Some Magic keywords — like flying, trample, first strike, or deathtouch — have names that are pretty self-explanatory. But, as you dig deep into the history of the game, you find some pretty enigmatic entries.
Take epic: a mechanic introduced in Saviors of Kamigawa. Sounds pretty impressive, but what does it do? Today, we’ll share what makes epic so — well, epic, and what kind of impact it can have on your games.
What is Epic?
As it turns out, epic spells are just that: spells that blow all the others out of the water. At the beginning or your upkeep, you copy the spell except for its epic ability, and you can choose new targets if applicable. The reason you don’t copy the epic ability is so that you only get one copy of the spell each turn. If that clause weren’t there, you’d get two copies, then four, then eight, and so on.
But there’s one catch: once you resolve an epic spell, you can’t cast any other spells for the rest of the game. None. Zero. Nada. You can’t even cast spells using alternative costs, like madness or flashback.
After you’ve resolved an epic spell, your turn proceeds as normal. You can still play lands, attack and block with creatures, and activate the abilities of any permanents you have on the battlefield, like creatures, Planeswalkers, and artifacts. You can even activate the abilities of cards in your card, such as if a card has cycling. You just can’t cast any spells for the rest of the game.
Fortunately, spells with epic will reward you for your inaction. If you’ve cast Eternal Dominion as your epic spell, you get to search an opponent’s library for a creature, artifact, enchantment, or land card and put it into play under your control every turn on your upkeep. Enduring Ideal lets you put an enchantment from your library onto the battlefield each turn, and Neverending Torment will whittle away your opponent’s library until there’s nothing left.
Epic is a very all-in mechanic that demands that your deck is built to suit the effect you get from it, but the effects you get are generally game winning…at least over time.
Check out the rest of our keyword ability primers:
Fading & Vanishing
First Strike & Double Strike
Flying & Reach