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

Description[]

+X means to add that many counters.

-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.

0 means to perform no modifications.

Carth the Lion has a unique ability that adds an additional cost of +1 loyalty to planeswalker loyalty abilities.[1]

Rules[]

From the glossary of the Comprehensive Rules (September 24, 2021—Innistrad: Midnight Hunt)

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

From the Comprehensive Rules (September 24, 2021—Innistrad: Midnight Hunt)

  • 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 (September 24, 2021—Innistrad: Midnight Hunt)

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