Afflict – MTG Mechanics Explained

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Afflict is a triggered ability that appears on creatures, and is always written with a number, like “Afflict N.” Whenever a creature with it becomes blocked, the defending player loses N life. Multiple instances of the mechanic on a single creature each trigger separately (which is something made possible by equipping Dagger of the Worthy to a creature that already has Afflict).

And that’s really it. There’s no real other notes here – the only thing I can think of is that no matter how many creatures block the creature with Afflict, the ability only triggers the one time. There are other cards throughout Magic that do the same sort of thing, but they tend to be few and far between.

Afflict was received fine enough, but not terribly enthusiastically. It’s a very aggressive mechanic, but can be problematic if it shows up too heavily in any one set. It also limits the amount of burn and direct damage that Wizards is comfortable with existing in the same environment. Both those restrictions are big strikes against it making a real return, although it’s not completely out of the question.

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