When it’s missed: Triggers with visible impact or a choice made on resolution

We continue our series about triggered abilities with the second category of missed triggers: those with a visible impact on the game state (including life totals) or a choice to be made on resolution. You don’t have to verbally announce these triggers; however, if you want them to happen, you have to make the required choice or take the appropriate action before progressing to any other action that would require the trigger to have already resolved.

For example, if you attack with a Battlewise Hoplite with Ordeal of Thassa on it, you have to put the +1/+1 counter on it before dealing combat damage, or even allowing your opponent to declare blockers. (Remember, your opponent can’t “jump the gun” and declare blockers right away without giving you a reasonable amount of time to take actions in the declare attackers step.)

Note that casting spells or activating abilities that you could legally play in response to the trigger do not cause you to automatically miss the trigger. If you attack with the Hoplite, then cast Gods Willing on it before your opponent can block, you can still remember to put a counter on the Hoplite from the Ordeal.

An example of a “choice made on resolution” would be Angelic Skirmisher. If you control one when your opponent moves to combat, and you don’t make a choice before telling your opponent it’s OK to declare attackers, you’ve missed that trigger. You can’t wait until damage to say, “Oh, I chose lifelink, obv…”

In addition, remember that resolving triggered abilities partway will not result in a Missed Trigger infraction. If you remembered to scry with the Hoplite’s trigger but not put a +1/+1 counter on it, for example, this would be a Game Rule Violation rather than a Missed Trigger. In this situation, your opponent would not be allowed to let you “miss” a trigger that you remembered to do partway. If the judge opts to rewind the game to the point of the error, you will put a +1/+1 counter on the Hoplite.

Today’s Tournament Tip written by Jen Wong

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