Rhein Main Judges November

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 8 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 (and programming..). To share ideas and that 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, with a break in September and October.

This is my report from the latest meeting in November. I know it’s many topics this time. This is because in October we magically were only 3, so played ASAP the whole evening; and in September we cancelled our local meeting because of the HUUUGE German Two-Days Judge Conference.

The topics from this week in a certain order:

1. Rules – Cloning Karador
2. Policy – Failure to Reveal many morphs
3. Policy – Ashcloud Phoenix thimblerig
4. Policy – Drawing wrong number of cards at once
5. Policy – Looting without discard
6. Policy – Double Thoughtseize and an unstable mind
7. Policy – Awaken the Bear for wrong mana
9. Best practices – Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker vs. Artisan of Forms

Unless mentioned, we assume Competitive REL.

1. Rules – Cloning Karador
At some point, when we had more or less formed a consent on all topics brought to the meeting, we played the game As-Soon-As/JudgeStack/TriggerJigger/whatever it’s called:

Alex controls Karador, Ghost Chieftain. He casts a Clone from his graveyard, copying Karador. Applying State-based actions, he puts the original Karador into his graveyard. The Karador-Impostor-Clone has all abilities of the original. It also has

During each of your turns, you may cast one creature card from your graveyard.

Now, Alex already cast one creature card from his graveyard: The Clone. Will the new ability allow him to cast a creature from his graveyard again?

The Karador entry on gatherer has the answer to this question:
If you cast a creature card from your graveyard, then Karador leaves the battlefield, then returns to the battlefield, you may cast another creature card from your graveyard that turn. If you didn’t cast a creature card from your graveyard while Karador was on the battlefield the first time, you may still cast only one creature card from your graveyard when it returns to the battlefield.

2. Policy – Failure to Reveal many morphs
During the first game in a PTQ quarterfinals, Andre attacks Nick with 2 face-down creatures. Nick, at 2 life, blocks one of them with his own face-down creature. “So, you’re dead?” “Yes”. Both players shuffle their cards into their decks without revealing the face-down cards.

..An error that an opponent can’t verify the legality of should have its penalty upgraded…

IPG 1.2 Definition of penalties..
..If simultaneous Game Loss penalties are issued to each player, they are recorded, but do not affect the match score…

This means the match is at 0-0. The players continue until one player actually won 2 games. They may sideboard.

3. Policy – Ashcloud Phoenix thimblerig
Charly casts a face-down creature(#1 Ashcloud Phoenix) und unmorphs it.
He then casts two other face-down creatures (#2,#3).
Deckard casts a Doom Blade on the face-up Ashcloud Phoenix. It returns to the battlefield as face-down creature (#4).
Charly now returns his #3 face-down creature to his hand with Force Away. As he does that, he reveals Daru Lancer. He then casts a face-down creature (#5).

Now, Deckard wants to get rid of the Ashcloud Phoenix, but doesn’t know where it is. He asks Charly: “Where is Ashcloud Phoenix?”
Charly Cheesy answers, pointing at the correct objects: This order my morphs entered the battlefield is 1 (pointing at #2), 2 (pointing at #4), 3 (pointing at #5).
He wasn’t lying. But he doesn’t want to tell the opponent where the Phoenix is. Deckard calls a judge and still wants to know where Phoenix is; afterall, it entered the battlefield from a public zone (graveyard).

We agree that Charly Cheesy has to tell Deckard were the Ashcloud Phoenix is hidden. Ashcloud Phoenix doesn’t move to a hidden zone (like hand), so it’s free information where Phoenix currently lies.


4. Policy – Drawing wrong number of cards at once
Ahmed controls Grim Haruspex, a Goblin token and two Scathe Zombies.
He casts Wrath of God and all creatures die. Ahmed announces “I’ll draw three cards for Grim Harupex.” and gets a confirmation from his opponent. He then draws three cards and a spectator calls the attention of a judge to the situation: Grim Haruspex says “another nontoken creature dies, ..”, so Ahmed drew one card too much.

IPG 2.3 GPE – Drawing Extra Cards
A player illegally puts one or more cards into his or her hand and, at the moment before he or she began the instruction or action that put a card into his or her hand, no other Game Rule Violation or Communication Policy Violation had been committed, and the error was not the result of resolving objects on the stack in an incorrect order…

..If the player received confirmation from his or her opponent before drawing the card (including confirming the number of cards when greater than one), the infraction is not Drawing Extra Cards.

It’s not DEC. SO we do not even look at the Penalty associated with this infraction. No other infraction fits, so it will be a GPE-GRV. The penalty is a Warning and we rewind the game by shuffling one random card from hand to Ahmed’s (unknown portion of the) library. (editor’s note: I didn’t write down this detail in my notes)

While the details on DEC / GRV were not so commonly spread ~1 year ago. This time everyone quickly agreed on this outcome.

5. Policy – Looting without discard
Arya deals combat damage to Bran with Jeskai Elder. For the trigger, she draws a card but doesn’t discard a card. Four turns later, a handsize discrepancy reveals that the error must’ve occured in that attack.

Arya didn’t draw too many cards, so it’s not DEC. Arya didn’t discard when supposed to which qualifies the infraction as GPE-GRV. That’s clear.

Now the question is what to do with the excess card. Partial fix it? Rewind?

IPG 2.5 GPE – Game Rule Violation / Additional Remedy:
If the infraction falls into one of the following categories, perform the fix specified:..
..If a player forgot to draw cards, discard cards, or return cards from their hand to another zone, that player does so.

Otherwise, a backup may be considered or the game state may be left as is.

The infraction falls exactly into the stated category, so a backup is out of the question and we apply the fix: Discard one card now.

6. Policy – Double Thoughtseize and an unstable mind
In a GPT, Shannon Shaky casts a Thoughtseize targetting Eron Enemy. Eron reveals his hand and Shannon puts a second Thoughtseize next to the first, also casting it. She then decides on two cards and physically puts these cards into Eron’s graveyard and her two Thoughtseizes to her own graveyard. Eron returns the other cards to his hand and waits for Shannon’s next move.
Now Shannon says: “Wait, I don’t take cards X and Y. I take Y and Z instead!”. Eron wants Shannon to stick to the play made so they call for a judge.

In these situations, pauses, player moves and gestures are important, so usually you “had to be there”. As described to us, Shannon actively putting the cards to Eron’s graveyard and the pause afterwards make us easily lean towards “You clearly finished resolving Thoughtseize. We will not undo this legal, but possibly bad play just because you got better insight later in the game.”

Meta-Info: Card Z is Dig Through Time; Shannon didn’t realize resolving two Thoughtseizes would enable Eron to cast said Dig Through Time via Delve until she saw how many cards ended up in Eron’s graveyard.


7. Policy – Awaken the Bear for wrong mana
Quentin Quack casts Awaken the Bear targetting a creature, but tapping four Forests. Few moments later, with only minor things happening in that game (concerning a possible backup/rewind), a spectator points out that Awaken the Bear costs only three mana.

Did the spectator commit Outside Assistance ?

IPG 3.2 TE-Outside Assistance
A .. spectator… does any of the following:
..Gives play advice or reveals hidden information to players who have sat for their match..

No, he didn’t reveal hidden information. Manacost of a card is not a play advice and is not hidden information.

Did Quentin commit an infraction? What infraction?
We agreed on a thing. But this consent doesn’t match with the opininos I got from the IRC channel #mtgjudge about the situation, so I think it’s a good idea to leave this topic without an answer in this thread. When discussing this in the comments, please refer to documents backing up your idea.

9. Best practices – Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker vs. Artisan of Forms
Drago controls Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker. Aaron controls Artisan of Forms. It is Drago’s turn and he activates Sarkhan’s ability to become a creature and attacks with it. Aaron has a spell that can trigger Artisan of Forms, but doesn’t know the interaction of the copy effect with the animated planeswalker.

Aaron: “If I target the attacking Sarkhan with Artisan of Forms triggered ability, what will Artisan of Forms become?“

As judges, we can tell him ”You get an un-animated Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker“. We should not outright tell him ”If you do that, you won’t be able to black.“ We should not outright tell him ”You will get a Sarkhan with zero loyalty counters.”

However, if he then asks about details, we can tell him these. He wants to know how many loyalty counters it will have ?
-> It will have zero loyalty counters

Here’s a short remind of what the topics were:
1. Rules – Cloning Karador
2. Policy – Failure to Reveal many morphs
3. Policy – Ashcloud Phoenix thimblerig
4. Policy – Drawing wrong number of cards at once
5. Policy – Looting without discard
6. Policy – Double Thoughtseize and an unstable mind
7. Policy – Awaken the Bear for wrong mana
9. Best practices – Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker vs. Artisan of Forms

Khans of Tarkir and its morph creatures put several questions on judges minds. Overall, the current Infraction Procedure Guide answers all of these questions very well. The infraction “GPE – Drawing Extra Cards” is not the most intuitive, but with some help it’s easy to find out the details of the consequences of a player messing up. I believe most of the Policy topics could be answered not just with opinions, but also with backup of the official documents, which is a good sign a) for the infrastructure the documents provide and b) for the development of our specific judge area.

This entry was posted in Judge Meeting Reports. Bookmark the permalink.