So I stumbled upon this land, Karakas. Can this return effect reach a card in exile? I read the rules regarding exile, and it appears to me that Karakas' effect (and similar return/play/add effects) are fully capable of accessing the Exile Zone.


Karakas' ability:

Tap: Return target legendary creature to its owner's hand.

Karakas returns a creature. Creatures only exist on the battlefield, everywhere else they are usually creature cards (or spells, on the stack).

109.2. If a spell or ability uses a description of an object that includes a card type or subtype, but doesn't include the word "card," "spell," "source," or "scheme," it means a permanent of that card type or subtype on the battlefield.

So Karakas can not target cards in exile.


No, it can't. Only cards that explicitly state that they can return something from exile can do so. Examples are very few.

As Jefromi points out in a comment to the answer, Mark Rosewater is not too interested in seeing this as a mechanic that gets deeply developed, because it then becomes a second graveyard. http://archive.wizards.com/Magic/magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtg/daily/mm/194

Note: There are on the order of 30 cards that exile cards face down. Here's a rough search for them on gatherer: http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Search/Default.aspx?action=advanced&text=+[exile]+[face]+[down]

  • 1
    The only other two I've seen are Pull from Eternity and Mirror of Fate, but Mirror of Fate is almost always a bad idea. Unless you happen to have a Laboratory Maniac handy.
    – Logan
    Aug 16 '15 at 9:43
  • Well that sounds like a legit plan. Of course Doomsday could do that easier...
    – john_leo
    Aug 16 '15 at 9:48
  • 1
    Runic Repetition is probably the other thing that should be on that list. (It's restricted to cards with flashback, though.)
    – Cascabel
    Aug 16 '15 at 15:09
  • Venser's Diffusion can also unexile exiled cards, but only if they're currently suspended.
    – jwodder
    Aug 16 '15 at 17:57
  • In Battle for Zendikar, it looks like this might become a more common mechanic. For instance, Oblivion Sower can pull your opponent's lands out of exile: media.wizards.com/2015/images/daily/EN_jkt2vsve7u.png Aug 21 '15 at 20:46

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