MTG Keywords Explained: Shadow

Card Kingdom Strategy

Games of Magic are commonly won through combat damage, and creatures with evasion often have the edge. Previously in this series, we covered the ability flying, which allows some creatures to soar across the red zone. We talked about trample, which allows some large creatures to deal damage depending on how they’re blocked. And more recently, we covered fear and intimidate, which determine which creatures can block one another in combat.

Today, we’ll be covering another evasion ability that has its origins all the way back in Tempest block. Step with us into the shadows…

What is Shadow?

Shadow is very similar to fear and intimidate, in that it’s an ability that restricts which creatures can block one another. In fact, it’s even simpler: creatures with shadow can only block or be blocked by other creatures with shadow. That’s it!

You may have seen a few creatures with shadow in your time playing Magic. One common example is Looter il-Kor, which allows you to draw and discard a card each time it successfully deals combat damage to a player. Good thing it’s so evasive!

Looter il-Kor

Shadow is a very straightforward ability — you’ll just want to watch out which how it interacts with one of Magic‘s trickier mechanics, banding. If a creature with shadow becomes part of a band, it can block and be blocked by non-shadow creatures.