What are creatures?
- Creatures are probably the most common spell and permanents (except lands) played in the game. The Creature summon is used to summon Creatures to take the offense and reduce your opponent's life points. Creatures can also be used for blocking your life count as well as using special abilities.
- The box with two numbers in the lower right corner of a creature are its power and the toughness. The number to the left of the box is the creature's power, which tells you how much damage that creature deals. The number to the right, its toughness, is how much damage the creature can take before it's be destroyed.
- In the first turn that you cast a creature it suffers from Summoning Sickness ( it can't attack or use tap abilities), though in your next turn Summoning Sickness wears off. A creature with Summoning Sickness can still block if it is untapped. The Haste ability allows creatures to attack or use activated abilities the turn they are played.
- There are special creatures that are also artifacts, which are called called Artifact Creatures. They are affected by anything that affects creatures and/or artifacts. They also have effects too.
- There are certain creatures that are represented by tokens, called Creature Tokens, these are treated the same as creatures. Tokens in a game are often represented by a facedown card or there are also token creatures such as soldier. They can range from small 1/1 creatures, to large, expensive creatures, such as Mirror-Sigil Sergeant.
- Tokens go to the graveyard as do regular creatures, and are removed as a "state-based effect" when a player gets priority again. They stay in the graveyard long enough to trigger abilities, like the one of Soulcatchers' Aerie, before they are removed.
- In casual play, people generally don’t bother putting the token (coin/piece of paper/dice) in the graveyard because it’s removed right after, but it’s supposed to be put in the graveyard. Read more about this and other State-Based Effects in the Comprehensive Rulebook, section 420.
- There are many types of creatures. Look just below the picture, and it will say, "Creature - " and then a creature type. Common creature types are Humans, Zombies, Merfolk, and birds. Some VERY powerful creature types are Eldrazi, Angel, Dragons Shapeshifters, and wurms. They usually have common abilities such as Flying, which can be common but extremely dangerous. Dragons, Birds, and Angels almost always have Flying, for instance. These creatures do not necessarily have large power or toughness, but they can have deadly abilities.
- Most of the time, your creatures being what they are doesn't really matter; most of the time, you could get through a game without knowing exactly what your cards where. But there are cards that are different, like creatures called allies. They mostly have abilites that say something happens when allies enter the battlefield. Some, like Stonework Puma, have no Ally abilities. Yet, they still help trigger when another ally enters the battlefield.
- Cards like Baneslayer Angel, have abilites that Protect themselves, "Protection from X". X can be a certain color or type of creature, instant, enchantment, artifact, land or sorcery. So now and then, the type of creature really is needed. Also, Magic cards use "natural" instincts, meaning that angels and dragons and birds will usually have flying, or spiders naturally have reach.