OGW Policy Updates

As with every new set we have an update to the policy documents. Here are some details and how they affect you.

For the official news right from Toby Elliott’s you can click here.

As more time passes I have started to identify myself much more as a judge, rather than a competitive player. Despite this I have done very little in regards to judging on this site. Highlighting policy updates is the first step in changing that, and is something that can be helpful both for judges AND for players.

The biggest change is one that will have very little impact on players, as it’s just a re-branding of a few things we’ve already had in place. Drawing extra cards and improper draw at start of game have both been replaced with the all new Hidden Card Error. The penalty is the same as before: a warning and the additional remedy of revealing the affected pool of cards belonging to the offender and appropriately changing the zone of the correct number of cards (based on the error). This seems really wordy, so let’s break it down a bit based on some examples:

  • Drawing an extra card: Let’s suppose you cast a Defiant Strike but draw 2 cards instead of 1. The affected pool of cards in this case is your hand and the number of cards in error is 1 (as you drew 1 more than you should have). We want to return that extra to your library, so your hand will be revealed to your opponent, they will pick one, and then it will be returned to your library, which will then be randomized.
  • Scrying an extra card: You play your Temple of Silence and pick up 2 cards to scry instead of 1. Now our pool that we’re concerned with is the pair of cards you are scrying and we still have a single card in error. We will reveal those two to your opponent (but not your hand) who will then pick one to be returned to the library, to then be randomized.
  • Failure to reveal: The infamous activate Ajani, Mentor of Heroes, look at 4, and then just put one in your hand. This results in the same fix as the first scenario listed above of your opponent seeing your hand and getting rid of one card (which can be any card). The first thing of note here is that the fix is still applied even if all cards in your hand are legal choices for Ajani’s ability. The fact that you chose a card appropriately is not being disputed here, but it is the fact that you are required to reveal that information and you did not (and that information may be informative). The second thing is that revealing a hand that contains no legal choices is likely going to end very poorly for you….
  • Drawing too many cards in your opening hand: The old fix for this infraction has been done away with, which was removing cards equal to the excess plus one. Now we apply the same fix as if you had simply drawn an extra card at any other point in the game. Note that you can choose to mulligan again instead (for example: you mulligan, then draw 7, you can either do this fix and end at 6 OR you can mulligan to 5 immediately).

With the exception of what used to be improper draw at start of game (our last example above), these are all things that we have been doing for at least 3 months now. It’s important to note that you do have the option to concede prior to revealing your hand in any of these cases, just in case you want to really hide something from your opponent.

On to the quality of life fixes! The first of these is that when fixing a Game Rule Violation (GRV) where a card was supposed to change zones but didn’t, we now have the option to place it in the correct zone rather than the old “backup or leave as is” option we had in the past. There are still limitations here, as we have to weigh just how disruptive the fix would be, but it should result in an increased number of cases where we can get games closer to where they should be had no error happened.

Our second change is if a deck is missing cards after the game has started we can shuffle them into the library and keep the game moving with a warning. This comes up from time to time due to things being exiled or dropped and in the past it’s been a case of “this is a deck/decklist problem, the penalty is a game loss.” This ALWAYS felt bad. It should be noted that this is an optional downgrade, so the head judge may choose not to apply it and instead leave it as a game loss (or, if after investigating, there is a possibility of the penalty instead being cheating with a resulting disqualification).

Chris Wendelboe

Chris is a level 2 judge from Ashland, New Hampshire. He enjoys Scapeshift, modern, and putting on the best events possible.