|Last Used||Modern Horizons 2|
|Reminder Text||Living weapon (When this Equipment enters the battlefield, create a 0/0 black Phyrexian Germ creature token, then attach this Equipment to it.)|
When a card with Living weapon enters the battlefield, it creates a 0/0 black Phyrexian Germ creature token and attaches itself to it. Thus Living weapons are themselves creatures until they die or their controller chooses to upgrade a different creature, with the detaching of the equipment and killing the Germ, as it is now a 0/0 creature. Due to state-based effects it is put into the graveyard and ceases to exist.
The mechanic leans towards making an artifact creature on rate, which consequently makes for high equip costs as trading off the germ is otherwise "free", and the equipment grants much higher stats than conventional equipment. Some trade off a cheaper equip cost for a much higher up front cost for rate, like Necropouncer.
With colored artifacts becoming more often used, equipment design space slowly expanded starting Core Set 2020. Three equipment - Ancestral Blade, Wolfrider's Saddle and Mask of Immolation - have the living weapon text, but on tokens that are otherwise functional creatures. The equipment also hence do not need to be costed to equip a creature-sized boost, expanding design options.
Kaldheim brought forth a cycle with another variation, with a quasi-kicker cost to generate a token and attach it. This opens many gameplay decisions based off the casting, equip, and "kicker" costs.
Another similar equipment design was printed in Commander 2021 with Fractal Harness - the equipment itself does not grant toughness, resulting in a cost that resembles an Ivy Elemental on a free equpiment with equip . Goblin Morningstar has another design where the equipment comes with a token (potentially) unattached.
The term "Living weapon" is taken to its logical conclusion with Reconfigure cards, which are equipment that are typed creatures while unequipped, and can pay their reconfigure cost to equip other creatures. They would lose the creature type when equipped.
- Living Weapon
- A keyword ability that creates a creature token and then attaches the Equipment with the ability to that token. See rule 702.92, “Living Weapon.”
- 702.92. Living Weapon
- 702.92a Living weapon is a triggered ability. “Living weapon” means “When this Equipment enters the battlefield, create a 0/0 black Phyrexian Germ creature token, then attach this Equipment to it.”
- Like other Equipment, each Equipment with living weapon has an equip cost. You can pay this cost to attach an Equipment to another creature you control. Once the Phyrexian Germ token is no longer equipped, it will be put into your graveyard, unless another effect raises its toughness above 0.
Artifact — Equipment
Living weapon (When this Equipment enters the battlefield, put a 0/0 black Phyrexian Germ creature token onto the battlefield, then attach this to it.)
Equipped creature gets +1/+1.
Equip (: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery.)
- Living Weapon was featured as rules card 3 of 5 in the Mirrodin Besieged set and as rules card 2 of 4 in the New Phyrexia set.
- Mark Rosewater (January 17, 2011). "Under Besiege, Part 1". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater (March 7, 2011). "What Do You Do for a Living Weapon?". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Tom LaPille (March 11, 2011). "Confessions in an Armory". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Monty Ashley (March 8, 2011). "The Germ in Charge". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Doug Beyer (March 9, 2011). "Germ Warfare: The Flavor of Living Weapon". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Doug Beyer (March 16, 2011). "Six Secrets Behind the Sets". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Jess Dunks (June 18, 2021). "Comprehensive Rules Changes". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- A Planeswalker's Primer to Mirrodin Besieged: Living Weapon (Video). Magic: The Gathering. YouTube.