Necron, Nephilim, Nightmare, Nightstalker, Ninja, Noble, Noggle, Nomad, Nymph, Octopus, Ogre, Ooze, Orb, Orc, Orgg, Otter, Ouphe, Ox, Oyster, Pangolin, Peasant, Pegasus, Pentavite, Performer, Pest, Phelddagrif, Phoenix, Phyrexian, Pilot, Pincher, Pirate, Plant, Porcupine, Possum, Praetor, Primarch, Prism, Processor, Rabbit, Raccoon, Ranger, Rat, Rebel, Reflection, Rhino, Rigger, Robot, Rogue, Sable, Salamander, Samurai, Sand, Saproling, Satyr, Scarecrow, Scientist, Scion, Scorpion, Scout, Sculpture, Serf, Serpent, Servo, Shade, Shaman, Shapeshifter, Shark, Sheep, Siren, Skeleton, Slith, Sliver, Sloth, Slug, Snail, Snake, Soldier, Soltari, Spawn, Specter, Spellshaper, Sphinx, Spider, Spike, Spirit, Splinter, Sponge, Squid, Squirrel, Starfish, Surrakar, Survivor, Synth, Tentacle, Tetravite, Thalakos, Thopter, Thrull, Tiefling, Treefolk, Trilobite, Triskelavite, Troll, Turtle, Tyranid, Unicorn, Vampire, Varmint, Vedalken, Volver, Wall, Walrus, Warlock, Warrior, Weird, Werewolf, Whale, Wizard, Wolf, Wolverine, Wombat, Worm, Wraith, Wurm, Yeti, Zombie, and Zubera.

List of creature types[ | ]

Eternal[ | ]

As of the release of Modern Horizons 3, the following is a complete list of eternal legal creature (and kindred) subtypes, which Mistform Ultimus and all Changelings have, totaling to 296.

^† Creature type unique to the Magic: The Gathering franchise.
^D&D Creature type unique to the Dungeons & Dragons franchise, introduced through a crossover.
^@ Creature type from another franchise introduced through Universes Beyond.

Non-Eternal[ | ]

Some creature types are non-eternal legal due to having only been printed on acorn cards, challenge deck cards, test cards, or celebration cards. For these reasons these types do not appear in the comprehensive rules. Some of the types were once printed on eternal legal cards but given errata and replaced by other types but remained on the non-eternal cards.

Obsolete[ | ]

Main article: Obsolete card types

See also[ | ]

References[ | ]

  1. Magic Arcana (November 24, 2003). "When name = creature type". Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Mark Rosewater (November 18, 2002). "Beast of Show". Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Dave Guskin (February 19, 2008). "The Creature Type Web". Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Mark Rosewater (October 24, 2015). "What about allowing elemental to be both a creature and non-creature subtype?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  5. Mark Gottlieb (September 26, 2007). "The Grand Creature Type Update". Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Mark Gottlieb (January 16, 2008). "Morningtide Update Bulletin". Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Randy Buehler (November 22, 2002). "Debating Humanity". Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Randy Buehler (November 29, 2002). "Human Nature". Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Mark Rosewater (January 21, 2008). "The Amazing Race/Class". Wizards of the Coast.
  10. Mark Rosewater (February 04, 2008). "The Space Between The Notes". Wizards of the Coast.
  11. Mark Rosewater (October 04, 2004). "Change For the Better". Wizards of the Coast.
  12. Aaron Forsythe (July 16, 2004). "Classifying Samite Healers". Wizards of the Coast.
  13. Mark Gottlieb (September 26, 2007). "Lorwyn Update Bulletin". Wizards of the Coast.
  14. Mark Rosewater (July 19, 2023). "Why were child and guest made creature types?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  15. Mark Rosewater (July 19, 2023). "There's Cowards too.". Blogatog. Tumblr.