Ward is a new MTG mechanic in Strixhaven: School of Mages. In this article, I’ll explain everything you need to know about this new mechanic, including:
- How does ward works
- Examples of ward cards
- Some frequently asked questions about ward
- And more!
Let’s get to it.
How Does MTG Ward Work?
Ward is a triggered ability that appears on permanent cards. Whenever a permanent you control with ward becomes a target of a spell or ability an opponent controls, that opponent has to pay its ward cost (specified on your card). If they don’t, their spell or ability gets countered.
Let’s look at some examples.
MTG Ward – Examples
One card with the ward ability is Owlin Shieldmage. It is a 3/3 creature with flying and ward. In the case of Owlin Shieldmage, the ward ability requires your opponent to pay three life to resolve a spell or ability that targets it.
Here is another example:
Waterfall Aerialist also has the MTG ward ability. It costs four mana and is a 3/1 creature with flying. While on the battlefield, it also has the ward ability. However, for Waterfall Aerialist, the ward ability requires your opponent to pay two mana if they want their spell or ability targeting it to resolve.
I hope that those examples have cleared up how the MTG Ward ability works. If you have any further questions, they will hopefully be cleared up in our FAQ section.
MTG Ward – FAQ
Yes. The ward ability will trigger each time a card with ward is targeted by a spell or ability an opponent controls.
For example, if a Sedgemoor Witch is targeted by two of your opponent’s Spikefield Hazard‘s, your opponent will have to pay six life in total. Three for each spell or ability targeting the warded card.
No. If you cast an uncounterable spell or ability targeting a creature with ward, you don’t need to pay the Ward cost.
This is because of the wording of the ward ability. “Whenever this Creature becomes the target of a spell or ability an opponent controls, counter it unless that player pays x.” Since the spell or ability can’t be countered, the ward ability has no effect.
Yes they do. If your creature somehow has ward 1 and ward 2 and your opponent targets it, then two triggers will go on the stack. Your opponent will have to pay three mana total in order to go around ward.
Sauron, the Dark Lord (a card from LotR MTG set, Tales of Middle-earth) has an unusual ward cast. If your opponent casts a spell targeting it, it will be countered unless they sacrifice a legendary artifact or a legendary creature. If they don’t have one in play, they will have a hard time dealing with Sauron.
Do you have any specific questions about Ward? Feel free to ask us in the comments, and we will answer as quickly as we can.
MTG Ward – Flavor
One thing that is important about Strixhaven university is a degree of privacy. You don’t want anyone stealing potions from your locker or copying your test. The ward ability represents this, making sure that your enemies pay an extra price for trying to copy your test results, or in this case, targeting your Creature with their spells and abilities.
MTG Ward – Interesting Interactions
MTG Ward cards and Sphinx of the Final Word
If your opponent is bringing a deck full of ward cards, one way to crush them is Sphinx of the Final Word. This card negates a large part of your opponent’s Ward effects, making Ward cards useless against Instant and Sorcery spells that you control.
As previously mentioned, this is due to the wording of ward, which states that if the Ward cost is not paid, then the spell or ability will be countered. Since Sphinx of the Final Word makes your Instants and Sorceries uncounterable, the Ward ability will have no effect. (It will still affect abilities.)
MTG Ward cards and Strionic Resonator
Another interesting interaction with the MTG ward ability gives you the opportunity to make your Ward cards more impactful. Since ward is a triggered ability, you can copy Ward abilities with Strionic Resonator. This can make your opponent pay double the price for targeting one of your Ward creatures with a removal spell.
Thanks for reading about the ward ability. Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of how ward works and how to use it to your advantage in game. If you still have questions about ward that you’d like answered, make sure to ask them in the comment section.
If you’re looking for more articles to improve your MTG knowledge, maybe you’ll like some of the following ones:
Until next time, and keep protecting your creatures!