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Detain is a keyword action that was introduced in Return to Ravnica.[1] Dragon's Maze added 2 cards with detain. In effect, for one round of turns, it is an Arrest or Faith's Fetters for any permanent.

From the Comprehensive Rules (Fate Reforged)

  • 701.26. Detain
    • 701.26a Certain spells and abilities can detain a permanent. Until the next turn of the controller of that spell or ability, that permanent can’t attack or block and its activated abilities can’t be activated.


  • Activated abilities include a colon and are written in the form “[cost]: [effect].” No one can activate any activated abilities, including mana abilities, of a detained permanent.
  • The static abilities of a detained permanent still apply. The triggered abilities of a detained permanent can still trigger.
  • If a creature is already attacking or blocking when it’s detained, it won’t be removed from combat. It will continue to attack or block.
  • If a permanent’s activated ability is on the stack when that permanent is detained, the ability will be unaffected.
  • If a noncreature permanent is detained and later turns into a creature, it won’t be able to attack or block.
  • When a player leaves a multiplayer game, any continuous effects with durations that last until that player's next turn or until a specific point in that turn will last until that turn would have begun. They neither expire immediately nor last indefinitely.


  • Lyev Skyknight - Mana1.gifManaw.gifManau.gif
    Creature — Human Knight
    When Lyev Skyknight enters the battlefield, detain target nonland permanent an opponent controls. (Until your next turn, that permanent can't attack or block and its activated abilities can't be activated.)''

Color percentages[edit]

There is a total of 11 cards that involve detain, which divide by color as such:

  • White = 36%
  • Multicolor = 36%
  • Blue = 28%


  1. Dave Guskin. (November 02, 2012.) "Article I: Fun (see also Subsections F, J, and V.14.k)", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.