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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D’oh-main

You are the only judge at a local Modern GPT. Nat calls you over and explains that Addison just cast a Tribal Flames on his Siege Rhino, saying “5 to your rhino.” Nat responded by activating his Tectonic Edge targeting Addison’s Blood Crypt. The players had then both recalculated for Tribal Flames, and realized that Addison had only controlled 4 basic land types before Nat activated Tectonic Edge. You believe that Addison’s mistake was unintentional. What do you do?

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Answer
As you all can tell, Addison misrepresented how much damage her Tribal Flames would do when she cast it. Addison is therefore guilty of a Communication Policy Violation. Look at a parallel situation: We give a CPV if you say ‘attack you for 3 with my Tarmogoyf’, then realize you accidentally miscounted when no blockers are declared and deal 4 damage. Just like with a tarmogoyf miscount, you also can’t give inaccurate information about what a spell will do when it resolves. For her infraction, Addison will receive a warning. As for the fix, CPV does give us the ability to back up, and this is a situation where the gameis in a significantly better place if we back up than if we do not. Since it occurred after the CPV, the Tectonic Edge activation will be undone, and the Blood Crypt returned to the battlefield. Since casting Tribal Flames was legal, that action will stand. Play will resume with Tribal Flames on the stack targeting Siege Rhino, and Nat having priority.

The Majestic Unicorn

Andy and Nichole are playing in a Modern GPT. During his second main phase, Andy attempts to play a land for the turn. Nichole stops him, telling him that he’s already played a land for the turn. Andy says “Oops!” Then he puts the land back in hand and passes the turn.

Nichole untaps, draws, plays a land and casts Ronom Unicorn. Andy pauses for a second then says, “Hey. I went first, and now you have more lands in play than me. I actually didn’t play a land last turn.”

“Huh? … Whoa. You’re totally right.”

“Judge!”

What do you do?

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Answer
As many may have pointed out, this is a Communication Policy Violation.
Lets take a look at the following documents:-
Infraction Procedure Guide 3.7

A player violates the Player Communication policy detailed in section 4.1 of the Magic Tournament Rules (MTR).

Additional Remedy
If the situation is simple enough to safely back up without too much disruption to the course of the game, the judge may get permission from the Head Judge to back up the game to the point of the incorrect information. Each action taken is undone until the game reaches the point immediately prior to the error. Cards incorrectly placed in hand are returned to the location in the zone from which they were moved (if the identity of the incorrectly drawn card is not known to all players, a random card is returned instead). Once the game is backed up, it continues from that point.

MTR 4.1
Free information is information to which all players are entitled access without contamination or omissions made by their opponents. If a player is ever unable or unwilling to provide free information to an opponent that has requested it, he or she should call a judge and explain the situation. Free information includes:

• Details of current game actions and past game actions that still affect the game state.

The following rules govern player communication:

• Players may not represent derived or free information incorrectly.

Whether a player has played a land is free information, and Nichole has misrepresented that information unintentionally, so she gets a CPV Warning.

Now, let’s consider the fix. The Knowledge Pool Team are of the opinion that little enough has happened that the situation is simple enough to safely back up with minimal disruption to the game.

We rewind to Andy’s second main phase by returning Ronom Unicorn to Nichole’s hand, putting a random card back on top of her library, and tapping any lands that were tapped on the previous turn. Andy may now play his land, and the players continue the game from that point.

Chronicler of Uh-Ohs

Apple and Nectarine are playing at a PTQ. Apple controls a Gyre Sage with a +1/+1 counter on it. He casts Chronicler of Heroes and says “Trigger both guys.” Nectarine replies, “Before she evolves, kill her with Orhzov Charm.”
“Sure. Take 3. Draw for the Chronicler?”
“Sure.”
Apple draws his card, then looks down and realizes that the doesn’t have a creature with a +1/+1 counter anymore.
“Uh oh. Judge!”

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Answer
Time to wrap things up!

The Definition of Drawing Extra Cards in the IPG contains the provision: ”If the player received confirmation from his or her opponent before drawing the card (including confirming the number of cards when greater than one), the infraction is not Drawing Extra Cards.“ Since Apple confirmed with Nectarine before he drew the card, this isn’t Drawing Extra Cards.

When a Game Play Error occurs and it isn’t another specific infraction, it defaults to being a Game Rules Violation. And, since Nectarine confirmed the erroneous play, she also receives Failure to Maintain Game State.

Since the error has just occurred with no subsequent actions taken, the head judge is going to rewind this every time. To rewind a card draw, take a card from Apple’s hand and put it on top of his library. Do not shuffle the library.

We also had some discussion about whether we could invoke some sort of Out of Order Sequencing here. The answer is a definite ”no.” While it may be tempting to say that this could exist as a legal game state, neither player believes that legal series of events has occurred, and there is no evidence to contradict their understanding.

You can choose any color you want, as long as it’s black.

Aaron and Nadine are playing in a Legacy Grand Prix. Aaron has a Griselbrand and a Tidespout Tyrant in his graveyard. He announces, “I’m going to Exhume my Tyrant.” Nadine says, “OK, Exhume resolves. I choose my Shriekmaw“.

Aarons says “Oh, I didn’t realize you had that… then on resolution I’m going to pick my Griselbrand instead.” Nadine calls you over. What is your ruling?

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View Answer
Hello all! I’m very glad to see that everyone remembers there are no takeseys-backseys at Competitive REL! We’re all correct that Aaron is going to have to stick to his choice here. Now, on to the penalty.

Three options were discussed Game Rule Violation (i), Communication Policy Violation (ii) and No Penalty (iii).

Regarding i – Reading the IPG, we see that a GRV “…handles violations of the Comprehensive Rules…”. Tournament shortcuts are not part of the Comprehensive rules, they’re part of the MTR. As such, deviations from the shortcut guidelines do not qualify as GRVs.

Regarding ii – We have 4 rules that players must follow when communicating. They must answer judge questions completely and honestly, they must not represent derived or free information incorrectly, they must answer questions honestly regarding free information, and at Regular we consider derived information to be free information. None of these rules were violated by either player.

Regarding iii – Since neither player has done anything that qualifies as an infraction, we’re into the No Penalty Zone. We want to educate the players accordingly. Inform Aaron that he cannot change his mind at this point, and inform him that if he announces a choice before he is required to, that he will be obligated to stick to that choice unless his opponent takes an action before he would be required to make that choice.

So there we have it, no infraction has been committed so no penalty is issued, but Aaron doesn’t get to change his mind. This is an opportunity for education, but not one we need to penalize.