During a Standard PPTQ you are Head Judging, Aaron activates his Whip of Erebos targeting a Hornet Queen. Aaron puts the tokens into play and attacks with the Hornet Queen. Both players record the damage and life gain, then Aaron passes the turn and exiles the Hornet Queen. Neville untaps and draws a card. He thinks for a moment, then declares his attackers, which include a Hushwing Gryff. At this point Neville realizes the Hornet Queen tokens shouldn’t exist, and calls for a judge. What do you do?
Judges, feel free to discuss this scenario on Judge Apps!Answer
Aaron receives a warning for a GRV.
Neville receives a warning for FtMGS.
There has been quite the back and forth on do we rewind or leave the game as it is, so let’s talk about that. A quick glance at the IPG shows this is not covered in partial fixes. On to a backup, maybe? When considering a backup, first we figure out how much has happened and how many decision points passed. So then….
How many decision points were there since the error occurred?
After the error has happened, we have the declaration of attacks with Hornet Queen, blocking choices, choices on whether to cast spells in combat or after combat by both players, the Hornet Queen being exiled, Neville untapping, drawing, deciding whether to cast things in the precombat main phase, then declaring attackers before the error was noticed.
That is a lot of decisions being made there, so we’re not backing up. That leaves us with the only choice to leave the game as it is. We even have a little bit of clarification coming from the IPG that solidifies our decision to leave it as is:
Backups are only applied in situations where leaving the game in the current state is a substantially worse solution. A good backup will result in a situation where the gained information makes no difference and the line of play remains the same (excepting the error, which has been fixed). This means limiting backups to situations with minimal decision trees.