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Top 6 Cards that Return from Exile in Magic: The Gathering

Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.

Ruin Processor

Ruin Processor

Exiled Cards in Magic

Destroyed or discarded cards in Magic games head to the graveyard, where they're gone but can be recovered with various effects, and many spells have activated abilities from the graveyard, like flashback, escape, and aftermath. So heading to the graveyard isn't so bad, and black decks often purposefully mill high-cost creatures to cheat them out with reanimation effects.

But some cards offer a removal stronger than destruction by exiling their targets, placing them in a unique zone that's almost impossible to interact with. Yet a few select spells can recover cards from exile—here are six exile-interacting spells in Magic: The Gathering!

Coax from the Blind Eternities

Coax from the Blind Eternities

6. Coax from the Blind Eternities

Blind Eternities pulls an eldrazi from either your sideboard or exile and adds it to hand. I'm a bit surprised the spell needs color given the colorless nature of most eldrazi, and you'll want to keep in mind that some formats (like commander) don't allow sideboards, but it's still an interesting way to recover a game-changing titan your opponent thought was completely banished.

Rootcoil Creeper

Rootcoil Creeper

5. Rootcoil Creeper

Rootcoil offers a nice 2/2 Simic mana weenie, tapping for one mana of any color, or two when casting something from your graveyard. It also has a unique ability: by paying two mana and exiling Creeper, it'll return a card with flashback from exile to your hand.

This can potentially give you four total uses from a flashback spell (twice each from hand and graveyard).

Ashiok, Nightmare Mus

Ashiok, Nightmare Mus

4. Ashiok, Nightmare Muse

Planeswalkers sometimes bend tradition with their ultimate abilities, and Ashiok here is no exception. His +1 creates a 2/3 token that exiles an opposing deck's top two cards when it attacks or blacks, and -3 returns a non-land to hand, then makes an opponent banish a card from hand.

But most relevant to today, ultimate -7 lets you cast up to three opposing spells from exile without paying their costs. Cool thing is, these can but don't have to be cards exiled with Ashiok's other effects, meaning anything they have exiled is fair game.

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Kaya the Inexorable

Kaya the Inexorable

3. Kaya the Inexorable

Like Ashiok, Kaya breaks the game's fundamental rules with her ultimate -7, granting you an emblem that lets you cast a legendary for free from your hand, graveyard, or exile at your upkeep! Great thing is, this means you can easily get Kaya back from graveyard if using the -7 spent all her loyalty; pull it off and you've probably won.

Kaya's other effects aren't bad either; +1 places a ghostform counter on a creature, returning it to hand if it would enter exile or your graveyard and creating a 1/1 spirit token, while -3 simply exiles a non-land permanent.

Squee, the Immortal

Squee, the Immortal

Misthollow Griffin

Misthollow Griffin

2. Squee, the Immortal/Misthollow Griffin

These two creatures offer the incredibly rare effect of being castable from exile, and Squee can also be cast from your graveyard. To counterbalance these abilities, neither creature is particularly strong or mana-efficient (we have a 2/1 goblin and a 3/3 flying griffin), but they're still great fodder to exile.

Eternal Scourge

Eternal Scourge

1. Eternal Scourge

Scourge offers the advantages of the past two cards of being playable from exile but with no color restrictions and better stats at 3/3. Now, he exiles himself when targeted by an opposing spell or ability, but that's a small tradeoff for an easily recovered colorless eldrazi. In commander, he's also a great outlet for early-game colorless resources from Mana Crypt, Sol Ring, and Ancient Tomb.

Using the Sideboard in Magic

Keep in mind that exiling has additional advantages compared to destruction: it circumvents indestructible, doesn't trigger death effects, and makes cards much harder, almost impossible, to recover.

While pulling cards from exile is definitely tricky, with the right effects, you can also snatch cards from another unexpected location: your sideboard. Spells that do so include Fae of Wishes and Spawnsire of Ulamog, but for now, share your thoughts on exiled cards and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!

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Wild-Magic Sorcerer

© 2022 Jeremy Gill

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