Rhein Main Judges April Part 2

This is the second part of my report from the Frankfurt judge meeting in April. The topics that were left open in the first part are

6. Forgotten Ojutai’s Summons
7. Illusory Gains and Minister of Pain
8. Barrage of Boulders and a possible “future game state”
9. Outside Assistance: “And now, Ugin from the top!”

Starting with this report, I move the written part to blogs.magicjudges and keep the discussion at apps.magicjudges. Unless specified, us judges at the meeting assume Competitive REL and no Cheating.

6.  Forgotten Ojutai’s Summons
A player resolves Ojutai’s Summons, but instead of exiling it, he puts it on top of the other cards of his graveyard. In his next Draw Step, he notices the mistake. He would love to use the effect of Ojutai’s Summons, which he forgot, again.

At first sight, this looks like a Missed Trigger. Afterall, what happened is that the player did forget about his trigger. But before that, some other infraction occured. The player put the card into the wrong zone as part of its resolution. And that it a Game Rule Violation (GRV).

With GRVs, the Infraction Procedure Guide (IPG) guides to either Rewind to the Point of Error (PoE), or keep the gamestate as it is. In the Additional Remedy, it says:

Additional Remedy
If the infraction falls into one of the following categories, perform the fix specified unless backing up is very simple:
..
If an object changing zones is put into the wrong zone, the identity of the object was known to all players, and it can be moved without disrupting the state of the game, put the object in the correct zone
..

Now, the first idea “Put the card to Exile, go on with the game” is not completely supported by the document.
Let’s assume his opponent did nothing but play a land and pass his turn, then backing up is very simple. In that case, the IPG ask us to Rewind the game to resolving Ojutai’s Summons. Although we don’t really want to do that (essentially give the player who forgot about the trigger that trigger), the situation is not exceptional at all, so going with the IPG is the safe route.
We don’t perform a Partial Fix here, because the prerequisites are not met. The game can be rewinded, thus it is rewinded, even if a Partial Fix is the first idea.

7. Illusory Gains and Minister of Pain
In a game of Alfred against Norman, Norman controls a 1/1 Goblin token owned by Alfred with Illusory Gains. Alfred controls one 1/1 Goblin token himself. Alfred now casts Minister of Pain. Norman announces the Illusory Gains trigger and gains control of Minister of Pain before the Enters-the-battlefield-trigger of Minister of Pain resolves (because of APNAP/LIFO rules). Now Alfred, who still controls a triggered ability on the stack, wonders if he can still sacrifice a creature to Minister of Pain.

Yes he can. But since he no longer controls Minister of Pain, the “When Minister of Pain exploits a creature, creatures your opponent controls get -1/-1 until end of turn”-trigger is controlled by Norman, the new controller of Minister of Pain.

If Alfred asks a judge for help about this complicated situation, but just asks “Can I still sacrifice a creature?” we agree on a clean-cut “Yes you can.” – Although it likely won’t achieve the effect he desires, it is a clear rules question with a clear answer. If we tell him something along the lines of “Yes you can sacrifice it, but then your board will get -1/-1”, we’d be coaching him.

8. Barrage of Boulders and a possible “future game state”
Cheesy Charly casts Barrage of Boulders and comments it with “You will not be able to block, when I attack in the combat phase.” Charly doesnt control a big creature.

Charly doesn’t control a creature with power four or less, so he doesn’t have Ferocious-ness. Charly has recently read the MTR section 4.1 Player Communication. He intentionally worded his comment so it’d qualify as statement about future game state.

Wow. Is Charly really that cheesy? He knows he is walking a very thin line of legality.
The first input to the situation was either “I will DQ him, I just don’t know yet how” or “I completely don’t like it, but I think it’s still legal and I can’t do anything against it”.

Let me dig into it more..
I completely don’t like it, but I think it’s still legal and I can’t do anything against it”By naming the combat phase, he referred to a phase the game is not yet in. The game moves to that phase in the future. That makes the comment a statement about a possible future. The Magic Tournament Rules(MTR) allow bluffs/lies about future gamestate. What he’s doing is legal

I will DQ him, I just don’t know yet how
In the context of this situation, a spell on the stack, the player stating what the spell does refers to the Oracle text of the card. Oracle text of a card is per definition derived information. Players may represent derived information incomplete, but not incorrect. At that point, he violated the MTR. He did so in order to gain an advantage (opponent won’t block). The player likely knew he was on a thin lane. He deliberately was looking for the line of legality. And he found it. That way, he condoned illegality of his move. It is likely that he was taking a risk that his action may not be legal. Taking a risk, he was kind of aware that he is doing something illegal. This meets the criteria for Unsporting Conduct – Cheating, we can now DQ him.

We left the situation with no clear answer. In the end, “you may get DQed if you catch the wrong HJ” will be reason enough for players to not try it.

 

Looking for the line of legality? There it is.

 

9. Outside Assistance: “And now, Ugin from the top!”
In a Limited format PPTQ, Andre has multiple creatures on the battlefield. Norman controls only lands. As Norman passes his turn saying “Go”, a spectator, Sven, excited about the game says “And now, Ugin from the top!”. Sven knows Norman has Ugin in the deck. Norman is not happy with Sven’s comment and calls for a judge. Aside from the table, he explains to the judge that “Sven basically told Andre that I have Ugin in my deck. Now Andre won’t overextend anymore.”.

Whatever the judge’s decision is, is there a difference to a crowd of spectators shouting “OOOHH!!” when a player make a critical topdeck (but doesn’t play the spell yet)?

After discussing the situation, we also had some thoughts on the philosophy behind TE-Outside Assistance. Why is a Match Loss assigned to players committing this infraction? Judges tend to decide against labelling a situation as Outside Assistance because they know the penalty associated to it is so harsh. A slip of tongue, they think, shouldn’t result in the player essentially being thrown out of contention. On the other hand, providing Outside Assistance can dramatically change a game, so the penalty for the infraction should be high enough to prevent it from happening, and to spread the word more easy that it’s totally something one shouldn’t do.

Would a possible Downgrade to GL in case the strategic advice given is only implied be a good solution?
“You shouldn’t overextend because the opponent has Ugin in his deck” or”Your opponent has Ugin in his deck”
vs.
“And now, Ugin from the top!! I’m so excited!”

 

That’s all from this meeting. Feel free to discuss your ideas on the topics with other interested judges on JudgeApps! (or click the button at the very bottom)

As a reminder, here’s the situations we discussed and a summary of the solutions
6. Forgotten Ojutai’s Summons
Game Rule Violation, Rewind if you can, else apply Partial Fix
7. Illusory Gains and Minister of Pain
You can still sacrifice a creature, even if you don’t control Minister of Pain anymore.
The player who controls Minister of Pain as the Exploit trigger resolves will control the Exploit effect-trigger
8. Barrage of Boulders and a possible “future game state”
If you search for the grey zone of legality, we can guide you the path out (of the hall).
9. Outside Assistance: “And now, Ugin from the top!”
Judges don’t like applying TE-OA because the penalty is a Match Loss.

 

Our next meeting is very soon in early May.

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