Rules Lawyer says

State-based actions don't apply to you or other permanents you control.


I've seen a bunch of people asking how to kill this creature and thus win the game.

How would one do it? You can't kill it by it blocking your monsters, you can't lower its toughness enough to kill it, you can't give it negative counters to kill it. And you can't win the game with it on the field. How does one kill this card?

  • 8
    Most of the statements in this question are false in the general case. Unless a player controls two or more Rules Lawyers, you can kill it with combat damage or by lowering its toughness either with a continuous effect or counters, because its effect only applies to other permanents you control, i.e. not itself. In addition, it does not stop any player from winning or losing the game, it just removes some specific (but admittedly common) ways for its controller to lose the game.
    – murgatroid99
    Dec 16, 2017 at 8:44
  • It states that "creatures you control" global effect, isnt that right?
    – Thatguy
    Dec 16, 2017 at 8:51
  • 1
    "other creatures you control"
    – xornob
    Dec 16, 2017 at 9:08
  • 5
    "other permanents you control", really. You quoted the exact text at the beginning of your question.
    – murgatroid99
    Dec 16, 2017 at 9:13
  • This question should clearly be interpreted as being about having two Rules Lawyers. It would be hilarious if Rules Lawyer were legendary, as it effectively has mirror gallery as a sub ability.
    – Zags
    Feb 11, 2019 at 22:29

2 Answers 2


In fact, Rules Lawyer can be removed as easily as any creature normally can be, because its effect only applies to you and other permanents you control. It can be removed by dealing lethal damage to it or by reducing its toughness to 0.

If a player has two copies of Rules Lawyer, however, then each one will protect the other, and some other kind of effect will be needed to remove it. You will have to resort to one of the hundreds or even thousands of cards that can destroy a creature (e.g. Murder) or artifact (e.g. Naturalize), or exile one (e.g. Path to Exile or Fade into Antiquity), or bounce one (e.g. Unsummon or Steel Sabotage), or even send one to a library (e.g. Banishing Stroke). Mass destruction (e.g. Wrath of God or Creeping Corrosion), exile (e.g. Final Judgment or Merciless Eviction), bounce (e.g. Evacuation or Hurkyl's Recall), or sending to library (e.g. Terminus). There are dozens of variants of each of these kinds of effects, and even others that remove creatures or artifacts without relying on state-based actions.

Regarding winning the game, even if you can't do so via state-based actions, you can still win the game with an effect that specifically wins the game, such as Laboratory Maniac, or Biovisionary, or Azor's Elocutors, or any of over a dozen similar effects. You an also make the controller of Rules Lawyer directly lose the game with cards like Door to Nothingness or Phage the Untouchable or even the Unstable card Baron Von Count, and there are also several other cards this kind of effect too.


You could global destroy creatures, you could target kill it, you could global bounce creatures, you could bounce it specifically, you could global kill artifacts, or kill specific artifact to get rid of the creature, or exile it then win according to normal rules.

As for beating the opponent you can lower their life points until they have 0 and then murder card the rules lawyer. Or mill their deck and then kill the rules lawyer. Also if you have an Instant Win card you could use that. Its a very formidable card, but nowhere close to invincible.

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