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Enchantment Type
(Subtype for enchantment cards)
Rules As this Saga enters and after your draw step, add a lore counter. Sacrifice after [III/IV].
Storm Scale 2[1]
140 cards
{W} 20% {U} 12.1% {B} 13.6% {R} 12.9% {G} 15.7% {W/U} 1.4% {U/B} 2.1% {B/R} 2.1% {R/G} 1.4% {G/W} 2.9% {W/B} 1.4% {U/R} 1.4% {B/G} 2.1% {R/W} 2.9% {G/U} 2.1% {M} 4.3% {artifact symbol} 0.7% {land symbol} 0.7%
as of The Lost Caverns of Ixalan
Scryfall Search

Saga is an enchantment type introduced in Dominaria. Each Saga tells the story of a key event from the past as it unfolds during each of your turns.[2] Each separate step in the story is called a chapter, and is marked by a roman numeral (I, II, III, etc.). Saga cards are historic.

Description[ | ]

As a Saga enters the battlefield, its controller puts a lore counter on it. As your precombat main phase begins (immediately after your draw step), you put another lore counter on each Saga you control. Putting a lore counter on a Saga in either of these ways doesn't use the stack. Each symbol on the left of a Saga's text box represents a chapter ability. A chapter ability is a triggered ability that triggers when a lore counter that is put on the Saga causes the number of lore counters on the Saga to become equal to the ability's chapter number. Chapter abilities are put onto the stack and may be responded to.

Saga cards have a special vertically-aligned frame treatment which received mixed reactions.[3][4] The rules text with the three chapter abilities is on the left side, and the art is on the right side. Each of the Sagas shows a story through art from within the world it comes from and the style of each type of art varies from Saga to Saga. All of them have the vertical art.[5] The art style for each Saga is unique from the normal cinematic viewpoint style, with techniques such as stained glass (History of Benalia), tapestry (Time of Ice), fresco carving (Elspeth's Nightmare), tattoo (The Bloodsky Massacre), ornamental ceramic (Tribute to Horobi), leaf carving (Jugan Defends the Temple), ceremonial staff engraving (The Phasing of Zhalfir), woodcut (The Elder Dragon War), garden sculpture trail (Long List of the Ents), cookbook (Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit) and cake decoration (Welcome to Sweettooth). The Sagas of Doctor Who use episode arcs and titles as names with the likeness of actors represented in the art, making them akin to promotional movie posters.

Sagas regularly appear in all rarities above common.[6] Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty brought the first, and currently only common, Sagas in the form of a horizontal cycle and an extra white Saga.

Sagas are considered to be deciduous.[1]

History[ | ]

The Saga design was directly derived from the original planeswalker design for Future Sight.[7][8][9]

Sagas made reappearances in Theros Beyond Death[10], Kaldheim[11], Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty, Dominaria United, March of the Machine, Wilds of Eldraine and The Lost Caverns of Ixalan. A Land Saga, Urza's Saga, was introduced in Modern Horizons 2.[12] They also appear in Universe Beyond products of Warhammer 40,000 Commander Decks, The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth, Doctor Who, and Jurassic World.

Sagas in Theros Beyond Death introduced four-chapter sagas. The Sagas of Kaldheim were all multicolored,[13] which was a first (not counting the Heroes of the Realm celebration card The Legend of Arena). The Long List of the Ents in The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth has two quirks: the first Saga to have only one chapter ability and to have six chapters — there has yet to be a five-chapter Saga. Blink from Doctor Who has the quirk of the chapters alternating, leading to the lore counter, if put according to the chapters, going up and down on the card. The Night of the Doctor is the first two-chapter Saga.

In Modern Horizons 2, Sagas reappeared on the card Urza's Saga, which is an enchantment land and also has the Urza's land type.[12] By virtue of its land typing, it also is the first colorless Saga (and second true colorless enchantment) and first 0-mana Saga (and enchantment, by extension).

In Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty, sagas became DFCs, which became enchantment creatures on the backside when transformed, representing the Kami's lingering influence on the mortal world.[14] Each of them are three-chapter Sagas where the last ability exiles and returns the Saga transformed. The cards fit the DFC notch and power/toughness indicator, and also the reminder text removes the "Sacrifice after III." line to prevent incorrect management, as the "exile and return" chapter means the sacrifice effect won't take place. March of the Machine introduces a cycle of Sagas that act like the reverse, where each Saga is the back face of a Phyrexian Praetor and also exile and return themselves at the third chapter, leading to a continual loop of a Saga effect.

Dominaria United brought the first keyword associated with Sagas, Read ahead, where the saga's controller can decide where in the "story" the saga starts. The set also features Historian's Boon, which creates an additional effect for the final chapter ability of each saga.

The Universes Beyond set Doctor Who introduced a two-chapter saga (The Night of the Doctor[15]) and a saga with discontinuous chapters (Blink).

Example[ | ]

Example 1

History of Benalia {1}{W}{W}
Enchantment — Saga
(As this Saga enters and after your draw step, add a lore counter. Sacrifice after III.)
ChapterI, ChapterII — Create a 2/2 white Knight creature token with vigilance.
ChapterIII — Knights you control get +2/+1 until end of turn.

Example 2

The First Iroan Games {2}{G}
Enchantment — Saga
(As this Saga enters and after your draw step, add a lore counter. Sacrifice after IV.)
ChapterI — Create a 1/1 white Human Soldier token.
ChapterII — Put three +1/+1 counters on target creature you control.
ChapterIII — If you control a creature with power 4 or greater, draw two cards.
ChapterIV — Create a Gold token.

Rules[ | ]

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

An enchantment subtype. Sagas have a number of chapter abilities that take effect over a number of turns to tell a story. See rule 714, “Saga Cards.”

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

  • 714. Saga Cards
    • 714.1. Each Saga card has a striated text box containing a number of chapter symbols. Its illustration is vertically oriented on the right side of the card, and its type line is along the bottom of the card.
    • 714.2. A chapter symbol is a keyword ability that represents a triggered ability referred to as a chapter ability.
      • 714.2a A chapter symbol includes a Roman numeral, indicated here as “{rN}.” The numeral I represents 1, II represents 2, III represents 3, and so on.
      • 714.2b “{rN}—[Effect]” means “When one or more lore counters are put onto this Saga, if the number of lore counters on it was less than N and became at least N, [effect].”
      • 714.2c “{rN1}, {rN2}—[Effect]” means the same as “{rN1}—[Effect]” and “{rN2}—[Effect].”
      • 714.2d A Saga’s final chapter number is the greatest value among chapter abilities it has. If a Saga somehow has no chapter abilities, its final chapter number is 0.
      • 714.2e A Saga’s final chapter ability is the chapter ability which has its final chapter number in its chapter symbol.
    • 714.3. Sagas use lore counters to track their progress.
      • 714.3a As a Saga without the read ahead ability enters the battlefield, its controller puts a lore counter on it. As a Saga with the read ahead ability enters the battlefield, its controller chooses a number from one to that Saga’s final chapter number. That Saga enters the battlefield with the chosen number of lore counters on it. (See rule 702.155, “Read Ahead.”)
      • 714.3b As a player’s precombat main phase begins, that player puts a lore counter on each Saga they control. This turn-based action doesn’t use the stack.
    • 714.4. If the number of lore counters on a Saga permanent is greater than or equal to its final chapter number, and it isn’t the source of a chapter ability that has triggered but not yet left the stack, that Saga’s controller sacrifices it. This state-based action doesn’t use the stack.

Rulings[ | ]

Phyrexian Scriptures

Dominaria Saga card

  • A chapter ability doesn't trigger if a lore counter is put on a Saga that already had a number of lore counters greater than or equal to that chapter's number. For example, the third lore counter put on a Saga causes the III chapter ability to trigger, but I and II won't trigger again.
  • Once a chapter ability has triggered, the ability on the stack won't be affected if the Saga gains or loses counters, or if it leaves the battlefield.
  • If multiple chapter abilities trigger at the same time, their controller puts them on the stack in any order. If any of them require targets, those targets are chosen as you put the abilities on the stack, before any of those abilities resolve.
  • If counters are removed from a Saga, the appropriate chapter abilities will trigger again when the Saga receives lore counters. Removing lore counters won't cause a previous chapter ability to trigger.
  • Once the number of lore counters on a Saga is greater than or equal to the greatest number among its chapter abilities the Saga's controller sacrifices it as soon as its chapter ability has left the stack, most likely by resolving or being countered. This number could be 0 if the Saga has lost all its native abilities. This state-based action doesn't use the stack. (note: it's only sacrificed if it still has a number of lore counters equal to or greater than its final chapter number as the state-based action checks)

References[ | ]

  1. a b Mark Rosewater (March 28, 2022). "Deciduous". Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Matt Tabak (March 21, 2018). "Dominaria mechanics". Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Aaron Forsythe (March 12, 2018). "On Dominaria Previews and Moving Forward". Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on October 6, 2022.
  4. Mark Rosewater (March 12, 2018). "My friends hate the layout of Phyrexian Scriptures. I have the opposite opinion.". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  5. Mark Rosewater (March 12, 2018). "just wanted to say that the visual design on the sagas is amazing". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  6. Mark Rosewater (March 12, 2018). "Will there be Sagas at all rarities?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  7. Mark Rosewater (March 13, 2018). "It feels like the sagas are the original planeswalker design from future sight.". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  8. Mark Rosewater (Mark Rosewater). "Returning Home". Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Mark Rosewater (May 7, 2018). "The Saga of Sagas". Wizards of the Coast.
  10. Matt Tabak (December 12, 2019). "Theros Beyond Death Mechanics". Wizards of the Coast.
  11. Matt Tabak (December 7, 2020). "Kaldheim Mechanics". Wizards of the Coast.
  12. a b Adam Styborski (May 6, 2021). "Welcome to the Summer of Legend". Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on July 6, 2022.
  13. Mark Rosewater (January 11, 2021). "Norsing Around, Part 1". Wizards of the Coast.
  14. Wizards of the Coast (February 9, 2022). "Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Release Notes". Wizards of the Coast.
  15. Gavin Verhey (October 9, 2023). "The Night of the Doctor is the first ever two-chapter saga in Magic. Why?". Twitter.