What is the Legendary Rule in Magic The Gathering?

Turns out, there can be too much of a good thing.

Legendary cards are some of the most powerful cards in Magic: The Gathering. Some decks like Dihada, Binder of Wills include almost exclusively Legendary creatures, due to their strength. Since Legendary cards are so effective, it may seem strange that players don't fill the battlefield with multiple copies of their strongest Legendary cards. This is due to a feature known as the Legendary Rule. Here's an explanation of the Legendary Rule in Magic: The Gathering.

What does the Legendary Rule mean in MTG?

Image via Wizards of the Coast

The Legendary Rule means that you cannot control more than one Legendary card with the same name at any given time. This rule applies to creatures, Planeswalkers, artifacts, enchantments, and even lands. If you try to play a Legendary card that is already under your control, you must sacrifice one of the two cards with the same name. This can be used tactically, such as playing a duplicate Legendary creature to rid it of an enchantment.

This is one of the reasons why players typically don't include four copies of a Legendary card in their deck. If you draw two copies of a Legendary creature like Old Stickfingers, one of those cards is essentially useless, unless Old Stickfingers dies or becomes afflicted with an enchantment. To avoid this phenomenon, many players include one to two copies of each Legendary card, to avoid oversaturation.

Related: What MTG sets are currently in Standard Rotation?

How do you know if your card is a Legendary?

kitt kanto and primevals' glorious rebirth cards, with the legendary tag highlighted
Image by Pro Game Guides

To check if your card is a Legendary, look at the line of text just below the image. If the card is Legendary, it will contain the Legendary word before the card type. For example, if it is an artifact, it will read "Legendary Artifact." If it is a creature, it will read "Legendary Creature," and so on. On non-Legendary cards, this area will only state the card type. Legendary cards will always be either Rare or Mythic Rare, meaning they possess a silver oval at the bottom of the printed card. If your card does not have this reflective oval, then it is not a Legendary card.

For more Magic: The Gathering guides, come check out MTG Phyrexia: All Will Be One prerelease guide here on Pro Game Guides.

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About the Author

Britlee has been playing games for fifteen years. She primarily covers League of Legends, TFT, MTG Arena, and Genshin Impact. You can typically find her caring for her mantis Jaskier or daydreaming about Leon S. Kennedy.
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What is the Legendary Rule in Magic The Gathering?

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