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Horsemanship
Keyword Ability
Type Evasion
Introduced Portal Three Kingdoms
Last Used Portal Three Kingdoms
Reminder Text Horsemanship (This creature can't be blocked except by creatures with horsemanship.)
Statistics
36 cards
{W} 22.2% {U} 22.2% {B} 19.4% {R} 19.4% {G} 16.7%
Scryfall Search
oracle:"Horsemanship"

Horsemanship is a keyword ability on creatures that serves as an evasion ability. Attacking creatures with horsemanship can not be blocked by creatures without horsemanship.

Description[]

Flavorfully the mechanic represents creatures riding a horse.

Horsemanship is functionally similar to flying. However, horsemanship is considered parasitic (meaning that it only interacts with other things in the set rather than the rest of Magic).[1]

All cards with horsemanship appear in Portal Three Kingdoms. Until the set was made legal for Vintage and Legacy in October 2005, it had the distinction of being the only keyword ability existing outside of Un-sets that did not appear on a single card legal in any tournament format.

When it became legal, R&D debated the ability and what impact it might have in the same environment as flying. They considered to errata it so that horsemanship creatures could be blocked by fliers. In the end they came to the conclusion that the creatures with horsemanship just weren't aggressive enough to worry about.[2]

Exactly like flying, horsemanship is primary in white and blue, secondary in black and tertiary in red and green.[3]

Rules[]

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

Horsemanship
A keyword ability that restricts how a creature may be blocked. See rule 702.31, “Horsemanship.”

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

  • 702.31. Horsemanship
    • 702.31a Horsemanship is an evasion ability.
    • 702.31b A creature with horsemanship can’t be blocked by creatures without horsemanship. A creature with horsemanship can block a creature with or without horsemanship. (See rule 509, “Declare Blockers Step.”)
    • 702.31c Multiple instances of horsemanship on the same creature are redundant.

Rulings[]

  • Horsemanship doesn't interact with flying or reach.
  • If a creature gains or loses horsemanship after blockers have been declared, it won't cause those blocks to change.

Examples[]

Example

Shu Cavalry {2}{W}
Creature — Human Soldier
2/2
Horsemanship (This creature can't be blocked except by creatures with horsemanship.)

Cards that grant Horsemanship[]

Creature

Sorceries

References[]

  1. Mark Rosewater (December 29, 2013). "Where is Horsemanship on the Storm scale?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  2. Aaron Forsythe (March 11, 2005). "More About March 1st". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Mark Rosewater (July 17, 2021). "What colors are primary/secondary/tertiary in horsemanship?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
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