You have to ask your opponent if they want to pay tribute.

Every set brings with it a few new mechanics, and Born of the Gods is no different. Today we’ll be talking about tribute, an ability appearing on various monsters of Theros that’s all about giving your opponent hard choices.

Each card with tribute offers two possibilities: a beefed-up creature that enters with +1/+1 counters if your opponent chose to pay, and a slightly smaller creature with an enters-the-battlefield trigger if she didn’t. If you play your creature and your opponent says nothing, you can’t assume that she either did or didn’t pay. (This is especially true around the time of a new set release, when a lot of players will be seeing the cards for the first time, and might not even realize there’s a choice to be made at all!) Because you are the controller of the card, it’s your responsibility to remind your opponent that she has a choice, and to make it clear what she chose if there’s any ambiguity. And don’t assume the choice is “obvious” either. You might feel bad about casting Shrike Harpy when your opponent controls zero creatures, but she might actually want to pay tribute… allowing her to Vanquish the “Fowl” (Vanquish the Foul).

Stay tuned for the second new mechanic, inspired, in Friday’s Rules Tip!

Today’s Tournament/Rules Tip written by Jen Wong

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