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Duels Fear symbol.png
Keyword Ability
Type Evasion
Introduced Alpha (mechanic)
Onslaught (keyword)
Last Used Alara Reborn
Reminder Text Fear (This creature can't be blocked except by artifact creatures and/or black creatures.)
Statistics 39 cards
{W} 2.6% {B} 76.9% {R} 2.6% {U/B} 7.7% {B/R} 5.1% {artifact symbol} 5.1%
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Fear is a keyword ability found primarily on black creatures. It is an evasion ability that allows a creature to only be blocked by black or artifact creatures.

Description[edit | edit source]

The ability has existed since Alpha, where it was printed on a card called, appropriately, Fear. The rules text of that card was originally the rules text for the fear ability. The ability was first keyworded in the Onslaught set. It showed up in a core set for the first time in Eighth Edition.[1] All pre-Onslaught cards have been errataed to replace the older rules text with the fear keyword. The vigilance, lifelink, and fear keywords are the only keywords with a card of the exact name (Vigilance, Lifelink and Fear respectively). Flying and indestructible come close, with cards called Flight and Indestructibility, respectively.

With Magic 2010 Wizards of the Coast obsoleted Fear, in favor of the new keyword Intimidate. Intimidate differs in that nonartifact creatures can block the creature if they share a color with the blocked creature. Thus, Intimidate can interact with color-changing effects, and a nonblack deck can be built to use it against black creatures. Intimidate would in its turn be obsoleted by Menace.

Rules[edit | edit source]

From the glossary of the Comprehensive Rules (November 20, 2020—Commander Legends)

A keyword ability that restricts how a creature may be blocked. See rule 702.35, “Fear.”

From the Comprehensive Rules (November 20, 2020—Commander Legends)

  • 702.35. Fear
    • 702.35a Fear is an evasion ability.
    • 702.35b A creature with fear can’t be blocked except by artifact creatures and/or black creatures. (See rule 509, “Declare Blockers Step.”)
    • 702.35c Multiple instances of fear on the same creature are redundant.

Rulings[edit | edit source]

  • Cards that change color words do not change the Fear ability. The reminder text on the card can change, but it's just reminder text and does not actually define the ability.

Examples[edit | edit source]


Severed Legion {1}{B}{B}
Creature — Zombie
Fear (This creature can't be blocked except by artifact creatures and/or black creatures.)

Enchantments that grant just Fear[edit | edit source]

One creature

Creatures of the chosen type

All your creatures

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Mark Rosewater (June 8, 2015). "Evergreen Eggs & Ham". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.