MTG Vehicle & Crew – Rules Explained

Vehicle is an artifact subtype, and it’s closely tied to the crew mechanic. It first appeared in Kaladesh, and has since became deciduous. (That’s a mechanic, that while it’s not evergreen, it can appear in any set that needs it.) Vehicles and crew can be a bit tricky, so today we’ll explain everything you need to know about their rules, including:

  • What is an MTG vehicle?
  • How do you crew a vehicle?
  • When do you need to crew a vehicle?
  • And more!

Let’s get right to it.

How Do Vehicles and Crew Work in MTG?

Vehicle is an artifact subtype. Although they look like it, they aren’t creatures. Most of them also have the crew keyword.

Crew X means, that you can tap any number of creatures with total power X or greater, and the vehicles becomes a creature, with power and toughness as noted in the bottom right corner.


Here’s Irontread Crusher, one of the simplest MTG vehicles.

Irontread Crusher MTG Vehicles Rule Crew Examples

When you play it, it isn’t a creature. It’s just an artifact without power and toughness.

It does have crew 3, though. This means you can tap any number of creatures with total power 3 or greater, and it becomes a 6/6 creature.

There are various ways to get to that 3 power. You can just tap a single 3-powered creature, like Kalonian Tusker. Additionally, you can also tap three 1/1 creatures, or a bigger creature, like Colossal Dreadmaw. You can also tap all of them, if that’s something that would be useful to you.

MTG Vehicle – FAQ

Here are some of the most common questions about vehicles and the crew mechanic. As always, if we didn’t answer your question, leave a comment below, and we’ll get back to you.

When do I need to crew the vehicle to be able to attack with it?

You have to crew it before the declare attackers step. So at the latest, that’s at the beginning of combat. On Arena, you’ll get a window after your move out of your first main phase. When playing in paper, if you’re doing this in the beginning of combat phase.

When do I need to crew the vehicle to be able to block with it?

At the latest, you have to do it in your opponent’s declare attackers step. Once you move to declaring blockers, if your vehicle isn’t crewed, you won’t be able to block with it.

Why I wasn’t able to attack / block with my vehicle?

The most likely scenario is that you missed the window for crewing, and you were already in the declare attackers / blockers step.


Flavor is pretty obvious here. You need drivers to drive (crew) the vehicles. Once you have them, you can drive them. Of course, it’s a bit weird to fight wizards with trains, but that’s just the way it is.

MTG Vehicle – Interactions

There are various interactions that can come up with vehicles. Here are just some of the most interesting ones.

Vehicles Driving Vehicles

Let say you have a creature with small power and two vehicles. You can potentially use the creature to crew the smaller vehicle, and use it to crew the other vehicle.

While this can come up now and then, it’s pretty funny flavor-wise, which was also enraptured by @flavorjudgedraw:

MTG Crewing Vehicles With Vehicles

In this image, you can see the following chain:

  1. Glint-Nest Crane
  2. Sky Skiff
  3. Mobile Garisson
  4. Heart of Kiran
  5. Peacewalker Colossuss
  6. Colossal Plow

Crewing Multiple Times

One interesting thing with vehicles is that you can crew them even after they’ve become a creature. While this doesn’t happen often, if you want your creature to be tapped for whatever reason, you can always crew a vehicle with it. (Provided it has enough power.)

Special Ways to Crew

There are also some special ways to crew your vehicles. Dermotaxi doesn’t have the crew keyword, for example. Instead, it gives you an option to tap two untapped creatures, so it’ll become a creature.

Alternate Ways to Crew MTG Vehicles Peacewalker Colossus

Peacewalker Colossus is also a great option to crew your vehicles, as it lets you animate Vehicles by paying two mana.

Vehicles Commander

If you’re a Commander player, you might want to explore the mechanic in that format. Wizards recently released a Commander precon called Buckle Up, which is centered around Kotori, Pilot Prodigy.

Kotori, Pilot Prodigy Neon Dynasty Commander Deck for Vehicle tribal

Kotori makes your vehicles easier to crew by giving them crew 2. Besides that, it also improves them by giving one artifact creature lifelink and vigilance at the beginning of your combat.

If you want, you can buy Buckle Up on Amazon. If you’d like to know more about the deck, check everything we know about the Neon Dynasty Commander decks.

Additional Uses for Vehicles

You can also use vehicles for:


Anyway, that’s all about vehicles and crew mechanic. Hopefully, you now know all the intricacies about them, and you’ll be able to convert that knowledge into more wins.

If you want to improve more of your Magic knowledge, you can read the following articles:

Until next time, have fun and may you never find yourself without a driver for your awesome vehicle.

35 thoughts on “MTG Vehicle & Crew – Rules Explained”

  1. OK, dum “?”, durning combat(attacking/defending) when you crew a vehicle and the vehicle becomes an artifact creature, does it have summoning sickness?

    • It doesn’t change other crew costs. It just adds crew 2, in addition to any other other crew costs they might have. So such vehicle would now have both crew 1, and crew 2.

      • I’m confused by this answer. So if I have a vehicle with crew 8. Shouldn’t Kotori’s ability make that vehicle crew cost 2 instead? It wouldn’t be 8 plus 2 or total of 10 crew.

        • The original crew cost doesn’t change. The vehicle gets another crew cost which is 2. So now the vehicle has two crew costs – crew 2 and crew 8. You get to choose which one you’ll pay. You’ll probably choose the crew 2.

          So essentially, it’s not much different from crew cost changing to crew 2.

  2. If i tap the creature with 3/3 and the first vehicle has crew 1 and secon has crew 2, can I use crew “points” to both vehicles?

  3. First question: I have an artifact vehicle, already at the battlefield for second round. Can I crew it with a creature that has summoning sickness?

    Second question: Must I tap a creature in order to block with an artifact vehicle?

  4. Great article. Thanks.
    I was looking for someone to confirm that I can crew a vehicle and then use that vehicle to crew another vehicle.

  5. If I used the enchantment, March of the Machines, would the 3 CMC 6/6 Vehicle become a 3/3? or would it retain its 6/6 P/T?

  6. Does a vehicle need to be crewed to use its effect?

    For example, does Peacewalker Colossus need to be crewed to use its 2 mana cost effect of turning a vehicle into a creature artifact?

    What about if the effect’s cost includes tapping the vehicle?

    • It means that if that creature has power 1, it counts as if it had power 3 for crew costs. So if a vehicle has crew 3, such creature could crew it by itself.

  7. okay so on turn three I play kotori, pilot prodigy 2/4 and on turn 4 I play reckoner Bankbuster can I crew and attack with bankbuster or do I have to wait till next turn after crewing?

  8. If I tap a creature to crew a vehicle, is the creature’s ability still active? For example, Kalamax’s copy abilities.

  9. So if I crew a vehicle while there is a humility in play does it go back to being a non-creature vehicle at end of turn? I think yes but my friends disagree.

  10. I have a crewed Shorikai, Genesis Engine and Brenard Ginger Sculpture on field. What happens if Shorikai dies? Does it go to the graveyard as a vehicle and no longer a creature or would Brenard see Shorikai as a creature and be able to exile Shorikai to make a copy of it?

    • Shorikai was a creature when it died, which is all Brenard cares about. (And not its types when it hits the graveyard.) Thus, you can exile Shorkai and it’ll come back as a 1/1 creature with all of its abilities.

  11. If a creature is enchanted with “this creature can’t attack or block” can it be used to crew a vehicle that then attacks?

    • Yes, it can. For example, Pacifism won’t affect a creature’s ability to crew. An Aura would need to specifically state that an enchanted creature can’t crew in order for that to happen. Revoke Privileges is one such card.

  12. After I attack with a vehicle at the end of my turn does the vehicle I attacked with remain tapped or does it go back to being a vehicle untapped for example shorikai Genesis engine once he becomes a vehicle after my attack can I still perform it’s abilities

    • Vehicles untap in the untap step, just like any other tapped permanent. If you attack with it, it’ll become tapped and won’t untap until your untap step. Thus, you won’t be able to use Shorikai’s tap ability after you attack with it.

  13. if i have a vehicle with vigilance, does it become an artifact after attacking and i have to crew it again to defend or will it remain a creature?


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