Aether Revolt Update Bulletin—Comprehensive Rules Changes

Posted in Feature on January 20, 2017

By Eli Shiffrin

Comprehensive Rules Changes

107.8a, 107.8b, 710.2a, and 710.2b

These four rules deal with leveler cards from Rise of the Eldrazi like Echo Mage. Take a moment to stare at them in wonder if you haven't seen one lately. Each power/toughness box to the right of a level symbol represents a static ability that sets power and toughness. The rules for those abilities didn't get the "base" power and toughness terminology update, so now they have leveled up and joined modern templating.


This rule defines what a "cost" is in the context of resolving spells and abilities. It's been modified slightly to account for Greenbelt Rampager's triggered ability. If you had a single {E} and the instruction to pay {EE} weren't defined as a cost, you'd have to do as much as you could and pay that {E} before returning Greenbelt Rampager to your hand.


This rule lists ability words like delirium and landfall. It gained revolt, added precisely in alphabetical order and in no way deviating from the norms.


Sometimes two rules or effects instruct one thing to go to two places at once. Rather than tear your precious card in half to do that, this rule instructs you to pick a destination. There's never been an example for this rule that didn't require a staggering amount of setup and strong grasp of the rules in their entirety, so it hasn't had an example and the rule has gone largely unnoticed. Thanks to Exquisite Archangel in Aether Revolt, we have a simple example now!


This rule was part of a massive clerical update to triggers in the Kaladesh update, but it had a weird clerical error to go with its clerical update. I got a cleric to cast a little prestidigitation and make it all better.


Usually you look at the game state after something happens to determine what abilities trigger. There are, just like everything else in the game, some exceptions. The list of them got too long for a single paragraph, so they broke out into a new rule, 603.10. In the process, they even picked up two new exceptions! Those ruffians. Triggered abilities that trigger on countering a spell (Lullmage Mentor and Baral, Chief of Compliance) or losing the game (Curse of Vengeance) get to look back in time, too.

603.7a and 603.7g

These rules define delayed triggered abilities and their sources. What they didn't define was how New Phyrexia's Chancellor cycle (like our good friend Chancellor of the Dross) could create delayed triggered abilities or how to determine the source of those abilities. Not a single person was confused, but it was a gap in the rules that has now been plugged.


The steps of casting a spell got a little update to note where Yidris, Maelstrom Wielder grants a spell cascade. This rule only applies to effects that modify characteristics of a spell "as" it's cast, which is nothing other than Yidris's ability...for now. Cue ominous thunder.


If Selfless Squire is hanging out while three creatures attacking you get lost in a Fog, does its ability trigger once or three times? Here, have a new rule to cover that—it triggers once.

701.9c and 701.9h

If an effect says that you can't gain life, you can't exchange life totals to get a higher life total. That's covered way up in the life rules (118.7 and 118.8), but isn't mentioned in the exchange rules. I added a sentence there, too, so that this information is in the first place you look for all your questions about exchanging things.


When proliferate premiered in Scars of Mirrodin, we wanted it to only give one poison counter in Two-Headed Giant games, so we only let you choose teams instead of players. However, experience counters and then energy counters joined the types of counters players can have. Poison counters are shared by the team, and energy and experience aren't. The new rule for proliferate is that you can choose both players on a Two-Headed Giant team, but if you do, you can only give one a poison counter. You can give the other player an energy counter or experience counter.

702.2b and 702.2c

The rules for deathtouch are written for the flow of the combat phase. First we modify how damage is assigned, and then we handle the results of damage and ensuing state-based actions. Unfortunately, some players stopped at the first rule and assumed that deathtouch only applied to combat damage. I switched the order of these two rules to help avoid that misconception.

702.50a and 702.65a

Convoke and delve have very wordy rules. I reduced their wordiness a little by breaking out a clarifying sentence into its own rule.

702.123 and 702.124

This is where the new keywords partner and undaunted live together happily ever after against all odds.


This is where I improvised some rules for improvise, which does not get to live happily ever after with partner and undaunted. Improvise is a loner, a rebel without a cause.


New entries for improvise, partner, and undaunted.

Comprehensive Rules Changes
Oracle Changes

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