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Governor- relevant text- each player may trash a card from his hand and gain a card cost exactly 1(2) more.
My question is can my opponent trash a copper or a curse and gain nothing if there are no 1 value cards in play? If so should I choose to use this option as it would allow my opponent to thin their deck?

2 Answers 2

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Yes, they can.

You always follow all instructions in order, only skipping things that are impossible. If you choose this option, your opponent has 2 instructions to follow:

  • They may trash a card from their hand
  • They gain a card costing exactly $1 more

They follow the first instruction, and then the second one is impossible, so it is ignored.

Note that this is common to use as a benefit for yourself, with cards like Remake or Upgrade; where you can trash Coppers away.

Yes, this does mean that this option will help your opponent.. however, it would help in general anyway; that's the whole concept behind Governor. While they do have the ability to trash a Copper and gain nothing in return, they would still be better off trashing an Estate and gaining a $3 cost card. Or later in the game, trashing a $4 and getting a Duchy.

If they happen to have nothing in their hand that is worth trashing, then you lucked out and they don't get a benefit. But in general, any of the three options on Governor are designed to help your opponents a little, and help yourself even more.

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  • We are still learn how to trash effectively and are not completely sure on some of the rules. Thank you for the help
    – Styxsksu
    Commented Dec 18, 2018 at 18:29
  • Well one of the most effective ways to trash cards is to do it as a free action during your opponents' turns! Commented Dec 18, 2018 at 23:07
  • And if you're playing with the witch, you can trash a curse card. Commented Dec 18, 2018 at 23:12
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They can do this, and since most Kingdom setups do NOT have a 1-cost card that's in the Supply (one exception is Poor House from Dark Ages), they try to gain a 1-cost card, cannot, and that's that.

Later on, it can be worth it to Trash one of your Gold, and gain a Province from it. It's possible your opponents can leech off that as well to some good effect, but converting a Gold to Province is nothing to sneer at!

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