Ravnica Allegiance Missed Trigger Guide

Tensions are rising on Ravnica, Allegiances are forming and falling apart, and we’re here to provide a guide to help you all navigate the trickier triggers (and some other traps!) that the newest set brings.

The focus of this article is going to be Generally Detrimental Triggers that require an upgrade per the IPG, but at the end we’re going to touch on a few other cards and keywords that are not as straightforward as they seem, so stick around for that. And keep an eye out for notes on the recent policy change; January 21st saw several big updates to Missed Triggers, so read carefully.

In Ravnica Allegiances, three cards have triggers that Upgrade when missed:

  1. Gateway Plaza

Back again from Guilds of Ravnica, the “enters-the-battlefield” trigger on this land still falls squarely into “Generally Detrimental”. Taxing a mana or sacrificing this land are both typically bad outcomes, outside of some corner cases, and we’re not interested in looking at those when we evaluate these triggers. But an important note that has changed since the last time we saw this card: if the opponent chooses to acknowledge this trigger, we no longer force the controller to take the default action! They’ll still have the option here to pay {1} to avoid sacrificing the Plaza

  1. Mirror March

There is a big block of text on this card, and most of it sounds pretty good for its controller – creating tokens is good, potentially a bunch of tokens is even better, and all of them having Haste is even better than that. But then we get to “Exile them at the beginning of the next end step”, and that part is less good. Generally Detrimental, even.

This sentence is a delayed zone change trigger, and it’s created by but exists independent of the “Whenever a non-token creature enters” trigger that starts this card. So, we evaluate them separately; missing the trigger that gives tokens is okay but missing the one that takes them away will result in a Warning. And since this trigger also falls under the newly reworked “delayed zone change” exception, it doesn’t expire! So, don’t forget to give the opponent the option to either resolve it immediately, or as the next phase begins.

  1. Macabre Mockery

This spell has a similar setup to Mirror March above, except it’s even simpler in execution. Most of the text on this card is spell effects, not triggers, so we’re not worried at all until we get to the bit about “Sacrifice it at the beginning of the next end step”. Since we usually would rather have a creature than not, that part is Generally Detrimental just like exiling the tokens was. And once again, this one falls into the “delayed zone change” exception, so don’t forget that this sacrifice trigger doesn’t expire.


Before we move away from triggers, there were two more cards that we wanted to direct some attention to:

Captive Audience

This card has a seriously nasty “At the beginning of your upkeep trigger” – for an opponent! Every option on this list is bad for the person who picks it, but remember, since control of this enchantment is given to an opponent, that opponent controls the trigger. In the past, this would’ve meant that the opponent receives a Warning for missing this trigger; but our new policy only upgrades this to a Warning if the controller of the missed trigger is also the owner of the card that caused it. So unless the opponent somehow finds a way to give this enchantment back to its owner, this trigger won’t result in a Warning. Do still step in if you believe that the controller is intentionally missing this, though.

Theater of Horrors

Ordinarily, we would slap a “Generally Detrimental” warning label on that “at the beginning of your upkeep” trigger, since it’s exiling cards from your library, and having less of those tends not to be a good thing. However, the next line down gives us permission to cast those cards so long as an opponent has lost life this turn, which is something we’re probably trying to make happen anyway. And then the next line down after that adds a way for the card to turn on that permission all by itself. So taking it as a whole, this card generates value as a direct result of its upkeep trigger; and since we can typically expect to gain value from it, we can’t call this one a Generally Detrimental trigger.


And now, some of the other notables in this set!

The cards, keywords, and abilities below are not Generally Detrimental triggers, but they come close to or intersect with triggers, or are otherwise just things that judges (and players!) should be keeping a close eye on.

RiotThis creature enters the battlefield with your choice of a +1/+1 counter or haste.

This keyword looks a bit like a trigger, but it’s actually a replacement effect. Which means that it’s not missable – every creature that can Riot, must Riot (that might be one of Gruul’s mottos, in fact). Players aren’t obligated to ask their opponent what choice they’re making for Riot, because it has a default action; so if the controller doesn’t indicate that they’re choosing to put a counter on it, we always assume they chose to give it Haste.

AddendumIf you cast this spell during your main phase, [do something cool].

Now this one is actually an ability word, not a keyword, so every card that it appears on is going to have different text. For nearly all of those cards, the Addendum is either a spell effect or a replacement effect; it adds something to the spell, or it changes how part of the spell acts. None of this is missable, so if a player notices that their opponent forgot the Addendum on, say, Sphinx’s Insight, it is that player’s responsibility to remind their opponent about it.

But as with any good contract, there’s an exception. Sentinel’s Mark is an Aura with Flash and Addendum – but the Addendum here is actually a trigger. If an opponent casts Sentinel’s Mark during their main phase, then forgets to demonstrate that the creature has Lifelink the first time it becomes relevant, then they’ve missed the trigger. There’s no penalty (other than not gaining that life), since it’s not Generally Detrimental; that’s just something to look out for. Always read the fine print.

Teysa Karlov

This card has a neat little static ability that makes dying creatures work even harder for you. This isn’t a trigger itself, or even a replacement effect; she simply changes how the game works, such that anytime the condition of a trigger you control is met by a creature dying, that trigger happens an extra time.

That extra trigger doesn’t get any special treatment though, it still has to be handled just like any other. It goes on the stack at the same time as the first trigger, and has to be acknowledged during the same window. So, if a creature dies and Teysa’s controller remembers one of their triggers, but forgets the other until we’re past the window to acknowledge it, then we handle it just like any other Missed Trigger.


Whew! That was a lot. Thanks for sticking through it all. We’re looking forward to seeing you all next time around, when we hopefully get to dive into some even more exciting cards.

-Missed Trigger Project