You can’t Burning Wish for exiled cards

When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires
Will come to you

But what can you Wish for in Magic? A card like Burning Wish tells you to choose a sorcery card from outside the game. So what’s outside of the game then?

When the Wishes were first printed, there were essentially two places a Wish could acquire a card from in tournament Magic. You could acquire a card from your sideboard, or you could acquire a card that’s been “removed from the game”. However, when the Magic 2010 rules changes came about, it changed the “removed from the game” zone to the “exile” zone. Since the exile zone is a zone in the game, those cards aren’t outside of the game, so you can no longer Wish for those cards (and many argued that “removed from the game” was never truly “outside the game” anyway).

So if you’re in a tournament and you’re resolving a Burning Wish, you can only get a card from your sideboard; you can no longer get a card that’s been exiled or removed from the game. Of course, if you’re playing casually, you probably don’t have a sideboard, and you choose any card in your collection. Some groups may let you have a “wish board” for just this purpose, while others may let you search for any card you can access at the moment that isn’t in your deck.

Today’s Rules Tip written by Nathan Long

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