|Reminder Text||Flying (This creature can't be blocked except by creatures with flying and/or reach.)|
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. It was the first mechanic that Richard Garfield designed for the game.
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. Green rarely has flying creatures, but is the best color at destroying them (e.g. Hurricane, Plummet). 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).
- A keyword ability that restricts how a creature may be blocked. See rule 702.9, “Flying.”
- 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.
Creature — Imp
Flying (This creature can't be blocked except by creatures with flying or reach.)
Enchantments that grant just flying
- Shimmering Wings
- Arcanum Wings
- Crown of Ascension
- Dragon Wings
- Illuminated Wings
- Phantom Wings
- Flight of Fancy
All your creatures
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, 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" However, "Tunneling" is more often used for “target creature with power 2 or less is unblockable this turn”. Given the lack of defensive fliers in a typical game, this use of the keyword has seen little print.
- Mark Rosewater (Monday, November 17, 2003). "Up, Up and Away". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater (June 8, 2015). "Evergreen Eggs & Ham". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Brady Dommermuth (June 01, 2009). "Mechanically Inclined". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater (June 5, 2017). "Mechanical Color Pie 2017". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater (February 16, 2017). "What is the point of pseudo-flying creatures like Signal Pest and Orchard Spirit?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- Mark Rosewater (May 12, 2018). "What color is "can't be blocked by creatures with flying"?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- Mark Rosewater (September 21, 2019). "Whatever happened to tunneling?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- Mark Rosewater (September 21, 2019). "I was just reading a wiki article on flying and it referenced tunneling as "can't be blocked by creatures with flying."". Blogatog. Tumblr.