Convoke is an MTG keyword ability, first introduced with Ravnica: City of Guilds. It has since returned multiple times, most recently with March of the Machine. In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about it, including:
- How does convoke work?
- How do creatures help you cast a spell?
- What interactions does convoke enable?
- And more!
At first, we’ll just take a look at the basics, and only afterward explore some other niche interactions, in order to keep it simple.
How Does Convoke Work?
Any type of Magic card (except for lands) can have the convoke ability.
When you cast a card with convoke ability, you can reduce its cost by tapping untapped creatures you control. Each creature you tap reduced the cost of a spell by 1 generic mana, or by one mana of that creature’s color.
Here’s Collective Nightmare, a straightforward uncommon with convoke.
If you want, you can ignore the convoke part. Just pay three mana, one of which must be black, and give a creature -3/-3.
Of course, you can also tap up to three of your untapped creatures, and each of them will reduce the spell’s cost. If you tap Grizzly Bears, you can cast it for two mana, one of which has to be black. On the other hand, if you tap a black creature, like Yargle, Glutton of Urborg, you can cast it for two generic mana.
Another example would be March of the Multitudes.
The spell has X in its cost, which has a great synergy with the convoke part. You can tap all of your creatures in order to make X a really large number, and get a massive effect. Let’s say you have 7 lands and 5 creatures in play. In that case, you could cast March of the Multitudes for X=9, and get nine Soldiers with lifelink.
MTG Convoke – FAQ
Let’s take a look at some commonly asked questions players have about the convoke mechanic. If you don’t find the answer to your specific question, you can leave a comment below, and we’ll get back to you ASAP.
Yes, you can.
Creatures with summoning sickness can’t tap themselves for their own effects. However, they can be tapped for effects of other cards, such as cards with convoke.
Yes, you can. Any creature (token or nontoken) can help you pay for convoke spells.
No, you can’t. You can only tap untapped creatures to pay for convoke cards.
If you have enough creatures, you can.
For example, if you have three creatures, with at least one of them being green, you can cast Past for Reflection for zero mana.
No, it doesn’t. It reduces the amount of mana required to cast the spell, but the mana value isn’t affected.
No, once a creature has been tapped as a part of casting a spell with convoke, destroying that creature won’t alter the cost of the spell.
You could have a spell with multiple instances of convoke. For example, by having two Chief Engineers in play. That doesn’t have any additional effect, and it works just as it would if there would be only one instance of convoke.
The definition of convoke is to call together or summon (an assembly or meeting). That’s certainly appropriate, as you’ll get the most out of your convoke cards, if you manage to have a bunch of creatures in play.
The mechanic will also the perfect fit for Selesnya (white-green guild from Ravnica), which was all about community. In March of the Machine, plenty of different creatures need to work together in order to defend themselves from Phyrexians. So, once again, the coming together part makes sense.
All in all, convoke is certainly a flavor win.
MTG Convoke – Interactions
Let’s take a look at some interactions that convoke enables. Some of these are format specific, while the others can happen in any format.
Getting a Bonus for Convoking
Getting a discounted spell is the typical benefit of convoking. Additionally, some cards can give a benefit to the creatures that convoked it. The first such card was Venerated Loxodon, and more recently there’s Zephyr Singer.
Each creature that you tapped for Singer’s convoke ability will get a flying counter. So not only are you getting a cheap flyer, but your other creatures will now be harder to block.
Tapping Without Danger
Some creatures can reward you for tapping them. Those also benefit from convoke cards, as you can tap them without exposing them in combat. A couple of examples would be Depala, Pilot Exemplar and Emmara, Soul of the Accord.
Emmara is particularly great for convoke strategies in Commander. It’s a cheap creature, so you can quickly use it for your convoke spells. Furthermore, it makes 1/1 creatures, which can then also be used for convoking. For quite a while, Emmara was probably the most iconic convoke commander, but that might change with March of the Machine release.
Convoke in Commander
Kasla has convoke itself, and it gives you a payoff for casting other spells with convoke. So, if you enjoy both Commander and the convoke mechanic, this is a great commander to try out.
Convoke in Draft
When we do this rules articles, we also like to touch on how the mechanics play in Limited (Draft & Sealed). So, what convoke does, it makes cheap creatures a bit better, as you’re going to be able to cast your convoke spells a turn earlier. Other than that, it doesn’t affect the Limited format that much.
If you want to find more information about how this will play in a draft, you can check our March of the Machine Draft Guide.
That’s all about the convoke mechanic. Now you know everything about how it works, and you’ll be able to use that to your advantage.
Convoke isn’t the only thing returning with March of the Machine. Various iconic legends from all over Magic’s past are also coming back in this set. There’s a special slot in every booster, where you can get these cards, possibly even something very strong like or . You can find all the cards and information about them in our Multiverse Legends Guide.
Until next time, have fun and may you always have enough creatures in play to be able to cast your most expensive convoke spells.