Can you sacrifice Implement of Ferocity in response to a revolt trigger?

So for example can I play a Greenwheel Liberator and then in response sacrifice the implement to give the liberator +1/+1 and then have the liberator get its own pair of counters for a total of +3/+3.

I think the answer is yes, but wondered whether there might be some rule saying the trigger doesn't happen at all if the condition isn't met or some other tricky timing issue.

3 Answers 3


This cannot work because the Implement of Ferocity can only be activated anytime you could cast a sorcery. This means it must be your main phase and the stack must be empty.

Assuming that you could activate the ability at any time it would depend on exactly how the ability is worded, in most cases you need to sacrifice the Implement before the Revolt ability would happen.

For you example of a Greenwheel Liberator entering the battlefield, you would have to sacrifice the Implement before the Liberator enters the battlefield in order to get the Revolt effect. Also note that the Liberator doesn't have a triggered ability it has a replacement effect that modifies how it enters the battlefield.

For triggered abilities like Airdrop Aeronauts or Call for Unity you also need to sacrifice the Implement before the trigger condition would occur. This is because they have what is called an 'intervening if clause'and if the 'if' clause isn't true nothing happens.

603.4. A triggered ability may read “When/Whenever/At [trigger event], if [condition], [effect].” When the trigger event occurs, the ability checks whether the stated condition is true. The ability triggers only if it is; otherwise it does nothing.

For instants and sorceries with Revolt, like Fatal Push you can sacrifice them after they have been put on the stack and still get the Revolt effect. This is because the Revolt condition isn't checked until the spell goes to resolve, unlike the other types of Revolt abilities.


So for example can I play a Greenwheel Liberator and then in response sacrifice the implement to give the liberator +1/+1 [...]

Greenwheel Liberator doesn't have a trigger. Its Revolt effect is actually a replacement effect that changes how it enters the battlefield - so your last chance to turn on Revolt is before Greenwheel Liberator enters the battlefield at all. Therefore, no, this does not work as described.

Also, this doesn't work well for other Revolt effects, as they are usually worded as "When ~ enters the battlefield, if a permanent you controlled left the battlefield this turn, [do something]." Those effects are triggers, but because of the way they're worded, they won't trigger unless a permanent has already left the battlefield. So, for example, this wouldn't work with Airdrop Aeronauts either, as you'd need to have sacrificed Implement of Ferocity before the Aeronauts enters the battlefield in order to get the trigger.

  • 1
    Those revolt effects have what is known as an intervening 'if' clause. The rules for those are found in rule 603.4, within the triggered ability section, and the wording formula is: “When/Whenever/At [trigger event], if [condition], [effect].” (Notably, "when [trigger], [effect] if [condition]" is not an intervening "if".) Jan 25, 2017 at 21:09

No, you cannot do that.

The first and most simple reason is that you cannot sacrifice Implements while the stack is not empty, because you can only sacrifice them any time you could play a sorcery.

It would also not work if you could sacrifice the implement at any time, because revolt is not a triggered ability that can be responded to at all:

603.6d Some permanents have text that reads “[This permanent] enters the battlefield with . . . ,” “As [this permanent] enters the battlefield . . . ,” “[This permanent] enters the battlefield as . . . ,” or “[This permanent] enters the battlefield tapped.” Such text is a static ability—not a triggered ability—whose effect occurs as part of the event that puts the permanent onto the battlefield.

The condition for revolt is checked as soon as the Liberator enters the battlefield. Since it is a static ability, it is always true. If the condition for the ability is true, i.e. if a permanent has left the battlefield this turn before the Liberator entered, it will already have the +1/+1 counter on it; otherwise, it will not get it later on. By the time you could choose the Liberator as the target for Implement and pay the sacrifice cost, it is already too late for revolt to put the counter on the Liberator.

  • "The condition for revolt is checked as soon as the Liberator enters the battlefield." Isn't it checked just before it enters the battlefield? Saying it is checked as soon as it enters the battlefield seems to imply that there's a point in time that it exists on the battlefield without the counters, but if it qualifies for revolt, then it will never exist without the counters.
    – GendoIkari
    Jan 25, 2017 at 22:48
  • A static ability, unless otherwise stated, only functions while the permanent it's on is on the battlefield. Since revolt creates a replacement effect, the liberator is never without a +1/+1 counter if the condition is met
    – Hackworth
    Jan 25, 2017 at 22:51
  • I guess what I mean is that you don't put the Liberator on the battlefield, and then check to see if you should add a counter, right? Rather you need to know if the counter comes with it as it's entering the battlefield.
    – GendoIkari
    Jan 26, 2017 at 14:43

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