MTG Wiki
Keyword Action
Introduced Alliances (mechanic)
Fifth Dawn (keyword)
Last Used Evergreen
Reminder Text Scry N (Look at the top N cards of your library, then put any number of them on the bottom of your library and the rest on top in any order.)
Scry 1 (Look at the top card of your library. You may put that card on the bottom of your library.)
252 cards
{C} 0.8% {W} 7.5% {U} 38.9% {B} 7.9% {R} 9.5% {G} 5.6% {W/U} 2% {U/B} 0.8% {B/R} 0.4% {R/G} 0.4% {W/B} 0.8% {U/R} 3.2% {B/G} 0.8% {R/W} 1.6% {G/U} 1.6% {M} 0.8% {artifact symbol} 8.3% {land symbol} 9.1%
Scryfall Search

Scry is a keyword action that allows a player to look at a certain number of cards from the top of their library and put them on the bottom of the library or back on top in any order.[1] It primarily features on instants and sorceries, but has also appeared on creatures, artifacts, lands (including a cycle first printed in Theros block), and enchantments. It is also part of the Vancouver mulligan.


The first cards with scry were designed by Aaron Forsythe and printed in Fifth Dawn.[2] It was then expanded on several years later in Future Sight,[3] and returned in Magic 2011[4] and Theros block.[5] It became evergreen in Magic Origins.[6][7] When the mechanic became evergreen some older cards like Soldevi Excavations and Opt were errata'd to have the keyword.[8]

Originally scry was a keyword ability like flying or first strike. It has now been errata'd to be a "keyword action", like regenerate, attach, or counter. The original cycle of Fifth Dawn instants and sorceries with scry has been errata'd to have a period after "Scry N", indicating that it is no longer a keyword ability but an action.

Despite the keyword being prevalent in all sets and colors, caring about scrying is a rare occurrence. Two cards in Theros block triggered upon scrying (Knowledge and Power and Flamespeaker Adept), and nearly nine years later Elminster was the next to do so.

According to Mark Rosewater, any color can scry 1, but scrying more is limited to certain colors.[9][10] Blue is the primary color to scry. It also gets the largest scry numbers with red getting the lowest.[11]

In 2015, the Battle for Zendikar prerelease brought scry into the mulligan rules (then called the "Vancouver" mulligan). In those mulligan rules, all players that kept less than 7 cards in their starting hand would scry 1.[12]


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

To manipulate some of the cards on top of your library. See rule 701.18, “Scry.”

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

  • 701.18. Scry
    • 701.18a To “scry N” means to look at the top N cards of your library, then put any number of them on the bottom of your library in any order and the rest on top of your library in any order.
    • 701.18b If a player is instructed to scry 0, no scry event occurs. Abilities that trigger whenever a player scries won’t trigger.
    • 701.18c If multiple players scry at once, each of those players looks at the top cards of their library at the same time. Those players decide in APNAP order (see rule 101.4) where to put those cards, then those cards move at the same time.


  • When you scry, you may put all the cards you look at back on top of your library, you may put all of those cards on the bottom of your library, or you may put some of those cards on top and the rest of them on the bottom.
  • You choose how to order those cards no matter where you put them.
  • You perform the actions stated on a card in sequence. Some spells with scry, e.g. all of them in the Fifth Dawn set, have scry as the last part of their text, so scrying is the last thing you do before the spell is put into its owner's graveyard. Other cards (e.g. Read the Bones) have scry followed by another effect, so scrying is done before following the other instructions.
  • Scry appears on some spells and abilities with one or more targets. If all of the spell or ability's targets are illegal when it tries to resolve, it will be countered and none of its effects will happen. You won't scry.


Example 1

Fill with Fright {3}{B}
Target player discards two cards. Scry 2. (Look at the top two cards of your library, then put any number of them on the bottom of your library and the rest on top in any order.)

Example 2

Judge Unworthy {1}{W}
Choose target attacking or blocking creature. Scry 3, then reveal the top card of your library. Judge Unworthy deals damage equal to that card's converted mana cost to that creature. (To scry 3, look at the top three cards of your library, then put any number of them on the bottom of your library and the rest on top in any order.)

Reminder text[]

As of Theros block, the latest reminder text for Scry differs depending on the number.

If N is 1 the reminder text reads as follows: "Look at the top card of your library. You may put that card on the bottom of your library.".


Main article: Scrycast

Scrycast is a mechanic that appeared on a test card in the convention version of the Mystery Booster set, on Biting Remark. If a card with Scrycast is seen while scrying, its owner may reveal it and cast it for its Scrycast cost.


  1. Aaron Forsythe (May 18, 2007). "Scry and Keyword Actions". Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Mark Rosewater (May 17, 2004). "Scry Me a River". Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Mark Rosewater (May 14, 2007). "The Scrying Game". Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Tom LaPille (July 2, 2010). "Scry Havoc". Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Sam Stoddard (September 6, 2013). "How Theros Got Its Scry On". Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Mark Rosewater (June 8, 2015). "Evergreen Eggs & Ham". Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Matt Tabak (June 22, 2015). "Magic Origins Mechanics Article". Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Mark Rosewater (September 07, 2017). "Why was Opt erratad to have scry?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  9. Mark Rosewater (March 1, 2017). "Is there any effect that can be printed in every color and not be a break?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  10. Mark Rosewater (March 1, 2017). "[
    • Only* Scry 1? Does Scry for higher values only go in some colours?]". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  11. Mark Rosewater (June 5, 2017). "Mechanical Color Pie 2017". Wizards of the Coast.
  12. Sam Stoddard (August 7, 2015). "Mulligans". Wizards of the Coast.

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