Assessing game states in distracting situations

The following Document contains information originally provided by Fabian Peck and Nathan Brewer.

This is the description of a seminar. Please feel free to add your own suggestions.

The seminar is just a selection of improvised rulings covering all areas of policy and crazy scenarios, it is best for a group of 5-10 and can run for any duration. The two co-presenters each have a deck and sideboard and play some games. The judges stand in a circle around the game and take turns going around the circle in being “the active judge” (pick someone randomly to go first). The “active judge” steps in whenever they feel they would normally step in during a match or whenever a judge is called, after they give their ruling the next judge takes a turn.

It is important that the judges treat it as if it were a real serious, competitive match they were watching, to aid this there is an “on/off” button, anything big that can be visibly turned upside down is good. The on/off button allows the presenters to swap between being “in character” playing games and pausing to give explanations.

The decks used can be anything, commander, standard or whatever, try to pick ones that have interesting interactions.

Depending on the experience level of the group you can either have the next person in the circle be the HJ (if required during a ruling) or assign a more experienced judge to that role for the whole seminar.

Problems/mistakes/scenarios can be anything from a simple missed trigger or GRV up to flat out cheating. In the seminar we loosely tried to hit every infraction in the IPG. Try to keep talking while you are playing and play quickly to try to distract people from any problems that occur.

A seminar like this is a good opportunity to cover some infractions that don’t come up often in real life. A few examples:

  • USC – just start arguing with the judge when they give a correct ruling.
  • USC – just start arguing with each other.
  • CPV – just because so many people don’t know what CPV actually is.
  • USC-Cheating (ex-Fraud) – ask your opponent their life total, they give an incorrect answer higher than their real life total then you take advantage of this later on, e.g. they think they are left on 1 and you say “no, you were wrong about your life earlier, you are dead now”. <— this one is highly recommended.
  • USC-Cheating (ex-Manipulation of Game Materials) – use an effect that lets you search your library, move a good card to the top and then just do some terrible shuffling and have your opponent not cut, leaving it there.
  • USC-Cheating (ex-Manipulation of Game Materials) – just start drawing cards whenever people stop paying attention, or pick up cards from your graveyard.