In Magic the Gathering, there is a card called True-Name Nemesis. This card, when entering the battlefield, allows the caster to select an opponent. Once selected, True-Name Nemesis gets protection from said opponent. Just how does someone deal with one that was played by an opponent in a 1v1 match?

  • 1
    This article goes beyond dealing with them on the battlefield, but had 10 approaches for dealing with this card: mtg.summoning.ru/cards_eng/TrueNameNemesis.shtml
    – Colin D
    Apr 27, 2015 at 17:45
  • I removed the image of the card because it mostly contains the same information as the Gatherer page, and it takes up a significant amout of room.
    – murgatroid99
    Apr 27, 2015 at 20:40
  • The same way you deal with Progenitus. Feb 7, 2018 at 20:47

3 Answers 3


Protection doesn't provide perfect invulnerability against your stuff. The reminder text on the card lists specifically all of the things that you can't do. Here are some ways to deal with an opponent's True-Name Nemesis:

  • Decrease your opponent's creatures' toughnesses. For example, if you play Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite, your oppenent's creatures will get -2/-2, so the True-Name Nemesis will have less than zero toughness and die due to a state based effect.

  • Destroy or exile all creatures. If you play Wrath of God, all creatures will be destroyed, including the True-Name Nemesis. There's nothing that say's that it can't be destroyed by effects you control.

  • Force your opponent to sacrifice a creature. If you play Consuming Vapors, they'll have to sacrifice a creature. You can force them to sacrifice the True-Name Nemesis if you get rid of their other creatures.

  • Prevent it from attacking. You can either make it very expensive to attack you, with Norn's Annex, for example, or just prevent it entirely with Blazing Archon.

  • Remove its protection. If you play Polymorphist's Jest, Sudden Spoiling, or Humility, all of your opponent's creatures will be 2/2 Frogs with no abilities, including the True-Name Nemesis. Then you can get rid of it like any other creature.

  • Make damage unpreventable, then deal mass damage. For example, you could play Everlasting Torment, then Anger of the Gods.

  • Outpace your opponent. If you have enough power on the field, you can either kill kill them faster than they can kill you, or force them to keep the True-Name Nemesis untapped as a blocker.

  • Prevent it from entering the battlefield in the first place. You can counter it with any of a number of counterspells, name "True-Name Nemesis" with Nevermore, Meddling Mage, or Voidstone Gargoyle, cast Iona, Shield of Emeria and choose "blue", or just cast Llawan, Cephalid Empress.

  • Force it to block with an effect that destroys blocking creatures. For example, if you enchant an Engulfing Slagwurm with Lure and attack, the True-Name Nemesis will be forced to block if able, and it will be destroyed.

  • Make it deal damage to itself using Wave of Reckoning.

  • 2 more possibilities for your list: 1. make damage non-preventable and then use a global/non-target damage spell. 2. redirect a spell that you do not control and use that spell to destroy/damage/exile/ect... the nemisis.
    – Colin D
    Apr 27, 2015 at 21:27
  • I'll add 1, but I didn't include 2 because it's extremely situational: it relies on your opponent playing a targeted creature removal spell.
    – murgatroid99
    Apr 27, 2015 at 21:34
  • @murgatroid99 Hooray! That works well and makes more sense for that particular bullet point. :) Apr 27, 2015 at 22:22
  • I wish I could +1 this additional times, because Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite is always the correct answer.
    – Alex P
    Feb 7, 2018 at 17:57

Council's Judgment is a clean answer. It works because, rather than targeting the true-name, you chose it (this conveniently gets around shroud, hexproof, and other protection effects as well)

  • 5
    Using a card that's dumb in 1v1 to deal with another card that's dumb in 1v1. I like it.
    – murgatroid99
    Apr 27, 2015 at 20:03

two easy ways come to mind when dealing with heavily protected creatures:

  1. global/non-targeted destruction- If the card does not say 'target' the spell does not target and can be used. Think 'wrath of gods'.

  2. forced sacrifice - target the player and force them to sacrifice it. For example using the card 'diabolic edict'.

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