Level up

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Level Up
Type: Activated
Introduced: Rise of the Eldrazi
Last Used: Rise of the Eldrazi
Reminder Text: Level up (cost) ((Cost): Put a level counter on this permanent. Activate this ability only any time you could cast a sorcery.)
Storm Scale: 8[1]
Statistics: 25 cards
{U}32% {W}28% {B}16% {G}12% {R}12%
Gatherer search for "Level Up"

Level up is a mechanic used in Rise of the Eldrazi.[2] Creatures with that keyword are usually referred to as Levelers.[3] [4]

Leveler cards feature striated text boxes and three power/toughness boxes.

Description[edit | edit source]

Example of a Leveler card

The ability can only be activated anytime the player could cast a sorcery. When the ability resolves a level counter is put on the creature and its level is increased to the number of level counters on the card.

When the creature reaches a certain level, its power and toughness changes and the creature may gain additional abilities. For example, Knight of Cliffhaven starts out as a 2/2 creature for {1}{W}. When leveled up at least once for {3}, it becomes a 2/3 creature with flying. If it was leveled up at least four times, it becomes a 4/4 creature with flying and vigilance.

Creatures with level up have a different card frame in a similar manner as Flip cards and planeswalkers were printed with a different card face. The textbox is separated into the strips with the top strip showing the Level up ability with a P/T-box on the right showing the base power/toughness. On the stripes below it are arrow-like boxes on the left showing the levels a change in the creature occurs with P/T-boxes on the right. In between the box designating the level and the P/T-box is space for additional abilities if the creature gains any.

In the example, to the right, Knight of Cliffhaven gains Flying when she becomes level 1. Also, her power/toughness change from 2/2 to 2/3 when she becomes level 1. Not all creatures with Level Up gain abilities and not all creatures' power/toughness change. Enclave Cryptologist is an example of a creature with Level Up that does not have a power/toughness change.

Rules[edit | edit source]

From the Comprehensive Rules (Commander 2017 (August 25, 2017))

  • 702.86. Level Up
    • 702.86a Level up is an activated ability. “Level up [cost]” means “[Cost]: Put a level counter on this permanent. Activate this ability only any time you could cast a sorcery.”
    • 702.86b Each card printed with a level up ability is known as a leveler card. It has a nonstandard layout and includes two level symbols that are themselves keyword abilities. See rule 710, “Leveler Cards.”

From the glossary of the Comprehensive Rules (Commander 2017 (August 25, 2017))

Level Up
A keyword ability that can put level counters on a creature. See rule 702.86, “Level Up.”

From the Comprehensive Rules (Commander 2017 (August 25, 2017))

  • 710. Leveler Cards
    • 710.1. Each leveler card has a striated text box and three power/toughness boxes. The text box of a leveler card contains two level symbols.
    • 710.2. A level symbol is a keyword ability that represents a static ability. The level symbol includes either a range of numbers, indicated here as “N1-N2,” or a single number followed by a plus sign, indicated here as “N3+.” Any abilities printed within the same text box striation as a level symbol are part of its static ability. The same is true of the power/toughness box printed within that striation, indicated here as “[P/T].”
      • 710.2a “{LEVEL N1-N2} [Abilities] [P/T]” means “As long as this creature has at least N1 level counters on it, but no more than N2 level counters on it, it has base power and toughness [P/T] and has [abilities].”
      • 710.2b “{LEVEL N3+} [Abilities] [P/T]” means “As long as this creature has N3 or more level counters on it, it has base power and toughness [P/T] and has [abilities].”
    • 710.3. The text box striations have no game significance other than clearly demarcating which abilities and which power/toughness box are associated with which level symbol. Leveler cards each contain only one text box.
    • 710.4. Any ability a leveler card has that isn’t preceded by a level symbol is treated normally. In particular, each leveler permanent has its level up ability (see rule 702.86) at all times; it may be activated regardless of how many level counters are on that permanent.
    • 710.5. If the number of level counters on a leveler creature is less than N1 (the first number printed in its {LEVEL N1-N2} symbol), it has the power and toughness denoted by its uppermost power/toughness box.
    • 710.6. In every zone other than the battlefield, a leveler card has the power and toughness denoted by its uppermost power/toughness box.

Rulings[edit | edit source]

  • When a leveler enters the battlefield, it will generally have zero level counters on it, meaning it will have the power and toughness printed in its uppermost power/toughness box.
  • The abilities a leveler grants to itself don't overwrite any other abilities it may have. In particular, they don't overwrite the creature's level up ability; it always has that.
  • Although the abilities granted by its {LEVEL N3+} symbol don't overwrite the abilities granted by its {LEVEL N1-N2} symbol, once the creature has at least N3 level counters on it, it won't have the abilities granted by its {LEVEL N1-N2} symbol anymore. This is simply because it will no longer have the necessary number of level counters on it for that symbol to do anything.
  • Effects that set a leveler's power or toughness to a specific value, including the effects from a level symbol's ability, apply in timestamp order. The timestamp of each level symbol's ability is the same as the timestamp of the leveler itself, regardless of when the most recent level counter was put on it. For example, say Coralhelm Commander is on the battlefield, then Godhead of Awe, which says "Other creatures are 1/1," enters the battlefield. After the second level counter is put on Coralhelm Commander, it will be 1/1 (not 3/3) and have flying, because Godhead of Awe's ability applies last. (If Godhead of Awe entered the battlefield before Coralhelm Commander, on the other hand, then the Commander's ability would apply last and it would be 3/3.)
  • Effects that modify a leveler's power or toughness, such as the effects of Giant Growth or Glorious Anthem, will apply to it no matter when they started to take effect. The same is true for counters that change the creature's power or toughness (such as +1/+1 counters) and effects that switch its power and toughness.
  • If another creature becomes a copy of a leveler, all of the leveler's printed abilities—including those represented by level symbols—are copied. The current characteristics of the leveler, and the number of level counters on it, are not. The abilities, power, and toughness of the copy will be determined based on how many level counters are on the copy.
  • A creature's level is based on how many level counters it has on it, not how many times its level up ability has been activated or has resolved. If a leveler gets level counters due to some other effect (such as Clockspinning) or loses level counters for some reason (such as Vampire Hexmage), its level is changed accordingly.

Reminder text[edit | edit source]

The latest reminder text for Leveler reads "Level up: X. (X: Put a level counter on this. Level up only as a sorcery.)"

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Level Up was featured as rules card 1 of 5 in the Rise of the Eldrazi set.
  • Level Up was received with mixed reactions. The layout confused a lot of players. [5] [6]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Mark Rosewater. (November 21, 2016.) “Storm Scale: Zendikar and Battle for Zendikar”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Tom LaPille. (May 14, 2010.) “Leveling Up”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Mark Rosewater. (April 5, 2010.) “On the Rise, Part II”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Doug Beyer. (May 12, 2010.) “Rising to the Occasion”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Mark Rosewater. (September 07, 2015.) "How was Level Up received?", Blogatog, Tumblr.
  6. Mark Rosewater. (September 07, 2015.) "Do you think that the mechanic has any chance of returning?", Blogatog, Tumblr.

External links[edit | edit source]