MTG Saddle Rules: How to Saddle Your Creature?

Saddle is a new MTG keyword ability, which first appeared in Outlaws of Thunder Junction. Today, we’re going to talk about how the saddle rules work and answer various question about this mechanic, such as:

  • How to saddle a creature?
  • What does it mean if a creature is saddled?
  • Can you use creatures with summoning sickness to saddle a creature?
  • And more!

So saddle up, as we’re diving right in.

How Does Saddle Work?

A creature with Mount subtype can have the saddle keyword, which always comes with a number. To activate a saddle ability, you need to tap any number of your untapped creatures with total power equal or greater to associated number. You can only do so at sorcery speed.

When you do so, the creature whose saddle ability you’ve activated becomes saddled until end of turn. Such a creature then receive a bonus effect, which varies from card to card.

This might sound a bit complicated in theory, but in practice it plays quite smoothly. Let’s take a look at a couple of example, which will make things clearer.

Examples

Here’s Drover Grizzly, a simple common with a saddle ability.

Drover Grizzly MTG Saddle Rules

For three mana you get a 4/2 creature. It can attack, block, and do everything else a creature can do, even if it’s not saddled. However, you can also activate its saddle 1 ability. In order to do so, you need to tap any number of your untapped creatures with total power 1 or greater. So, a 1/1 Goblin token will be enough, but you can also tap more or bigger creatures, if that’s what you want.

Once you do so, Drover Grizzly becomes saddled until end of turn. What’s the bonus? If Grizzly attacks while saddled, your creatures will receive trample for that turn. Can be pretty useful with big green creatures.

Of course, saddle cards of higher rarities can be a bit more complex. Here’s one such example, Ornery Tumblewagg.

Ornery Tumblewagg How Do Saddle Rules Work MTG

This is a three mana 2/2, that puts a +1/+1 counter on a target creature at the beginning of your combat. It also has saddle 2, which means you need to tap untapped creatures with total power at least 2.

Then, when you’ll attack with a saddled Tumblewagg, you’ll get to double the number of +1/+1 counters on target creature. Naturally, this works quite neatly with the first ability.

Would it be possible to go into combat, put a +1/+1 counter on a 1/1, then use it to saddle Tumblewagg? Sadly not, as you can only activate saddle at sorcery speed. You can’t do that in the beginning of combat step.

MTG Saddle – FAQ

So, that’s the general gist of this mechanic, but there are some edge cases, which might interest you. Thus, we’ve provided some additional answers to questions players often have about this mechanic.

What does it mean if a creature is saddled?

It means that its saddle ability was activated. A creature with a saddle ability will typically have a benefit that triggers on attacks, if it’s saddled.

Can you use saddle abilities at any time?

No, you can only saddle at sorcery speed. So, if you want to attack with a saddled creature, you’ll need to saddle it in your first main phase.

What’s the difference between saddle and crew?

While these two mechanics are somewhat familiar, there are still many differences between the two. You can only activate saddle at sorcery speed, while crew works at instant speed. Furthermore, a Mount with saddle is a creature even if not saddled, while a vehicle with crew isn’t a creature, when it’s not crewed.

Can you tap creatures with summoning sickness for activating saddle?

Yes, you can. As long as they’re untapped you can tap any creatures, no matter when you played them.

Do you need to tap creatures with an exact total power as the saddle number?

No, the saddle number tells you the least amount of total power you need. You can always tap creatures with higher total power.

Can you activate a saddle ability multiple times per turn?

Yes, you can. In most scenarios, that won’t accomplish much, but you certainly have the options of doing so.

What happens if my opponent activates a saddle ability, and I destroy a creature that was tapped in response?

Nothing much. While the creature will be destroyed, the saddle ability will still resolve, as its costs were already paid.

As always, if your question still wasn’t answered, feel free to leave a comment at the end of the article. We’ll get back to you as fast as we can with an answer.

Find Out More About the New Set

That’s all about saddle rules. Now you know how this mechanic works, and hopefully you’ll be able to use it to your advantage.

Of course, this is just one small part of the new set. There’s plenty more exciting stuff to discover. You can find information about other Thunder Junction mechanics here. Furthermore, the set is bringing us a bunch of alternate arts. While all boosters come with Breaking News cards, only some will contain Big Score cards.

Finally, if you’re a Commander player, you really don’t want to miss Outlaws of Thunder Junction Commander decks. These four precons come with four different and exciting themes, and there’s something for every type of player.

Anyway, that’s a wrap for today. Until next time, have fun, and may your Mounts always be easy to saddle.

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