I believe the answer is that Leeches is the only appropriate card for removing poison counters from players, based on this question, but I'll ask anyway since I have observed this card posted elsewhere as an answer to poison counters.

Can cards which remove counters, such as Clockspinning, be used to remove poison counters or is Leeches the only appropriate response? What about the same question but targeting the -1/-1 counters on creatures?

2 Answers 2


The Magic comprehensive rules state that:

110.1. A permanent is a card or token on the battlefield. A permanent remains on the battlefield indefinitely. A card or token becomes a permanent as it enters the battlefield and it stops being a permanent as it's moved to another zone by an effect or rule.

As a player is neither a card nor a token, and a player is certainly not on the battlefield, Clockspinning can not target a player and thus can not be used to remove poison counters. It can, of course, be used to remove -1/-1 counters on creatures that was caused by infect damage.

  • Excellent point on permanent text for this card, what about cards which would allow removing counters from player, or as a global effect?
    – Stephen
    Sep 19, 2011 at 17:43
  • @Stephen: I don't believe any spells or abilities currently exist that allows one to remove counters from players other than Leeches, but if there was, I imagine it would be worded similar to proliferate, except reversed. The only global counter-removing spell of which I can think is Æther Snap, which specifically limits the effect to permanents.
    – adamjford
    Sep 19, 2011 at 17:55
  • I'm pretty sure that Leeches is the only way to remove poison counters from players - I've read things to that effect in articles on the Wizards website. (Exception: Karn Liberated, who effectively removes poison counters as a side-effect of restarting the game)
    – David Z
    Sep 19, 2011 at 22:35
  • @Stephen No such card exists, all the remove counters cards refer to permanents, specific card types like creatures, or suspended cards except for leeches. There is one other way to remove poison counters, and that's causing them to cease to exist by restarting the game with Karn Liberated.
    – Andrew
    Feb 13, 2018 at 14:03
  • @Andrew Hi :) You've added your answer as a comment on another answer. You should add it as an answer to the question itself. Before adding your answer however, I'd like to point out that in 2011 the question was answered with specific references to the rules. Has something happened in the last 6-7 years that would change the interpretation of those rules?
    – Stephen
    Feb 14, 2018 at 18:27

Poison counters are not placed on any permanent on the battlefield or suspended card, they are placed on the player so no, this card will not work.


Poison Counter

A counter that may be given to a player. See rule 121, "Counters," and rule 704.5c.

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