Arjun and Nadia are playing in a Modern GPT. Arjun controls Spirit of the Labyrinth. Nadia has a single card in her hand: Quicken.
During Arjun’s end step, Nadia casts Quicken, then draws and casts Electrolyze targeting the Spirit and Arjun. Arjun says, “Sure, still done,” then notes his life total change and puts Spirit in his graveyard.
Nadia draws a card and untaps her lands. Then she looks at her new card and draws again. Arjun stops her at this point and calls a judge.
Nadia tells you she thought the Spirit was dead before she was supposed to draw for Electrolyze because it deals the damage first. Arjun tells you he thought Nadia’s first draw was just shortcutting her draw for the turn, rather than trying to draw from the Electrolyze.
What do you do?
Judges, feel free to discuss this scenario on Judge Apps!Answer
To determine the infraction, we need to figure out which illegal actions occurred. The rules say that Arjun should take 1, his Spirit of the Labyrinth should die, and that these should be the only results of resolving Electrolyze. Arjun performed all the actions he was supposed to. In addition to her legal actions of recording a life total change and putting her spell in the graveyard, Nadia drew a card. That card draw is the only illegal action taken, so we will issue the infraction associated with that action.
That infraction is Drawing Extra Cards, and it carries the normal penalty of a Game Loss. Looking at the Philosophy of Drawing Extra Cards:
Originally posted by IPG 2.3:
Though this error is easy to commit accidentally, the potential for it to be overlooked by opponents mandates a higher level of penalty. If the… card… was placed into an empty hand, and the card can be returned to the correct zone with minimal disruption, do so and downgrade the penalty to a Warning.
Even though Nadia initially drew a card into an empty hand, we can no longer return that card to the top of her library with minimal disruption. There are two cards in Nadia’s hand by the time the error is detected, so we cannot put back a card we are certain was the one that was incorrectly drawn.
Arjun pointed out the error as soon as he had the opportunity to become aware of it, so no infraction for him.
It’s also good customer service at this point to tell Nadia that she is encouraged to confirm card draws with her opponent to avoid these types of easy mistakes leading to game losses.