Each color of magic in ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'' is associated with a whole philosophy about life, particular goals, and a particular set of magical strategies for winning the game. They're often informally talked about as though they were individual characters. Generally, each color is also associated with an "iconic creature"--a creature type that shows up once each set as a very large rare creature--and a "characteristic creature"--a creature type that shows up multiple times each set as several smaller common creatures.


[[folder:Shared tropes]]
* CastCalculus: Each color's role in the color pie can be easily visualized by comparing it to the role of a character of that color in various cast dynamics, as can be seen through the other examples in this section.
* ElementalPowers: Besides philosophy and personality, the colors and their magic tend to be associated with elements as well. Generally, White gets control over {{light|EmUp}} and [[TakenForGranite stone]]; Blue has [[BlowYouAway air]], [[AnIcePerson ice]] and [[MakingASplash water]]; Black has [[CastingAShadow darkness]]; Red has [[DishingOutDirt earth]], [[MagmaMan lava]], [[PlayingWithFire fire]] and [[ShockAndAwe lightning]]; and Green has [[GreenThumb wood]] and [[PoisonousPerson poison]]. Though these aren't necessarily set in stone, such as Red getting access to ice-related spells during Kamigawa.
* FourPhilosophyEnsemble: White is an Optimist (with a focus on order), Blue is a Cynic/Realist, Black is a Cynic/Apathetic, Red is another Optimist (with a focus on freedom), and Green is an Apathetic/Realist.
* FourTemperamentEnsemble: White is Choleric, with shades of Melancholic, Blue is strictly Melancholic, Black is Phlegmatic, Red is Sanguine and Green is Choleric, with shades of Sanguine.
* FreudianTrio: In this dynamic, White and Blue form the Superego, Black is the Ego and Red and Green form the Id.
* RecurringElement: Each color is associated with an "iconic creature" -- a creature type that shows up once each set as a very large, rare creature -- and with a "characteristic creature" -- a creature type that shows up multiple times each set as several smaller common creatures – which tend to appear rarely or not at all in other colors. Though sometimes the exact creatures will be changed due to block constraints, with archons being White's iconic creature in the Theros block, where angels are absent.
** Iconic creatures:
*** White: Angels.
*** Blue: Sphinxes.
*** Black: Demons.
*** Red: Dragons.
*** Green: Hydras.
** Characteristic creatures:
*** White: Humans, soldiers, and knights.
*** Blue: Merfolk and vedalken.
*** Black: Vampires and zombies.
*** Red: Goblins.
*** Green: Elves.
* RedOniBlueOni: By and large, White and Blue together tend to be the Blue Oni to Black, Red and Green’s red.
** More specifically, Red and Blue tend to fall pretty cleanly along these lines, while White, Black and Green are a bit more varied.


White is the color of [[LightEmUp light]], law, and [[HolyHandGrenade holy magic]]. It specializes in various forms of healing and protection (such as gaining life, preventing damage, and boosting creatures' toughness scores), efficient small creatures that reinforce each other, and abilities that dictate the flow of combat. White is chivalrous: rather than kill directly, it prefers to disable non-combative foes with spells like [[http://magiccards.info/som/en/2.html Arrest]] and [[http://magiccards.info/arc/en/3.html Oblivion Ring]], but has no qualms about killing creatures during the combat phase, as seen in cards like [[http://magiccards.info/m10/en/8.html Divine Verdict]] and [[http://magiccards.info/10e/en/8.html Ballista Squad]], or using occasional mass destruction to wipe the slate clean equally. Read more about white [[http://www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtgcom/daily/mr57 here]] and [[http://archive.wizards.com/Magic/magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtg/daily/mm/7 here]].

Its philosophy can be summarised as "peace through structure".

* ApocalypseHow: Armageddon, Wrath Of God, Balance, Final Judgement. While such outright killing is generally outside White's philosophy, these effects are acceptable because they create order by clearing away all those messy living things.
* ApocalypseWow: Wrath Of God is one of the most iconic cards in Magic, partially because of its effect ("Destroy all creatures. They can't be regenerated.") and partially because of its artwork (a giant white sun crashing into the earth and obliterating EVERYTHING).
* AbsoluteXenophobe: White can become this in theory. See Fantastic Racism and All The Other Reindeer below.
* AllTheOtherReindeer: White is the color of conformity, and doesn't care for those that are different unless they try to fit in.
* AntiHeroSubstitute: The Archons, essentially. They function as White's iconic creatures when Angels don't seem appropriate, and emphasize White's more negative aspects.
* ArtEvolution: The original White mana symbol was [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=276 rather asymmetrical and unrefined]]. Compare it to the current version, which appeared circa the Mirage block.
* AwesomenessIsAForce: Shown on Awe Strike. Like Blue's Awesome Presence, it's a serious take on the idea of Pure Awesomeness.
* BlackAndWhiteInsanity: Why White characters sometimes go KnightTemplar. It's the colour that least recognizes moral complexity.
* BirdPeople: White is the colour with the highest amount of birds, and as such nearly all sapient avian races in the game's history are oriented towards White.
%%* CombatMedic
* DishingOutDirt: Shared with red and green. White's version uses dirt, sand, salt, marble, or [[TakenForGranite petrification]].
* TheEvilsOfFreeWill: White believes that freedom leads only to actions in destruction and self-interest. Blue has this as a prominent theme, and there are shades of it in Green.
* EvilTwin: With Black.
* {{Flight}}: Shared with blue.
* TheFettered: Comes with the territory of law and order.
* FeatheredFiend: A common archetype for White’s many bird creatures, either as mindless raptors or actual villains, most notably Lieutenant Kirtar.
* ForGreatJustice: White does occasionally single out targets instead of [[RocksFallEverybodyDies killing everyone]], but usually only against those who are guilty (for example, by dealing damage or getting into combat).
* TheFundamentalist: Along with the KnightTemplar, this is one of White's negative aspects. The flavor text on [[http://magiccards.info/10e/en/53.html True Believer]] exemplifies this aspect of White:
--> ''So great is his certainty that mere facts cannot shake it.''
* HealingHands: As does Green, White gets a number of healing abilities.
%%* HolyHandGrenade
* HumanoidAbomination: Opposed to Black's own [[EldritchAbomination eldritch things]], as part of their motif of opposition. Angels, especially in later settings like Zendikar and Bant, are portrayed as alien to mortal races and quite detached (being manifestations of pure White mana). Archons are essentially [[Literature/TheLordOfTheRings Nazgûl]] that are [[KnightTemplar extremist]] instead of immoral.
* IdealHero: When white is a hero, it fits the traditional archetype of the upstanding, admirable and moral hero fairly well.
* KillEmAll: [[KnightTemplar Naturally]].
* KnightTemplar: Along with KnightInShiningArmor.
* LetsFightLikeGentlemen: {{Enforced}}. White has numerous enchantments that prevent interference or otherwise limit opponents' options in combat.
* LightIsGood: Although lately its more [[KnightTemplar negative aspects]] have been more prevalent, in order to keep the balance with the number of protagonists/villains in other colours, White used to be portrayed as the go-to heroic color for a while, and is still often perceived as this. The primary planeswalker of white, Gideon Jura, seems to be this trope incarnate.
* LightIsNotGood: While white is pretty consistent in regards to OrderVsChaos (Order, of course), it's fallen on different ends of the GoodVsEvil divide through ''Magic'''s history.
* LightEmUp: White gets a lot of spells centered on manipulating light, often as blinding bursts or burning beams.
* MadeOfIron: See Stone Wall.
* MoralSociopathy: At its worst; White is always moral, but being an enemy of Red, the colour of emotions, and an ally of Blue, the color of logic, means that, at its purest, White has little empathy. Indeed, some pure White creatures, like Angels, sometimes appear rather robotic, following their duties at the expense of everything else.
* ANaziByAnyOtherName: White, being the colour of order, can be this at its worst.
* TheNeedsOfTheMany: White will often ask one or few to sacrifice a great deal for even a small improvement for many more.
* NoCureForEvil: Averted with White characters that are evil, although curiously most White villains so far didn't have an explicit specialization in healing magic.
* OmnicidalManiac: The infamous [[http://wiki.mtgsalvation.com/article/Wrath_effect Wrath effect spells]], of which the vast majority are White. Several cards like Magus of the Disk show that this goes deep in White's ideology as well; ultimate order is death, after all.
* OurAngelsAreDifferent: They are medium-sized to large flying creatures, and are White's iconic large creature.
* TechnicalPacifist: White prefers to disable enemies non-lethally. [[KillEmAll Unless you really piss it off]].
* ThePowerOfFriendship: With Green and, sometimes, Red.
* ThePowerOfTheSun: The Sun serves as White’s symbol. Some cards use it literally, with the light being manipulated being explicitly sunlight.
* {{Pride}}: One of this color's main issues. It is the color of zealotry, and White can have a hard time accepting it is wrong.
* PurpleIsTheNewBlack: Inverted; some White cards have artwork that shows White mana spells as purple (most notable with the Zubera cycle of Kamigawa, where the [[http://magiccards.info/chk/en/45.html White aligned Zubera]] has purple mana orbs around it while the [[http://magiccards.info/chk/en/101.html Black aligned Zubera]] has [[{{Irony}} white]] ones). [[FridgeBrilliance Makes sense]] since violet light is the most intense light in the visible spectrum.
* RocksFallEverybodyDies: White prefers to delay any threat, but when it decides to kill something, then it kills ''everything''.
* RulesLawyer: White ''is'' the color of bureaucracy, so of course white has the most bureaucracy.
* StarPower: Occasionally, White’s light spells use starlight as their source.
* ScrewTheRulesIMakeThem: White is the color of Law, so it likes there to be rules, but it has no problem applying its rule magic unevenly.
* StoneWall: White has a long history of tough creatures with low power.
** White's playstyle also falls into this trope - White has a lot of token generation, and its theme of teamwork manifests through White stalling out the opponent, amassing a huge army, and crushing them in a ZergRush or winning through [[WeHaveReserves attrition]].
* SoulPower: The WhiteMagic variety, focusing on Einherjar-like manifest spirits and ancestor worship. [[http://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/planeswalkers-guide-khans-tarkir-part-1-2014-09-03 Tarkir's Jeskai]] actually refer to it as "soulfire".
* WhiteMagic: Very much so. White's desire to protect means it has a lot of defensive and healing magic.



Blue is the color of knowledge, illusion, and mental magic. Its specialties are [[AntiMagic countermagic]], drawing cards, and delaying your opponent by forcing them to replay or redraw the same cards, or skipping phases or whole turns. Because of its careful, analytical approach, blue is often reactive, and rarely rushes directly into the fray. Accordingly, its creatures tend to sacrifice brute force in favor of abilities like flying that allow them to gain an advantage in other ways. Because blue has traditionally had many of the most powerful cards, it has gained an unfavorable reputation in some circles, as satirized by [[http://cardboard-crack.com/tagged/blue this set of comic strips]]. Read more about blue [[http://www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtgcom/daily/mr84 here]] and [[http://archive.wizards.com/Magic/magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtg/daily/mm/13 here]].

Its philosophy can be summarised as "perfection through knowledge".

* AboveGoodAndEvil: Being blue often involves ignoring conventional morality in pursuit of perfection.
* AnIcePerson: Not quite as common as water, but Blue gets a good few ice spells, often involving HarmlessFreezing.
* AwesomenessIsAForce: Awesome Presence seems to display this.
* BlankSlate: Blue believes everyone is born as this.
* BlowYouAway: Together with Green, Blue gets a lot of air manipulation spells, although it uses them for a greater variety of uses than Green, which focuses them mostly on AntiAir.
* CrazyPrepared: A Blue deck with a focus on counterspells and/or draw power almost has to be this by design.
* CreativeSterility: One of Blue's weaknesses is that it may find the answer to any situation via research, but it lacks the ability to imagine new solutions and, in extreme cases, is incapable of strategizing.
* DifficultButAwesome: Blue's countermagic is known to be difficult to grasp by new players especially when they do not have a proper idea of what threats are worth expending the counterspell upon, and is often their first introduction to the concept of the stack. Mastering this is usually key to successfully using a blue deck, since otherwise its creatures and removal are relatively unimpressive.
* EnlightenmentSuperpower: Being the color of thought, willpower and introspection, Blue gets more than its fair share of this.
* DittoFighter: Blue has access to shape-shifters that function as this.
* EvilGenius: A blue villain is generally this.
* EvilutionaryBiologist: Blue at its worst, especially when mixed with Green.
* ExtraOreDinary: Blue is the de-facto color of {{Magitek}}, after all, and it’s no surprise it gets a lot of metal-based magic.
* FishPeople: How merfolk are portrayed in recent sets, to avoid the “how can they fight land-based enemies when they don’t have legs” issue.
* {{Flight}}: Shared with white. Blue's flying creatures tend to be air elementals.
* ForScience: Progress for progress' sake is often the only motivation Blue needs or wants.
* FragileSpeedster: Blue creatures, if they aren't a SquishyWizard or StoneWall, tend to have low toughness for their cost but have some sort of evasive advantage like flying or being straight-up unblockable.
* FrankensteinsMonster: While zombies have traditionally been in Black's portion of the color pie, Innistrad introduced this kind of zombie for Blue, which fit because those zombies are created by {{Mad Scientist}}s.
* GadgeteerGenius: Blue is the color that interacts with artifacts the most.
* GameplayAndStoryIntegration: Because many Blue creatures are aquatic, in the early days, many of them had the keyword islandhome, which meant they couldn't attack the defending player unless he or she controlled an island, and died if its controller didn't. It was very unpopular (to the point of even losing its status as a keyword), and development has since put more emphasis onto fun than logic.
* GiantEnemyCrab: The [[http://magiccards.info/query?q=t%3Acrab&v=card&s=cname Crab]] creature type is exclusively blue, as is typical for large sea monster-type creatures.
* GuileHero: While the other colors focus on neutralizing threats, Blue has a number of ways to take them for itself.
* HollywoodCyborg: Blue has far-and-away the largest number of colored artifacts, which are usually flavored this way.
* KrakenAndLeviathan: Blue gets some efficient creatures at the high end of the scale, but it isn't known for its mana acceleration, and leviathans in particular typically come with very inconvenient disadvantages.
* LackOfEmpathy: The darker side of blue can be sociopathic; while other colors can at least grasp sadism or extremist insanity, Blue at its worst just doesn't give a damn about anyone.
* LiterallyShatteredLives: Blue's freezing is not always [[HarmlessFreezing harmless]]; some cards like [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=121228 Frozen Solid]] can get the frozen creature killed if something hits them.
* MadScientist: What happens when Blue goes off the rails.
* {{Magitek}}: Blue tends to use technology to at least some degree in almost all settings.
* MakingASplash: Water is one of the elements most associated with Blue: the color gets a lot of water-based spells, in addition to a great many water elemental creatures and aquatic monsters.
* MasterOfIllusion: Some illusion creatures are unusually powerful, but have drawbacks to represent their unreality, like returning themselves to your hand after each fight, or being sent to the graveyard if any spell or ability even ''targets'' one of them.
* MindProbe: One of Blue's specialties is looking at the opponent's hand (which is flavored as this).
* MindRape: Blue's milling ability is often flavored as erasing memories. But, because it goes for the deck rather than the hand, it's gentler than Black's MindRape.
* TheMole: [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=15168 This]] [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=159749 combo]].
* MyRulesAreNotYourRules: Blue is the only color that can consistently interact with spells on the stack. It's a bit jarring to many players, as most interactions happen with permanents already on the battlefield.
* NoSell: Counterspell and its legacy. When a player's spell is countered, throwing the card away is a common response.
* NurtureOverNature: As far as Blue is concerned, you can be anything you want.
* OurMermaidsAreDifferent: Blue's characteristic small creature. Used to be the regular, fish-tailed kind, but due to confusion as to how they were supposed to fight on land they were changed in later sets to humanoid FishPeople.
* OurZombiesAreDifferent: As of the Innistrad blocks, Blue gets zombie creatures in the form of stitched-together Frankenstein-style abominations.
%%* ThePerfectionist
* ThePhilosopher: Blue is constantly seeking new information and is willing to go great lengths to find the answer for any question.
* PsychicPowers: Many of Blue’s effects are flavored with [[MindManipulation telepathy]] or [[MindOverMatter telekinesis]].
* RiddlingSphinx: Blue's iconic creature, showing up as rare, powerful cards once per set.
* RousseauWasRight: Its philosophy is based on tabula rasa.
* ScienceHero: At its best, contrasting green's NatureHero.
* {{Sloth}}: In the sense of LackOfEmpathy.
* TheSociopath: At its worst. Blue is more prone to this due to being the color least concerned with emotions.
* TheSpock: Blue's focus on rationality, logic, and emotional detachment frequently leads Blue characters to play this role. The primary blue planeswalker Jace Beleren is this, probably more so than any other.
* SmugSnake: Blue villains tend to hit this ''way'' harder than other colors, from [[Literature/OdysseyCycle Ambassador Laquatus]] to [[Literature/KamigawaCycle the Soratami]] to [[Literature/RavnicaCycle Zomaj Hauc]]...
* SupernaturalMartialArts: Thanks to the above-mentioned [[EnlightenmentSuperpower Enlightenment Superpowers]].
* TimeMaster: Blue has more powers with time than any other color.
* TheUnfettered: Actually more so than any other color: even Black tends to have empathy (even if twisted into sadism), but Blue is completely divorced from such "petty" emotions.


Black is the color of death, ambition, and ruthlessness. Its goal is power, no matter the cost -- black will do anything to win, even if it means sacrificing its own creatures or HitPoints to power its spells. Black specializes in death and decay; its power over death makes it excellent at both killing creatures and [[TheNecromancer raising them from the dead to fight again]]. It's also the best color at attacking the opponent's hand through MindRape-styled discard effects, and offers Faustian bargains of powerful creatures and effects that match or exceed other colors' specialties, if you don't mind paying for the difference with something other than mana. Learn more about black [[http://www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtgcom/daily/mr109 here]] and [[http://archive.wizards.com/Magic/magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtg/daily/mm/9 here]].

Its philosophy can be summarised as "power through opportunity".

* AboveGoodAndEvil: Being black means abandoning morality in the pursuit of power. This leads to amorality and moral relativism, putting it into conflict with White's moral absolutism.
* TheAntiNihilist: In contrast to the other colors, Black doesn't concern itself with changing the world for the better, but rather it encourages people to make the best out of their lives in a world that can't be improved.
* ApeShallNeverKillApe: A lot of black creature removal will destroy a creature, but only if it isn't black. Not that black actually cares about its own -- it's just that black creatures are often impervious to the insanity, horror, and disease it uses to do its work. Alternatively, the black mages who devise such spells take steps to ensure nobody will be able to use the spell against them.
* BigCreepyCrawlies: Shares the insect creature type with Green. Black's bugs tend to become stronger as creatures die out, fitting with Black's domain of decay.
* BloodMagic: In keeping with Black's CastFromHitPoints shtick. When your iconic race is [[OurVampiresAreDifferent Vampires]], it's kind of a given, really.
* BodyHorror: Anything with "[[CastFromHitpoints Pay X life]]..." in it, anything Yawgmoth does, a lot of the black auras.
* {{Brainwashed}}: Originally an artifact ability, Black gained the ability to control an opponent's entire turn.
* ByronicHero: What black may be when it steps into the light.
* CastFromHitPoints: Every color gets some, but it's black's specialty.
* CastingAShadow: Shadow magic is one of the mainstays of Black magic, alongside necromancy and mind manipulation.
%%* ColdBloodedTorture
* CombatPragmatist: A more mundane application of Black's philosophy, there are more than a few effects that temporarily reduce power or toughness that are flavored as simple "hit below the belt" type maneuvers.
* DarkIsNotEvil: While Black has many villains in its name, and is inherently ruthless, it has also some positive traits and a few characters to embody them. The vampire Sorin Markov is the closest thing to a BigGood the multiverse currently has. He worked to stop a bunch of world-eating [[EldritchAbomination Eldritch Abominations]], and set up a godlike White mana angel to protect the humans in Innistrad.
* DealWithTheDevil: Yawgmoth's Bargain, Necropotence, Greed, Contract From Below, and so on.
* DemBones: A type of Black undead not quite as common as zombies, and likewise not limited to humans.
* EldritchAbomination: Usually under the creature type "Horror" and "Nightmare".
* EquivalentExchange: Shown on many cards, in particular those like Sign In Blood. Black as a whole tends to recycle resources, such as making zombies out of deceased creatures.
* EvilCannotComprehendGood: An arguable example, but "personifying" Black in certain Wizards articles suggests that Black honestly cannot believe that anyone thinks differently than it does, defending its amorality with AtLeastIAdmitIt. White seems especially hypocritical to Black because Black is certain that nothing could ''really'' be that dedicated to altruism.
* EvilIsNotAToy: Black's habit of summoning big creatures with big drawbacks can cost inexperienced players a game.
* EvilTwin: With White. Which is which tends to vary between decks and stories.
* EvilVersusOblivion: If there are multiple villain factions of different colors in a given block, Black will usually be the one that falls closest to "[[OmnicidalManiac Oblivion]]'.
** Conversely, Black tends to like opposing particularly [[StrawNihilist nihilistic]] or [[TautologicalTemplar deranged]] [[LightIsNotGood White]]-aligned beings.
* ExtraOreDinary: Black occasionally manifests power over gold, especially in Ravnica and Theros.
* FaceHeelTurn: If a coalition of differently-colored characters is present, the Black one is the likeliest to have pulled on off to join the good guys.
* {{Greed}}: Greed is in fact a card, and Black’s philosophy is very conductive to desiring what others have.
* {{Hellfire}}: See Red's entry.
* InformedAttribute: Behind the scenes material often tries to stress the idea that Black is "not necessarily evil, and is just as capable of being good as any other colour. Even if it doesn't believe in moral absolutes". In the actual story/game, however, it is almost impossible to find a single Black faction or character that ISN'T a massive {{Jerkass}} at the very least, and the most well known factions all seem to revel in being as cruel and horrible as possible. Even the "example characters" used for Black seem to focus squarely on its worst traits (for instance, while they use Bart Simpson as an example of a "Sympathetic Black Character", they focus on his modern interpretation as a child [[TheSociopath sociopath]] who actively enjoys seeing others in pain, rather than his older portrayal of a mischievious and amoral [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold but ultimately well meaning]] character).
* ItsAllAboutMe: Black at its purest focuses on self-empowerment at the expense of all else.
* JackOfAllStats: While White and Green have the best creatures and Red and Blue have the best spells, Black is the most balanced color in both aspects, though this [[CastFromHitPoints also has its price]].
* {{Lobotomy}}: Black's ability to look through a library and exile specific cards gets this flavor, being usually depicted as black unsubtly and damagingly rooting through an opponent’s mind for information.
* MindRape: Any "discard" card or "cap" effect. Flavored as being far harsher than Blue's LaserGuidedAmnesia because it goes for the hand rather than the library.
* TheNecromancer: Besides a number of necromancers as creatures, Black itself is heavily based on necromancy, with many of its spells and creatures being based on reanimating corpses and summoning the dead. This includes black planeswalker Liliana Vess.
* NominalHero: Black may help you, if you make it worth its while.
* NonHumanUndead: Black is rife with undead creatures, and not all of them are human, such as zombie [[http://magiccards.info/ju/en/61.html dwarves]] or skeletal [[http://magiccards.info/ala/en/118.html lizardmen]] and [[http://magiccards.info/shm/en/59.html elementals]].
* NoSell: Black is the color of death, corruption, and fear, so its abilities usually fail against other black creatures who are already dead or corrupt, or artifact creatures who were never alive to begin with.
* NurtureOverNature: Like Blue, Black believes in the ''tabula rasa'', and that anyone can become anything they choose. At its noblest, it promotes [[http://luigifan18.deviantart.com/art/Self-Sufficiency-193043248 the ideal of self-sufficiency]], with power being a means towards that goal.
* OurDemonsAreDifferent: Black's iconic large creature, in gameplay they require a cost to maintain or they will impose a downside to their player.
* OurVampiresAreDifferent: One of Black’s two characteristic creatures, they get bonuses when creatures are sent to the graveyard, representing their thirst for blood and death. Nonhuman vampires have been known to exist.
* OurZombiesAreDifferent: One of Black’s two characteristic creatures, they are mindless undead used as minions by powerful Black creatures. Theoretically, any creature can become a zombie.
* PoisonousPerson: Of the "assassin" variety.
* PollutedWasteland: When Black gets land destruction, it's usually this.
* PowerAtAPrice: Black's specialty, whether it be discarding cards, paying life, or sacrificing creatures.
%%* ThePowerOfBlood:
%%* PowerOfTheVoid: See the cards Damnation and Doom Blade.
* PragmaticHero: Given that Black is ''always'' pragmatic, its heroic characters fall into this trope.
* RaisingTheSteaks: The ever-pragmatic Black does not limit itself to raising intelligent beings as undead when animals will do just as well. Skeletal [[http://magiccards.info/roe/en/127.html wurms]], [[http://magiccards.info/po/en/34.html snakes]] and [[http://magiccards.info/ths/en/202.html griffins]], zombie [[http://magiccards.info/query?q=%21Dross+Crocodile crocodiles]], [[http://magiccards.info/on/en/126.html vultures]] and [[http://magiccards.info/m15/en/86.html cats]], vampiric [[http://magiccards.info/arc/en/99.html dragons]]...
* ReligionOfEvil: Many black cards, while not always [[DarkIsNotEvil evil]], certainly look the part.
* TheSacredDarkness: While Black is often about corruption, it also represents death and decay, the end of the natural cycle responsible for getting rid of the old and making room for the new. This makes it necessary to make a natural plane stable (Alara could afford its absence in some shards due to the unique nature of the plane).
* ScrewDestiny: Its primary conflict with Green, which believes YouCantFightFate.
* SoulPower: The BlackMagic variety, focusing on ghosts, haunts and the summoning of the spirits of the dead.
* SwampsAreEvil: Black draws power from the festering decay of swampland, and while in theory Black -- and its lands and creatures -- is not actively evil so much as amoral, in practice Black's swamps remain festering pits of fungus and disease, crawling with oversized insects and the undead, and generally very unfriendly places to outsiders.
* ThenLetMeBeEvil: Once again, while not always "evil" as such, Black tends to have this kind of relationship with the other colors, particularly White.
* TheUnfettered: As part of the opposite of white, where white establishes concepts of "right" and "wrong", black [[AboveGoodAndEvil rejects]] those notions in its quest for power.
* UriahGambit: "Sacrifice a creature" effects, along with creatures with disabilities that hurt you.
* WhatIsEvil: Black is the color mostly inclined towards moral relativism.
* YouCantFightFate: Emphasized in the Theros block, with the followers and servants of the Black god, Erebos, making sure mortals meet their ultimate fate: [[WeAllDieSomeday death]].
* ZombieApocalypse: Black's standard creature tokens are 2/2 Zombies. While relatively small, Black has a number of ways to flood the board with large numbers of them. Exemplified with [http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=262669 its namesake card].


Red is the color of chaos, passion, and emotion. It's aligned with the elements of [[PlayingWithFire fire]], [[DishingOutDirt earth]], and [[ShockAndAwe lightning]], and it specializes in direct damage and the destruction of all things material. Red lives in the moment and rarely considers the future consequences of its actions; this theme is frequently shown through powerful but temporary advantages such as [[http://magiccards.info/10e/en/242.html Threaten]] and [[http://magiccards.info/m10/en/125.html Ball Lightning]], with creatures that aren't always quite controllable once they hit the field, and with excessive bursts of mana or effects that destroy your lands in return for immediate power. Red is designed to play aggressively and win quickly, and is in danger of stalling out if it doesn't maintain the initiative. Red's reliance on spells that deal with fire and lightning have lead to the perception that red is not as diverse as the other colors, as satirized [[http://cardboard-crack.com/post/53895873415/direct-damage-spell-names here]]. Learn more about red [[http://www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtgcom/daily/mr133 here]] and [[http://archive.wizards.com/Magic/magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtg/daily/mm/15 here]].

Its philosophy can be summarised as "freedom through action".

* AnIcePerson: While this element is often associated with Blue, Red gets some ice spells for the purposes of [[KillItWithIce freezing things to death]].
* ApocalypseHow: Decree Of Annihilation, Disaster Radius.
* AttackAttackAttack: Red has the majority of creatures with the "cannot block" and "attacks each turn if able" abilities, and a variety of other effects like [[http://magiccards.info/roe/en/157.html Lust for War]] that force creatures to charge recklessly into battle. Mono-red decks also have a tendency to "race" with the opponent - attacking with their creatures to reduce their opponent's life faster than their opponent can do to them, without concern for blocking.
* BeYourself: Red is the color of unbridled self-expression.
* BloodMagic: Used in various ways in flavour, though in the cards almost exclusively to deal damage or to control creatures (or both).
* BreathWeapon: "Firebreathing" is a common ability where you spend red mana to pump up a creature's power. Naturally, red dragons are the most fire-prone.
* ConfusionFu: Red's chaotic aspect makes it fairly unpredictable and quite handy for an IndyPloy.
* DiscardAndDraw: Red cards that allow the player to draw more cards tend to have the cost of discarding cards in the player's hand. While Blue has this ability as well, they also go in different order: Red discards first and then draws, while Blue does the opposite. (Additionally, Blue also has a ton of plain old "Draw more cards", which Red ''never'' has.)
%%* DragonRider
* DishingOutDirt: Along with Green and White, Red has a lot of earth- and stone-based magic, often of the "crushing rocks and earthquakes" variety.
* DontThinkFeel: Part of its opposition to blue. In fact, over-thinking and second-guessing yourself can be a serious flaw when playing red.
* ElementalPowers: Red is by far the color most invested in them, as the aggressive manipulation of raw elemental forces fits quite nicely with its blunt, direct philosophy.
* EntropyAndChaosMagic: Being the color of chaos and random destruction, Red gets a lot of this.
* FireIsRed: Though, to be fair, as in most other spells, Red spells don't necessarily have the same color as the color itself, and some fire spell artwork has apropriate orange or gold flames.
* ForTheEvulz: Red doesn't tend to do plans, so at its worst it often produces motiveless evil. Red villains are more likely to be evil, destructive, or sadistic just because it's fun than black ones.
* FrickinLaserBeams: Although White has domain over light, some Red spells involve piercing the enemies with beams of light, most notably [[http://magiccards.info/cmd/en/116.html Cleansing Beam]].
* GadgeteerGenius: Oddly, Red has been sharing this trope with Blue for a while now. Unlike Green, Red sees technology as one more way to express its creative vision and, as a result, is actually just behind Blue for number of cards that (positively) interact with artifacts. These themes are particularly prominent with the Renegades of Kaladesh and the Izzet League.
* GlassCannon: In contrast to White's StoneWall tactics, Red creatures either have high power and low toughness or ways to buff only their power to make creatures this.
** Mono-red decks generally focus on putting down early hard-hitting creatures or creatures with haste (so they can attack right away) and attacking away at the opponent into submission before they can set up their defenses or field their bigger creatures, and finishing the game with direct damage. The moment they run out of steam, have their army taken out, and/or can't reliably damage the opponent any more is often the moment they lose.
* GreatBallsOfFire: ''Blaze'' and ''Fireball'' are the best examples.
* GripingAboutGremlins: The gremlins of [[{{Steampunk}} Kaladesh]] are overwhelmingly Red in color. They're essentially animals and feed off of aether, with their feeding being an important part of Kaladesh's natural cycle. Problem is, most of Kaladesh's technology runs on aether, which combined with the gremlins' tendency to use their acidic saliva to bore a way to their meals has made them the scourge of the plane. Reflecting this, they tend to have artifact-destruction abilities or be empowered by energy counters. Their young are called grubs, and are [[http://magiccards.info/kld/en/138.html very cute]].
* HavingABlast: Red is very fond of making things blow up, and its magic reflects this.
* {{Hellfire}}: In a sense. Red, and sometimes Black, has the ability to turn its spells and creatures colorless. This allows it to get around White's protection ability, and is flavored as a sort of [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=2728 ghostly flame]].
* HotBlooded: Red characters are frequently this, due to Red being the color of emotion, feeling, and acting now and thinking never.
* InstantAwesomeJustAddDragons: WordOfGod is that dragons are the most popular creature type in the game, and each block ''will'' ensure red gets at least one, even in settings like Ravnica (where dragons are supposed to be extinct) or Innistrad (where dragons just don't fit with Gothic horror). On top of that, red's dragons get a "dragon discount": they're slightly cheaper than a red flying creature normally should be.
* KillItWithFire: Cards such as [[http://magiccards.info/ia/en/194.html Incinerate]], [[http://magiccards.info/be/en/142.html Disintegrate]], and [[http://magiccards.info/in/en/164.html Scorching Lava]] prevent the burnt creature from regenerating, representing the flavor of burning the body to prevent it from healing. Some go the extra mile and exile the creature instead of putting it in the graveyard, making it so burnt that necromancy cannot reform it.
%%* {{Lust}}
* MakeMeWannaShout: It's not touched on terribly often, but Red holds the vast majority of sound-based spells, from battle-cries to honest-to-goodness sonic attacks.
* MakingASplash: Very rarely, in the form of a [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=14653 torrential flood]].
* MagmaMan: Red already has fire and the geological aspect of earth under its belt, so it's only natural that cards involving lava are also red.
* TheMcCoy: A common part for Red characters. Red is very much centered on following your gut and doing what feels right. If something’s the right thing to do, then never you mind conventions and potential consequences, that’s what you should do.
* OurDragonsAreDifferent: Officially Red’s large iconic creature, although they have known to show up in other colors, so it’s not a perfect fit.
* OurGoblinsAreDifferent: Every set brings a new take on goblins, though you can usually count on them being self-destructively insane little buggers.
* OurManticoresAreSpinier: Manticores are a predominantly Red creature type, generally resembling lions with human faces, batlike wings (birdlike for the Mercadian manticores), scorpion tails and mouths with [[MoreTeethThanTheOsmondFamily far too many teeth]]. The manticores of the Myth/EgyptianMythology-inspired plane of Amonkhet break from the pattern, instead resembling tigers with scorpion tails and with their lower legs covered with black, spiked natural armor.
* PlayingWithFire: Red’s most iconic element. Fire manipulation is a mainstay of Red magic, involving both fire elementals and fire-based spells, usually centered on indiscriminately burning Red’s problems until they aren’t problems anymore. This is what red planeswalker Chandra Nalaar is most known for.
* ThePowerOfHate: Hate, like all emotions, is Red in nature. Since it's a lot easier to fit in hate in a game based around creatures fighting, it shows a lot more often than, say, ThePowerOfLove.
* ThePowerOfLove: Love, like all emotions, is Red in nature. Unfortunately, given that love is nigh impossible to be mechanically manifested, such cases are exclusive to flavor.
* RedOnesGoFaster: Red cards and decks tend to move quickly and are generally faster than the other colors. Red also has Haste as its most familiar keyword.
* SaltTheEarth: Red has the most spells invested in land destruction.
* ScrewTheRulesImDoingWhatsRight: Since Red never respects laws, its heroic characters fall into this trope.
* ShockAndAwe: Red gets a lot of lighting-based spells (and some creatures, like [[http://magiccards.info/query?q=%21Ball+lightning&v=card&s=cname Ball Lightning]]).
* StarPower: Most notably in the infamous [[http://media.wizards.com/images/magic/tcg/products/cmd13/5Ig5mu73tz_EN.jpg Starstorm]]. Goes well with LightEmUp.
* StuffBlowingUp: ''[[http://gatherer.wizards.com/pages/card/details.aspx?name=Kaboom! Kaboom!]]''
* SuicidalOverconfidence: Common in Red's flavor text, particularly with [[OurGoblinsAreDifferent goblins]].
* SuperSpeed: Follows from Red's emphasis on freedom. Seen on cards such as Burst Of Speed and Accelerate.
* TheUnfettered: Red will feel what it wants to feel and act how it wants to act.
* ThirstyDesert: Especially in ''Arabian Nights''.
* WhenAllYouHaveIsAHammer: Red runs at two speeds: "hit it" and "hit it harder".
%%* {{Wrath}}


Green is the color of life, [[GreenThumb nature]], and tradition. Thanks to its mastery of life and growth, Green is the best color at creating swarms of token creatures, and its creatures tend to be bigger than those of other colors for the same cost, especially at the higher end of the scale. Green also has the ability to boost the size of its creatures, both temporarily and permanently, and is the best color at generating extra mana in the long term, often by playing additional lands. It has become the second-best color at card drawing, representing a growth of the mind to match the body. Green magic is rarely subtle and often relies on brute force -- while it's perfectly willing to destroy the opponent's artifacts, enchantments, and lands, Green's preferred means of dealing with opposing creatures is to outmatch them in combat [[IncrediblyLamePun as nature intended]]. Learn more about green [[http://www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtgcom/daily/mr43 here]] and [[http://archive.wizards.com/Magic/magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtg/daily/mm/11 here]].

Its philosophy can be summarised as "acceptance through growth".

* AntiAir: Many. Very many. Air denial is one of Green's signature traits. Good examples include cards that deal damage to flying creatures alone, such as [[http://magiccards.info/10e/en/270.html Hurricane]], and [[http://magiccards.info/query?q=%21Giant+Spider Giant Spider]] (it has Reach, which lets it block fliers without itself having flying). Green creature removals usually only attack flyers. [[http://magiccards.info/query?q=%21Plummet Plummet]] is also a recurring AntiAir card that allows you to destroy any one creature with Flying.
* AntiCavalry: Appears on Trip Wire. Antiquated by the static ability Horsemanship disappearing.
* AppealToTradition: Basically the jist of Green's rhetoric outside of "nature". Green is the colour most focused on the past, most focused on retaining the status quo, and as such it can get pretty damn obsessed over tradition, as many characters have learned the hard way.
* AttackOfTheFiftyFootWhatever: One of green's trademarks is the absurdly large creature, whether large to begin with or magically pumped up that way.
* TheBeastMaster: One of Green's hats. For example: [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=191064 Master of the Wild Hunt]], [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=140194 Wren's Run Packmaster]], and [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=152728 Wolf-Skull Shaman]].
* BigCreepyCrawlies: Shared with Black. Green is very fond of absurdly large monsters (see AttackOfTheFiftyFootWhatever) and arthropods are not excluded.
* BlowYouAway: Although air is technically Blue's domain, [[WindIsGreen Green wind spells]] are common, although they’re largely used to knock flying things out of the sky -- see AntiAir above.
* BornUnlucky: This and BornLucky are how Green justifies SocialDarwinism -- if you’ve been born with bad genes, then your bad luck and/or death is just natural selection.
%%* CharlesAtlasSuperpower
* DishingOutDirt: Used to create more lands, or [[ThatsNoMoon animate the ones Green already has]].
* DeathWorld: What evil Green powers, such as the Green Phyrexians, ultimately seek to turn the lands they take over into--savage wildernesses full of ferocious monsters constantly preying on one another, where there is no law but the law of the jungle and no order but the food chain.
* DontThinkFeel: Part of its opposition to blue, green strategies are often about pure smashing, with little in the way of trickery or manipulation.
* EverythingTryingToKillYou: Green is the domain of dangerous, hostile places like forests and jungles.
* EvilLuddite: Green is opposed to advanced science, technology, industry and any altering of the world from its natural state on general principles, and this tends to move it into villainous territory when it takes it too far.
* EvilutionaryBiologist: Green at its worst and most obsessed with survival of the fittest can become this, especially when mixed with Blue.
* EvilReactionary: Green can be this when its focus on tradition and on shunning change is taken too far.
* TheFatalist: As the color of natural order, Green can be too focused on predestination at its worst.
%%* FertileFeet
* FragileSpeedster: The classic "green weenie" deck involves getting as many creatures out on the field as possible as quickly as possible. It's important to win quickly, because if your opponent manages to stave off your ZergRush, you're in for a world of hurt.
%%* GaiasLament:
* GaiasVengeance: Green’s specialty, since its philosophy makes it opposed to anything artificial, and it tends to be quite good at destroying what it perceives as unnatural, such as artifacts or enchantments.
** One of the most iconic examples of this is the classic card [[http://magiccards.info/query?q=%21Naturalize&v=card&s=cname Naturalize]] (which can destroy any artifact or enchantment in play), or [[http://magiccards.info/isd/en/172.html Bramblecrush]] (which can destroy any noncreature permanent), symbolizing the destruction of encroaching civilization.
** The Gaea’s Avenger variant also comes into play fairly often, such as with the planeswalker Garruk Wildspeaker or with the card [[http://magiccards.info/aq/en/63.html Gaea’s Avenger]].
* GeneticMemory: A frequent concept in Green cards, most notably [[http://magiccards.info/avr/en/173.html Descendant's Path]].
* GreenThumb: Druids always have abilities that either generate mana or improve the use and number of your lands. Common green spells pull lands right out of your deck and into your hand or onto the field, and of course there’s a lot of straightforward manipulation of plants.
* GoodOldWays: Tradition is one of the things that green represents.
* HealingHands: Green shares the ability to gain life with White.
* HungryJungle: A common tropical spin on Green’s forests, as a natural result of Green’s love of untamed wilds, its profusion of ravenous monsters and gigantic insects, and its hatred of technology and skill in breaking it down.
* InHarmonyWithNature: Many Green healing and card-drawing spells are depicted this way. Green believes that enlightenment doesn’t come from trying to impress your philosophy on the world, but on accepting that the world works fine as it is and learning to listen to it.
* InTheBlood: To go with the Nature side in "Nature vs Nurture".
%%* LamarckWasRight:
* TheLostWoods: The basic Green land is forests, and coupled with Green's love of giant monsters and the untamed wilderness, this trope is definitely in play.
* LuddWasRight: Green has a lot of cards for destroying artifacts and enchantments.
* MakeMyMonsterGrow: One of green's favorite abilities.
* MightyGlacier: The general playstyle of mono-Green decks, if not focused on "green weenies" detailed above, often involves devoting their first few turns to getting as many lands into play as possible so they can summon their big creatures a few turns earlier than normal. They may be vulnerable and lack defenses but once they fully utilize their wealth of mana there is little stopping them.
%%* MotherNature
* MushroomMan: The Fungus creature type is a strongly Green-aligned one, and as such the game’s various humanoid and intelligent mushroom creatures, such as the Thallids, have been exclusively Green.
* NatureHero: In contrast to Blue's ScienceHero.
* NatureIsNotNice: There are many cards that reflect the life-giving and nurturing face of Mother Nature. There are also many cards that reflect Mother Nature's brutality. Green planeswalker Nissa Revane, anyone?
* NatureVsNurture: Takes nature's side, obviously. Green believes your nature and destiny are dictated by your genes/fate/God/whatever.
* NoCureForEvil: Averted. Like in White, some Green characters with healing powers can be evil.
* OurElvesAreDifferent: Green’s characteristic humanoid creature, they usually fit the High Elves (if mixed with White) or Wood Elves types pretty well, but the horned, goat-hooved and extremely xenophobic elves of Lorwyn are much closer to TheFairFolk.
* PlantPerson: Both Dryads and Treefolk are Green creature types.
* PoisonousPerson: Delivered by all manner of venomous critters.
* ThePowerOfFriendship: Along with White and Red, Green is quite focused on interpersonal connections and bonds.
* ScienceIsBad: Green's philosophy, leading to Green getting a lot of anti-artifact spells.
* SuperStrength: Green has many terrifyingly large creatures, following from its emphasis on growth. It also has a lot of spells that boost power and toughness, often to a greater degree than other colors.
* TheSocialDarwinist: At its worst.
* TrainingFromHell: It's not unusual for Green creatures to be permanently toughened up by getting hurt first.
* ThatsNoMoon: Green is in love with the idea of land animation.
%%* VillainousGlutton
* WhenTreesAttack: Treefolk are a fairly common Green creature type, and of course there's animated forests.