5

There is an issue with US Eldritch Moon booster boxes so that all of the mythic rares in a box are in a single artwork.

My LGS has a policy where you may bring your own packs and only pay a table fee. Last week I won 3 packs, which I decided to save for the next draft. One of the other players opened their prize packs from the same box and with the same art as mine to find they contain a mythic rare.

Now that I know there is a good chance there is a mythic rare card in at least one of my prize packs, does using these packs with this knowledge constitute cheating?

  • 1
    Is it a sanctioned event? – Hackworth Jul 31 '16 at 15:49
  • 3
    I'd call it cheating, but I'm not in charge. However, when I've attended events that allow you to bring your own packs, they've usually collected all the packs and randomly redistributed them, even when there wasn't an unusually easy box-mapping hack that season. With that policy in place, your question becomes much less of an issue - it's still a little sketchy to know anything about pack contents beforehand, but you'd most likely be contributing your mythic rare to somebody else. – Benjamin Cosman Jul 31 '16 at 16:27
  • @Hackworth If we have 8 or more people then the event is sanctioned. – Fr33dan Jul 31 '16 at 18:14
  • 1
    @Hackworth I'm not trying to abuse the knowledge, I just like using this policy because it keeps me from hemorrhaging as much money into the game. I wish I hadn't seen him open the packs because then my conscience could be clear, but now I do know and am unsure what to do about it. – Fr33dan Jul 31 '16 at 18:50
  • 4
    From the answers, it sounds like what you should do about it (assuming you're willing to give up your mythics) is just insist that the TO redistributes randomly. Or, if the mythics tend to sell for enough (I haven't checked), you could open your packs, sell the mythics, and then use the proceeds to buy new packs that don't have this problem :) – Benjamin Cosman Jul 31 '16 at 18:56
6

Yes, it would be cheating. Your tournament organizer must either provide the booster packs or randomly distribute them before the drafting phase. If that does not happen and you try to exploit that fact, you are cheating.

Since you are well aware that your packs would give you an unfair advantage, you would be cheating. Whether or not your tournament organizer made it easier for this situation to occur by not pooling the packs is irrelevant.

From the Tournament rules:

7.3 Card Use in Limited Tournaments

Cards must be received directly from tournament officials. This product must be new and previously unopened.

If the Tournament Organizer allows players to provide their own product, that product must be pooled with the rest of the product for the tournament and randomly distributed.

The rules (Judging at Regular REL, Infraction Procedure Guide) don't cover your exact situation, because if the tournament rules were followed, it should never occur.

However, cheating is not allowed at any REL and must be sanctioned with disqualification. Going by the definition in the IPG, cheating occurs when a player does something illegal, tries to gain an advantage, and is aware of the illegality.

  • I was afraid something like this might be the case, it wouldn't be the first time a regular policy ran afoul of official tournament regulations. Mainly because I don't think they care to read through the tournament regulations. – Fr33dan Jul 31 '16 at 18:59
  • Your argumentation seems to be based on the store not following the tournament rules, in which case you might as well assume the store doesn't care about cheating. The only situation one can answer is if the tournament rules are being satisfied, for example by having the store re-distribute boosters that players bring with them (if that's not the case, a Judge should make them aware of the situation). In that case, I don't think you can rightfully disqualify players for following the official procedures the store provides. You did catch an important line in the rules that I had missed, though! – TheThirdMan Aug 1 '16 at 7:29
3

As hinted on in the comments, if you're not participating in a sanctioned event, this isn't covered by official rules and will therefore be at your store's disgression.

In a sactioned event, the tournament rules are in effect, handling this problem like this:

7.2. Card Use in Limited Tournaments

Cards must be received directly from tournament officials. This product must be new and previously unopened. (...)

If the Tournament Organizer allows players to provide their own product, that product must be pooled with the rest of the product for the tournament and randomly distributed.

(...)

This means that you're not allowed to bring boosters and hold on to them until you open them. It specifically allows bringing your own boosters as well.

My best interpretation on how to best handle this situation is that a TO will be in charge of until finally given out at the start of the tournament. The respective TO would be responsible to check that the booster hasn't been previously opened and re-sealed. They also have to randomly distribute them, so you wouldn't be guaranteed to gain any advantage from this at all (you would essentially give away your theoretically higher chance of a good pick to someone else, instead of opening the booster yourself, making your chances worse).

I find it much more likely to believe that your store is disregarding the above rule and actually letting players hold on to the packs they brought with them. This isn't acceptable from an official rules perspective.

So, all in all, I can't imagine a sanctioned event in which you could get any advantage from bringing boosters that you only theoretically know having a certain card in them.
I would rule that this isn't cheating from any angle, in my opinion - if the store allows you to bring your own packs and the TO assures that they haven't been previously opened, then randomly distributes them, the player wouldn't and shouldn't be at fault in any way, not only because they're following the store's procedures, but also because the rest of the boosters could (and in practice will) come from booster boxes that might suffer from the same "tell".

Keep in mind that your local Judge might always see things differently, though.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.