MTG Keywords Explained: Indestructible

Card Kingdom Strategy

In our last article on hexproof, we talked about the importance of using board wipes to clear away troublesome creatures. But what if you’re the one playing creatures and you want to ensure they stick around? Your creatures just might need a new keyword: indestructible.

What is Indestructible?

Creatures with indestructible are impervious to any effects that normally destroy creatures, such as:

  • Damage (including combat damage)
  • Any effects that “destroy” a creature

This makes creatures with indestructible amazing in combat, since they can block or attack through just about anything. Even when they battle creatures with deathtouch, creatures with indestructible come out on top.

However, indestructible does have its limitations. If a creature’s toughness is reduced to zero, it still dies, even if it has indestructible. So, if you target an indestructible creature with Grasp of Darkness or cast a Pestilent Haze, it’ll still go to the graveyard.

You can also deal with creatures with indestructible in a number of different ways, including:

  • Exiling them with spells like Path to Exile
  • Preventing them from attacking or blocking with spells like Pacifism
  • Tapping them with spells like Frost Breath so they cannot attack or block

Examples of indestructible

Creatures with indestructible are popular in Magic, especially in formats like Commander where board stalls and board wipes are common. Here are a few examples of indestructible that you might run into in future games.

Blightsteel Colossus

Blightsteel Colossus

One of the hottest cards in Double Masters is Blightsteel Colossus – a creature with a host of terrifying abilities, including indestructible. This giant robot costs a whopping twelve mana to cast, but once it’s on the battlefield, it’s extremely hard to block – and to remove.

Gods of Theros

Heliod, Sun-Crowned

If you’ve started playing Magic recently, you may have also run across the Gods of Theros. These deities aren’t like any other creatures: they’re indestructible and they’re only creatures on the battlefield if their devotion is met, so choose your removal wisely!

Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger

Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger

Ulamog is another iconic Magic creature with the indestructible keyword. His ability to exile libraries makes him a huge threat across multiple formats, and you may have to exile Ulamog, too, if you want him off the battlefield.

Avacyn, Angel of Hope

Avacyn, Angel of Hope

Some creatures can grant indestructible to others. Avacyn, Angel of Hope is a Commander staple because she can protect your entire army from destruction.

Boros Charm

If you don’t want to pay eight mana to give all your creatures indestructible, there are plenty of cheaper options. Boros Charm is one of many spells that grant indestructible, and its modal nature makes it useful in high-variance Commander games.

Learn More

Check out the rest of our keyword ability primers:

Companion
Cycling
Deathtouch
Hexproof
Mutate
Phasing
Trample