DTK Policy Changes – For Judges

The New Docs


There are a few changes to the IPG today that are worth highlighting, including a small change to missed triggers. Yikes!

In some rare corner cases, our default fixes produce unintuitive results. For example, I have an effect that tells me to draw and discard. I draw into an empty hand and play a land. Whoops! Applying the GRV remedy tells me to just discard now, but my hand is empty. That seems suboptimal, especially when fixing it is so easy, so we’ve added the ability to make tiny backups to fix an unnatural situation. How tiny? I’d say maybe one action that directly involved the affected permanent, where reversing it doesn’t affect anything an opponent would know about. In general, it’s better to apply the default fix, but the option now exists.

Speaking of default fixes, there’s a new one: if someone forgot to declare blocker order (or, in rare cases, attacker order) and it’s become relevant, just do it now. Rewinding these is often messy, and you can’t leave it undeclared if it’s relevant, so it’s best to have the players declare it now.

Another clarification that mostly affects deckcheck teams at large events: if an error is discovered on a decklist outside of a deckcheck don’t issue an infraction until the start of the next round (unless you think the deck itself is illegal). This minimizes disruption to ongoing matches. This was true for first round deckchecks, but it’s been changed to make it clearer that it applies at other times as well.

There’s a clause in Slow Play that gave upgrade discretion to the HJ for exceptional situations. It turns out that nobody could articulate a scenario where it might apply and not be Stalling, so we removed it.

Finally, yes, we touched missed triggers. In general, we’ve been really happy with how well those rules have worked, so touching them is scary and done very, very carefully. However, we’ve found a situation where we think we can improve gameplay flow and remove some potential inconsistencies from the infraction definition.

At the moment, we have a list of trigger types and how/when they need to be acknowledged by, plus an extra caveat that says “or if they’ve been acknowledged before then.” That works fine for three of the four classes of triggers, but produces a strange result when you acknowledge a trigger that requires physical action (gaining life, drawing cards, etc.), but then forget to take the action. A while later you remember and it’s a mess.

Intuitively, that feels like a missed trigger, and we’ve tweaked the definition to make it so. Now, acknowledgement of a trigger that changes the physical state of the game is done by… changing the physical state of the game at the appropriate time (with the usual flexibility for out-of-order sequencing). The other three types of trigger are not affected by this. Ones that require a target to be chosen need that target chosen when the trigger is acknowledged anyway, and the other two don’t change anything visible, so acknowledging them any time is fine.

There’s a few other non-functional and clarifying changes as well; those are covered in the changelog. Fingers crossed that we’ve fixed the missing penalty box under stalling, too! Thanks to all the judges who sent in suggestions, particularly Jeff Morrow. Have fun casting dragons and we’ll see you again for Origins.

16 thoughts on “DTK Policy Changes – For Judges

  1. Toby, would the change to the Missed Trigger policy apply to something like Huntmaster of the Fells, where a player puts a Wolf token into play but doesn’t gain two life? Or would it be more along the lines of something like Glimpse of Nature, saying “trigger” when you cast a creature spell but then not actually drawing the card?

    1. The latter. Doing part of an instruction isn’t missing a trigger; that’s just a straight up GRV.

  2. Toby,

    At the risk of venturing into corner case land …

    In regards to:

    “There’s a clause in Slow Play that gave upgrade discretion to the HJ for exceptional situations. It turns out that nobody could articulate a scenario where it might apply and not be Stalling, so we removed it.”

    One scenario that I have encountered where this upgrade discretion seemed to have application was when I had a player sit for a match at a PTQ, begin to play their first game and then about 10 minutes in to the round, suddenly stand up and say to their opponent, “I have to go to the bathroom NOW!” and run off without either player calling a judge. The player waited approximately 10 minutes for their opponent and when they failed to return, they then called for a judge. The player that had the emergency bathroom visit could not be found for another 10 minutes or more (the approximate total time from when the player left until their return was around 30 minutes), when the player did return after some discussion we issued a TE – Tardiness penalty with upgrade due to the players emergency bathroom break leaving less than 10 minutes in the round to finish the match.

    I did not at the time, nor do I now, believe this player was stalling and the upgrade option seemed to perfectly fit this “exceptional circumstance” clause. Going forward, with this change to Tardiness in mind, how would you suggest handling a similar situation?

    1. I don’t think that fits slow play at all. In fact, I think your error points you in the right direction – it seems closer to Tardiness than slow play.

    1. Honestly, if you discover a decklist error in the middle of the last round, I’d probably just let it go.

  3. hello, how about prowess and exalt ?
    Do we now need to add physically the counters each time we cast a spell or declare atacker ?

  4. What about if you use different color for (or a symbol next to) new changes/rules into documents from previous release of IPG MTR etc.? Yes changelog is good but i think that will help alot to see “Before and After”.

  5. Hi Toby!

    How does the new trigger policy affect Geist of Saint Traft? Do you always have to put a token onto the battlefield now or are there still situations where just saying “attack for 6” is fine?

  6. Hi Toby,

    Another great set of policy changes! I’ve been impressed by how much improvement has been made to tournament Magic over the past three years.

    If I understand correctly, there’s a small opening for gamesmanship with the new rules. Please let me know if the following is interpreted correctly:

    It is now possible for an explicitly announced trigger disappear from the stack if a player has forgotten about it by the time it would resolve.

    “EOT, unmorph Ashcloud Phoenix. We each take 2.”

    “In response, fetch down to 5 life. Island. Dig Through Time, exiling 6 cards. Two to my hand. Five on the bottom. Utter End Ashcloud Phoenix. Your turn.”

    *untaps, draws* “Wait. We never ended up taking two off the Phoenix trigger.”

    In the above scenario, I would be correct to rule that the Phoenix trigger was missed.


    1. Doesn’t look missed. Player explained what happened (plus, it’s not like anything the opponent did had any real impact.)

  7. To clarify, the new Missed Trigger change means:

    “At the beginning of your upkeep, put a +1/+1 counter on each creature you control.” can become missed even after the player announces it…

    …but “At the beginning of your upkeep, put a +1/+1 counter on *target* creature.” can’t, because having a target means it’s in one of the other four categories?

    I.E. announcing but then failing to perform the former is a Missed Trigger but doing the same for the latter is a GRV?

Comments are closed.