Nine Paragraphs on Overthinking Triggers

Frontline Medic swings
Accompanied by two bears.
Arrows of Justice

The Medic dies, yes?
Indestructible, judge says
Overthinking it

No-impact triggers
Are assumed to have resolved
‘Til shown otherwise

Still must resolve, though.
If Bomber Corps pings Elder
Can’t sac to get land?

Opponent has chance.
Must have capability
To respond with spell

Common assumption
Says that players act at first

Medic and Bomber
Defender can bin the snake.
Arrows still legit

Was not an issue
In two-thousand-eleven.
Rules here are the same

Trigger rules designed
To minimize disruption,
Not remove options

One thought on “Nine Paragraphs on Overthinking Triggers

  1. For those who have trouble parsing Haiku, I’ve take the liberty to translate this into normal English. Hope nobody minds. 😉
    A player attacks with Frontline Medic and two generic 2/2s. You cast Arrows of Justice without specifying when, targeting the Medic. A judge is called, who rules that the creature is already indestructible.

    This is a case of overthinking the policy that triggers with no visible impact are assumed to have resolved until shown otherwise. However, that doesn’t mean they resolve without using the stack. The opponent assumes the trigger isn’t forgotten, but still has a chance to respond with a spell.

    For example, if I attack with Bomber Corp and target Sakura Tribe-Elder with the trigger, don’t you still have a chance to activate its ability by sacrificing it in response?
    The common assumption is that a player is acting at their first opportunity unless they say something to indicate otherwise.

    So for Medic or Bomber, I can still activate my Elder, and Arrows will still be able to damage and kill the Medic before the trigger resolves to make it indestructible.

    This is exactly how the rules worked in 2011, back when all invisible triggers were assumed to resolve regardless, and you as the opponent couldn’t let your opponent forget them. You always had the chance to respond to the trigger everyone knew was there by default. Nothing has changed in this regard.

    The new trigger rules are designed to minimize disruption, not to remove options by resolving as though they had Split Second.

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