Renown – MTG Mechanics Explained

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Renown is a creature keyword that triggers when a creature with it deals combat damage to a player. When it does, if it isn’t already renowned, it gets a +1/+1 counter and becomes renowned. As renown only triggers if the creature isn’t renowned already, this is a one-time thing. That’s it for the mechanic specifically, but some creatures with renown also have additional abilities that trigger or become active when they become renowned.

A pretty simple little mechanic, really. Not too many notes with this one.

  • Attacking a Planeswalker won’t trigger renown.
  • Likewise, non-combat damage won’t trigger it either. It must be combat damage to a player.
  • That player can be yourself – if combat damage gets redirected somehow, or the creature gets stolen, combat damage dealt to you by that creature will still trigger renown.
  • If a renowned creature loses its +1/+1 counters, it is still renowned. This also means that +1/+1 counters put on a creature through means other than the renown ability will not make the creature become renowned.

Renown was an odd little mechanic, encouraging aggression as a means for even further aggression. It was received moderately – it was simple and worked well enough, but outside of a few cards really didn’t make too much of an impact. It might come back someday, is probably low on the list for a return.

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