Let's say someone deliberately casts a sorcery card as a face-down morph creature hoping to win the game with it (not knowing that at some point in time it will always be revealed). What is the penalty for it at the different Rules Enforcement Levels (REL)?

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    In your situation, is the judge able to determine that the cheating was deliberate?
    – Rainbolt
    Feb 18, 2016 at 14:27
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    @Rainbolt good question. My initial thought was that the cheater admits what he did so the accepted answer is all what I asked. But reading the discussion it is of course also interesting what would happen if somebody cheats but denies it and it isn't clear whether it was deliberate but I personally think that should be a new question.
    – Ivo
    Feb 18, 2016 at 14:34
  • This happened to me once on a PTQ. I Had Polukranos and a Sagu Mauler on my Hand. I am I went, pay 3 morph creature. I Placed the Polukranos face down. Never realized it was the wrong card. After the game finished, I told my my oponent and the judge what happened, and since it was a mistake I was given a Game Loss instead of a DQ. Mar 17, 2016 at 19:27

1 Answer 1


Cheating is not tolerated at any REL and must always result in disqualification.

The current Rules Enforcement Levels (REL) are Regular, Competitive, and Professional.

The Tournament rules state about cheating:

5.1 Cheating

Cheating will not be tolerated. The Head Judge reviews all cheating allegations, and if he or she believes that a player has cheated, he or she will issue the appropriate penalty based on the Infraction Procedure Guide or Judging at Regular REL document. All disqualifications are subject to DCI review and further penalties may be assessed.

The rules for Judging at Regular REL state:

Serious Problems

Certain actions will not be tolerated under any circumstances. Every effort should be made to educate players before and during events; however, ignorance is not an acceptable defence of these actions. Any player engaging in the following must be removed from your event and, at the Organizer's discretion, removed from the venue entirely:

  • Aggressive, violent or abusive behavior (physical or verbal).

  • Intentionally and knowingly breaking or letting an opponent break game or tournament rules, or lying. (“Bluffing” about cards opponents can't normally see is permitted).

  • Determining match outcomes by incentives, coercion, or outside-the-game methods, or gambling on any part of a tournament.

  • Theft (including things like replacing a card in a draft with one from a player’s binder).

Removing players in this way is called a Disqualification, and we must always try to educate our players on why these actions are unacceptable. Also let the player know that while your decision is final, the Judge Program would still like to hear his or her side of the story. You can contact your local Regional Coordinator, high level Judge, or WPN Representative to guide you through the process of a Disqualification.

The Infraction Procedure Guide is used for penalties at Competitive and Professional REL and states:

4.8. Unsporting Conduct — Cheating


A person breaks a rule defined by the tournament documents, lies to a tournament official, or notices an offense committed in his or her (or a teammate's) match and does not call attention to it.

Additionally, the offense must meet the following criteria for it to be considered Cheating:

  • The player must be attempting to gain advantage from his or her action.

  • The player must be aware that he or she is doing something illegal.

If all criteria are not met, the offense is not Cheating and should be handled by a different infraction. Cheating will often appear on the surface as a Game Play Error or Tournament Error, and must be investigated by the judge to make a determination of intent and awareness.

Penalty: Disqualification

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    This address the case where it is done intentionally. Since there could be cases where it is unclear whether it was done intentionally, it could be useful to include any rules specifying what will happen if it was done unintentionally.
    – kasperd
    Feb 18, 2016 at 12:49
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    @kasperd OP specifically asked about "deliberately" violating the rules. That is known as cheating.
    – Hackworth
    Feb 18, 2016 at 12:55
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    @Hackworth Only the person who did it knows if it was done deliberately or not. When in doubt the organizer might assume it was done unintentionally.
    – kasperd
    Feb 18, 2016 at 13:03
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    @Daenyth Regular REL is the lowest REL, with COmpetitive and Professional above it, and I did write that cheating is met with disqualification at any REL.
    – Hackworth
    Feb 18, 2016 at 13:03
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    @Hackworth You said the question is about a scenario where an official has decided it was done deliberately. I don't see the question saying anything about an official having decided on anything. The answer cover your interpretation of the question, which may or may not be what was intended in the question. Regardless of what was intended with the question, the additional information I suggest adding would make it a better answer.
    – kasperd
    Feb 18, 2016 at 13:41

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