The Card Counting Challenge

Mikaël Rabie L2, France

Mikaël Rabie L2, France

Hello everyone,

I’d like to present a new kind of workshop: the Card Counting Challenge. Some of you may already have tried it in a recent GP or another event. The purpose of this workshop is simple: you are presented with a board state, and you have to answer a question from players. To find the answer, you will have to count the cards. For example, the question in the first workshop was “Judge, have I already drawn my card for the turn?”

This workshop takes about 15 minutes and requires two persons, the Judge and the Monitor. The judge has to analyse the state of the game and ask questions. The monitor represents the players by providing their answers. After five minutes, the judge has to answer a series of questions from the monitor. Those questions are here to see what the judge has understood. A debrief follows with an explanation of all the elements of the situation, unraveling the missed elements.


What kind of questions should I ask?

You need to think as if you were the Floor Judge of a GP. You may ask, for example, which spells have been played, how many times a card’s ability was activated, whether a trigger was missed… The monitor will have access to some of the answers. As it is not possible to anticipate all the questions, if the answer is not given, the monitor will say “I do not know” or “ I do not remember”. It means either that the answer is hidden and can be found in another way, or that the answer is not needed.

You will have to understand how some cards have interacted together. Why for example, some cards are exiled. There is also the possibility that the players have made a mistake: in the two first scenarios, a Game Rule Violation has been hidden.

As we put a timer, it is normal if you did not manage to find out everything. The scenarios are difficult on purpose. They are here to challenge you. Try to figure out as much as you can, and you might do better on a future scenario!


Where can you perform it?

Anywhere! Someone just has to print all the elements needed: a 5-page document and proxies. On the weekend one week after the release of Amonkhet, the workshop will be presented on the 3 GPs (Beijing, Bologna and Richmond).

You will have to find someone who already played the workshop, so he can be your monitor. As soon as you have played the scenario, you are able to be the monitor for someone else. This way, it is easy to spread it and give an opportunity to everyone to perform it.


Where can you find the documents?
You just need to ask! You can already follow this link to get the documents from the first scenario. You’ll find at the end a link to the .pdf with the proxies to print.  You just need to print the proxies, sleeve the decks, and make sure to have everything to create the board state (sleeves, dice, tokens…).

The goal is to create regularly scenarios that are related to the current format. If you want to help in the creation of future scenarios, please contact me. Right now, we have two scenarios: an AER standard game between BG and Copycat (in the link above) and an AMK sealed (the one you will see on next GPs). If you want the new scenario for a future event (local, GP, conference…), do not hesitate to ask for it. Our goal is that this kind of workshop is run at every GP.


Right now, the goal of the workshops is to bring tools on how to count cards (following Kevin Desprez’ article. The project will then evolve, and you might find new kind of questions on a future GP. I hope you will enjoy those! If you have any feedback on scenarios you already played, do not hesitate to fill this form.

I would like to thank a lot Guillaume Beuzelin who came with the idea, Kevin Desprez for his help on the scenarios, Sophie Pagès for spreading it all over the world, and everyone else who helped. Thanks also to everyone who will bring it on future events, and to all the future monitors who will mentor new victims!
Mikaël Rabie