WEDNESDAY IS UPON US. THE PRERELEASE PRIMER IS UPON US! THE END RAZE IS UPON US! THIS DAY WE RIOT!
ahem. And that is quite enough of that. Welcome back to the third of our pre-release primers for Ravnica Allegiance! As you may have gathered, today we will be covering the keyword for the Gruul Clans: Riot. Let’s get on with the show!
Gruul is known for two things: hitting you fast, and hitting you hard. Riot helps you with either- as a creature with riot enters the battlefield, you choose whether it enters with a +1/+1 counter on it, or if it should instead enter with haste. Smash hard or smash fast? It’s entirely up to you! So, simple enough to start with, but there’s some important stuff to know about it.
First up, let’s talk about counters. If you choose for the rioting creature to enter with a +1/+1 counter, it will never be on the battlefield with its original power and toughness- so what that means is that if you play, for example, Zhur-Taa Goblin and choose a counter, there is never a chance for your opponent to Shock it to death, and it will survive facing down Elesh Norn (I mean, briefly. She’s still a 4/7. Rioting will only get you so far). Should you choose the Haste option instead, remember that the Haste is permanent, not just for the turn it comes in! When would that matter, you might ask? Well, if your opponent steals your creature, they’ll be able to use it the turn they steal it just fine. The Gruul care not from where the damage flows, only that it flows.
Next up, multiple instances of riot on the same creature are not redundant; each one gives you the same option, and you can make different choices for each instance of Riot! If you use Domri’s riot-granting mana to cast another Zhur-Taa Goblin, it can come in with two counters, or a counter and haste, or even double haste! (Don’t do that last one. Unlike Double Riot, double haste is redundant, it doesn’t have any real benefit beyond sending a message).
Finally, a note on placing counters- if an ability triggers of counters being placed on a creature, then Rioting in with that counter counts! Not a whole lot of counters matter cards in Gruul, though. Oh well. I’m sure it will matter at some point.
So that’s the lowdown on riot! Check back tomorrow for another pre-release primer, and until then, happy rioting!
Today’s Rules Tip was written by Alistair Crook