We’ve had the new decklist rules out for about a month now, and I’m seeing some evidence that judges are taking it further than is supported by the IPG.
The idea is not “oh yeah, I can see how the player might have made that error”. Players are still responsible for filling out a clear and unambiguous decklist. The philosophy is that in cases where the error (or shorthand) is clear and obvious, we’ll let it slide – the decklist is still unambiguous, just not strictly correct.
Some of this is my fault. A couple examples I used in the original article made bad assumptions about judge knowledge. Not everyone has been playing forever! Some folks were confused by the Rootwalla/Basking Rootwalla example. There’s a famous UG Madness deck in which Basking Rootwalla is one of the core cards, whereas Rootwalla has seen… basically no constructed play ever. Writing “Rootwalla” on that decklist is still risky for the player, but the judge now has the flexibility to recognize this distinction.
I’ve put together some simple heuristics to help you know if something is ‘obvious’. When you stumble across an error you think is potentially obvious, go through this checklist:
- If it’s a limited event, it’s not obvious.
- If the card listed has also historically seen some play in the format, it’s not obvious.
- If you have to spend more than a couple seconds thinking about it, it’s not obvious.
- If you have to check the deck to see which card it actually is, it’s not obvious.
- If you want to talk to the player to see if there might be something shady, it’s not obvious.
- If you aren’t sure if it’s obvious, it’s not obvious.