Some rules about sanctioned events, and how expeditions work in limited.
EDIT: update for the new deck swap procedure, which fixes lots of problems in sealed!
In sealed, there’s a new process where each player opens all of their boosters, with the person sitting across from them watching to verify. All those cards, including any expeditions opened, belong to the player who opened them. Once all the packs are opened players will register the pool of the person sitting across from them, and then hand the cards back. The cards are the property of the person who opened them, if the person who is registering the cards tries to take them that is theft and should be handled as such.
This process is used at all competitive REL sealed events.
Questions? Feedback? Anything I’ve missed?
- Expeditions are all playable in limited
- They replace a common in packs, taking the “foil slot”. They are part of the pack and should be drafted as such.
- Make sure your players know they’re valuable, both so new players know to pick them and so they don’t get ripped off selling/trading one when they do.
- In sealed expeditions are part of the pool and should be kept with it.
Players can drop at any time with all product they correctly have. That means if a player opens (or is passed) an expedition in draft they can take all the cards in that pack, all cards they’ve currently drafted, and any unopened packs they have. They’re dropped from the event and don’t play any matches.
This is a part of the tournament rules and you can’t override it.
If players are doing this repeatedly and causing disruption you can refuse them entry to future drafts, but that can be heavy handed.
If you ignore the rules while running a sanctioned event Wizards may revoke your ability to run them.
Keep what you draft!
If players keep everything they pick they get to first pick, and thus keep, any expedition they open. This solves all the problems.
The player who drafts it is going to be the one who ends up with it, so they’re going to look after it.
Worst case they’re missing a Gideon or something they pass but they’re probably going to be pretty happy with the expedition. If they really want they can still drop as above, that’ll be rare though.
If this is the common practice at your store I strongly recommend excluding expeditions from it, i.e. redrafting all non-expedition rares at the end.
Take this opportunity to think about how you run drafts, there are going to be expeditions in drafts for ~7 months.
Things you can’t do
- Let players “rebuy” packs if they open an expedition. Nope, not allowed in a sanctioned event.
- Give players proxies so they don’t have to play valuable cards in their deck. Proxies are only for cards that are damaged when opened, or become damaged through limited play, so that they don’t appear as marked in that event. “But I don’t want to play my expensive expedition and risk damaging it!” isn’t a reason to give a player a proxy, perhaps they’d like to buy some sleeves instead?
Again, if you ignore the rules while running a sanctioned event Wizards may revoke your ability to run them.
In unsanctioned events, do whatever you like. But be aware that players have expectations about how things work, let them know explicitly if things are different.
The rules for sanctioned events exist for good reasons, mostly related to fun, fairness, and event integrity. Make sure you understand why they exist and the consequences of not following them before you deviate.