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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.

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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.

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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]

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    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
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    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 – Chris Fletcher Aug 21 '15 at 20:46

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