In a recent article by Chris VanMeter he mentioned that he played a match in which his opponent forgot a lot of Eidolon of the Great Revel triggers. During the match, Chris would remind his opponent when the Eidolon was supposed to damage the opponent but would let the opponent forget when the Eidolon was supposed to damage Chris. This excerpt upset some people.
The most important aspect of the ensuing debate is that Chris’s actions were completely within the context of the rules. As a matter of fact, the update that made this so was relatively recent, as there was a time not long ago when you and your opponent were both responsible for remembering any and all triggers. Now you only need to remember your own and your opponent will likely only remind you if its beneficial to them.
This is literally the intention of the rules update. It stops opponents from being penalized when you forget your triggers, as previously both players would be charged with failing to maintain game state. There is, of course, some gamesmanship that comes with this, but many would contend that remembering your triggers is part of learning how your deck works.
Still, some players consider this behavior unsportsmanlike. And maybe they’re right, but then I wonder why their complaint is with Chris and not with the people who make the rules.
I compare this to the “invisible trigger” rule update with regard to exalted and prowess. Technically, you don’t need to announced a change in a creature’s power and toughness until it becomes relevant to the game state. Personally, I announce all of these triggers as they happen. Largely this is to cover myself so that I can point to the fact that I announced my triggers earlier if a discrepancy occurs later, but even still you’ll rarely find me not announcing some triggers even though I don’t have to.
That said, I never go after the people who don’t announce these triggers. Even though I think that the rule is rather bad and is largely just a “gotcha!”, it’s not the fault of the players that the rules might need revision.
Personally I like not having to remember all of my opponent’s triggers. It is important to remember that there are some things that your opponent might forget that you are obligated to remind them of. For example, “draw a card” either as part of the resolution of a spell or for the beginning of a player’s turn is not a trigger, it is a mandatory action.
You still need to help your opponent remember these things and you are liable for doing so. Scrying as resolution of a spell is the same thing. The trigger rule’s spirit isn’t just to make your opponent forget everything, it’s to make you liable for as few of your opponent’s actions as possible, and it would be unreasonable to just counter opponent’s spells and actions because they forget.
So what do you think? Do you think we should go back to reminding our opponents of all of their triggers, or is the current rule fine? Under the current rule, is it shady to not remind opponents of triggers?