Exile

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Exile
Duels Exile symbol.png
Keyword Action
Introduced Alpha (mechanic)
Magic 2010 (keyword)
Last Used Evergreen
Reminder Text No official reminder text
Scryfall Search
oracle:"Exile"

Exile is a game zone outside the field of play. It is also a keyword action, meaning "put into the exile zone".[1]

Exile was known as "removed from the game" before it was renamed as part of the Magic 2010 rules update.[2]

Description[edit | edit source]

Unlike other zones, it is considerably harder to access cards from this zone. Only a few cards, such as Pull from Eternity or Riftsweeper, can touch them without having the cards exiled themselves. Mark Rosewater tries to limit such cards.[3]

The exile zone is often used as a holding place for other cards, as seen with the mechanics Imprint and Suspend. However, it is also sometimes used similarly to the graveyard as a zone for cards that were eliminated by the opponent, for example, a creature removed with Swords to Plowshares.

Exiling primarily occurs among white, black, and colorless cards.

Rules[edit | edit source]

From the glossary of the Comprehensive Rules (August 7, 2020—Double Masters)

Exile
1. A zone. Exile is essentially a holding area for cards. It used to be known as the “removed-from-the-game” zone.
2. To put an object into the exile zone from whatever zone it’s currently in. An “exiled” card is one that’s been put into the exile zone.
See rule 406, “Exile.”

From the Comprehensive Rules (August 7, 2020—Double Masters)

  • 406. Exile
    • 406.1. The exile zone is essentially a holding area for objects. Some spells and abilities exile an object without any way to return that object to another zone. Other spells and abilities exile an object only temporarily.
    • 406.2. To exile an object is to put it into the exile zone from whatever zone it’s currently in. An exiled card is a card that’s been put into the exile zone.
    • 406.3. Exiled cards are, by default, kept face up and may be examined by any player at any time. Cards “exiled face down” can’t be examined by any player except when instructions allow it. However, once a player is allowed to look at a card exiled face down, that player may continue to look at that card as long as it remains exiled, even if the instruction allowing the player to do so no longer applies. A card exiled face down has no characteristics, but the spell or ability that exiled it may allow it to be played from exile. Unless that card is being cast face down (see rule 707.4), the card is turned face up just before the player announces that they are playing the card (see rule 601.2).
    • 406.4. Face-down cards in exile should be kept in separate piles based on when they were exiled and how they were exiled. If a player is instructed to choose an exiled card, the player may choose a specific face-down card only if the player is allowed to look at that card. Otherwise, they may choose a pile of face-down exiled cards, and then a card is chosen at random from within that pile. If choosing such a card is part of casting a spell or activating an ability, the chosen card isn’t revealed until after that cost is fully paid. (See rule 601.2i.)
    • 406.5. Exiled cards that might return to the battlefield or any other zone should be kept in separate piles to keep track of their respective ways of returning. Exiled cards that may have an impact on the game due to their own abilities (such as cards with haunt) or the abilities of the cards that exiled them should likewise be kept in separate piles.
    • 406.6. An object may have one ability printed on it that causes one or more cards to be exiled, and another ability that refers either to “the exiled cards” or to cards “exiled with [this object].” These abilities are linked: the second refers only to cards that have been exiled due to the first. See rule 607, “Linked Abilities.”
    • 406.7. If an object in the exile zone becomes exiled, it doesn’t change zones, but it becomes a new object that has just been exiled.
    • 406.8. Previously, the exile zone was called the “removed-from-the-game zone.” Cards that were printed with text that “removes [an object] from the game” exiles that object. The same is true for cards printed with text that “sets [an object] aside.” Cards that were printed with that text have received errata in the Oracle card reference.

From the Comprehensive Rules (August 7, 2020—Double Masters)

  • 701.11. Exile
    • 701.11a To exile an object, move it to the exile zone from wherever it is. See rule 406, “Exile.”

Obsolete terminology[edit | edit source]

From the glossary of the Comprehensive Rules (August 7, 2020—Double Masters)

Remove from the Game, Removed, Removed-from-the-Game Zone (Obsolete)
“Remove [something] from the game” is an obsolete term for “exile [something].” “The removed card” is an obsolete term for “the exiled card.” The removed-from-the-game zone is an obsolete term for the exile zone. Cards with that text have received errata in the Oracle card reference. See Exile.

From the glossary of the Comprehensive Rules (August 7, 2020—Double Masters)

Set Aside (Obsolete)
“Set [something] aside” is an obsolete term for “exile [something].” Cards with that text have received errata in the Oracle card reference. See Exile.

Flavor[edit | edit source]

Due to the multiple uses of the exile zone, there is no unified flavor of exile, though the flavor of exiling cards from the battlefield is often of disappearance or transformation. The exile zone itself often represents oblivion, a region beyond death.[4][5] However, the zone can also represent any of various states of inaccessibility not related to a player's graveyard, such as on Swords to Plowshares or Grimoire Thief.

Because graveyard interaction is often flavored as a form of necromancy, spells that kill and exile creatures are often flavored as making the creature unable to be revived, either by way of exorcising spirits (such as Rest in Peace) or by reducing the creature to a state that its body cannot possibly be reanimated (such as Lava Coil).

Examples[edit | edit source]

Example 1

Erase {W}
Instant
Exile target enchantment.

Example 2

Exile {2}{W}
Instant
Exile target nonwhite attacking creature. You gain life equal to its toughness.

Capping[edit | edit source]

"Capping" is a slang term of a special type of exile, which refers to searching an opponent's library for specific cards and exiling them in order to deny the opponent of their use at some future time. It is named after the card Jester's Cap, the first card to use the effect.

List of Capping spells[edit | edit source]

List of exile spells[edit | edit source]

Instants[edit | edit source]

  • Abzan Charm{W}{B}{G} target creature power 3 or greater, your choice.
  • Altar's Light{2}{W}{W} target artifact or enchantment, your choice.
  • Anguished Unmaking{1}{W}{B} target nonland permanent, your choice. You lose 3 life.
  • Angelic Acension{1}{W} target creature or planeswalker, your choice. Its' controller makes a 4/4 Angel with flying.
  • Blazing Hope{W} target creature with power greater than or equal to your life total, your choice.
  • Blessed Reincarnation{3}{U} target creature an opponent controls, your choice. Replaces with the next creature in that player's library. Spell has Rebound.
  • Celestial Purge{1}{W} target black or red permanent, your choice.
  • Complete Disregard{2}{B} target creature with power 3 or less, your choice.
  • Consuming Sinkhole{3}{R} target land creature, your choice.
  • Counterbore{3}{U}{U} counter target spell, search same name.
  • Crib Swap{2}{W} target creature, your choice. Its controller creates a 1/1 colorless Shapeshifter creature token with changeling.
  • Cremate{B} target creature from a graveyard, your choice.
  • Crypt Incursion{2}{B} all creature cards from target player's graveyard. You gain 3 life for each card exiled this way.
  • Eradicate{2}{B}{B} target nonblack creature, your choice, search same name.
  • Deicide{1}{W} target enchantment, your choice. If god card subtype, search same name.
  • Deny Existence{2}{U} counter target creature spell.
  • Devouring Light{1}{W}{W} target attacking or blocking creature, your choice.
  • Dissipate{1}{U}{U} counter target spell.
  • Exile{2}{W} target nonwhite attacking creature, you gain life equal to its toughness.[6]
  • Extirpate{B} target card in a graveyard other than a basic land card, your choice, search same name - Split second
  • Last Breath{1}{W} target creature with power 2 or less. Its controller gains 4 life.
  • Path to Exile{W} target creature, its controller may search library for a basic land card.
  • Pillar of Light{2}{W} Exile target creature with toughness 4 or greater
  • Rakdos Charm{B}{R} all cards from target player's graveyard - tri-modal spell
  • Quash{2}{U}{U} counter target instant or sorcery, search same name.
  • Scour{2}{W}{W} target enchantment, your choice, search same name.
  • Selesnya Charm{W}{G} target creature with power 5 or greater, your choice - tri-modal spell.
  • Shattering Blow{1}{R/W} target artifact, your choice.
  • Surgical Extraction{B/P} target card in graveyard, search same name.
  • Swords to Plowshares{W} target creature, its controller gains life equal to its power.
  • Splinter{2}{G}{G} target artifact, your choice, search same name.
  • Summary Dismissal{2}{U}{U} exile all spells.
  • Trostani's Judgment{5}{W} target creature, your choice - Populate.
  • Unmake{W/B}{W/B}{W/B} target creature, your choice.
  • Utter End{2}{W}{B} target nonland permanent, your choice.
  • Vile Rebirth{B} Exile target creature card from a graveyard. Put a 2/2 black Zombie creature token onto the battlefield.
  • Void Shatter{1}{U}{U} counter target spell.

Sorceries[edit | edit source]

  • Angelic Edict{4}{W} target creature or enchantment, your choice
  • Appetite for Brains{B} reveals hand, card with converted mana cost {4} or greater, your choice
  • Castigate{W}{B} reveals hand, nonland card, your choice
  • Curse of the Swine{X}{U}{U} X target creatures (of your choice). For each creature exiled this way, its controller puts a 2/2 green Boar creature token onto the battlefield.
  • Cranial Extraction{3}{B} name a nonland card, your choice, search same name
  • Crumble to Dust{3}{R} target nonbasic land, search same name - Devoid
  • Decree of Annihilation{8}{R}{R} all artifacts, creatures, and lands from the battlefield, all cards from all graveyards, and all cards from all hands - Cycling {5}{R}{R} which also destroys all lands
  • Diminishing Returns{2}{U}{U} each player shuffles their hand and graveyard into their library, top ten cards of your library, then each player draws up to seven cards.
  • Dispossess{2}{B} name an artifact card, your choice, search same name
  • Eradicate{2}{B}{B} target nonblack creature, search same name
  • Excoriate{3}{W} target tapped creature.
  • Fade into Antiquity{2}{G} target artifact or enchantment (of your choice).
  • Gild{3}{B} target creature. Put a colorless artifact token named Gold onto the battlefield. It has "Sacrifice this artifact: Add one mana of any color."
  • Glare of Heresy{1}{W} target white permanent (of your choice).
  • Haunting Echoes{3}{B}{B} all cards from target player's graveyard other than basic land cards; for each card exiled this way, search that player's library for all cards with the same name as that card and also exile them.
  • Identity Crisis{2}{W}{W}{B}{B} all cards from hand and graveyard, your choice
  • Infinite Obliteration{1}{B}{B} name a creature card, your choice, search same name
  • Lobotomy{2}{U}{B} reveals hand, card other than a basic land card, your choice, search same name
  • Lost Legacy{1}{B}{B} name a nonartifact, nonland card, your choice, search same name, opponent then draws cards equal to number of cards exiled from their hand
  • Memoricide{3}{B} name a nonland card, your choice, search same name
  • Merciless Eviction{4}{W}{B} choose one — exile all artifacts; or exile all creatures; or exile all enchantments; or exile all planeswalkers.
  • Mind Swords{1}{B} two cards from their hand, each player
  • Necromentia{1}{B}{B} name a nonbasic land card, your choice, search same name, opponent then creates black 2/2 zombie tokens equal to number of cards exiled from their hand
  • Night Terrors{2}{B} reveals hand, nonland card, your choice
  • Psychic Theft{1}{U} reveals hand, instant or sorcery card, your choice
  • Reap Intellect{X}{2}{U}{B} reveals hand. You choose up to X nonland cards from it and exile them. For each card exiled this way, search that player's graveyard, hand, and library for any number of cards with the same name as that card and exile them. Then that player shuffles their library.
  • Revoke Existence{1}{W} target artifact or enchantment.
  • Slaughter Games{2}{B}{R} name a nonland card, your choice, search same name - Can't be countered by spells or abilities
  • Sowing Salt{2}{R}{R} target nonbasic land, your choice, search same name
  • Splinter{2}{G}{G} target artifact, search same name
  • Stain the Mind{4}{B} name a nonland card, your choice, search same name - Convoke
  • Struggle for Sanity{2}{B}{B} target opponent reveals their hand. That player exiles a card from it, then you exile a card from it. Repeat this process until all cards in that hand have been exiled. That player returns the cards they exiled this way to their hand and puts the rest into their graveyard.
  • Suppress{2}{B} all cards from target player's hand face down, your choice (exiled card returns at beginning of the end step of that player's next turn)
  • Surgical Extraction{B/P} target card in a graveyard other than a basic land card, your choice, search same name
  • Transmogrify{3}{R} target creature. That creature's controller reveals cards from the top of their library until they reveal a creature card. That player puts that card onto the battlefield, then shuffles the rest into their library
  • Thought Hemorrhage{2}{B}{R} name a nonland card, reveals hand, your choice, search same name (also deals 3 damage for each card with that name revealed this way)
  • Unmoored Ego{2}{U}{B} name any card, your choice, search same name, opponent then draws cards equal to number of cards exiled from their hand

Creatures which cause exile[edit | edit source]

  • Ashen Rider{4}{W}{W}{B}{B}: When enters the battlefield or dies, target permanent
  • Banisher Priest{1}{W}{W}: Whent enters the battlefield, until Banisher Priest leaves the battlefield.
    • Banisher Priest–like effects (When this card enters the battlefield, exile target creature/permanent until this card leaves play.) are primary in white, and secondary in blue.[7][8]
    • Green was also considered as a secondary color, but this never materialized.[9][10]
  • Brain Maggot{1}{B}: When enters the battlefield, look at cards in target opponents hand, exile one until Brain Maggot leaves the battlefield
  • Daxos of Meletis{W}{U} Whenever deals combat damage to a player, top card of that player's library. You gain life equal to that card's converted mana cost. Until end of turn, you may cast that card and you may spend mana as though it were mana of any color to cast it.
  • Deathrite Shaman{B/G} - exile different target cards for various effects
  • Fiend of the Shadows{3}{B}{B} 3/3 - deals combat damage to a player, a card from their hand, their choice
  • Ghastlord of Fugue{U/B}{U/B}{U/B}{U/B}{U/B} 4/4 - deals combat damage to a player, reveals hand, a card, your choice
  • Hypnox{8}{B}{B}{B} 8/8 - when this enters the battlefield (if cast from hand), all cards from target opponent's hand
  • Kyoki, Sanity's Eclipse{4}{B}{B} 6/4 - whenever its controller cast a Spirit or Arcane spell, a card from target opponent's hand, their choice
  • Lord of the Void{4}{B}{B}{B} 7/7 - whenever this deals combat damage to a player, exile the top seven cards of that player's library, then put a creature card from among them onto the battlefield under your control.
  • Magus of the Jar{T}, Sacrifice Magus of the Jar: Each player exiles all cards from their hand face down and draws seven cards. At the beginning of the next end step, each player discards their hand and returns to their hand each card they exiled this way.
  • Mesmeric Fiend{1}{B} 1/1 - when this enters the battlefield, target opponent, reveals hand, nonland card, your choice (when this leaves the battlefield, return the exiled card to its owner's hand.)
  • Nightveil Specter{U/B}{U/B}{U/B} 2/3 - whenever it deals combat damage to a player, that player exiles the top card of their library.
  • Shimian Specter{2}{B}{B} 2/2 - deals combat damage to a player, reveals hand, nonland card, your choice, search same name
  • Sin Collector{1}{W}{B} when this enters the battlefield, target opponent, reveals hand, instant or sorcery, your choice.
  • Tidehollow Sculler{W}{B} 2/2 - when this enters the battlefield, target opponent, reveals hand, nonland card, your choice (when this leaves the battlefield, return the exiled card to its owner's hand.)

Enchantments[edit | edit source]

  • Chained to the Rocks{W}: When enters the battlefield, exile target creature an opponent controls until Chained to the Rocks leaves the battlefield.
  • Descent into Madness{3}{B}{B} at the beginning of your upkeep, put a despair counter on Descent into Madness, then each player exiles X permanents they control and/or cards from their hand, where X is the number of despair counters on Descent into Madness.
  • Elkin Lair{3}{R} at the beginning of each player's upkeep, that player exiles a card at random from their hand. The player may play that card this turn. At the beginning of the next end step, if the player hasn't played the card, they put it into their graveyard.
  • Oblivion Ring{2}{W}: When enters the battlefield, exile target creature an opponent controls until Oblivion Ring leaves the battlefield.
  • Parallax Nexus{2}{B} - Fading {5} - Remove a fade counter from this: Target opponent exiles a card from their hand. When Parallax Nexus leaves the battlefield, each player returns to their hand all exiled cards.
  • Planeswalker's Mischief{2}{U} - {3}{U}: Target opponent reveals a card at random from their hand. If it's an instant or sorcery card, exile it. You may cast it without paying its mana cost for as long as it remains exiled. (If it has X in its mana cost, X is 0.) At the beginning of the next end step, if you haven't cast it, return it to its owner's hand. Activate this ability only any time you could cast a sorcery.
  • Rest in Peace{1}{W} when this enters the battlefield, exile all cards from all graveyards. If a card or token would be put into a graveyard from anywhere, exile it instead.

Artifact which cause exile[edit | edit source]

  • Memory Jar{5} - {T}, Sacrifice Memory Jar: Each player exiles all cards from their hand face down and draws seven cards. At the beginning of the next end step, each player discards their hand and returns to their hand each card they exiled this way.

Cards that check for exile[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

In the above list; "their choice" means the target player gets to choose which cards to exile, "your choice" means the person casting the spell gets to choose, "search same name" means search exiled card's controller's graveyard, hand, and library for all cards with the same name as that card and exile them also.

References[edit | edit source]