Last updated on November 30, 2023

Kalastria Healer - Illustration by Anthony Palumbo

Kalastria Healer | Illustration by Anthony Palumbo

As any good baseball fan knows, it’s a game of rallies. Sure, there’s home runs, but those home runs have more impact when there’s someone on base to bring in. Failing the longball, walks, singles, and doubles can do the trick if sequenced properly.

But just like ball players rally for a big inning, aggressive Magic players like to rally for that big play that turns the game in their favor. And why not start a rally with rally abilities? That’s why today, I’ve got 38 creatures with rally and rally-like abilities for your consideration.

Gather your allies and get ready to swing big!

What Is Rally in MTG?

Tajuru Beastmaster - Illustration by Greg Opalinski

Tajuru Beastmaster | Illustration by Greg Opalinski

Rally is a creature ability that comes to us from 2015’s Battle for Zendikar. It’s an ability that’s specific to ally creatures and cares about allies, so it’s very thematically cohesive. Rally is an ability word, and the first part of the rules text always reads, “Whenever CARD or another Ally enters the battlefield under your control,” followed by the creature’s specific ability.

The original Zendikar block (Zendikar, Worldwake, and Rise of the Eldrazi) also had allies with similarly-worded abilities, though they didn’t have the rally ability word at the time. They’re included here, though, because I’m a completionist at heart. Archon of Redemption follows the same template, but it cares about fliers so it’s left out.

Rally hasn’t returned since Battle for Zendikar, and it probably won’t return until another set that has a focus on the ally creature type. The last time we went to this plane in Zendikar Rising, we got party mechanics, so it’ll be interesting to see if and how rally makes a comeback.

Rally is also a little like alliance, the Cabaretti () mechanic from Streets of New Capenna. Although, alliance doesn’t trigger when the creature itself enters the battlefield and isn’t restricted to allies.

#29. Grovetender Druids

Grovetender Druids

Grovetender Druids is probably the most limited among rally creatures. Unless you just want one Plant token, you need a bunch of allies to make this good. It doesn’t just give you the token either: You have to pay for it!

#28. Tajuru Beastmaster

Tajuru Beastmaster

Tajuru Beastmaster gives your whole board +1/+1 with its rally ability. It’s appreciated, but there’s so much better out there.

#27. +1/+1 Counters

Look: I’m not here to waste your time. Do you really want me to weigh the nuance of this creature with a rally ability that gives itself a counter over that one? The thing is, there are creatures with rally abilities that are the “yes, and” version of Bojuka Brigand and friends: They gain the counter and do something else. The Zendikar block, pre-rally abilities are also on older cards with less efficient curves, so overall this cluster’s more of a dust collector.

#26. Ability Givers

Highland Berserker and Joraga Bard run into the same problem as their Zendikar block +1/+1 counter buddies: There’s a more efficient version from Battle for Zendikar.

#25. Tajuru Archer

Tajuru Archer

Oh green, and its obsession with reaching those fliers…. Personally, I’d pass on Tajuru Archer.

#24. Kor Entanglers

Kor Entanglers

Kor Entanglers taps down your opponents’ creatures, which isn’t so great in a singleton format but could be better in multiples. That is, if this weren’t a 5-mana 3/4.

#23. Akoum Battlesinger

Akoum Battlesinger

While it may only give your creatures +1/+0, Akoum Battlesinger is a red 2-drop with haste. That kind of makes it a middle-ground between Tajuru Beastmaster and Tajuru Warcaller.

#22. Kazandu Blademaster

Kazandu Blademaster

Kazandu Blademaster gets the edge over the other allies that grow with counters because it has its own first strike and vigilance; it doesn’t need something else’s rally trigger to be more intimidating on its own.

#21. Tajuru Warcaller

Tajuru Warcaller

What’s better than a 6-mana creature with a +1/+1 rally ability that hits all your creatures? A 5-mana creature that gives your creatures +2/+2! Tajuru Warcaller is cheaper than Tajuru Beastmaster and gives you a bigger buff, so it’s far better among rally creatures.

#20. Hada Freeblade

Hada Freeblade

Hada Freeblade gives you a 1-drop creature that can grow as your board does if you manage to keep it alive. That’s pretty much it.

#19. Bala Ged Thief

Bala Ged Thief

As an ally that lets you periodically look at your opponents’ hands, Bala Ged Thief is certainly unique.

#18. Seascape Aerialist

Seascape Aerialist

Seascape Aerialist stands apart from the other ability givers because flying is just that good.

#17. Cheaper Ability Givers

Battle for Zendikar improved on its Zendikar block inspiration by making Kor Bladewhirl and Makindi Patrol cheaper than the previous ability-givers. Firemantle Mage’s menace is probably the best among this group.

#16. Talus Paladin

Talus Paladin

Here’s something novel: two rally abilities in one. Talus Paladin grows with counters and gives your allies lifelink with its rally-like ability, which makes it just that much better. But it’s also 1 mana more than Lantern Scout, and it might feel redundant to run both. Choices.

#15. Ondu Champion

Ondu Champion

The thing with rally in general is that if you’re running a bunch of allies, it shouldn’t be hard for your attacking creatures to always have some combination of buffs and abilities. Ondu Champion contributes trample, which is just stompy goodness. And it’s a minotaur, too!

#14. Halimar Excavator

Halimar Excavator

Ha. Haha. A “Halimar Excavator” that “digs” through your opponents’ libraries. It hurts to laugh.

#13. Murasa Pyromancer

Murasa Pyromancer

And now a “Murasa Pyromancer” with a rally-esque ability that burns a target creature of your choice? I guess it takes allies of every stripe to fight the Eldrazi.

#12. Munda, Ambush Leader

Munda, Ambush Leader

If you’re going to build a deck focused on rally, Munda, Ambush Leader could be your commander. But I’d probably go with General Tazri to access all colors of the rally rainbow. On its own, Munda’s ability lets you filter your draws for allies.

#11. Ondu Cleric

Ondu Cleric

Ondu Cleric gives you lifegain when your allies enter the battlefield. It’s just another piece of the “strength in numbers” puzzle.

#10. Kabira Evangel

Kabira Evangel

I’ll always take a card that lets me choose the color of protection above a card that has it predetermined in the rules text. Kabira Evangel does just that, and every time you have an ally ETB, too.

#9. Chasm Guide

Chasm Guide

I bet goblin players wish that Chasm Guide had a goblin-centric ability rather than a rally ability for allies. Doesn’t everyone want a haste enabler?

#8. Lantern Scout

Lantern Scout

Lantern Scout can light the way to victory by giving your creatures lifelink when it and your other allies enter the battlefield. With all the lifegain possibilities with rally abilities, opponents have to run out of removal sometime.

#7. Kazuul Warlord

Kazuul Warlord

“Each” is the most musical word to an aggro player’s ears. Kazuul Warlord’s rally-like ability grants +1/+1 counters to each of your allies, which is just so harmonious, isn’t it?

#6. Hagra Diabolist

Hagra Diabolist

Draining your opponents’ life by the number of allies you have can be a huge play in a dedicated deck. Hagra Diabolist doesn’t need that home, though. My “when you lose, I gain; when I gain, you lose” combo doesn’t really care what kicks it off, even if it’s just one ally and its ETB.

#5. Turntimber Ranger

Turntimber Ranger

Turntimber Ranger is another in the double rally mold, this time giving you a Wolf token along with gaining a counter. Elf scout ranger that comes with a wolf… reminds me a bit of my roommate.

#4. Hero of Goma Fada

Hero of Goma Fada

Indestructible is the ultimate form of protection, though it’s not infallible (nothing can be). Hero of Goma Fada is the best among defensive rally ability-givers, although there’s an offensive ability you’ll probably want to throw around even more.

#3. Resolute Blademaster

Resolute Blademaster

Resolute Blademaster stands as king among rally ability-givers because double strike is just that good. Blademaster teaches your allies to be stronger fighters, too. I love it.

#2. Kalastria Healer

Kalastria Healer

What was that I said about lifegain/lifedrain combos? Kalastria Healer’s rally ability does both. And it has both vampire and cleric creature types to be in consideration for a 2-drop slot in those decks.

#1. Tuktuk Scrappers

Tuktuk Scrapper

Tuktuk Scrapper has a rally ability that lets you destroy artifacts and deal damage to their controller. Apart from rally decks, this goblin isn’t the worst consideration if your commander gives your creatures myriad (Duke Ulder Ravengard) or otherwise copies them.

Best Rally Payoffs

General Tazri

General Tazri is probably the best commander for a rally and ally-centric build. Its ETB lets you tutor an ally to your hand, while its activated ability gives your allies +X/+X based on the colors you have on board. And with Tazri, you can play all five!

Otherwise, 5-color commanders that let you choose a creature type are an option for rally creatures. Hello, Morophon, the Boundless and Rukarumel, Biologist.  But at the end of the day, you probably still want General Tazri.

Tazri, Beacon of Unity

Failing that, Tazri, Beacon of Unity from Zendikar Rising plays with the party mechanic, and ally is one of the creature types that matters here. It’s another possible home for some of your better rally allies.

You can also play rally allies with other allies-matter cards. Sea Gate Loremaster taps to draw you cards. Vastwood Animist can give you land animation with power and toughness based on the number of allies you have. And Harabaz Druid taps to add mono-color mana in an amount that matches your ally count.

Allied Reinforcements

Allied Reinforcements is a spell that pumps out Knight Ally tokens. Plural, which means double the rally triggers!

Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines

And of course, ability doublers like Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines are a powerful way to take advantage of your rally triggers.

Wrap Up

Resolute Blademaster - Illustration by Joseph Meehan

Resolute Blademaster | Illustration by Joseph Meehan

And with that, we’ve come to the end of our look at rally! As a Zendikar and ally-specific ability so far, I’m really curious to see if and how Magic’s designers will bring it back. They’ve already explored similar design space with alliance, so it’s possible that we’ll see more rally clones than actual rally cards.

What do you think of rally? Do you think we’ll see it again, or are more clones like alliance the way to go? Let me know in the comments, or come join the discussion on Discord.

And don’t forget: Even at 1 life, you can still rally for a win!

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