5, 6, Pick up Sticks

Arborea is playing in Modern 5K run at Competitive REL. She casts Ancient Stirrings and grabs top the few cards of her deck. She counts them, realizes there are only 4, and reaches for a fifth. When she does so, the top two cards of her library stick together, and she picks up both of them. She immediately realizes her error and calls for a judge. The two stuck cards have remained separate from the other cards she had picked up, and are still stuck together in her hand when you reach the table. What do you do?


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This can’t be Hidden Card Error because the root cause was a dexterity error, so this is Looking at Extra Cards. It also cannot be HCE, as Arborea clearly intended to draw one card, and accidentally drew two cards, which is explicitly excluded from that infraction.

Take the bottom card (the 6th card) of the two stuck together and shuffle it into the random portion of Arborea’s library. The other card becomes the 5th card she is looking at for Ancient Stirrings, and she can finish resolving the spell. Arborea receives a Warning for Looking at Extra Cards.

Yes, LEC does instruct us to “Shuffle any previously unknown cards…“ In this case, the 5th card is part of the Ancient Stirrings set of 5, and the 6th card is the only ”unknown card.” This is identical to a player drawing for turn and accidentally seeing the 2nd card of their library.