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?

Judges feel free to answer on Judge Apps!

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.”

What do you do?

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.

Please submit your responses here:

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?

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.

Judges feel free to answer on Judge Apps!

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?


Judges feel free to answer on Judge Apps!

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?



Submit your answers here:

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?

Judges feel free to answer on Judge Apps!

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!
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!

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.

Look Ma, No Hand!

Anya is playing against Natalie on day 1 of a Grand Prix. In game 2 of the match Anya activates her Cryptbreaker‘s first ability, discarding a card and saying “create a zombie.” She searches the Hour of Devastation Bundle box she is using for her deck box for a zombie token, and can’t find one immediately, so takes the contents out of the box and puts them on the table. She searches some more, finds the zombies, deploys them, then returns everything to the box. Returning to the game, Anya and Natalie both discover that Anya’s hand of 4 cards is missing. They call for a judge, and you find 19 cards in Anya’s deck box, separated in a group of 8 and a group of 11, divided by the tokens.

You investigate and confirm that Anya should have 4 cards in hand, based on the game state and number of turns passed.

What do you do?

Anya receives a Warning for Hidden Card Error. She put extra cards into her sideboard, and that action can’t be fixed using public information. Natalie will look at the 19 cards that were in Anya’s deck box and choose four to become Anya’s hand.

An expanded answer can be found here.

One Probe, Two Spells, Red Land, Blue Cards

During a Legacy Open run at Competitive REL, Amon casts Gitaxian Probe paying 2 life and targeting Nikki, who responds with Brainstorm. Amon casts Counterspell targeting the Brainstorm. Nikki responds by casting Daze, returning his Volcanic Island to his hand leaving his board empty. As Nikki is resolving Brainstorm, Amon says “Go,” so Nikki untaps and draws for his turn. At this point Amon realizes the Probe was never resolved and calls a judge. What do you do?

Submit your solutions here:

Amon receives a Warning for Game Rule Violation, and Nikki a Warning for Failure to Maintain Game State. Back the game up to the point where Gitaxian Probe is the only object on the stack. When backing up Nikki’s draw step, choose a random card, Volcanic Island is not excluded as it could have been returned with Brainstorm.