It is PTQ time. Andrea and Norman have presented their decks to each other for Game 1. Norman does a pile shuffle of Andrea’s deck and asks afterwards, ‘So you are playing with 61 cards?’ Andrea replies, ‘What?! No…’ and quickly checks her sideboard: There are 15 cards. They call you over as a judge to help resolve the situation.
While checking Andrea’s deck, you find an Elemental token in the same colour sleeve as the deck.
How do you resolve the situation?
Judges, feel free to discuss this scenario on Judge Apps!Answer
Looking at the MTG Comprehensive rules:
108.2. When a rule or text on a card refers to a “card,” it means only a Magic card. Most Magic games use only traditional Magic cards, which measure approximately 2.5 inches (6.3 cm) by 3.5 inches (8.8 cm). Certain formats also use nontraditional Magic cards, over sized cards that may have different backs. Tokens aren’t considered cards—even a card that represents a token isn’t considered a card for rules purposes.
By this definition, the token card isn’t a Magic card and as such the D/DL Problem infraction does not apply in this scenario. The token card is removed and no infraction is issued. (We will suggest that Andrea change to a different color sleeve, or remove the sleeve, to avoid further problems.)
Some judges considered a downgrade to a warning, but to re-iterate, the D/DL penalty does not apply (meaning there is nothing in the first place to downgrade). In addition, the downgrade would have represented a deviation from the IPG.
Andrea could not have gained any sort of advantage having the Elemental token in her deck and whilst it is tempting to try and issue Andrea a warning here, don’t! Reverse-engineering a need to issue a warning is very bad form in the judge program.