NBIghtmare in woods through MH3 MTG card
Image via WotC

MTG Energy mechanic: How Energy counters work

Use Energy counters to your advantage.

Energy was first created in Magic: The Gathering as a mechanic for Mirrodin, and Wizards of the Coast is bringing Energy counters back through Modern Horizons 3

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What is Energy in MTG?

Gremlins in trees through MH3 MTG card
Energy is a resource meant to gain you an advantage. Image via WotC

Energy in MTG is a resource shown as Energy counters on the battlefield. Unlike other counters in Magic, though, Energy counters are applied to the player and not permanents. Within the lore of MTG, Energy counters are magical energy that can appear on any plane in the Multiverse. On cards, Energy is most popular within the Commander format and is used as a powerful resource within Modern builds. When an MTG card grants Energy counters to you, they may be used to pay for abilities on other permanents or saved up as they don’t go away when a turn ends. 

Energy counter rules tips

  • Energy counters are placed on the player who controls the card that granted them.
  • Turns can’t remove Energy counters as they remain until spent by the controller.
  • Most often Energy counters are granted upon a card entering the battlefield but can get granted through other methods, as well.
  • Energy Counters are a recourse used to pay for an activated or triggered ability. They can also be used to cast permanents. 
  • Energy counters are represented through an Energy symbol.

Return of Energy and Energy Counters through Modern Horizons 3

Energy has appeared in recent MTG sets like Fallout and is featured on a cycle of Reserve List callbacks within MH3. The cycle will contain five cards, featuring new MTG cards that are similar to cards on the Reserve List. Energy counters were added to the MH3 Reserve List callbacks and are expected to have a significant impact on the Modern Horizons 3 Limited Draft meta. 

Top Energy MTG Commanders

The most popular set of MTG colors to play Energy cards within the Commander format is Temur (Green, Blue, and Red). The Fallout Commander decks boosted the popularity of Energy within the format through cards like Dr. Madison Li, Liberty Prime, Recharged, and Rex, Cyber Hound

You can also take advantage of Energy through commanders like Atraxa, Praetors’ Voice, who Proliferates at the beginning of your end step, increasing the number of Energy counters you have. Energy counters also synergize with a commander like Yarok, the Desecrated, who has abilities trigger a second time. 


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Author
Danny Forster
Lead Magic: The Gathering/Teamfight Tactics scribe and staff writer for Dot Esports. Danny is a gamer beach bum residing in Spacecoast Florida and has been a journalist for 10 years, of which five-plus have been at Dot Esports. Prior media outllets Danny wrote for were Screen Rant and TheGamer. You can typically catch Danny playing TCGs and a variety of strategic games.