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When performing a search on Essential Magic (such as a Card Search, Deck Search, or Combo Search), you can use complex search strings in almost any text field (such as Card Name, or Rules Text). This will allow you to narrow your search down further or expand your search to include more results. This page will show you how to use the Essential Magic Query Language.

  • Multiple Words
    You can search for multiple words simply by separating them by spaces. For example, if you wanted to find all cards whose rules text contained the word destroy and the word artifact, then you would type destroy artifact in the Rules Text field of the card search.

    Note: When you separate words by spaces, the search will only return results that contain both of those words.

  • And and Or
    Searching for multiple words is handy, but sometimes you will need to search for fields that contain any of the words you enter (instead of all of the words). You can do this by using And and Or. For example, if you wanted to find all cards whose rules text contained the words destroy or bury, you would type destroy or bury. If you wanted to find all cards whose rules text contained both of those words, you would type destroy and target instead (or simplye destroy target).
  • Not
    You can use the word Not to exclude certain words from your search results. For example, if you wanted to find all cards whose rules text contained the word artifact but not the word creature, you would type artifact not creature in the Rules Text field.

    If you wanted to find all cards that contained the word artifact or did not contain the word creature, then you would type artifact or not creature instead.

  • Parenthesis
    You can use parenthesis to logically group your search phrase. For example, if you wanted to find all cards whose rules text contained the words destroy or bury and also contained the word artifact, you would type (destroy or bury) artifact in the Rules Text field. If you had left out the parenthesis, then the search would return all cards whose rules text contained the word destroy or the words bury and artifact.
  • Phrases
    If you need to search for a phrase that contains a space, simply enclose that phrase in double quotes. For example, if you wanted to find all cards whose rules text contained the phrase all opponents, then you would type "all opponents" (including the quotes) in the Rules Text field.
    If you need to search for a phrase that contains double quotes, then use double-double quotes. For example, if you wanted to find all cards whose rules text contains the phrase target creature gains "1: Regenerate this Creature", then you would type "target creature gains ""1: Regenerate this Creature""" (including all quotes). As you can see, all the double quotes in the phrase were replaced with double-double quotes and the entire phrase was also enclosed in quotes.
  • Putting it all together
    You can use any combination of the above steps to narrow down your search. Here are a few examples and explanations of what they would do:

    destroy artifact not "artifact creature"
    This would find all cards whose Rules Text contained the word destroy and the word artifact, but does not contain the phrase artifact creature.

    "Llanowar elves" or lure or Armageddon
    This would find all cards whose Name contained the phrase Llanowar elves, the word lure, or the word Armagedon. This is a great way to quickly display a list of cards.

    (Destroy or Bury) and (not tapped or unblocked or "attacking creature")
    This would find all cards whose Rules Text contained the word Destroy or the word Bury, and did not contain the word tapped, the word unblocked, or the phrase attacking creature.

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