“Meat and eggs. We eat!” – Borborygmos

Peyton and Penelope are playing in your PPTQ. During round 3 they finished their match early, and went and got lunch from the Chinese restaraunt next door. They returned to their table and ate their lunch. You just announced pairings for round 4, and notice that they left their to-go boxes at the table they were eating at, as well as empty drink bottles, and some spilled General Tso’s sauce. Players are moving to their seats, and the two players now paired at the table have arrived and point out the trash to you. What do you do?


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Coming Soon!

Strictly Surgical Sideboarding

During a deck check at a Modern PPTQ, you notice that Percy has an extra card in one of the sleeves of his sideboard. The sideboard contains two copies of Surgical Extraction, and the extra card is a third copy of Surgical Extraction. It is faced backwards behind another sideboard card. Other than that, his deck is legal. You return to the table and pull Percy aside, where he explains that he was given his 15th sideboard card last minute, and had nowhere else to put the card he was removing. He also mentions that during the pregame procedure, he showed his sideboard to his opponent and pointed out the doubled cards, even informing and showing his opponent that the reversed card is Surgical Extraction. Percy’s opponent, Olivia, confirms the story. What do you do?

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While Percy does have an extra card with his sideboard, which would normally be a Deck Problem, this is legal. The MTR requires players to present their sideboard, since this isn’t always done, we default to “whatever else is in the deck box.” By pointing out exactly which cards are his sideboard, Percy avoids a penalty here.

Thank Percy for following an obscure rule, and make sure he understands the consequences should he fail to present his sideboard. Even if he is going to explicitly point out his sideboard each match, he should still remove the extra card from the sleeve, leave it in his box and keep his sideboard outside of the box, to avoid confusion.

Nobody Expects a Missed Inquisition

You are the Head Judge for a Modern PPTQ. On her first turn, Andrea plays a Swamp, then casts Inquisition of Kozilek. Naomi reveals her hand: three Plains, two Path to Exile, and two Thraben Inspector. Andrea writes down every card in Naomi’s hand, and when finished, says “pass the turn.” Naomi picks up her hand, draws a card for turn, plays a Plains, and casts Thraben Inspector. At this point, Andrea realizes she forgot to pick a card for Naomi to discard, and she calls for a judge.

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Andrea receives a Warning for Game Rules Violation, and Naomi a Warning for Failure to Maintain Game State. Plains and Thraben Inspector were both cards known to Andrea from the Inquisition of Kozilek’s effect, and nothing else has happened, so backing up is appropriate. To do so, return the Thraben Inspector and Plains back to Naomi’s hand. Then pull aside the card Naomi drew for turn, the only card not listed on Andrea’s list of Naomi’s hand, and put that card on top of Naomi’s library. Finally, we will put Inquisition of Kozilek back on the stack, and reveal Naomi’s hand again, to have Andrea select a card for Naomi to discard.

Sins of Our Past

You are a floor judge for Day 2 of a Modern Grand Prix. Adrian plays his second land, then casts Thalia, Guardian of Thraben. Natalie lets Thalia resolve, and at the end of Adrian’s turn, casts Fatal Push, targeting Thalia, by tapping her only land. Adrian shrugs and moves Thalia to the graveyard. Natalie untaps, draws for turn, then Adrian points out that Natalie could not cast the Fatal Push due to Thalia’s cost increase. They call for a judge, and Adrian tells you that he received penalties for the same mistake twice yesterday.

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Natalie receives a Warning for a Game Rules Violation, and Adrian receives a Warning for Failure to Maintain Game State. Failure to Maintain is not upgraded after a third warning, and penalties also do not upgrade across days in a multi-day event. Let both players know this, and we should thank Adrian for being honest. The game should be backed-up to the point where Fatal Push was cast, including selecting a random card in Natalie’s hand, returning it to the top of her library, returning Fatal Push to her hand at the end of Adrian’s turn, and untapping the land.

Mismanaged Mimicry Memory

Albert and Nadege are playing in a standard PPTQ. They call you over to the table, and Nadege explains that Albert played Metallic Mimic on his previous turn, which was turn two. Nadege played a land on her turn and passed, and now Albert has played Depala, Pilot Exemplar and Nadege has let it resolve. Albert went to put a +1/+1 counter on his Depala, and when Nadege asked why, he pointed out the Mimic, and they both realized Albert forgot to name a creature type. What do you do?

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Albert receives a Warning for Game Rule Violation, and Nadege a Warning for Failure to Maintain Game State. Making a choice now for a forgotten static ability is one of the fixes available in GRV, so Albert will make a choice now. In addition to the choice, perform a simple backup, as Depala has finished resolving and won’t get a counter now. Back the game up to when Depala was on the stack, let Albert make his Mimic choice, and then give Nadege priority. Depala will resolve and get a counter if Nadege does nothing in response.

Wrapped Away

You are a floor judge watching Allie and Nemo play in a sealed PPTQ. Allie is attacking Nemo with her Labyrinth Guardian. Before the combat damage step, Nemo casts Final Reward targeting the Labyrinth Guardian and says, “Exile the Guardian before damage.” Allie moves her Labyrinth Guardian card on top of her other exiled cards and then looks at her hand, thinking about which creature to cast after combat. What do you do?

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Allie has committed a Game Play Error – Missed Trigger infraction for not remembering to sacrifice her Labyrinth Guardian before letting Nemo’s Final Reward resolve. Since Labyrinth Guardian’s triggered ability is considered generally detrimental, Allie will receive a warning for the infraction. Pause the game and indicate the missed trigger to the players. Nemo may choose to put the trigger on the stack now, but it won’t do anything as it resolves.

The Second Sting Hurts the Most

Alan and Nathan are playing in a Kaladesh/AEther Revolt Limited PPTQ. Alan casts a Foundry Hornet, then attacks with an Eager Construct that has a +1/+1 counter on it. Nathan controls his own Eager Construct, but chooses not to block with it. During his second main phase, Alan casts a second Foundry Hornet.

Alan looks at this hand for a few seconds, then says “Umm… I guess it’s… WAIT!” He then reads Foundry Hornet again. “Your Eager Construct dies.” Nathan calls you to the table and explains that the first trigger is missed, since it wasn’t mentioned during first main phase or combat. When you ask Alan, he tells you he forgot about Foundry Hornet’s trigger and didn’t realize until he played a second one.

Yes, we know that Kaladesh/AEther Revolt isn’t the current PPTQ format. You can ignore that when giving your answers.
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While Alan does appear to have forgotten one of his triggers, he has not missed the opportunity to acknowledge it, as the first time it is relevant to the game state is now. Treat the first Foundry Hornet trigger as resolved, and the second as still on the stack, Nathan can respond if he would like. Eager Construct will die when it resolves if nothing else happens. There is no infraction, as no triggers were missed.

It’s Time to Drain the _________

You are the Head Judge of your local Standard PPTQ. You have collected all the decklists and round 1 has begun. While ensuring that all of the lists are present, you notice that one player has a blank line with a number next to it on his decklist. He is playing Black/White control, and has registered

(42 other cards)
4 Concealed Courtyard
6 Plains

What do you do? Consider when you would like to talk to the player, what you’re going to tell them, and what infractions and/or penalties they will receive.

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As the Head Judge, you have the option to not apply Decklist Problem here. The player has submitted what appears to be an illegal decklist, but it is obvious that the card in the blank is Swamp. Double check that the player is indeed playing Swamps, and after the round find them and let them know that you fixed the list and to be more careful in the future.

Agent of Chaos

Acacia and Naomi are playing in a Legacy 5k. Acacia controls a Sylvan Library. Acacia draws for turn, resolves Sylvan Library‘s ability and puts two cards back on top of her library. Acacia casts Shardless Agent and says “Does Shardless Agent resolve?” Naomi answers “Yes, it resolves.” Acacia then flips over the top two cards of her library, revealing a Misty Rainforest and Abrupt Decay. Naomi calls for a judge and explains that she thinks Acacia missed her cascade trigger. What do you do?


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Acacia has missed her cascade trigger. Since it is not generally detrimental, she does not receive a penalty for missed trigger. Ask Naomi if she would like the trigger to go on the stack now. In either case, Acacia has looked at extra cards by resolving the cascade ability that wasn’t there. Acacia receives a warning for Looking at Extra Cards. Since the two cards revealed from the top were known from Sylvan Library and the order they came off the library is not in question, we can simply place the revealed cards back on top in the order they came off and leave the library as is without shuffling and proceed with the game. Note that if Naomi does choose to have cascade go on the stack, the same two cards will end up being revealed, but we still want both players to have priority before it resolves.

Tales from the Cryptbreaker

Antoine and Nancy are playing in a standard Grand Prix event. Antoine, who controls three untapped Cryptbreakers, taps one of them and two swamps, draws a card, and marks down one life loss on his note sheet. Nancy stops him to point out the mistake and Antoine replies, “Oops! I meant to draw a card but I activated the wrong ability. I was supposed to tap my two other zombies instead of the lands. Judge!”

What do you do?

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Antoine receives a warning for Game Play Error – Hidden Card Error To fix this error, Antoine reveals his hand to Nancy and she chooses one card to be shuffled back into the random portion of Antoine library. Antoine untaps his Cryptbreaker and two swamps and resumes play.