Yesterday, Magic’s Head Designer Mark Rosewater indicated that the Planeswalker redirection rule is likely going to be removed from the game when Dominaria releases in April.

The Planeswalker redirection rule was implemented in Lorwyn with the introduction of the first Planeswalker cards. The rule states that you cannot directly target a Planeswalker with damage dealing spells—instead, you must target a player and then redirect the damage from that player to a Planeswalker they control. Wizards has acknowledged that this rule is very unintuitive, seeing as you can attack Planeswalkers and target them with spells like Hero’s Downfall, and has been exploring ways to change it.

This change first came to light when viewers noticed Ixalan cards with slightly different wording during the MTG Arena reveal stream last September. Lightning Strike, for example, currently says that it “deals 3 damage to target creature or player,” but in MTG Arena the card said that it “deals 3 damage to any target.” Aaron Forsythe, Senior Design Director at Wizards of the Coast, confirmed that this new wording was intentional and that Wizards was planning on removing the Planeswalker redirection rule, allowing players to target Planeswalkers with damage just like like they do players and creatures.

Removing the Planeswalker redirection rule will have a dramatic impact on many existing cards. Lightning Bolt and its cousins will simply replace “target creature or player” with “any target.” But the biggest questions are around cards that currently deal damage to “target player” or “each opponent.” The damage from those cards, like Blightning or Chandra, Torch of Defiance, can currently be redirected to Planeswalkers. Will these cards still be able to deal damage to Planeswalkers after the rule change? Or will players have to find new tools to remove opposing ‘walkers?

Unfortunately, we won’t know until the official rules update is published, which, according to Mark Rosewater, is likely to come with the release of Dominaria this April.

UPDATE: The huge leak of Dominaria’s Release Notes confirms that the Planeswalker redirections rule will be removed from the game when Dominaria releases. We also know exactly how these changes will be worded.


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Read Mark Rosewater’s post here.

You can find Aaron Forsythe’s confirmation here.

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