While reviewing the latest changes to the Magic Infraction Procedure Guide, I notice that a missed trigger is considered a Warning, but that,

Judges should not intervene in a missed trigger situation unless they intend to issue a Warning or have reason to suspect that the controller is intentionally missing his or her triggers.

A conversation arose between a friend and I about what would happen if someone were to build a deck around purposefully forgetting his triggers. For the sake of the argument, let it be given that he's an incredibly good liar (20+ Charisma? What, wrong SE site? You mad?) and is able to convince any judge or other person at any time that it was unintentional, but that it was actually intentionally missed.

As the day progresses (and some of these tournaments have 14+ rounds) it is inevitable that a number of his opponents will notice his, err, forgetfulness. However, the IPG doesn't seem to indicate how these infractions begin to roll up into heavier sanctions. At what point does his forgetfulness warrant a game loss, and eventually DQ? Surely after a certain number of warnings, you start having serious consequences.

Kate: You were in default when we sent you delinquency notices.

Peter: I thought those were just warnings.

Kate: They were warnings.

Disclaimer: I'm not advocating such a strategy. Even without ethical concerns of trying to cheat and get away with it, I think this strategy would involve purposefully selecting corner-case scenarios which probably won't happen, and that you'd be better off finding solid strategies that don't require you to hope your opponent doesn't notice.

  • This came up recently at the Pro Tour: magic.tcgplayer.com/db/article.asp?ID=10794 Oct 31, 2012 at 15:59
  • That's the incident that inspired the discussion actually. Although she was DQ'd for something different. She was DQ'd for willfully allowing a discrepancy in life total to be unresolved. I think it's a shame she got DQ'd, but that's another story.
    – corsiKa
    Oct 31, 2012 at 16:06

1 Answer 1


The same pdf referenced contains some text that shows the escalation of warnings on page 7 (2paragraphs before the start of the 'gameplay error - missed trigger' section):

A third or subsequent Warning for a Game Play Error offense in the same category should be upgraded to a Game Loss. For multi-day events, the penalty count for these infractions resets between days.

  • I read it, and read it, and searched it for words like "escalated" and "elevated" but didn't think to search for "upgraded". Thanks!
    – corsiKa
    Oct 29, 2012 at 18:32

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