Rhein Main Judges May

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 May.

The topics from this week in a certain order:
1. Rules – Godsend
2. Rules – Jace, Architect of Thought and Brimaz, King of Oreskos
3. Rules – Dredge and graveyard order
4. Policy – Card put on top of library instead of graveyard
5. Policy – Outside Assistance
6. Policy – Token in the deck

1. Rules – Godsend
Andrew attacks with a Travelling Philosopher equipped with Godsend. Nolan blocks with his Blood Baron of Vizkopa. He now claims Protection from white will protect it from the effect of God’s End.

This is wrong. Protection stops DEBT only: damage, enchantment/equipment, blocking and targetting. Since Godsend does neither of these things, protection won’t help and Blood Baron of Vizkopa will be exiled.

2. Rules – Jace, Architect of Thought and Brimaz, King of Oreskos
Nolan used Jace, Architect of Thought‘s (+1) ability in his most recent turn. Andrew attacks with Brimaz, King of Oreskos. The players disagree on whether Jace’s ability will ‘work’ on the cat token created by Brimaz or not.

So, what happens in the combat phase exactly?

508.1. First, the active player declares attackers. This turn-based action doesn’t use the stack. To declare attackers, the active player follows the steps below, in order. If at any point during the declaration of attackers, the active player is unable to comply with any of the steps listed below, the declaration is illegal; the game returns to the moment before the declaration

508.2. Second, any abilities that triggered on attackers being declared go on the stack

Here, Brimaz “create a token” trigger and Jace “-1/-0” trigger go on the stack in APNAP order. Jace’s -1/-0 ability then resolves first, making Brimaz a 2/4 creature. Then, a token will be put on the battlefield “attacking”. Will this trigger Jace again?

508.4. If a creature is put onto the battlefield attacking, its controller chooses which defending player or which planeswalker a defending player controls it’s attacking as it enters the battlefield (unless the effect that put it onto the battlefield specifies what it’s attacking). Such creatures are “attacking” but, for the purposes of trigger events and effects, they never “attacked.”

Nope!

3. Rules – Dredge and graveyard order
Jimmy dredges 6 cards in his draw step for Golgari Grave-Troll: A Nether Shadow, a Death Spark, an Ashen Ghoul and 3 other cards. Can he chose the order in which the cards are put into his graveyard? Or does he have to put them there one by one?

404.3. If an effect or rule puts two or more cards into the same graveyard at the same time, the owner of those cards may arrange them in any order.

So for Golgari Grave-Troll and Plow Under, the owner of the affected objects choses the order in which they change zones.

4. Policy – Card put on top of library instead of graveyard
Amanada has only Warleader’s Helix in her hand. In her turn, she casts Warleader’s Helix, then accidently puts it on top of her library insteof her graveyard (ACCIDENTLY, for example a wind blowed it there). Norman takes his turn, draws card untaps and attacks with a 3/3 creautre on else empty battlefield, then passes his turn. Amanda untaps, draws (that) Warleader’s Helix and immediatly casts it. Norman lets it resolve, life totals change, Amanda passes her turn. While Norman starts his turn (untap, draw), Amanda looks through her graveyard and wonders why there is only [b]one[/b] Warleader’s Helix, then realizes she must’ve flipped it to the top some way.

We rewind this, assuming nothing else happened between resolution of the first Warleader’s Helix.

5. Policy – Outside Assistance
It’s a game of Aaron against Norman. Charly plays his match next to them. Game 1 of Aaron against Norman is over, Norman won because Aarong didn’t get anything useful. Aaron cast only a few Preordains, Brainstorms and Ponder. No cards that’d indicate he plays a Stormdeck. Now during Sideboarding, Charly asks Aaron how their game 1 went: “Did you storm him away?”. Aaron calls for a judge because he believes Charly provided Outside Assistance to Norman.

When is it Outside Assistance?
A player, spectator, or other tournament participant does any of the following:
..
• Gives play advice or reveals hidden information to players who have sat for their match.
..
Philosophy
Tournaments test the skill of a player, not his or her ability to follow external advice or directions. Any strategy advice, play advice, or construction advice from an external source is considered outside assistance.

It’s clear that Norman and Aaron both didn’t commit TE-OA. They didn’t ask Charly for a comment.
Charly possibly provided some strategic information to Norman, while talking to Aaron.

In the situation, it was ruled that Charly didn’t commit TE-OA because of several factors:
Charly, Norman and Aaron are all communicating their deckchoices in a WhatsApp group during the week.
Specifically, Aaron had announced he’d play Storm to Charly and Norman before the event.
Although Charly’s question can involve play advice, the strategic information gained is minor after game 1.
“Did you storm him away?” does not make Normans decisions easier. Could be bluff, could be anything. Charly also didn’t want to provide any additional information to Norman. Would this affect the outcome of TE-OA vs. no TE-OA for you?

Charly was cautioned and given the direct instruction to not intervene/communicate with any players still seated for their match for the rest of the tournament.

6. Policy – Token in the deck
With Dummy Sideboard Thread in mind, we talk about some fictional situations:

A player has a deck full of cards AND some tokens. It’s not an illegal deck per IPG DDLP (no additional cards..).
Now he plays Brainstorms, draws card, card, token,..and a card. and puts token, token, card, card back on top.

Or, the player instead draws an opening hand of 8 “objects”, 1 being a token.

Or, the player, while opponent isnt looking draws the top object of his deck (a token): not DEC, not Cheating!

If you have a doubt about this situation, you’re right. This really won’t happen, so let’s not worry about it.

A shortrecap of the topics:
1. Rules – God’s End – Protection stops DEBT only
2. Rules – Jace, Architect of Thought and Brimaz, King of Oreskos – “declare attacks” is unique
3. Rules – Dredge and graveyard order – Owner choses the order
4. Policy – Card put on top of library instead of graveyard
5. Policy – Outside Assistance
6. Policy – Token in the deck

If you have something on-topic to add, especially if you disagree with the solutions provided, feel free to comment at http://apps.magicjudges.org/forum/topic/10378/ !

The next meeting is on June 4th already, hopefully with interesting input from GP Manchester!

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