KTK Policy Changes

The New Docs

IPG | MTR

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Before we dive into the document update, an important announcement about how we handle morph at Competitive REL:

In the past, we’ve applied a Game Loss for not revealing morphs at the end of the game, and have said if you lost the game, the Game Loss applied to the next game. That was to show we were serious about revealing morphs. Philosophically, though, that was a little odd; we normally confine (non-USC) Game Losses to the game in which they occurred. But, cheating with a non-morph is a terrible plan. It’s easily discovered if the creature is bounced or killed, and if you manage to get to the end of the game and sweep it away, you lose anyway. Since you can’t win, there’s no incentive to try it.

So the new official way to handle a morph Game Loss is to always apply it to the game in which the failure to reveal occurred. You still issue it, even if the Game Loss itself may be irrelevant. Players are still required to reveal their morphs and intentionally not doing so may be Cheating. Sweeping them up should still result in an investigation (and I strongly recommend a public “so, what was it?” as part of that).

Speaking of Game Losses, the offsetting Game Loss idea that was introduced in Deck/Decklist Problems has now been extended to apply to all situations where a judge is issuing two Game Loss penalties at the same time. One situation that may arise is both players failing to reveal their morphs. In this situation, both players lose the game, but those game losses offset.

The most visible change in the new IPG is the introduction of section 1.4, devoted to the art of backing games up. We’re expanding some of the philosophy and guidelines, and putting it into a single location for easy reference. It also highlights the dangers of backing up through potential shuffles, something that’s likely to be relevant in the upcoming Standard format. Moving backup details into section 1.4 lets us pull the repeated text out of Game Rule Violations and Communication Policy Violations, and the remedies for those infractions are much easier to read now. Note that now you consider applying partial remedies before a backup when a Game Rule Violation is committed.

Drawing Extra Cards gets a couple of tweaks. Originally, it required that no Game Play Error had been committed, but that was a bit broad. It could be argued that Looking at Extra Cards was always committed before Drawing Extra Cards. That was obviously not the intent, but it’s easily cleaned up by requiring a Game Rule Violation instead of a Game Play Error. That has the nice side effect of avoiding those situations where a player misses an unrelated trigger then draws extra cards. Also, if the drawn card goes into an empty hand and is discovered then, that is now grounds for a downgrade, as the error is relatively easy to fix with limited disruption. Improper Drawing at Start of Game gets a bit of cleanup too, and only worries about situations where too many cards are drawn; too few fits nicely into Game Rule Violation.

The final change of note involves the partial fix for objects in the wrong zone. Before, the players had a turn to discover the error. Now, the fix doesn’t have a time frame. The judge may move the card into the correct zone if they believe that doing so would not be too disruptive to the overall flow of the game. So, if it looks like it hasn’t been relevant, just move it, but, if the players have been making decisions based on the card being where it is, that’s the kind of situation where you should leave the game state alone.

The remaining changes are grammar or structure (Tardiness, for example, has been rejiggered to match the section headers a bit better, but there’s no new text there). The IPG is a complicated document and anything we can do to make it easier to read is welcome. Thanks to everyone who sent in suggestions for this.

35 thoughts on “KTK Policy Changes

    1. Sort of true (the order they entered cannot be concealed). Not sure what that has to do with the policy changes, though.

      1. Could you please elaborate a little why is that?
        You have a player who won a game and have a game loss and a player that just lost a game. Why suddenly all changes to a game loss and nothing more?

  1. Doesn’t this pretty heavily incentivize you to “forget” to reveal your morphs after losing the first game of a match?

    1. You get a recorded game loss and risk a DQ if the judge decides it wasn’t so much ‘forgetting’. And you’ll be asked what the morph was, so unless you’re also willing to start blatantly lying, your opponent will find out anyway. That seems pretty low value for not a ton of upside.

  2. So if its game 1 and both players fail to reveal morph creatures at the end, they both get a game loss and move to game 3 or do those game losses cancel each other and then the players proceed to the next game like the penalties never happened but still documented? Also what if the same situation occured and its game 2? game 3?

      1. Actually, from what I understand about the offsetting game losses, if player A wins the game (let’s say it’s game 1), and both players fail to reveal morphs, they both receive a game loss. Those game losses offset, and so player A is left with the win going into game 2.

  3. So if the players both lost game 1 by failing to reveal morphs, they will not be able to sideboard for the next game?

  4. After your answers to Steven’s and Grant’s last questions, I’d like to clarify something. The game happened, so players are allowed to sideboard. However, since neither player won, and since the match ends after a certain number of wins, they still have to play either two or three more games (or until time). When entering into WER, should we enter the win loss records as though that game wasn’t played, or would it be better to give both players a loss for that game?

  5. So the change to DEC has a small problem in that you are no longer protected by a Communication Policy Violation. A player could verbally confirm a draw effect, and then be certain that they aren’t guilty of DEC. Now it doesn’t sound like that works.

    1. “no other Game Rule Violation or Communication Policy Violation had been committed”.

      The change in that line is making GPE into GRV.

  6. Imagine how awkward it’s going to be when a player wins the PT because their opponent forgets to reveal their morph cards at the end of game 5 in the finals.

    1. This is the third time morph has been in a format, including in an era where PT top-8s were sometimes draft (and therefore filled with morphs). Why has this suddenly become a problem?

    2. If you’ve managed to make it all the way to the PT finals without falling down on that hurdle, it’s probably ingrained to the point where you’ll still be doing it a year after Khans rotates out.

  7. So just to clarify, if player A wins game 1 and both players fail to reveal Morph cards, the game losses offset and there is no winner for game 1 or does player A win game 1 because of the offset?

  8. If this happened in Game 1, why not have the player reveal all the morphs in their deck rather than just ask them which one it was and hope that they are honest? While there is minimal incentive to put a land in play facedown, there is incentive to scoop your morph as you’re about to lose in order to keep an important morph secret. I understand there’s an investigation, GL on record etc, but why not just remove the incentive completely?

    1. Outside of penalties, we don’t apply situation-specific disproportionate ‘fixes’. It’s a really deep rabbit hole.

  9. Drawing an extra card into an empty hand is now grounds for downgrade.
    Have you ever considered drawing an extra card into a hand full of cards with the exact same name as the extra card as grounds for downgrade (i.e.: “I know have a drawn an extra card but look, I only have 4 Swamps”)?
    If not, have you ever considered that situation as a GRV example of “uniquely identifiable position”?
    Since I guess you have already adressed this question, what was the reasons to not consider it that way?

    Thank you,

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