3.4 Tournament Error – Decklist Problem


The decklist is illegal, doesn’t match what the player intended to play, or needs to be modified due to card loss over the course of the tournament.

This infraction does not cover errors in registration made by another participant prior to a sealed pool swap, which should be corrected at the discretion of the judge.


  • A. A player in a Legacy tournament lists Mana Drain (a banned card) on their decklist.
  • B. A player has a 56-card decklist. Their actual deck contains 60 cards, with four Dispels not listed.
  • C. A player lists ‘Sarkhan’ in a format with both Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker and Sarkhan Unbroken.
  • D. A player loses some cards and is unable to find replacement copies, making them unable to play a deck that matches their decklist.
  • E. A player registers Ajani, Valiant Protector, but they are playing Ajani Unyielding.


Decklists are used to ensure that decks are not altered over the course of a tournament.

Judges and other tournament officials should be vigilant about reminding players before the tournament begins of the importance of submitting a legal decklist and playing with a legal deck.

A player normally receives a Game Loss if their decklist is altered after tournament play has begun.

Penalties for decklist errors discovered outside the context of the match and its procedures (such as those discovered through decklist counting) are issued at the start of the next match unless the judge believes there is strong evidence the deck itself is illegal.

Ambiguous or unclear names on a decklist may allow a player to manipulate the contents of their deck up until the point at which they are discovered.

Truncated names of storyline characters on decklists (legendary permanents and planeswalkers) are acceptable as long as they are the only representation of that character in the format and are treated as referring to that card, even if other cards begin with the same name.

The Head Judge may choose to not issue this penalty if they believe that what the player wrote on their decklist is obvious and unambiguous, even if not entirely accurate. In Limited tournaments, the Head Judge may choose not to issue this penalty for incorrectly marked basic land counts if they believe the correct land count is obvious. This should be determined solely by what is written on the decklist, and not based on intent given the actual contents of the deck; needing to check the deck for confirmation is a sign that the entry is not obvious.

Companions affect what the player intended to play, and may produce a situation in which the deck and decklist match, but violate the restriction on the intended companion. In these situations, it is acceptable to alter the deck and sideboard configuration to meet the restriction.

Additional Remedy

If the decklist contains illegal cards, remove them.

If the decklist is being adjusted to allow for an intended companion, the player exchanges cards between the deck and sideboard until the restriction is met.

Alter the decklist to match the deck the player is actually playing.

If the deck/sideboard and decklist both violate a maximum cards restriction (usually too many cards in a sideboard, more than four of a card, or the same card in two decks in a Unified Constructed format), remove cards as directed by the player to make the decklist legal.

If the remaining deck has too few cards, the player chooses to add any combination of cards named Plains, Island, Swamp, Mountain or Forest to reach the minimum number. Alter the decklist to reflect this.

This change may be reverted without penalty if the player is subsequently able to locate identical replacements to the legal original cards.