Good Morning Magic Explains Why Surveil Isn’t Evergreen

Learn more about the nuances of using keywords that appear in specific sets.

Doom Whisperer illustrated by Vincent Proce

Gavin Verhey used today’s episode of Good Morning Magic to go into detail on why Consider from Innistrad: Midnight Hunt doesn’t have the surveil keyword.

With the reveal of a handful of new cards from Innistrad: Midnight Hunt last Thursday, many players wanted to know why surveil wasn’t on the new cantrip, Consider.


While Consider is a version of Opt with surveil instead of scry, there are reasons why the obscure keyword isn’t slapped on the new card. Guilds of Ravnica introduced surveil, the Dimir mechanic on nineteen cards that is a new take on scry. Some cards cared about how many times you could surveil on top of other cards wanting certain cards in your graveyard, so it was an interesting take on the keyword. Outside of showing up on a few cards in Modern Horizons 2, surveil hasn’t returned to Magic.

Surveil isn’t evergreen, so it won’t pop up from time to time like most set-specific mechanics. Making more rare mechanics keywords forces players to learn more keywords, which can be more work or add more confusion than needed. In fact, the reminder text for surveil can take up more space in the text box of a card than stating what the card does in many cases.

Doom Whisperer Contingency Plan

Another factor that went into making surveil a mechanic in Guilds of Ravnica was that the set didn’t have any cards with scry in it. With the two mechanics being so similar, it’s easy to confuse the two, so surveil existed on its own in the set. With scry being evergreen, it can show up in any set, so having surveil and scry show up in the same set can cause more issues than it’s worth.

Verhey wrapped up the video by saying that surveil could easily show up again in a new set, but it would again mean the lack of scry as well.