Backing up, Hidden information and Long-term plans

The IPG indicates that, in absence of meeting the criteria for one of the approved partial fixes, “a full backup may be considered or the game state may be left as is.” I have already expanded in some articles about backups, and was recently asked whether I usually consider Hidden information before making a decision. So here are my thoughts on this.   The situation Alex casts . Nelo, who controls 2 untapped Islands and 4 untapped Mountains, taps 2 Mountain and 1 Island to cast to counter the Drake. After thinking for 10 seconds, Alex casts Expansion (from , copying Sinister Sabotage to counter the original Sinister Sabotage. Alex then notices that Nelo illegally cast Sinister Sabotage and called the judge. After investigating, the judge determines there was no cheating involved. The ruling is therefore GRV, but how to remedy the situation?   Here are the questions I was asked (Q), the reasoning I was asked to evaluate (R) and my answers (A):   Q1: Would you leave the situation as it is or backup the Sabotage to Nelo’s hand ? R: I would leave it since Nelo gained additional information, while after his mistake. And Alex also made the decision base on the board (Nelo have 1 Island and 2 mountain). A: The entire reasoning is perfect. Extra information was gained and therefore backing up is dangerous (note that this operates under the same reasoning as Reversing Decisions). All of this feels like we should not backup. In general, I believe that a good backup should repair the situation, not damage it more. The immediate consequences need to be considered, but consequences on the long run too: Immediate consequences in this situation are not negligible: One extra spell (Expansion) was revealed. If we backup the entire situation, this gives Nelo a much better overview of the situation when deciding whether to cast Sinister Sabotage again or not. If Sinister Sabotage is not cast again, this creates a different game.   The long run consequences are not negligible either: Since Expansion has been revealed while it should not have, Explosion as therefore been revealed as well. While Explosion/Expansion is a card that is fairly standard in the archetype, Nelo is now certain that it is in Alex’s hand and, should we backup, Nelo could play the rest of the game revolving around this card (never tapping out to ensure it doesn’t resolve, forcing Alex to cast it while not being tapped out, etc.). Outside of the specifics, this is possibly creating a whole different game. However, while we should likely be on the cautious side of things, it’s possible that us judges miss some implications. A good solution to try to understand the situation better, therefore evaluating better how safe a backup is, is to ask players individually and privately their understanding of the game and the impact of the mistake in the future . By asking a few questions about the future of the game, you will be … Continue reading Backing up, Hidden information and Long-term plans