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MTG Saga – Rules and Everything Else You Need to Know

In this article, we’ll explain what is a Saga card and how does a Saga work. You’ll learn every rule and interaction with this enchantment, so you’ll be able to get the most value out of them.

Sagas first appeared in Dominaria in 2018. They were very popular, and they’ve since returned in the following sets:

  • Theros Beyond Death (2020)
  • Kaldheim (2021)
  • Modern Horizons 2 (2021)
  • Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty (2022)

What is a Saga?

Saga is an enchantment subtype. That means that every Saga is an enchantment. It will give you three effects, but not all of them at once. You’ll get some value immediately, and more during your following turns.

Let’s see how it works.

How Do Sagas Work?

Every Saga has three or four chapters. They are represented by the roman numbers I, II and III — sometimes also IV (column on the left). Each chapter has an effect.

What is MTG Saga The Binding of the Titans

Sagas use Lore counters. Every time the Saga gets a Lore counter, the effect with the number equal to the amount of Lore counters on the Saga triggers.

Saga usually gets a Lore counter:

  • when it enters the battlefield
  • after you draw the card for the turn (in your first main phase, immediately after your draw step)

Example

Let’s take a look at Arni Slays the Troll as an example.

How Does MTG Saga Work Arni Slays the Troll

You pay two mana and cast Arni Slays the Troll. When it enters the battlefield, you immediately put a Lore counter on it. (You can use dice to represent counters. On Arena, there will be a little icon with a number.) When the first counter is put on the Saga, the first effect triggers. You get to fight one of your creatures with one of your opponent’s.

Nothing else happens with Arni Slays the Troll until your next turn. It just stays in play with one counter.

On your next turn, in your first main phase, right away after your draw step, you put another counter on the saga. (This is the first thing that happens in your main phase. You can’t cast creatures before it finishes resolving.) Then, Arni Slays the Troll has two Lore counters. So the second chapter triggers. You get one red mana, and you can put two +1/+1 counters on one of your creatures.

After your next draw step, Saga gets the third Lore counter. You gain life equal to the greatest power among creatures you control. Then you have to sacrifice Arni Slays the Troll.

As you can see, chapters usually synergize with one another. The last chapter of the Arni Slays the Troll will hopefully kill all creatures that had to attack you before, because of the second chapter.

Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Sagas

Sagas from the new Kamigawa set work a bit differently. At first sight they look almost the same as regular sagas:

Era of Enlightenment How Do Kamigawa Sagas Work

However, there’s an icon on the top left corner, and a power and toughness mark at the bottom left. That’s because Kamigawa Sagas transform with the last chapter. So, what’s on the backside?

Hand of Enlightenment MTG Saga Rules Double Faced

It’s a 2/2 enchantment creature with first strike. One thing to note here is that the backside is affected by summoning sickness. When the last chapter triggers, the Saga is exiled then returned to the battlefield transformed. This is different from the Werewolf transform mechanic, which simply transforms the creature, and doesn’t exile it first.

MTG Saga FAQ

Let’s check some of the most frequently asked questions about MTG Sagas. If you don’t find the answer here, ask us in the comments below. We’re glad to help.

Is Saga a permanent?

Yes, Saga is an enchantment and therefore a permanent.

MTG Saga Rules Firja's Retribution

Does proliferate work on Sagas?

Yes. Proliferate works on Sagas.

When you proliferate, you can choose any number of players or permanents that have counters on them. Then you put another of those counters on these players / permanents.

Since Sagas use Lore counters, you can put another Lore counter on the Saga when you proliferate. That will then trigger the respective chapter on the Saga.

Do Sagas work with Constellation?

Yes, Saga is an enchantment — when it enters the battlefield, it will trigger your Constellation cards (such as Setessan Champion).

Can you have more than one of the same Saga in play?

Yes you can. Saga does not mean legendary.

It does however count as a historic card. But that has a very narrow meaning. Historic cards are legendary cards, artifacts, and Sagas. They trigger some cards from Dominaria like Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain.

Do Sagas use the stack?

Putting the counter on Saga doesn’t use the stack. It happens immediately and can’t be responded to. The trigger then goes on the stack, and you can respond to that trigger.

Can I return a Saga to my hand in response to the last chapter?

Yes, you can use a card like Rescue in response to the third (or any) chapter trigger. The Saga won’t go to the graveyard until the third trigger resolves. You’ll still get the effect, and you’ll have the Saga in your hand. Pretty neat.

How does Urza’s Saga work?

Urza's Saga Modern Horizons 2 Spoilers

We’ll talk about this particular Saga, because it’s the weirdest one, with various strange interactions.

First, it’s both an enchantment and a land. This means you can play it during your turn as your land drop for that turn. (You can’t play other lands that turn, unless you have a special effect, like Azusa, Lost but Seeking)

Second, it gains abilities which don’t go away until you lose the saga. This means you can tap Urza’s Saga for one colorless mana for as long as you have it in play.

The final powerful interaction is with its second chapter. After it resolves, you can make a Construct token, that is as big as the number of artifacts you have in play. But that’s not all! As we learned, you can respond, when chapters go on the stack. So when the last chapter goes on the stack, you can respond by paying two and tapping Urza’s Saga to get a second Construct token.

That’s a really powerful interaction to keep in mind.

How to destroy a Saga?

You can destroy Sagas with cards that destroy enchantments — for example, Naturalize. Your opponent will still get at least the first chapter’s effect. Because as we said, you can’t respond to getting a Lore counter.

If you absolutely don’t want them to get the effect, you’ll have to use discards spells (Duress) or counterspells (Absorb).

End of the Story

That’s all about MTG Saga. Again, if you have any more questions, ask us in the comments below. You can also reach us on Facebook and Instagram. We’ll gladly help you.

If you’re looking to learn more, you can check:

You can also find every Saga ever printed with this search on Gatherer (official MTG search engine).

Until next time, may Sagas win you plenty of games.

26 thoughts on “MTG Saga – Rules and Everything Else You Need to Know”

  1. What if the saga has an effect like battle of the skalds 1st ability and the saga is removed from the battlefield? Does the player still get to play those cards from exile?

    Reply
  2. With the new Urza’s saga, some people are saying that you can access the previous ‘chapters’ because of how it works. (land instead of enchantment)
    So this means you can access multiple aspects of the saga? Is this the only saga able to do this?

    Reply
    • Well, Urza’s Saga is a very special card all around.
      However, the main reason that it works as it works isn’t because it’s a land. It’s because its chapter gives it abilities, which don’t go away.
      So when the first chapter says that it gains add one colorless mana, it doesn’t say that the effect will go away, so it doesn’t. Most sagas usually have a one time effect.

      With that in mind, we come to the another aspects of the saga that we talked about in the article. You can respond to every chapter’s effect. So you can respond to the last trigger, and make another Construct token, before the saga would go away.

      Hopefully this helps, but if it doesn’t – I’ll make an update to the article today, with some information about the weirdest MTG saga.

      Reply
  3. Do you put lore counter right away in urza saga if you put that land in other peoples turn. Coz it says as it enters the battflefield and after your draw step then you can add a lore counter.. do you get the first lore counter soon as it drops or you have to wait till your drawstep to add the first lore counter?

    Reply
    • Saga gets its first counter when it enters the battlefield, no matter who’s turn it is. So, if you put Urza Saga in play on your opponent’s turn, it’ll get the first counter immediately.

      Reply
  4. Regarding Urza’s Saga:

    Some people are talking about responding to the lore counters, but that’s not possible. They don’t use the stack. Normally, a Saga would have a triggered ability that goes to the stack after the lore counters are added, but for Urza’s Saga, actually, if we look at it, it doesn’t get triggered abilities for Chapter I and II, as sagas normally do. They are activated abilities it gains as the lore counters are added by SBA. Is it possible to respond? For instance, as they were saying: before you could tap for mana, I’m gonna destroy it with naturalize. As per my understanding only chapter III of Urza’s Saga is a triggered ability that goes to the stack immediately after the III lore counter is added. Chapter I and II are just activated abilities it gained after the lore counters were added. It doesn’t trigger anything on the stack.

    Reply
    • It’s true that you can’t respond to Saga getting a Lore counter. However, when a Saga gets a Lore counter, that triggers the ability of the corresponding chapter – and any player can respond to this.
      Let’s say you play Urza’s Saga. It immediately gets the first Lore counter, which triggers the first chapter (Urza’s Saga gains: Tap; Add 1 mana.). I can now respond to that chapter by using Naturalize. This way the Saga can’t be tapped for mana, as it didn’t gain that ability yet.
      In short, all three chapters are triggered abilities, and can be responded to. Hope that helps.

      Reply
  5. When the Neon Dynasty saga reaches its last lore counter it gets exiled and then gets transformed into an enchantment creature. When that creature dies it goes to the graveyard.
    If you are able to pull that creature back to your hand, how do you get it back onto the battlefield? The creature side does not have a casting cost and the saga side is exiled.

    Reply
    • When saga gets exiled with the third chapter, it immediately returns to the battlefield transformed. So the card isn’t exiled for ever. (Besides, if one side of a card is exiled, the whole card is exiled, as they are the same object.)

      When a double faced card goes to the graveyard (or to your hand, or to exile), its flipped on the front side again. So if you’re Neon Dynasty saga becomes a creature, and dies, it’s in the graveyard as an enchantment, and not as a creature. So you can return it to the battlefield with cards that return enchantments.

      Reply
  6. So with the kamigawa sagas that transform into creatures at the end, are they able to be targeted with “target creature” when searching a library or graveyard?(also kinda need to know for modal lands as well, but sagas coming first)

    Reply
    • Modal double-faced cards are always what they are on the front side. The exception is when they are transformed and on the battlefield. So in case with Kamigawa sagas, these are just enchantments in your library, and not creatures, so you can’t grab them with something like Worldly Tutor.

      Reply
  7. If you clone one of the new kamigawa sagas that exiles itself to transform, does the clone exile and then re enter, allowing it to copy something else? I know clones can’t transform, but the wording of these sagas confuse me

    Reply
    • Since the clone can’t be transformed, it’ll get exiled and then it’ll stay “stuck” in exile. So you won’t get to clone another thing with, let’s say Clever Impersonator.

      Reply
  8. Thank you I was confused on if the Kamigawa saga creatures had summoning sickness.

    Also in the example of Arni Slays the Troll it says Akroan War insted of Arni Slays the Troll. Also in the example of Arni Slays the Troll’s third ability it refers to Akroan War’s ability instead. Could some one please change this?

    Reply
    • If they die when they’re creatures, they’ll come back with the front face (the saga). When you reach the last chapter, the token is exiled and won’t return transformed.

      Reply

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