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Champion

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Champion
Keyword Ability
Type Triggered (1st ability)
Triggered (2nd ability)
Introduced Lorwyn
Last Used Morningtide
Reminder Text Champion an [object] (When this enters the battlefield, sacrifice it unless you exile another creature you control. When this leaves the battlefield, that card returns to the battlefield.)
Statistics 12 cards
{W} 16.7% {U} 25% {B} 8.3% {R} 25% {G} 25%
Scryfall Search
oracle:"Champion"

Champion is a keyword ability that allows you to upgrade one permanent into another, representing a powerful creature taking the place of another to fight in its stead.[1]

A permanent is “championed” by another permanent if the latter exiles the former as the direct result of a champion ability.

History[edit | edit source]

Champion was introduced in Lorwyn, in which it featured on a cycle of rare non-shapeshifter creatures and on three uncommon shapeshifters with changeling, in whose case "champion" appears as "champion a creature".[2][3] Morningtide featured cards that let you champion one of two creature types, the player gets to choose which one.[4]

Though it was not a keyword at the time, the ability of Wormfang Drake from Judgement has an identical effect to "champion a creature", predating Lorwyn by about 5 years.

Rules[edit | edit source]

From the Comprehensive Rules (July 12, 2019—Core Set 2020)

  • 702.71. Champion
    • 702.71a Champion represents two triggered abilities. “Champion an [object]” means “When this permanent enters the battlefield, sacrifice it unless you exile another [object] you control” and “When this permanent leaves the battlefield, return the exiled card to the battlefield under its owner’s control.”
    • 702.71b The two abilities represented by champion are linked. See rule 607, “Linked Abilities.”
    • 702.71c A permanent is “championed” by another permanent if the latter exiles the former as the direct result of a champion ability.

From the glossary of the Comprehensive Rules (July 12, 2019—Core Set 2020)

Champion, Championed
“Champion” is a keyword ability that lets one creature temporarily replace another. A permanent is “championed” by another permanent if the latter exiles the former as the direct result of a champion ability. See rule 702.71, “Champion.”

Rulings[edit | edit source]

  • A creature's own champion ability won't allow you to exile that creature.
  • If a creature with champion leaves the battlefield before its enters-the-battlefield ability resolves, its leaves-the-battlefield ability will do nothing. Then its enters-the-battlefield ability will resolve. Its controller may exile a permanent of the appropriate quality they controls. If the player does, that card won't come back. If the player doesn't, nothing happens (because the creature with champion isn't around to be sacrificed).
  • If a creature with champion loses the champion ability (due to Humble, for example) and then leaves the battlefield, champion's leaves-the-battlefield ability won't trigger. The exiled card remains into exile.
  • All Lorwyn cards with both changeling and champion have "champion a creature." The ability allows you to exile any other creature you control.
  • All other Lorwyn cards with champion have "champion a [creature type]." The ability doesn't limit you to creatures. For example, a card with "champion a Kithkin" allows you to exile a Kithkin enchantment.

Examples[edit | edit source]

Example 1

Changeling Berserker {3}{R}
Creature — Shapeshifter
5/3
Changeling (This card is every creature type.)
Haste
Champion a creature (When this enters the battlefield, sacrifice it unless you exile another creature you control. When this leaves the battlefield, that card returns to the battlefield.)

Example 2

Thoughtweft Trio {2}{W}{W}
Creature — Kithkin Soldier
5/5
First strike, vigilance
Champion a Kithkin (When this enters the battlefield, sacrifice it unless you exile another Kithkin you control. When this leaves the battlefield, that card returns to the battlefield.)
Thoughtweft Trio can block any number of creatures.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. English Rules Primer — Lorwyn
  2. Mark Rosewater (October 1, 2007). "And the Rest". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Mark Rosewater (October 08, 2007). "Before and After". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Mark Rosewater (January 14, 2008). "But Wait, There's More". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.