Adventures in the Forgotten Realms Missed Triggers Guide

Welcome adventurers! Judges, players, curious readers, gather round for a guide on triggers you’ll find in Adventures in the Forgotten Realms. Our party isn’t the first treading these dungeons and many traps have long been disarmed… But a small handful of generally detrimental triggers are still lying in wait. By the end of this guide you should have all the advantage you need to keep them from surprising you!


Three cards have a trigger that upgrades when missed:


  1. Acererak the Archlich

“When Acererak the Archlich enters the battlefield, if you haven’t completed Tomb of Annihilation, return Acererak the Archlich to its owner’s hand and venture into the dungeon.”

A 5/5 creature for only {2}{B} is definitely above rate, especially with a positive trigger each time it attacks. But in the early turns of the game where this would be the most impactful it will be close to impossible for players to have finished the Tomb already. So while some players may find a use for Acererak’s ETB trigger as a cheap repeatable way to venture, getting the most value out of this card requires sticking it on the battlefield, and for that the ETB trigger is a significant drawback.

  1. Delina, Wild Mage

“Create a tapped and attacking token that’s a copy of that creature, except it’s not legendary and it has ‘Exile this creature at end of combat.'”

Cut and dry, it’s better to have a token than to not have one in nearly every case. Since this delayed trigger is created by the same ability that created the token and it removes the token, this qualifies for the “undoes a zone change” remedy! That means that no matter how many turns ago this was missed it will still be resolved, and the opponent decides if that happens immediately, or right before anyone gets priority next phase.

  1. Tomb of Annihilation

“Oubliette — Discard a card and sacrifice a creature, an artifact, and a land.”

Under the hood, room abilities are all triggered abilities that start with “When you move your venture marker into this room, [effect].” That means that if a player does venture into a room, but then forgets to indicate the room’s effect, we handle it under Missed Trigger policy. Most dungeon rooms have positive or at least neutral/symmetrical effects; but the Oubliette is purely negative for its owner. The price one pays for rushing through the Tomb, it seems. So if a player ventures into this room but doesn’t indicate the effect, this does upgrade to a Warning. Note that if a player starts to resolve this or any room and does it incorrectly or only partially, then that will be a Game Rules Violation or a Hidden Card Error, not a Missed Trigger.


Otherwise notable cards and mechanics:


  1. Dragon Turtle

Drag Below — When Dragon Turtle enters the battlefield, tap it and up to one target creature an opponent controls. They don’t untap during their controllers’ next untap steps.”

A creature that taps and doesn’t untap for a turn after you cast it is usually a drawback. And putting that on a creature that’s above the curve on mana-cost-to-P/T would, most of the time, support the trigger being generally detrimental. But the Dragon Turtle being printed with Flash means its controller gets to fine tune the timing of the trigger to ensure their Turtle untaps before the creature it drags below. And when blue does get rare creatures above the curve, high-toughness creatures that block well are the norm. So if we treated the trigger as not existing at all then a 3/5 creature for {1}{U}{U} at rare wouldn’t be unreasonably powerful. Considering all of that, this trigger is more positive than negative overall.

  1. Asmodeus the Archfiend

Binding Contract — If you would draw a card, exile the top card of your library face down instead.”

Asmodeus’s contract is very demanding. But! As worded, this effect is a replacement, not a trigger. Remedying the situation if a player forgets to exile one or more cards will be handled through the Game Rules Violation or Hidden Card Error sections, depending on factors like if the identity of the drawn card(s) was/were known before the error.

Thank you all for joining us! Hopefully you had time for a short rest as you read along, and now you ought to have all the tools you need to handle missed triggers that come out of the Forgotten Realms. Plus a bit of a better handle on how to evaluate similar cards in the future! And speaking of the future… While you’re delving dungeons you’d best plan to stock up on silver, not just gold, since the next time we see one another will be for Innistrad: Midnight Hunt and Crimson Vow. Until then!