IPG 3.5 Tournament Error — Deck Problem

Definition

The contents of a deck or sideboard do not match the decklist registered and the decklist represents what the player intended to play.


If there are extra cards stored with the sideboard that could conceivably be played in the player’s deck, they will be considered a part of the sideboard unless they are:

  • Promotional cards that have been handed out as part of the tournament.
  • Double-faced cards represented by checklist cards in the deck.
  • Double-faced cards being used to represent the back side of cards in the deck. These cards must not be sleeved in the same way as cards in the main deck and/or sideboard.

Cards in different sleeves, tokens, and double-faced cards for which checklists are being used are ignored when determining deck (not sideboard) legality.

If a player is unable to locate cards (or identical equivalents) from their main deck, treat it as a Decklist Problem instead. If sideboard cards are missing, make a note of this, but issue no penalty.

Examples

  • A. A player has 59 cards in their deck, but 60 listed on their decklist.
  • B. A player has a Pacifism in their deck from a previous opponent.
  • C. In game one of a match, A player has Pithing Needle in their deck, but only has one registered in their sideboard.

Philosophy

Players are expected to call attention to deck errors immediately, and not gain any potential advantage from having the cards in their deck.

The most common forms of deck error are failure to desideboard and having a card in the wrong deck. Both of these are difficult to gain advantage from without obvious cheating. Allowing the opponent to choose which card they would have otherwise be working with is sufficient to compensate for the easily discovered situations.

Duplicates of cards that begin in the main deck are more problematic, as they are not as easy to realize and catch, and thus mandate an upgraded penalty.

A window in which the error is a Game Loss is necessary to discourage intentional abuse of the minimum number of cards in the deck. Once that point has passed, the opponent agrees that the deck is valid. Judges should always be mindful of the abuse possibilities when investigating these infractions.

Additional Remedy

Locate any cards missing from the deck and any incorrect cards in any game zone.

The opponent chooses which of the missing cards replaces each incorrect card; any extras are shuffled into the random portion of the library. If more cards are being removed than added, prioritize ones not in the library first.

If there are still additional cards not in the library that need replacing, they are replaced by random cards from the library.

If the missing card(s) are with the sideboard and it isn’t the first game, choose the ones to be returned to the deck at random from main deck cards in the sideboard.

If the missing card(s) were in a previous or current opponent’s deck, issue penalties to both players.

 

Upgrade

If the deck or sideboard is discovered to be missing cards while presented to the opponent for pre-game shuffling, or during a deck check, and the missing cards are not in the opponent’s deck, the penalty is a Game Loss.

 

Upgrade

If an opponent may have made strategic decisions based on the presence of a sideboard card (such as having seen it in the library during a search effect), the penalty is a Game Loss.

 

Upgrade

If an error resulted in more copies of a main deck card being played than were registered and this was discovered after the game had begun, the penalty is a Game Loss unless all copies of the card are still in the random portion of the library. For example if the decklist has two copies of Shock in the main deck and two in the sideboard, but a search finds two copies of Shock in the library with another already in the graveyard, the penalty is upgraded.