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Introduced Kaladesh
Last used Modern Horizons 3 Commander
Storm Scale 6[1][2]
129 Energy creation cards
{W} 15.5% {U} 17.8% {B} 6.2% {R} 19.4% {G} 12.4% {W/U} 3.1% {R/G} 0.8% {U/R} 3.9% {R/W} 1.6% {G/U} 1.6% {M} 2.3% {artifact symbol} 14% {land symbol} 1.6%
115 Energy cost cards
{W} 16.5% {U} 17.4% {B} 6.1% {R} 22.6% {G} 11.3% {W/U} 4.3% {R/G} 0.9% {U/R} 3.5% {R/W} 1.7% {M} 2.6% {artifact symbol} 11.3% {land symbol} 1.7%
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Energy is a resource and mechanic that was introduced in the Kaladesh block (Kaladesh and Aether Revolt).[3][4][5][6][7]

Description[ | ]


Energy economy

The mechanic enables the production of energy counters, which may be used to pay the costs of activated and triggered abilities.

An energy counter is a counter that, unlike most other counters, is placed on players rather than objects. Most cards that grant energy counters also provide a way to spend them. However, because they are placed on the player rather than a specific object, energy counters from one card can be saved up and spent on the abilities of other cards. Energy counters don't go away as phases or steps end, or as the turn ends, and no cards printed in the Kaladesh block remove energy counters from other players. They could only be removed when the player chose to spend them. However, Core Set 2019 featured Suncleanser which could remove energy counters.

Flavor[ | ]

Energy counters represent aether, magical energy that is found throughout the Multiverse. While it is present throughout the Blind Eternities and touches all planes to some extent, on Kaladesh, it is an integral part of the ecosystem.

History[ | ]

Energy was originally designed for Mirrodin, but was not printed in that set.[8] R&D tried it again for the Esper mechanic in Shards of Alara, but it was cut there as well. For many years, it was known only as "Mechanic E", after being mentioned as such by Mark Rosewater.[9] Following that mention, many mechanics were speculated to be "Mechanic E", notably including the colorless mana symbol {C}. This occasionally led Mark Rosewater to specifically refute those claims.[10]

Mark Rosewater finally confirmed that "Mechanic E" would be in Kaladesh a few days before the mechanic was officially revealed.[11] It was first previewed on the card Aetherworks Marvel at PAX West 2016.[12]

For Kaladesh, Development built an energy economy to help ensure that any energy expenditure has roughly equal value. In order to create sufficient variety in that economy, both costs and production of energy were doubled relative to the mechanic as produced by the design team.[8] The mechanic has been openly acknowledged as parasitic. However, R&D argues that this is less problematic than some previous mechanics because most energy-using cards serve as both sources and outlets for energy.[13][14]

Another complaint was that Energy was too strong a mechanic, overshadowing other mechanics in Standard. This was also acknowledged by Mark Rosewater, who remarked that R&D had missed on the right power level in their first outing with the mechanic, but that it was not a flaw of the mechanic but rather a matter of costing.[15][16]

After a cameo appearance in Jumpstart: Historic Horizons (Longtusk Stalker), Energy returned as a main mechanic in the Universes Beyond Fallout set[17] and again shortly afterwards in Modern Horizons 3.[18][19][20][21] The latter set had to divvy up the core themes and Eldrazi worked better in green/blue/red as it wanted to have more ramping elements and wanted green more. Energy went into blue/red/white because it had more of an aggro component and played better in those colors.[22][23]

Energy symbol[ | ]


Development of the Energy symbol

The energy symbol {E} was introduced in Kaladesh to represent a cost for energy counters.[24] A common player complaint concerns the typesetting of those symbols, which are printed in a single line with even spacing throughout the line. On cards that use many energy counters within a single ability, this makes reading the correct number of symbols difficult. Future printings of the mechanic might use small variations in spacing to alleviate the issue.[25][26]

Rules[ | ]

From the Comprehensive Rules (June 7, 2024—Modern Horizons 3)

  • 107.14. The energy symbol is {E}. It represents one energy counter. To pay {E}, a player removes one energy counter from themselves.

From the glossary of the Comprehensive Rules (June 7, 2024—Modern Horizons 3)

Energy Symbol
The energy symbol {E} represents one energy counter. To pay {E}, a player removes one energy counter from themselves.

Rulings[ | ]

  • {E} is the energy symbol. It represents one energy counter.
  • Energy counters are a kind of counter that a player may have. They're not associated with any specific permanents.
  • Keep track of how many energy counters each player has. Potential ways to track this include writing theme down on paper or using dice, but any method that is clear and mutually agreeable is fine. (At higher levels of tournament play, dice may not be allowed for tracking counters that players have.)
  • If an effect says you get one or more {E}, you get that many energy counters. To pay one or more {E}, you lose that many energy counters. You can't pay more energy counters than you have. Any effects that interact with counters a player gets, has, or loses can interact with energy counters.
  • Energy counters aren't mana. They don't go away as steps, phases, and turns end, and effects that add mana "of any type" can't give you energy counters.
  • Some triggered abilities state that you "may pay" a certain amount of {E}. You can't pay that amount multiple times to multiply the effect. You simply choose whether or not to pay that amount of {E} as the ability resolves.
  • Some triggered abilities that state that you "may pay" a certain amount of {E} describe an effect that happens "If you do." In that case, no player may take actions to try to stop the ability's effect after you make your choice. If the payment is followed by the phrase "When you do," then you'll choose any targets for that reflexive triggered ability and put it on the stack before players can take actions.
  • If a spell or ability with one or more targets states that you "may pay" some amount of {E}, and each permanent that it targets has become an illegal target, the spell or ability won't resolve. You can't pay any {E} even if you want to.
  • Some spells and abilities that give you {E} may require targets. If each target chosen is an illegal target as that spell or ability tries to resolve, it won't resolve. You won't get any {E}.

Examples[ | ]

Architect of the Untamed


Architect of the Untamed {2}{G}
Creature — Elf Artificer Druid
Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, you get {E} (an energy counter).
Pay {E}{E}{E}{E}{E}{E}{E}{E}: Create a 6/6 colorless Beast artifact creature token.

Gallery[ | ]

References[ | ]

  1. Mark Rosewater (March 18, 2018). "How parasistic is the energy mechanic? Where is it on the storm scale?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  2. Mark Rosewater (2021-08-27). "Where does the energy mechanic currently stand on the storm scale?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  3. Matt Tabak (September 2, 2016). "Kaladesh Mechanics". Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Sam Stoddard (September 15, 2016). "Putting Some Energy Into Kaladesh". Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on May 22, 2022.
  5. Mark Rosewater (January 2, 2017). "A Revolting Development (and Design), Part 1". Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Matt Tabak (January 2, 2017). "Aether Revolt Mechanics". Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Ben Hayes (January 3, 2017). "Leading Aether Revolt". Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on September 2, 2022.
  8. a b Mark Rosewater (September 5, 2016). "Kaladesh Ingredients, Part 1". Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Mark Rosewater (July 23, 2007). "The X Files". Wizards of the Coast.
  10. Mark Rosewater (December 11, 2015). "Is {C} the old "E" mechanic that didn't make it into Mirrodin?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  11. Mark Rosewater (August 30, 2016). "Hang on a sec, did you ever even say...". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  12. Magic Twitch channel (September 2, 2016). Magic at PAX: Kaladesh Debut.
  13. Mark Rosewater (September 04, 2016). "Is Energy parasitic?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  14. Mark Rosewater (September 5, 2016). "Energy spell having a use outside of energy doesn't make this non-Parasitic.". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  15. Mark Rosewater (November 05, 2017). "I've seen many complaints over Energy during this Pro Tour Ixalan.". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  16. Mark Rosewater (December 23, 2017). "Are you still happy with Kaladesh block? And Energy?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  17. Matt Tabak (February 20, 2024). "Magic: The Gathering - Fallout Mechanics". Wizards of the Coast.
  18. Annie Sardelis (February 27, 2024). "Designing the Magic: The Gathering - Fallout Commander Decks". Wizards of the Coast.
  19. Meghan Wolff (May 23, 2024). "From the Lab: Energy and Strategies in Modern Horizons 3". Wizards of the Coast.
  20. Matt Tabak (May 21, 2024). "Modern Horizons 3 Mechanics". Wizards of the Coast.
  21. Mark Rosewater (May 27, 2024). "Third Time's the Charm, Part 2". Wizards of the Coast.
  22. Mark Rosewater (May 27, 2024). "Why was energy moved from temur into jeskai?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  23. Mark Rosewater (June 10, 2024). "Expanding Your Horizons: Energy". Wizards of the Coast.
  24. Wizards of the Coast (September 16, 2016). "Kaladesh Release Notes". Wizards of the Coast.
  25. Mark Rosewater (September 5, 2016). "I have one minor complaint about kaladesh...". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  26. Mark Rosewater (May 20, 2017). "Re: Energy costs template.". Blogatog. Tumblr.