MTG Keywords Explained: Exploit

Card Kingdom Strategy

With Innistrad: Crimson Vow coming up, we’re delving into the set’s mechanics, including an old favorite that first appeared in Dragons of Tarkir. Exploit perfectly encapsulated the Silumgar clan’s ruthlessness, and it complements the necromancers of Innistrad nicely.

What is Exploit?

Exploit appears on creatures as an “enter the battlefield” ability. Whenever a creature with exploit ETBs, you may choose to sacrifice a creature. If you do, the game sees this as the creature exploiting the sacrificed creature, and an ability will trigger.

Simply put, when your exploit creature enters the battlefield, you can sacrifice a creature, and then something else will happen because of it. The effects can range based on how powerful the creatures are, but they tend to be pretty useful, depending on the situation. Creatures with exploit will help you counter spells, destroy permanents, or tutor for cards you need.

Some notes:

  • You choose whether or not to sacrifice a creature when the exploit ability resolves. Your opponent has to respond to the ability before that choice is made, if they want to.
  • A creature can exploit itself, and still get the exploit effect.
  • You can only sacrifice one creature to an exploit ability.
  • Exploit is always a “may” – you don’t have to sacrifice anything if you don’t want to.

Exploit is a mechanic that rewards your for planning ahead and being a bit ruthless. Check out all the cards with exploit at Card Kingdom, and consider adding some to your decks!