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Do signets have color identity?

Welcome back, magic enthusiasts! Today we’re diving into the intricacies of color identity as it relates to signets in Magic: The Gathering. Signets are a popular mana rock that tap for one mana of two different colors. But do signets actually have a color identity themselves? Let’s explore this topic in depth.

What are Signets?

For those new to Magic, signets are a cycle of artifacts that were first printed in original Ravnica block back in 2005. Here are the five signets from that block:

Signet Mana Ability
Azorius Signet {W}{U}
Orzhov Signet {W}{B}
Boros Signet {R}{W}
Simic Signet {G}{U}
Gruul Signet {R}{G}

As you can see, each signet taps for one mana of each of its two colors. They’ve proven to be powerful mana rocks that smoothly fix colors in multicolor decks. Wizards has printed additional signet cycles in subsequent Ravnica sets as well.

Signets and Color Identity

Now onto the main question: do signets actually have a color identity themselves? After all, they clearly represent a two color pair in Magic’s color pie. But according to the official rules, the answer is no – signets do not inherently have a color identity.

Here’s why: a card’s color identity is based solely on the mana symbols that appear in its rules text, flavor text, or mana cost. Signets have no colored mana symbols anywhere on the card. Their ability adds mana, but it uses a colorless tap symbol rather than colored symbols. Thus they have no color identity.

This has some interesting implications. Signets can go in any Commander deck, even a colorless deck, because they don’t add to your color identity count. You can have Azorius Signet in a mono-red deck if you want. Additionally, signets are not affected by color-matters effects like Protection from Blue. So Azorius Signet can’t be targeted by Protection from Blue, even though it’s linked to blue mana.

Signet Art and Flavor

However, while signets may be colorless as far as game rules are concerned, their art and flavor text firmly root them in their associated color pair.

Take Simic Signet from Dissension as an example:

Card Name Art Flavor Text
Simic Signet A green/blue stone attached to a silver pendant. “The Simic Combine promotes organic growth and diversity.”

The art depicts the green/blue stone, clearly conveying the signet’s connection to those colors. And the flavor text references the Simic Combine, the green/blue guild. So from a creative standpoint, the signet is steeped in green/blue identity.

Why Signets Lack Color Identity

There are a couple reasons why signets were made colorless rather than colored artifacts:

  1. For gameplay purposes, it maximizes the number of decks they can be played in.
  2. It avoids memory issues in tracking color identity changes.

If signets had color identities, players would have to constantly remember which ones were legal in their decks. With bicolor signets, it would be easy to mistake whether you could play it or not. So making them colorless neatly sidesteps that issue.

Custom Color Identity Signets

Some custom card designers have made signets that do have color identity. Here are two examples:

Custom Card Name Mana Ability
Azorius Signet {W/U}
Gruul Signet {R}{G}

The first uses a hybrid mana symbol, giving it a white/blue color identity. The second directly taps for red and green mana, giving it a red/green identity. These custom signets would not be allowed in a colorless deck.


So in summary:

  • Real magic signets have no inherent color identity.
  • This is for gameplay and memory reasons, not flavor reasons.
  • Custom signets could be made with color identity if desired.
  • But real signets have no color restrictions on deck inclusion.

I hope this clears up the somewhat complex topic of signets and color identity! Let me know if you have any other questions.

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