Dark Tutelage

At a Competitive REL event player A controls Dark Tutelage, untaps, draws, and passes the turn. Player N takes his turn, untaps, draws, and passes the turn.

Player A untaps, and announces the Dark Tutelage trigger, and reveals a land resolving it, losing zero life in the process. At this point Player N notices the Dark Tutelage trigger was missed the previous turn. Judge!

Assuming no intention to cheat on either part, what do you do?

View Answer

The first thing we need to do is identify the infraction. If we read Dark Tutelage we will notice its ability is a trigger. We can recognize these because they start with the words “When”, “Whenever” or “At”. So this must be a Missed Trigger, right?

The key to identify a Missed Trigger infraction is in determining if the players were aware or not of the existence of the trigger (and/or if they forgot to perform all the actions specified by the trigger).

Indeed we have a Game Play Error — Missed Trigger here, the player was unaware of the trigger’s existence. We issue the appropriate penalty according to the Magic Infraction Procedure Guide. This document says player A gets a Warning, but there is a provision for player N to get also a Warning for Failure to Maintain Game State.

From MIPG 3:

“Additionally, for any Game Play Error not caught within a time that a player could reasonably be expected to notice, teammates and opponents who might potentially have benefited from the error receive a Game Play Error — Failure to Maintain Game State penalty.” – (more details on Failure to Maintain Game State can be found on MIPG 3.7)

Now we apply a fix, and again the Magic Infraction Procedure Guide has all the relevant information. If we read MIPG 3.1, under Additional Remedy we find the different types of missed triggers, and the corresponding appropriate fixes. You can go and find out the right one by elimination, or perhaps you can use this fantastic flowchart brought to you by Sebastian Rittau, from Germany.


Here we are dealing with a trigger that is not optional, requires no choices, but will have an effect on the visual representation of the game (the card moving from the library to the hand and potentially the life loss). So what we need to determine is if this trigger has been caught within a turn cycle.

Let’s look at the definition of turn cycle, again in MPIG 3.1:

“A turn cycle is defined as the time from the beginning of a player’s step or phase to the end of that player’s next same step or phase.”

So we are still within the period where we would put the trigger on the stack. We do it and give priority to the active player, resuming the game.

Bonus: why is it that the turn cycle goes that bit longer than a full “natural” turn?

This is because you normally realize a trigger was missed either immediately, or right after it triggers again on the following turn. This way we are implementing policy in a way that fits what players do naturally.