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Hellbent
Ability Word
Introduced Dissension
Last used Unfinity
Typical Text Hellbent — ..., as long as you have no cards in hand.
Storm Scale 5[1]
Statistics
22 cards
{B} 50% {R} 27.3% {B/R} 18.2% {land symbol} 4.5%
Scryfall Search
keyword:"Hellbent"

Hellbent is an ability word that indicates that a card is better if its controller has no cards in their hand.

Description[ | ]

The mechanic was created by Aaron Forsythe.[2]

Introduced in Dissension, it is found only on cards in that set aligned with the Cult of Rakdos guild (black and/or red). Hellbent was also used in Future Sight, Modern Horizons and was one of the non-evergreen, non-deciduous ability words included in the Unfinity sticker sheets.[3].

Hellbent can be many things, but the common thing is that it is active when the controller of the card with hellbent has no cards in their hand. It's written "Hellbentstatic ability, self-replacement, activated ability and/or triggered ability". It is common to pair draw effects with hellbent as a long-game plan for aggressive decks.

Hellbent has also been adopted as a slang term in the Magic community to describe a player that has no cards in hand. For instance, in Limited formats, it's useful shorthand to indicate that one doesn't have to fear their opponent holding an answer to a risky play.

Non-worded Hellbent[ | ]

Symmetric variants

Rulings[ | ]

  • If a hellbent ability of a spell or permanent is a static ability, the number of cards in its controller's hand is continually checked.
  • If a hellbent ability of a spell is a self-replacement that changes the effect of that spell, the number of cards in its controller's hand is checked as the spell resolves. It is not checked when the spell is cast.
  • If a hellbent ability of a permanent is an activated ability, the number of cards in the permanent's controller's hand is checked when that player tries to activate the ability. It is not checked when the ability resolves.
  • If a hellbent ability of a permanent is a triggered ability, the number of cards in the permanent's controller's hand is checked both when that ability would trigger and when that ability would resolve. If the player has one or more cards in their hand when the ability would trigger, it won't trigger. If the player has one or more cards in their hand when the ability would resolve, the ability does nothing.

Examples[ | ]

Example

Demon's Jester {3}{B}
Creature — Imp
2/2
Flying
Hellbent — Demon's Jester gets +2/+1 as long as you have no cards in hand.

Heckbent[ | ]

An unnamed mechanic R&D likes to call "heckbent," is a riff off of hellbent. Heckbent cares about you having one or fewer cards in your hand (as opposed to hellbent, which requires your hand to be empty). If you do, your cards gain extra abilities that make either themselves or others better.[4] One design of benefit of heckbent over hellbent is that its ability won't turn off during the draw step if one's hand is empty: Gathan Raiders will die to an upkeep Lightning Bolt in the draw step, while Thresher Lizard will not.

The ability is a black-red mini-theme in Amonkhet. It is more likely to return than Hellbent.[5][6]

Cards with heckbent[ | ]

Vanguard[ | ]

Lyzolda, the Blood Witch Avatar is a vanguard with 2 hellbent abilities.

References[ | ]

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