Rhein Main Judges April

Every month, several more or less local and not-so-local judges and not-yet-judges meet in my area (Frankfurt Main, Germany) in a restaurant for a nice evening. We’re usually around 10 players from Germany, including all kinds of levels (0-3) and experience(ranging from “I want to become a judge” to 15 years judge veteran). This meeting is not a meeting with a previously set schedule, like judge conferences have one. We simply meet, and since we’re all judges, it happens that we discuss and talk quite a bit about judging stuff too. To share ideas and this we give not only us, but everyone else too, the opportunity to improve, I make notes about the topics and write about the meeting regularly. This is my report from the latest meeting in April.


Thank you Jürgen, Sebastian, Leon, Markus, Philip and Philip, Andreas, Andreu, Heinrich and Sven for joining!

The topics from this week in a certain order:
1. Rules – Hallow, Hallow and Magical Hack
2. Rules – Aurelia’s Fury and Heroic
3. Rules – Essence Leak Shenanigans
4. Policy – A player shuffles after having presented
5. Policy – Rewind? Illegal Prowl
6. Policy – Partial Fix? Scry gone wrong
7. Policy – Engineered Explosives lost some counters
8. Policy – Regeneration in Out of order sequencing


1. Rules – Hallow, Hallow and Magical Hack

Ahmed casts a Raging Goblin. While Raging Goblin is still on the stack, Nunu resolves Hallow targetting the Raging Goblin. The stack empties, then Raging Goblin attacks. Will Nunu still be shielded by Hallow ?


400.7b. Prevention effects that apply to damage from a permanent spell on the stack continue to apply to damage from the permanent that spell becomes.

Ahmed casts a Blood Moon. While the spell is on the stack, he casts Magical Hack, changing “Mountain” to “Island“. Eventually, Blood Moon resolves. What is Ahmed’s Bayou?

An Island!

400.7a. Effects from spells, activated abilities, and triggered abilities that change the characteristics of a permanent spell on the stack continue to apply to the permanent that spell becomes.

Ahmed casts a Searing Blood targetting Nunu’s Runeclaw Bear. Nunu responds to it with Hallow.
Of course, Nunu will prevent Searing Blood‘s 2 damage to the Runeclaw Bear. Later in the turn, the Bear dies anyway, causing Searing Blood‘s delayed trigger to trigger. Will Hallow still prevent that damage ?





2. Rules – Aurelia’s Fury and Heroic

Ahmed controls one hundred Tormented Hero. He has only Plains, Mountain in play and an Aurelia’s Fury in his hand. He casts Aurelia’s Fury targetting all Tormented Heros. He says he will divide the x=0 as “Everyone gets Zero assigned”.
Is this legal?

No, it’s not.

601.2d. If the spell requires the player to divide or distribute an effect (such as damage or counters) among one or more targets, the player announces the division. Each of these targets must receive at least one of whatever is being divided.

3. Rules – Essence Leak Shenanigans

Ahmed controls a green Squirrel Token. It was generated with a Squirrel Nest. The token is enchanted with Essence Leak. During Ahmed’s upkeep, Essence Leak triggers and Ahmed is asked to pay, or else sacrifice the enchanted creature. What are his options?

110.5b. The spell or ability that creates a token may define the values of any number of characteristics for the token. This becomes the token’s “text.” The characteristic values defined this way are functionally equivalent to the characteristic values that are printed on a card; for example, they define the token’s copiable values. A token doesn’t have any characteristics not defined by the spell or ability that created it.

This means, it is definitely green, it’s a creature, its creature type is Squirrel, it’s a 1/1. It’s mana cost is… not specified, thus it doesn’t exist. Essence Leak asks to pay the manacost, but it’s impossible to pay a non-existant cost.

Note that the converted manacost (for means of Engineered Explosives) is existent:

202.3. The converted mana cost of an object is a number equal to the total amount of mana in its mana cost, regardless of color.

He has no other option than sacrificing his Squirrel token for the Essence Leak trigger.

4. Policy – A player shuffles after having presented

A player, let’s call him Philip Böhm presents his deck to his opponent, who then also shuffles it. Given back the deck, Philip again shuffles his deck. Philip had his mind at the wrong place. His opponent wonders why the additional shuffling by Philip happened and calls for a judge.

The judge determines that it’s not in line with the Pregame Procedures outlines in the Magic Tournament Rules (MTR 2.3). This is not an infraction by the Infracture Procedure Guide, so Philip should not revceive a formal penalty. Philip is cautioned to pay more attention to his match and the players continue their match.

5. Policy – Rewind? Illegal Prowl

It’s the third turn of a game, Philip attacks with his Spellstutter Sprite. Combat damage resolves and Philip casts a Earwig Squad for the Prowl cost of 2B. He believes he can do that because a Rogue? (Spellstutter Sprite is actually not a Rogue) dealt damage to the opponent. He announces “Prowl, and then Earwig Squad‘s trigger. His opponent(Bert) hands over the deck to Philip so he can look through it. Philip removes 3 cards from the deck (Meloku, the Clouded Mirror, Phthisis, Deepcavern Imp) and hands the deck back, both players shuffle that deck, then Philip passes the turn. During Bert’s draw step, Philip realizes that Prowl wasn’t possible, so tells his opponent and calls for a judge.

We quickly agree that this situation is easy enough to rewind. Undo the draw, put the 3 exiled cards back to library, return Earwig Squad back to hand. No decisions other than what to exile were made since the illegal play.

6. Policy – Partial Fix? Scry gone wrong

Ahmed plays Temple of Deceit, looks at the top card of his library(Grizzly Bear) and puts that card(Grizzly Bear) into his graveyard (instead of to the bottom of his library). Several turns later, the error is noticed as someone looks through Ahmed’s graveyard and wonders how that Grizzly Bear card ended up in there.

We remember that a Partial Fix is explicitely allowed if a card is involved in a zone change.

If not caught within a reasonable time frame, or backing up is impossible or sufficiently complex that it could affect the course of the game, the judge should leave the game state as it is after applying state-based actions and not attempt any form of partial ‘fix’ – either reverse all actions or none, with the following exceptions:
    • 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.

There’s multiple reasons why a partial fix can’t apply for the incorrect Scry
1. The object/Grizzly Bear should not have changed zones at all. It’s not an object “changing zones”. It should’ve been in the zone library before and after the Scry effect.
2. The identity of the object was not known to all players before the Scry effect.
3. It’s not within a turn of the error.

So, we keep the Grizzly Bear in Ahmed’s graveyard.

7. Policy – Engineered Explosives lost some counters
Ahmed taps Tropical Island and Plateau to cast Engineered Explosives. He announces “Explosives for Two”. It resolves, but Ahmed fails to put two charge counters on the Engineered Explosives. In the following Turn of Norman, Norman makes a risky decision to attack with some creatures, leaving only the 2-CMC creatures as defense. Ahmed blocks with his own 2-CMC creatures and takes some damage from unblocked creatures. At end of turn, Ahmed announces “EOT, pop Engineered Explosives for two.”, expecting the remaining blockers of Norman to be destroyed. Norman states there are no counters on Engineered Explosives.

Upon investigation you find out that Norman indeed thought there are no counters on the Engineered Explosives. He decided his attacks based on that state. Ahmed based his blocks based on a state where Engineered Explosives has two charge counters.

We turn away a partial fix. Also, this was not a dexterity error where both players agreed on a gamestate that was different to the gamestate presented. They disagree on the gamestate. Therefore, ‘just adding 2 counters on EE as it should be’ is not a good option. Instead, we apply the GPE-GRV remedy to either rewind this or not. Here it depends on what exactly happen, so the question to Rewind or Not Rewind can’t be answered. The only thing that should be clear is that we do not make the game represent what a player thinks unless both players agree that they thought that’d be the current representation anyway.

8. Policy – Regeneration in Out of order sequencing
This is a situation we discussed at our monthly judgemeeting. As I can see how there can be a different set of ideas regarding the philosophy on this, slight differences in what the players actually did or said do matter, so it’s always a judgement call.


Achmed controls 3 2/2 attacking Grizzly Bears.
Nunu controls a Forest, 2 2/2 Grizzly Bears and a Horned Troll.

After Achmed declared his attackers, Nunu declares each of his creatures blocking one of Achmed’s creatures.
Achmed now asks “Damage?”
Nunu declares: “Yes, so this Bear dies (points at the first 2 bears, puts his own to the graveyard), these Bears die (points at the 2nd pair of bears, puts his own to the graveyard) and here, I’ll regenerate my Horned Troll (and now he taps a Forest).

Achmed doesn’t agree with this. He says “Since we already started to resolve combat damage, it is too late for you to Regenerate your Horned Troll.” “But I always do it this way.” states Nunu.

As they can’t come to a conclusion, they call a judge for help.

The judge believes this is a case of Out-of-order-sequencing so rules that Nunu can still regenerate his Horned Troll. The philosophy here is similar to the example-by-the-book of multiple attackers and a Treetop Village.

Now we (at the meeting) had another scenario in mind:
From Judge Blogs Rhein Main Judges “December”

Achmed controls a 3/3 Fleecmane Lion thanks to Domestication (enchanting that Fleecemane Lion).
He(A) passes his turn “Go!”.
Nunu now goes “end of turn, I Selesnya Charm your Fleecemane Lion, +2/+2.”
Achmed knows about the interviening if-clause on Domestication so simply lets Selesnya Charm resolve.
As Nunu wants ‘his’ Fleecemane Lion back because its too big now, the players can’t agree so call for a judge.

The problem is Achmed says Nunu cast his Selesnya Charm in the end step. Nunu intended to cast his spell ‘in response to the Domestication trigger’.
The thing is: there is no Domestication trigger, unless the power of the enchanted creature is already sufficiently high to make it trigger.

The players agreed to leave the mainphase. (A: Go, N: EoT,..) Casting Selesnya Charm was totally legal at end of turn, just not good. We will not let Nunu undo his play ‘just’ because it didn’t achieve what he intended.

The situations are relatively close. We couldn’t agree whether the OooS-ruling in the Regeneration-scenario is correct or not, but with more input, the main consent is that OooS is reasonable in the Regeneration case, while it’s not in the (older) Selesnya Charm scenario.

A reminder, the topics from this week in a certain order:[/b]
1. Rules – Hallow, Hallow and Magical Hack
2. Rules – Aurelia’s Fury and Heroic
3. Rules – Essence Leak Shenanigans
4. Policy – A player shuffles after having presented
5. Policy – Rewind? Illegal Prowl
6. Policy – Partial Fix? Scry gone wrong
7. Policy – Partial Fix? Engineered Explosives lost some counters
8. Policy – Regeneration in Out of order sequencing


Thank you for reading!

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