How Magic Cards work
Boros Reckoner

Boros Reckoner Russian

Last Modified 29.03.2020

How Boros Reckoner’s ability actually works.

Boros Reckoner

Oracle Text:

Creature — Minotaur Wizard

Whenever Boros Reckoner is dealt damage, it deals that much damage to target creature or player.

{R/W}: Boros Reckoner gains first strike until end of turn.

Boros Reckoner is a creature with the hybrid symbols in its mana cost. Each one represents a cost that can be paid in one of the two ways, as represented by the two halves of the symbol. In this case it has red and white symbols. That means that you can pay Boros Reckoner’s cost in 4 different ways: {WWW}, {WWR}, {WRR}, {RRR}.

No matter what colors have been payed, Boros Reckoner has both colors: red and white. It means that you can play Boros Reckoner in your Commander-deck if only your commander has both of these colors. You cannot cast Boros Reckoner with mono-white or mono-red commander. However, there are good news: your Boros Reckoner will get +1/+1 from your Legion’s Initiative and your devotion to red or white will be at least 3. It is helpful if you have Purphoros, God of the Forge or Heliod, God of the Sun in your deck. Boros Reckoner will only get your devotion to red and white as 3, but not 6. That is because of the total number of mana symbols in its mana cost.

Boros Reckoner has 2 creature types — Minotaur and Wizard. That is why it interacts with Kragma Warcaller, Rageblood Shaman or Azami, Lady of Scrolls and Diviner’s Wand. Do not forget if the creature type has to be chosen (Cavern of Souls), you should choose either Minotaur or Wizard. There is no Minotaur-Wizard creature type in Magic.

Second Boros Reckoner’s ability is an activated ability. Its effect lasts until the end of the turn and gives Boros Reckoner a static ability — First Strike. If you are not sure or familiar with this ability, you should check Markov Blademaster. He will tell you everything he knows about it and show his family pictures. However, we should move to the most interesting part.

The first Boros Reckoner’s ability is the Triggered Ability.

«WheneverBoros Reckoner is dealt damage, it deals that much damage to target creature or player

Whenever — is the keyword for identifying the Triggered Ability.

Boros Reckoner is dealt damage — is a condition whenever that ability automatically triggers.

  • It is important for the trigger that Boros Reckoner got damaged. How they have been done or if it dies is not important for the trigger.
Olivia Voldaren

If a cunning opponent has planned to steal Boros Reckoner from you and activated Olivia Voldaren’s first ability, Reckoner will receive one damage and its trigger will work.

Harvest Gwyllion
Melira, Sylvok Outcast

For instance, if you control Melira, Sylvok Outcast and Boros Reckoner has met a creature with Wither or Infect ability, instead of the damage, -1/-1 counters should be placed. However, Melira’s ability forbit -1/-1 counters to be placed on your creatures. Therefore, the damage will be dealt but without any consequences and Boros Reckoner’s trigger will work.

Wall of Roots

If the creature power is less or equal to the 0, that creature does not deal combat damage at all. If Boros Reckoner is attacking and being blocked by the Wall of Roots, it will not get any damage.


If the damage is being prevented, they are not being dealt at all as well. That means that Boros Reckoner’s trigger condition did not happened and the triggered ability won’t work.

Turn // Burn

If Boros Reckoner has been turned into a pumpkin first and then damaged, it won’t punch back. Turn // Burn played with Fuse will just kill it. That is because at the moment when the damage is dealt, the triggered ability won’t exist.

it deals that much damage to target creature or player — is the trigger’s effect which we will get when it resolves.

  • Because the ability has a target (you can identify it with a word “target”), we have to check the legality of it when we choose it and when it should be resolved. If a target become illegal, the trigger will counter and won’t do anything (a target has to be single). That can possibly happen if a target player will get hexproof, shroud, protection from red or white, protection from creatures; or the cunning target creature runs away (Cloudshift) into the other zone and after coming back become the new object.
  • As you know or guessed, the source of the damage which is dealt in the resolve is Boros Reckoner itself. Because the trigger on the stack doesn’t depend on its source, it doesn’t care what happens to Boros Reckoner. If it won’t be on the battlefield when the trigger resolves, the game machine will use the LKI — last known information about it. It is important to remember in cases when Boros Reckoner had Lifelink, Infect or Deathtouch. Those are the static abilities which will be taken into consideration when it comes to the consequences.
Inferno Titan

Boros Reckoner is able to get more damage than its toughness. If it met Inferno Titan, it will receive 6 damage. It means that on the trigger’s resolve it will deal 6 damage to a target. Have you already reached your Blasphemous Act?

Grizzly Bears

If Boros Reckoner is being blocked with two bears and you forgot to save mana for the second ability’s activation, it will receive 4 damage, just like its only trigger’s target if it resolves. You can’t choose two targets and kill both bears as a revenge.

How does it work?

  • Boros Reckoner receive some damage — the trigger is put into stack.
  • SBA is being checked, which can possibly lead to any other triggers. More often it is the leave the battlefield trigger.
  • All triggered abilities are being put into the stack in the APNAP order. All targets have to be chosen after they are being put into the stack.
  • Active player is receiving priority.

In order to get the triggers, effect it should be resolved. It means that it should be on the top of the stack and all players should pass.

If you understand what is happening and when, those two examples will be logical for you:


If the great mages have decided to trade Thragtusk for Boros Reckoner, that is what will happen:

[nerd mode on]

  • Boros Reckoner’s trigger will work;
  • SBA is being checked, as a result, both creatures will be put into the graveyard and Thragtusk’s trigger will work.

It means that at the moment of putting triggers on the stack (it doesn’t matter who is the active player at the moment), tokens from Thragtusk’s ability are not on the battlefield yet and they can’t be chosen as the targets for Reckoner’s trigger.

[nerd mode off]


Boon Satyr

If the great mages have decided to trade the 1/1 token enchanted with Boon Satyr with Boros Reckoner this is what happens:

[nerd mode on]

  • Boros Reckoner’s trigger will work;
  • SBA is being checked, as a result, both creatures will be put into the graveyard;
  • in the second SBA check the token won’t exist anymore and Boon Satyr will lose subtype Enchantment Aura and becomes a creature.

In this case, at the moment when Boros Reckoner’s trigger is being put on the stack, Boon Satyr will be a creature and can be chosen as a target.

[nerd mode off]


And there is some eternal music for you as a dessert:

Nearheath Pilgrim
Boros Reckoner
Boros Charm

If Boros Reckoner will soulbond with Nearheath Pilgrim, both of them will get Lifelink. Because of Boros Charm’s effect, all creatures you control will get Indestructible. The one and only quest you have is to deal any damage to Boros Reckoner and choose itself as the trigger’s target. After N of interactions you will have 100500 lifes!

You can try Whip of Erebos or Azorius Charm instead of Nearheath Pilgrim.

Translated by Aleskandra Ladygina