I want to clone Geist of Saint Traft without falling prey to the legend rule and without using Mirror Gallery. Are there any cards that allow you to copy a card's text without copying its name? I was unable to find any but might have failed to search the right wording.

  • 3
    Mirror Gallery is cool! Curious why you don't want to use that?
    – John
    Apr 17, 2016 at 23:35
  • 1
    Mirror Gallery is cool, but it costs 5 mana. That's not competitive in my particular local meta. Game would be over before it was out long enough to be useful. I play Legacy. Apr 18, 2016 at 0:20
  • 3
    FWIW it would be better to say that you want a cheaper alternative in the question, rather than just specifying "not Mirror Gallery". (Not that it really matters now.)
    – David Z
    Apr 18, 2016 at 6:28
  • 2
    You can legally clone any legendary with any clone, it will however trigger the legend rule and cause you to remove one, that said you won't find anything that can do what you want for less than 4 mana, and if five is way too much in your meta you're probably going to be pushing it with Sakashima's cost.
    – Andrew
    May 7, 2018 at 18:56

9 Answers 9


Sakashima the Impostor copies a creature except its name; Spark Double copies a creature or planeswalker except it loses legendary. There are other cards as well.

The rule that is responsible for preventing the existence of multiple identical legendaries is the so called "legend rule". It is a state-based action:

704.5j If a player controls two or more legendary permanents with the same name, that player chooses one of them, and the rest are put into their owners’ graveyards. This is called the “legend rule.”

The only ways to get around the legend rule are if the creatures all have different names, or at most one of those with identical names is legendary.

This Gatherer search include all sanctioned-legal cards that can copy a legendary creature to keep (plus a few that don't apply)

Lazav, Dimir Mastermind only copies creatures that go to your opponent's graveyard, so the creature you want to copy has to go to your opponent's graveyard somehow, which requires either elaborate setup, or that your opponent also happens to play Geist.

Both creatures restrict you to one additional Geist each, because the legend rule still applies to Lazav and Sakashima, respectively.

Helm of the Host creates non-legendary token copies of the equipped creature. It costs 4 mana to cast and 5 mana to equip, but it lets you get any number of copies with only 1 reusable card invested.

If your group allows Un-sets, there is also Rules Lawyer, which makes state-based actions not apply to you and your creatures, which disables the legend rule check.

Any creature with Mutate and a second copy of the (non-human) legendary creature will allow you to avoid the Legend rule. Mutate your first legendary creature, and be sure to put the mutation on top. Then, when another copy of the legendary enters the battlefield on your side, you get to keep it.

Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty added Mirror Box which is a strictly better version of Mirror Gallery

  • Given that this is the top answer, Spark Double should be added so that people can see it as an option they might miss if they only read the selected answer. Likewise Mirror Gallery.
    – Soulus101
    Apr 29, 2019 at 11:34
  • 1
    If the legendary creature is human, mutate will not work. Jun 26, 2021 at 0:38

If what you care about is cost, you shouldn't be trying to copy the whole creature. It's much cheaper to copy just the ability you care about, such as with one of the following: Strionic Resonator, Tawnos, Urza's Apprentice, Illusionist's Bracers, or Rings of Brighthearth (Strionic Resonator is the only one of these that will work for Geist of Saint Taft, as Geist is not an artifact, and its ability is a triggered ability and not an activated ability).

That said, there are three general mechanics that will let you have multiple copies of a legendary creature on the battlefield at the same time*:

  1. Things that make non-legendary copies of a creature: o:"isn't legendary". Currently, this is Spark Double, Helm of the Host, and Double Major.

  2. Things that clone a creature with a different name**: o:copy o:"its name". Currently, this is Sakashima the Impostor, Lazav, Dimir Mastermind, and Lazav, the Multifarious (noting that the later two will require the creature you are copying to go the graveyard and back in the process).

  3. Things that ignore the legend rule: o:"legend rule". Currently this is Mirror Gallery and Sakashima of a Thousand Faces (and Brothers Yamazaki, which creates an exception only for itself). I know you said you don't want to use Mirror Gallery, but I'm including it for completeness.

* You can use any old Clone on a legendary creature if you need it to exist quite briefly (such as to get the enter the battlefield trigger on Archangel Avacyn), but you will have to lose all but one of them the next time state based actions are checked.

** This works because the legend rule care about things with the same name:

704.5j If a player controls two or more legendary permanents with the same name, that player chooses one of them, and the rest are put into their owners’ graveyards. This is called the “legend rule.”


Helm of the host.

Sorry, it also has a 5 mana cost to equip, but you keep getting them.


Since the legend rule is state-based, Rules Lawyer would prevent it from taking effect. Of course, that would run into your "5 mana is too much" concern.

  • 1
    It also has legality concerns since silver bordered.
    – Andrew
    Mar 1, 2021 at 15:48

If Helm of the Host works and you're not too worried about what types of creatures are in your deck, then might I suggest Brass Squire? It's an artifact creature - Myr that can tap to equip target equipment to target creature, utterly removing the 5 mana equip cost. That is if I understand that ability correctly


Spark Double is now probably the best spell to do this and super cheap and can hit planeswalkers as well as creatures. If you are specifically looking to duplicate Geist of Saint Traft I suppose you can use Invocation of Saint Traft. But it seems like the real question was can you copy a triggered ability and yes you can with Strionic Resonator it drops right before Geist of Saint Traft for 2 and can be activated once he can attack.


The recently released card Double Major copies a creature spell but makes it non-legendary.


In addition to what has been mentioned here, Sakashima of a Thousand Faces is a new 4 drop clone that comes with the Mirror Gallery effect on it (giving you both the copy body and the effect, letting normal clone spells work again). It was released in commander legends and meant to be played in commander (it has partner after all) but it is legal to be played in Legacy and Vintage.


what about Sakashima of a Thousand Faces? it does two things, which is both what you want, for four mana, which at least is less than five. ignore that it has "Partner".

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