5

Of course, there are some spell cards that allow you to look through your deck to find some sort of card, usually sorcery cards that let you find basic lands in your library or something and then shuffle it.

Anyway, what if I am in a situation where I seem to only be drawing cards that are too expensive in mana cost or I'm only pulling lands? Am I allowed to shuffle my library at any time, or do I have to deal with what I get or cast some kind of sorcery or instant that lets me find a card/cards then shuffle my library?

  • 18
    Even if you could, it wouldn't help. Assuming that you shuffled properly when instructed to (at the beginning of the game, or when a card said so), the pattern of cards you have previously drawn has no predictive power regarding the next card you draw. In other words, if you are "only pulling lands", you are no more likely to draw another land if you don't re-shuffle than if you do. And if you didn't shuffle properly before, there's no reason to assume that you will do so now. – murgatroid99 Nov 24 '15 at 1:19
  • @murgatroid99 True, except for the last sentence: "And if you didn't shuffle properly before, there's no reason to assume that you will do so now." People make mistakes. Assume for a moment you realize a turn after shuffling you made a mistake somewhere in the process. That would make this a legitimate question. – Mast Nov 24 '15 at 5:29
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    Do you have an actual concrete example? You don't accidentally stack your deck. You don't accidentally pile shuffle. You don't accidentally look at the cards and then accidentally fail to reshuffle. Shuffling isn't some complex process that you can invalidate by missing a step half-way through. You just riffle a few times. – murgatroid99 Nov 24 '15 at 6:45
  • @JoeWallis That's a very different question, one where the answer is basically "call a judge" or in casual play "pretend to be a judge." Keep in mind that if that does happen, you still broke the rules - it's just that it was an accident. If you do end up (re)shuffling your library, it's not because you're allowed to whenever you want, it's because it's the least bad way to remedy a mistake. – Cascabel Nov 24 '15 at 18:04
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    I feel like Murgatroid's comment should be a part of an answer to this. Sure the question in the title as-asked can be answered with a simple "no" and a rules quote, but the question makes it clear that the asker is misunderstanding something fundamental about the way shuffling and randomization works if he thinks that reshuffling would address the issue he's having. – GendoIkari Nov 24 '15 at 19:26
21

You can't shuffle whenever you want; rule 401.2 explicitly handles this case.

401.2. Each library must be kept in a single face-down pile. Players can’t look at or change the order of cards in a library.

Plus, if you could shuffle at will, it would make cards that let you shuffle like Ponder pretty redundant.

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    The real redundant card here is Myr Mindservant. – Mephy Nov 24 '15 at 3:31
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    It would also make almost any card with "Play with top card of your library revealed" insanely overpowered. – Ordous Nov 24 '15 at 14:03
  • Ponder wouldn't actually be redundant in this case. – Waterseas Nov 24 '15 at 14:48
  • And everyone would be playing Psychogenic Probe :) not really a fun alternative reality ... – Autar Nov 24 '15 at 15:22
  • @Autar: But the free shuffles wouldn't be caused by a spell or ability, and even if they counted, you'd need to make the opponent shuffle. – user2357112 Nov 24 '15 at 17:37
4

Absolutely not.

As a general rule of thumb, unless the rules say you CAN do something at a specific time, you can't.

You can only shuffle your deck before you've started your game or when a specific card tells you you can. As a side note - if it doesn't say "may" when it talks about shuffling your deck, it's mandatory.

The exact rule was already added, so I'll just comment a bit more explanation:

There are far too many scenarios where the ability to shuffle your deck at any time would be game-breaking. It would also take various 'punishments' of cards meaningless (ex: "Send a card to the bottom of your opponent's library").

3

You cannot shuffle whenever you want. As other answers have already pointed out, rule 401.2 says that you are not allowed to reorder your library.

I'll need this definition later, so I'll quote it now. The rule defining shuffling is 701.16a:

To shuffle a library or a face-down pile of cards, randomize the cards within it so that no player knows their order.

Even if you could shuffle whenever you want, it generally wouldn't actually help. To be specific, say you have 40 cards left in your library, and you just shuffled (perhaps because you just activated Evolving Wilds). Now, you know what cards are in your library, but by definition you don't know what order they're in. Then you draw a Forest, which you didn't want because you already have enough land. Now you still know what cards are in your library, because you can just subtract one Forest from the cards you knew were in there before. And you still don't know what order the cards are in. You know there was a Forest on top, but that doesn't help, because that Forest isn't in your library anymore.

Now imagine that you could shuffle your library right now. Obviously, the library now has the same cards as before. And again, by the definition of shuffling, you don't know what order the cards are in. And you should be able to see that this hasn't actually changed anything: both before and after shuffling, you know what cards are in the library, and both before and after shuffling, you don't know what order they're in.

Now, you might ask "But, if it doesn't change anything, why can't I shuffle whenever I want?" The answer is that I was describing the general case, and there are some cases where it does matter because you do know where some of the cards are. And then the ability to choose to shuffle would give you and advantage. [Jace, the Mind Sculptor]'s first ability would be completely useless if you could shuffle; your opponent could say "I leave that card on top" and then you could just say "Actually I'll just shuffle it away". Brainstorm would be much better if you could just draw 3 cards and then shuffle your 2 worst cards back into your library, instead of being forced to draw them back for the next two turns. Garruk's Horde would be crazy powerful: you could just shuffle until you see the creature you want, and then cast it.

0

No, you cannot shuffle your library at any time. Your opponent can force you to put "bad" cards on top of your library using spells such as Roil Spout, so it is strategically relevant.

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