Rhein Main Judges June

Hi there. It’s been silent about the monthly meetings from my area on this blog during the past months.
Nevertheless, the meetings still exist: once every month around 10 judges meet in a restaurant in Frankfurt to have some ribs, steak, salad and cocktails. While at it, judges bring situations from their recent tournaments (for example, the MKM Series in Frankfurt with 2000 players..) that are interesting, got judges to learn something, or situations that are otherwise worth sharing.

At this meeting, we discussed these topics or situations:

1. Rules – Rabid Bite vs. Murderous Redcap
2. Rules – Zoetic Cavern vs. Grave Peril

3. Policy – 2 Werewolves 1 Trigger
4. Policy – Madness
5. Policy – Missing Investigations

(the last 3 topics in next part)
6. Policy – Ulvenwald Mysteries
7. Policy – No dice rolls
8. Policy – Double Fetch

1. Rules – Rabid Bite vs. Murderous Redcap

Renly plays Rabid Bite, targetting his own Wicker Witch and his opponent Stannis’s Seagraf Skaab. In response, Stannis casts Throttle targetting the Wicker Witch. Wicker Witch dies and now Rapid Bite, since it still has a legal target, attempts to resolve. What will it do?

As noted, Rabid Bite still has a legal target. This means it’s not countered upon resolution. Only spells where ALL targets have become illegal will be countered upon resolution.
Now the question remains, will Rapid Bite still cause damage, assessing the dead creature’s power though the so called Last-Known Information (LKI), or will it(Rabid Bite) not be able to do anything?

608.2b ..The spell or ability is countered if all its targets, for every instance of the word “target,” are now illegal. If the spell or ability is not countered, it will resolve normally. Illegal targets, if any, won’t be affected by parts of a resolving spell’s effect for which they’re illegal. Other parts of the effect for which those targets are not illegal may still affect them…

Rabid Bite wants to make Wicker Witch deal damage. Wicker Witch is an illegal target, so Rabid Bite can’t make it deal damage.

But, but but! If you Throttle a Murderous Redcap in response to its Enters-The-Battlefield-Trigger, the game will use the LKI to get that Murderous Redcap‘s power. How is it different? Rabid Bite tries to make a target do something. Murderous Redcap trigger does not try to make a target do something.

2. Rules – Zoetic Cavern vs. Grave Peril

Daenerys controls a Grave Peril. She plays a face-down creature which triggers Grave Peril. In response to the triggered ability, she turns up said face-down creature, a Zoetic Cavern. What happens during the resolution of Grave Peril‘s ability?

At the meeting itself, we had a quick answer of “It will still destroy the land, because.. there is some rule that says so.” and that was sufficient for everyone. But here, for those unaware:

608.2i If an ability’s effect refers to a specific untargeted object that has been previously referred to by that abilitiy’s cost or trigger condition, it still affects that object even if the object has changed characteristics.

All policy questions assume Competitive REL.

3. Policy – 2 Werewolves 1 Trigger
Cercei controls a Gatstaf Arsonist. Margaery controls a Hinterland Logger. No spells were cast in the preiovus turn Margaery starts her turn by untapping some permanents, then she looks at Cercei and asks “I’d like to transform my Hinterland Logger now, ok?“ to what Cercei responds ”Yes.“ and right after Margaery physically transforms her werewolf, Cercei goes on ”Mine will transform as well.” Margaery disagrees and calls upon the judge.

It is Margaery’s turn, so her triggers goes on the stack first, resolves last. So technically, Cercei’s trigger should always resolve before Margaery’s. Cercei.

IPG 2.1
A triggered ability triggers, but the player controlling the ability doens’t demonstrate awareness of the trigger’s existence the first time that it would affect the game in a visible fashion.
The point by which the player needs to demonstrate this awareness depends..
A triggered ability that causes a change in the visible game state .. The controller must take the appropriate pyhsical action or acknowledge the specific trigger before taking any game actions that can be taken only after the triggered abilitiy should have resolved.

At the same time, a few paragraphs below it says in
.. Players may not cause triggered abilities controlled by an opponent to be missed by taking game actions or otherwise permaturely advancing the game. During an opponent’s turn, if a trigger’s controller demonstrates awareness of the trigger before the take an active role (such as taking an action or explicitely passing priority), the trigger is remembered. The Out-of-Order Sequencing rules (MTR section 4.3) may also be applicable, especially as they relate to batches of actions or resolving items on the stack in an improper order.

So, at the meeting, we agreed that the second werewolf trigger is not missed because Cercei didn’t take a game action that would’ve indicated otherwise.

However, after re-reading the section on Missed Triggers, I see the philophy part mentions both, taking an action AND explicitely passing priority as active role. In the situation, priority was clearly passed. Cercei may have been unaware of the rules and therefore wanted to carry out her trigger later.

Does the ruling “Trigger is not missed” still stand, what do you think?

4. Policy – Madness
Thoros has a Stichwing Skaab in his graveyard. He activates the activated ability of it, discarding Fiery Temper and an Island. To do that, he puts Stitchwing Skaab on the battlefield, then taps 2 Islands, then discards the two cards. Then, he says “trigger Madness, cast Fiery Temper targetting you!”. His opponent believes it’s already too late for the trigger, as Stitchwing Skaab is on the battlefield, the game had progressed beyond the point where Fiery Temper trigger should have resolved.

We completely agree that this is a case fo Out-of-Order-Sequencing. The player put the Stitchwing Skaab to the battlefield before paying the cost. That’s was the problem. And it’s natural gameplay. Everyone puts their Stitchwing Skaabs to the battlefield as more visible form to announce they’re using this ability. Afterall, there are barely any cards relevant in formats of Stitchwing Skaab that would ever stop it from eventually entering the battlefield. The Fiery Temper trigger is not missed.

Now, there’s a small change in the situation.
Instead of activating Stitchwing Skaab, the player casts Tormenting Voice, again discarding Fiery Temper and a land. He resolves Tormenting Voices and draws two cards, then announces “trigger Madness, cast Fiery Temper targetting you!”.

Suddenly, we agree it’s no longer Out-of-Order-Sequencing (OoOS). The core problem is the same: the player resolved the spell/ability before announcing the target, so why can’t it be OoOS here ?

MTR 4.3 Out-of-Order Sequencing
An out-of-order sequence must not result in a player prematurely gaining information which could reasonably affect decisions made later in that sequence.

The player sees cards drawn by Tormenting Voice. That’s information he shouldn’t have at the point where a target for Fiery Temper is chosen. That rules out OoOS here, the Fiery Temper trigger is missed.

5. Policy – Missing Investigations
Brienne casts Expose Evil, targetting two creatures. She taps the creatures but doesn’t put a Clue-token onto the battlefield. A while afterwards, she realizes the mistake.

At Regular REL(FNM, Prerelease, GameDay,..) we’ll simply put the Clue token onto the battlefield now. It’s not a trigger that can be missed, so we fix the game to make it happen as it should have. Judges judging not that many Competitive event suggested that fix at first too.
But in the IPG, we codified possible problems and their solutions. Rulings on infractions should follow exactly those remedies, and not ideas that an individual may find better, but another individual may not find better.

So, this is a regular Game Rule Violation. It specifically says in the IPG section
2.5 GPE – GRV ..
While Game Rule Violations can be attributed to one player, they usually occur publicly and both players are expected to be mindful of what is happening in the game. It is tempting to try and “fix” these errors, but it is important that they be handled consistently, regardless of their impact on the game.

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

So, depending on how much has happened, the HJ can rewind the game to the point Expose Evil resolved, or leave the game state as it is.

6. Policy – Ulvenwald Mysteries
7. Policy – No dice rolls
8. Policy – Double Fetch

These 3 topics will receive a separate posting within the next 24 hours.

As you may have noticed, the topics of this meeting were situations from Sealed tournaments mainly. Madness, werewolves and Clues are quite complex mechanics from a policy perspective. In general, the meeting focussed on Missed Trigger situations.

I find focussing those smaller meetings on specific parts on the rules useful, as one can reference back and forth to whatever new knowledge was created that evening. Breaking up topics from a variety of rules sections can make people lose concentration. Of course, it always depends on the local community and what the involved persons want out of such a meeting, so different approaches can be a better idea for similar meetings in other areas.

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