Unique

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Unique
Keyword Ability
Type Static
Introduced Unreleased mechanics
Last Used Unreleased mechanics
Reminder Text Unique (If a player controls two or more unique permanents with the same name, that player chooses one of them, and the rest are put into their owners’ graveyards.)
Scryfall Search
oracle:"Unique"

Unique is a theoretical static ability that has been discussed by Mark Rosewater, but never printed. If the "legend rule" were eliminated, unique would be added as errata onto a select few legendary cards to prevent them from becoming overpowered.

Description[edit | edit source]

Unique would give cards the same drawback currently associated with the legendary supertype. If a player controlled two or more permanents of the same name with the unique keyword, that player would be forced to choose one of them and put the rest into their owners' graveyards.

Rationale[edit | edit source]

Mark Rosewater advocates for eliminating the "legend rule," which he sees as detrimental to the game. According to Rosewater, players of Standard, Modern, and other non-singleton constructed formats are less excited by legendary cards because of their inherent drawback.[1] These players generally avoid playing four copies of a legendary card in their decks for fear of drawing redundant copies.[2] This creates a conflict of interest with Commander players and Vorthoses, who generally want powerful or splashy creatures to be legendary.[3][4][5]

Eliminating the "legend rule" has the potential downside of making some legendary cards overpowered. Rosewater suggests adding the unique keyword as errata to these cards, so that in practice the "legend rule" would still apply to them. According to Rosewater, only a small number of legendary cards are powerful enough to warrant the keyword.[6][7][8][9][10]

Likelihood of seeing print[edit | edit source]

The majority of R&D disagrees with Mark Rosewater's stance on the "legend rule," so unique is unlikely to be introduced into the game any time soon.[11]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Mark Rosewater (February 22, 2015). "In your recent podcast, you mentioned how being legendary is just a drawback.". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  2. Aaron Forsythe (November 24, 2006). "Preserving the Coolness of Legends". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Mark Rosewater (May 15, 2016). "I very much prefer that Legendary do something rather than nothing.". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  4. Mark Rosewater (July 13, 2015). "I don't understand what the problem is with Legendary being a drawback.". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  5. Mark Rosewater (February 22, 2015). "In your recent podcast, you mentioned how being legendary is just a drawback.". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  6. Mark Rosewater (March 22, 2016). "If legendary didn't exist as a type would the effect of legendary be something that could exist as a keyword?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  7. Mark Rosewater (May 15, 2016). "If the legend rule was lifted, would you still make cards with number limitations while in the battlefield?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  8. Mark Rosewater (August 24, 2016). "Doesn't Legendary help with balancing as well?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  9. Mark Rosewater (September 18, 2016). "Would "unique" have any mechanical tie to legendary permanents, or would they be completely separate?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  10. Mark Rosewater (October 15, 2016). "If the unique change happens, wouldn't most, or very few, of the creatures need to be changed so there is a default?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  11. Mark Rosewater (January 8, 2017). "I am an enormous fan of retiring the legend rule for creatures, and I know you are too.". Blogatog. Tumblr..