MTG Wiki
Mtga indestructible.png
Keyword Ability
Type Static
Introduced Alpha (mechanic)
Darksteel (keyword)
Last Used Evergreen
Reminder Text Indestructible (Damage and effects that say "destroy" don’t destroy this.)
206 cards
{C} 1% {W} 31.6% {U} 2.4% {B} 9.7% {R} 3.9% {G} 15.5% {W/U} 1% {U/B} 0.5% {B/R} 1.9% {R/G} 1% {G/W} 3.4% {W/B} 3.4% {U/R} 0.5% {B/G} 1.9% {R/W} 3.9% {G/U} 1% {M} 1.5% {artifact symbol} 13.6% {land symbol} 2.4%
Scryfall Search

Indestructible is an evergreen keyword ability. Indestructible permanents can't be destroyed by rules or effects.


Indestructible permanents can still be put into their owner's graveyard by other means, such as by the "legend rule", by being sacrificed or (in the case of creatures) having zero or less toughness. They can also be removed from the battlefield by being bounced or exiled for example.


The first card that conferred indestructibility was Consecrate Land in Alpha, followed by Guardian Beast in Arabian Nights, but no other cards followed (and no formal rules existed) until Darksteel.[1][2][3] The word was originally used as a normal English descriptor rather than as a keyword. In this way, it was just an attribute that some permanents had.[4][5] Enough players confused it with a keyword that R&D eventually decided to just make it one in Magic 2014.[6][7]

Starting with Kaladesh, regeneration was retired. Instead, the phrase “gain indestructible until end of turn” came into being for new, but similar cards.[8][9]

Indestructible is primary in white, secondary in black and green, and tertiary in blue and red.[10] White, and to a lesser extent green, tend to have creatures that naturally have indestructible. Black and green, as the replacement for regeneration, often have activated abilities that grant indestructible until end of turn. White will at times use temporary indestructibility where it used to use protection.[10]

Ikoria Commander introduced indestructible counters.

Removing indestructible[]

Removing indestructible is a newer, rarely-seen ability, primarily given to red due to its damage-based removal poorly translating to exile effects, acting as the successor to anti-regeneration text of the past. It has been printed on three spells so far, and separately, one green enchantment and one equipment have activated abilities that remove indestructible and hexproof.


From the glossary of the Comprehensive Rules (April 29, 2022—Streets of New Capenna)

A keyword ability that precludes a permanent from being destroyed. See rule 702.12.

From the Comprehensive Rules (April 29, 2022—Streets of New Capenna)

  • 702.12. Indestructible
    • 702.12a Indestructible is a static ability.
    • 702.12b A permanent with indestructible can’t be destroyed. Such permanents aren’t destroyed by lethal damage, and they ignore the state-based action that checks for lethal damage (see rule 704.5g).
    • 702.12c Multiple instances of indestructible on the same permanent are redundant.


  • Damage accumulates on indestructible creatures, and that damage is removed during the cleanup step.
  • Lethal damage is defined as an amount of damage greater than or equal to a creature's toughness. Even though an indestructible creature isn't destroyed by lethal damage, that definition is still used for things like assigning trample damage.
  • If a creature with lethal damage on it stops being indestructible, it's destroyed the next time state-based actions are checked.
  • Being indestructible stops only effects that would destroy the permanent, including destruction due to lethal damage and destruction that doesn't allow regeneration. An indestructible permanent can be exiled, returned to a player's hand, put into a graveyard for having 0 or less toughness (via anything that gives -X/-X for example), or sacrificed.
  • You can use a regeneration effect on an indestructible permanent, but since that permanent can't be destroyed, the effect does not apply, unless it loses indestructibility before the end of the end step, then it would regenerate.
  • Planeswalkers with indestructible will still have loyalty counters removed from them as they are dealt damage. If a planeswalker with indestructible has no loyalty counters, it will still be put into its owner's graveyard, as the rule that does this doesn't destroy the planeswalker.

Magic 2014 updates:

  • In most cases, indestructible becoming a keyword doesn't represent a functional change. There are two exceptions:
  • Previously, if a permanent was made indestructible by a resolving spell or ability (such as Withstand Death), and then that permanent lost its abilities, it would still be indestructible. This was because indestructible wasn't an ability; it was just something true about the permanent. Now, the permanent will gain the ability indestructible, and it will lose this ability along with its other abilities.
  • Previously, if a group of permanents were made indestructible by a resolving spell or ability (such as creatures you control being affected by Rootborn Defenses), permanents that joined that group or entered the battlefield after that spell or ability resolved would also be indestructible. This was because the effect making the permanents indestructible wasn't changing any of those permanents’ characteristics. Now, a permanent that enters the battlefield or comes under your control after the spell or ability resolves won't have indestructible, as it wasn't under your control at the appropriate time to gain it.



Darksteel Ingot {3}
Indestructible (Effects that say "destroy" don’t destroy this artifact.)
{T}: Add one mana of any color.

Spells that grant Indestructible[]






Spells that grant Indestructible and more[]






Cards that have Indestructible[]




Spells that remove Indestructible[]


  1. Mark Rosewater (January 05, 2004). "Enter… The Matrix". Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Mark Rosewater (December 13, 2010). "The Darksteel Returns". Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Tom LaPille (December 17, 2010). "Alone in the Darksteel". Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Randy Buehler (January 09, 2004). "Developing Indestructibility". Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Magic Arcana (March 02, 2004). "Templating indestructibility". Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Matt Tabak (May 23, 2013). "Magic 2014 Core Set Rules Preview". Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Mark Rosewater (June 8, 2015). "Evergreen Eggs & Ham". Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Mark Rosewater (September 16, 2016). "May I ask you on... Rush of Vitality?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  9. Gavin Verhey (September 21, 2017). "Indestructible Inspiration". Wizards of the Coast.
  10. a b Mark Rosewater (June 5, 2017). "Mechanical Color Pie 2017". Wizards of the Coast.
  11. Trick Jarrett (October 18, 2013). "Darksteel Mutation". Wizards of the Coast.