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For Ward auras, see Ward (aura)
Ward
Keyword Ability
Type Triggered
Introduced Strixhaven: School of Mages
Last Used Evergreen
Reminder Text Ward [cost] (Whenever this creature becomes the target of a spell or ability an opponent controls, counter it unless that player pays [cost].)
Statistics
27 cards
{W} 22.2% {U} 25.9% {B} 11.1% {R} 3.7% {G} 18.5% {W/B} 3.7% {G/U} 3.7% {M} 3.7% {artifact symbol} 3.7% {land symbol} 3.7%
Scryfall Search
oracle:"Ward"

Ward is an evergreen keyword ability introduced in Strixhaven: School of Mages.[1][2] Ward is a triggered ability.[3]

Description[]

Whenever a permanent with ward becomes the target of a spell or ability an opponent controls, counter it unless that player pays an additional cost.

Before it was keyworded, Ward was known as Frost armor.[4][5] Early examples with this mechanic were Frost Titan and Diffusion Sliver. A variant on cards like Boreal Elemental and Callaphe, Beloved of the Sea simply increased the cost of targeting, with no triggered ability built in.

The two most common forms are costing additional mana (in white, blue, and green) and costing additional life (in black and red). These two approaches both protect against removal but ask different things of the rest of your deck and give opponents different incentives for when to bite the bullet and remove the warded creature. Going forward, R&D announced some more unique ward costs as well.[1][6]

Any spell or ability controlled by an opponent can be affected by ward. This includes Aura spells, triggered abilities, and anything else that target a permanent with ward. Spells and abilities that don't target won't cause ward to trigger.

Featured costs[]

Cost Introduced in Color Example
Additional mana Strixhaven: School of Mages {W}{U}{G}
Life Strixhaven: School of Mages {B}{R}
Discard a card Adventures in the Forgotten Realms {B} Westgate Regent

Rules[]

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

Ward
A triggered ability that can counter spells or abilities that target the permanent with ward. See rule 702.21, “Ward.”

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

  • 702.21. Ward
    • 702.21a Ward is a triggered ability. Ward [cost] means “Whenever this permanent becomes the target of a spell or ability an opponent controls, counter that spell or ability unless that player pays [cost].”

Ruling[]

  • If a player casts a spell that targets multiple permanents their opponent controls with ward, each of those ward abilities will trigger. If that player doesn't pay for all of them, the spell will be countered.
  • A spell or ability that can't be countered that targets one or more permanents with Ward, ignore the Ward ability completely. The Ward triggers, but produces no effect on resolution,

Example[]

Example

Adrix and Nev, Twincasters {2}{G}{U}
Legendary Creature - Merfolk Wizard
Ward {2} (Whenever this creature becomes the target of a spell or ability an opponent controls, counter it unless that player pays {2}).
If one or more tokens would be created under your control, twice that many of those tokens are created instead.

Cards that grant Ward[]

Creatures
Equipment

References[]

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