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A loyalty ability is an activated ability with a cost of modifying the loyalty counter on a planeswalker card.

Description[ | ]

Loyalty symbol up+X means to add that many counters.

Loyalty symbol down-X means to remove that many counters. An ability with a negative loyalty cost can't be activated unless the planeswalker has at least that many loyalty counters on it.

Loyalty symbol neutral0 means to perform no modifications.

Rules[ | ]

From the glossary of the Comprehensive Rules (June 7, 2024—Modern Horizons 3)

Loyalty Ability
An activated ability with a loyalty symbol in its cost. See rule 606, “Loyalty Abilities.”

From the Comprehensive Rules (June 7, 2024—Modern Horizons 3)

  • 107.7. Each activated ability of a planeswalker has a loyalty symbol in its cost. Positive loyalty symbols point upward and feature a plus sign followed by a number. Negative loyalty symbols point downward and feature a minus sign followed by a number or an X. Neutral loyalty symbols don’t point in either direction and feature a 0. [+N] means “Put N loyalty counters on this permanent,” [-N] means “Remove N loyalty counters from this permanent,” and [0] means “Put zero loyalty counters on this permanent.” Loyalty symbols may also appear in abilities that modify loyalty costs.

From the Comprehensive Rules (June 7, 2024—Modern Horizons 3)

  • 606. Loyalty Abilities
    • 606.1. Some activated abilities are loyalty abilities, which are subject to special rules.
    • 606.2. An activated ability with a loyalty symbol in its cost is a loyalty ability. Normally, only planeswalkers have loyalty abilities.
    • 606.3. A player may activate a loyalty ability of a permanent they control any time they have priority and the stack is empty during a main phase of their turn, but only if no player has previously activated a loyalty ability of that permanent that turn.
    • 606.4. The cost to activate a loyalty ability of a permanent is to put on or remove from that permanent a certain number of loyalty counters, as shown by the loyalty symbol in the ability’s cost. This cost may be modified by other effects.
  • 606.5 If the total cost to activate a loyalty ability contains multiple costs to add or remove loyalty counters, those costs are combined into a single cost to add or remove loyalty counters, as appropriate.

    Example: A player controls Carth the Lion, which says, in part, “Planeswalkers’ loyalty abilities you control cost an additional [+1] to activate. That player also controls a planeswalker with three loyalty counters. To activate one of that planeswalker’s abilities that normally costs [+1], they put two loyalty counters on it. To activate one of its abilities that normally costs [−4], they remove three loyalty counters from it.

    • 606.6. A loyalty ability with a negative loyalty cost, taking into account any additional costs, can’t be activated unless the permanent has at least that many loyalty counters on it.

Examples[ | ]

Example

Gideon, Ally of Zendikar {2}{W}{W}
Legendary Planeswalker — Gideon
Loyalty symbol up+1: Until end of turn, Gideon, Ally of Zendikar becomes a 5/5 Human Soldier Ally creature with indestructible that’s still a planeswalker. Prevent all damage that would be dealt to him this turn.
Loyalty symbol neutral0: Create a 2/2 white Knight Ally creature token.
Loyalty symbol down-4: You get an emblem with “Creatures you control get +1/+1.”

Loyalty symbol start4

Cards that grant loyalty abilities[ | ]

  • Ichormoon Gauntlet ({U})
  • Elspeth's Talent ({W})
    • Loyalty symbol up+1: Create three 1/1 white Soldier creature tokens.
  • Teferi's Talent ({U})
    • Loyalty symbol down-12: You get an emblem with "You may activate loyalty abilities of planeswalkers you control on any player's turn any time you could cast an instant."
  • Liliana's Talent ({B})
    • Loyalty symbol down-8: Put all creature cards from all graveyards onto the battlefield under your control
  • Rowan's Talent ({R})
    • Loyalty symbol up+1: Up to one target creature gets +2/+0 and gains first strike and trample until end of turn.
  • Vivien's Talent ({G})
    • Loyalty symbol up+1: Look at the top four cards of your library. You may reveal a creature or land from among them and put it into your hand. Put the rest on the bottom of your library in any order.

Cards that interact with loyalty abilities[ | ]

Carth the Lion adds an additional cost of Loyalty symbol up+1 loyalty to planeswalker loyalty abilities.[1]

References[ | ]

  1. Jess Dunks (June 18, 2021). "Comprehensive Rules Changes". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
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