In addition to their presence on the table, permanents often have abilities, or functions that can directly affect gameplay. Abilities are often reusable and impact strategy to a significant degree.
There are three main types of abilities:
Activated abilities Waker of the Wilds has an activated ability that reads: ": Put X +1/+1 counters on target land you control. That land becomes a 0/0 Elemental creature with haste. It's still a land."
Activated abilities that require Tapping Encampment Keeper has an activated ability that reads: ", , Sacrifice Encampment Keeper: Creatures you control get +2/+2 until end of turn."
Triggered abilities Vicious Conquistador has : Whenever Vicious Conquistador attacks, each opponent loses 1 life."
These static abilities or mechanics are used in most sets and thus are the core abilities the game is built around.
- Main article: Ascend
- Main article: Crew
- Main article: Deathtouch
- Main article: Defender
Devoidcolors appear in their mana cost.
Double Strikecombat damage step alongside creatures with First Strike, then additionally deal damage during the second damage step along with regular creatures.
- Main article: Double Strike
Enchantauras which defines what they can enchant. The keyword is written with a quality after it (e.g. Enchant creature) which defines what a the aura can enchant. Technically it can attach to permanents.
- Main article: Enchant
- Main article: Equip
- Main article: First Strike
- Main article: Flash
- Main article: Flying
- Main article: Haste
- Main article: Hexproof
- Main article: Indestructible
- Main article: Lifelink
- Main article: Menace
- Main article: Prowess
- Main article: Reach
- Main article: Trample
- Main article: Transform
- Main article: Vigilance
|Abilities|| Evergreen Abilities: Deathtouch • Defender • Double Strike • Enchant • Equip • First Strike • Flash • Flying • Haste • Hexproof • Indestructible • Lifelink • Menace • Prowess • Reach • Trample • Vigilance
| Other Keyword Abilities: Afflict • Aftermath • Afterlife • Ascend • Convoke • Crew • Cycling • Embalm • Eternalize • Fabricate • Improvise • Jump-Start • Kicker • Mentor • Riot • Spectacle • Transform
|Ability Words||Addendum • Enrage • Raid • Revolt • Undergrowth|
|Actions||Adapt • Exert • Explore • Surveil|
207.2c An ability word appears in italics at the beginning of some abilities. Ability words are similar to keywords in that they tie together cards that have similar functionality, but they have no special rules meaning and no individual entries in the Comprehensive Rules. The ability words are battalion, bloodrush, channel, chroma, cohort, constellation, converge, council’s dilemma, delirium, domain, eminence, enrage, fateful hour, ferocious, formidable, grandeur, hellbent, heroic, imprint, inspired, join forces, kinship, landfall, lieutenant, metalcraft, morbid, parley, radiance, raid, rally, revolt, spell mastery, strive, sweep, tempting offer, threshold, and will of the council.
Enrage is a triggered ability word introduced in Ixalan as the signature mechanic for the Dinosaurs of the Sun Empire. It gives an advantageous effect when the creature is dealt damage and appears in red, white and green.
- Main article: Enrage
- Main article: Raid