Good morning and welcome back to the Rules Tips Blog! We all hope you had a wonderful holiday season, and we’re back in action, starting with our Prerelease Week for Aether Revolt! Every day this week we’ll be going over things you’d like to know for the event, from covering the new mechanics, to refreshers on the old, to logistics on what to expect in general. Today we’re starting with Revolution, the new mechanic the Renegades have at their disposal.
Revolt isn’t a keyword- it’s an ability word, like Landfall or Delirium. “Revolt” itself has no real rules meaning (which is why it’s in italics, like reminder text and flavor text), it just exists to tie together thematically similar abilities (like how all the Delirium cards care about having 4 or more card types in your graveyard!). So the common thread for Revolt is: a permanent you control left the battlefield this turn. Revolt doesn’t care how it left- it could’ve been bounced, destroyed, sacrificed, exiled, put into your library, sent to the moon, blinked; as long as something you control went from the battlefield to somewhere OTHER than the battlefield this turn, Revolt is online. Even if the thing came back (say, due to an Acrobatic Maneuver), Revolt will still work. Most importantly, Revolt does not say ‘creature’, it says ‘permanent’. Now, at the prerelease you’ll mostly be popping creatures and artifacts, but in Constructed formats this means that you can pop a Clue token to turn it on. It means you can crack a FETCHLAND to turn it on! It means if your Planeswalker or Enchantment eats the business end of a removal spell, Revolt is turned on- so remember it’s ANY permanent!
Now, HOW does Revolt work once it’s enabled? Like most ability words, it varies from card to card. Some cards have triggered abilities that only trigger if Revolt is active (for example, Airdrop Aeronauts gaining 5 life). These are “intervening if” triggers- that “if CONDITION” effect needs to be true as the trigger goes onto the stack and as it resolves; if it’s not true at both times, you get no trigger. The good news is that it’s rather impossible for the condition of ‘a permanent you control left the battlefield this turn’ to change, so you don’t have to worry about your trigger getting mucked with like that once it’s on the stack.
Next up, replacement effects. A few of the Revolt creatures (especially in green!) have a replacement effect that lets them come down with some +1/+1 counters, but only if a permanent you control left the battlefield this turn. That’s only checked once: as the creature is entering the battlefield. So if you want your Greenwheel Liberator to be a 4/3, you need to get Revolt up and running BEFORE it begins to enter the battlefield.
Finally, we have spell effects. Fatal Push has had a lot of hubbub talked about it, and for good reason! But Revolt on this card works in a kind of odd way- Fatal Push can target any creature at all, regardless of CMC. It just doesn’t do anything to that creature unless it has CMC 2 or less… or 4 or less, if Revolt is up. But because that Revolt effect changes how the spell resolves, but not what it can target, you can cast Fatal Push on a 4-drop creature, then feed a Thopter to your Ravenous Intruder to ‘turn on’ your Revolt! It’s only checked as the spell goes to resolve.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our little how-to on staging your own Revolt, and the rewards for doing so. Tune in tomorrow when we teach you how to Improvise!
Today’s Revolting Rules Tip was written by Trevor Nunez