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Competitive REL » Post: Spirit of the Labyrinth and cause your opponent to draw

Spirit of the Labyrinth and cause your opponent to draw

July 25, 2017 04:59:09 PM

Winter Hughes
Judge (Level 2), TLC

United Kingdom, Ireland, and South Africa

Spirit of the Labyrinth and cause your opponent to draw

AP controls Spirit of the Labyrinth and, during their upkeep, casts Ancestral Visions with their opponent as a target. NAP draws three cards and AP calls for a Judge. You discover during your investigation that AP knew NAP could not draw all three cards and was trying to gain an advantage as they know the fix for HCE is effectively Thoughtsieze.

Has AP done anything illegal?


Other points to consider:

Does it matter if NAP controlled Spirit of the Labyrinth rather than AP?
Does it matter if AP called a Judge as soon as the first illegal card was drawn or as soon as the opponent first looked at the top card?

July 25, 2017 11:00:58 PM

Florian Horn
Judge (Level 3), Grand Prix Head Judge, Scorekeeper

France

Spirit of the Labyrinth and cause your opponent to draw

From a rules point of view, AP has done nothing wrong. However, they have to point out the mistake as soon as it happened (that is what Failure to Maintain Game State is for).

With AP aware that NAP is about to draw an illegal card, they will have to react quickly to convince me that they stopped NAP as soon as they could.

If NAP drew the cards one-by-one, or looked at them before adding them to their hand, I would most likely call that Cheating.

The controller of the Spirit of the Labyrinth does not change my reasoning.

July 26, 2017 12:48:19 AM

Andrew Keeler
Judge (Level 2)

USA - Southeast

Spirit of the Labyrinth and cause your opponent to draw

I'm pretty suspicious of AP's reasoning. AP has pretty much said they were trying to induce NAP into committing HCE so they could “thoughtseize” them twice. Policy-wise, we're pretty much right on the line here:

Originally posted by FtMGS:

If a judge believes a player is intentionally not pointing out other players’ illegal actions, either for his or her own advantage, or in the hope of bringing it up at a more strategically advantageous time, they should consider an Unsporting Conduct — Cheating infraction.

We as judges don't intervene to preempt errors, but we do encourage players to step in to prevent their opponents from making them.

July 26, 2017 02:29:07 AM

Aaron Henner
Judge (Level 2)

USA - Northwest

Spirit of the Labyrinth and cause your opponent to draw

A similar scenario involving Dakra Mystic and Spirit of the Labyrinth was discussed awhile ago.
https://apps.magicjudges.org/forum/topic/10808/

The policy was different then: the penalty was a game loss. But I believe it is the same underlying situation (player does something unusual in the hopes the opponent commits an infraction), and I believe the philosophy holds true, and we shrug our shoulders and say it's fine.

Here's what the L5s two completely random L3s said

Originally posted by Scott Marshall:


There is nothing wrong with laying a trap for your opponent, even one that - as Eric noted - increases their chance of making a mistake. If that mistake happens to result in an infraction, then we - as neutral arbiters - apply the appropriate penalty and remedy, per the IPG. The educational aspect of those penalties will, hopefully, allow that player to avoid repeating that mistake.



Originally posted by Toby Elliott:

Happily, there are more posts in this thread than there have been successful GLs achieved by this combo. Unless there's a sudden introduction of cards that makes this deck… vaguely good?… I don't think we need to do a lot of worrying.

July 26, 2017 02:32:07 AM

Isaac King
Judge (Level 2)

Gainesville, Florida, United States of America

Spirit of the Labyrinth and cause your opponent to draw

AP is allowed to make gameplay decisions in an effort to get NAP to commit an infraction. However, AP is not allowed to wait for NAP to take further illegal actions in order to make the penalty more severe. If you truly believe that AP acted as soon as possible to stop NAP from drawing cards, then there is no penalty for AP.

However it's going to be difficult to convince me that NAP took a card from the top of his library and put it all the way into his hand, while AP was closely watching, and AP didn't have a chance to stop him. If AP intentionally hesitated, that is cheating.

Edited Isaac King (July 26, 2017 03:12:47 AM)

July 26, 2017 02:42:39 AM

Matt Sauers
Judge (Uncertified)

USA - Great Lakes

Spirit of the Labyrinth and cause your opponent to draw

I might not understand this correctly, but the AP did call the judge, so they did stop play immediately. If we aren't there to see what happened in terms of counting the cards out or drawing them in a peel-pile of three, we still know that the resolution of the spell is the same resolution creating the called HCE.

Having said that, AP has no idea that opponent will draw three, even if hoping opponent will to bait the HCE. As this isn't a game of dexterity and speed, what can we reasonably expect a response time of? If anything, it's the calling of the judge which generates the advantage, assuming opponent isn't smart enough to just saw one, and it seems better for AP to just draw one and hope to create this situation. So the advantage seems like a long shot and would be challenging to demonstrate in my opinion, basically a two-card combo over 4 turns.

I don't like that I can see a way to trick a player into an HCE; but it's hard to argue that AP didn't immediately call a judge.

I admit I personally don't like this situation and this degree of metagaming isn't really appropriate at Comp REL, so I'll reserve my judgement until it happens when I'm judging.

I guess I can see cheating here, but it's really bad cheating.

:)

July 26, 2017 03:12:24 AM

Isaac King
Judge (Level 2)

Gainesville, Florida, United States of America

Spirit of the Labyrinth and cause your opponent to draw

Originally posted by Matt Sauers:

So the advantage seems like a long shot and would be challenging to demonstrate in my opinion, basically a two-card combo over 4 turns.



I guess I can see cheating here, but it's really bad cheating.

I'm not sure I understand you here. This is a rather convoluted play to make, but the advantage is pretty immediate and significant. If AP knows about a specific card in NAP's hand that he can't deal with, thoughtseizeing it away could be his only chance to win the game.

July 26, 2017 04:15:27 AM

Scott Marshall
Forum Moderator
Judge (Level 3), Regional Coordinator (USA - Northwest), Hall of Fame

USA - Northwest

Spirit of the Labyrinth and cause your opponent to draw

Toby's point in the previous, linked topic (thanks, Aaron!), is even more relevant here. Spirit-Ancestral is not a combo, and playing to get your opponent to commit an infraction that might benefit you has never won a GP or Pro Tour.

What Toby and I said before is just as applicable here: it's not illegal, it's not likely, and it's not worth worryin about. :)

d:^D

July 26, 2017 05:03:02 AM

Siyang Li
Judge (Level 2)

Greater China

Spirit of the Labyrinth and cause your opponent to draw

Scott and Toby's point aside, if this situation actually happens,
I think that AP needs to make a good explanation here, as 1) He is expecting NAP to do something illegal, 2) I believe he is waiting for NAP to complete the illegal action before calling for a judge.

So, he obeserved and knew something illegal is happening (other than a missed-trigger of course) and not trying to stop it immediately, then he waited until the situation is most beneficial for him before calling a judge. Isn't this textbook Cheating?

July 26, 2017 12:35:28 PM

Daniel De Swarte
Judge (Level 2)

United Kingdom, Ireland, and South Africa

Spirit of the Labyrinth and cause your opponent to draw

I think the key distinction here is that you do not have to prevent your opponent from making a mistake, but you do have to call a judge as soon as they have.

Therefore, if the cards were drawn individually, I would require a judge call after the second card is drawn, else this is cheating. If the cards were drawn simultaneously, then I would require a judge call after this action has been completed, which appears to be what's happening.

Outside of the scenario where the cards are drawn individually, and AP waits until after the third card is drawn, this is not very sporting, but it's not against the rules.