Planeswalkers are few of the most an effective and recognizable cards in Magic: The Gathering history. They role differently than other varieties of Magic cards and also essentially offer as additional players in the game.

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But the same attributes that make Planeswalkers so effective in the hand of knowledgeable players sometimes make lock inscrutable to new ones. If you’re brand-new to Magic and also are still trying to recognize the Planeswalker map type, we’re right here to help!

All about Loyalty

Planeswalkers are character cards v abilities that deserve to assist friend in a game. Rather of a beginning life total, Planeswalkers come with what’s dubbed a beginning loyalty. Her Planeswalker’s starting loyalty is in the text box in the bottom right edge of the card; in Teferi’s case, that 4.


Loyalty is a form of counter in Magic, and it attributes like a player’s life total or a creature’s toughness. Planeswalkers deserve to gain and also lose loyalty counters transparent the game, and when their commitment is reduced to zero, castle die and also go to your owner’s graveyard.

Planeswalkers can gain and lose loyalty in a couple of ways:

Loyalty abilities

You can include and remove commitment counters indigenous Planeswalkers through activating the loyalty abilities listed on the card. Activating either of Chandra‘s first two abilities will include one commitment to her loyalty total, but you’ll need to spend commitment to activate her 3rd and 4th abilities. Generally, the an ext powerful a Planeswalker capability is, the an ext loyalty the costs.

You might activate one loyalty capacity per Planeswalker per turn any type of time girlfriend could cast a sorcery, including during the turn you resolve a Planeswalker card. (If you have actually several Planeswalkers in play, you may activate one ability on each.) many Planeswalker cards have three loyalty abilities, yet some have as couple of as two or as many as four, so you may have actually some choices on each turn.


Planeswalkers take damage similar to creatures and players do, and they shed loyalty equal to the lot of damage they take. Damages can be handle to Planeswalkers in 2 ways:

Attacking through creatures: A player can choose to assault a Planeswalker through their creatures instead of attacking an additional player. The defending player can prevent damage to their Planeswalkers the same means they’d avoid attacking creatures indigenous dealing damages to them: by blocking the strike with your creatures or by making use of an instant-speed spell to eliminate the attack creatures. Any kind of unblocked creatures will deal damages to the Planeswalker lock attacking.Spells that deal damage: some spells that deal direct damage can target Planeswalkers.Effects that add or remove counters

Loyalty counters can be added or removed simply like any type of other counters in Magic. Because that example, the proliferate ability, which rises the variety of counters top top permanents, applies to loyalty counters.

Static Abilities

For the an initial twelve year of your existence, Planeswalker cards only had actually loyalty abilities the players might activate one in ~ a time. However, with the relax of War of the Spark in 2019, Wizards the the coast designed Planeswalkers with static abilities.


Static abilities are conditions that are constantly true as lengthy as the card with the ability remains in play. So, for example, as lengthy as Narset, Parter of Veils is top top the battlefield, each adversary of the player that controls Narset can’t draw more than one card per turn. If you want to draw more cards, you’ll have actually to find a means to eliminate Narset indigenous the battlefield.

Ruling out the Legends

Planeswalkers are very powerful, yet they do have their limitations. One of these limitations is recognized as the legend rule.


The legend dominion states that, if you regulate two or an ext copies the a legendary card through a given name, you must pick one to store on the battlefield and sacrifice the rest. (A legendary card is any type of card whose name is a suitable noun; this contains Planeswalkers and also other named personalities in Magic’s story.) That means you can’t have two copies of Gideon, allied of Zendikar ~ above the battlefield at the exact same time. However, two different Planeswalker cards showing the same character are totally okay – you deserve to have both Gideon, allied of Zendikar and Gideon the the Trials on your side the the battlefield. Additionally, you’re enabled to control a Planeswalker card with the same name as a Planeswalker card the your enemy has in play – in fact, it’s common in numerous Magic layouts to view two duplicates of the same Planeswalker staring each other down!

What makes Planeswalkers Good?

Now that we’ve covered exactly how to play v Planeswalker cards, you’re probably eager to include them to your decks. Over there are lots of Planeswalker cards to select from, and also you could be questioning yourself which ones space the strongest and also why.

Here room a couple of questions you must ask yourself when examining Planeswalker cards:

Does the Planeswalker protect itself?

Planeswalker cards have powerful effects, however they are fragile to assaults from creatures. Therefore, the Planeswalker cards that best protect themselves from attacks tend to be the strongest. Planeswalkers can safeguard themselves in numerous ways: by removing the contrary creatures, through generating biology tokens that deserve to serve as blockers, or by having a high starting loyalty that will permit them to endure an attack.

How advantageous are the Planeswalker’s capability in context?

All Planeswalker ability will assist you, yet some are an ext helpful 보다 others. Think about how solid your Planeswalker map is versus the decks you intend to beat against, and also how helpful it’ll be if friend only get to use one of its abilities before it’s removed.

Does the Planeswalker fit your video game plan?

While numerous Planeswalkers have actually generally powerful abilities, others room much more niche. If your have your sights set on a Planeswalker card v a relatively narrow ability set, you’ll want to build a deck that can adequately assistance it.

Dealing through Planeswalkers

Maybe you haven’t controlled to gain your hand on a Planeswalker card yet, yet you regularly face them ~ above MTG Arena or in your playgroup. As soon as you’re just beginning out, you might feel unprepared to deal with your opponents’ the strongest cards, and also Planeswalkers have tendency to need very particular answers.

The an excellent news is the players that every play format have the devices to attend to Planeswalkers. Here are four strategies us suggest.

Attack Them

Remember, Planeswalkers will shed all their commitment if they take it enough damages from creatures. If you enjoy playing wild creature-based decks, this is most likely the finest strategy because that you.

However, it deserve to be tough to decide when it’s finest to assault a Planeswalker and also when to attack their controller instead. We’ve composed a separate article on that, i m sorry you have the right to read here.

Use Removal

Many removed spells in Magic can target Planeswalkers – and also not simply the direct damages spells we stated earlier! some instant-speed spells, prefer the Swift End half of Murderous Rider, can damage creatures or Planeswalkers. Any type of removal spell that deserve to target any type of permanent deserve to target a Planeswalker as well.

Use Counterspells

In some situations, it can feel effective to use a removal order on a Planeswalker after ~ your opponent has already benefitted indigenous its abilities. Fortunately, you have the right to prevent Planeswalkers from entering the battlefield v counterspells. Spells choose Negate or Dovin’s Veto that respond to noncreature spells deserve to target Planeswalkers.

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Ignore Them

Ignoring your opponent’s the strongest card can be unintuitive, and in many cases, it could be the wrong move. However sometimes, you’ll be bonus for concentrating on reducing her opponent’s life complete or milling their totality library instead. ~ all, your adversary can’t activate your Planeswalkers if they’ve already lost the game!

Start Planeswalking

Planeswalkers are incredibly helpful cards to have actually in her decks and in your Magic collection. You can browse all the Planeswalker cards top top here, and check out much more new player resources here on ours