Ward in MTG - Rules, Best Cards and Decks! (2023)

Repel is an eternal skill keyword in Magic: The Gathering. Whenever an opponent chooses a block card with a spell or ability, that spell or ability is countered unless the player pays the block cost. This article covers the MTG rules for the wing, how the wing works with play examples, the best wing cards, wing decks, how to play the wing, and general wing questions.

Ward in MTG - Rules, Best Cards and Decks! (1)

MTG District Rules

Introduced as an eternal keyword in Strixhaven: School of Mages in April 2021, Ward brought with him a new mechanic.

In case you lost (or lost) a card with an attachment, the department rule is:

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station [cost](Whenever this permanent becomes the target of a spell or ability an opponent controls, counter it unless that player pays [COST].)

Magic: The Gathering UmfassendRules, 702.21. "Area".

So let's get some things straight. First, parry is an activated ability. This means that all players can react to saves. In fact, a player can even counter with a Stifle or similar, just as a player can counter withcounter spell.

You can think of parrying as a mini-anticor that is executed every time your opponent's spell or ability hits the permanent with the parry. If your creature has wing 1, it's like casting a tenth of free mana every time your opponent hits it.

Fun fact: if you're playing in MTG Arena, the game will display a message like this when you target a creature with protection:

Ward in MTG - Rules, Best Cards and Decks! (2)

This helps prevent accidental mistakes and is a handy reminder that a creature has chambers. Don't ignore this message when it pops up because it has saved me in many games!

Why does Ward exist?

You might be wondering why there is a keyword like season when we already have itproof of witches. If you compare the two keywords, you'll see that Ward is basically just a worse version of Hexproof. The answer is very simple: hexproof is a very powerful ability and Ward allows you to protect your creatures from removal while keeping the game balanced.

station example

Let's look at a real example, shall we? (And by real life, I actually mean the game.)

Ward in MTG - Rules, Best Cards and Decks! (3)
(Video) What IS Ward?!

Imagine a scenario where your opponent attacks youAerista Waterfall. You have five mana available and a copy of themcrush domein hand. It turns out that it is enough mana to get rid of this annoying creature.

First, target the Waterfall Aerialist with Crushing Canopy. Crushing Canopy goes on the stack, but before it resolves, Waterfall Aerialist's {2} ability goes on the stack and targets Crushing Canopy. The block resolves (assuming no player counters it with another spell or ability) and you must pay the additional mana cost of {2} or have the Crushing Canopy counter.

And finally! If you're already pretty familiar with how counterspells work, you'll have no problem dealing with the wards.

station and stack

OK, but what if you target the same protection creature twice (or more)? Well, for each new spell that hits a blocking creature, you have to pay the blocking cost one more time. For example, if a guardian creature has 6 points and you want to remove it with twoauthor, you must pay the cost of the eye twice (once for each flash).

Wipes Ward v. Board

Simply put, Ward has no effect on maple wipes. Since board clears don't target creatures, they don't trigger protection.

Ward vs. Multi-Target-Zauber

multi-target spell likeelectrolyzeit can be a bit difficult, not only when it comes to the season. However, if you keep thinking about defensive abilities like Antisparta, it won't be too hard to follow.

For each wary creature that targets multiple of your spell targets, you must pay the additional mana imprisonment cost. If at least one season commission remains unpaid,The entire spell does not resolve!

Deathtouch protection

This is another one of those times when the season doesn't apply. for one thingbreath of deathit's a keyword, not an ability, and deflection is only caused by spells or abilities. Also, deathtouch doesn't target creatures anyway, so deflection won't apply even if deathtouch is an ability.

protection and sacrifice

The relationship between the effects of the eye and the victim varies from case to case, so some explanation is needed.

Ward in MTG - Rules, Best Cards and Decks! (4)

Ward only cares if the creature itself is attacked. For example, Ward is unstoppableDevil's Decreebecause Diabolic Edict targets a player, not a creature. Whether that player chooses to sacrifice a Ward creature to Diabolic Edict is up to them, but Ward's ability does not.

Ward in MTG - Rules, Best Cards and Decks! (5)

however eraSometimesapplies to sacrifice effects.Sarkan the foolSkills include a sacrifice ability, but also target a specific creature. In that case, Ward would go on the stack and possibly counter him. However, targeted sacrifice results are quite rare. So, if in doubt, the defense probably doesn't apply to the situation.

Defense against irresistible spells

What happens when an unstoppable force meets a stationary object? Well, in this case, the unstoppable force (sudden decay, or any other spell that cannot be countered) overcomes unstoppable force (creature with defense).

(Video) MTG Top 10: Ward | The BEST Cards With Magic's NEWEST Evergreen Keyword! | Episode 565

Ward in MTG - Rules, Best Cards and Decks! (6)

Imagine trying to aimsudden decaycommaximum power. Obviously it wouldn't work, as Abrupt Decay is uncountable. Now replace the Force Spike with a Ward trigger and you'll find that even though the Ward cost is not paid, it will do nothing to stop the rapid decay.

Ward in MTG - Rules, Best Cards and Decks! (7)

I also suggest you look at the map.Intensity of discussion. It is an irresistible charm of hisStrixhavenwith a short reminder text explaining that the Eyes ability cannot deal with it. Since this is memory text (all text in parentheses is memory text), this clause applies to all spells that cannot be countered, not just intense conversation.

The best maps of the area

Brutaler Katharer // Moonrage Brute

Ward in MTG - Rules, Best Cards and Decks! (8)

Technical,brutal clearhe has no guard but his back,Moonrage Brutes, he does. If you manage to spin Brutal Cathar multiple times in a fight, you'll really do a number on your opponent's battlefield. Moonrage Brute's built-in eye protection ensures that creatures you exiled with Brutal Cathar stay exiled for a while.

Hamlet Pioneer

Ward in MTG - Rules, Best Cards and Decks! (9)

The problem with most large creatures is that they are easily defeated by removal. ProhibitedHamlet Pioneer, a great addition to your deck when playing with a lot of people. It might not be that great if you play it on an empty board, but on a crowded board, it becomes a force to be reckoned with.


Ward in MTG - Rules, Best Cards and Decks! (10)

You obviously want to playSedgemoor-Hexein a deck full of instants and sorceries. While the protection cost isn't too hard to pay since it costs life instead of mana, it's still a nice bonus ability to add to an already good card.

Varis, forester da Silvermoon

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One of my favorite engineersAdventures in Forgotten Realmsset is the mechanics of the dungeon. you can clickHerein case you didn't already know. However,Varis, forester da Silvermoonit has a little bit of everything: good stats for a good price, built-in block protection, and the ability to advance further into the dungeon each turn. What's not to like?

Chaplain of Alms

Ward in MTG - Rules, Best Cards and Decks! (12)

What's better than offering protection to your creature? Giving all your creatures a shield, of course!Chaplain of Almsit starts as a small one-man creature, but you can recast it from your graveyard for its disruption cost. It will then come into play as a pesky little flyer that protects not only itself but all your other creatures as well.

(Video) Top 10 Best Cards with Hexproof in MTG

Octavia, Living Thesis

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If you arrange your graveyard correctly,Octavia, Living Thesisit can be an 8/8 for only two mana! Getting eight spells into your graveyard isn't bad, but it will be worth it when that giant octopus hits the battlefield. He also has Ward {8}, which is absolutely ridiculous. At this point, it might as well be spelling.

Ward decks MTG

Currently, the most popular deck in Competitive Standard is Mono-White Aggro, and it has two blocking creatures:Chaplain of Almsmbrutal clear.

Note that this deck contains a few cards with defense. This is because it aims to be as aggressive as possible, and the defensive abilities complement the deck's strategy rather than overpowering it. I think Ward works better as a support engineer than as a lead engineer.

they play against the ward

When I was building a deck, I wouldn't worry too much about eye creatures. Sure, paying guardian costs can be a bit of a pain, but guardian isn't an established mechanic you can't play around with.

I recommend playing removal spells with cheap mana cost and taking defenses into account when planning your future turns. Note that these are general deckbuilding/gameplay tips that apply to Magic in general, not just Ward specifically.

Will Ward replace Hexproof?

If you've been playing Magic for any length of time, you may have noticed that fewer and fewer Magic Protection cards seem to be coming out. However, if you're a fan of Hexproof, don't worry. In the official Magic article about Ward, the writers wrote:

We will not remove Hexproof in the futureMagic. There are many cards where hexproof is more valuable than protection. A common case is combat tricks likelist of rangersmsnake skin veiland sometimes these large, difficult-to-interact creatures are positive additions to your environment (when you look at them,Tyrant of slaughter). At the end of the day, we've added another tool to the toolbox and will try to use it when it's best for a map.

Introducing Ward, magic.wizards.com, 25 Mar. 2021

Simply put, you should expect to see more protection cards and more Spellproof cards in the future. Live!

(Video) Equipment Tier List | Commander Clash Podcast #26

Note on Ward in MTG

I hope this article has given you a more complete understanding of ocular mechanics. It works similarly to Hexproof, but is slightly less powerful. That being said, many hacked cards are still very powerful.

If you're ever worried about getting your creatures away from your opponent's spells, go ahead and add some protection creatures to your deck! For tips on how to build an amazing MTG deck, check out our building guidesstandard decksmCommander Decks.

More Magic: The Gathering items

Ward in MTG - Rules, Best Cards and Decks! (14)

Hi, I'm Emily, the board gamer behind My Kind of Meeple. If you found this article helpful, I'd appreciate it if you'd say "Thanks!" with a £3 coffee at Ko-Fi.

Ward in MTG - Rules, Best Cards and Decks! (15)


Does Ward block Deathtouch? ›

Ward only taxes/counters targeted spells or abilities, but deathtouch doesn't target anything. It's a static ability of the creature with deathtouch, so it doesn't do anything.

Does Ward protect against board wipes? ›

Ward vs Board Wipes

Simply put, ward has no effect on board wipes. Since board wipes don't target any creatures, they do not cause ward to trigger.

Does Ward protect against abilities? ›

Ward doesn't just stop removal spells like Murder; any interaction that targets the creature is affected by Ward. That includes many planeswalker and creature abilities. However, Ward is not universal protection.

What does Ward 4 mean MTG? ›

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].”

Can I enchant a creature with Ward? ›

Similarly, you can enchant ward creatures just fine.

Obviously, you can't enchant creatures with shroud, though, because those can't be the target of any spells or abilities, including your own.

Does Deathtouch beat indestructible? ›

Indestructible creatures also ignore deathtouch. Normally, a creature is destroyed if it takes damage from a creature with deathtouch. But since indestructible creatures can't be destroyed, they're immune.

Does Ward go on the stack? ›

No, Ward does not state it does anything on the stack so it only works on the battlefield. Only when the trespasser is in play.

Which is better shroud or Hexproof? ›

Shroud vs Hexproof

With Shroud ability, a player cannot be the target of a spell. Hexproof means the creature cannot be a target of abilities under the control of your opponent. Hexproof is better than Shroud as you can penalize your opponent, but you cannot do so with Shroud.

What is the difference between Ward and Hexproof? ›

One of the big differences between Ward and Shroud or Hexproof is that, while Hexproof and Shroud make a permanent an invalid target, meaning a spell or ability can't even go onto the stack if it targets them, Ward does not. The creature is still targeted, it just poses an additional cost before that ability resolves.

Does a ward protect against mortal wounds? ›

Q: In section 14.3 of the core rules, ward rolls are made to negate a wound or mortal wound before it is allocated to a model. However, many units in the game have abilities that trigger when a wound or mortal wound is allocated to a friendly model.

Does Ward work for destroy all creatures? ›

A spell or ability needs to target your permanent to trigger ward. Spells that destroy all creatures don't apply here.

Where should I place Control Wards? ›

It is a good idea to place Control Wards in the top side of the map as well as in the river to prevent any counter movements from the enemy. A good Control Ward in the top bush will deny any vision for the enemy which can come in handy to prevent a TP play or the enemy spotting your Jungler.

Does Hexproof stop Deathtouch? ›

Hexproof does not make a creature immune to abilities, it just makes them unable to be targetted by an opponent's spells or abilities. As deathtouch does not target, the creature with hexproof will still be affected.

Can I block a creature with Ward? ›

Ward only triggers when a creature would be targeted by something. Blocking a creature is not targeting it. No, only when it is being targeted by a spell or ability an opponent controls. Ward triggers when the permanent becomes the target of a spell or ability controller by an opponent.

How many control wards can you hold? ›

Limitations. Can only carry 2 Control Wards in inventory. Limited to 1 Control Ward on the map per player.

Can you smite a ward? ›

Wards can be one of the strongest offensive and defensive items in Smite, providing better map vision and safety from ganks.

What enchantment hurts the warden? ›

Mojang turned it into a regular hostile mob in the final release. Otherwise, Smite would have been the best enchantment for killing the Warden. Nonetheless, players can use Sharpness, a universal enchantment for damaging any mob.

What happens if you sacrifice a creature with a shield counter? ›

How Do Shield Counters Work with Sacrifice Effects? Sacrifice is separate from “destroy” and isn't an instance of damage, so shield counters won't save a creature from being sacrificed.

What kills Hexproof? ›

Board wipes do kill hexproof cards.

As such, hexproof creatures will die to board wipes. Similarly, cards that destroy or disable all artifacts, enchantments, or lands without targeting will also affect hexproof permanents of the same type.

Can Hexproof survive board wipes? ›

Granting hexproof to a permanent or player doesn't cause opponents' Auras to become unattached. A card that has 'hexproof' is still affected by board wipes that don't target specifically that card.

Can you exile Hexproof? ›

Can a Creature with Hexproof Be Exiled? As long as you're exiling the hexproof creature with a spell or ability that says “exile each creature” or “exile all creatures,” then yes. If you're trying exile a creature with something like Swords to Plowshares, then it won't work.

Can you sacrifice a creature with shroud? ›

Can You Sacrifice a Creature with Shroud? You can sacrifice a creature with shroud. Choosing a creature isn't the same as targeting a creature, which means you can choose a shroud creature when you have to sacrifice. However, you can't do so if you have to target a shroud creature before sacrificing it.

What do Ward spells do? ›

Wards are defensive spells belonging to the school of Restoration that help protect you against melee and magical attacks. All Wards have a certain amount of "Hit Points" (HP). If the HP reaches 0, the Ward is destroyed and you experience stagger.

Does Hexproof block destroy all creatures? ›

Heroic Intervention grants hexproof and indestructible to all your creatures for a turn, shielding them from board wipes. No wonder this card is so popular in Commander!

What is the difference between mortal wound and non mortal wound? ›

Therefore, the author explains that if the wound does not result in a "sudden" death, it is not considered a "mortal wound."

Does Nagash have a ward save? ›

Nagash, Supreme Lord of the Undead

The lack of any form of ward save against non-mortal wounds means that any army with decent combat potential will just take him off the board, especially if that damage is delivered at range.

What is a ward roll? ›

'Some abilities allow you to roll a dice to negate a wound or mortal wound. Abilities of this type are referred to as wards, and the dice roll is referred to as a ward roll. Unless stated otherwise, the ward roll is made before the wound is allocated to the model in question.

Does chaos damage bypass Ward? ›

Unlike energy shield, taking damage will not interrupt ward restoration time. Ward can absorbs all type Damage. Physical damage,Fire Damage,Cold Damage,Lightning Damage,Chaos Damage. Ward can only be found in item bases found from expeditions and Iron Flasks.

Do I buy too many Control Wards? ›

Yes, this is a big issue. You have to look at it like this; every control ward the enemy takes, it's basically the same as giving them one tower plate. Let me explain: You're losing 75 gold (control ward cost) and they're gaining 30 gold when destroying it, that's already a 105 gold difference.

What is the difference between stealth ward and Control Ward? ›


Totem Wards last from 90–120 seconds while Stealth Wards lasts for 150 seconds. They are also Stealthed so they are untargetable by enemy champions. You will most likely destroy it using a Control Ward or an Oracle Lens. Control Wards costs 75 gold and it lasts until it's killed.

When should I ward top lane? ›

Top lane warding: You should place a ward in the enemy jungle before going to lane. This will help you notice when the enemy's jungler finishes off the top-side jungle and comes to gank.

Does first strike beat Deathtouch? ›

Creatures with deathtouch deal damage during the regular combat damage step. Fortunately, if you block a creature with deathtouch with a creature with first strike or double strike, your creature will deal damage during the first strike damage step, before the deathtouch creature can return fire.

Is indestructible better than Hexproof? ›

Both of these are powerful effects, though have many ways to work around and remove the threat. Indestructible falls prey to exiling, tucking, etc; Hexproof is hit by 'destroy all' and other non-targeting spells.

Is there a card that gives all creatures Deathtouch? ›

Bow of Nylea MTG card. Image: Wizards of the Coast. With Bow of Nylea, you can give all your attacking creatures deathtouch.

Can you tap a creature while blocking? ›

Can You Tap a Blocking Creature? Yes, you can tap a blocking creature. Take a card like Razia, Boros Archangel for example. You can block your opponent's attacker and then tap it to activate its ability before damage.

When should I use Oracle lens? ›

You'll want to swap to Oracle Lens once you either have a recall where your Warding Totem is on a near 2-minute cooldown, or when you finish the first quest on your support item. Oracle Lens is the bread and butter of Supports and Junglers once laning phase ends.

Do sweepers disable Control Wards? ›

Wards do not last for long, but how long they do last can be disrupted by your Sweeper. So, it is important not to waste your Lens on an area where nobody has been and instead- use it in an area where the enemies have recently been.

Do Control Wards reveal invisibility? ›

The only thing that can reveal Invisible champions is true sight, i.e. Control Wards, towers or Scanners. Invisibility is strong but it is usually a rather small part of the enemy's kit.

What stops Deathtouch? ›

Deathtouch vs Indestructible

With the indestructible ability, a creature cannot be destroyed in the normal way with combat damage or by abilities that say 'destroy' on them. This disables deathtouch entirely, as even if a deathtouch creature deals damage, it'll never be lethal to an indestructible creature.

Does shroud prevent Deathtouch? ›

Because deathtouch does not target, shroud won't save a creature from deathtouch. Instead, the shroud creature will just be dealt damage normally and be destroyed as a result. Remember, dealing combat damage isn't an ability.

Does protection from everything stop Deathtouch? ›

Does Protection From a Color Prevent Deathtouch? The short answer here is yes. Protection from black, for example, will prevent all damage dealt by black creatures and spells to whatever has that protection.

Does mirror shield prevent deathtouch? ›

Equipped creature gets +0/+2 and has hexproof and "Whenever a creature with deathtouch blocks or becomes blocked by this creature, destroy that creature."

What is the first strike Deathtouch rule? ›

Creatures with deathtouch deal damage during the regular combat damage step. Fortunately, if you block a creature with deathtouch with a creature with first strike or double strike, your creature will deal damage during the first strike damage step, before the deathtouch creature can return fire.

Does Hexproof protect against Deathtouch? ›

Hexproof does not make a creature immune to abilities, it just makes them unable to be targetted by an opponent's spells or abilities. As deathtouch does not target, the creature with hexproof will still be affected.

What card gives all creatures Deathtouch? ›

The Frostfang gives your attacking creatures deathtouch, instantly making your opponents reconsider how they want to block. Now that your opponents are going to be more likely to let your opponents slip through and deal combat damage to their life directly, you get to draw a card for each creature that gets through.


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