MTG Wiki
Introduced Alpha
Last Used Alchemy Horizons: Baldur's Gate
Reminder Text [mana cost]: This creature gets +N/+0 until end of turn.
202 Firebreathing cards
{C} 1% {W} 5% {U} 4.5% {B} 9.9% {R} 61.4% {G} 2% {B/R} 2% {R/G} 1% {W/B} 0.5% {U/R} 1% {B/G} 0.5% {R/W} 2% {M} 1.5% {artifact symbol} 7.4% {land symbol} 0.5%

38 "Buttbreathing" cards
{W} 52.6% {U} 5.3% {R} 13.2% {G} 13.2% {W/U} 2.6% {R/G} 2.6% {R/W} 2.6% {M} 2.6% {artifact symbol} 5.3%

Firebreathing is any mechanic that pays homage to the original Firebreathing card; that is, "{R}: This creature gets +1/+0 until end of turn".[1] This mechanic was featured on the card Shivan Dragon in Alpha and, in general, is a trademark of most dragons. It's most often seen on red creatures.[2] Over time there have been variants, tied with a consistent factor of an unbound activated ability that pumps their power.


Color cost variations[]

Creature colors[]



  • Modern design has moved away from the literal {R}: +1/+0 ability due to its monocolor restriction; Hellkite Punisher was the first in four years since Skyship Stalker. Most designs now use {1}{R} as a basis, using worse ratios on better bodies (Incendiary Oracle, Rakdos Trumpeter), or one-to-one on worse bodies (Igneous Cur, Weaselback Redcap). This is to support decks being two-colored, as expected for decks of newer players and drafters.
  • "Butt-breathing" is the far rarer (due to encouraging static gameplay) variation where the creature gets +0/+1 or some multiple of it. Most of these require {W}, with two with {R} and one with {G} activation costs.


  1. Mark Rosewater (November 7, 2016). "A Few More Words from R&D". Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Mark Rosewater (June 5, 2017). "Mechanical Color Pie 2017". Wizards of the Coast.