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Competitive REL » Post: Illegal deck in small PPTQ

Illegal deck in small PPTQ

Dec. 15, 2018 10:50:48 AM

Michael Zimmerman
Judge (Level 2)

USA - Central

Illegal deck in small PPTQ

9 person Standard PPTQ

I made the usual announcements before start of round 1 - specifically including that everyone should have a Standard legal Deck and decklist on them.

Everyone is visibly paying attention to me at this point and dutifully checks their decklists when I ask them to do so.

Collect the decklists and start round 1.

While checking thru the decklists, I first notice someone playing an 11 card sideboard, so I make a point to check that they are in fact only playing 11 cards in the sideboard.

After checking, I look at the cards that are actually in the sideboard and notice a number of non-Standard legal cards (I had counted the sideboard face-down).

Turns out that the player is (despite my announcements) playing his Modern deck (and had provided that decklist).

Had the player not had a Standard-legal deck to switch to (which they did), how should I have handled this?

1) drop the player and continue with the 5 rounds cut to top 4
2) drop the player and restart the tournament as single elim top 8
3) something else

20+ years of judging - first time I have run into this…

Dec. 15, 2018 11:16:33 AM

Mark Mc Govern
Judge (Level 2), TLC

United Kingdom, Ireland, and South Africa

Illegal deck in small PPTQ

3) something else.

This is a straight forward example of TE-Decklist Problem.

The decklist is illegal. The first example is a player with Mana Drain in a Legacy decklist, which is like what happened here (but on a larger scale!). The fix listed is to remove illegal cards, and then allow the player to add Basics to bring it up to 60 cards.

Of course, the odds that they have a functional deck after all of this is near zero, so I'd recommend to the TO that the player be refunded their entry or something, rather than be forced to “play” on, or just straight drop. While the penalty is a Game Loss, the fix effectively ends their ability to play in the event they paid for.

As for everything else, once you start an event and have announced the 5 rounds + top 4 cut, you have to follow through on it. No take backs even if you lose someone this early!

Dec. 15, 2018 11:16:54 AM

Scott Marshall
Forum Moderator
Judge (Level 3), Regional Coordinator (USA - Northwest), Hall of Fame, L3 Panel Lead

USA - Northwest

Illegal deck in small PPTQ

Once you announce tournament specifics such as number of rounds, cut to Top X, etc., changing that later is strongly discouraged; I'm sure I've written several "don't do that!!!" posts over the years.

So, I'd advise to go with option 1 - stick to the announced arrangement of 5 rounds, cut to Top 4.