Aaron and Nadine are playing in a Legacy Grand Prix. Aaron has a Griselbrand and a Tidespout Tyrant in his graveyard. He announces, “I’m going to Exhume my Tyrant.” Nadine says, “OK, Exhume resolves. I choose my Shriekmaw“.
Aarons says “Oh, I didn’t realize you had that… then on resolution I’m going to pick my Griselbrand instead.” Nadine calls you over. What is your ruling?
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Three options were discussed Game Rule Violation (i), Communication Policy Violation (ii) and No Penalty (iii).
Regarding i – Reading the IPG, we see that a GRV “…handles violations of the Comprehensive Rules…”. Tournament shortcuts are not part of the Comprehensive rules, they’re part of the MTR. As such, deviations from the shortcut guidelines do not qualify as GRVs.
Regarding ii – We have 4 rules that players must follow when communicating. They must answer judge questions completely and honestly, they must not represent derived or free information incorrectly, they must answer questions honestly regarding free information, and at Regular we consider derived information to be free information. None of these rules were violated by either player.
Regarding iii – Since neither player has done anything that qualifies as an infraction, we’re into the No Penalty Zone. We want to educate the players accordingly. Inform Aaron that he cannot change his mind at this point, and inform him that if he announces a choice before he is required to, that he will be obligated to stick to that choice unless his opponent takes an action before he would be required to make that choice.
So there we have it, no infraction has been committed so no penalty is issued, but Aaron doesn’t get to change his mind. This is an opportunity for education, but not one we need to penalize.