Crimson Vow Scene art - Blood Moon
3, Nov, 21

What is Cleave in Magic: The Gathering?

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One of the most exciting parts of any new Magic: The Gathering set release is seeing what new mechanics are introduced or even what old ones return from the grave. With the introduction of Innistrad: Crimson Vow we’re being introduced to Cleave.

It is a brand new mechanic that is easily one of the more interesting that Wizards of the Coast have released in recent years because it changes how certain cards will be used in all formats. Here’s everything you need to know.

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What is Cleave?

Cleave does something very clever to cards that contain the mechanic, they actually change the way you read the card! A card that has a Cleave cost will have text that is contained within brackets. If you pay the additional cost to use the card, you read the card without the text within these brackets.

This essentially turns you into an editor of sorts as you must make sure you understand both uses of the card and how to best use it. When the mechanic comes into play, you’ll need to make sure you’re clear when reading out the full and edited texts.

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What Cards can use Cleave?

Cleave will only be contained within your Instants and Sorcery cards. You can find a cards’ alternative cost written above any other rules text contained within the card as seen above. This cost will always be more expensive as it unlocks a more powerful version of the card.

The split of Cleave cards among the Innistrad: Crimson Vow set is mostly even. Black and Blue decks will see a few more options compared to the other mana colors.

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