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In Dominion, do the rules permit you to use the Remodel card to trash a card without gaining a new one?

For instance, could I just Remodel a Curse without taking an Estate (or other card costing up to 2)?

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up vote 18 down vote accepted

As a general rule that applies to all of Dominion, you always must follow every instruction on the card you play as long as it is possible to do so. Whenever there is the option to not do something, the card will use the word "may". This means that if you play Moneylender, you are forced to trash a Copper (if you have one), and if you play Smithy, you are forced to draw 3 cards (as long as there are still 3 cards between your deck and discard piles).

So the same goes for Remodel; as long as there is a card costing up to $2 more than the trashed card available, you must gain one (which will always be true unless all Coppers, and Curses, and Estates have already run out).

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Thanks for grounding the answer in the general principle (regarding having to follow every instruction as long as it's possible). For some reason I had thought it wouldn't be necessary because of other cards where for instance you're allowed +1 Buy but you're not compelled to take it, and I was mistakenly viewing the "gain a new card" as being in that category. Now I don't like the Remodel card as much though. – bryn Jan 11 '14 at 5:28
@bryn You technically get the buy whether you want it or not, you just aren't forced to use it. – aaaaaaaaaaaa Apr 12 '14 at 16:35
@bryn +buy and +action don't mean "you must buy something" or "you must play an action card"; rather, you have an imaginary stockpile of legal actions and legal buys, which those effects add to (unconditionally). In your action phase, you may play up to one action card per action you have, and in your buy phase you may buy up to one card per buy you have. – amalloy Jun 22 '14 at 3:43

No, you must gain a card if you are able to do so; otherwise the card would say that you "may" gain a card.

This means that you can't use Remodel to speed up your deck if you clogged it up with a ton of copper or estates.

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