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The term "evergreen", as in the context of "an evergreen keyword", refers to keywords or keyword actions that can be used in any set.[1]

Primary/Secondary/Tertiary[edit | edit source]

When talking about which colors get which evergeen creature keywords, R&D tends to talk about a system called Primary/Secondary/Tertiary. In their quest to differentiate the colors in the color wheel, each should have strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, not every color gets every keyword. [2]

  • "Primary" color means that it is the main color for a specific keyword, where it is centered (e.g. white is the primary color for liflink or, in other words, lifelink is primary in white). When a keyword is primary in that color, it shows up more often and also may show up multiple times in common. The ability is also more likely to be granted in that color. A keword may be primary in multiple clors (e.g. flying is primary in white and blue).
  • When the color is "secondary", the keyword shows up in almost every set, but not as often. It may show up only once in common, or only in uncommon and rare. The ability may be granted in this color, but not as regularly.
  • "Tertiary" means that the keyword shows up once in a while; not necessarily in every set. It doesn't appear at common and is seldom granted. It only appears under certain circumstances, maybe once a block
  • "Quartenary" means that the keyword shows up once in a long while; it is only allowed in very rare circumstances. It is not impossible.
  • "Quinary" means it happens only once or twice in the history of Magic. Like Akroma, Angel of Wrath having haste.

Reminder text[edit | edit source]

As the core set has always been the place for new players to start, as of Eighth Edition it was decided to include reminder text with the evergreen creature keywords.[3]

Current evergreen keywords[edit | edit source]

Keyword Found in First used in First keyworded in First core set First core set
as a keyword
Cards in core
sets with this
Cards in all
sets with this
Deathtouch Black (1), Green (2) Future Sight Future Sight Magic 2010 Magic 2010 15 75
Defender Walls in all colors[4] Alpha Betrayers of Kamigawa Alpha Tenth Edition 38 207
Double strike Red (1), White (1) Legions Legions Tenth Edition Tenth Edition 5 62
Enchant Auras of all colors Alpha Alpha Alpha[5] Alpha 139 732
Equip Equipment Mirrodin Mirrodin Ninth Edition Ninth Edition 21 174
Fight Red, Green Onslaught Innistrad Magic 2013 Magic 2013 2 17
First strike White (1), Red (1), Black (3) Alpha Alpha Alpha Alpha 60 374
Flash Blue (1), Green (2) Visions Time Spiral Ninth Edition Tenth Edition 12 158
Flying White (1), Blue (1), Black (2), Red (3), Green (4) Alpha Alpha Alpha Alpha 268 1813
Haste Red (1), Black (2), Green (3) Alpha Sixth Edition Alpha Sixth Edition 45 433
Hexproof Blue (1), Green (2), White (3) Portal Three Kingdoms Duels of the
Planeswalkers 2012
Tenth Edition Magic 2012 13 54
Indestructible Artifacts, White (1), Green (2) Alpha Darksteel Alpha Magic 2010 9 68
Lifelink White (1), Black (2) Mirrodin Future Sight Ninth Edition Tenth Edition 17 91
Menace [6] Black (1), Red (2), Green (3) Alliances‎ Magic Origins‎ Fifth Edition Magic Origins‎ 10 32
Prowess Blue (1), Red (2), White (3) Khans of Tarkir Khans of Tarkir‎ Magic Origins Magic Origins‎ 4 22
Reach Green (1), Red (2) Alpha Future Sight Alpha Tenth Edition 14 159
Regenerate Green (1), Black (2) Alpha Alpha Alpha Alpha 38 251
Scry Blue (1), White (2), Black (2), Red (2), Green (2) Fifth Dawn Fifth Dawn Magic 2011 Magic 2011 5 78
Trample Green (1), Red (2), Blue (3), Black (3), White (4) Alpha Alpha Alpha Alpha 56 478
Vigilance White (1), Green (2) Alpha Champions of Kamigawa Alpha Ninth Edition 32 198

Former evergreen keywords[edit | edit source]

Keyword Found in First used in First keyworded in First core set First core set as a keyword Last used in Supplanted
Cards in core
sets with this
Cards in all
sets with this
Ante Artifacts, black, red, green Alpha Alpha Alpha Alpha Homelands 6 9
Banding White Alpha Alpha Alpha Alpha Weatherlight 12 41
Fear Black (1) Alpha Onslaught Alpha Eighth Edition Alara Reborn Intimidate 4 77
Shroud Green (1), Blue (2) Legends Future Sight Fifth Edition Tenth Edition Mirrodin Besieged Hexproof 8 116
Intimidate Black, Red Zendikar Zendikar Magic 2010 Magic 2010 Commander 2014 Menace 6 31
Landwalk Blue (Islandwalk)
Black (Swampwalk)
Red (Mountainwalk)
Green (Forestwalk)
Alpha Alpha Alpha Alpha Khans of Tarkir 44 186
Protection White (1), Blue (2), all other colors against their enemy (3) Alpha Alpha Alpha Alpha Magic Origins 25 273

Evergreen keywords by color[edit | edit source]

  • White: Banding, Double Strike, First Strike, Flash, Flying, Lifelink, Plainswalk, Protection, Vigilance, Prowess
  • Blue: Flash, Flying, Hexproof, Islandwalk, Protection, Shroud, Prowess, Scry
  • Black: Deathtouch, Fear, First Strike, Intimidate, Lifelink, Regeneration, Swampwalk, Menace
  • Red: Haste, Double strike, First Strike, Intimidate, Mountainwalk, Trample, Prowess, Menace, Scry
  • Green: Deathtouch, Flash, Forestwalk, Haste, Hexproof, Reach, Regeneration, Shroud, Trample, Vigilance
  • Colorless: Indestructible, Equip
  • All: Enchant, Defender (mainly walls), Protection (against enemy)

Notes and references[edit | edit source]

  1. Mark Rosewater. (June 18, 2007.) "Keyword Play", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Mark Rosewater (November 6, 2015) "Primary/Secondary/Tertiary". Drive to Work # 276
  3. Mark Rosewater. (August 05, 2013.) "Twenty Things That Were Going To Kill Magic", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Originally the creature type "Wall" carried the special rule that the creature couldn't attack. This was removed sometime around Betrayers of Kamigawa. Walls printed prior to that set have received errata giving them defender.
  5. By errata as of Ninth Edition. Originally cards that now have the subtype Aura were "local enchantments", with a type including what it could enchant, such as "Enchant Creature" or "Enchant Land".
  6. Mark Rosewater. (June 8, 2015.) "Evergreen Eggs & Ham",, Wizards of the Coast.

External links[edit | edit source]