Keyword abilities is a word or a set of words that represent game rulings or card abilities for Magic: The Gathering. Collectively, these keywords are called "mechanics".

Most players' goal in playing MTG is to, of course have fun, but ultimately win. With all that new cards you have purchased, all the bling and pimpin' you've spent so much money on, aside from having a healthy competition with your friends, your objective is to win. Decimating your opponent's life total to 0. It can be achieved through sheer combat damage, a plain, simple and effective way.

Let's look into new card abilities that will help us achieve this goal.

What sorcery is this?

Recently I had a friend get himself a new deck. While he was browsing through his cards his noticeable reaction was, "What is this?", "This is new". Yes, even long time Magic: The Gathering players like him still get surprised how Wizards of the Coast can come up with new and exciting ways to change and elevate the game that is MTG. Let's look into these new and interesting abilities added for the cards that are printed for the Amonkhet block extending to the small expansion, Hour of Devastation.

First on our list is "eternalize". Creatures get a second chance to fight, reanimated on the battlefield as 4/4 Zombie versions of their former selves.

This nifty ability will have you return you creatures and get the upper hand from a nasty board wipe. Another interesting mechanic is "Afflict". Creatures you control can still inflict damage even when blocked, another value added to your cards. Next on our list is "Exert". Creatures can unlock special abilities for the cost of remaining tapped on your next untap phase.

A great example is Oasis Ritualist. Adds one mana when tapped and adds two if you use exert. These simple abilities should save you come the time you need that extra mana added to your pool. A unique addition to the set mechanic is the advantage of controlling deserts. As the Hour of Devastation takes place in a dry and arid region, having deserts in the setting makes good sense.

Hence, the expansion rewards you for controlling a non basic land as a desert. And finally, split cards, or as they now call them "Aftermath". Split cards were first seen in the Invasion block, and now is revived in the Amonkhet block.

Choosing the right ones.

Ultimately, you have to choose what cards suit your play style. As an example a themed deck that reanimates its dead goes well with cards that have eternalize. A wise man once said "synergy is the key". These abilities are made so that they agree with the theme and the flavor of the expansion. Your technique will say much about what cards to choose, choose well and have fun playing.