I recently stumbled upon another post of data on Reddit which states the unfairness of play vs. draw (Link). I saw a suggestion on "countering tempo with tempo" giving the idea similar to the "Coin" from Hearthstone. My idea to realise this would be an emblem. Now to the actual Question: Could an emblem remove itself from the game? What would the text for that be. My version of the rules change would be:

[CR 103.7a Original]: In a two-player game, the player who plays first skips the draw step (see rule 504, “Draw Step”) of their first turn.

[CR 103.7a Modified]: In a two-player game, the player who plays first skips the draw step (see rule 504, “Draw Step”) of their first turn and the other player creates an emblem with "Remove this emblem from the game: Add one mana of any color or one colorless mana".

Would this suffice and if not how should the text change. Another idea I have read in a similar thread was: "0: Add one mana... . Use this ability only once per game." I don't particular like that, because now if an effect makes the mana cost of activated abilities cost 2 more, this would be effected aswell, although this could be intended if this version were to be implemented?

Do you think this would work; if not what would need to change?


1 Answer 1


One issue with the wording is that "remove from game" is text that MTG used to use prior to the 2010 rules update, and all cards that said to remove something from the game were given errata to say that they exile it instead.

Because of this, "remove this emblem from the game" could easily be confused with "exile this emblem", as people have learned that things that say "remove from the game" actually now say "exile".

There is no wording on any existing abilities or effects that actually remove something from the game (AWOL excluded). Things are only removed from the game through rules that use the wording "ceases to exist", such as a token not on the battlefield; or "leaves the game", such as objects owned by a player leaves the game. Neither of these translate well into an effect that could be written on an ability.

That being said, I don't see any issue with the emblem saying "Exile this: Add one mana of any color or one colorless mana". Sure it's a bit weird to have an emblem hanging around in the exile zone; but it will have no effect on the game. Its ability cannot do anything while in exile:

114.4. Abilities of emblems function in the command zone.

And there wouldn't be any way to ever remove it from exile; anything in the game that gets things back from exile specifies what type of thing it can bring back.

But if you were modifying rules anyway, you could always go ahead and alter 704.5 to make it so that the emblem doesn't hang around:

704.5d If a token is in a zone other than the battlefield, it ceases to exist.

704.5e If a copy of a spell is in a zone other than the stack, it ceases to exist. If a copy of a card is in any zone other than the stack or the battlefield, it ceases to exist.

Append a new state-based action similar to those two:

704.5f If an emblem is in any zone other than the command zone, it ceases to exist.

In terms of your second idea of making it a one-per-game activated ability that costs {0}, I don't see any issues related to possible cost-increasers, because 99% of the time, the right move is going to be to use that ability on turn 1, maybe turn 2; making it very unlikely your opponent will have gotten an increaser out. And also cards like Suppression Field do not work on mana abilities, which this is.

  • There are objects - apart from things removed with AWOL - that can can be "absolutely-removed-from-the-freaking-game-forever". Those are tokens. And as emblems are created from nothing same as tokens, it would be reasonable to say that emblems cease to exist in other zones apart from the command zone would, too.
    – Naitsab_33
    Jun 11, 2020 at 16:13
  • Right, "cease to exist" is how the rules refer to it; but only game rules ever cause that to happen; it never happens through a card ability or effect. I will update for accuracy.
    – GendoIkari
    Jun 11, 2020 at 16:15

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