MTG Coven – Rules and Interactions Explained

Coven is a new MTG ability word introduced with Innistrad: Midnight Hunt. In this article, we’ll talk about everything you need to know about it:

  • How does coven work?
  • What interactions can happen with coven?
  • And more!

This way, you’ll be ready to take advantage of the new coven cards.

How Does Coven Work?

Coven is an ability word. (This means it doesn’t do something specific by itself, but groups similar cards together.)

Cards with coven become better if you control three or more creatures with different powers.

The bonus effects for coven vary from card to card, so it’s probably best that we take a look at an example or two.


Here’s Dawnhart Wardens, which has the Coven ability word.

Dawnhart Wardens MTG Coven Rules

So you’ll always get a 3/3 vigilance for three mana. This is perfectly fine for draft. However, if you have three or more creatures with different powers, your creatures will get +1/+0 at the beginning of your combat.

The ability doesn’t have to be triggered. You can also have an activated ability. For example, Sungold Sentinel has one.

Sungold Sentinel How Does Coven Work MTG Mechanic

With this two drop, you can pay two mana, and choose a color to give it hexproof from that color. It also can’t be blocked by creatures of that color for a turn. Pretty good, right? However, since Sentinel has coven, you can only activate that ability, if you control three or more creatures with different powers. Of course, Sentinel can count as one of those creatures.

MTG Coven – FAQ

What happens if one of the three creatures dies?

Well, it depends. If you activate an activated ability (like the one of Sungold Sentinel), and your opponent kills one of your creatures in response, the ability still happens, as it is already on the stack.

However, the triggered abilities check the number of different powered creatures twice. Once when the effect triggers, and once at the resolution.

For example, your opponent has Dawnhart Wardens in play. At the beginning of their combat, the ability goes on the stack, since they also control a 1/1 and a 3/3. You destroy their 1/1 in response. When the Wardens’ effect tries to resolve, it checks again how many creatures with different power are there. Since there are only two, they don’t get the +1/+0 bonus.

Other Questions

Since coven is a pretty straightforward mechanic, it doesn’t pose many questions to answer. However, if there’s something that’s not quite clear to you, let us know in the comments below, and we’ll get back to you as fast as we can.


Coven is a noun, which means a group or a meeting of witches.

So apparently the flavor here is that you need to have a group (at least three) of weird (different powered) creatures.

MTG Coven – Interactions

There aren’t many weird interactions with coven. However, there are a couple of interesting tidbits.

Might of the Old Ways

This is a particularly interesting pump spell, and you have to think for a bit before playing it.

MIght of the Old Ways

Effects happen in order as they are written on the card. So, first the creature gets +2/+2, and then you potentially get to draw a card. That means if you have two 1/1s and a 2/2, you can pump a 1/1 to draw a card.

On the other hand, if you have a 1/1, a 2/2 and a 3/3, you don’t want to pump the 1/1, as you won’t get your additional card.

Leinore – Coven Commander

If you really like the mechanic (and +1/+1 counters too), there’s also a commander for you.

Leinore, Autumn Sovereign Coven Counters Precon Innistrad Decklist

Leinore is the face of Coven Counters Commander precon. (You can get the deck on Amazon.) As with other coven cards, she rewards you for having three or more creatures with different powers.

You can find more about the Midnight Hunt Commander decks here.


That’s all about the coven mechanic. Hopefully, you now know how it works, and you’ll be able to use it to your advantage.

If you want to know more about Midnight Hunt, you can browse through Midnight Hunt spoilers. Also, don’t forget to check if you used all MTG Arena codes. After the Midnight Hunt release, you’ll be able to claim 3 free boosters of that set as well.

Until next time, have fun and may you control three creatures with different powers when you need them most.

4 thoughts on “MTG Coven – Rules and Interactions Explained”

  1. Please explain leinore’s coven effect because it’s writing is different than the first two examples. Does one always get a +1/+1 counter on a target creature regardless of having 3 differently powered creatures and then only get the draw if coven condition is met? Or is every effect only possible if the coven condition is met?

    • So, as the Leionre is worded it means that you get the +1/+1 counter no matter what. Then, you get to draw if the condition is met. So it actually matters where you put that +1/+1 counter as it might change whether you meet the coven requirement or no.

    • Creatures in MTG have a small box with two numbers in the bottom right corner. The first number is power, and means how much damage that creature deals. The second one is toughness, and means how much damage this creature must take (in a single turn) to die.


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