How to Kill a Planeswalker in Magic the Gathering (MTG)
Planeswalkers are relatively new in MTG. Having been around for a little over 10 years, killing one outside of damage has not been simple. Walkers are difficult to interact with as they’re technically another player and there are only a handful of cards that target one. Attacking them straight out is pseudo lifegain for your opponent as it’s less damage they’re taking and even if you do, they can still choose whether or not to block for the Walker with their creatures.
Coming up in Domaria, the Planeswalker Redirection Rule will no longer exist. Aside from being a mouthful, this is a rule that states the following:
“If noncombat damage would be dealt to a player by a source controlled by an opponent, that opponent may have that source deal that damage to a planeswalker the former player controls instead.”
Basically, you cast Lightning Bolt and decide to redirect the damage onto the Walker instead of the opponent, causing the walker to lose 3 loyalty. As seen in MTG Arena, relevant cards now either specify Planeswalker or simply say, “Any Target.”
While a relevant rule change, that doesn’t really answer the question, “How do we kill this thing?” Short answer is, get its loyalty to 0. Green can trample over with their creatures. Exile effects in different slots of the color wheel are even more effective. Anguished Unmaking, Fractured Identity, Karn Liberated, and Legacy Weapon – to name a few – all do the same thing: Exile Target Permanent. If in Standard, Vraska’s Contempt is a huge playable that exiles a creature or Planeswalker at instant speed and gains you 2 life!
As more sets come out with the Redirection Rule well in the rear-view, I’m sure we’ll get more answers to these pesky Planeswalkers, in the meantime, make sure to leave counterspell mana up! That’s all there is to destroying Planeswalkers in MTG! If you need more help with Magic the Gathering, let us know!
This post was originally authored by Alex Cruz.