GP Minneapolis Head Judge Report


[O]fficial Rulings


Duskwatch Recruiter


Unlike the other werewolves, Duskwatch recruiter’s transform triggered abilities should both be considered beneficial. Indeed, beneficial and detrimental are extremely contextual for that card and, following the policy whose primary example is Dark Confidant:


If an ability would contextually be both detrimental and beneficial, it is considered beneficial.


Obviously, this does not mean that the situation should not be investigated for intent. Especially with Archangel Avacyn, not transforming the 2/2 side into the 3/3 during NAP’s turn can be a huge advantage as it allows to choose between flashing the Angel in or activating Recruiter to draw more cards, depending on NAP’s plays. This therefore needs to be investigated thoroughly.



Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet


Exiling an opponent’s creature is not a triggered ability and therefore cannot be missed. Therefore, both AP and NAP need to make sure this happens. This means that if it Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet’s ability is forgotten, both players should receive a GRV Warning (similar to Path to Exile).

As to the remedy, if you can backup, do so, otherwise leave as is and do not partial fix anything, as indicated in this IPG clause:

If the infraction falls into one of the following categories, and only into that category, perform the fix specified unless a simple backup is possible:


  • If an object is in an incorrect zone either due to a required zone change being missed or due to being put into the wrong zone during a zone change, the identity of the object was known to all players, and it can be moved with only minor disruption to the state of the game, put the object in the correct zone.

Indeed, this infraction goes beyond this clause: If a card was put in the incorrect zone, the 2/2 token was also not put on the battlefield. It therefore doesn’t fall into exactly one of the aforementioned categories and no partial at all should be applied.


Here is the reasoning: We have created partial fixes to restore the game state to an as-organic-as-possible state with minimal disruption. When one infraction leads to several different consequences on the game state, it becomes arguable that fixing part of the infraction brings the game state any close to what it should have been. Therefore, unless the 2/2 token was actually put on the battlefield, you should not partial fix this.




Rules Questions



Fevered Visions


If Fevered Visions’s ability is on the stack, destroying it will not allow NAP to avoid being dealt two damage. This is a single triggered ability, which therefore needs to finish resolving entirely.



Jace, Vryn’s prodigy


It has a feeling of déjà-vu, but it apparently needs a reminder: If the discarded card has madness and it would be the fifth card in the graveyard, Jace, Vryn’s prodigy can’t transform. Indeed, Madness mandates that the card is exiled, even if it is not cast. It’s only after Jace’s ability finishes resolving that the Madness trigger goes on the stack, and only after it resolves that the card goes to the graveyard.




Rulings of note



Is there an infraction ?


The situation


AP animates Gideon, ally of Zendikar. He then casts Dromoka’s Command to have Gideon fight with a 6/6 and have NAP sacrifice an enchantment.

NAP puts his 6/6 in his graveyard, then AP attacks. No blockers are declared, damage is dealt and AP passes the turn. NAP untaps, draws a card and at that point, someone realizes the 6/6 should not have died.



The investigation


There is of course the potential that AP tried to cheat buy intentionally letting the 6/6 die. This wasn’t conclusive. First, both players were fairly confident that modes were declared clearly while I feel that a good way to cheat would be to try to change the mode from +1/+1 to sacrifice an enchantment at the last second. Then, the game state didn’t seem to mandate for AP to survive that both the 6/6 and the enchantment go away. Finally, if NAP was to realize that his 6/6 would not die, then Dromoka’s command would have been pretty bad, making the cheat very risky in a situation where AP doesn’t need it.

Based on these conclusions, the correct infraction was then GRV.



Backing up?


Since this is GRV, then I needed to evaluate whether this deserved a backup, so I went step by step through cancelling all the actions in order.

The first step was to take one card at random from NAP’s hand to put back to the top of his library. Players informed me that part of NAP’s hand was known because he has used Evolutionary Leap earlier during the game. While players were discussing what had been revealed based on their notes and beliefs, AP realized: “Wait, you’ve sacrificed your 6/6 in response to the Command”, with which NAP agreed.

Unsurprisingly, this made the backup incredibly more complex, but the real question this rose was: Was there actually an infraction?

  • Casting the Command is a legal play.
  • Sacrificing the 6/6 in response is another legal play.

NAP obviously acted on the assumption that his 6/6 would die, but that can very well be a strategic mistake.


GRV was out of the equation at that point, but there may have been CPV involved. That’s why I talked separately to each player again to ask how AP phrased his sentence. I was essentially looking at determining whether AP made any kind of incorrect statement that would qualify under misrepresenting a free information — details of current game actions and made sure to ask both players an as open as possible question like: “Can you tell me what happens when you/your opponent cast the spell?”. Indeed, asking something more specific may lead the player to understand what’s in his best interest to answer, especially as there are zero chances I can actually check anything. By asking an open question, you give no hints of what you’re actually looking for.



The Ruling


Both versions were consistent and confirmed that AP never made any incorrect statement. Therefore, I ruled that NAP made the strategic mistake of sacrificing his 6/6 to the Leap and the game would simply go on with nothing backed up.





  1. First, it needs to be noted that performing the step-by-step back up helped a lot in quickly gathering additional and super important elements which had nevertheless been overlooked. In this situation, that extra element radically modified the ruling.
  2. When you need to get an answer from a player, do not ask a closed question (a question that can be answered by “yes” or “no”) but an open question
    Amongst the elements of the answer, you should be able to get the information you are looking for without revealing your intentions.



Intentionally delaying a Missed Trigger call


AP forgets to transform his night Duskwatch Recruiter back into a 2/2. He then attacks with the 3/3. It is perfectly legal for NAP to delay the moment he calls a judge until the moment he believes is his best interest, after he declares blockers and before damage is dealt.


A player does not need to call the judge for a Missed Trigger immediately as they notice it. They may call at any or no point, at their convenience.




Judges of Note


John Laitinen

John Laitinen

Watching games is one of my favorite judge hobbies. I was watching a pretty cool game during which I was applying the precepts I described in this article, when at some point John Laitinen passed by and told players: “Did you guys track this painland damage?”.

Lesson learnt: Even when a game is cool, remember to check the basics!




Kevin Desprez