|Introduced:|| Legends (mechanic)|
Future Sight (keyword)
|Last Used:||Scars of Mirrodin|
|Reminder Text:||This permanent or player can’t be the target of spells or abilities.|
|Gatherer search for "Shroud"|
Shroud is mainly seen on green and blue cards. White gets some cards that grant shroud to many permanents at once (especially non-creature permanents), or to players. Shroud has also been seen on a number of artifacts, and among the artifact cards in which it has been seen it is often incorporated as an ability of equipment cards.
- This includes all effect already on the creature
- All older cards with this ability received errata to change that ability to shroud.
- Cards with variants of this ability, such as "This creature can't be that target of spells or abilities your opponents control," did not get errata.
- Some cards, such as the Onslaught's True Believer, grant shroud to players.
- Shroud is a former evergreen ability, but has been supplanted by hexproof.
The latest reminder text for Shroud reads "This creature can't be the target of spells or abilities."
Notable developments in relation to Magic history
- June 1994: With the release of the Legends expansion, shroud was introduced as a game concept with the card Spectral Cloak, which was the only card in the expansion to grant shroud. At the time, the card referenced what would later be known as the keyword ability "shroud" as follows: "Cannot be the target of instants, sorceries, fast effects, or enchantments." As Spectral Cloak is an aura, it is hence the first aura to grant shroud, and the first card to utilize the shroud game mechanic was an aura.
- November 1994: Deep Spawn, Homarid Warrior, and Svyelunite Priest in the Fallen Empires expansion share the distinction of being the first creatures to be able to grant themselves shroud, albeit with drawbacks. Svyelunite Priest becomes the first creature able to grant another permanent shroud.
- October 1995: Autumn Willow, the sole card in the Homelands expansion to reference shroud, became the first creature that has shroud as a built-in static ability. It is also the first legendary card to reference shroud, and the first card that is not Blue to reference shroud.
- June 1996: As the Alliances expansion, which was the first expansion to be released after Homelands, contained Deadly Insect, which has shroud, the release of Alliances marked the first time in the history of Magic: the Gathering in which shroud was used in two consecutive expansions. This is the case because shroud was not used in The Dark, which was released between Legends and Fallen Empires, and because shroud was not used in Ice Age, which was released between Fallen Empires and Homelands. It is interesting to note that with the release of the Coldsnap expansion in July 2006, (just over 10 years after the release of Alliances), when the Coldsnap expansion replaced Homelands in the Ice Age block and became the third expansion for the block, with Alliances moving from the third to the second, that treating Coldsnap as being situated between the release of Alliances and the Mirage expansion, (which has always immediately followed the Ice Age block since its release), still enables the second and third expansions of the Ice Age block to have been the first point in which two expansions had consecutive use of shroud, as Coldsnap contains one card, Frost Raptor, that references shroud.
- October 1996: Spectral Guardian of the Mirage expansion becomes the first card to grant multiple permanents shroud at once. It shares the distinction with Favorable Destiny of being the first White cards to grant shroud.
- October 1997 - June 1998: The Tempest block, containing the Tempest, Stronghold, and Exodus expansions, becomes the first block to utilize shroud in each of its three expansions. 4 cards from Tempest, 1 card from Stronghold, and 1 card from Exodus reference the shroud ability. Interestingly, the Tempest block, which coincides with the Rath Cycle, introduces a location known as Skyshroud Forest, which is not only referenced in its own card, Skyshroud Forest, but in the names of ten creatures from the Tempest block whose names begin with "Skyshroud." Of related interest is that of the cards with "Skyshroud" in their name, the ten creatures and one land from the Tempest block, the five creatures and one sorcery from the Nemesis expansion, and the one instant from the Planeshift expansion, none of these cards reference the shroud ability in any way except for the most recently created one, the instant from Planeshift, Skyshroud Blessing, (and even then, the printed card did not actually have the written keyword ability "shroud" on it since shroud was not keyworded until the release of Future Sight in May 2007 more than six years after Planeshift was released in February 2001).
- October 1999: Ivory Mask became the first card to grant a game element other than a permanent shroud, as it gave its controller shroud. It was also became the first card to give shroud to a player. The expansion in which Ivory Mask was released, Mercadian Masques, also introduced Fountain Watch, another noteworthy card with regards to shroud because it was the first card to grant shroud to only its controller's artifacts, only to its controller's enchantments, and to multiple enchantments at once. Fountain Watch and yet another noteworthy card from Mercadian Masques, Diplomatic Immunity, became the first cards in the more than five years of shroud's existence at the time in which they were released to grant shroud to enchantments, as no card before their release had the power to grant shroud to any enchantment.
- February 2000: Spiritual Asylum, released with the Nemesis expansion, became the first card to grant shroud to all creatures and all lands under its controller's control. As a result of the release of Spiritual Asylum and Fountain Watch in Mercadian Masques a few months earlier, for the first time in Magic: the Gathering history players had the ability to grant each and every one of their permanents shroud, as Fountain Watch and Spiritual Asylum together enabled all of their controller's lands, creatures, artifacts, and enchantments to have shroud and as the planeswalker card type was not yet introduced (and would not be introduced until the release of the Lorwyn expansion in October 2007, a little more than 7 years later).
- February 2001: Shroud appears on a multicolored card that includes the color red for the first time, as Minotaur Illusionist from the Apocalypse expansion, which shares blue and red as colors, can gain shroud as part of its activated ability that requires blue mana, (while its separate activated ability that requires red mana does not reference shroud).
- February 2002: With the release of the Torment expansion, the Odyssey block became the first block in four years to have not had at least one card in each of its expansions reference the shroud ability, as at least one card in each of the blocks between the Tempest block and the Odyssey block, the Urza's block, the Masques block, and the Invasion block had at least one card with shroud in each of their expansions. Of note is that the first and third expansions of the Odyssey block, Odyssey and Judgment, respectively, each had three cards that referenced shroud.
- October 2003: Lightning Greaves, released with the Mirrodin expansion, becomes both the first artifact to enable another permanent to have shroud and the first artifact to do so through the equip keyword ability. A variant of shroud which enables cards to circumvent the limitation of shroud that prevents players from being able to target permanents under their control with shroud was also introduced in Mirrodin, and this variant allows players to target the affected cards while the cards "can't be the target(s) of spells or abilities (the player's) opponents control." The card which introduced this variant shroud mechanic, Leonin Abunas, is the only card in Mirrodin to reference this variant of shroud, and is hence also the first card to apply this ability toward artifacts, with the following wording: "Artifacts you control can't be the target of spells or abilities your opponents control." This variant on the shroud mechanic has since led to the development of the Magic slang term "super shroud" or "troll shroud" to describe the ability, which later became the keyword hexproof.
- October 2005: Privileged Position, a card released with the Ravnica: City of Guilds expansion, became the first card to grant "Super shroud" to all permanents other than itself, thus enabling two copies of Privileged Position to be used in conjunction with each other to produce a more versatile version of the combination between Fountain Watch and Spiritual Asylum. However, since Ravnica: City of Guilds did not have any cards that had the "normal" shroud ability, the Ravnica block broke a chain of consecutive blocks in which each expansion within those blocks had at least one card with shroud. The blocks between the Odyssey block and Ravnica block that met these specifications were, in chronological order of release, the Onslaught block, the (first) Mirrodin block, and the Kamigawa block. It is notable that at the time of Privileged Position's release, players were also able to produce very similar two-card combinations that mimicked, but did not exactly replicate the combination of two copies of Privileged Position together, as combining Privileged Position with Fountain Watch enabled players to give all their artifacts and enchantments shroud while giving all creatures, lands, (and eventually, planeswalkers) super shroud, and combining Privileged Position with the enchantment Sterling Grove from the Invasion expansion enabled players to give shroud to all enchantments other than Sterling Grove, give super shroud to Sterling Grove, and give super shroud to all other permanents.
- October 2006 - May 2007: The Time Spiral block became the first and only block to begin with an expansion that did not have shroud printed as a keyword ability on its cards and to end with an expansion that had shroud printed as a keyword ability on its cards.
- May 2007: "Shroud" became a keyword ability with the release of the Future Sight expansion.
- October 2007: With the introduction of Planeswalkers as a card type, the combination of Fountain Watch and Spiritual Asylum no longer granted shroud to each of a player's permanents, although the combo still worked with regards to giving shroud to all lands, creatures, artifacts, and enchantments.
- April 2009: Trace of Abundance, released with the Alara Reborn expansion, became the first card to grant shroud specifically to one land.
- October 2009 - April 2010: The previous record for the most consecutive blocks in which each expansion of the block has had at least one card that references shroud was surpassed, as the Zendikar block became the fifth consecutive block in which each expansion of the block has had at least one card that references shroud, as the blocks between the Time Spiral block and the Zendikar block, the Lorwyn block, the Shadowmoor block and the Alara block, did as well. Interestingly, the Time Spiral block's status as the block that started the chain of consecutive blocks that enabled the record be surpassed came in conjunction with the keywording of shroud in Future Sight, which was the third expansion of the block.
- September 2010: With the release of Asceticism in the Scars of Mirrodin expansion, players gained a new shroud/super shroud two-card combination for Legacy and Vintage that in some ways rivals or even surpasses the versatility of the two-card combinations that were made possible by the release of Privileged Position in the Ravnica: City of Guilds expansion 5 years earlier. Combining Asceticism with Fountain Watch, while it does not grant shroud to lands, enables all of a player's creatures to have super shroud and all of a player's artifacts and enchantments to have shroud, while enabling players to use Asceticism's activated ability to pay to regenerate a target creature.
Enchantments that grant just Shroud
- Alexi's Cloak
- Aspect of Mongoose
- Mystic Veil
- Robe of Mirrors
- Spectral Cloak (as long as the enchanted creature remains untapped)
One creature and the enchantment itself
One player (yourself)
Creatures of a chosen creature type
All artifacts (yours and opponents')
Creatures and lands you control
Enchantments (besides itself)
Enchantments (besides itself) and enchanted creatures you control
Notable Shroud variants that are yet to be seen on any Magic card
- A card granting shroud to just one enchantment
- A card granting shroud to all enchantments
- A card granting shroud to all of its controller's permanents, including itself.
- A card granting shroud to all permanents
- A card granting shroud to a single opponent
- A card granting shroud to all opponents
- A card granting shroud to all players
- A card granting shroud specifically to a single planeswalker
- A card granting shroud specifically to all planeswalkers "controlled" by a specific player
- A card granting shroud specifically to all planeswalkers
- Any variant of shroud on a red card that was not also colored white, blue, and/or green.
- Any variant of shroud on any black card.