My opponent was in his second main phase, sitting silently for about a minute. He finally gestured towards me and said, "Draw." I drew. My opponent then shouted, "Judge!" and told the judge that I drew a card on his turn. The judge listened to my side of the story. The judge asked, "Did the card that you drew touch your hand?". I said, "Yes." The judge subsequently gave me a game loss for drawing an extra card.

This occurred at a Competitive REL Standard event in late February of 2014. I did not appeal the ruling with the floor judge. I should have, but I was in shock and there was so much blood rushing to my head that I wasn't thinking clearly.

Should I have been given a game loss for drawing? Does "Draw." constitute a shortcut for "I would like to pass all priority until the next Draw step"?

  • 2
    What was your opponent's side of why he said "draw"? I'm confused; do you think he said "draw" on purpose to trick you into an infraction, or did he have some other meaning/reason behind saying "draw"?
    – GendoIkari
    Apr 11, 2014 at 19:59
  • @Gendolkari I think he said "Draw" specifically to trick me. He was playing the typical (for February of 2014) G/R Monsters deck, which does not have a way to draw unless they +1 Domri Rade, and Domri was not on the field. I have no way to objectively determine what his intent was, and I am biased because it cost me a match. I could have misunderstood both his word and his gesture.
    – Rainbolt
    Apr 11, 2014 at 20:22
  • 1
    did the judge not ask him to explain what he meant by "Draw"? I would have thought that would be an obvious question to ask. He'd either have to say "I meant to pass priority until his next draw step", or "I just said it in hopes that he would draw even though I wasn't passing priority, to win on a technicality"... in either case, you wouldn't lose; in the second case, he would probably be given a warning at the least.
    – GendoIkari
    Apr 11, 2014 at 20:27
  • 7
    that just seems like bad judging... whether the final outcome was correct or not; I'd have to think that the correct first action is to get each person's side of the story... at least ask your opponent if what you said about him saying "draw" was true or not. Very strange.
    – GendoIkari
    Apr 11, 2014 at 20:37
  • 1
    I agree, from the information given here, the judge seems to have decided prematurely and without the proper investigation process. You should try to get in touch with said judge, remind him of the case, ask what his reasoning was and give him the opportunity to understand his mistake without making him look or feel stupid. Judges are also just human beings after all, they make mistakes and hate to admit it.
    – scenia
    Apr 12, 2014 at 11:25

3 Answers 3


The rules are not definitively on your side but you definitely should have appealed the ruling. According to the MTG Infraction Procedure Guide section 2.3, the default penalty for drawing an extra card is a game loss. However, it also says:

If the player received confirmation from his or her opponent before drawing the card (including confirming the number of cards when greater than one), the infraction is not Drawing Extra Cards.

and your opponent's saying "Draw" and pointing to you arguably counts as confirmation that you should draw for your next turn. This argument might be difficult to make though because "Draw" is not listed explicitly in the Tournament Rules list of shortcuts (section 4.2) for passing priority until your opponent's turn.

However, there is another argument to be made that you should not have lost. The Infraction Procedure Guide Drawing Extra Cards section says

A player illegally puts one or more cards into his or her hand and, at the moment before he or she began the instruction or action that put a card into his or her hand, no other Game Play Error or Communication Policy Violation had been committed.

One relevant piece of free information (as specified in section 4.1 of the Tournament Rules) is "The current step and/or phase and which player(s) are active", and the Infraction Procedure guide says in the Communication Policy Violation section:

Players may not represent derived or free information incorrectly

I would argue that your opponent did just that when they said "Draw", which means that the judge should have followed the procedure in this section instead:

If the situation is simple enough to safely back up without too much disruption to the course of the game, the judge may get permission from the Head Judge to back up the game to the point of the incorrect information. Each action taken is undone until the game reaches the point immediately prior to the error. Cards incorrectly placed in hand are returned to the location in the zone from which they were moved (if the identity of the incorrectly drawn card is not known to all players, a random card is returned instead). Once the game is backed up, it continues from that point.


I have never heard of someone saying "Draw" to mean the same thing as "pass turn" or the like.

It is typically used as confirmation that you will be drawing a card. For example, one might say "Draw" after casting a card draw spell, for example "Draw 2" while resolving Divination. This is to protect yourself from receiving a game loss if you are somehow mistaken about the amount of cards you should be drawing (or whether you should be drawing) since, as another answer posted:

If the player received confirmation from his or her opponent before drawing the card (including confirming the number of cards when greater than one), the infraction is not Drawing Extra Cards.

Your opponent then has the opportunity to correct your mistake, whereas if you just drew you might draw the wrong number of cards.

"Draw" is also commonly used during upkeep to mean "go to my draw step".

The important distinction in all of these cases is that the player saying "draw" is confirming that HE will be the one drawing.

  • 1
    Re "I have never heard of someone saying 'Draw' to mean the same thing as "pass turn" or the like." That's because it doesn't mean that. See my earlier answer.
    – ikegami
    Apr 13, 2014 at 21:27
  • @ikegami Yes, your answer was correct and very good! I just wanted to provide some context as to why someone might say "draw".
    – Trying
    Apr 14, 2014 at 15:07
  • I was just commenting on the part I quoted, not the answer in general. You've indeed provided some useful info.
    – ikegami
    Apr 14, 2014 at 15:36

[ Just answering the question that hasn't been answered yet. ]

Does "Draw." constitute a shortcut for "I would like to pass all priority until the next Draw step"?

No. Not unless you and the other players had previously come to an agreement.

The following are the officially recognized shortcuts according to the Tournament Rules:

Certain conventional tournament shortcuts used in Magic are detailed below. They define a default communication; if a player wishes to deviate from these, they should be explicit about doing so. Note that some of these are exceptions to the policy above in that they do cause non-explicit priority passes.

  • If the active player passes priority with an empty stack during their first main phase, the non-active player is assumed to be acting in beginning of combat unless they are affecting whether a beginning of combat ability triggers. Then, after those actions resolve or no actions took place, the active player receives priority at the beginning of combat. Beginning of combat triggered abilities (even ones that target) may be announced at this time.

  • If the active player passes priority with an empty stack during their second main phase, or uses a phrase such as “Go” or “Your Turn” at any time, the non-active player is assumed to be acting in the end step unless they are affecting how or whether an end of turn ability triggers. End of turn triggered abilities that do not target resolve after the non-active player passes priority.

  • Whenever a player adds an object to the stack, they are assumed to be passing priority unless they explicitly announce that they intend to retain it.

  • If a player adds a group of objects to the stack without explicitly retaining priority, they are assumed to be adding them to the stack individually and allowing each to resolve before adding the next. If another player wishes to take an action at a point in the middle of this sequence, the actions should be reversed to that point.

  • If a player casts a spell or activates an ability and announces choices for it that are not normally made until resolution, the player must adhere to those choices unless an opponent responds to that spell or ability. If an opponent inquires about choices made during resolution, that player is assumed to be passing priority and allowing that spell or ability to resolve.

  • A player is assumed to have paid any cost of 0 unless they announce otherwise.

  • A player who casts a spell or activates an ability that targets an object on the stack is assumed to target the legal target closest to the top of the stack unless the player specifies otherwise.

  • A player is assumed to be attacking another player with their creatures and not any planeswalkers that player may control unless the attacking player specifies otherwise.

  • A player who does not scry/surveil (or look at the top card of the library after taking a mulligan) when instructed to is assumed to have not looked and chosen to leave the cards in the same order.

  • In the Two-Headed Giant format, attacking creatures are assumed to be attacking the head of the defending player sitting directly across from their controller, unless the creature’s controller specifies otherwise.

  • I would think that "Draw" fits within "equivalents such as 'your turn'..."
    – GendoIkari
    Apr 11, 2014 at 20:03
  • 2
    @Gendolkari, Look where that shortcut ends. Drawing would be illegal there too.
    – ikegami
    Apr 11, 2014 at 20:06

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