Legendary

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The Magic Duels symbol for Legendary.

Legendary is a supertype found on artifacts, creatures, enchantments, and lands. Any permanent with the legendary supertype is bound by the "legend rule," which prevents multiple copies of the card from existing on the battlefield under the same player's control.

Description[edit | edit source]

Flavorfully, legendary cards represent the key people, places, and objects of a set's story. Typical expansion sets contain no more than 10 to 15 legendary cards, with the exceptions of Kamigawa block and the early expansion Legends, each of which contained significantly more. Except for cards found in those sets, most legendary cards carry a rarity of rare or mythic rare.[1]

Legendary was first featured on the lands in the set Legends. It replaced the creature type Legend in Champions of Kamigawa.[2]

The Commander format requires that a legendary creature be selected as one's Commander or "general".

Legend rule[edit | edit source]

If player controls two or more legendary permanents of the same name when state-based effects are checked, that player chooses one of those permanents and immediately put the others into their owners' graveyards, without any player having an opportunity to respond. This does not a destroy the other permanents, does not cause them to be sacrificed, and cannot be prevented by indestructibility or regeneration.

This version of the rule has been in effect since the release of Magic 2014.[3][4]

Currently, only two cards circumvent the "legend rule." Brothers Yamazaki ignores the rule for itself as long as a player controls exactly two of the card, and Mirror Gallery cancels the rule entirely.

From the glossary of the Comprehensive Rules (Amonkhet (April 28, 2017))

Legend Rule
A state-based action that causes a player who controls two or more legendary permanent with the same name to put all but one into their owners’ graveyards. See rule 704.5k.

From the Comprehensive Rules (Amonkhet (April 28, 2017))

  • 205.4d Any permanent with the supertype “legendary” is subject to the state-based action for legendary permanents, also called the “legend rule” (see rule 704.5k).

From the Comprehensive Rules (Amonkhet (April 28, 2017))

  • 704.5k If a player controls two or more legendary permanents with the same name, that player chooses one of them, and the rest are put into their owners’ graveyards. This is called the “legend rule.”

From Legends to Champions of Kamigawa[edit | edit source]

Besides the connection to the subtype (later to be changed to a supertype), Legend originally had another problem. After its introduction, any person could play a Legend provided that that Legend wasn't already on the battlefield. If it was, that card was stuck in its owner's hand. They could cast it if they wanted to, but the newest one would immediately be put into the graveyard, so there was no incentive to do so.

This issue came to great prominence during the Masques block because Rebel decks centered around Lin Sivvi, Defiant Hero were dominant at the time. The card was so key to the deck that when two Rebel decks played one another, the first person to get Lin Sivvi out had an unfair advantage.[5] However, developer Tom LaPille still preferred this version of the rule.[6]

From Champions of Kamigawa to Magic 2014[edit | edit source]

The second version of the rule checked to see if any other legendary permanent of the same name exists on the entire battlefield (regardless of the permanents' controllers) and sent all of those permanents (including the one which initiated the situation) to their owners' graveyards.[7][8] In effect, each legendary permanent served two purposes: 1) its original purpose and 2) the removal of all instances of that permanent already on the battlefield.

Planeswalker uniqueness rule[edit | edit source]

Although different, planeswalker cards have a similar rule:

From the Comprehensive Rules (Amonkhet (April 28, 2017))

  • 704.5j If a player controls two or more planeswalkers that share a planeswalker type, that player chooses one of them, and the rest are put into their owners’ graveyards. This is called the “planeswalker uniqueness rule.”

Rulings[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Aaron Forsythe. (November 24, 2006.) “Preserving the Coolness of Legends”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Mark Rosewater. (May 09, 2011.) “The Issue Is Legen—Wait for It—Dary”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Matt Tabak. (May 23, 2013.) “Magic 2014 Core Set Rules Preview”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Sam Stoddard. (May 23, 2013.) “Legendary Rule Change”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Mark Rosewater. (May 09, 2011.) “The Issue Is Legen—Wait for It—Dary”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Tom LaPille. (May 13, 2011.) “A Legendary Disagreement”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Aaron Forsythe. (September 10, 2004.) “Legendary Rules Changes”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Mark Rosewater. (October 04, 2004.) “Change For the Better”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Matt Tabak. (June 22, 2015.) “Magic Origins Mechanics Article”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.