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.

Answer
Coming Soon!

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Ambidecksterity

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.

 

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Answer
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?

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Answer
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?

Answer
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.

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Back to the Drawing Board

With 12 minutes left in the last swiss round of a PPTQ you’re head judging, two players, Allison and Nate, call you over. They tell you that they intentionally drew their match during game 5, and didn’t know how to report it. You ask what happened, and Allison tells you,

“Well, we’re best friends, and we both make Top 8 if we draw and the match at the next table doesn’t draw. We both know this, so after we each won a game we intentionally drew the next two after about 10 turns. The next match over did finally end with a winner, so we’re drawing the match now. Nate thinks intentional draws are always supposed to be 0-0-3, but I’m confused because we played 5 games. Who’s right?”

You talk to a judge who’s playing in the event, and he says they were playing pretty quickly the whole time he watched, but then abruptly drew the game when the match next to them ended. What do you do?

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There is no infraction.
Instruct Allison that she’s right – because they each won a game before eventually drawing three games and the match, and all games that are played are expected to be reported, their match slip should list one win for each of them, and three draws, 1-1-3.

Re-Stacked and Re-Pact

Arthur and Neil are playing in a Modern PPTQ. At the end of Arthur’s turn, Neil taps out to cast Peer Through Depths. Arthur responds with Dispel. Neil responds with Pact of Negation. Arthur thinks for a moment, then casts Spell Pierce.

Neil pauses, says “Ah, nuts…” then puts his spells in his graveyard. Arthur does the same.

Neil untaps and draws for his turn.

Arthur says, “You didn’t pay for Pact.”
Neil replies, “You Spell Pierced it.”
“No, I Pierced the Peer Through Depths.”
“Judge!”

What do you do?

Answer
Since Arthur didn’t state he was targeting Peer Through Depths with Spell pierce, he is assumed to be targeting Pact of Negation as per MTR 4.2. Nothing happened that would result in a warning or back-up, educate the players about the Tournament Shortcut and the need to be clear in communicating intended game actions, and have the players continue.

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A Weak Link in the Chain?

In a Legacy GP match that you are observing, Apollo is at 3 life while playing against Neptune, who is at 5 life. Apollo casts Chain Lightning, tapping one of his two Mountains, targeting Neptune, who has several red mana available. Neptune says “it resolves” and marks herself down to 2. Apollo looks at you, waits a few seconds, then announces he’s casting a second Chain Lightning targeting Neptune. What do you do?

Answer
Apollo has committed a CPV for not confirming that Neptune was opting not to pay RR to copy Chain Lightning. Issue him a CPV-warning and back up to the point where Neptune has the option to pay RR to make a copy.

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Mutually Beneficial Assistance

Aidan is playing against Naaraa in the top 8 of a large Competitive REL tournament that has video and text coverage. Both players were given access to each other’s decklist prior to the start of the match, as they had been previously posted online. During Game 2, you turn around from watching another match and see that both players are reading their opponent’s decklist during the game. When asked, they explain that they thought this was okay, and both wanted to review what their opponent might have sideboarded. What do you do?

 

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Answer
Both Aidan and Naara have solicited and received Outside Assistance. The information they acquired was available to them between games, as the decklists were effectively part of their sideboard notes, so the downgrade clause in OA applies. Each receives a Game Loss for Outside Assistance, these game losses are not applied as they were issued at the same time. Game 2 of the match ends and is not recorded, a new Game 2 begins. Be sure to remind both players what constitutes notes, and that they should not look at their notes during a game.

About to get Domi-nated

August is playing against November at your Modern PPTQ, it’s a third game of the final match. November controls several creatures, he has no cards in hand, 1 life and is fully tapped out. August controls 8 lands, he has 3 cards in hand and 1 life. August casts Domri Rade, activates its +1 ability, looks at the top card of his library for a moment, then grabs it and puts it into his hand. November is about to stop him, but it’s too late. Both players immediately call a judge. August has 2 Mountains, and a Keldon Marauders in hand. What do you do?

 

 

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Answer
August receives a Warning for Hidden Card Error. August shows his hand to November. November picks a card, and returns it to the top of August’s library. After this August performs the action again and may show the card. If November choses to pick a mountain to put on top of the library it will stay there.

Not all Gideons are Allies

Abel is playing in a Standard PPTQ against Nick. Abel taps 4 Plains, declares ‘Cast Gideon, Ally of Zendikar’, and puts a card from his hand onto the table. He then says ‘make a knight’, and puts a 2/2 Knight Ally token into play, and says ‘your turn.’ After he draws for turn, Nick is evaluating the board state and notices that the card in play is Gideon of the Trials, not Gideon, Ally of Zendikar. The players call for a judge, and when you arrive you verify that there is in fact a Gideon, Ally of Zendikar in Abel’s hand, he simply put down the wrong card.

What do you do?

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answer
Abel receives a Warning for Game Rule Violation, and Nick a Warning for Failure to Maintain Game State. Back the game up to the point of the error, including returning a random card from Nick’s hand to the top of his library, tapping any appropriate lands, removing the Knight token, and returning Gideon to Abel’s hand and untapping Abel’s lands.