A Permanent is anything that is cast that stays in play on the battlefield. Permanents exclude Instants and Sorceries. This is because Instants are instantly cast, play their effect and fizzle, and Sorceries must be played at the beginning of the turn and generally last one turn before they fizzle as well. While still employing their effect, these are not called Permanents because they do not stay on the battlefield, per se.
Permanents include five types:
- Enchantments: While enchantments are spells akin to Instants and Sorceries, Enchantments are considered permanents because they stay on the battlefield to give effects that (unless otherwise cancelled or destroyed) create a static effect that slightly changes the rules of the game you're playing.
- Creatures: Creatures are permanents because they stay on the battlefield unless otherwise destroyed or exiled. However, just because a creature is on the battlefield does not mean it can attack: they may be tapped, have Summoning Sickness, enchanted by cards like Pacifism to remove attacking and blocking abilities, etc.
- Land: Lands are permanents because they stay on the battlefield, untapping once each turn to let you use its resources to do everything from activate abilities to summoning more creatures.
- Artifacts: Artifacts include Equipment, Artifact Creatures and regular artifacts. These act mainly as a supplementary function to your other permanents.
- Planeswalkers: Planeswalkers act similarly to creatures, but are considered completely different with their own set of rules. They use health points in the form of Loyalty Counters, and can activate abilities that either give them these counters or take them away.
|Supertypes||Basic • Legendary • Snow • World|
|Artifact||Clue • Contraption • Equipment • Fortification|
|Enchantment||Aura • Curse • Shrine|
|Land|| Plains • Island • Swamp • Mountain • Forest • Desert |
Gate • Lair • Locus • Mine • Power-Plant • Tower • Urza’s
|Instant / Sorcery||Arcane • Trap|
|Other Card Types|
|Multiple Types|| Artifact Land • Artifact Creature • Enchantment Artifact |
Enchantment Creature • Land Creature
|Other|| Conspiracy • Phenomenon • Plane |
Scheme (Ongoing) • Tribal • Vanguard
|Obsolete|| Continuous • Elite • Hero • Interrupt |
Mana Source • Mono • Poly • Summon