|Rules||A player may not control two or more legendary permanents with the same name.|
|Statistics||over 1000 cards|
Legendary is a card supertype. Any permanent (artifact, creature, enchantment, planeswalker, and land) 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. Legendary may also appear as a supertype on nonpermanent cards (instants and sorceries). The rules for these are different: you can't cast a legendary nonpermanent spell unless you control a legendary creature or a legendary planeswalker. Legendary cards are historic.
Description[edit | edit source]
- A supertype that’s normally relevant on permanents. See rule 205.4, “Supertypes.” See also Legend Rule.
Flavorfully, legendary cards represent the key people, places, and objects of a set's story. Typical expansion sets contain no more than ten to fifteen legendary cards, with the exceptions of Dominaria, Kamigawa block, and the early expansion Legends, each of which had a legendary theme and contained significantly more. Except for cards found in those sets, or in compilation sets, such as the ones within the Masters series, all legendary cards carry a rarity of rare or mythic rare.
Historically, prior to the release of Legends, the idea of the legendary supertype and its restrictions did not exist, nor did those restrictions have any functional equivalent printed on cards at the time. This, compounded with R&D's policy on avoiding intentional functional errata as much as possible, has caused cards that likely should have been printed as legendary (had the supertype and its associated rules existed since the beginning), such as Ali from Cairo, to stay nonlegendary. Although, the introduction of the supertype did not outright end the trend of flavorful legendary subjects being printed as nonlegendary on new cards, as seen with the rare utility tapland cycle from Zendikar, among others. Cards such as those are specifically designed with functionality over flavor in mind.
The Commander format requires that a legendary creature be selected as one's commander. This excludes legendary planeswalkers (which are not creatures), except for the five appearing in Commander 2014, the Battlebond planeswalker duo Will Kenrith and Rowan Kenrith, and the four appearing in Commander 2018.
Card frame[edit | edit source]
Legend rule[edit | edit source]
If a 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 destroy the other permanents, does not cause them to be sacrificed, and cannot be prevented by being indestructible or having regeneration.
Currently, only five 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. Helm of the Host creates a token that’s a copy of equipped creature, except the token isn’t legendary if the equipped creature is legendary. Jace, Cunning Castaway creates tokens that are copies of itself, except that the tokens are not legendary. Spark Double creates a copy that similarly isn’t legendary. In addition, Sakashima the Impostor, Lazav, Dimir Mastermind and Lazav, the Multifarious can copy another legendary creature but keep their own names, thus a player can have two legendary creatures with almost the same abilities.
- Legend Rule
- A state-based action that causes a player who controls two or more legendary permanents with the same name to put all but one into their owners’ graveyards. See rule 704.5j.
- 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 704.5j).
- 704.5j 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.”
Other versions of the legend rule[edit | edit source]
From Legends to Champions of Kamigawa[edit | edit source]
Originally, only one creature of the same name, with the creature type Legend, could be in play at the same time. For a while, they were even on the restricted list, meaning there could be only one creature of the same name in each deck. This was changed around the time of Ice Age.
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. Tom LaPille laid out the various disagreements about the rules change in his article.
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. In effect, each legendary permanent served two purposes: its original purpose and the removal of all instances of that permanent already on the battlefield.
Planeswalker uniqueness rule[edit | edit source]
- 306.4. Previously, planeswalkers were subject to a “planeswalker uniqueness rule” that stopped a player from controlling two planeswalkers of the same planeswalker type. This rule has been removed and planeswalker cards printed before this change have received errata in the Oracle card reference to have the legendary supertype. Like other legendary permanents, they are subject to the “legend rule” (see rule 704.5j).
- Planeswalker Uniqueness Rule (Obsolete)
- Older versions of the rules stated that a player who controlled two or more planeswalkers with the same planeswalker type would put all but one of those planeswalkers into their owners’ graveyards. This rule was called the “planeswalker uniqueness rule” and no longer exists.
Although different, planeswalker cards used to have a similar rule: 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 was called the “planeswalker uniqueness rule.”
Starting with Ixalan, this rule was abandoned. All planeswalkers past, present, and future gained the supertype legendary and became subject to the "legend rule". Thus, if a player controls more than one legendary planeswalker with the same name, that player chooses one and puts the other into their owner's graveyard. This means for example that if you control Jace, Unraveler of Secrets and cast Jace, Cunning Castaway, both Jaces now can exist under your control.
Rosewater version[edit | edit source]
Mark Rosewater has stated multiple times that he considers legendary to be a mechanical downside which he would rather get rid of. If he was starting over he would make legendary a supertype with no rules baggage. He would create a keyword, called something like "unique", for things that needed for gameplay reasons to be restricted to having only one in play. The rest of R&D doesn't concur with Rosewater's idea, or feels it is too late for the change.
Legendary spells[edit | edit source]
- 205.4e Any instant or sorcery spell with the supertype “legendary” is subject to a casting restriction. A player can’t cast a legendary instant or sorcery spell unless that player controls a legendary creature or a legendary planeswalker.
Legendary sorceries[edit | edit source]
Dominaria debuted legendary sorcery cards that capture extraordinary moments from characters' pasts. These powerful spells can be unleashed only with the assistance of a legendary creature or planeswalker on your side of the battlefield.
You can't cast legendary sorceries unless you control a legendary creature or a legendary planeswalker. Once you begin to cast a legendary sorcery, losing control of your legendary creatures and planeswalkers won't affect that spell. Other than the casting restriction, the legendary supertype on a sorcery carries no additional rules.
Legendary instants[edit | edit source]
Although covered by the rules, legendary instants haven't been featured yet.
Megalegendary[edit | edit source]
Megalegendary was introduced on a test card in the Mystery Booster set (Your deck can have only one copy of this card.) If you're fortunate enough to have two copies of a megalegendary card in a Limited event, you can still put only one into your deck. The other remains in your sideboard.
References[edit | edit source]
- Aaron Forsythe (November 24, 2006). "Preserving the Coolness of Legends". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater (March 01, 2018). "The printing of legendary creatures at uncommon in the Masters Series.". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- Mark Rosewater (May 09, 2011). "The Issue Is Legen—Wait for It—Dary". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Aaron Forsythe (March 21, 2018). "Dominaria Frame, Template and Rules Changes". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Matt Tabak (May 23, 2013). "Magic 2014 Core Set Rules Preview". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Sam Stoddard (May 23, 2013). "Legendary Rule Change". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Arcana (July 26, 2002). "Restricted Legends". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater (September 02, 2017). "At any point in Magic's history, was it ever considered to make Legendary a deckbuilding restriction instead of a gameplay one?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- Mark Rosewater (September 03, 2017). "Could you give us a quick rundown of all the variations of the Legend Rule?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- Mark Rosewater (May 09, 2011). "The Issue Is Legen—Wait for It—Dary". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Tom LaPille (May 13, 2011). "A Legendary Disagreement". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Aaron Forsythe (September 10, 2004). "Legendary Rules Changes". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater (October 04, 2004). "Change For the Better". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Matt Tabak (June 22, 2015). "Magic Origins Mechanics Article". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Matt Tabak (August 28, 2017). "Ixalan Mechanics". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater (August 28, 2017). "Why was there a need to make planeswalkers legendary?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- Mark Rosewater (August 28, 2017). "Having multiple versions of the same planeswalker character out seems 'wrong'.". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- Mark Rosewater (September 02, 2017). "Do you think it's a flavor fail to be able to summon more than one of the same legendary character from the Multiverse?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- Mark Rosewater (October 14, 2016). "Can't you just drop the mechanical baggage and just use it as a "story marker"?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- Mark Rosewater (September 02, 2017). "Why do you want the Legendary rule gone?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- Mark Rosewater (August 29, 2017). "So basically you wish Legendary didn't exist.". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- Mark Rosewater (August 29, 2017). "Now that planeswalkers use the legendary rule". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- Dominaria Release Notes
- Mark Rosewater (March 10, 2018). "Why introduce legendary sorceries if they fundamentally can never work the same way as legendary permanents?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- Eli Shiffrin (November 11, 2019). "Mystery Booster Release Notes". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.