More Like a Standing Ballista

You’re the Head Judge of a Standard PPTQ and notice a match where Albert has a Walking Ballista in play with no counters on it. You inspect the match and see no other toughness pumping effect keeping it in play, so you step in and ask what’s going on. Albert quickly realizes his error, picks up a die and sets it on Walking Ballista, showing 1 counter. Albert explains that he has cast Walking Ballista for 1 in each game of this match, and had forgotten the counter when he did so a couple of turns ago. Albert’s opponent, Nikki, agrees that it should have one counter.

What do you do?

Judges feel free to answer on Judge Apps!

Seas the Moment

Ajit is playing against Niko at a Modern PPTQ. Ajit casts Spreading Seas targeting Niko’s Glacial Fortress and says “Trigger, draw a card”. Niko stops Ajit from drawing, floats one white mana, then allows Spreading Seas to resolve. Ajit thinks for a minute, then says “Go to Combat?” Niko taps one Mountain and casts Lightning Helix targeting Ajit’s Snapcaster Mage. The players put their cards into their graveyards, then Niko calls for a judge, and says “Ajit missed his Spreading Seas trigger.”

What do you do?

Judges feel free to answer on Judge Apps!

The key piece of information that many missed was the fact that Niko must be acting in Ajit’s Main Phase, since the floating white mana was used to cast Lightning Helix.

Since Niko is acting in Ajit’s main phase, Ajit using the combat shortcut is no longer relevant – he effectively only passed priority once since Niko responded immediately. Niko could have been acting with the Spreading Seas trigger still on the stack, so we treat it as such. No game actions have been taken that indicate we are past the point where the trigger should have resolved.

There is no infraction, the Spreading Seas trigger is still on the stack.

A Latecomer to the Breakfast Club

You are the head judge of a PPTQ and entering into the final round when floor judge Emily approaches you with an appeal. Emily has issued a game loss for Tardiness to Harley. Harley says that they was not in their seat at the start of the round, as they had gone off site with friends for breakfast. Harley protests, “but you announced the last round would end at 5:05, and I was back before that!”
What do you do?
Judges feel free to answer on Judge Apps!
Return to the table and explain to Harley and their opponent… “… I’m overturning the floor judge’s ruling because while Harley was late for the beginning of the round, we don’t give game losses so long as you’re at your table before the previous round should have ended. It looks like we’re still well ahead of schedule, so let’s get y’all on your way, and get you a time extension so you get the full 50 minutes for the round”

The Secrets of Sportsmanship

Amir is playing against Nemo at a large Competitive REL Modern event. On his first turn of the match, Amir plays an Island and puts an unchecked Shadows over Innistrad checklist card onto the table, saying “Delver”, and gets a Delver of Secrets from his box to represent it in play. Nemo calls for a judge and points out the issue with the checklist card. Nemo explains that he doesn’t think Amir should be severely penalized, and even offers to give Amir 4 Innistrad checklist cards so they can continue the match from here. What do you do?

Judges feel free to answer on Judge Apps!

Amir receives a Game Loss for Deck Problem, as his deck contained a card that wasn’t listed on his deck list. The penalty is a Game Loss because it was discovered by an opponent.

Your Authority has been Revoked

Adam is playing against Nadine at a Modern PPTQ. Adam says “I’ll Thoughtseize you, then cast Phyrexian Revoker” and puts both cards on the table. Nadine has no responses, and Adam sees Nadine’s hand of Relic of Progenitus, Inkmoth Nexus, and two Swamps. Adam says “I’ll take the Relic, then name Inkmoth.” Three turns later, Nadine plays a Liliana of the Veil, activates Liliana’s +1 ability, and both players discard a card. Adam discards another copy of Phyrexian Revoker, and then realizes that it can’t name land cards, so he calls for a judge. What do you do?

Judges feel free to answer on Judge Apps!

Coming Soon!

A Monumental Mistake

Amy is playing against Nigel in a Modern PPTQ, with her Eldrazi deck. She controls an Eldrazi Monument, an Eldrazi Displacer, and an Eldrazi Skyspawner, and several lands. Amy untaps, draws, then attacks with all of her creatures. While thinking about blockers, Nigel notices that Eldrazi Monument should have triggered and calls for a judge. Amy admits to missing her trigger, but also asks if she can use her Displacer to blink her Skyspawner to make a token to sacrifice. What do you do to fix the situation, and can Amy do what she wants?

Coming Soon!

Judges feel free to answer on Judge Apps!

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!
This is not an infraction. Remove the treasure token from the deck, and let the players continue playing. Tokens, even if in the same sleeve as the deck aren’t considered when determining deck legality. Advise the players to be careful, and that sleeving tokens in different colored sleeves is recommended.

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!