April L4+ Summary

April was a quiet month, only about half as many messages (176) as in March (375)… but we still touched on 42 different topics.  (Note that these numbers do not represent scientific or statistically accurate or whatever official-sounding words I could throw out there…  I’ll admit to destroying – rarely regenerating! – some number of “me too!” messages.)

So, what’s new in the world of L4s & L5s & Andy (oh my)?  Surprisingly, most of this month’s discussion continued unfinished discussions from March.  The advantage of having this many program leaders involved in discussions is also the disadvantage: we get a lot of very valuable input, but it’s hard to reach conclusions among our Council of Thirteen…

(as imagined by many)
(L4 meetings, as imagined by many)

A lot of attention has been given to the “Go” shortcut, mostly because of one card: Obzedat, Ghost Council.  We agree that saying “Go” without any mention that you’re going to Exile Obzedat is a clear indication you’ve Missed that Trigger.  The idea was floated – and most agreed – that the established shortcut could be amended to read “offers to keep passing priority until an opponent has priority in the end step **with an empty stack**” (emphasis on the proposed addition).

That change did not happen in the MTR that’s effective now; there’s no guarantee it will ever make it in to the MTR.  It was observed that the existing shortcut language can be interpreted in this manner: if I say “Go”, you have the opportunity to accept my shortcut, or interrupt it at any point.  In certain circumstances, you may want to take an action during my main phase; you might even want to act with the Obzedat trigger on the stack (none of us offered up any examples of that corner case!).  Most likely, though, you’ll just start to untap – and if I then try to Exile my Spirit(ual) Advisor, I’ve missed that trigger.

In other examples – say, Unholy Fiend – when I say “Go”, you may want to point out to a Judge that I’ve missed a trigger that you not only want to put on the stack, but want to ensure it’s tracked via a Warning … you know, just in case I’m Fiendish or even Unholy…

So, what else did we talk about?  GPs Pittsburgh, Strasbourgh; RC activity; L3s and L3 candidates, and why one panel took longer than usual/expected, and how/who to schedule for upcoming events; mana weaving; our schedule for the next season of GPs; selecting L3 candidates for GP Day Two Team Lead positions… and more, of course.

And, we discussed this article:

Recurring Nightmares – Arbor Day

Key points:
While we’d prefer that players not use cards with confusing art, if it’s “as printed”, we should allow them;
If a player is actively obscuring free information (i.e., hiding a Dryad Arbor among Forests with similar art) in order to gain an advantage, it can be Cheating (but…);
If they don’t know they’re violating the MTR, we just educate and ask them not to repeat that behavior (remember, there is no “TE: Other”; many MTR violations are not penalized).

Note that alterations to cards that “disguise” them can be disallowed, as can alterations that are offensive.  That’s a different topic – in fact, it’s one of the most recent Knowledge Pool scenarios, and the L4s discussed it at length before KP published the Solution.  Perhaps the most important point to take away from that KP scenario: as Head Judge, you may (and probably should!) disallow offensive art on altered cards.