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Tournament Operations » Post: Ripped cards + Legality

Ripped cards + Legality

Jan. 6, 2017 02:01:03 PM

Lyle Waldman
Judge (Level 2)

Canada

Ripped cards + Legality

This question came up because I met someone (online) who bought a collection containing a couple of cards which fit the below criteria, so this is not corner-case. That said, I was wondering how you other judges would handle this situation:

Player is playing a Vintage tournament. He asks you to check his cards' legality. His deck is legal, except for the fact that a couple of his Power cards are ripped (and as we all know the value and rarity of Power, asking him to go to the dealer and buy replacement cards is not feasible). Like, ripped in half and taped back together. However, the player is playing his deck in top-loaders with opaque sleeves inside the top-loaders (I've actually met someone who did this IRL), and the cards are taped in such a way that there is no discerning visible pattern on the backs of the inner sleeves which would make the ripped Power discernible from the rest of the deck.

Would you allow the player to play his deck this way, or would you disqualify these cards, and please explain your answer.

Thanks.

Edited Lyle Waldman (Jan. 6, 2017 02:03:31 PM)

Jan. 6, 2017 03:01:48 PM

Justin Miyashiro
Judge (Level 2)

USA - Northwest

Ripped cards + Legality

Playing your deck in toploaders is not especially feasible to me, mostly
because cards, even in sleeves, do not fit perfectly into toploaders and
thus the position of the card within the toploader can make the cards
Marked (i.e. some cards are shifted all the way left in the toploader,
others are centered, etc.). This is something that is difficult to control
over the course of a tournament, even if your cards do not begin the event
off-centered. Unless he has some way to ensure that the cards will not
move within the toploader, AND the cards are all positioned identically
(which is very hard to accomplish) I'm not sure we can allow him to
continue in this way.

I suppose if the player somehow had opaque-backed toploaders, which I have
never seen but is certainly a possibility, then they might be permissible.
He would be required to be able to randomize his deck, but we allow Battle
of Wits decks and I don't see a 60-card deck in toploaders as being more
arduous to shuffle than that. Otherwise, as long as he can keep the
toploaders from being marked, I think I would be ok with that.

As to the cards themselves, the only tenet I find in the MTR is the
statement under 3.3 Authorized Cards that the card “is not damaged…in a
way that might make it marked.” That is a pretty vague statement, but I
can certainly see an argument that being ripped in half “might” make a card
marked, even with other measures taken to ensure that they're not marked.
So I can see the logic behind a blanket disallowance of said cards.
Personally, I think that we're allowed to, and probably encouraged to, take
sleeves and other accessories into account when considering whether a card
“might” be marked, and if the toploaders, etc. that the player is using are
satisfactory, I don't see anything else in policy that would cause us to
disallow these cards. I would love to be corrected if I'm wrong, however.

Jan. 6, 2017 03:20:10 PM

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

USA - Northwest

Ripped cards + Legality

Originally posted by Lyle Waldman:

This question came up because I met someone (online) who bought a collection containing a couple of cards which fit the below criteria, so this is not corner-case.

I don't think one piece of anecdotal evidence removes this from being a corner case.

I agree with most of what Justin said, except that I do disagree with the bit about shuffling. Randomizing 60 cards in toploaders is going to take excessive amounts of time. You've brought up Vintage, where library randomization frequently happens.

Originally posted by MTR3.10:

The judge may disallow the card sleeves if he or she believes they are marked, worn, or otherwise in a condition or of a design that interferes with shuffling or game play.

I would not allow them to play in toploader sleeves.

Jan. 6, 2017 04:08:34 PM

Robert Hinrichsen
Judge (Level 2)

Canada

Ripped cards + Legality

Originally posted by Jeff S Higgins:

Randomizing 60 cards in toploaders is going to take excessive amounts of time

With respect, I don't believe this to be true–at least not necessarily. With a little practice it is possible to shuffle a toploaded deck relatively quickly, as seen in this video. I actually sleeved a deck this way a few years back just to test it for myself and was satisfied with the results.

Jan. 16, 2017 06:38:44 PM

Eliana Rabinowitz
Judge (Level 3)

USA - Southwest

Ripped cards + Legality

The player in that video is definitely not shuffling sufficiently when he randomizes. It is also really easy to do a perfect alternating shuffle with toploaders and very hard to actually randomize. If I were to see a player able to appropriately randomize his deck in a reasonable amount of time, I would allow toploaders, but that video is not going to convince me that this is acceptable.

Jan. 16, 2017 08:58:40 PM

Robert Hinrichsen
Judge (Level 2)

Canada

Ripped cards + Legality

I agree that the particular player in the video is not sufficiently randomising his deck, because he is not performing enough shuffles. My point is that I think he demonstrates a shuffling technique which is capable of sufficiently randomising a toploader deck in a reasonable amount of time–it just requires performing the shuffle seven or eight times rather than only twice as in the video.

Jan. 18, 2017 06:44:11 AM

Yurick Costa
Judge (Level 2)

Brazil

Ripped cards + Legality

Would any of your answers change if the scenario was presented with a
somewhat thick sleeve (to prevent from feeling the rip) instead of
toploaders?


On Mon, 16 Jan 2017 at 23:59 Robert Hinrichsen <

Jan. 18, 2017 07:01:49 AM

Gareth Tanner
Judge (Level 2)

United Kingdom, Ireland, and South Africa

Ripped cards + Legality

“Will this card be considered Marked?”

This feels like a question that is next to impossible to answer without the card in hand, being ripped in half is a pretty big thing to “undo” from a marked point of view it is possible to get to the point it's not marked but I wouldn't feel happy giving an answer to a player without cards in hand

Jan. 18, 2017 02:12:46 PM

Lyle Waldman
Judge (Level 2)

Canada

Ripped cards + Legality

Originally posted by Yurick Costa:

Would any of your answers change if the scenario was presented with a
somewhat thick sleeve (to prevent from feeling the rip) instead of
toploaders?

Thank you. This is the point of the question I was trying to ask, toploaders just seemed like the most reasonable way to do it. Spawning a question about whether or not one could shuffle toploaders in a reasonable manner was not the point of the question I wanted to ask. So without further ado, if I could request the discussion remain on topic and not deviate too far into the “prove you can shuffle with toploaders” realm, thank you.

Originally posted by Gareth Tanner:

“Will this card be considered Marked?”

This feels like a question that is next to impossible to answer without the card in hand, being ripped in half is a pretty big thing to “undo” from a marked point of view it is possible to get to the point it's not marked but I wouldn't feel happy giving an answer to a player without cards in hand

Except that the definition of “marked cards” is basically, without looking at the face of the card, if the card is differentiable in any way from the remainder of the deck. By using opaque sleeves to negate the marked back of the card, and toploaders to negate the consistency difference from feeling a ripped card vs a non-ripped card, you can make a ripped card functionally appear the same as a non-ripped card from the back.

Alternately, if you prefer, I can rephrase the question as follows: If a player is playing with a deck which contains a ripped card, but you are unable to find any distinguishing markings or methods for reliably distinguishing that card from the rest of the deck without looking at the face of the card, would you allow that player to play with that card?

Edited Lyle Waldman (Jan. 18, 2017 02:20:28 PM)

Jan. 18, 2017 02:58:31 PM

Aaron Henner
Judge (Level 2)

USA - Northwest

Ripped cards + Legality

Lyle, I have no problems with ripped/taped cards in-and-of-itself. I'd tell the player the shuffling concern as well as Justin Miyashiro's further concern. If the player can adequately address those: sure.

Originally posted by Justin Miyashiro:

Playing your deck in toploaders is not especially feasible to me, mostly
because cards, even in sleeves, do not fit perfectly into toploaders and
thus the position of the card within the toploader can make the cards
Marked (i.e. some cards are shifted all the way left in the toploader,
others are centered, etc.). This is something that is difficult to control
over the course of a tournament, even if your cards do not begin the event
off-centered. Unless he has some way to ensure that the cards will not
move within the toploader, AND the cards are all positioned identically
(which is very hard to accomplish) I'm not sure we can allow him to
continue in this way.

I suppose if the player somehow had opaque-backed toploaders, which I have
never seen but is certainly a possibility, then they might be permissible.
He would be required to be able to randomize his deck, but we allow Battle
of Wits decks and I don't see a 60-card deck in toploaders as being more
arduous to shuffle than that. Otherwise, as long as he can keep the
toploaders from being marked, I think I would be ok with that.

Jan. 18, 2017 03:40:28 PM

Justin Miyashiro
Judge (Level 2)

USA - Northwest

Ripped cards + Legality

In answer to Lyle's question, I agree with Aaron. Policy does not
explicitly disallow ripped/cut/otherwise damaged cards. Such cards are
only disallowed as a result of the requirements surrounding marked cards.
Obviously, the greater the degree of damage, the greater the concerns about
marked cards, and the harder it is to get such cards to conform to the
requirements. If the player's measures to mitigate those concerns are
sufficient, I would allow them to play with damaged cards.