Policy Changes for Hour of Devastation

The New Docs


After a few super-sized updates, I’m pleased to report that the Hour of Devastation tournament document update is… not all that devastating. All the changes are the sort of thing that would usually end up in the “Other Notes” section. If you’re going to skip an update this year, here’s the one. See you in Ixalan! Any beaches around here?

What, you’re still here?

So, let’s start by talking about something that’s not an update. With the separation of Deck and Decklist penalties, a question that has been asked a bunch is what the appropriate penalty is when extra, playable cards are discovered in the sideboard. It’s still a Game Loss. The penalty is Deck Error (it’s even part of the definition!), but the vast majority of the time, it’s discovered by a deckcheck, and that falls under the “someone else found it” upgrade clause.

We’re reasonably happy with the changes to the combat shortcut, but we’re going to simplify it a little. Instead of an exception where the non-active player was acting in the main phase to stop a trigger or what it might affect, it’s now just to stop something from triggering. Toolcraft Exemplar remains a little quirky – after all, you probably want to kill that in response to the trigger – but fixing that turns out to have a lot of other unintended consequences.

We also dealt with a technical problem. The original shortcut specified that it applied when the active player passed in main phase one. It didn’t specify that the stack needed to be empty! Everyone understood the intent, but we’re calling it out now.

The separation of deck and decklist infractions made it more likely that you could issue two infractions to a player with different penalties. We now spell out that you only issue the more severe one.

Last time, we added guidance about when cards left the library to join other sets. That was to stop people issuing penalties for someone who pulled a card away from the library face down, but it was a little broad – it can be LEC if you accidentally, for example, put some extra cards into the graveyard. So that guidance only applies moving between hidden sets.

Finally, we’ve had a clause in the selection-not-made GRV partial fix that allowed for a simple backup to make things smoother. It’s been extended to all the partial fixes. There’s what I like to think of as the “discovery action,” an action that interacts with a card that causes a GRV to be discovered. Undoing that action makes sense in certain circumstances. Remember, a simple backup is just that action, not any further!

Everything else is nonfunctional changes to line up wordings or make things clearer, and there’s not all that many of those. See, I told you to take a break! Thanks to Bryan Prillaman, Carlos Ho, Dan Collins, George Gavrilita, and Filipe Fernandes for their suggestions.