Buried Treasure

Andrea and Norman have presented their decks to each other for Game 1 at their local Modern PPTQ. Norman does a pile shuffle of Andrea’s deck and asks afterwards, ‘So you are playing with 61 cards?’ Andrea replies, ‘What?! No…’ and quickly checks her sideboard: There are 15 cards. They call you over as a judge to help resolve the situation.
While checking Andrea’s deck, you find a Treasure token in the same colour sleeve as the deck as part of what she presented. What do you do?
Judges feel free to answer on Judge Apps!
Coming Soon!

Not So Fast, Mr. Monstrasaur!

Ames is playing against Netty at an Ixalan Sealed PPTQ. Netty is tapped out when Ames untaps on his turn 5. Ames draws for turn, then immediately uses one hand to tap his 4 lands, and the other to put a land and a Charging Monstrosaur into play, both tapped and saying “Attack for 5”. Netty says “I guess I take the 5.” As life totals are being adjusted, Netty notices that the land Ames played was a Stone Quarry, and calls for a judge. When you ask Ames, he says that he was playing quickly to conserve time, and had mixed up the cards in his hand, playing the wrong land. When you check, the rest of his hand is three Mountains.

What do you do?

This is a Game Rules Violation. We need to rewind to the point of the error. The error was putting a land into play untapped that should have been tapped. We back up by undoing combat damage if it was actually recorded, returning Monstrasaur and Glacial Fortress to Ames’s hand, and untapping Ames’s other four lands. Ames receives a Warning for Game Rules Violation, Netty receives a warning for Failure to Maintain Game State.
Judges feel free to answer on Judge Apps!

Champion of What?

Patrick is playing his God-Pharoah’s Gift Deck at a Standard 5k event run at Competitive REL.

This is Patrick’s Deck List

4 Glacial Fortress
2 Hostile Desert
2 Ipnu Rivulet
3 Irrigated Farmland
5 Island
6 Plains

4 Angel of Invention
4 Champion
3 Minister of Inquiries
3 Sacred Cat

4 Chart a Course
1 Fumigate
2 Opt
4 Refurbish
3 Strategic Planning

2 Cast Out
4 God-Pharaoh’s Gift
2 Legion’s Landing
2 Search for Azcanta

1 Angel of Sanctions
3 Anointed Procession
1 Authority of the Consuls
1 Crested Sunmare
2 Fairgrounds Warden
1 Fumigate
2 Ixalan’s Binding
1 Negate
2 Settle the Wreckage
1 Skysovereign, Consul Flagship

His list matches his deck, with the exception that he is playing 4 copies of Champion of Wits and its full name is not recorded on the decklist.

What do you do?


Coming Soon!


Judges feel free to submit your answer here!

Classically Confident Confidanting

Anker is playing against Nite in a Modern PPTQ. Anker controls a Dark Confidant. He untaps, points at his creature, says “Confidant Trigger” and draws a card. Anker proceeds to say “Draw for turn?” Nite calls for a judge and explains that Anker didn’t reveal the card that he put into his hand from the Dark Confidant trigger. What do you do?

This is classic GPE – Hidden Card Error. Nite gets to look at Anker’s hand, choose one card to be placed back on top of the library. Then the Dark Confidant trigger is resolved correctly. Anker will receive a warning for Game Play Error – Hidden Card Error.

Judges submit your answer here!

Don’t short-sleeve yourself!

Amy has sat down to play her round 1 match at a Sealed PPTQ against Neve and the round has just begun. Amy calls for a judge because she discovered that she has an extra card in her deck. She knows she has exactly 40 sleeves, but while sleeving, she ended up with an extra card. Amy isn’t sure what the extra card is, so you quickly find her decklist and verify that she registered 41 cards in her main deck. Amy doesn’t have any extra sleeves, and its now 4 minutes into the round. What do you do to get Amy and Neve playing, and what (if any) infractions and penalties apply?

This is not a Decklist Problem, as the deck that Amy is trying to play matches the decklist. Amy may know that she wanted to build a 40 card deck, but she both physically built a 41 card deck, and wrote that on her deck list. There is no infraction or penalty. Amy has 10 minutes to find a suitable sleeve, resleeve her deck, or otherwise make it ready to play. As an extra emphasis, we’re already a few minutes into this call, and a long time extension will be issued. Helping Amy resleeve is an excellent use of your time to help this match get started faster.

 Judges feel free to answer on Judge Apps!

Temple of Oops

At a Modern PPTQ you are the Head Judge of, Ashton is playing against Naomi. Ashton plays his land for turn, a Temple of Abandon. Ashton picks up the top card of his library, looks at it, sets it back down on the table. Ashton thinks, and then picks up the card and puts it into his hand. Naomi immediately calls for a judge. What do you do?
This is a Hidden Card Error, Ashton receives a Warning. Ashton has put a card into his hand when he wasn’t supposed to, and we can’t fix it with publicly known information. Ashton reveals his hand, and Naomi chooses a card from it, since Ashton knew what the card was before he put it into his hand, we return it to the top of Ashton’s library instead of shuffling it away.
 Judges feel free to answer on Judge Apps!

Absento Vanguard

You are head judge of an Ixalan sealed PPTQ. At the end of round 2, a player turns in an Adanto Vanguard in a matte black sleeve that he found it on the floor. He has no idea whose it is, and there are a couple dozen players with matte black sleeves. When you announce the card has been found, nobody comes to claim it.

During round 5, you discover its owner, Peter. Peter confirms that the card is his, but he didn’t realize it was missing. That card is registered in the “played” column on Peter’s deck list. Peter is currently in game 2 of round 5 and his deck for the current game is 40 cards.


Because we are in game 2 of the match, the Adanto Vanguard is considered to be part of his sideboard along with all other cards that he opened and is not currently playing in his presented deck. This means that no penalty will be issued based on the current game.

However, we also have to contend with the issue of the previous games in which we know he was playing without Adanto Vanguard even though it was required to be there because he had marked it in his “played” column. This is resolved by looking at the language of the IPG: “the contents of the presented deck and sideboard do not match the decklist.“ Notably, this sentence doesn’t say ”did not.” A Deck Problem can only be assigned based on the currently presented deck in a currently ongoing game. Currently, there is no infraction, so we issue no infraction.

Return Peter’s Adanto Vanguard to him. Remind him to check the play area carefully when he stands up. Issue the appropriate extension, and have the players continue their match.

Judges feel free to answer on Judge Apps!


Abagail is playing in a sealed PPTQ. She sits down for game 1 of her match, grabs a pile of roughly 40 sleeved cards out of her deck box, shuffles, and presents to her opponent. Upon drawing her opening hand, she immediately calls a judge and explains that this is her sideboard. She has several other sets of cards sleeved for quick sideboarding, and she just grabbed the wrong pile from her deck box.


Judges feel free to submit your answer here!

This is Tournament Error – Deck Problem. The penalty is a Warning, as none of the upgrade paths apply. Fix the deck to match the list by having Abagail find her correct deck, and verify it matches the list. Since this error occurred during drawing of opening hands, Abagail must take a mulligan, so her new opening hand after shuffling the correct deck will be 6 cards, she may continue to mulligan from that point.

Grim Speculation

You’re the Head and only judge of a Modern PPTQ. Arielle is playing against Nice. Arielle controls a Liliana Vess and he activates Liliana’s -2 ability, searches and finds a card. She then shuffles her library and puts that card on top of it. Arielle then attacks with a Grim Haruspex, and Nick blocks with a Tarmogoyf. They go to combat damage, both creatures die, then Arielle says “draw for Haruspex” and draws a card immediately. Nice reads Grim Haruspex, points out that the card shouldn’t have been drawn, and calls a judge.

What do you do?

Judges feel free to answer on Judge Apps!

Issue Arielle a Warning for Hidden Card Error. Arielle reveals her hand and Nice chooses one card from there to be put back into the top of Arielle’s library. Remind both players to read their cards carefully.

Landed in Hot Water

During a deck check in round 4 of a PPTQ, you quickly spread out the player’s deck, face down.You notice that five of the cards seem to be in sleeves that are a millimeter or two smaller than the rest. Those 5 cards are a Botanical Sanctum, an Island, an Aether Hub, a Spirebluff Canal and a Servant of the Conduit. You ask the player about his sleeving process, and he says that he sorted the deck, filled out his deck list, then shuffled his deck a bit, then sleeved. He also mentions that he had to use two packs, because the first pack didn’t have quite enough sleeves for his entire deck. You’ve ruled out any type of Cheating. What do you do?

Issue the player a Game Loss for Marked Cards. The five cards which are discernable from the rest are all blue lands or are able to produce blue mana within a turn. Knowledge of this could enable a player to gain substantial advantage, so the penalty is upgraded to a Game Loss.

Judges feel free to answer here!