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. 
- "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 lifelink 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 keyword may be primary in multiple colors (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
- "Quaternary" 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]
Current evergreen keywords[edit | edit source]
|Keyword||Type||Found in||First used in||First keyworded in||Cards with this|
|Activate||Action||All colors||Alpha||Sixth Edition|
|Deathtouch||Static Ability||Black (1), Green (2)||Future Sight||Future Sight||75|
|Defender||Static Ability||Walls in all colors[notes 1]||Alpha||Betrayers of Kamigawa||207|
|Double strike||Static Ability||Red (1), White (1)||Legions||Legions||62|
|Enchant||Static Ability||Auras of all colors||Alpha[notes 2]||Alpha||732|
|Exchange||Action||All colors||Alpha||Sixth Edition|
|Exile||Action||All colors||Alpha||Magic 2010|
|Fight||Action||Green (1), Red (2)||Visions||Innistrad||17|
|First strike||Static Ability||White (1), Red (1), Black (3)||Alpha||Alpha||374|
|Flash||Static Ability||Blue (1), Green (2), White (3)||Visions||Time Spiral||158|
|Flying||Static Ability||White (1), Blue (1), Black (2), Red (3), Green (4)||Alpha||Alpha||1813|
|Haste||Static Ability||Red (1), Black (2), Green (3)||Alpha||Sixth Edition||433|
|Hexproof||Static Ability||Blue (1), Green (2), White (3), Black (3)||Portal Three Kingdoms|| Duels of the
|Indestructible||Static Ability||Artifacts, White (1), Green (2), Black (3)||Alpha||Darksteel||68|
|Lifelink||Static Ability||White (1), Black (2)||Mirrodin||Future Sight||91|
|Menace ||Static Ability||Black (1), Red (2), Green (3)||Fallen Empires||Magic Origins||32|
|Prowess||Triggered Ability||Blue (1), Red (2), White (3)||Khans of Tarkir||Khans of Tarkir||22|
|Reach||Static Ability||Green (1), Red (2)||Alpha||Future Sight||159|
|Reveal||Action||All colors||Sixth Edition||Sixth Edition|
|Sacrifice||Action||All colors||Alpha||Revised Edition|
|Scry||Action||Blue (1), White (2), Black (2), Red (2), Green (2)||Fifth Dawn||Fifth Dawn||78|
|Trample||Static Ability||Green (1), Red (2), Blue (3), Black (3), White (4)||Alpha||Alpha||478|
|Vigilance||Static Ability||White (1), Green (2)||Alpha||Champions of Kamigawa||198|
Former evergreen keywords[edit | edit source]
|Keyword||Type||Found in||First used in||First keyworded in||Last used in||Supplanted by||Cards with this|
|Ante||Action||Artifacts, black, red, green||Alpha||Alpha||Homelands||Nothing||9|
|Bury||Action||All colors||Revised Edition||Revised Edition||Fifth Edition||Destroy [something]. It can't be regenerated.|
|Fear||Static Ability||Black (1)||Alpha||Onslaught||Alara Reborn||Intimidate||77|
|Shroud||Static Ability||Green (1), Blue (2)||Legends||Future Sight||Mirrodin Besieged||Hexproof||116|
|Intimidate||Static Ability||Black, Red||Zendikar||Zendikar||Commander 2014||Menace||31|
|Landwalk||Static Ability|| Blue (Islandwalk)
|Alpha||Alpha||Khans of Tarkir||Nothing||186|
|Protection||Static Ability||White (1), Blue (2), other colors (3)||Alpha||Alpha||Eldritch Moon||Nothing||273|
|Regenerate||Action||Green (1), Black (2)||Alpha||Alpha||Oath of the Gatewatch||Indestructible (until end of turn) ||251|
Most these have been obsoleted, but Protection is now considered to be deciduous. It is a tool in R&D's toolbox that they're allowed to use, but it's not something they expect to use in every set. 
Evergreen keywords by color[edit | edit source]
|White||Double Strike, First Strike, Flying, Lifelink, Vigilance||Scry||Flash, Hexproof, Prowess||Banding, Protection|
|Blue||Counter, Flash, Flying, Hexproof, Prowess, Scry||Trample||Landwalk, Protection, Shroud|
|Black||Deathtouch, Menace||Flying, Haste, Lifelink, Scry||First strike, Hexproof, Indestructible, Trample||Fear, Intimidate, Regenerate|
|Red||Double Strike, First Strike, Haste, Menace||Fight, Prowess, Reach, Scry, Trample||Flying||Intimidate|
|Green||Fight, Reach, Trample||Deathtouch, Flash, Hexproof, Scry, Vigilance||Haste, Indestructible, Menace||Regenerate, Shroud|
Notes[edit | edit source]
- 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.
- 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".
References[edit | edit source]
- Mark Rosewater. (June 18, 2007.) “Keyword Play”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater (November 6, 2015) "Primary/Secondary/Tertiary". Drive to Work # 276
- Mark Rosewater. (August 05, 2013.) “Twenty Things That Were Going To Kill Magic”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater. (January 29, 2016.) "Would a creature with both Flash and Defender fit into White's slice of the color pie?", Blogatog, Tumblr.
- Mark Rosewater. (April 03, 2016.) "Maro, what was the thought process behind not giving Elusive Tormentor a blue activation cost? It seems like a color pie break to make a monoblack (costing) card have hexproof, and it's intensely frustrating.", Blogatog, Tumblr.
- Mark Rosewater. (June 8, 2015.) “Evergreen Eggs & Ham”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater. (2015-07-05.) "How do you feel about the red Giant in orgins having reach?", Blogatog, Tumblr.
- Mark Rosewater. (2016-09-16.) "Rush of Vitality?", Blogatog, Tumblr.
- Mark Rosewater. (2015-09-10.) "Could colours other than green have fight effects?", Blogatog, Tumblr.