Ledger Shredder
20, Aug, 23

What Is Connive in MTG?

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First introduced in Streets of New Capenna, Connive is an undeniably fantastic name for an MTG mechanic. Providing flavor for the Obscura family on Capenna, this mechanic is more than just a clever name, as it’s also seriously strong.

So far, only 23 cards feature Connive in MTG. Since it was only introduced in 2022, however, it’s highly likely this number will grow over time. That being said, the place of Connive on the Storm Scale is currently unknown.

While there may not be many cards featuring Connive, thanks to recent changes to Standard rotation, it will be sticking around for longer than expected. Subsequently, it’s best to make sure you’re up to speed with this MTG mechanic! So, without any further ado, here’s everything you need to know about Connive in MTG!

What is Connive in Magic: The Gathering?

Connive is a new keyword action introduced in Streets of New Capenna that is found primarily on cards in the Obscura family. When a creature is instructed to Connive, a player must draw a card and then discard a card. If the Conniving player discards a nonland card with this action, they put a +1/+1 counter on that creature. 

Connive may also appear as an X ability. In these instances, the player will draw X cards and discard X cards, where X is equal to whatever term the ability states. In Mask of the Schemer, the X is defined by the amount of damage the equipped creature deals to a player. +1/+1 counters are only put on the creature for each nonland card discarded this way.

As a quick rules note: If the Conniving creature dies while the Connive ability is on the stack, the player must still draw and discard a card. For example, if you have Ledger Shredder in play and cast Deliberate and then Village Rites, sacrificing Ledger Shredder, the Connive ability will still activate. If the creature is not on the battlefield, it cannot gain +1/+1 counters. 

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How to use Connive in Magic: The Gathering?

In all stages of an MTG game, Connive can be an incredibly powerful and valuable effect. With the ability to bolster the strength of your creatures and your hand, there’s rarely a bad time to Connive. By helping you put the cards you need into your hand or graveyard, Connive is helpful in numerous deck archetypes. 

Typically, Connive abilities activate when a creature enters the battlefield. As a result, cards that flicker your creatures, such as Emiel the Blessed and Displacer Kitten, are excellent choices for Connive decks. 

Security Bypass and Raffine, Scheming Seer both allow your creatures to Connive while attacking. These cards, therefore, favor more aggressive decks that keep Conniving to dig through their library for more gas.

For players looking to expend that gas, Ledger Shredder is the obvious choice. As a key threat in Modern, Ledger Shredder simply gets the job done, showing the power of Connive in the right MTG deck!

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Conniving in Constructed

Raffine's Informant

Ledger Shredder is certainly the best Connive Creature in Modern. Its ability to quickly grow out of Lightning Bolt range and filter away excess Lands makes it a premium option for decks like Izzet Murktide. However, Ledger Shredder is not the only premier Connive threat in various Constructed formats.

In Standard, Raffine is one of the best Creatures in Esper Midrange. It puts pressure on the opponent to kill it right away before you get to attack, but Ward one can make that a daunting task. Pair it with Sheoldred, the Apocalypse and it’s easy to gain a bunch of life in short order, making it very difficult to race.

In Pioneer, even the simple common Raffine’s Informant acts as a great discard outlet for various vehicles out of Abzan Greasefang. Additionally, Illuminator Virtuoso had its time in the sun as a top tier win condition in Boros Heroic decks for a while. Connive is a very strong ability, and even though it doesn’t appear on many MTG cards, it has made its presence felt.

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