Thursday, May 29, 2014

Is it Missed? #2 - Oakheart Dryads

Welcome to Is it Missed? #2 featuring yet another 2/3 for 3. I swear it's a coincidence. Oakheart Dryads has a constellation trigger that reads:

"Whenever Oakheart Dryads or another enchantment enters the battlefield under your control, target creature gets +1/+1 until end of turn."

The basic scenario is that you cast an enchantment pre-combat with an Oakheart on the battlefield, say nothing, then attack with the Dryads.

Is it missed?

Yes, it is missed. This might be surprising to you if you tuned in last time because on the surface, it seems the same as Kragma Butcher. They are both creature pumps. The difference is in the details, and the important detail here is that Oakheart Dryads has a targeted trigger, and you must select a target at the appropriate time. Straight from the IPG:

"A triggered ability that requires its controller to choose targets (other than 'target opponent'), modes, or other choices made when the ability is put onto the stack: The controller must announce those choices before they next pass priority."

That means you must declare you target before passing priority after the enchantment resolves, which is before creatures enter combat. If you don't select your target and move into combat, you're out of luck. The same applies to any other targeted constellation triggers like Dreadbringer Lampads, Forgeborn Oreads, Goldenhide Ox, Harvestguide Alseids, Strength from the Fallen, or Whitewater Naiads.

(Is it Missed? scenarios are all assumed to be at Competitive REL and thus are subject to the rules of the IPG, Infraction Procedure Guide.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Is it Missed? #1 - Kragma Butcher

Having played a fair deal of live Magic, specifically Theros Block Limited, I wanted to do a series of blogs on various Missed Triggers that may be confusing to players and judges alike. First up is Kragma Butcher, one of my favorite red commons in the block.

"Whenever Kragma Butcher becomes untapped, it gets +2/+0 until end of turn."

The ability triggers during the untap step and goes on the stack at the first opportunity in the upkeep step. Rargh! 4/3 Butcher ready to go to Brown Town.

Let's say I attacked with Kragma Butcher last turn for two. Now on my turn I untap it, draw my card, play a land, and attack again. My opponent has a Karametra's Acolyte (1/4) and decides to block since I said nothing about the trigger.

Is it missed?

The answer is... not yet. Although the ability goes on the stack during my upkeep, because it has no effect on the visible game state, I am not required to demonstrate awareness of the trigger at that time. I just have to do so when it becomes relevant to the game. In the case of Kragma Butcher's +2/+0 trigger, that probably means when it attacks and deals combat damage. Going back to the above scenario, I can do this by saying "Okay, go to damage. Your Karametra's Acolyte is dead." The same holds true if the Butcher goes unblocked. If I say "Take four," I've demonstrated awareness that the trigger happened.

How then do we know if the trigger is missed? If I let the Karametra's Acolyte stay on the battlefield after combat, or I tell my opponent to take two damage. The baseline assumption with triggers is that they did happen unless something happens that would indicate otherwise, in this case a Kragma Butcher that untapped only dealing two damage in combat.

As the opponent, how can you tell if the trigger is missed or not before damage? How can you figure out if you can safely block with your Karametra's Acolyte or not? You ask. you probably don't want to ask "Did you remember the trigger?" because that's a bit of a giveaway. A simple "How big is that?" should suffice. If they say 2/3, go ahead and block.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

1000 Miles - Week 19-20 Update (Half Marathon!)

Week 19
Friday: 7.5 miles
Saturday: 6.2 miles
Wednesday: 8.2 miles
Week Total: 21.9 miles
Year Total: 359.5 miles

Week 20
Thursday: 7.5 miles
Friday: 6.2 miles
Sunday: 13.2 miles (half marathon time 1:47:10)
Week Total: 26.9 miles
Year Total: 386.4 miles

It was a busy month what with a wedding, honeymoon in Wisconsin, and a GP in Minneapolis. Through it all I managed to keep my average up. The half marathon was a big success. My previous 2 halfs were both over 2 hours, so breaking that barrier was goal #1. Given my training pace, I knew that 1:50 was within reach, and because round numbers are a thing I was really shooting for 1:45 as a stretch goal. You can see that I didn't quite make that, but I was close enough to be satisfied, and that's still a fine personal best to run. Goal for the Portland Marathon in October will be to beat that pace, meaning running the full at 3:30 or better.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

1000 MIles - Week 16-18 Update

Week 16
Friday: 10.0 miles
Monday: 10.3 miles
Wednesday: 6.5 miles
Week Total: 26.8 miles
Year Total: 284.8 miles

Week 17
Thursday: 2.9 miles
Friday: 3.5 miles
Sunday: 7.7 miles
Monday: 11.5 miles
Week Total: 25.6 miles
Year Total: 310.4 miles

Week 18
Friday: 10.5 miles
Tuesday: 13.2 miles
Wednesday: 3.5 miles
Week Total: 27.2 miles
Year Total: 337.6 miles