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"Enters the battlefield" refers to putting a permanent onto the battlefield, or to an ability which is triggered when a permanent is put onto the battlefield. It is commonly abbreviated ETB.


"Enters-the-battlefield" abilities are a mechanic designed by Bill Rose for Portal. The design team liked it so much that they included it on one card of each color in Visions.[1] Popular cards with "enters-the-battlefield" effects were Nekrataal and Man-o'-War.[2]

"Enters the battlefield" replaced the term "comes into play" when Magic 2010 rules changes went into effect.[3]

"Enters-the-battlefield" abilities which damage or kill a creature or destroy a permanent were colloquially known as 187 effects.


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

Enters the Battlefield
A nontoken permanent “enters the battlefield” when it’s moved onto the battlefield from another zone. A token “enters the battlefield” when it’s created. See rules 403.3, 603.6a, 603.6d, and 614.12.

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

  • 603.6a Enters-the-battlefield abilities trigger when a permanent enters the battlefield. These are written, “When [this object] enters the battlefield, . . . “ or “Whenever a [type] enters the battlefield, . . .” Each time an event puts one or more permanents onto the battlefield, all permanents on the battlefield (including the newcomers) are checked for any enters-the-battlefield triggers that match the event.


  1. Brady Dommermuth (June 01, 2009). "Mechanically Inclined". Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Mark Rosewater (June 5, 2017). "Mechanical Color Pie 2017". Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Aaron Forsythe and Mark L. Gottlieb (June 10, 2009). "Magic 2010 Rules Changes". Wizards of the Coast.