IPG 3.8 Tournament Error — Marked Cards


Cards or sleeves in a player’s deck have inconsistencies on them that might allow them to be differentiated from each other while in the library. This includes scuff marks, nail marks, discoloration, bent corners and curving from foils.


  • A. A player has small marks on a few of their sleeves. The markings are on a Mountain, a Loxodon Hierarch, and a Lightning Helix.
  • B. A player has several foil cards that stand out significantly from the rest of their deck.
  • C. The basic lands in a player’s unsleeved deck are from a set with notably lighter backs.


Sleeves and cards often become worn over the course of a tournament, and, as long as the player is not attempting to take advantage of this, addressing the situation is sufficient in most cases. Note that almost all sleeves can be considered marked in some way; judges should keep this in mind when determining penalties.

In cases of marked cards, educating players to shuffle their cards and sleeves before sleeving the cards is very important.

This infraction applies only to cards in a player’s deck. Differently-marked sleeves in the sideboard are not illegal unless they are put into the deck without being changed.

Unless investigating, judges are encouraged to alert players about concerns with marked sideboard cards.

Additional Remedy

The player needs to replace the card(s) or sleeve(s) with an unmarked version or, if no sleeves are being used, use sleeves that conceal the markings.

If the cards themselves have become marked through play in the tournament, the Head Judge may decide to issue a proxy.


If the player is unable to find replacement cards, they may replace those cards with any combination of cards named Plains, Island, Swamp, Mountain or Forest. As the decklist is being changed to match the new contents of the deck, the penalty is a Game Loss. This change may be reverted at a later point without further penalty if replacements for marked cards are found.


If the Head Judge believes that a deck’s owner noticing the pattern of markings would be able to gain substantial advantage from this knowledge, the penalty is a Game Loss.