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So a friend of mine has a card with the ability "Name a card. Cards that share a name with that card cannot be played."

My question is does this work on tokens?

I play a zombie token deck mainly, and this would cause a big hiccup to my ability to win the game.

  • 7
    Even if your friend could name tokens, it still wouldn't be a problem. "Playing" a card has a specific meaning which doesn't apply to creating tokens. In short, tokens will never be affected by that card your friend played. – Hackworth Apr 25 '16 at 13:38
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    @Hackworth can you just post that as an answer? The other answers are more informative but your comment actually just answers the real question and is much more understandable. – djechlin Apr 25 '16 at 16:52
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Can I "play" a token?

No. You can still produce zombie tokens even if you are not allowed to play Zombie. "Play" has a very specific meaning in Magic:

701.11b To play a card means to play that card as a land or to cast that card as a spell, whichever is appropriate.

When instructed to name a card, can I name a token instead?

It depends. If a token has the same name as a card, then you can name it. Here are a few examples:

Zombie is not currently the name of a card, and so Zombie is not a legal choice when instructed to name a card. However, if Zombie were printed as a card in the future, then it would be a legal choice.

201.3. If an effect instructs a player to name a card, the player must choose the name of a card that exists in the Oracle card reference (see rule 108.1) and is legal in the format of the game the player is playing. (See rule 100.6.) If the player wants to name a split card, the player must choose the name of one of its halves, but not both. (See rule 708.) If the player wants to name a flip card’s alternative name, the player may do so. (See rule 709.) If the player wants to name the back face of a double-faced card, the player may do so. (See rule 711.) A player may not choose the name of a token unless it’s also the name of a card.

5

The name of the token is "zombie", but it isn't a card that can be named, and you can still generate zombie tokens.

Some cards do care about the name of tokens (e.g. Declaration in Stone) and those cards would hit all zombie tokens you have in play.

Relevant rules:

110.5 Some effects put tokens onto the battlefield. A token is a marker used to represent any permanent that isn’t represented by a card.
110.5c A spell or ability that creates a token sets both its name and its subtype. If the spell or ability doesn’t specify the name of the token, its name is the same as its subtype(s). A “Goblin Scout creature token,” for example, is named “Goblin Scout” and has the creature subtypes Goblin and Scout. Once a token is on the battlefield, changing its name doesn’t change its subtype, and vice versa.

5

No, such a card can never directly affect tokens.

Cards such as Conjurer Ban require your opponent to name a card:

201.3. If an effect instructs a player to name a card, the player must choose the name of a card that exists in the Oracle card reference (see rule 108.1) and is legal in the format of the game the player is playing. (See rule 100.6.) [..] A player may not choose the name of a token unless it’s also the name of a card.

Tokens are not cards:

108.2. When a rule or text on a card refers to a “card,” it means only a Magic card. [..]Tokens aren’t considered cards—even a card that represents a token isn’t considered a card for rules purposes.

Even if your opponent named a card that also happens to be a token you want to bring into play somehow, you would still not be prevented from doing so, because "playing" a card has a specific meaning:

601.1a Some effects still refer to “playing” a card. “Playing a card” means playing that card as a land or casting that card as a spell, whichever is appropriate.

Tokens are never played, they always enter the battlefield indirectly because of another spell or ability. Of course, your opponent could name the card that created the tokens. If he, for example, named Army of the Damned, you wouldn't be allowed to play that card, and thus would indirectly prevent your Zombie tokens. However, you could still play any other card that also creates Zombie tokens.

3

No they cannot name 'Zombie', when instructed to name a card they must do exactly that 'Zombie' is not the name of a card, it is a creature type and the name of a token. Also even if they could name 'Zombie' (or say you had a way to create Zombie Assassin tokens) it still wouldn't matter because playing a card means casting it if it is not a land and when you create tokens they aren't being cast, a spell or ability is just putting them onto the battlefield.

201.3. If an effect instructs a player to name a card, the player must choose the name of a card that exists in the Oracle card reference (see rule 108.1) and is legal in the format of the game the player is playing. (See rule 100.6.) If the player wants to name a split card, the player must choose the name of one of its halves, but not both. (See rule 708.) If the player wants to name a flip card’s alternative name, the player may do so. (See rule 709.) If the player wants to name the back face of a double-faced card, the player may do so. (See rule 711.) A player may not choose the name of a token unless it’s also the name of a card.

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Late comer to this thread. I think I have found a fundamental flaw in both question and answer. When your friend's card asks for the name of a card it's asking for the actual "Name" of the card such as "Devilhorn Fox", "Vengeful Pharaoh" or "Macarbre Waltz". The part a the very top of the card and it has to be exactly the same name name.

For example if your friend said "I ban the use of a card called "Zombie" and you have a card called "Zombie Initiate" you can still use it becuse it is not named "Zombie".

Now there's something else I would like to mention in the spirit of fair play. It seems from the information in your query that if he says "Zombie" you seem to think you can't play any Zombie creatuures. This is incorect. If the card's effect was "name a card type and sub-Type" annd he declared "Creature - Zombie" then you couldn't play zombie creatures for as long as that card effect was active. but the effect is targetting the card's "Name" only so having the name appearanywhere else in card has no bearing whatsoever on the card's effect.

So his card can't stop you playing zombie creatures just because he says zombie. it has to be in the card's name box at the top of the card. so I hope that cleats up your problem.

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    I don't think this answers the question. The OP asked about zombie tokens, not zombie creatures, and I don't see the word token in your answer at all. Even if the zombie subtype was named, you would still be able to create zombie tokens because creating tokens is not the same as "playing" a card. The word "play" printed on a card has a very specific meaning: 701.11b To play a card means to play that card as a land or to cast that card as a spell, whichever is appropriate. – Rainbolt Aug 17 '16 at 18:35

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