Star-Crossed Minotaurs

Alan and Nathan are playing in a Sealed GPT. Alan casts a Doomwake Giant, then attacks with a Vulpine Goliath. Nathan controls a Minotaur Skullcleaver, but chooses not to block with it. During his second main phase, Alan casts Gnarled Scarhide.

Alan looks at this hand for a few seconds, then says “Umm… I guess it’s… WAIT!” He then reads Doomwake Giant again. “Your Skullcleaver dies.” Nathan calls you to the table and explains that the first trigger is missed, since it wasn’t mentioned during first main phase or combat. When you ask Alan, he tells you he had completely forgotten about the Doomwake triggering itself until just then.

What do you do?

Judges, feel free to discuss this scenario on Judge Apps!

The majority consensus this week is that everything is fine. The trigger hasn’t been missed. Nobody has committed any infractions. And, fortunately, that answer is entirely correct.

Missed Trigger is not and should not be considered as “Forgotten Trigger.” We appreciate Alan’s honesty, but it has no bearing on our ruling.

For triggers that have no visible impact on the game state, acknowledgement is only required when that impact would become visible. For effects that modify power and toughness, that time is very often combat. However, combat does not necessarily reveal the current power and toughness of each creature. When that’s the case, dealing combat damage does not automatically cause triggers to become missed.

Since the first visible impact of the Giant’s original Constellation trigger occurs only when the second trigger causes Minotaur Skullcleaver to become 0/0, that’s when Alan needs to acknowledge it, and he has done so.