Magic: The Gathering


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Shock M12


Instant is a card type.


After they resolve, they are put into the owner's graveyard. They are like a sorcery except that they are the only cards that can be used outside your main phases, even on your opponents' turns. They can be used during the combat phases, draw steps, end steps, upkeeps, or the main phase. The only time they cannot be used is during the untap step and certain cleanup steps.

Abilities can be used as instants unless said otherwise. This allows players to counter using creature Abilities. Instants cannot be used if the player has lost the match.


Timmy attacks with his Grizzly Bears. You have no creatures to block with, but you do have one Mountain untapped and a Shock in hand. After Timmy finishes declaring attackers, you may play the Shock targeting the attacking creature. The Shock would deal 2 damage to it, killing it before it could deal any combat damage.

Comprehensive Rules

304. Instants

  • 304.1. A player who has priority may cast an instant card from his or her hand. Casting an instant as a spell uses the stack. (See rule 601, “Casting Spells.”)
  • 304.2. When an instant spell resolves, the actions stated in its rules text are followed. Then it’s put into its owner’s graveyard.
  • 304.3. Instant subtypes are always a single word and are listed after a long dash: “Instant — Arcane.” Each word after the dash is a separate subtype. The set of instant subtypes is the same as the set of sorcery subtypes; these subtypes are called spell types. Instants may have multiple subtypes. See rule 205.3k for the complete list of spell types.
  • 304.4. Instants can’t enter the battlefield. If an instant would enter the battlefield, it remains in its previous zone instead.
  • 304.5. If text states that a player may do something “any time he or she could cast an instant,” it means only that the player must have priority. The player doesn’t need to have an instant he or she could actually cast. Effects that would prevent that player from casting a spell or casting an instant don’t affect the player’s capability to perform that action (unless the action is actually casting a spell or casting an instant).
Card Types
Supertypes BasicLegendarySnowWorld
Artifact ClueContraptionEquipmentFortification
Creature Creature Types
Enchantment AuraCurseShrine
Land PlainsIslandSwampMountainForestDesert
Planeswalker (subtypes)
Instant / Sorcery ArcaneTrap
Other Card Types
Multiple Types Artifact LandArtifact CreatureEnchantment Artifact
Enchantment CreatureLand Creature
Other ConspiracyPhenomenonPlane
Scheme (Ongoing) • TribalVanguard
Obsolete ContinuousEliteHeroInterrupt
Mana SourceMonoPolySummon

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