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Competitive REL » Post: Drawing Without Allowing Your Opponent a Response

Drawing Without Allowing Your Opponent a Response

Dec. 6, 2015 03:10:51 PM

Paul Zelenski
Judge (Level 2 (Judge Academy))

USA - North

Drawing Without Allowing Your Opponent a Response

So, I've run into two situations recently that are very similar and have created a lot of discussion and disagreement among judges. I would like to discuss these in a more open forum so that we can all handle these consistently. Hopefully this is the place to do that, and hopefully this post is not too long.

Basically the question is how do we handle it when a player plays an effect that causes them to draw a card and they draw that card before allowing their opponent priority to respond? It seems clear that the infraction is DEC, but what is the appropriate fix?

Example 1:
Player A activates Jace, Vryn's Prodigy and draws a card. Player N calls a judge and explains that he wanted to respond to the ability. In this case Player N had Murderous Cut and wanted to kill Jace before he flips.
When this happened originally, the floor judge originally called it GRV for improperly resolving Jace's ability and recommended a backup. The HJ overturned it on appeal to DEC, and decided that the ‘thoughtseize’ fix should be applied. The remaining portions of Jace's ability (discard, flip) were not resolved. Because Jace was not flipping, Player N decided he no longer had a response.
Later the HJ determined that she had made a mistake and the best way to handle this would be to consider the card to have been drawn (illegally) while Jace's ability was on the stack. So, the best fix would be to ‘thoughtseize’ but then resolve Jace's ability in its entirety.

Example 2:
I was actually the judge who took this call. Player A controls two Secret Plans and flips up a Hidden Dragon Slayer and draws two cards. Player N has a Kolaghan's Command in hand and was considering casting it to kill the Dragonslayer and force the opponent to discard before he drew a possible counter spell. Player N actually tried to stop Player A from drawing and Player A admits he drew too quickly as he was rushing to conserve time in the match.
Because of confusion in similar situations, I confirmed with the HJ before making the call but applied the fix that was determined to be correct in the above situation. I ruled DEC and applied the ‘thoughtseize’ fix with the Secret Plans triggers on the stack. After seeing his opponent's hand, Player N decided that he did not want to cast the command after all.

In both these situations there is plenty of questions that should be asked about timing and whether Player N confirmed the draw, etc. but for the sake of discussion let's assume that Player N had no chance to stop Player A from drawing, Player N isn't fishing for a penalty, there was no cheating, etc.

Much of the discussion in these types of situations revolves around two sections of the IPG.

The first is this:
“If the cards were drawn as part of the legal resolution of an illegally played instruction, due to a Communication Policy Violation, or were as the result of resolving objects on the stack or multiple-instruction effects in an incorrect order, a backup may be considered or the game state left as-is.”
Because of this, many judges have encouraged a backup as the appropriate fix. The way I read this section, however, it does not fit. There was no legal resolution of an illegally played instruction, rather an illegal resolution (timing) of a legally played instruction.

The other point of discussion is this section of the IPG:
“If the situation isn’t covered by the previous three paragraphs, the player reveals his or her hand and the opponent selects a number of cards equal to the excess. Those cards are shuffled into the random portion of the deck. A simple backup may be used if there have been additional parts of the instruction performed since the illegal card draw, such as discarding or returning card to the top of the library. Once this remedy has been applied, the player does not repeat the instruction (if any) that caused extra cards to be drawn.”
Because of this section many judges have argued that after applying the ‘thoughtseize’ fix you do not allow the player to draw the cards as that is repeating the instruction that caused extra cards to be drawn. I can understand that opinion, as I struggled with this a bit myself. I believe it was this sentence that led to the incorrect call by the HJ in example 1. Again, however, I don't believe this fits. This would apply if the player drew two cards off Jace's ability, but if the player is drawing due to the ability/trigger, then they are not committing a violation. They drew the appropriate card(s) for that ability/trigger. The only way this is an infraction is if they are drawing when the ability/trigger has not yet resolved.

There was also some discussion that once Player N calls a judge they are obligated to perform the action they claimed they wanted to perform in response to the ability/trigger. I understand how it is awkward to issue a penalty and fix and then no longer have the player want to take the skipped action, but I don't see where policy ever allows us to compel a player to take an action they had not yet taken.

I suppose another way to view this could be to consider this a GRV for failing to pass priority as required by the rules. This could allow for a backup as the fix. I believe, however, that GRV should only be used when there isn't a more appropriate, specific infraction. In this situation the first moment where something went wrong was when a player drew a card, so I believe that DEC is more appropriate.

Anyway, I would love to hear others weigh in on this and discuss the appropriate way to handle situations similar to this.

Dec. 6, 2015 04:48:43 PM

Joaquín Pérez
Judge (Level 2 (Judge Academy))

Iberia

Drawing Without Allowing Your Opponent a Response

-

Edited Joaquín Pérez (Dec. 9, 2015 10:14:26 AM)

Dec. 6, 2015 05:17:25 PM

Eli Meyer
Judge (Level 2 (Judge Academy))

USA - Northeast

Drawing Without Allowing Your Opponent a Response

Originally posted by Paul Zelenski:

“If the cards were drawn as part of the legal resolution of an illegally played instruction…
The case you've described is literally the opposite of what's covered by this section of the IPG; the ability was legally played but illegally resolved!

Dec. 6, 2015 07:08:43 PM

Devin Morrow
Judge (Uncertified)

USA - Great Lakes

Drawing Without Allowing Your Opponent a Response

Originally posted by Paul Zelenski:

or were as the result of resolving objects on the stack or multiple-instruction effects in an incorrect order, a backup may be considered or the game state left as-is.”

I would say that resolving the effect before passing priority would be an example of resolving an effect in an incorrect order.

Dec. 6, 2015 08:05:28 PM

Eli Meyer
Judge (Level 2 (Judge Academy))

USA - Northeast

Drawing Without Allowing Your Opponent a Response

Originally posted by Devin Morrow:

Paul Zelenski
or were as the result of resolving objects on the stack or multiple-instruction effects in an incorrect order, a backup may be considered or the game state left as-is.”

I would say that resolving the effect before passing priority would be an example of resolving an effect in an incorrect order.
The “resolving an effect in an incorrect order” refers to a player doing something like drawing before discarding on cards like Vaultbreaker. It used to be a game loss if a player misread how Vaultbreaker works; now it's a simple backup (if we bother at all)

Dec. 6, 2015 08:41:13 PM

Lyle Waldman
Judge (Uncertified)

Canada

Drawing Without Allowing Your Opponent a Response

Situations like this make me feel like the “Players may not improperly rush the game state” rule ought to be part of Communication Policy. Then this would be a cut and dried CPV, backup, done. But it isn't. Maybe such a change is worth considering?

In fact, although I definitely recall having seen such a rule before and I know it definitely exists, I'm not actually quite sure where it is…

Dec. 6, 2015 09:03:08 PM

Darcy Alemany
Judge (Uncertified), Scorekeeper

Canada

Drawing Without Allowing Your Opponent a Response

Originally posted by Lyle Waldman:

Situations like this make me feel like the “Players may not improperly rush the game state” rule ought to be part of Communication Policy. Then this would be a cut and dried CPV, backup, done. But it isn't. Maybe such a change is worth considering?

In fact, although I definitely recall having seen such a rule before and I know it definitely exists, I'm not actually quite sure where it is…
This is part of the Missed Trigger philosophy: basically, a player can't cause their opponent to miss a trigger by rushing past the point of when the trigger shouldn't have resolved.

Dec. 6, 2015 09:46:00 PM

Eli Meyer
Judge (Level 2 (Judge Academy))

USA - Northeast

Drawing Without Allowing Your Opponent a Response

Originally posted by Darcy Alemany:

This is part of the Missed Trigger philosophy: basically, a player can't cause their opponent to miss a trigger by rushing past the point of when the trigger shouldn't have resolved.
Although that section provides precious little guidance on the remedy when a player tries to do so.

Dec. 6, 2015 11:54:18 PM

Devin Morrow
Judge (Uncertified)

USA - Great Lakes

Drawing Without Allowing Your Opponent a Response

Originally posted by Eli Meyer:

Originally posted by Devin Morrow:

Paul Zelenski
or were as the result of resolving objects on the stack or multiple-instruction effects in an incorrect order, a backup may be considered or the game state left as-is.”

I would say that resolving the effect before passing priority would be an example of resolving an effect in an incorrect order.
The “resolving an effect in an incorrect order” refers to a player doing something like drawing before discarding on cards like Vaultbreaker. It used to be a game loss if a player misread how Vaultbreaker works; now it's a simple backup (if we bother at all)

So this this isn't resolving effects in an incorrect order?

Dec. 7, 2015 12:09:59 AM

Jeff S Higgins
Forum Moderator
Judge (Level 2 (Judge Academy)), TLC

USA - Northwest

Drawing Without Allowing Your Opponent a Response

Originally posted by IPG2.3:

If the cards were drawn as part of the legal resolution of an illegally played instruction, due to a Communication Policy Violation, or were as the result of resolving objects on the stack or multiple-instruction effects in an incorrect order, a backup may be considered or the game state left as-is.

“Resolving Objects on the stack in an incorrect order” - This isn't applicable here; this is the Horizon Spellbomb case (trigger getting a land and trigger drawing a card).

“Resolving multiple-instruction effects in an incorrect order” - This is the Vaultbreaker example, but also not applicable here since the player did not resolve Jace's activation in reverse order.

Dec. 7, 2015 09:59:18 AM

Toby Elliott
Forum Moderator
Judge (Level 3 (Judge Academy)), L3 Panel Lead

USA - Northeast

Drawing Without Allowing Your Opponent a Response

I think a player putting a card into their hand illegally is a real stretch here.

Dec. 7, 2015 10:53:59 AM

Jacob Milicic
Judge (Level 3 (Judge Academy)), Scorekeeper, Tournament Organizer

USA - North

Drawing Without Allowing Your Opponent a Response

Originally posted by Toby Elliott:

I think a player putting a card into their hand illegally is a real stretch here.

Would you care to elaborate on this point? I am pretty confused as to what you mean.

Dec. 7, 2015 03:26:28 PM

Guy Baldwin
Judge (Level 2 (Judge Academy))

United Kingdom, Ireland, and South Africa

Drawing Without Allowing Your Opponent a Response

Unless I'm there, watching the game, I can't see me ever giving DEC and applying the “thoughtseize” fix in these situations. Often, players have no response to these activations, and just allow things to go through, and we essentially end up with shortcutting through “Jace, priority, draw, discard”. With the length of time these games take, you tend to need to. So we shortcut priority and all is well. Until there is a response. And then we have a problem.

We have to be wary of giving someone a free discard. There are ways to attempt to manipulate the situation, which I think we would all like to avoid.

Questions I'd like to know the answer to before I'd make a ruling on this:

1) have you had a response to this situation before? (Have you ever stopped to think, or has it always been done this quickly?)

2) are the players playing quickly due to time constraints?

My biggest point here is I feel that in both examples, the cards have been drawn legally, resolving an ability that's on the stack. (I think this is what Toby is getting at) Yes, something has gone wrong, but it feels like calling it DEC (and thoughtseizing) is trying to force an infraction that seems like it fits, but actually doesn't. These both seem to come down to “ you had to have been there”, so it would depend on what the players said during my investigation.

Dec. 7, 2015 03:30:42 PM

Eli Meyer
Judge (Level 2 (Judge Academy))

USA - Northeast

Drawing Without Allowing Your Opponent a Response

Originally posted by Guy Baldwin:

My biggest point here is I feel that in both examples, the cards have been drawn legally, resolving an ability that's on the stack. (I think this is what Toby is getting at) Yes, something has gone wrong, but it feels like calling it DEC (and thoughtseizing) is trying to force an infraction that seems like it fits, but actually doesn't. These both seem to come down to “ you had to have been there”, so it would depend on what the players said during my investigation.
I'm not sure how to restore a fair game state here without applying the DEC fix, though. The situation is: the NAP wants to respond to Jace; and, the AP has an extra card in hand that he should not. What do you do if AP Dispels the Cut? Take his word that the Dispel wasn't the card he just drew?

Edit:typo, AP, not NAP, would cast Dispel! Now fixed

Edited Eli Meyer (Dec. 7, 2015 04:06:02 PM)

Dec. 7, 2015 03:44:29 PM

Preston May
Judge (Level 2 (Judge Academy))

USA - South

Drawing Without Allowing Your Opponent a Response

This is how I see it:
By the time you as the judge get to the table AP has a card in his hand that can't be accounted for through game actions while the stack is described as NAP having priority and jace ability on the stack. We describe it this way because NAP hasn't passed priority back to allow that ability to resolve. Describing the situation this way makes resolving the issue much more straightforward as well. There was an action taken (Drawing a card) that was done illegally and caused AP to have one additional card in his hand than expected. Going through the list of remedies we end up at the last one that describes the “thoughtseize” fix. NAP chooses a card and shuffles it in to APs deck. From there we continue the game as normal but without repeating the illegal action of drawing a card. NAP has priority with Jace activation on the stack.

Adding what Eli brought up about a possible dispel etc. That doesn't come in to play. You can't just say “Well this is going to happen and I can stop anything you do so I win.” You can offer it as a shortcut or reveal it to have your opponent make an informed decision (hopefully conceding the game), but what you can do later doesn't apply whether it was the card he just drew or not.