64 Emblem creation cards
12.5% 12.5% 10.9% 17.2% 10.9% 6.3% 1.6% 1.6% 6.3% 1.6% 4.7% 3.1% 4.7% 3.1% 3.1%
An emblem is different from a card or a token. The ability and the controlling player are the only characteristics it has. Emblems have no color, name, card type, or anything else — just that ability. They are placed in the command zone, which is the same place where Archenemy schemes, Planechase planes, Vanguard cards, and EDH commanders are placed. An emblem is not a permanent, and absolutely nothing can touch it or get rid of it as long as the player who gained it remains in the game, simply because no cards say that they can.
Emblems were created in the July 2010 rules update to fix rules revolving around Elspeth, Knight-Errant's ultimate, which left an effect hanging over the game without any visual indicator. Elspeth could theoretically "go off" and then be shuffled back in the deck or somehow end up totally out of play, but still have her indestructibility clause hanging over the battle for turns to come. This situation left open the possibility that players would just forget about it.
Emblems are cumulative, so it's possible to have the same emblem multiple times, but not all emblems have abilities that are cumulative themselves.
Starting with Magic 2015, emblems have a type line, which includes the Planeswalker type. That does not change the rule from 114.3 that emblems do not have any types, and the types on the emblem are only present as a visual representation.
This was reverted in Core Set 2020 where the name of the card creating the emblem is now again in the name line and the type line only displays "Emblem". This change brings the current design closer to the original design and reflects the emblem rules better.
With Dungeons & Dragons: Adventures in the Forgotten Realms the Planeswalker type was re-added to the type line.
- An emblem is a marker used to represent an object that has one or more abilities, but no other characteristics. See rule 114, “Emblems.”
- 114. Emblems
- 114.1. Some effects put emblems into the command zone. An emblem is a marker used to represent an object that has one or more abilities, but no other characteristics.
- 114.2. An effect that creates an emblem is written “[Player] gets an emblem with [ability].” This means that [player] puts an emblem with [ability] into the command zone. The emblem is both owned and controlled by that player.
- 114.3. An emblem has no characteristics other than the abilities defined by the effect that created it. In particular, an emblem has no name, no types, no mana cost, and no color.
- 114.4. Abilities of emblems function in the command zone.
- 114.5. An emblem is neither a card nor a permanent. Emblem isn’t a card type.
- Emblem was featured as rules card 5 of 5 in the Scars of Mirrodin set.
- Emblems function similar to the text on Vanguard cards.
- Venser and Koth's emblems were featured in their Duel Deck.
- Elspeth's emblem was first printed in Modern Masters.
- Emblems can't be destroyed, as the "destroy" keyword only applies to permanents, and emblems are not permanents. R&D has no plans to create spells that are able to remove them.
- Emblems are a planeswalker-only thing. There are some cards with effects that last for the "rest of the game" and therefore act effectively as emblems:
- Cyclopean Tomb — At the beginning of your upkeep, remove all mire counters from a land that a mire counter was put onto with Cyclopean Tomb but that a mire counter has not been removed from with Cyclopean Tomb.
- Praetor's Counsel — You have no maximum hand size.
- Sea Gate Restoration — You have no maximum hand size.
- Finale of Revelation — You have no maximum hand size.
- Stigma Lasher — You can't gain life. (given to an opponent)
- Garruk, Apex Predator's emblem was the first emblem that is given to opponents. Ob Nixilis of the Black Oath is the only planeswalker so far to grant an activated ability.
- The Mystery Booster test card Baneslayer Aspirant is the first non-planeswalker to interact with emblems.
- Mark L. Gottlieb (July 14, 2010). "July 2010 Update Bulletin". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Blake Rasmussen (July 2, 2014). "Magic 2015 tokens". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater (June 13, 2015). "Are we ever going to be able to destroy emblems?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- Mark Rosewater (January 28, 2017). "Any thoughts on future cards to remove or disable emblems from planeswalkers?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- Mark Rosewater (September 07, 2015). "Could there ever be a non-Planeswalker card that created emblems?". Blogatog. Tumblr.