Evolve – MTG Keywords Explained

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Evolve is a triggered ability that appears on creatures, and it means that whenever another creature enters the battlefield under your control, if it has greater power or toughness than the creature with Evolve, you put a +1/+1 counter on the creature with Evolve. And that’s the basics! As long as the new creature’s power is greater than the Evolve creature’s power, or toughness greater than toughness, viola, a +1/+1 counter appears!

There’s a few notes with this one, but nothing too outrageous:

  • This only triggers if a creature entering the battlefield has a higher power and/or toughness than a creature with the mechanic that is already on the battlefield. If the new creature is smaller, no trigger.
  • The power and toughness comparison that determines if a +1/+1 counter gets placed happens when the trigger resolves, so a well-timed pump-or-shrink spell can stop that from happening.
  • If the new creature gets destroyed, exiled, tucked, or bounced, but still triggered Evolve, you use the last known information for that creature to determine the resolution.
  • Multiple creatures entering the battlefield at the same time can cause multiple triggers, and you’ll choose the order they’ll resolve.
  • If a creature somehow has multiple instances of Evolve, they’ll each trigger separately.

Evolve was pretty well received, allowing for small, aggressive creatures to grow bigger over time and keep pace with the game. It’ll take a specific kind of environment, but there’s a good chance we’ll see it again someday.

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