Dominaria United is here, and despite all that that brings – history, machinations, even Phyrexian plots unfolding – we thankfully don’t have much to watch out for as far as triggered abilities go. This set there are only five we need to pay special attention to, and of those we even have two pairs of two that nearly match! The full details are laid out below. Read the cards and our descriptions carefully; if you need to double-check exactly how the section on Missed Triggers is worded, don’t forget you can do that right here with our annotated IPG.
Five cards have a trigger that upgrades when missed:
“[you may play a land or cast a spell from your graveyard. It gains] ‘When this permanent is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, exile it and you gain 2 life.’”
This trigger limits the amount of repeat value the controller can get from a card in their graveyard, keeping Serra Paragon from turning into too powerful of an engine. Gaining 2 life is nice. But usually players would rather cast that permanent spell again. If this trigger is missed, be mindful when considering a remedy: this is not a delayed trigger, nor is it undoing a zone change, so it doesn’t qualify for the unique remedy. If this was missed more than one turn cycle ago then the only fix is to give a Warning and let the players carry on.
“[reanimate a creature.] Sacrifice it at the beginning of the next end step.”
Cut and dry, this sacrifice trigger is generally detrimental; the controller is losing a creature without getting anything in exchange. This does qualify as “undoing a zone change” since the same effect both reanimates the creature and also creates the “self-destruct” delayed trigger, so no matter how long ago it was missed the opponent will choose to resolve it immediately or at the start of the next phase.
“[if you activate this ability four times,] sacrifice Dragon Whelp at the beginning of the next end step.”
Poor little Dragon Whelp dreamed big but burned out. Losing a creature – especially a flying fire-breather – is generally detrimental, so this trigger comes with a Warning. If it’s been less than a turn, the opponent chooses whether or not it’s put on the stack.
“[create a token.] Sacrifice it at the beginning of the next end step.”
Just like the Balduvian Atrocity, this “self-destruct” trigger gets a remedy no matter how long it’s been since the trigger was missed.
“Whenever you cast a Dragon creature spell from your graveyard, it gains ‘When this creature dies, exile it.’”
Aaaand just like the Serra Paragon, this one doesn’t qualify for the unique remedy. It’s handled just like any other missed trigger – if it’s been less than a turn, give the opponent the choice to resolve the trigger or not. If it’s been more than a turn, play on. Keep in mind this is counting from when the Dragon with this ability dies, not from when it was cast, and it doesn’t matter if Rivaz is still on the battlefield or not at the time this should have triggered.
Otherwise notable mechanics:
- Keyword: Enlist
“As this creature attacks, you may tap up to one untapped creature you control that [could have attacked.] When you do, this creature gets +X/+0 until end of turn, where X is the tapped creature’s power.”
This keyword is a static ability that changes the rules for combat, and has a linked triggered ability. Players will almost never miss this and it will almost always benefit them. But there are still some things to look out for. Most important is that we don’t lock in the value of X until it’s applied, which means it could change before the trigger resolves! If the enlisted creature dies or leaves the battlefield then last-known information is used to set X; otherwise, we check the current power, which means anything that reduces that creature’s power will also reduce the X given with enlist.
And with that, we’ve made it through! For all the history Dominaria holds it was simple enough to break down. But, in fairness… This set only scraped the surface of the plane’s true history. Who knows what we’ll see next time with The Brothers War. Until then!