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Flying
Mtga flying.png
Keyword Ability
Type Evasion
Introduced Alpha
Last Used Evergreen
Reminder Text Flying (This creature can't be blocked except by creatures with flying and/or reach.)
Scryfall Search
oracle:"Flying"

Flying is an evergreen evasion ability that makes creatures without flying unable to block creatures with flying. It has been in Magic since the original Alpha set.[1][2] It was the first mechanic that Richard Garfield designed for the game.[3]

Description[]

Flying appears on over 1,000 different cards and is scattered wildly on the color wheel, mostly being found on blue and white cards, and to a lesser extent in black and red.[4] Green rarely has flying creatures, but is the best color at destroying them (e.g. Hurricane, Plummet).[4] There are a number of creature types that almost always have flying, such as Angels, Birds, Sphinxes, Dragons, and Griffins (each of these generally being creatures with wings).

The Mystery Booster test cards and Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths introduced flying counters.

Rules[]

From the glossary of the Comprehensive Rules (July 23, 2021—Adventures in the Forgotten Realms)

Flying
A keyword ability that restricts how a creature may be blocked. See rule 702.9, “Flying.”

From the Comprehensive Rules (July 23, 2021—Adventures in the Forgotten Realms)

  • 702.9. Flying
    • 702.9a Flying is an evasion ability.
    • 702.9b A creature with flying can’t be blocked except by creatures with flying and/or reach. A creature with flying can block a creature with or without flying. (See rule 509, “Declare Blockers Step,” and rule 702.17, “Reach.”)
    • 702.9c Multiple instances of flying on the same creature are redundant.

Examples[]

Example

Bog Imp {1}{B}
Creature — Imp
1/1
Flying (This creature can't be blocked except by creatures with flying or reach.)

Enchantments that grant just flying[]

One creature

All your creatures

Pseudo-flying[]

Some creatures without flying can't be blocked except by creatures with flying or reach (but unlike creatures that actually have flying, these cannot block creatures with flying themselves). Mark Rosewater is not a fan of this design,[5] as it does not differentiate itself from flying meaningfully. It also runs into keyword-referencing issues, as whether or not reach can block it depends on whether reach existed at time of printing.

Can't be blocked by creatures with flying[]

Some creatures without flying can't be blocked by creatures with flying. This is a red ability, and is sometimes nicknamed "Tunneling"[6] However, "Tunneling" is more often used for “target creature with power 2 or less is unblockable this turn”.[7][8] Given the lack of defensive fliers in a typical game, this use of the keyword has seen little print.

Player flying[]

The Mystery Booster test card Sarah's Wings (a reference to On Serra's Wings) grants flying to a player (Players with flying can’t be dealt damage by creatures without flying).

See also[]

References[]

External links[]