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Knowledge Pool Scenarios » Post: Team Bonding Exercise - GOLD

Team Bonding Exercise - GOLD

June 6, 2018 05:20:59 PM

Joe Klopchic
Forum Moderator
Judge (Level 3 (Judge Academy))

Seattle, Washington, United States of America

Team Bonding Exercise - GOLD

Welcome back to the Knowledge Pool!

This week we have a Gold scenario. Everyone is welcome to join in the discussion immediately. Enjoy!

Adica, Baptiste and Cal are playing in a Team Unified Standard tournament. You're watching their matches and see Baptiste draw a Broken Bond, a card which Adica already has in her hand.

What do you do?

Edited Joe Klopchic (June 6, 2018 05:21:38 PM)

June 6, 2018 05:21:07 PM

Joe Klopchic
Forum Moderator
Judge (Level 3 (Judge Academy))

Seattle, Washington, United States of America

Team Bonding Exercise - GOLD

A couple of notes:

The players are on a team, Adica is player A, Baptiste is player B, Cal is player C.
Upon investigation of the team's decklists, you find no other cards that appear on more than one of their lists, except for basic lands.

June 7, 2018 10:54:56 AM

Bernie Hoelschen
Judge (Level 1 (Judge Academy)), Scorekeeper

USA - Northeast

Team Bonding Exercise - GOLD

This is interesting. If this were caught on paper outside of a game / match, this presents as a Decklist problem (the decklist of one player is not legal as it contains a non-basic land card that is listed on another player on that team's decklist). That would be straight-forward; the decklist is not legal. Decide which player's decklist is incorrect, assess the Decklist Problem Infraction, issue a game loss, and fix the deck list and ultimately the deck.

In this case, either one of the players either just drew an illegal card, or previously played an illegal card. Assuming no cheating (can we make this the motto of these scenarios?), I feel like this ultimately becomes a Deck Problem (since we've ruled out cheating, this indicates the players did not intend to play overlapping cards), but because the card became revealed, the upgrade path exists to game loss.

Ultimately, this leads to both a Deck Problem as described above, and a Decklist Problem. When a situation leads to multiple infractions, we assess the one with the most severe penalty. Both are Game Losses as dictated above, but assessing the Deck List Problem allows us to fix the deck list, so I would go with that.

Edited to add: I overlooked something in the IPG that makes this even more interesting.

According to the Deck Problem Penalty:

Originally posted by IPG 3.4:

Penalties for decklist errors discovered during a deck check are issued immediately.

Other decklist penalties are issued at the start of the next round to minimize the disruption to the match currently being played and provide consistency in case some players have finished playing their match before the penalty can be administered.

The idea of this is to provide consistency for matches that are completed. The problem is, this involves multiple games simultaneously within a match. Because of what you've just seen (remember, A's opponent may not be aware that the card is in their hand), it seems like we would almost need to initiate a deck check once this is discovered.

Of course, that is if the players pause once they realize Player B just cast a card that Player A has in their hand. If they don't, and player B is aware of the contents of player A's hand, they are in fact cheating by not calling a judge immediately.

Edited Bernie Hoelschen (June 7, 2018 12:41:41 PM)

June 7, 2018 02:08:25 PM

Rob Marti
Judge (Level 2 (Judge Academy))

USA - South

Team Bonding Exercise - GOLD

Bernie - the card hasn't been revealed in either game - it is in A's hand and B just drew it.

I'd go with a decklist problem - the team gets to pick which decklist is incorrect and we fix it. We'll assess the penalty at the start of the next round as normal.

June 7, 2018 02:26:57 PM

Bernie Hoelschen
Judge (Level 1 (Judge Academy)), Scorekeeper

USA - Northeast

Team Bonding Exercise - GOLD

Hi Rob – I feel like carrying over the penalty to the next round is more disruptive to be totally honest. Also, if I'm a player on the opposing team and see all this happening, what explanation are you going to offer me? They broke deck construction rules and the error was discovered during a match, but they're getting a decklist penalty?

In order to confirm that the error is a Decklist error (which is what you want to issue the problem as, and I agree with) you have to physically check the deck lists and ultimately perform a deck check, which fulfills the scenario of finding the issue during a deck check, which means immediately issuing the penalty.

Does this mean you're choosing to deviate from policy, and if so, why? Or am I misunderstanding / misinterpreting something? Please know, I ask these questions from a desire to learn and grow. Thanks!

June 7, 2018 04:19:41 PM

Chris Wendelboe
Judge (Level 2 (Judge Academy))

USA - Northeast

Team Bonding Exercise - GOLD

Originally posted by Rob Marti:

Bernie - the card hasn't been revealed in either game - it is in A's hand and B just drew it.

I'd go with a decklist problem - the team gets to pick which decklist is incorrect and we fix it. We'll assess the penalty at the start of the next round as normal.

How are you proposing we handle this round then? What happens to the game that is currently going on?

My take on this is that we pause the match and pull this team aside, confirm that they understand the rules of unified standard (perhaps by educating them), and proceed to determine which list is incorrect (or lists, as if they had this wrong they might have other things wrong). Any lists that aren't being modified are fine to continue playing, but we have to fix at least a single decklist.

In regards to Bernie's point about if they knew that their teammate had the card as well and it being cheating: it's likely that these players did not understand the restrictions to unified team constructed. This makes cheating very unlikely. And, so you know, it is a given that these scenarios omit the possibility of cheating (unless something has changed recently).

June 8, 2018 12:48:18 AM

Andrew Keeler
Judge (Level 2 (Judge Academy))

USA - Southeast

Team Bonding Exercise - GOLD

Originally posted by Chris Wendelboe:

How are you proposing we handle this round then? What happens to the game that is currently going on?

My take on this is that we pause the match and pull this team aside, confirm that they understand the rules of unified standard (perhaps by educating them), and proceed to determine which list is incorrect (or lists, as if they had this wrong they might have other things wrong). Any lists that aren't being modified are fine to continue playing, but we have to fix at least a single decklist.

Presumably we allow this round to play out and talk with the players after their match is over. The only reason I can think of for interrupting the matches in progress would be to issue the infraction and penalty in this round. Otherwise we're disrupting a match in progress for no tangible benefit (since we're not applying the penalty/fix yet) and painting a very strange picture for the players where we're issuing a penalty, but holding off on actually enforcing it because “that's just how we do things.”

June 8, 2018 01:09:42 AM

Francesco Scialpi
Judge (Level 2 (Judge Academy))

Italy and Malta

Team Bonding Exercise - GOLD

Originally posted by Rob Marti:

Bernie - the card hasn't been revealed in either game - it is in A's hand and B just drew it.

I'd go with a decklist problem - the team gets to pick which decklist is incorrect and we fix it. We'll assess the penalty at the start of the next round as normal.

Suppose you notice a player having a banned card in their hand.
Would you let the game progress and finish before you intervene?

June 8, 2018 08:06:14 AM

Maxime Emond
Judge (Level 2 (Judge Academy))

Canada

Team Bonding Exercise - GOLD

Originally posted by Francesco Scialpi:

Suppose you notice a player having a banned card in their hand.Would you let the game progress and finish before you intervene?

But this is not as straight forward as a banned card in a single decklist. Plus this only state when we should enact the penalty, but we are still free to apply the fix.

In the case of the banned card, to be in line with the IPG, you apply the fix (removing the banned card and adding basic lands) and you access the penalty at the start of the next round (since this is not found in during a deckcheck).
Extrapolating from this, what are our options?

#1) taking the team aside from their match right now to explain the situation, ask which list they want to modify, Modify the decklist, correct the deck, and have the penalty issued at the start of the next round.
+ : You get to fix the error right away before it impacts the match.
You are in line with the IPG
- : Long possible time extension.
Awkward spot to explain that something happened in a match but the penalty will be applied at the start of the next round, for both teams, without naming the card, since it is still hidden information.
#2) Wait until the end of the current round to talk to the team. Have them decide and change the decklist between the round.
+ : Most likely no delay to the tournament.
You are in line with the IPG.
- : You did not fix the problem straight away. Which may lead to a judge call at the table when both cards eventually becomes played.
It might look awkward to explain to both team the process and why you are not fixing one of the decks right now.
#3) You access the infraction right now and fix one of the decklist right now, giving the player you are fixing the decklist a game loss.
+ : Applying the penalty to the game in progress and fixing the deck for the possible G2 or G3.
You avoid the weird situation of having an infraction happen in a match without a penalty accessed.
- : You are not in line with the IPG
Possible long time extention.
the team might be swayed in their choice of which list to alter based on the current board state and not in a “neutral/uninfluenced situation”. (if a player is already losing badly he might just eat the penalty to convert his loss game into a gameloss…)

Those are my quick thought about how to go about fixing this. All solutions have + and -'s. We also have to remember policy were written for the standard 1 vs 1 magic formats with best of 3 games. So in a team format, some of the philosophy of the document might be… inadequate.

Personally, I'd go with Option 2, but I'd linger around the table for the inevitable problem that might arise when both players cast the broken bonds. Furthermore you can see how the players react to the discovery of it, if there is a “oh shit” moment where the team realize what they are doing and decides against calling a judge…

June 8, 2018 08:43:50 AM

Francesco Scialpi
Judge (Level 2 (Judge Academy))

Italy and Malta

Team Bonding Exercise - GOLD

Originally posted by Joe Klopchic:

Welcome back to the Knowledge Pool!

This week we have a Gold scenario. Everyone is welcome to join in the discussion immediately. Enjoy!

Adica, Baptiste and Cal are playing in a Team Unified Standard tournament. You're watching their matches and see Baptiste draw a Broken Bond, a card which Adica already has in her hand.

What do you do?

I think we can agree that this scenario is a Decklist Problem, and that Adica and/or Baptiste will have to modify their decklist and deck, replacing Broken Bond with basic lands.

Now, there are two questions to be answered.

1) Who should receive the penalty?
The situation is awkward: we have two illegal decklists, but modifying only one list will turn the other into a legal one.

One might argue: since both players have presented an illegal decklist, both players should rectify their decklist, and receive a Game Loss.

Or, one might argue: since we are going to modify only one decklist, only one player should rectify their decklist and receive a Game Loss.

2) When should we assess the penalty? Immediately, or at beginning of next round?

Edited Francesco Scialpi (June 8, 2018 08:44:57 AM)

June 8, 2018 11:20:12 AM

Logan Anbinder
Judge (Level 2 (Historical))

USA - Midatlantic

Team Bonding Exercise - GOLD

Francesco, I'm going to take a stab at your two questions in the opposite order :)

Originally posted by Francesco Scialpi:

2) When should we assess the penalty? Immediately, or at beginning of next round?

I do think we should assess the penalty *and* apply the fix immediately. Maxime is right that we typically wait to assess DLP penalties, but I do think this is pretty close to the “banned card in a single decklist” analogue– the AIPG says that we can assess a penalty right away “if you feel the deck is illegal; for example, a Modern decklist containing Mental Misstep.” In this case, one player's deck *is* illegal under Team Unified rules, so I think we could follow this guidance.

Originally posted by Francesco Scialpi:

1) Who should receive the penalty?

I think that we only need to say that one player here has an illegal decklist– the issue is that a “second player” is using the same card as the “first player,” and although it's not immediately obvious which player is which, I don't think it's appropriate to issue a DLP penalty to a player whose list is not going to need to change at all.

That said, I also agree with the suggestions of some of the folks above that allowing the team to choose which player will receive the penalty and Game Loss gives them an easy path to abuse the situation by choosing the player with the worse matchup, match record, etc. To avoid letting the players abuse policy here, I would suggest we follow a rule that we allocate cards to players' decklists in A/B/C order. Thus, the Broken Bonds in Adica's list are legal but the ones in Baptiste's are not.

In the Mid-Atlantic Slack discussion about this scenario, Ben Harris also pointed out that this rule has a good analogue in the normal DLP remedy– we usually remove cards starting from the bottom of a player's list, so if we look at the lists A/B/C as one “meta-list,” we remove the cards from B first (i.e, we allow the cards in A).

All of this means that my suggestion for a ruling here would be: Baptiste receives a Game Loss for Decklist Problem, issued in the current match. Apply the remedy by pulling Baptiste aside and asking them to remove Broken Bonds from the deck, then add a number of basic lands needed to make the deck legal, and make the corresponding adjustments on the list (do this away from the table so that the team's opponents don't get information about which card is replicated in Adica's deck).

I'd love to hear other folks' thoughts on this!

June 8, 2018 01:45:23 PM

Bernie Hoelschen
Judge (Level 1 (Judge Academy)), Scorekeeper

USA - Northeast

Team Bonding Exercise - GOLD

Originally posted by Logan Anbinder:

In the Mid-Atlantic Slack discussion about this scenario, Ben Harris also pointed out that this rule has a good analogue in the normal DLP remedy– we usually remove cards starting from the bottom of a player's list, so if we look at the lists A/B/C as one “meta-list,” we remove the cards from B first (i.e, we allow the cards in A).

What a coincidence, I've had this very same discussion with at least one L2 from our region via our regional slack. After discussing with that person, I like this fix because of the same reason I like removing extra cards from a sideboard with > 15 cards (starting from the bottom) - it removes the ability for someone to effectively game the system by having additional cards in the sideboard and instead arbitrarily removes cards from the bottom up.

Unfortunately, the fix for extra cards seems to apply to one list only; it doesn't talk about what happens when an illegal card is present on a deck list. That being said, I really do like this fix, as it seems like the cleanest fix. It effectively automates the process and removes the ability for the team to try to make a decision based off of the match state (what if Player A is losing their game and Player B is winning their game? The team would want to assess this to Player A since it's more likely to be a lost cause, which could be a strategic advantage).

Edited Bernie Hoelschen (June 8, 2018 01:46:05 PM)

June 9, 2018 05:49:03 AM

Aaron Henner
Judge (Level 2 (Judge Academy))

USA - Northwest

Team Bonding Exercise - GOLD

A bit of history:
At GPs it used to be the practice to ‘count’ all lists during Round 1 / Round 2. Checking if the list had at least 60 / at most 15, and glancing at the list for illegible / ambigious card names. When these were resolved with the players (inbetween rounds, penalty issued to the next), almost always the problem was just with the decklist: their deck was perfectly fine. I would read the section of the IPG that talks about waiting until the next round with this in mind. It was a clerical error that doesn't really affect that match. This could also come up nowadays if, say, coverage asks for a list and returns it to the Deck Check team and says they found a problem.

I would treat this Broken Bond problem the same as an illegal card in the format and specifically I would step in immediately. It is not just a clerical error we are seeing. The actual decks (taken together) are illegal. Think of it from the opposing team's perspective. The opposing team is put at a disadvantage and the judge just stands there doing nothing!? From a technical judging perspective I think this is fine because we treat it as 2 infractions at once (Deck Problem and Decklist Problem), you step in immediately because of Deck Problem (because there is something patently illegal going on that is compromising the integrity of that game) but then issue the harsher of the two penalties (DeckList Problem Game Loss).

Originally posted by IPG:

Alter the decklist to match the deck the player is actually playing. If the deck/sideboard and
decklist both violate a maximum cards restriction (usually too many cards in a sideboard or more
than four of a card), remove cards starting from the bottom of the appropriate section of the list
or lists.

Note it says “section of the list or lists”. That is the current IPG posted on the Wizards website
https://wpn.wizards.com/en/resources/rules-documents

The AIPG has old language (just says “section of the list.”)
https://blogs.magicjudges.org/rules/ipg3-4/

I would treat the lists as a stack A/B/C and as such Baptiste's list would need to have all Broken Bonds removed. My assumption is that the change to the IPG (“list or lists”) is specifically talking about this scenario.
I would step in, issue Decklist Problem to Baptiste, issue a Game Loss right there. (I would do this with taking Baptiste aside, but leaving the other matches playing).
If, somehow, a Broken Bond was in Baptiste's maindeck and the removal of the Broken Bonds reduced it to under 60, then I would add basic lands of Baptiste's choice. If the Broken Bonds were sideboard (more likely), I would not add any basic lands.

June 9, 2018 11:54:00 AM

Bernie Hoelschen
Judge (Level 1 (Judge Academy)), Scorekeeper

USA - Northeast

Team Bonding Exercise - GOLD

I very much agree with the above after having thought about this a little more today.

Broken Bond isn’t an illegal card by itself; it becomes illegal once it appears in a subsequent deck list. Thus, like the extra cards in sideboard error, resolve by removing from places where it shows up and it shouldn’t (Player B’s list in this case) and issue the infraction and penalty immediately.

June 11, 2018 09:15:50 PM

Andrew Keeler
Judge (Level 2 (Judge Academy))

USA - Southeast

Team Bonding Exercise - GOLD

Originally posted by Logan Anbinder:

I would suggest we follow a rule that we allocate cards to players' decklists in A/B/C order. Thus, the Broken Bonds in Adica's list are legal but the ones in Baptiste's are not.

In the Mid-Atlantic Slack discussion about this scenario, Ben Harris also pointed out that this rule has a good analogue in the normal DLP remedy– we usually remove cards starting from the bottom of a player's list, so if we look at the lists A/B/C as one “meta-list,” we remove the cards from B first (i.e, we allow the cards in A)

Just to hopefully further the discussion a bit, should there be any consideration given to the relative placement of Broken Bond in A or B's decklists? Supposing that A has the card listed in their sideboard and B has it listed maindeck, it would seem significantly more disruptive overall to ask B to remove the card than to ask A to do so. We may be cutting down of a potential abuse case, but introducing an additional disruptive element to the fix seems to remove most of the gains that we would realize. I do like the proposed fix in principle, but I think that some policy finesse would be required to remove the disruption potential.

For reference: my understanding of the “remove cards starting at the bottom” fix is that part of the motivation is to remove the cards that are least likely to be important to a deck's overall gamplan. The important cards are more likely to be listed in the maindeck rather than the sideboard, and towards the top of a list rather than the bottom, while late additions and after-thoughts (whose removal is less likely to be disruptive) are most likely to be added at the end. This motivation doesn't fit cleanly into the “multiple lists” setup, where B's “important cards” are necessarily listed below A's “incidental cards” by the ordering of the decklists.

I'll also note that there's other places in policy where we allow a player a potential “abuse case” by letting them tell us their intentions (Deck and Decklist mismatches, for example). The existence of an abuse case doesn't necessarily mean that the policy that allows it is bad policy, since no policy can concisely cover every possibility.