Well met, everyone! The Harvesttide Festival is underway already but before we join in, there are a few tricks we’ll need to be mindful of. The cards below are all troublemakers; some form of generally detrimental trigger, with fewer of them than sets we’ve seen in the past but a bit more complexity to make up for it. Especially in how they’re handled. We’ve pointed out the remedies that might be unexpected, but as always, nothing beats reading the cards carefully and double-checking your work.
Four cards (and one keyword) have a trigger that upgrades when missed:
“When Covetous Castaway dies, mill three cards.”
Evaluating cards like this is always a bit tricky. Triggers that mill yourself are considered generally detrimental, and upgrade when missed. There is an exception if the card generates value thanks to the graveyard; Devoted Grafkeeper and Dreadhound are great examples of that exception. But the Castaway doesn’t quite qualify for that.
The Castaway’s back face, Ghostly Castigator, lets you recover cards from your graveyard that you didn’t want milled. But countering its own drawback isn’t the same as generating value. And unlike Escape, the Disturb mechanic works just fine if it’s the only card in the graveyard, so self-mill doesn’t help or hurt there. That means even though players may sometimes want to mill themselves with this trigger, it still upgrades when missed.
“When Slaughter Specialist enters the battlefield, each opponent creates a 1/1 white Human creature token.”
As a 3/3 for two mana with a trigger that makes her bigger, the Specialist is definitely undercosted, and giving the opponent a creature token is a way to balance those numbers a bit.
“Create a Vampire creature token… Sacrifice it at the beginning of the next end step.”
If they’re hungry for more, why doesn’t the Vampire stick around a bit longer? When effects make “temporary” tokens like this one – tokens that exile or sacrifice themselves a set time after they’re created – the trigger is nearly always detrimental, and this is no exception. This type of trigger counts as “undoing a zone change” since the same effect both makes the token and makes it self-destruct. That means we’ll apply a remedy when the error is discovered, no matter how many turns ago it happened.
“Return a creature card to the battlefield… Exile it at the beginning of the next end step.”
Just like the token “self-destruct” trigger above, this delayed triggered ability is generally detrimental, and it undoes a zone change. So players who wake a creature but forget to exile it at the end of the turn will get a Warning, and no matter how long it’s been the creature will be exiled (either now, or next phase) if it’s still on the battlefield.
- Keyword: Decayed
“This creature can’t block” and “When this creature attacks, sacrifice it at the end of combat.”
This trigger doesn’t quite fit the formula of the two cards above; while it does make a creature or token “temporary” by falling to pieces after attacking, the delayed trigger is only the “sacrifice it at the end of combat” part. That means that the “when this creature attacks” part of Decayed is another triggered ability, which exists specifically to create the delayed trigger. Since the effect that changed the Decayed card’s zone or created the Decayed token isn’t technically what’s setting up the delayed trigger here, this isn’t “undoing a zone change”, so it’s handled using the default remedy.
No cards are printed with Decayed naturally but some cards can put it on other cards or create tokens with it. Here’s a list:
Falcon Abomination; Flip the Switch; Poppet Stitcher; Revenge of the Drowned; Startle; Diregraf Horde; Ghoulish Procession; Gisa, Glorious Resurrector; Hobbling Zombie; Jadar, Ghoulcaller of Nephalia; No Way Out; Rotten Reunion; Tainted Adversary; Ghoulcaller’s Harvest
Otherwise notable mechanics:
- Keyword: Daybound/Nightbound
Cards that kick off the Day/Night cycle don’t use any triggered abilities to do it, so players aren’t allowed to miss when Day becomes Night, or vice versa, or that it should be Day the first time something enters the battlefield. In the CR those are just things that happen immediately. If players do have the wrong time of day, handling that error will likely fall under Game Rules Violation, instead.
And that’s all we have! Thanks a bunch for your time; whatever time that may have been, with Day and Night turned so topsy turvy. We hope that you feel a bit better prepared to handle Midnight Hunt with what we’ve shared, and we look forward to seeing you again soon! Crimson Vow is just around the corner, and it’s sure to be an event no one wants to miss.