Calls from the Floor of GP Sydney

Chengji Wang, Level 2, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Chengji Wang, Level 2, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


GP Sydney 2016 was my second GP in Australia. Due to the PT on the following weekend, there were a lot of pro-players present at the GP. This made the main event very professional and wonderful. Most of pro players are kind and professional. Their errors were few and far between. Thus the event went very smoothly.



Interesting Rulings

a) Drawing a Card?


– AP controls an Ulvenwald Observer and a Sage of Ancient Lore.

– AP has 4 cards in hand.

– AP sacrifices the Sage to pay for the emerge cost of Decimator of the Provinces

Will AP draw a card?


The first step of casting a spell is to move the card from the hand to the stack. When the emerge cost is paid, AP has 3 cards in hand. Sage is a 3/3 and sacrificing it does not trigger Observer’s ability. No card will be drawn

b) Missed Trigger?


AP controls a Tooth Collector and has delirium.

At the end of AP’s previous two turns, he said that Tooth Collector would trigger at NAP’s next upkeep.

This time AP said nothing when he ended his turn. NAP was kind of surprised by AP’s silence and waited for 2 seconds after the untap step for AP to mention the trigger. Then NAP asked ”Draw?” and thought he heard AP say “OK” and drew the card for his turn. After NAP drew, AP remembered the ability for Tooth Collector and called for a judge.


AP and NAP agreed on what happened in the previous turns.

AP claimed that he didn’t hear NAP say “draw” and didn’t say “OK”.

AP thought he should have the trigger even though he didn’t indicate the trigger this time.


AP likely forgot the ability since he didn’t mention it like in previous turns.

It’s possible that AP and NAP didn’t hear each other clearly, causing some misunderstanding. Thus there is no evidence that AP passed priority.

The critical question here is: did NAP give AP the chance to pass priority?

There is no reason for NAP to wait forever in his upkeep for AP to remember the trigger. Though AP should have a chance in NAP’s upkeep to mention the triggered ability. This is also why players cannot push forward the game state to cause their opponents to miss triggers.

In this case the period between untap and draw was significant enough since NAP waited a few seconds to see if AP wanted the trigger. NAP also tried to communicate with AP (even though not successfully) before drawing so the draw wasn’t immediate. NAP already did everything he could do to give AP the chance to remember the ability. AP didn’t announce his trigger before the draw which means AP’s trigger was missed.


I told both players that the trigger was missed. I also told AP how best to trigger his abilities during his opponent’s turn, by clearly indicating them. Finally, I asked AP if he wanted to appeal, and AP chose not to appeal.

Rulings for further consideration

c) You cut my deck?


This case happened in the modern Super Sunday Series Qualifier on Friday.

AP cast Collected Company. After resolving CoCo, NAP accidentally cut AP’s library. While cutting, NAP dropped the bottom card on the table without revealing its identity.


Accidentally cutting AP’s library is a GRV and dropping the bottom card, even if it’s not revealed, should be seen as LEC.

(Editor’s note: there is some discussion about this on the forum – join in! Also, when giving an infraction look at the root cause, not the errors made after that first mistake, and for LEC the card has to be seen).

In fact, I didn’t notice the dropped card at first so I asked AP if he remembered what cards were on the bottom of his library. If I can get this information, I can locate where NAP cut the library and fix the problem. Unfortunately, AP didn’t know, making it impossible to fix the problem. My ruling was to maintain the game state and not change the library.

After the ruling, AP asked me if I could shuffle the library. At that time, I thought that shuffling again doesn’t matter and it would make the player happy, so I agree to shuffle. Then the players ask me about the dropped card and I confirm with both players that this card was at the bottom of the library. Finally I shuffle the rest of the library and put the dropped card at the bottom.

I think this ruling is wrong. Shuffling the library again won’t make the situation better but can make it worse. Because the cards at the bottom before the cut will be in the middle of the library, but after shuffling they could be closer to the top. Shuffling a deck that was shuffled by accident is also not an option in the IPG when fixing a GRV. Also, if I wanted to fix the dropped card, the LEC fix is shuffling this card into the library, not leaving it at the bottom.

Possible remedies for this situation are:

  1. Putting the dropped card at the bottom of the library and leaving it. (Don’t fix LEC because I don’t want to give the cards that should be at bottom any chance to be on the top, I’m not sure if this is correct)
  2. Shuffling the dropped card into the library.

 d) These aren’t my cards?


At the start of Round 14 of Day 2, a player draws cards from the opponent’s library. Noticing the wrong cards in their opening hand they call for a judge.


The player saw cards they shouldn’t have seen. This is looking at extra cards and the fix is shuffling the cards into the correct library and this player gets a warning.


This looks like a normal case. Though after Jared Sylva’s presentation on investigations after the GP at the judge conference, I think I should have gathered more grounding information.

(Editor’s note: grounding information is what you get by asking all the who/where/what/how/why questions to make a framework for your investigation.)

There is the possibility that the player aimed to get information by drawing from their opponent’s deck. Their sleeves were both black, but the backs were noticeably different, one was smooth and the other was matte. Players always draw their opening hand immediately after returning their opponent’s library after shuffling. So it’s not very easy to draw from an opponent’s library at the start of the game.

I think I should have investigated for the following information:

  1. What happened after players shuffled their opponent’s deck and gave them back? Did they decide who will play first before drawing their opening hands?
  2. How were the cards drawn? Were they drawn one by one or all at once? If the player drew the cards one by one, did they check the colours of the cards? If the colour was different, the player should have noticed the mistake when drawing the first card.


This was a great weekend. I have made many wonderful memories and have also learnt a lot. I’ll be very appreciative of your ideas or advice about my rulings.


(Editor’s note: Join in on the forum in JudgeApps!)

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