CCG Terms and Phrases

This is the first release of a sorta Magic to Eternal translation dictionary. Except it's not just about Magic, as we have some terms here from Hearthstone and other games. And while we know this isn't an exhaustive list, we plan on fleshing this out and adding terms to it over time, to help players understand the lingo and jargon of card games. So, when people get excited and start talking about the effect of Rituals on the game and you can't find a card with Ritual in the name, you'll know what it means.

Bolt the Bird
The idea of using removal on your opponent's Mana Dorks aka power acceleration.

Game of origin: Magic the Gathering
Eternal counterpart: Torch the Initiate
History / Etymology: This is a phrase that goes way back into the history of Magic, referencing two of the earliest cards - Lightning Bolt (an exact analog to Torch) and Birds of Paradise (a card similar to Initiate of the Sands). It refers to the idea that it's a good idea to "always Bolt the Bird", i.e. destroy your opponent's ramp (power acceleration).
Relevance: The phrase “Bolt the Bird” is commonly used as slang for killing cards like Initiate of the Sands or Trail Maker

 

Counter
Cancel the effect of a spell / not allow a spell to resolve.

Game of origin: Magic the Gathering
Eternal counterpart: Negate
History / Etymology: This is a common term in fantasy content, but the original Counterspell in Magic has been around from the first Magic set, and can be used to counter any card that is cast, including Creatures/Units.
Relevance: Players will typically say they are “Countering” a spell, despite the Eternal term being “Negating”.

 

Cantrip
A card that draws a card as part of its effect, alongside another minor effect.

Game of origin: Magic the Gathering (But originally Dungeons & Dragons)
Eternal counterpart: Cantrip has become the de facto term. Examples in Eternal: Levitate, Trailblaze, Dispel, Second Sight
History / Etymology: This is a bit of a long one. Cantrip originated as a Scots term for any magical spell. Then, Dungeons & Dragons picked up the term as a minor magic spell, that usually doesn’t use any of the caster’s resources.  It then became used in Magic early in Magic’s history, and has been a staple term ever since.
Relevance: The meaning of this term is a bit nebulous, and somewhat arbitrary. If a card is or isn’t referred to as a cantrip is mostly about its speed and how important the other effect on the card is. For instance, while Heart of the Vault does draw a card, referring to it as a Cantrip would be awkward, same for a card such as Rise to the Challenge. Often a card like Trailblaze or Levitate will be referred to as a Cantrip, or the effect will be referred to as “cantripping” or “that card cantrips”. While a card like Cull the Deck fulfills the idea of replacing itself, that effect often isn’t referred to as a cantrip, either.

 

Cycle (Noun)
A group of cards that are related in design, flavor, or both.

Game of origin: Magic the Gathering
Eternal counterpart: Cycle has become the de facto standard. Examples in Eternal would be the Champion cycle - eg Champion of Glory, Champion of Chaos, Champion of Cunning, etc.; Kothon, Ayan, Bartholo, Vadius, Diogo (Enemy-faction-pair cards that all have an ult); Hotblood Barbarian, Portent Reader, Workshop Tinker, Learned Herbalist, Back-alley Delinquent (2 drops that all let you discard a card to create and draw a spell).
History / Etymology: This is a design-term.
Relevance: Players will often refer to these groups of cards as “Cycles”, and it can be helpful to notice cycles, in terms of understanding the design goals for the set.

 

Creature
A card that, when played, stays in play and can be used to attack your opponent or block their attacking units.

Game of origin: Magic the Gathering
Eternal counterpart: Unit
History / Etymology:  This is just the default game terminology put in place early in Magic’s development.
Relevance: Players may use any of a myriad of terms to refer to Units, depending on their first CCG and how ingrained it is into them. While Creature is probably the most common, coming from Magic, the following are all terms for Units:
Hearthstone - Minion
Shadowverse - Follower
YuGiOh - Monster

 

Face
The player’s representation in-game, especially when referring to it as a target.

Game of origin: Hearthstone
Eternal counterpart: Face has become the de facto term.
History / Etymology: In Hearthstone, each class is represented by a bust of a well known in WoW lore instance of that class, such as Paladin being represented by Uther Lightbringer or Mage being represented by Jaina Proudmoore.
Relevance: Players often refer to attacking their enemy or using direct damage on their enemy as “going face”. It often has the connotation of ignoring enemy units and attempting to quickly kill or race.
In Magic, “sending a spell to face” is sometimes referred to as “sending a spell upstairs” or “to the dome”.

 

Graveyard
The discard pile - the place where units go after they are killed, where relics go after they are killed, and where spells go after they resolve.

Game of origin: Magic the Gathering
Eternal counterpart: Void
History / Etymology: This is just directly the term that Magic uses for its Discard pile.
Relevance: Players will often end up referring to the Void as the “Yard”, short for Graveyard. eg. “I have 3 spells in my yard.” Another commonly used slang term is “The Bin”, but mostly used as a verb, eg. “I binned a Vara with that Sporefolk”.

 

Kick / Kicker
An extra effect gained above and beyond a card's base effect by paying an added cost at time of play.

Game of origin: Magic the Gathering
Eternal counterpart: In Eternal, as a keyword the only direct counterpart is Spellcraft. However, Kicker can appear on any card type in Magic, where it would apply to cards like Stirring Sands, Snow Pelting, etc.
History / Etymology: This is a Keyword in Magic.
Relevance: Players may refer to casting something like Changeestik with the additional cost as “playing a kicked Changeestik” or refer to paying the extra cost as “paying the kicker” or “kicking it”.

 

Loot
Draw a card then discard a card.

Game of origin: Magic the Gathering
Eternal counterpart: Loot has become the de facto term. Nocturnal Observer is an example of a card that loots.
History / Etymology: While this isn’t specifically a Keyword in Magic, many cards that Loot have it in the name, such as Merfolk Looter or Faithless Looting, causing it to become the commonly used term.
Relevance: Players will often shorthand this effect by using the word “Loot”, eg if they activate Nocturnal Observer and discard a Sigil, they might refer to it as “Looting away a Sigil”.

 

Mana Dork
A relatively weak unit or creature that puts you ahead of the curve on power / mana.

Game of origin: Magic the Gathering
Eternal counterpart: Mana Dork has become the de facto term, however Initiate of the Sands and Trail Maker are mana dorks.
History / Etymology: The exact origins of this term are unknown. However, refering to creatures with low stat totals as something diminuative (e.g. "dork") is common, so "a dork that makes mana" could be easily shortened to "mana dork."
Relevance: Players will often refer to units such as Initiate of the Sands and Trailmaker (in Eternal) or Llanowar Elves and Noble Hierarch (in MtG) as mana dorks.

 

Mill
Put a card directly from a player’s deck into their discard pile.

Game of origin: Magic the Gathering
Eternal counterpart: Mill has become the de facto term. Examples of cards that Mill in Eternal: Solitude, Chairman’s Contract, Sporefolk.
History / Etymology: This is a reference to the Magic the Gathering card, Millstone.
Millstone
Relevance: This is a very loaded term. The basic meaning is causing a player to put cards directly from their deck, usually the top of their deck, into the void. This is usually as a verb, eg. “Mill you for 2”, meaning “I cause you to put the top 2 cards of your deck into your void.”
It can be used to refer to a strategy, eg. “Mill deck”, meaning a deck that has the goal of “Milling Out” their opponent, eg. winning the game via causing their opponent to have no deck, therefore losing.

 

Permanent
Any card that remains in play once it resolves.

Game of origin: Magic the Gathering
Eternal counterpart: “Units and Attachments”, but no equivalent to the term exists.
History / Etymology: This simply refers to cards that are permanently in play, as a concept.
Relevance: This is a catch-all term for anything that remains in play. In Eternal, Units and all Relics would be permanents. In Magic, there are many more types of permanents, so a catch-all becomes more useful.

 

Plague Wind
Kill every unit owned by one player.

Game of origin: Magic the Gathering
Eternal counterpart: Plague Wind has become the de facto term, but Marshal Ironthorn Ultimate is an Eternal equivalent.
History / Etymology: This is a reference to the original card with this effect in Magic - Plague Wind.
Plague Wind
Relevance: Players may refer to one-sided Sweepers as a “Plague Wind”, or use it as a verb, eg. “Plague Wind you” when an effect kills everything their opponent controls. An even looser use would be if a damage sweeper like Hailstorm kills all units that one person controls, but doesn’t kill anything the other controls.

 

Prowess
A +1/+1 buff that lasts until the end of the turn.

Game of origin: Magic the Gathering
Eternal counterpart: “When you play a spell, <UNIT> gets +1/+1 this turn.”
Magic: “Whenever you cast a noncreature spell, this creature gets +1/+1 until end of turn”
History / Etymology: This is a Keyword in Magic.
Relevance: When a unit in Eternal with the same effect, such as Kosul Battlemage, activates this effect, players may refer to this as “activating Prowess” or call it a “Prowess Trigger”.

 

Ramp
Have more maximum Power / access to more Mana than you should by playing more than one Power / Land per turn.

Game of origin: Magic the Gathering
Eternal counterpart: Ramp has become the de facto term.
History / Etymology: This is both just a use of the word “ramp” in its normal definition and also a reference to the original Ramp spell, Rampant Growth.
Relevance: Players will often refer to decks that rely on cards like Initiate of the Sands, Secret Pages, Powerstone, etc. as “a Ramp Deck” or something like “Elysian Ramp”.

 

Ritual
A spell or ability that results in a temporary net gain of Power / Mana.

Game of origin: Magic the Gathering
Eternal counterpart: Ritual has become the de facto term. Kindle and End of the Barrel are examples of Rituals in Eternal.
History / Etymology: This is a reference to the original card with this effect in Magic - Dark Ritual.
Relevance: Players will often refer to any effect that causes you to net gain Power / Mana as a Ritual. For instance, Kindle and End of the Barrel are referred to as Rituals.

 

Rummage
Discard a card then draw a card.

Game of origin: Magic the Gathering
Eternal counterpart: Rummage has become the de facto term. Wyatt, Junk Collector is an example of a card that Rummages.
History / Etymology: While this isn’t specifically a Keyword in Magic, it’s become the common term for discarding, then drawing a card.
Relevance: Players will often shorthand this effect by using the word “Rummage”, eg if they trigger Wyatt and discard a Sigil, they might refer to it as “Rummaging away a Sigil”.

 

Roping
Using up most of or all of your turn timer.

Game of origin: Hearthstone
Eternal counterpart: “Timing Out”
History / Etymology: In Hearthstone, the timer indicating the end of your turn is a rope that appears across the middle of the board, leading to the “End Turn” button, that burns down as your time runs out. When the rope is burned up, your turn ends.
Relevance: Generally, this is used to refer to someone that you believe is taking this action maliciously - aka, they’re taking up as much time as possible to BM you. So, players will tend to use this term to reference that behavior.

 

Scry
Look at the top card of your deck, then choose if you leave it on top or put it on the bottom of your deck.

Game of origin: Magic the Gathering
Eternal counterpart: Scout
History / Etymology: This is a keyword in Magic.
Relevance: Players may refer to Scouting as Scrying.

 

SMOrc
Be aggressive, often recklessly or mindlessly so.

Game of origin: Hearthstone… kinda.
Eternal counterpart: SMOrc has become the de facto term… sorta.
History / Etymology: SMOrc stands for Space Marine Orc - it became a Twitch emote as part of a promotion for the game Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine. However, it became part of Hearthstone terminology / memes shortly after the game became popular.
A popular Hearthstone music video based around this concept was put on Youtube: (Warning: this video uses some terms in poor taste) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jenlSf2E8o
Relevance: Players will often refer to being aggressive as “SMOrcing”.

 

Spell
[In MtG] Any card that isn’t a Land.

Game of origin: Magic the Gathering
Eternal counterpart: “non-power Cards”
History / Etymology: In Magic, every card that isn’t a Land can be responded to, so they all fall under a broad category of “Spell”.
Relevance: The most common usage of this term is the idea of “Lands and Spells”, which is the idea of how many Power vs non-Power cards in hand, in Eternal. eg. “This hand has a good mix of Lands and Spells” means the hand has cards the player wants to play and the Power to cast them.
“Non-Power Cards” are sometimes also referred to by “Action” or “Gas”, but usually in the form of “I drew Action/Gas”, when the player draws a non-Power card, usually a high impact card.

 

Sweeper
Kill or damage every unit on the board.

Game of origin: Magic the Gathering
Eternal counterpart: Sweeper has become the de facto term.
History/Etymology: Likely the idea of “sweeping away” all creatures on the board, in terms of sweeping away the physical cards.
Relevance: Cards such as Lightning Storm or Hailstorm or Harsh rule may be referred to as a Sweeper. This differs from Wrath/Rule, in that the effect doesn’t necessarily kill all creatures, but may just damage them.

 

Tap
Make a Creature/Unit unable to block or activate abilities that require it to Tap/Exhaust, until untapped/unexhausted.
[In MtG] Generate Mana from a Land, making it unable to generate more Mana, until untapped.

Game of origin: Magic the Gathering
Eternal counterpart: Exhaust
History / Etymology: This is just the default game terminology put in place early in Magic’s development.
Relevance: Players will often refer to Exhausting as Tapping. Further, as tapping in Magic can be done to any permanent, players will often refer to the state of being “Tapped Out” - all of a player’s lands are tapped, so they cannot do anything that requires mana, which often means they can take no actions. In Eternal, there isn’t a specific, universal equivalent to “Tapped Out”, however some people have suggested “Powered Down” as an equivalent.

 

Tutor
Drawing a specific card from your deck, possibly of a limited type

Game of origin: Magic the Gathering
Eternal counterpart: Tutor is the de facto term. Examples of Tutors in Eternal: Celestial Omen, Rise to the Challenge
History / Etymology: This is a reference to a group of cards in Magic that all have “Tutor” in their name.
Demonic Tutor.jpg

Relevance: Players will often refer to cards like Omen or Rise as Tutors, or use Tutor as a verb, eg. “They tutored for Icaria”, when referring to someone drawing Icaria from their deck with Rise to the Challenge.

 

Wheel
Discard your hand then draw a replacement hand.

Game of origin: Magic the Gathering
Eternal counterpart: Wheel is the de facto term. Examples of Wheels in Eternal: Kaleb, Reborn’s ultimate, Ancient of the Ice Caves’s Ultimate
History / Etymology: This is a reference to the card Wheel of Fortune. However, probably the most famous “Wheel” is Timetwister, one of the Power Nine - a set of extremely rare, valuable, and powerful cards from the first set of Magic.
Relevance: This is a fairly loose term - it can vary in meaning from both players discard their hands and redraw up to 7 down to 1 player discarding their hand and drawing the same number of cards that they discarded, all of which have shown in Magic history and been colloquially referred to as “a wheel” or “wheeling”.

 

Wrath
Kill every unit on the board.

Game of origin: Magic the Gathering
Eternal counterpart: Rule has become the unofficial term for this in Eternal, named after Harsh Rule.
History / Etymology: This is a reference to the original card with this effect in Magic - Wrath of God.
wrath_of_god.jpg
Relevance: Players will often refer to unconditional Sweepers as “Wraths”, or use it as a verb, eg. “They Wrathed the board” when an effect kills everything on the board.