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Knowledge Pool Scenarios » Post: Emrakul, the Situation Torn - SILVER

Emrakul, the Situation Torn - SILVER

Aug. 13, 2014 02:40:22 PM

Raymond Fong
Judge (Level 2 (Judge Academy)), TLC, Scorekeeper

United Kingdom, Ireland, and South Africa

Emrakul, the Situation Torn - SILVER

Welcome back to the Knowledge Pool! This week we have another silver scenario. Level 1s can try to answer straight away and L2+ judges please wait a few days before chiming in. Feel free to check us out at the blog below:

http://blogs.magicjudges.org/knowledgepool/?p=1131

At a Modern Grand Prix Trial, Ajani plays Glimpse the Unthinkable and mills Nissa for ten cards. Amongst them, Emrakul is put into the graveyard. After the ten cards are put into the graveyard, Nissa immediately picks up her graveyard and begins shuffling it into her library. Ajani calls over a judge and explains he wished to respond to the Emrakul trigger with the Crypt Incursion he has in his hand. After investigation, you find out there were about 30 cards in Nissa's graveyard after Glimpse the Unthinkable had resolved. What do you do?

Edited Josh Stansfield (Aug. 13, 2014 09:53:43 PM)

Aug. 13, 2014 03:46:35 PM

Francisco J. Riveiro
Judge (Level 2 (Judge Academy))

Iberia

Emrakul, the Situation Torn - SILVER

Ok, we are in front of GPE - GRV.

Nissa resolves the triggered without time to Ajani to response and shuffle its graveyard in the library. If all the cards were known we may back up (or talk with HJ to make it) but in these situation is too much difficult back up. Nissa commit GPE - GRV and is sanction with a Warning. Ajani is not penalized because he could not prevent that situation was committed and for these he don't FtMGS and call a judge at the moment.

Then the players can continue playing.

pd-> I hope that is well understood…

Aug. 13, 2014 04:33:56 PM

Michael Grimsley
Judge (Level 2 (Judge Academy)), Scorekeeper

USA - Southeast

Emrakul, the Situation Torn - SILVER

Nissa has committed a GPE-GRV. When Emrakul is put into the graveyard, it's triggered ability triggers and waits to be put on the stack (116.2a, 603.3). After Glimpse the Unthinkable is done resolving, when Ajani would receive priority, the tigger is put on the stack and then Ajani gets priority (116.5). Nissa violated these rules by resolving her trigger before allowing Ajani the opportunity to have priority and to respond to the trigger.

Explain to her how triggered abilities go on the stack and remind her that the active player regains priority when everything that has triggered has been placed on the stack. Ask her if she has received any other GRVs so far today, and as long as this isn't her third, issue her a Warning. Since Ajani was the one who called for the judge, he has not committed any error.

Now for the fix. Since there where about 30 cards in the graveyard when the trigger was resolved, I believe that this situation is impossible to rewind. We leave the game state as is and have them play on from there. Make sure to give them an appropriate time extension before you walk away.

Edited Michael Grimsley (Aug. 13, 2014 11:12:35 PM)

Aug. 13, 2014 05:49:22 PM

René Oberweger
Judge (Level 2 (Judge Academy)), Tournament Organizer

German-speaking countries

Emrakul, the Situation Torn - SILVER

I'm having trouble to find a infraction per definition of the IPG here, therefore i'm taking a different approach to the scenario:

Nissa put 10 cards from her library into her graveyard, and while she is doing that she finds an Emrakul, The Aeons Torn. It's easy to assume that she put the triggered abilty on the stack. The problem is, instad of waiting for her opponent to pass priorty and let the trigger resolve without any Response from Ajani, Nissa immediately resolves the trigger by shuffling her graveyard into the library. If Ajani doesn't have a valid response to the trigger, it would be fine to shortcut through the priority pass. However because of Crypt Incursion in Ajani's Hand (and assuming that he is able to cast the spell) things starting to get ugly.

So first we have to determine if there is an infraction. and here is where i'm having the troubles:

I can't think of a specific rules inside the CR that covers resolving a spell without getting any sign of approval (or better, any sign of a priority pass) from the opponent. Therefore, no GPE infraction can be applied. One could argue that some part of MTR 4.2 has been broken (using a shortcut and doesnt give the opponent a option to interrupt the shortcut while executing it), but this isn't covered by any specific TE infraction. Therefore, i'm not afraid to make a blunt call:

No infraction from Nissa, therefore no need to issue a penalty.

Now for the fix: the situation is too complex to rewind, unless there is any proof of evidence which makes it possible to determin the exact number and name of the cards that has been shuffled into the library. Therefore, we can't fix anything here. Nissa presents her deck to Ajani and the game goes on from that point.

Something that's really important here is too educate Nissa. Rushing through the resolution of a trigger is not ok, she has to give her opponent the oportunity to respond. By explaining it to her we are also able to give her a direct instruction ("wait until you get a conformation from your opponent), so further problems fall under USC-Minor.

Aug. 13, 2014 06:04:40 PM

Topher Hickman
Judge (Level 2 (Judge Academy))

USA - Midatlantic

Emrakul, the Situation Torn - SILVER

René, I'm curious: I can see your interpretation of the policy above, but strictly on a philosophical basis, do you feel that this sort of action is something we should discourage through policy? (Directly, not through your suggested solution via instruction then USC-Minor.)

Aug. 13, 2014 06:17:57 PM

Erik Kan
Judge (Uncertified)

BeNeLux

Emrakul, the Situation Torn - SILVER

I'm not going to try giving a solution here, what's been suggested is
likely “correct” already (with my limited knowledge of the IPG).

However, the proposed solutions are pretty much a death sentence for Ajani.
His deck is mill, obviously, and resolving a Crypt Incursion to exile
Emrakul is absolutely necessary. What he got, however, is a judge basically
Remanding his Crypt Incursion. And since Nissa will likely only get a
Warning out of this, Ajani must feel like he is actually being penalized
more than she is.

It's a bad situation to be in, with a rewind being out of the question.


On Wed, Aug 13, 2014 at 6:05 PM, Christopher Hickman <
forum-11857-da11@apps.magicjudges.org> wrote:

> René, I'm curious: I can see your interpretation of the policy above, but
> strictly on a philosophical basis, do you feel that this sort of action is
> something we should discourage through policy? (Directly, not through your
> suggested solution via instruction then USC-Minor.)
>
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For every action there is an equal and opposite distraction.

Aug. 13, 2014 06:25:41 PM

René Oberweger
Judge (Level 2 (Judge Academy)), Tournament Organizer

German-speaking countries

Emrakul, the Situation Torn - SILVER

Originally posted by Christopher Hickman:

René, I'm curious: I can see your interpretation of the policy above, but strictly on a philosophical basis, do you feel that this sort of action is something we should discourage through policy?

I'm not 100% sure if i understand the question. I feel players shouldn't be forced to explicit announce every priority pass through the course of a game (playing Magic in a pure technical correct way would be really annoying for everyone, thats why there are shortcuts). However, putting an object to the stack and let it immidiately resolve it? Doesn't sound that right either.

Aug. 13, 2014 09:34:55 PM

Milan Majerčík
Judge (Level 2 (Judge Academy)), Scorekeeper

Europe - Central

Emrakul, the Situation Torn - SILVER

Hello everyone,

I undestand that unless both players agree on the cards that were in the graveyard before the shuffle, this is not possible to rewind. It is also forbidden to perform partial fixes (like rewinding to the moment when the trigger was still on the stack and returning at least Emrakul and other cards that players agreed on into the graveyard).

The problem with this situation is that the milling player had little chance to prevent the situation from happening and the “no rewind remedy” basically means he will probably lose the game. So, it is imperative to warn Nissa. If she ever tries the trick in the future, she could be DQed (she now knows how the triggers work and so she would then intentionally break the rules to gain advantage).

What I have really problem with is that we, judges, can't penalize this anti-milling trick more harshly (with game loss) even though the error clearly damaged integrity of the game. This way, Nissa or another person who learns about the trick can use it at the cost of a mere Warning in future tournaments (luckily, it is not so easy to actually perform this trick - you have to be really persuading to convince the bystanders and the judge that it was innocent when you quickly grabbed the grayearard and started shuffling).

Aug. 14, 2014 12:58:53 AM

Talin Salway
Judge (Uncertified)

USA - Southwest

Emrakul, the Situation Torn - SILVER

Before reading other answers:

This is a bit of a tricky situation. Nissa skipped over Ajani's priority and immediately started resolving Emrakul's trigger.She put the game into a difficult, if not impossible, state to rewind. In this case, Ajani was apparently aware of Emrakul, but did not catch Nissa in time. However, Nissa's actions could have led to Ajani being unable to verify that there actually was an Emrakul in graveyard and the shuffle is legal.

On the other hand, Ajani is partially responsible for controlling the flow of his turn. If he has extra actions to take, or wants to do particular things with priority, he needs to make that explicit. However, given that he implicitly has priority after Glimpse the Unthinkable resolves (with Emrakul's trigger on the stack), this isn't as big a problem.

This is pretty much a GPE - GRV for Nissa, with a warning. Our choices are to rewind, or not. If Nissa's cards are still somewhat separated, or if the players had notes and agreed on the previous contents of the graveyard, I'd be willing to try and separate them from the deck. Otherwise, any rewind is probably too disruptive.

This admittedly is pretty feel-bad for Ajani, and there's a lot of potential for abuse. I'm interested to hear what other judges think…


After reading other answers:

Pretty much agreed on GPE - GRV, warning, no rewind. It's worth remembering that we're not supposed to consider who strategically benefits from a ruling, just to make the right ruling. That said….

It seems like we should have a tool to fix or deal with situations like this. Specifically
  • It's an advantage-gaining GRV
  • Which is basically impossible to rewind
  • and the opponent had no real chance to stop it

In other GRV/FtMGS scenarios, at minimum, both players are partially responsible - one for committing the error, and one for failing to catch it. Either of them could have stopped one player from gaining an unfair advantage. In other GRV only scenarios, a rewind is usually possible - the opponent is rewarded for their vigilance by not giving an opponent an unfair advantage.

In this case, however, Nissa is able to unilaterally take an illegal action, giving herself an advantage, and force it to stick. This feels similar to GRVs where the opponent can't verify the legality of an action, though it's a different situation.

Aug. 14, 2014 01:40:20 AM

Markus Dietrich
Judge (Level 2 (Judge Academy))

German-speaking countries

Emrakul, the Situation Torn - SILVER

Originally posted by René Oberweger:

I can't think of a specific rules inside the CR that covers resolving a spell without getting any sign of approval (or better, any sign of a priority pass) from the opponent.
What about 608.1 (“Each time all players pass in succession, the spell or ability on top of the stack resolves. ”) itself? Neither Nissa nor Ajani ever passed priority, so Ajani resolved Emrakul's ability without passing priority at all, which is against the CR.

Therefore I'll go with GPE-GRV Warning for Nissa and no GPE-FtMGS for Ajani because he called for a judge immidiatley. A rewind is not possible because no exact information about the graveyard exists.
The warning feels to good for Nissa, because it won her most likely the game and Ajani had no way to prevent it, but there is no upgrade mentioned for this kind of cases and I think that makes sense. To apply upgrades in this situation we would have to decide on the fly what “Game winning GRV's an oppenent can't prevent” are and I could imagine that this would lead into a lot of inconsistency between different judges. So this is not a good point to deviate at all.

Aug. 14, 2014 04:50:02 AM

Marc DeArmond
Judge (Level 2 (Judge Academy))

USA - Northwest

Emrakul, the Situation Torn - SILVER

If Nissa intentionally picked up her graveyard quickly so that Ajani couldn't respond we're looking at way more than just a GRV. This comes dangerously close to an example of UC-Cheating. Nissa clearly gains an advantage from shuffling her graveyard back into her graveyard and would need to convince me that she didn't do it on purpose. If she manages to convince me she didn't do it on purpose and it was just a mistake, it is a GRV warning with no possible rewind.

Aug. 14, 2014 05:52:41 AM

John Trout
Judge (Level 2 (Judge Academy))

USA - South

Emrakul, the Situation Torn - SILVER

To me, this is a game loss based not on the definition of grv but on the definition of game loss itself:
Game Loss
A Game Loss is issued in situations where the procedure to correct the offense takes a significant amount of time that may slow the entire tournament or causes significant disruption to the tournament, or in which it is impossible to continue the game due to physical disruption. It is also used for some infractions that have a higher probability for a player to gain advantage.

The ipg is not meant to handle every conceivable situation. This is a case where the head judge has to think it through. This error, along with errors such as shuffling your opponents hand into his or her deck while resolving cranial extraction, damage the integrity of the game state in such an extreme way that a game loss is the only just response. In this case, there has been a physical disruption which does indeed give one player a higher probability to gain advantage.

Aug. 14, 2014 05:57:03 AM

John Trout
Judge (Level 2 (Judge Academy))

USA - South

Emrakul, the Situation Torn - SILVER

Also, this is indeed a “significant and exceptional circumstances or a situation that has no applicable philosophy for guidance” that the Ipg gives the head judge authorization to make such a call.

Only the Head Judge is authorized to issue penalties that deviate from these guidelines. The Head Judge may not deviate from this guide’s procedures except in significant and exceptional circumstances or a situation that has no applicable philosophy for guidance. Significant and exceptional circumstances are rare—a table collapses, a booster contains cards from a different set, etc.

Aug. 14, 2014 06:44:18 AM

Tobias Rolle
Judge (Uncertified)

German-speaking countries

Emrakul, the Situation Torn - SILVER

As much as I think a Game Loss is appropriate here, because resolving that trigger too early could have cost Ajani the game. However, the only rule violation I can find is CR 116.4 (if all players pass priority, the spell/ability on the top of the stack resolves) - Ajani started resolving the triggered ability before Nissa passes priority. In my opinion, this would be a GPE-GRV, and in this case it can't be upgraded to a GL.

Before posting this, I was sure we shouldn't take the current game state into account when we issue a penalty. I couldn't find that passage in the IPG right now. The only thing I could find is that the current game state is ignored when determining if a trigger is generally detrimental, and when applying the remedy for an infraction.

If I'm the head judge, I would not deviate. After making sure we're not dealing with an UC-Cheating, I would issue a Warning to Nissa, and leave the game state as it is.

Aug. 14, 2014 07:24:55 AM

Lyle Waldman
Judge (Uncertified)

Canada

Emrakul, the Situation Torn - SILVER

As much as I'd like to say this is a big enough infraction to award a game loss to Nissa, I don't think this is backed up by the IPG. I think this is just a GPE - GRV for Nissa, no infraction for Ajani. I would do an extra-deep investigation for Cheating in this one, though, because this sounds super-sketchy to me.

Regarding a rewind, due to the philosophy “do a complete rewind or don't rewind at all”, I would not rewind, unless for some reason the players are keeping a record of what's in the graveyard (as this is not common practise, I would assume it hasn't happened in this scenario).