If you’re new to Magic: The Gathering, chances are you’ve had a couple questions about Menace. This ability, which is found on over 100 cards, appears across sets. You’ll need to plan your next move carefully if you want to successfully answer a card with Menace.
What exactly is Menace, and what should you know about its history? Read on for more about this evergreen ability, how it works, and how to overcome its effects.
What is Menace in MtG?
Menace in Magic: The Gathering is an ability that makes creatures harder to block. It was introduced to the game in 2015, originally appearing in the summer set Magic Origins.
When a creature with Menace attacks, it cannot be blocked by a single defending creature, but requires two or more creatures to team up and block it together, according to the Comprehensive Rules. Additionally, “multiple instances of Menace on the same creature are redundant,” the rules note. So no stacking.
The rules for Menace apply during the “declare blockers” step of combat. In order to block a creature with Menace, the defending player must assign at least two blocking creatures. Once the blockers have been declared, the Menace creature remains blocked even if some of the blocking creatures are removed before damage.
A few massive creatures can only be blocked by three or more creatures. Pathrazer of Ulamog, for example, requires multiple blocks.
Menace developed out of earlier abilities like Fear and Intimidate, abilities that no longer appear on new cards. Both Fear and Intimidate limited blocking to specific colors of creatures, which proved to be either useless or overpowered depending on the colors in opposing decks.
The most common “evasion” ability found on Magic: The Gathering creatures is Flying, but others appear less often, like Horsemanship, Protection, Shadow, Skulk, and the many unnamed variations on “cannot be blocked.” Flying appears most often on White and Blue creatures, while Black and Red creatures tend to have Menace.