5

Errors prior to the beginning of the game have a less disruptive option—a forced mulligan—that is not available at any other point during the game. ... If more than one excess card was drawn (for example, eight cards drawn during a mulligan to 6) his or her opponent continues removing cards until the correct number has been reached.

When I played in FNM I accidentally drew 7 after I took a mulligan. My opponent forced me to mulligan down to 5. After reading the Infraction Procedure Guide and seeing that it says to go down to the "correct number," was I supposed to be forced to mulligan to 6?

Question: How do I handle this situation for Regular REL and Competitive REL? Would I go down to 5 at Competitive?

  • Is your FNM being run at Regular REL or Competitive REL? In addition, why is your opponent forcing you to do anything? – Waterseas May 23 '16 at 17:52
  • Regular REL and it's because we didn't call a judge over. We thought we both understood that ruling. He wouldn't have done it to cheat. – Andrew May 23 '16 at 17:56
  • ALWAYS call a judge over. The fix that you two applied is the fix for Competitive REL. The fix that the judge likely would've gone with would have been to randomly select a card out of your 7 and shuffle it into your library. If the board state becomes broken at anytime, never try and fix it yourself. That's what judges are there for. – Waterseas May 23 '16 at 17:58
  • Alright, thanks for the info. But could you still answer the question? The IPG seems to imply that you're supposed to take the forced mulligan down to the "correct" number of cards instead of being forced to take an extra mulligan. – Andrew May 23 '16 at 18:02
  • 1
    Ah, I see. The player who incorrectly mulliganed chooses to reveal their hand or to mulligan again. – Andrew May 23 '16 at 18:11
9

Friday Night Magic runs at Regular REL, and is covered by Judging at Regular. The Tournament Rules and Infraction Procedure Guide cover Competitive and Professional REL. This answer borrows from all three documents and covers all three RELs.

Should I call a judge?

Absolutely.

Am I required to call a judge?

No. According to the Infraction Procedure Guide, it is acceptable for players to agree on a fix without calling a judge.

If a minor violation is quickly handled by the players to their mutual satisfaction, a judge does not need to intervene.

Should a judge intervene if I don't call?

Judging at Regular describes that a judge should intervene, since you did something illegal.

You should intervene if you see something illegal happen in a match, but beyond this you have a lot of room to tailor your actions. For example, whether you step in when you see a player miss a trigger should be determined by the tone you want to strike for your event – it may be appropriate to provide this extra help in a more causal environment, but not appropriate if your play group is more competitive.

This is reiterated in the Tournament Rules:

Judges do not intervene in a game to prevent illegal actions, but do intervene as soon as a rule has been broken or to prevent a situation from escalating.

What is the ruling?

At Regular REL, you will simply lose the extra cards. They'll be shuffled back into your library. From Judging at Regular:

If the identity of the card(s) were known to all players, return them to their proper location. Otherwise, determine how many extra cards have been drawn, take that many cards at random from the player’s hand and place them on top of the library. If the extra cards were drawn while drawing the opening hand, shuffle the extra cards back into the deck instead and allow the player to continue making mulligan decisions.

At Competitive or Professional REL, the ruling is different. You receive a warning, and then you have a choice. You may choose to allow your opponent to see your hand and remove cards equal to the excess number. If you do, then you can choose whether or not to mulligan. Otherwise, you must mulligan. From the Infraction Procedure Guide on Game Play Error — Mulligan Procedure Error:

If the player has too many cards in hand, he or she may choose to reveal his or her hand, and his or her opponent chooses a card from it to be shuffled back into the library. If more than one excess card was drawn (for example, eight cards drawn during a mulligan to 6) his or her opponent continues removing cards until the correct number has been reached.

If cards are not removed from the hand this way (either due to an error that didn’t lead to too many cards, or by the player choosing not to reveal), that player takes an additional mulligan.

Players may continue taking mulligans after the remedy has been completed.

Examples:

  • You mulligan to six, but accidentally draw seven. You choose to reveal your hand. Your opponent removes cards equal to the excess (one card). You are left with six cards, and and you retain the option to mulligan.
  • You mulligan to six, but accidentally draw seven. You choose not to reveal your and. You are forced to mulligan. You are left with five cards, and you retain the option to mulligan.
  • For Competitive REL, if you can specify if you get penalized by going down an extra card or if you just go down to the "correct number" then I'll mark this answer as correct. – Andrew May 24 '16 at 16:13
  • @Andrew There isn't a straightforward "You do lose a card." or "You don't lose a card." answer. It depends on the choices you make (multiple choices, actually). You can allow your opponent to remove cards equal to the excess number. If you do, then you can choose to mulligan. If you don't, then you must mulligan. If you mulligan, then obviously you end up with one less card. If you don't mulligan, then you don't end up with one less card. I am open to suggestions on how to clarify this in the answer. – Rainbolt May 24 '16 at 16:20
  • So you tell me: if you choose to allow your opponent to take the excess cards, and then you choose mulligan, what does that leave you at? If you choose to allow your opponent to take the excess cards, and then you choose to keep, what does that leave you at? – Rainbolt May 24 '16 at 16:22
  • I caved and added examples anyway (at the bottom of the answer). – Rainbolt May 24 '16 at 16:30
  • I guess the ambiguity lies in the incorrect mulligan. My question could also be reworded as "Does the incorrect mulligan count towards the number of mulligans you've made?" Aside from that, you've more than sufficiently answered my question. – Andrew May 24 '16 at 17:01
2

The Infraction Procedure Guide is the wrong document to refer to at FNM. FNMs are run at Regular REL, where players generally do not get penalized for gameplay errors. See the Judging at Regular REL document for the kinds of fixes (rather than penalties) that can get dispensed at FNM. In this case, after you notice 7 cards in what should be your hand of 6, just shuffle one back. If you don't like your hand, you can continue taking mulligans normally.

From the section on drawing extra cards:

If the identity of the card(s) were known to all players, return them to their proper location. Otherwise, determine how many extra cards have been drawn, take that many cards at random from the player’s hand and place them on top of the library. Don’t shuffle the library after doing this! If the extra cards were drawn while drawing an opening hand, shuffle the extra cards back into the deck instead and allow the player to continue making mulligan decisions with the remaining cards.

If you were playing at a Competitive REL tournament, you would receive a Game Play Error warning, and you (the player who took an incorrect mulligan) would have the option of two fixes: you could simply take an additional mulligan and go down another card, or you could reveal your hand and let your opponent choose cards to be shuffled back until you're down to the correct number of cards for the initially incorrect mulligan. So if you had mulled to 6 and drawn 7, in the second option you would let your opponent choose which single card to be shuffled back.

Of course, when in doubt, always call a judge.

  • For Competitive REL, if you can specify if you get penalized by going down an extra card or if you just go down to the "correct number" then I'll mark this answer as correct. – Andrew May 24 '16 at 16:17
  • 1
    Done. Frankly I didn't even know the competitive policy until looking it up just now. :) – Evelyn Kokemoor May 24 '16 at 16:33

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