Due to the complexity of accurately representing a game of Magic, it is acceptable for players to engage in a block of actions that, while technically in an incorrect order, arrive at a legal and clearly understood game state once they are complete.
All actions taken must be legal if they were executed in the correct order, and any opponent can ask the player to do the actions in the correct sequence so that he or she can respond at the appropriate time (at which point players will not be held to any still-pending actions).
An out-of-order sequence must not result in a player prematurely gaining information which could reasonably affect decisions made later in that sequence.
Example: A player casts Cruel Ultimatum, which among other things has its controller return a creature from his or her graveyard to his or her hand, draw three cards, and gain five life. The player may not draw cards before returning a creature to his or her hand, because the information gained from the drawn cards might influence which creature will be returned.
Players may not try to use opponent’s reactions to some portion of an out-of-order sequence to see if he or she should modify actions or try to take additional ones. Nor may players use Out-of-Order Sequencing to try to retroactively take an action they missed at the appropriate time. In general, any substantial pause at the end of a completed batch is an indication that all actions have been taken, the sequence is complete and the game has moved to the appropriate point at the end of the sequence.
Generally, all actions in the sequence must be performed as one block, which means there can’t be any pauses between actions and or interaction with an opponent. Each substantial pause or attempt to see an opponent’s reaction should be treated as an end of the sequence.
Once again, Out-of-Order Sequencing cannot be used to gain an advantage. Therefore the sequence can’t contain previously missed actions nor can the player try to modify the sequence based on the opponent’s reaction to previous actions. “If you believe the player forgot to take an action and is now attempting to take it at a later time, that is not acceptable.”
1. A player discards a card to pay for Masticore’s upkeep cost before untapping his or her land.
2. A player resolves Harrow and puts the card into his or her graveyard, then searches.
3. While resolving Restore Balance, a player discards before sacrificing lands and creatures.
4. A player with two creatures being put into the graveyard due to state-based actions resolves the leaves-the-battlefield triggered ability on one of them before putting the other creature in the graveyard.
5. A player declares a blocker, animates a Treetop Village, and then attempts to block with that Treetop Village.