Rhein Main Judges January

We moved. The more judges visit the monthly judge meeting near Frankfurt, the different is the distances they need to travel. To better accomodate to the travel distances, Florian Zarges (flrn), that’s the judge who has always made sure we have reserved sufficient space in a restaurant, suggested a restaurant in the center of Frankfurt: Chicago Meatpackers. It’s known for its Ribs and Onion Loaf! 😀

In the January meeting, the first meeting after a huge 4-days event by JK-Entertainment, many situations are still fresh in our minds. The main attractions of that event were Legacy, Highlander and a Standard PTQ.

The topics we discussed are:
1. Policy – Communication – Cavern of Souls on Fish
2. Policy – Philosophy – Tardiness Gameloss
3. Policy – Communication – Attack for 3 when it’s only 2
4. Policy – Rewind – Fetch into Green Sun’s Zenith(GSZ), but didn’t fetch
5. Policy – Rewind – Rest in Peace and Snapcaster Mage, flashbacked Brainstorm
6. Policy – Rewind – 2 GSZ into Thragtusk with Aven Mindcensor
7. Policy – Rewind – True-Name Nemesis got stifled

1. Cavern of Souls on Fish

This topic generated some traffic in the judge forums. Once no more productive comments would come, it was reasonably locked. You can read more about it at http://apps.magicjudges.org/forum/topic/7834/.

Ahmed plays Cavern of Souls. Norbert asks “Creature type?”. Ahmed replies: “Fish”. Norbert confirms: “Fish?” which Ahmed agrees on: “Yes, fish.”

Scenario a) The two players play a few turns, not using the Cavern of Souls. Then, Ahmed attempts to cast a Cursecatcher using the Cavern of Souls mana. Norbert objects “It’s not a fish.”

Scenario b) Directly after naming Fish, Ahmed attempts to cast a Cursecatcher. Norbert objects “It’s not a fish.”

The majority of us allow to cast Cursecatcher, if nothing else happened in between (scenario b). At that point, it’s clear that Cavern of Souls meant the Fish-Merfolk. Ahmed gained no advantage from the poor communication so it’s fine to cast Cursecatcher right after Cavern of Souls on Fish.

A judge from forums put our idea into good words:
Magic is not a game of “Gotcha.” I see no reason to encourage bad behavior
by rewarding a player for deliberately misunderstanding what its generally
clear communications.

The more happened, the less likely are we to allow to “change” from Fish to Merfolk.
The argument here is: The opponent may not be put at a disadvantage from Ahmed’s miscommunication. Norbert might shuffle away his Wasteland with Brainstorm because he doesn’t fear any Fish or because of other decisions.

If things happened in the game in between naming Fish(-Fish) and trying to cast a Fish(-Merfolk), we don’t allow to cast Cursecatcher with the Caverns.

If literally NOTHING happened since playing Cavern of Souls and naming something, we allow Ahmed to cast Cursecatcher.

To sum it up: Fish is Fish.





2. Tardiness Gameloss Philosophy

Ahmed comes around 3 minutes late to the round in a Competitive Event. The Floor Judge issues a Game Loss for TE-Tardiness to the player. The player appeals, the appeal is upheld.
Not an interesting story, worth discussing?

But why do we give a Gameloss to a player who’s just 3 minutes late?

The IPG says “Players are responsible for being on time and in the correct seat for their matches, and for completing registrations in a timely manner. ” but that’s not a throughout enough explanation for us. Why is it necessary that the penalty for TE-Tardiness is a Game Loss instead of a Warning?

A player that’s late potentially delays the tournament. Even if the opponent is “nice” and doesn’t mind, the 130 other players in the room will mind.
An exploration of the idea: What happens if the penalty is a Warning until 10 minutes in the round ? There will always be plenty of late players. This means roughly 10 minutes longer rounds. Summed up to the end of the day, that’s at least an hour. That’s why the penalty Game Loss is necessary. A Warning would not stop players from delaying the tournament.

3. Loam Lion without Forest, with Exalted and “Attack for 3”

Alan controls Loam Lion, Qasali Pridemage and Mother of Runes but no Forest. Nadja controls a Scavenging Ooze with one +1/+1 counter and some untapped Forests.

Alan taps his Loam Lion to declare it as attacker and announces “Attack for 3”. He missed that Loam Lion has only 2 power. He still believes he has a Forest.
A judge Julien intervenes here and corrects: “That’s only 2”. He gets a stunned look from Nadja. Nadja says Julien helped Alan, Nadja says Julien committed Outside Assistance.

This situation needs to be cleared up. Who did wrong at what point? What infractions occured?

Alan (unintentionally) lied didn’t tell the truth about the power of his creature. Since the statement “Attack for 3” is certainly not a statement about future gamestate, but instead about current power/toughness, Alan committed a TE-Communication Policy Violation. He represented derived (or free) information incorrectly. The penalty is a Warning.

Nadja <strong>notices</strong> her opponent doesn’t know about the missing Forest. Nadja’s plan is to <strong>use this to her advantage</strong>. How? Investigation shows Nadja wanted to block the Loam Lion with the Scavenging Ooze (making the opponent believe a 3/4 is blocked by a 3/3) and then ask to resolve the combat damage. Then, when she’d point out Loam Lion is dead, it’s already too late for Alan to activate the Mother of Runes to protect Loam Lion. Her evil plan was stopped by Judge-Julien’s intervention, but the possible advantage is the reason she didn’t say anything.
The reason why Nadja isn’t disqualified is because she believes she may leave the opponent unknowing. Because awareness of doing something illegal is a requirement to USC-Cheating, but Nadja believes she’s allowed to not point out the opponent’s bad communication, Nadja is not DQed.

The Judge did not commit Outside Assistance. An infraction occured and he stepped in.

But then, some judges recall the situation of (http://apps.magicjudges.org/forum/topic/7360/ “Trade?” started by someone else) from early December. What is the difference between “Trade?” and this time “Attack for 3”

Asking “Trade?” usually proposes a series of action. That’s more looking into the future than “Attack for 3″/”My creature’s power is 3 (right now).”

4. Fetch into Green Sun’s Zenith(GSZ), but didn’t fetch

Andrei has 4 lands(Island, Bayou, Bayou, Misty Rainforest). He activates Misty Rainforest announcing “fetch for Tropical”, and casts Green Sun’s Zenith (x=3). His opponent is OK with both. Andrei would resolve both effects at once (and that way safe shuffle time). He found a creature( CMC=3 ) and put it onto the battlefield.

Some turns go by.

Andrei draws a Jace, the Mindsculptor (2UU manacost). As he wants to cast it, he wonders where the Tropical Island he fetched earlier is.

NO Tropical

No player noticed that Andrei never put Tropical Island into play. It was still in his library the whole time. That’s a problem.

Technically, Andrei committed a GRV some turns ago: casting Green Sun’s Zenith with insufficient funds. On the other hand, Andrei announced he’d get Tropical Island.

Going by IPG, it’s clearly too late to Rewind. Thus, the gamestate stays as it is right now (No Tropical Island). Andrei receives a Warning for his GPE GRV, the opponent should’ve noticed it earlier, so is penalized for Ftmgs.

An idea of simply putting the Tropical Island into play was also put forward however.
• If an object changing zones is put into the wrong zone, the identity of the object was known to all players, and it is within a turn of the error, put the object in the correct zone.
The IPG does not support that creative fix. It brings up too many questions: What if he resolved Brainstorm to shuffle Tropical away? What if he has no Tropical left in his deck? What if…

All in all, we keep the game state as it is. The cmc=3 creature on the battlefield, and Jace in hand without 2 blue manasources.

5. Rest in Peace and Snapcaster Mage, flashbacked Brainstorm

Rest in Peace is on the battlefield for several rounds. Adrian has his Exile in one pile next to the library (and no graveyard pile). He casts Snapcaster Mage, asks for confirmation and it resolves. He then announces an exiled Brainstorm as the target for Snapcaster Mage trigger, asks for confirmation and it resolves. He then proceeds to cast Brainstorm, asks for confirmation and it resolves. He draws 3 cards, on of them is Rest in Peace. At this point, he realizes the Brainstorm he just cast was in Exile before and calls for a judge before doing anything else.

Thanks to the meetings from last year, we quickly agree that it’s not DEC, but GRV.

He can account for the extra cards in his hand: he drew them with Brainstorm 🙂 Brainstorm tells you to draw 3 cards. An error occured before that. Adrian should not been able to target Brainstorm with Snapcaster Mage‘s trigger. The infraction is GRV, the penalty is a Warning. (and ftmgs for opponent). Now how do we solve the three excessive cards in Adrian’s hand?

We mainly argued on what the advantages or disadvantages of a Rewind here are:
Rewind? The number of cards in Adrian’s hand is as it should be, had he not committed the error. It’s likely a completely new hand however. The player who committed the error is denied from the advantage due to the error.
No Rewind? He will have an additional card in his hand. A rewind will cause disruption from the current game state.

Rewinding a Brainstorm is never a great thing to do, but in this scenario it’s easy enough. We should rewind. Now as I write this forum post, I wonder why we discussed advantage and disadvantage for the players.

If the error was discovered within a time frame in which a player could reasonably be expected to notice the error and 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 error. 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).

The situation is simple enough. The time frame is small. Let’s rewind this, regardless who advantages of a Rewind!

..and the situation is simple enough to safely back up without too much disruption to the course of the game


6. GSZ_A into Thragtusk into GSZ_B into Thragtusk with Aven Mindcensor

Norman controls Aven Mindcensor.
Arya cast and resolves Green Sun’s Zenith (X=5), searches her complete library and gets Thragutsk. Both players note down +5 life and Arya passes the turn.
Norman starts his turn and casts a Green Sun’s Zenith of his own, getting a Thragtusk of his own. He passes his turn. Before Arya untaps, she notices the Aven Mindcensor and wonders “How did I resolve my GSZ with Aven Mindcensor?”

I have to admit I didn’t make any notes of other judges’ opinions on this matter, so I can just put my personal view: I think rewinding here is easy. Put Normans GSZ back to hand, Thragtusk to library, shuffle and put a random card on top. Then, put Arya’s Thragtusk back to library and shuffle, and GSZ back to the stack, starting to resolve, this time for the correct number of cards viewed.

Both players receive penalties for the GRV. Arya committed it, caused by Norman’s cards.

7. True-Name Nemesis got stifled

As judge, you walk by a table where a True-Name Nemesis is just blocked by a Grizzly Bear. You believe an infraction occured, so ask the players “What player was named with True-Name Nemesis?”. They agree that no player was named, because Anton successfully resolved Stifle on the ability.
You figure out that TNN is on the battlefield for several turns already.

We identify two GRVs here. Norbert(controlling TNN) didn’t name a player. Anton(Stifle) cast a spell with illegal target. Both players receive a Warning for their respective infractions. We can’t rewind, but apply the IPG quick-fix: “Name a player now”. This is unfortunate for the defending player, as he’ll lose his Grizzly Bear, but that’s the clear solution provided in the documents.

Now let me make a reminder of what the interesting topics of the month were for us:
1. Policy – Communication – Cavern of Souls on Fish
2. Policy – Philosophy – Tardiness Gameloss
Is tournament delay the only reason behind the harsh penalty?
3. Policy – Communication – Attack for 3 when it’s only 2
4. Policy – Rewind – Fetch into Green Sun’s Zenith(GSZ), but didn’t fetch
5. Policy – Rewind – Rest in Peace and Snapcaster Mage, flashbacked Brainstorm
6. Policy – Rewind – 2 GSZ into Thragtusk with Aven Mindcensor
7. Policy – Rewind – True-Name Nemesis got stifled

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