bloodthirst magic the gathering

MTG Keywords Explained: Bloodthirst

Card Kingdom Strategy

Just in time for spooky season, we’re covering a mechanic that will make your creatures scary-big: bloodthirst!

What is Bloodthirst?

Bloodthirst works a little differently than most combat-focused mechanics. Instead of rewarding you for dealing damage with a specific creature, bloodthirst makes your creatures bigger if other creatures have dealt damage first.

Bloodthist is always written as “Bloodthirst X.” If an opponent is dealt damage before the creature with bloodthirst enters the battlefield, that creature will enter with a number of +1/+1 counters on it equal to the bloodthirst number.

A few additional notes:

  • Bloodthirst cares about damage, not life loss. Cards like Exsanguinate won’t trigger bloodthirst, but an infect creature would.
  • The damage also doesn’t have to be combat damage. A Lightning Bolt to your opponent’s face will do the trick.
  • You also don’t have to cause the damage yourself. If your opponent deals damage to themselves, or you have multiple opponents hitting each other, that will turn bloodthirst on as well.
  • Multiple instances of Bloodthirst do stack.

Bloodthirst is a very aggressive mechanic. It gives you bigger creatures to hit your opponent with as long as you’re already hitting them somehow, very much encouraging a fast game plan.