Teacher’s Pet

In a Vintage event run at Competitive REL, you’re called to a table by Noxious. He tells you that Ashamed just put a card in his hand when resolving Vampiric Tutor! When you ask Ashamed, he explains, “Well, a couple turns ago, I cast Demonic Tutor, and I guess I just got mixed up on Vampiric Tutor.” You notice that there’s only one card in Ashamed’s hand, and you confirm that his hand was empty once Vampiric Tutor went on the stack. You believe this was an honest mistake. What do you do?

Judges, feel free to discuss this scenario on Judge Apps!

As shown by all the great answers, the point of this scenario was to ensure that we all saw that latest change to the IPG – a change that I think a lot of Judges really wanted: adding “or was placed into an empty hand” to the conditions that allow a downgrade from Game Loss for Drawing Extra Cards. Well done – and even though we didn’t seem to “fool” anyone with this one, it still helps to reinforce an important, if subtle, change.

So: this is a Game Play Error – Drawing Extra Cards, which usually carries a Game Loss, but that latest update to the IPG allows us to downgrade when the card is placed into an empty hand. Put the one card in Ashamed’s hand back on top of his library, make sure he remembered to pay 2 life when he cast Vampiric Tutor, and record a GPE – DEC downgraded to Warning on their result slip.

One minor nitpick: a few people mentioned “uniquely identifiable” to describe the card drawn into an empty hand. That term is actually used in the IPG, but only for those Game Play Error – Game Rule Violation situations that might require an upgrade (e.g., failing to reveal the card found when resolving a Mystical Tutor). While it’s seemingly harmless in this case, let’s be careful about mixing parts of one section of policy into another.