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.

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.

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.

Once again through the Grizzle

Andy is playing against Nole in a Competitive REL Legacy tournament, and controls a morph and a Grizzly Bears. During Andy’s declare attackers step Nole casts Murderous Cut targeting Grizzly Bears. Andy responds by paying Grim Haruspex‘s morph cost and turning it face up. Andy puts the Grizzly Bears into the graveyard and says “draw trigger”. Nole casts Collected Company in response, putting two creatures onto the battlefield. After Collected Company has resolved Andy passes the turn to Nole who realizes during his draw step that Andy forgot to draw a card and calls for a judge. What would you do?
Judges feel free to answer on Judge Apps!
Answer
Andy has acknowledged his trigger specifically by saying “draw trigger” so this is no longer Missed Trigger, but a Game Rule Violation for not resolving the trigger correctly. Andy receives a Warning for Game Rule Violation, and Nole a Warning for Failure to Maintain Game State. Use the approved partial fix from GRV to have Andy draw the card now.

Light in the Darkness

At a Modern PPTQ Atari is playing against Nintendo. On her first turn Atari plays an Island and passes the turn. Nintendo plays a Darksteel Citadel and a Lantern of Insight and passes after both players have revealed their top cards. During Nintendo’s end step Atari casts Thought Scour targeting herself, it resolves and she puts the top 3 cards into her graveyard, then flips the next card on top of her library, and then begins to draw that card. As she is drawing, Nintendo realizes what has happened, stops her and calls a Judge.

What do you do?

Judges feel free to answer on Judge Apps!

Answer
Atari receives a Warning for a Game Rule Violation. She has put an extra card into her graveyard with Thought Scour. As all the cards are revealed, almost drawing the top card is not an infraction.

Move the 3rd card put into the graveyard into Atari’s hand, make sure the card that Atari was about to draw is put back on top, and let the game continue.

“Meat and eggs. We eat!” – Borborygmos

Peyton and Penelope are playing in your PPTQ. During round 3 they finished their match early, and went and got lunch from the Chinese restaraunt next door. They returned to their table and ate their lunch. You just announced pairings for round 4, and notice that they left their to-go boxes at the table they were eating at, as well as empty drink bottles, and some spilled General Tso’s sauce. Players are moving to their seats, and the two players now paired at the table have arrived and point out the trash to you. What do you do?

 

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Answer
First, either clean up the boxes/bottles and wipe up the mess if possible, or find an appropriate alternate table for the two new players to sit, and ensure they receive their correct match slip. Then, when Peyton and Penelope have finished their match, talk to each of them and let them know that it’s not cool to leave their trash around so that someone else has to pick it up, and that it was disruptive to other players. Also let them know that they are receiving a Warning for Unsporting Conduct – Minor.

Strictly Surgical Sideboarding

During a deck check at a Modern PPTQ, you notice that Percy has an extra card in one of the sleeves of his sideboard. The sideboard contains two copies of Surgical Extraction, and the extra card is a third copy of Surgical Extraction. It is faced backwards behind another sideboard card. Other than that, his deck is legal. You return to the table and pull Percy aside, where he explains that he was given his 15th sideboard card last minute, and had nowhere else to put the card he was removing. He also mentions that during the pregame procedure, he showed his sideboard to his opponent and pointed out the doubled cards, even informing and showing his opponent that the reversed card is Surgical Extraction. Percy’s opponent, Olivia, confirms the story. What do you do?

Judges feel free to answer on Judge Apps!

Answer
While Percy does have an extra card with his sideboard, which would normally be a Deck Problem, this is legal. The MTR requires players to present their sideboard, since this isn’t always done, we default to “whatever else is in the deck box.” By pointing out exactly which cards are his sideboard, Percy avoids a penalty here.

Thank Percy for following an obscure rule, and make sure he understands the consequences should he fail to present his sideboard. Even if he is going to explicitly point out his sideboard each match, he should still remove the extra card from the sleeve, leave it in his box and keep his sideboard outside of the box, to avoid confusion.