So, let's say that I have a Dawn of Hope out. I have 2 Healer's Hawks that attack on the same turn. I pay 2 mana to draw a card for the lifelink from the 1st healer's hawk. Do I need to spend another 2 mana if I want to draw another card or do I just draw another card automatically since there were 2 lifelink events in that turn?

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    To be overly (and necessarily) precise: You don't activate Dawn of Hope's ability, it triggers by itself. Whenever you gain life, it triggers the enchantment, then you may choose to pay 2 generic mana in order to draw a card. Activated abilities have usually a cost and an effect, separated by a colon. If Dawn of Hope was an activated ability, it would read something like this: "Pay 2 generic mana: Draw a card. Activate this ability whenever you gain life, and only once each time you gain life" – Erik Jan 14 '19 at 12:33

As you stated, there are two lifelink events, both setting up an independent instance of Dawn of Hope's trigger. In order to draw two cards, you have to spend 4 mana; the second trigger doesn't 'remember' you've paid already for the first trigger.

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    Just a small nitpick here, but it's actually generic mana, not colorless. Colorless mana is represented by a gray diamond symbol, while generic is represented by a number (and any color of mana can be used for generic mana costs, not just colorless). – Nova Jan 14 '19 at 6:20
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    Heh, I'm old enough to remember the original printing of Ancient Tomb ... – Glorfindel Jan 14 '19 at 6:24
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    @Glorfindel Colorless mana is something you can have in your mana pool. Generic mana is part of the cost of many spells and abilities. I think that's how it's always been. – Arthur Jan 14 '19 at 6:50
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    (They may have, at times, used the generic mana symbol when they meant colorless mana, but I have yet to see them mix up the names of the two concepts. Note that even in your Ancient Tomb, they clearly could've used a grey circle with a 2 in it, but they chose not to. Even then, apparently, colorless and genetic were clearly seen as two distinct things by the design team.) – Arthur Jan 14 '19 at 7:02
  • Yeah, let's just remove the terminology from this Q&A since it's not really relevant :) – Glorfindel Jan 14 '19 at 7:25

Notice that it says "If you do", not "If you did". It is not checking whether you have, at some point, paid 2 generic mana. It's checking whether you paying 2 happened for that trigger. Every time you gain life, Dawn of Hope puts a "You may pay 2. If you do, draw a card." on the stack. Each time such a trigger resolves, you either pay 2 and draw a card, or nothing happens. If, theoretically, there were a card that says "Every time you gain life, you may pay 2. If you have paid 2 this turn, draw a card." or "You may pay 2. If you do, for the rest of the turn, draw a card every time you gain life." then you could pay just 2 to draw two cards. But this card is worded as "Each time you gain life, you may pay 2 to draw a card", not "You may pay 2 to draw a card every time you gain life".

  • Thanks everyone, that definitely cleared that up for me! – David Gresko Jan 19 '19 at 17:32

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