If you plan to skip a policy update this year, here’s the one for you. A few things have been moved around, some sentences have been rewritten to be clearer, especially for non-native English speakers, and a few small corners have been addressed. Really, all the excitement is over with the Grand Prix Trial announcement. And Meld. Meld can do some wacky things.
What? You want details on some of the corner cases? Well, I suppose we have to fill column inches somehow. Straight to the bullet points!
- This one’s actually a policy change, though most people were probably applying it already – looking at two or more cards during your mulligan not-actually-a-scry (but we’re going to call it one anyway) is handled as a Hidden Card Error, not a Mulligan Procedure Error. Philosophically, even though we’re still technically before the start of the game, it fits there.
- “Draw a card at the start of your next upkeep” is no longer a delayed trigger that changes the zone of an object for Missed Trigger purposes. That clause only applies when it locks in the objects to be moved upon creation of the trigger.
- Hidden Card Error used to talk about returning cards to zones. Some of the places you might return a card to weren’t technically zones (they were subsets within a zone, such as the cards you’re looking at with Collected Company), so we use the less game-specific “location”. This is, as they say, a non-functional change.
In general, Hidden Card Error seems like it’s found a pretty happy place after a few bumpy updates. There are probably a few corners we’ll continue to poke at, and I can see some possible improvements, but I think the bulk of it is where it needs to be.
Speaking of corners, there’s one card in Eldritch Moon that’s going to be a little weird, and that’s Fortune’s Favor. In reality, I don’t think this is going to be a huge problem, as most of the time the player will pull four cards off the top of their library and hand them over to the opponent face-down. If they hand over five face-down, that’s clearly a publicly-correctable error and is a GRV. But, theoretically, they could allow the opponent to take the cards off the library and the opponent could grab five. Maybe they think it’s like Fact or Fiction. Assuming that it’s not a simple dexterity error, like two cards being stuck together, then it qualifies to be a Hidden Card Error! Reveal the set, and the opponent (who is the person who cast the spell in this case) gets to remove one of the cards and shuffle it back into their library. Yes, they’ll have perfect information when making the decision, so people should be careful when grabbing those sets!
- We’re a little more explicit about how to handle someone who needs to delay a game or the start of a game for some reason, such as a bathroom break. They have 10 minutes to finish up before we assume they’ve elected not to continue in the tournament.
- Deck/Decklist Problem looks like it changed a lot, but it’s mostly text moving around. Some parts of the remedy fit better in the definition section. The line about decks and sideboards being treated as the same has been removed; instead sideboards are mentioned explicitly where it’s relevant. That’s because “cards in your deck with different sleeves are ignored” is intended to cover a situation where the top card of your library is unexpectedly orange and there’s no way you could take advantage of this.
- Marked Cards adds a reminder that cards in your sideboard aren’t considered marked until they are put into your deck. Yes, they might put a marked card in. Yes, they might have already done so. But, right now, the cards they have presented are fine, and if they’re swapping sleeves, everything may carry on being fine. Mention your concerns to them and you’ve possibly preempted a penalty and won a fan for life.
- The MTR has a few updates. It’s explicit about when a decklist is due (before the start of round 1 in constructed, before your first round of play in limited). Meld cards now meet the official card definition. You can’t look at the sideboards of opponents you are controlling. Sorting should continue to happen during deck registration. And, the not-a-scry at the start of the game gets treated as a scry for shortcut purposes. Really, it’s a scry…
See? Small stuff. Nothing to be worried about. But even a small update like this takes a village of contributors. Special thanks to Isaac King, Ian Smith, Andrea Mondani, Jeff Morrow, and everyone who pointed out that section 4.8 accidentally got renumbered to 4.4 in the last edition. We’re always on the lookout for ways to make things clearer to judges around the world, so contributions are welcome!