Rules Simplification Project – Part 2: Numbers and Symbols, Section B by Stelios Christos Kargotis

Rules Simplification Project – Part 1: Mana by Stelios Christos Kargotis

Rules Simplification Project – Part 2: Numbers and Symbols, Section B by Stelios Christos Kargotis

Introduction

The idea behind this project is to provide people with a simplified version of tricky rules and different examples of cards that appear similar on the surface of things but actually behave differently. As always any project of this nature is there to supplement your study not replace it.

If you come across Y then see X

Some objects use the letter Y in addition to the letter X, if that happens then the same rules that apply for X apply for Y.

e.g. The Ultimate Nightmare of Wizards of the Coast Customer Service
or
Bioplasm

N.B. There are no cards that would see play in Standard that have the Y Symbol

mana pie

Mana Symbols

There are five primary coloured mana symbols

{W} – White
{U} – Blue
{B} – Black
{R} – Red
{G} – Green

These symbols represent coloured mana but also coloured mana in costs. Coloured mana in costs can only be paid with only the appropriate colour of mana.

Numeral Symbols

As I mentioned in part 1 Magic the Gathering uses integers which are symbolised as such {1}, {2}, {3}, {4} and so on and so forth, and for variable values {X}. These values represent generic costs which can be paid with any type of mana.

The symbol{0} means zero mana and is used as a place holder for a cost that can be paid with no resources.

Demigod-of-Revenge

Hybrid Mana Symbols

There are 10 Hybrid Mana Symbols, they are:

{W/U} – White/Blue – e.g. Azor’s Elocutors
{W/B} – White/Black – e.g. Beckon Aparition
{U/B} – Blue/Black – e.g. Deathcult Rogue
{U/R} – Blue/Red – e.g. Nivmagus Elemental
{B/R} – Black/Red – e.g. Rakdos Cackler
{B/G} – Black/Green – e.g. Golgari Longlegs
{R/G} – Red/Green – e.g. Boartusk Liege
{R/W} – Red/White – e.g. Boros Reckoner
{G/B} – Green/Blue – e.g. Bioshift
{G/W} – Green/White – e.g. Dryad Millitant

These symbols are considered mana colour symbols each one represents a cost that can be paid in one of two ways, as represented by the two halves of the symbol. For example a cost of {G/B} {G/B} can be paid with {G}{G}, {B}{G}, {B}{B}

In addition to Hybrid Mana Symbols there are Monocoloured Hybrid Symbols (as seen during the Eventide Set) there are five of these in total

Spectral Procession Proper{2/W} – 2 Generic Mana/White – e.g. Spectral Procession
{2/U} – 2 Generic Mana/Blue – e.g. Advice from the Fae
{2/B} – 2 Generic Mana/Black – e.g. Beseech the Queen
{2/R} – 2 Generic Mana/Red – e.g. Flame Javelin
{2/G} – 2 Generic Mana/Green – e.g. Tower Above

Of course just for reference there is one card that contains all 5 Mono coloured symbols and that is the Reaper King.

The cost can be paid by either paying the coloured mana or 2 generic mana. Using the Flame Javelin as an example the cost can be {R}{R}{R}, {2}{R}{R}, {4}{R} or {6}.

Phyrexian Mana Symbols

Phyrexian Mana Symbols first appeared in the Scars of Mirrodin block and are coloured Mana Symbols, there are 5 in total:

Mutagenic Growth{W/P} – White/2 Life – e.g. Apostle’s Blessing
{U/P} – Blue/2 Life – e.g. Gitaxian Probe
{B/P} – Black/2 Life – e.g. Dismember
{R/P} – Red/2 Life – e.g. Gut Shot
{G/P} – Green/2 Life – e.g. Birthing Pod

The cost can be paid by either paying the coloured mana or 2 life, using Dismember as an example the cost can be {1}{B}{B}, {1}{P}{B} and {1}{P}{P}.

Snow Mana Symbol

The snow mana symbol represented by {S} represents one generic mana in a cost. This generic mana can be paid with one mana of any type produced by a snow permanent.

e.g. The activated ability of Frost Raptor.

Effects that reduce the amount of generic mana you pay do not affect {S} costs. Also there is no such thing as snow mana, snow is not a type of mana

e.g. If Phyrexian Ironfoot is enchanted by Power Artifact this will have not reduce the cost of 1{S} to 0, the cost will remain 1{S}.

Tap & Untap

Ulvenwald TrackerThe tap symbol is represented thus{T}. When the tap symbol is an activation cost it means that you “Tap this permanent”. A permanent that’s already tapped can not be tapped again to pay the cost.

e.g. If Greenside Watcher is tapped it cannot be “tapped” again to achieve the effect of Untapping a target Gate.

A creature’s activated ability that has the {T} symbol in the cost cannot be activated unless the creature has been under its controllers control continuously since his or her most recent turn began (aka summoning sickness}.

e.g. Simic Fluxmage‘s ability cannot be used until the creature has lost its “summoning sickness”.

The untap symbol is represented thus {Q}, the untap symbol in an activation cost means “Untap this permanent”. A permanent that’s already untapped cannot be “untapped” again to pay the cost.

e.g. An Umbral Mantle equipped to Mierike Ri Berret has to be tapped for the {Q} cost to be paid and the desired effect to be achieved

A creature’s activated ability that has the {Q} symbol in the cost cannot be activated unless the creature has been under its controllers control continuously since his or her most recent turn began (aka summoning sickness}

e.g. Safeold Sentry‘s activated ability cannot be used until the permanent has lost its summoning sickness.

Loyalty is the currency of the realm

Nicol Bolas, PlaneswalkerPlaneswalker have three types of loyalty symbol.

Positive loyalty symbols point upward and feature a plus symbol followed by a number[+N].

e.g. the +1: ability on Gideon, Champion of Justice

Negative loyalty symbols point downward and feature a negative symbol followed by a number or X. [-N]

e.g. the -2: ability Tamiyo, the Moon Sage

or

e.g. -[X]: ability of Tezzeret the Seeker

Neutral loyalty symbols point in no direction and feature a 0.

[+N] means add N loyalty counters on the this permanent
[-N] means remove N loyalty counters on this permanent
[0] means put 0 loyalty counters on this permanent.

Ding! Levelling Up

Student of WarfareNot a lot to explain here guys because the mechanics are straight forward:

{Level N1-N2} [Abilities] [P/T] means the following “As long as this creature has at least N1 level counters on it, but no more than N2 counters on it, its will have the corresponding [P/T] and has the corresponding abilities.

{Level N3+} [Abilities][P/T] means the following “As long as this creature has at least N3 or more level counters on it, its has the corresponding [P/T] and has the the corresponding abilities

e.g. a Kargan Dragonlord with 8 Level counters on it will be considered an 8/8 with flying and trample and not a 2/2 with no abilities.

And finally everything else…

A tombstone icon appears to the left of the name of many Odyssey block cards with abilities that are relevant in a players graveyard. The purpose of the icon is to make those cards stand out when they are in the graveyard. This icon has no effect on game play.

e.g. Brawn and Crush of Wurms

TarmogoyfA type icon appears in the upper left corner of each card from the Future Sight set printed with an alternate timeshifted frame. If the card has a single card type, this icon indicated what it is:

Claw marks = Creature
Flame = Sorcery
Lightning Bolt = Instant
Sunrise = Enchantment
Chalice = Artifact
Pair of mountain peaks = Land

If the card has multiple card types that is indicated by a black and white cross. These icons have no bearing or effect on game play.

Planar dice have two symbols the Planeswalker Symbol {PW} and the {C} symbol, if you require more info these will be covered in a later episode.

Sun and Moon symbols appear on double faced cards. Again this will be covered in a later episode.

Finally, a colour indicator is a circular symbol that appears to the left of the type line on some cards. The colour of the symbol defines the card’s colour or colours.

Thanks for reading.

Stelios

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