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Will of the Council -- Starting with you, each player votes for X. The X with the most votes does YZ.

What happens when you have only two players, therefore making it in some cases impossible for there to be a larger amount of votes than the other?

For example, Council's Judgement:

Will of the Council -- Starting with you, each player votes for a nonland permanent you don't control. Exile each permanent with the most votes or tied for the most votes. With two players, one might for one permanent, and the other for another permanent. What happens then?

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Why the downvotes? This question has an easy answer, but it doesn't seem like a bad question... – Steven Stadnicki May 24 '14 at 6:06
up vote 6 down vote accepted

The card itself states what to do in the case of a tie. In the example of Council's Judgement, it says "or tied for the most votes". This means that if 2 different permanents gets 1 vote each, then both of them will be exiled because they both are tied for the most votes.

This is not only an issue in 2 players, but could occur with any number of players.

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Woops, apparently I'm stupid. Haha. – Mark Goncharov May 23 '14 at 17:02

Rules-wise, Gendolkari is right; the result is whatever the "tie" result is. This is important because strategically speaking, the outcome of the vote should generally be predictable in two-player. For instance:

In the example you gave, you will pick a permanent. That permanent is getting destroyed no matter what because it will at least tie for first, meaning your opponent should only vote for something else if they have something they want to sacrifice ("I vote for my own Hatching Plans")

In the cards with an either/or effect, they should be treated as though they have the "tie" effect because that's going to be optimal in the game-theoretic sense. As a specific example, consider Tyrant's Choice ("Death" -> each opponent sacs a creature, "Torture" -> each opponent loses 4 life, tie goes to "Torture").

  • If you want your opponent to lose 4 life, you can choose "Torture".
  • If you want your opponent to lose a creature, your opponent can still pay the 4 life by choosing "Torture".
  • If "Death" is chosen, that means both players chose "Death". This means that either "Death" and "Torture" had identical EV (unlikely), or both of you thought "Death" was preferable and one of you is wrong.
  • Therefore you can't ever vote for "Death" unless you think your opponent will believe "Death" to be preferable to "Torture" and also be wrong in that belief.
  • By similar reasoning, if you vote "Death", your opponent can only vote "Death" if they believe that you're trying to trick them, but made a mistake instead.
  • Therefore, if both players think the other player will always vote correctly, "Death" can never win the vote.
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