Two Card Monte



  • I played the following pile of legal Magic cards at Saturday's Romancing the Stones Event

    I went 4-1 to make top 4, where I lost to end up in fourth. I beat Shops, PO, Dredge, and Shops. My loss was to Moon Stompy.

    The top 4 match against DPS was pretty interesting.

    Game 1: He kills me before I take my first turn
    Game 2: I assemble three half combos. At one point, I Helm for X=9, hoping to either hit his Sphinx or bin Yawg's Will. Behind me I hear someone say "OH MY GOD HE'S JUST MILLING HIM!" I eventually drew the second half of a combo to win.
    Game 3: I'm on the draw. I'm iffy on keeping this hand. It has a painter kill but zero protection. I'd much rather have a Leyline/Helm kill in hand to help stave off his first turn. I keep anyway and he kills me before I take my first turn. Upon further consideration, my hand was ~20% to draw into a turn one kill and 100% to kill on turn two.

    As much as I love Goblin Welder, I think it's time to switch to a Draw-7 build. With PO and Shops being huge chunks of the format, there's a ton of artifact hate floating around. I want the Draw-7s to find my answers to those problems faster.

    I have no idea how to build a sideboard right now. I brought five cards to destroy Null Rods, Energy Fluxes, and Stony Silences, but I could never find enough things to cut. Perhaps moving to a Draw-7 build will simplify that.



  • Hey everyone, I’m new to this deck and have enjoyed playing it online. The first time I played the deck in paper I had a situation where I had a leyline of the void and a grindstone in play. My opponent thought he was dead not knowing the combo so I activate grindstone, and he puts the first two cards of his library in the graveyard and then asks some questions to which I don’t respond and then he concedes. Is this some moral grey area of the rules or am I obligated somehow to clarify?



  • The correct answer to a rules question that you cannot/will not answer is "You should call a judge." Allowing someone to believe something false, especially after they've specifically asked you, is at the very least a dick move.

    In the situation you've described, the opponent would've violated a rule by placing cards into the Graveyard while Leyline of the Void was in play (Game Rule Violation). You would've violated a rule by allowing them to do so (Failure to Maintain Game State).



  • @thecravenone said in Two Card Monte:

    The correct answer to a rules question that you cannot/will not answer is "You should call a judge."

    This is true, but also, if it's a "will not," you can just go ahead and let them know how it works. When both players have a good experience, everybody wins.



  • @mathmentor said in Two Card Monte:

    Hey everyone, I’m new to this deck and have enjoyed playing it online. The first time I played the deck in paper I had a situation where I had a leyline of the void and a grindstone in play. My opponent thought he was dead not knowing the combo so I activate grindstone, and he puts the first two cards of his library in the graveyard and then asks some questions to which I don’t respond and then he concedes. Is this some moral grey area of the rules or am I obligated somehow to clarify?

    This could easily be “Misrepresenting the Gamestate” which is a DQ and possible suspension. Hard to know exactly what happened from your description.

    https://magic.wizards.com/en/events/coverage/ptaer/disqualification-in-round-5-of-pro-tour-aether-revolt-2017-02-03



  • @Mathmentor I don't think you've done anything wrong according to the rules. Provided you've said nothing untruthful or somehow misled your opponent or misrepresented the game state, it's your opponent's fault for not understanding the interaction. From the MTG rule book:

    A player should have an advantage due to better understanding of the options provided by the rules of the game, greater awareness of the interactions in the current game state, and superior tactical planning.

    @thecravenone I have my own personal beliefs on this (and I have called judges numerous times to explain interactions to my opponents), but again this is not a rules issue. If you go to the Player Communication section of the rules, there are a handful of things that a player is actually required to answer and everything else can be answered either partially or not at all. The one thing that is not allowed is a lie or misrepresentation of the game state, such as saying you can Stifle a Chalice trigger on 1. If done intentionally to gain an advantage, that constitutes cheating. The big thing is that Vintage players need to become more comfortable with calling judges. I think what you are saying is well meaning and I would encourage Vintage players at paper events to do this to try and break the stigma. But at Champs or SCGCons, it will never be the opponent's responsibility to call a judge for you.

    @craw_advantage That's how I want to play the game. 🙂 But you never know who you will sit down across from each round. If you know the rules, hopefully you can protect yourself, other players, and the integrity of the tournament as a whole.



  • @chubbyrain Oh, absolutely! I'm totally in agreement with you that people should call judges whenever it might be needed (and I think that's what @Mathmentor's opponent should have done rather than just conceding). If you need information and your opponent chooses to be unforthcoming, get it from a judge. But I also think that on more of a social level, if your opponent clearly is just unfamiliar with the cards in question and assumes that there's a game-ending combo on the board that they just don't understand, it's nice to do the friendly thing and say "no no, I have not killed you yet." Obviously there's no obligation to explain what the actual combos in the deck are or anything like that. And yeah this is always a tricky needle to thread at tournaments... I think most well-meaning people want everyone to feel welcome and have a good time, but unfortunately there's plenty of opportunity for the other player to be a butt and you do have to protect yourself from that too.



  • @craw_advantage When the Saheeli + Sun Titan Kill was new, I called a judge over to watch it. I didn't want the opponent to think I was pulling a fast one on them. I 100% agree with you from a moral point of view. I go to these events for fun and winning is a secondary objective to me. However, it is competitive REL and not everyone has the same mindset. I can't project my morals onto everyone in attendance. If someone has a much more competitive disposition, they are within their rights to let an opponent believe they are dead to such an interaction so long as the game state is intact (and aside from what may have been a mistype with "graveyard", the game state is intact) and the opponent didn't lie or misrepresent or mislead the opponent to create that belief. It's different with damage and life totals as this is "free information" but card text and interactions are "derived information". It's the players responsibility to understand what cards do, how cards work, and most importantly ask a judge if they are unsure.



  • @chubbyrain so we are all in agreement that the proper response in my situation would be “would you like to call the judge?” And if the opponent concedes without doing so then it’s their own damn fault.



  • @mathmentor You don't have to answer and you don't have to tell them to call a judge. They should be doing that themselves.



  • @chubbyrain Are you saying that just not responding to those questions at all is the right course?



  • @craw_advantage There is what you are required to do in accordance with the rules and there is what you consider ethical or moral or whatever. Since this is becoming a more in depth conversation, here is the relevant text.

    From: https://blogs.magicjudges.org/rules/mtr4-1/

    "There are four categories of information: status, free, derived and private.

    1. Status information is information that must be announced upon change and physically tracked by the affected player. Methods for tracking must be visible to both players during the match. A shared method is acceptable as long as all players in the match have access to it. At Competitive and Professional REL, methods that can easily be accidentally changed (such as dice) may not be used. Status information consists of:
    • Life totals.
    • Counters a player has attached to them.
    • Continuous effects with no defined expiration within the game that apply to that player, such as Monarch or City’s Blessing

    Example: If a player asks his or her opponent for his current life total, that player is required to respond truthfully and directly. Answers like, “You can figure it out” or “Twenty” when the player is actually at seventeen life are unacceptable.
    These types of information need to be immediately pointed out when the change occurs.
    A very common method of tracking life or counters on a player is with pencil/paper.
    Free information is information to which all players are entitled access without contamination or omissions made by their opponents. If a player is ever unable or unwilling to provide free information to an opponent that has requested it, he or she should call a judge and explain the situation.

    1. Free information consists of:
    • Details of current game actions and past game actions that still affect the game state.
    • The name of any visible object.
    • The number type of any counter that isn’t defined as status information.
    • The state (whether it’s tapped, attached to another permanent, face down, etc.) and current zone of any object or player.
    • The game score of the current match.
    • The contents of each player’s mana pool.
    • The current step and/or phase and which player(s) are active.

    A player always has to give all free information to their opponent accurately upon request. If that is not possible they should call a judge to help clear up the communication. If a player unintentionally misrepresents free information at Competitive Rules Enforcement Level, it may result in a Communication Policy Violation.

    1. Derived information is information to which all players are entitled access, but opponents are not obliged to assist in determining and may require some skill or calculation to determine. Derived information consists of:
    • The number of any type of objects present in any game zone that are not defined as free information.
    • All characteristics of objects in public zones that are not defined as free or status information.
    • Game Rules, Tournament Policy, Oracle content and any other official information pertaining to the current tournament. Cards are considered to have their Oracle text printed on them.

    While a player is not obliged to assist his opponent with the Game Rules, Tournament Policy, Oracle text, or any other official information pertaining to the current tournament, a player may ask a judge for any of that information during a match. For example, if a player asks his opponent what a card does, for example, a player does not have to give all of the information about the card. His opponent may say that Vampire Nighthawk is a flying 2/3 creature and omit that it has Deathtouch and Lifelink.

    1. Private information is information to which players have access only if they are able to determine it from the current visual game state or their own record of previous game actions.
    • Any information that is not free or derived is automatically private information.

    Private information is the catchall category for everything that is not free or derived information. For example, the contents of hidden zones (i.e., library and hand) and the identity of face-down cards in public zones are considered private information. Players are allowed to give their opponents false information about the contents of a hidden zone. For example, if a player casts Slaughter Games and names Scapeshift, his opponent may say that he or she only has three copies of Scapeshift in his or her library, even if it actually contains four.

    The following rules govern player communication:

    • Players must answer all questions asked of them by a judge completely and honestly, regardless of the type of information requested. Players may request to do so away from the match.
    • Players may not represent derived or free information incorrectly.
    • Players must answer completely and honestly any specific questions pertaining to free information.
    • At Regular Rules Enforcement Level, all derived information is instead considered free."

    So again, at competitive REL, which is most (all?) Vintage events I have been at, there is no obligation to assist the opponent with derived information, or to call a judge for them. If players want to go above and beyond to assist an opponent, then there is certainly nothing prohibiting them from doing so.


 

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