Wrapped Away

You are a floor judge watching Allie and Nemo play in a sealed PPTQ. Allie is attacking Nemo with her Labyrinth Guardian. Before the combat damage step, Nemo casts Final Reward targeting the Labyrinth Guardian and says, “Exile the Guardian before damage.” Allie moves her Labyrinth Guardian card on top of her other exiled cards and then looks at her hand, thinking about which creature to cast after combat. What do you do?

Feel free to answer on Judge Apps!


Allie has committed a Game Play Error – Missed Trigger infraction for not remembering to sacrifice her Labyrinth Guardian before letting Nemo’s Final Reward resolve. Since Labyrinth Guardian’s triggered ability is considered generally detrimental, Allie will receive a warning for the infraction. Pause the game and indicate the missed trigger to the players. Nemo may choose to put the trigger on the stack now, but it won’t do anything as it resolves.

The Lathnu Time I’ll Forget!

Anduin and Nythendra are playing in a Kaladesh/Aether Revolt Sealed PPTQ. On Anduin’s turn, he casts Lathnu Hellion. Nythendra has no response, and Anduin says “Gain 2 energy?” Nythendra nods approvingly. Anduin then asks if he can go to combat, and attacks with the Hellion and a Longtusk Cub. Nythendra says “no blocks”, and both players adjust life totals. Anduin then says “Go.” Nythendra untaps and draws a card, then proclaims “Hey, you didn’t get energy for the Longtusk Cub dealing damage to me!“ Anduin’s replies ”right, I completely forgot. I also forgot my Lathnu Hellion trigger.“ At this point Nythendra raises her hand and calls ”Judge!” What do you do?

Judges feel free to discuss this scenario on Judge Apps.


Anduin receives a Warning for Missed trigger for the Lathnu Hellion trigger. For the Longtusk Cub, Nythendra can let Anduin resolve the trigger now or let it stay missed.

For the Lathnu Hellion trigger, Nythendra gets the choice of either:
Resolve the default action the next time a player would receive priority
Do nothing and leave it missed

Be Patient, then Dash!

At a PPTQ you’re head judging, Art attacks Nin with a Dashed Lightning Berserker. The players calculate damage, then Art passes the turn. Nin takes her turn, then passes back the turn. Art attacks with the Berserker again on his next turn, pumping it multiple times with its activated ability. With the last of those activations on the stack, Nin calls you over and points out that the Berserker should have been returned to Art’s hand at the end of his last turn.

When you investigate further, you learn that Art had completely forgotten that he dashed this Berserker in since he cast one normally earlier in the game. You also learn that Nin noticed the issue during her turn, but decided to wait to call you until now to throw off Art’s game plan. What do you do?

Judges, feel free to discuss this scenario on Judge Apps!

Nin, while she noticed an infraction but didn’t call immediate attention to it, has not committed any infraction herself because players are NEVER obligated to point out their opponent’s missed triggers. Therefore she is within her right to notice the error and wait to call a judge later. She is gaining an advantage through paying more attention to the game than her opponent and knowing very well how the rules apply to the situation, both of which are legal and encouraged.

Art is guilty of GPE-Missed Trigger, and because the dash ability’s delayed trigger is generally detrimental, he will be awarded a warning. Because this is a delayed trigger that changes the zones of an object, it doesn’t expire, and will be resolved either the next time a player would get priority or at the start of the next phase, whichever Nin chooses.

A Fall from Grace?

You are the only judge in a Modern Masters 2015 Sealed PPTQ.

Angus is playing against Neil. Angus swings with his Battlegrace Angel, saying “exalted” as he taps it, and Neil says, “No blocks.” Angus takes his pen and says, “So you take 5 damage.” He writes this down and continues, “and I gain 5 life.” Neil disagrees because Angus didn’t announce the lifelink trigger from the Angel when he attacked, and calls you.

What do you do?

Judges, feel free to discuss this scenario on Judge Apps!

AnswerAs Charles noted, there is no infraction in this scenario. Both triggered abilities from Battlegrace Angel are triggered abilities that affect the game state in non-visible ways. So Angus must demonstrate awareness of the abilities the first time the change has an effect on visible game state. That moment is when Battlegrace Angel deals combat damage.
We should explain to Neil that Angus has not missed any of those triggers and why, then ask them to continue playing.[/answer]

I mustache you a question

You are the head and only judge for a standard PPTQ. Adam is playing against Norbert. Norbert controls a Mogis, God of Slaughter. Adam controls an Orchard Spirit and an Aven Battle Priest. Adam starts his turn saying “Untap, Upkeep, Draw” and draws his card for turn, he then slams Abzan Advantage on the table saying, “Target you!” to Norbert. Norbert then says, “Hold on, are you sacking something or taking 2?” Adam calls for a judge and says that Norbert missed his trigger. What do you do?

Judges, feel free to discuss this scenario on Judge Apps!

Hello again friends! Let’s get down to it!
Norbert has not missed his trigger. He demonstrated awareness of the trigger before taking an active role (such as taking an action or explicitly passing priority). Therefore no penalty is applied and the trigger resolves.

The new bit of the IPG we wanted to highlight here is some clarifying wording on when a trigger is missed by NAP.

Players may not cause triggered abilities controlled by an opponent to be missed by taking game actions or otherwise prematurely advancing the game. During an opponent’s turn, if a trigger’s controller demonstrates awareness of the trigger before they take an active role (such as taking an action or explicitly passing priority), the trigger is remembered.

Rebound swinging

You’re the head and only judge at a limited GPT.

Amy is playing against Neil, and controls Dragonlord Atarka and Surrak, the Hunt Caller. As Amy is about to enter her combat phase, Neil casts Ojutai’s Breath on her Dragonlord Atarka, placing the spell sideways beside his graveyard. Amy thinks for a bit and decides not to attack with her Surrak and passes the turn.

Neil draws for his turn and proceeds to attack with his Shu Yun, the Silent Tempest. As Amy is about to block, Neil realizes his Ojutai’s Breath is still in exile, and calls you over.

What do you do?

Judges, feel free to discuss this scenario on Judge Apps!

Hello Judges! This week’s discussion went quite nicely, touching on all the points we wanted to make with this scenario.

Everyone quickly identified that Neil had committed a GPE – Missed Trigger and would not be getting a Warning for it, as a triggered ability that lets you cast a spell for free is not considered generally detrimental. What’s more, any trigger that gives its controller the option not to do anything is never considered generally detrimental as, after all, there is the option not to do anything.

Now, regarding the fix, two very important points were made:

  • Though rebound does create a delayed triggered ability, this ability does not cause a zone change; it merely lets you cast your spell. This means we can’t just resolve it immediately.
  • If you look closely, you’ll notice that the IPG does not say anything about how to deal with “optional” triggered abilities or those that include “may” in their wording; it only mentions what to do with triggers that have a default option. These latter ones are worded to include phrases like “Do X. If you can’t/don’t, do Y” or “Unless you do X, do Y.” As such, we cannot assume that Neil chose the “default” option to not cast his spell because there is none.

So, we go back to the old trusty “Amy, do you want to place Neil’s trigger at the bottom of the stack?” If she decides to do so, Neil may decide whether or not to cast his Ojutai’s Breath.

No Pain, No Gain

Ari and Ned are playing against each other in round 3 of a local GPT. On turn four, Ari untaps the Pain Seer he attacked with last turn and says ‘Seer trigger’. In response, Ned casts a Lightning Strike, killing the Seer. Once the spells resolve, Ari draws his card for turn, then realizes he didn’t reveal it for the trigger. You’re called over. What do you do?

Judges, feel free to discuss this scenario on Judge Apps!

Thank you all for your participation this week! Rules changes can be minor and sometimes easy to forget, and this one is no exception.

Pain Seer has a trigger which requires a physical action on resolution. As such, simply acknowledging the trigger is not sufficient for the trigger existing – if you forget to take the required action as it resolves, you have still missed it. In this scenario, despite pointing out the trigger, Ari did not take the required action (revealing the top card of his library, potentially losing life, then putting the card into his hand), and instead moved right to his draw step. Therefore, he has missed the trigger. Because this trigger isn’t generally detrimental, there is no penalty associated with the infraction. Ned will be given the choice whether to have the trigger placed on the stack, then play will resume.

When Speeds Collide

You are the only judge at a Limited GPT. Andy calls you to the table and says: “Last turn Nina attacked with those two creatures.” He is pointing at a tapped Lightning Shrieker and a tapped Zurgo Bellstriker. “She dashed the Zurgo, and then forgot to shuffle the Shrieker and return the Zurgo to hand, just saying go.” You ask some questions and find out Andy has drawn a card for his turn, played Anticipate and was in the middle of casting a creature when he noticed Nina did something wrong. After a brief investigation you conclude no cheating has happened. What do you do?

Judges, feel free to discuss this scenario on Judge Apps!

There is actually a little more going on than you’d might think at first glance. Lets get to it…

There are in fact two missed triggers and we will need to tackle each one separately and even a little differently:

  • The Zurgo Bellsmasher’s Dash is a delayed trigger that causes a zone change. This kind of trigger will resolve without using the stack, but Andy gets to choose whether this will happen now or at the beginning of the next phase, in this case that would be the combat phase. As per the IPG:

If the triggered ability is a delayed triggered ability that changes the zone of an object, resolve it. For these two types of abilities, the opponent chooses whether to resolve the ability the next time a player would get priority or when a player would get priority at the start of the next phase.

  • The Lightning Shrieker’s ability is a normal missed trigger. And even though it causes a zone change, does not fall under the same remedy as a delayed zone change trigger. Here Andy can choose if he wants the trigger to be put on the stack or leave the shy dragon in play. If he chooses to put it on the stack it will go to the bottom, under the creature currently being cast. As per the IPG:

If the triggered ability isn’t covered by the previous two paragraphs, the opponent chooses whether the triggered ability is added to the stack. If it is, it’s inserted at the appropriate place on the stack if possible or on the bottom ofthe stack.

There are two infractions, even though both happen at the same time, do not share a root cause. This description is reserved for when an error occurs and infractions chain off of it. Espen Skarsbø Olsen puts it really well in the first part of his post:

Nina missed two triggers that should have triggered at the same time. Two different triggers, with different actions and different sources. Different partial fixes as well. The only common thing is that both triggers would trigger at the same time. This would all point towards giving two Warnings.

And that is where we can stop analyzing this scenario. There are two triggers that are missed. They have a slightly different remedy but are both generally detrimental. Two different warnings for ‘Game Play Error – Missed Trigger’ are in order.


You are watching Angela and Nefertiti play their match in a Standard GPT. Angela controls Myth Realized with 2 counters represented by a die. She casts Divination, grabs two cards off the top of her library, taps a Plains, rolls her die to 3, and declares Myth Realized as an attacking creature. Nefertiti looks up at you and says, “Judge? Didn’t she miss that trigger?”

What do you do?

Judges, feel free to discuss this scenario on Judge Apps!

As most of you correctly determined, this is Out of Order Sequencing. Although there was a recent update to the trigger policy that requires visible changes, such as the placement of counters on permanents, to be performed at the appropriate time, this does not override a player’s ability to use Out of Order Sequencing.

We have a batch of actions here with a very clear end state: a counter placed, two cards drawn, Myth Realized activated and attacking. Angela has reached this end state successfully, although she didn’t get there in quite the correct sequence. One potential sticking point is that cards were drawn too early. The MTR says “An out-of-order sequence must not result in a player prematurely gaining information which could reasonably affect decisions made later in that sequence.” Notably, although information was prematurely gained by drawing, the two cards drawn could not reasonably affect Angela’s desire to pump her Myth Realized. (Here “reasonably” means that although it is perhaps theoretically possible to construct a scenario where the cards drawn may impact whether a counter should be placed, these scenarios are rare, unrealistic, and not applicable to the game being played.)

No infraction, no penalty. Angela keeps the counter she put on Myth Realized. The players play on.

A-rushin into trouble

You’re watching the last match of round 3 of a Dragons of Tarkir/Fate Reforged Limited PPTQ. Anna controls Champion of Arashin and Anafenza, Kin-Tree Spirit, while Nalick controls no creatures. On her turn, Anna casts Arashin Foremost, points at her Champion of Arashin and says, “Both triggers on champion,” then attacks with the Champion of Arashin and Anafenza. Nalick looks at his hand for a few seconds before saying, “No Blocks.” Anna says, “Ok, so you take eight… no wait, ten! I didn’t put the bolster counter on champion!” Nalick looks at you and says, “Judge, how does that work?”

What do you do?

Judges, feel free to discuss this scenario on Judge Apps!

Thank you all for your thoughtful discourse, let’s wrap this one up! This scenario appears at first to be a perfect fit for the newest change to trigger policy, which says that if a trigger causes a visible change to the board or requires a choice on resolution, that action or choice must be made before changing steps or casting something at sorcery speed, in order for the trigger not to have been missed. However, there’s a very important detail to note about the bolster trigger: As it resolves, it requires a choice between creatures you control with the least toughness.

By indicating her choice of Champion of Arashin before attacking, Anna satisfied the conditions for acknowledging the trigger. However, she unfortunately did not finish resolving the trigger by placing the counter on to her creature. As such, she committed a Game Rule Violation and will receive a warning. Nalick, by not preventing this error, also has some responsibility for the error and as such receives a warning for Failure to Maintain the Game State. As relatively little time has passed since the error, and no partial fixes are applicable to this situation, we will rewind the situation to the point of the mistake. Anna’s attacking creatures will be untapped, and the game resumes during her main phase when the bolster trigger is resolving.