Die Another Day

“Lightning Bolts don’t kill creatures… State-based actions kill creatures.” – The CR

You are a floor judge in a Modern Competitive event, where Angus is playing against Neil. The only cards in their graveyards are a Scalding Tarn and a Duress. At the beginning of combat, Neil casts Lightning Bolt targeting Angus’s Tarmogoyf, saying, “Bolt your Goyf.” Angus puts Tarmgoyf in the graveyard. After combat, Angus casts another Tarmogoyf, at which point they realize they made a mistake with the first one and call for a judge.

What do you do?

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


Good job judges! As you have answered, Angus has committed GPE-GRV and Neil GPE-FTMGS, they will both receive a Warning. Now lets focus on the solution which is why we prepared this scenario.

This scenario was designed to test your knowledge on the update of one GPE-GRV partial fixes which is quoted below.

If an object is in an incorrect zone either due to a required zone change being missed or due to being put into the wrong zone during a zone change, the identity of the object was known to all players, and it can be moved with only minor disruption to the state of the game, put the object in the correct zone.

Although this partial fix has been modified, it still does NOT apply for this scenario. Tarmogoyf was not expected to move from the battlefield but it was placed in the graveyard. So, it’s an object that didn’t have to move that was moved. This situation does not meet the criteria for the partial fix to apply.

Once we have discarded partial fixes, we must decide wether to backup or not, asking permission to the Head Judge of the tournament. When no partial fixes apply, we must use our judgement to decide if a backup should be performed. Remember that backups are a last resort solution as we can find in IPG 1.4 section.

Due to the amount of information that may become available to players and might affect their play, backups are regarded as a solution of last resort, 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.