New Features of Urza's Destiny

Urza's Saga introduced the following new features to the Magic game; Urza's 
Legacy and Urza's Destiny further explore these features. These features are 
explained on the cards themselves.


Many spells are priceless in the right circumstances but deadweight in your 
hand the rest of the time. Cycling is an ability that helps in these 
situations. If you're holding a card with cycling, then instead of playing 
it, you can pay its cycling cost and discard it to draw another card.

    EXAMPLE: Fend Off reads:
    "Cycling 2
    Target creature deals no combat damage this turn." 

Cycling is played as an instant, so you can play it any time instants are 
legal. Remember that you draw the new card when the cycling ability resolves, 
not when it's played. You discard the card as part of paying the cycling 
cost, so it won't be in your hand during any responses.

Cycling is an ability, so it can't be countered by spells or abilities that 
counter only spells.


Echo is a new ability that spreads the cost of a permanent, usually a 
creature, over two turns. Spells with echo cost less to play than similar 
ones without it. However, during your next upkeep, you must pay the 
permanent's casting cost again or sacrifice it.

    EXAMPLE: Pouncing Jaguar is a green 2/2 creature that costs only G, so 
you can play it on your first turn. However, since it has echo, you have to 
pay another G next turn during your upkeep or sacrifice Pouncing Jaguar. 

The payment is required any time a permanent with echo comes under your 
control, not just when you play one from your hand.

    EXAMPLE: You gain control of your opponent's Pouncing Jaguar. On your 
next upkeep, you must either pay G (which may be difficult if you're playing 
a pure blue deck!) or sacrifice the Pouncing Jaguar. 

Echo is a triggered ability that triggers at the beginning of your upkeep. If 
you have a permanent that requires an echo payment, you can't end your upkeep 
until you've either paid the cost or sacrificed the permanent. Also, if the 
permanent has any activated abilities, you can't play them until the echo 
ability has resolved.

New Enchantments

Urza's Destiny includes two special types of enchantments, nicknamed 
"sleeping" and "growing."

"Sleeping" Enchantments

Sleeping enchantments start out as enchantments but can "awaken" when an 
appropriate event triggers them.

    EXAMPLE: Lurking Jackals reads:
    "When one of your opponents has 10 life or less, if Lurking Jackals is an 
enchantment, it becomes a 3/2 Hound creature." 

Many sleeping enchantments become creatures when they wake. In this case, 
they no longer count as enchantments. Most sleeping enchantments change once 
and stay that way, but a few have a second ability that can "put them back to 
sleep" by changing them into enchantments again.

If a spell or ability counters the enchantment's trigger condition (such as 
playing a creature spell), the countered spell or ability doesn't resolve and 
won't "wake" the enchantment.

"Growing" Enchantments

Growing enchantments have a one-time ability that you control. These 
enchantments start out powerless but grow potentially stronger each turn.

    EXAMPLE: Incendiary reads:
    "At the beginning of your upkeep, you may put a fuse counter on 
    When enchanted creature is put into a graveyard, Incendiary deals X 
damage to target creature or player, where X is the number of fuse counters 
on Incendiary." 

Adding the counter is an optional upkeep ability. If you forget to add a 
counter during your upkeep, you don't get to back up.

Remember, if you sacrifice a permanent with counters on it as part of an 
ability's cost, the ability "looks at" the number of counters the permanent 
had before it left play. Thus, you can decide whether to add the counter 
before activating a growing enchantment's ability.

Classic Rules Changes

The game rules have been revised with the release of the Magic: The 
Gathering-Classicâ„¢ set. The most significant changes are summarized below. 
For more information, check the Classic (Sixth Edition) rulebook.

The Stack

Forget batches and series-whenever you play a spell or ability, it goes on 
the stack. You can then play another spell or ability or pass. If you pass, 
your opponent gets priority to play spells and abilities. When you both pass 
in succession, the spell or ability on top of the stack resolves. Then the 
player whose turn it is (the active player) gets priority again. You don't 
have to wait for everything on the stack to resolve before playing another 

Abilities that add mana to your pool don't go on the stack. You simply get 
the mana immediately. Spells that produce mana, however, such as Dark Ritual, 
go on the stack like other spells. Mana sources no longer exist.

Countering Spells

All interrupts are now instants, which means you can counter a spell any time 
before it resolves.

Damage Prevention and Regeneration

There's no more damage prevention step. Damage prevention, regeneration, and 
other spells and abilities that generate replacement effects are now played 
just like other instants.

When such a spell or ability resolves, its effect creates a kind of shield. 
These shields last until used up or until the next cleanup step, whichever 
comes first.

If an effect prevents a specific amount of damage, it creates a shield that 
hangs around until that amount of damage is prevented. If two different 
effects could each prevent the same damage, the "shielded" player or 
controller of the "shielded" creature chooses. All damage-prevention spells 
and abilities are now targeted.

Triggered Abilities

Any ability that begins with "when," "whenever," or "at" is a triggered 
ability. When a triggered ability's condition is met, the ability 
automatically goes on the stack. Its controller chooses all targets for it, 
and when it resolves, makes all other choices for it.

Triggered abilities can no longer resolve while another spell or ability is 
resolving. Phase abilities have all been changed to triggered abilities that 
trigger when the specified phase or step begins.

Phases and Steps

Each turn now has five phases: beginning, main, combat, main (again), and end.

The beginning phase has three steps: untap, upkeep, and draw. If an effect 
instructs you to do something at the beginning of the turn, you do it at the 
beginning of upkeep. Upkeep abilities are now triggered abilities.

There are now two main phases in every turn. They're separated by combat, 
which is now its own phase.

The end phase has two steps: end of turn and cleanup. When the end-of-turn 
step begins, all triggered abilities that start with "At end of turn" go on 
the stack. When the cleanup step begins, the active player discards down to 
the maximum hand size (usually seven cards). Then all damage on creatures is 
removed and effects that last "until end of turn" end. If any abilities 
trigger during the cleanup step, they go on the stack, and then the active 
player gets priority to play spells and abilities. If any spells or abilities 
resolve during cleanup, the whole step is repeated. Otherwise, the turn ends.


Combat is now its own phase with five steps: beginning of combat, declare 
attackers, declare blockers, combat damage, and end of combat. Spells and 
abilities may be played during each of these steps, but only after the step's 
mandatory parts have been completed.

Dealing combat damage works differently. The active player announces how he 
or she wants attacking creatures' combat damage to be dealt, then the 
defending player does the same for blocking creatures. Tapped blockers now 
deal combat damage just like untapped ones. Combat damage isn't dealt 
immediately-instead, it goes on the stack. Players may then play spells and 
abilities as usual. When the combat damage resolves, it's dealt according to 
the earlier announcements, even if one or more of the creatures in combat are 
no longer in play.

When the end-of-combat step begins, all abilities that trigger on the end of 
combat go on the stack.


You now lose the game as soon as you reach 0 life, not at the end of the 

Artifacts' continuous abilities now work the same way as other permanents' 
abilities. They no longer "shut off" while the artifact is tapped.

You choose modes and targets for a spell or ability (and pay costs) when you 
play it, but you make all other choices when the spell or ability resolves, 
not when it's played.

© 2009 Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a division of Hasbro, Inc. All rights