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Creature Type
(Subtype for creature/tribal cards)
25 cards
{B} 76% {U/B} 16% {B/R} 4% {M} 4%
as of Strixhaven: School of Mages
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Specter is a black creature type used for cards that depict vicious undead creatures whose touch numbs the minds of their victims, robbing them of memories (represented in-game by discard effects).


Most specters are seen riding atop undead flying monsters such as dragons, giant skulls with bat-wings, and other beasts, and often wield polearms.[1][2][3] They seem to be mirror-images of the white Archons, hooded beings that also ride flying mounts, though unlike them they don't appear to be mana manifestations (in the same manner as angels and demons), nor is it clear if, like with some archons, both "rider" and "steed" are the same being. Instead, most specters seen thus far are truly undead beings, usually the result of mind magic that went wrong.

The first card to bear the type was Hypnotic Specter in Alpha, affectionately known as "Hippy", which formed a favorite turn-one play with Dark Ritual.

Specter ability[]

The "Specter ability" (When this creature deals combat damage to an opponent, that player discards a card.) is primary in black.[4]



Specters of Arcavios hunt down those who try to back out of a deal with a daemogoth.


Little is known of Dominaria's specters in spite of featuring in several blocks, but it is known that at least one, Urgoros, is the result of dementia magic gone wrong.[5]


The specters of Eldraine only appear to people who are already doomed.[6]


Specters on Ravnica are magical creations of House Dimir. They are formed when the mind magic of House Dimir erases a person's identity, leaving a mind so broken it can no longer live. As a result, they hunger for memories and are easily used by the Dimir as agents. Their work can include driving off people who accidentally wander too close to a secret rooftop meeting, killing those who knowingly infiltrate Dimir property, and tracking those who have stolen guild secrets, then wiping those secrets from their victims' minds to ensure that they are never shared.

They ride mounts called gloamwings. Specters create these gloamwings as a part of their magical nature. Should the mount be killed, the specter can reform it over the course of a month.

Notable Specters[]





  1. Wizards of the Coast (July 31, 2007). "Specters, Mind-Draining Undead". Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Doug Beyer (November 10, 2010). "How to Design a Specter and More!". Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Monty Ashley (June 22, 2011). "What It Rides Is Up to You". Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Mark Rosewater (June 5, 2017). "Mechanical Color Pie 2017". Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Wizards of the Coast. (April 21, 2018.) "The Cabal is back in full force in Dominaria!", The Official Magic: The Gathering Tumblr, Tumblr.
  6. Kate Elliott (2019), Throne of Eldraine: The Wildered Quest, Penguin Random House