By - GwynnBlaeiid
Yes you can. If opponent don’t want to give deck to you (for whatever reason) you can ask him to count the cards in front of you so you can see the process or you can call a judge to do it. Counting your opponent library is common practice when you play Mill.
At competitive REL they can’t deny you the opportunity to count. You just do it when they present their deck to shuffle and cut.
They can’t deny the counting but they can deny you doing it. I’m pretty sure any time you would be handling it they can ask a judge to do it instead if they think you might damage them
Fun story about this, had a mill player ask me how many cards were left once, approximately less than 10, and as he's asking, put his index finger on the middle and dragged his thumb up the corner of the pile in some half-assed attempt at counting and honestly probably looking at the cards. Even the other tables were telling him to stop before I could. Most tilted I've ever been at FNM
Edit: Moral of the story, dont touch your opponent's deck without permission and even then, don't
Cant you call a judge on that? That feels pretty close to cheating by looking at the cards
Oh I'm sure of it but it was FNM and honestly, it was irrelevant at that point. Pretty sure I was dead the following turn
Calling out cheaters is ALWAYS relevant in sanctioned play. Establishing a record is the best way to kick cheaters out of the game for good.
Ive been in the position of "its just FNM, who cares?" before, and Im still on the hunt for revenge on that dick (he cheated, knew it, and convinced novice me to not call a judge on him. Wasnt the first time I had issues with him (first time he blatantly cheated against me though), all around unpleasant human being
Fuck that guy. Mine was a teenager and didn't know much better/wasn't thinking. Run into a few times since and he doesn't do that so yeah. Fuck that noise though. Who is gonna intentionally cheat at FNM?
Cheaters do. They believe they are entitled to win, even at fnm.
Yep been at the table where some sweaty kid just “needs” to win at a casual card game on a casual night. It’s pretty pathetic.
I've played mill in paper competitively before. If they pull that mess I will just ask to see their graveyard, ask how many cards in hand, how many lands, etc.
Maybe in theory. I have never seen this occur at competitive REL.
Given that I've seen people mark their opponent's deck by dragging their fingernail on a sleeve while cutting the deck, and then call them out for the damage the next time they were supposed to cut, I would never say anything is too petty for someone gambling their rent money.
I had the displeasure to see it.
Dude then went on to be an awful L1 judge.
Calling a judge is the best way to do it.
Happened to me once in a GP where I played a mill deck. I asked my opponent how many cards left and he gave me his deck. While I was counting them (was 5) I unfortunately put them down one by one so I messed up the order of his draws. He was mad about it and he called the judge. I was only given a warning, and I would anyway win the turn as I have a Tome Scour in hand.
If you're playing a competitive REL and not counting (or having a judge count) your opponent's deck, every single game, you're opening yourself up to cheaters and throwing away free wins.
You'd be amazed how many illegal deck presentations you'll get once you start checking: people sideboard incorrectly, leave cards under play mats, leave cards in previous games, etc - and now you're getting screwed because your opponent has a statistical advantage.
If you're at a high enough REL, you should have a judge list-check your opponent's deck pre-board, as people will forget to board out cards, and of course they won't call themselves out on it when they draw a card they technically can't have in Game 1.
While a good 50%+ of those illegal presentation are accidents, a good number of them are intentional exploits by shady players.
The number of cards in a deck is public knowledge. You can ask your opponent to count but if you keep doing it to troll or waste time, it could be considered slow play
Absolutely. Not doing it to troll, just curious if this is something I can verify if I felt the need to playing in a big tournament with stakes. I imagine it's irrelevant 99% of the time. Most magic players want to win by adhering to the rules. Just comes down to a trust but verify kinda thing.
One way to think about it is if mtgo gives you the info you have the right to it in paper.
I am wondering, are there are any exception to this rule of thumb? Bugs notwithstanding.
Other than triggers being possible to be missed I'm pretty sure there are no differences.
I love how running cards into chalice for missed triggers is a paper strat
Considering casting Force of Will, then deciding against gives it away on mtgo, haha.
On mtgo, Tibalt, Cosmic Impostor's exiled cards are not visible for the opponent iirc
> On mtgo, Tibalt, Cosmic Impostor's exiled cards are not visible for the opponent iirc
If true, then that's a bug.
At comp REL tournaments the cards in the deck need to match the submitted decklist and that decklist needs to be legal (ie normally minimum 60 cards, all those cards legal in the format). If the judges have reason to doubt that a deck presented in a match matches the legal decklist then they can/will deck check it. They also normally randomly deck check some number of decks each round. If you have reason to believe an opponent (or a player in a match you are watching) is presenting an illegal deck then you don't just have the right to call a judge, but (I believe) a responsibility to do so. If you're an observer you shouldn't mention it to either player, just call a judge.
Yorion and other companion decks are no different from any other deck in this regard. A player could try to cheat by presenting a 56 card deck increase the odds of drawing the good stuff in any deck, for example.
In practice I would say it would be legal but inappropriate/bad form to request your opponent count their deck for you before every game. If you have concerns about a specific opponent who is giving you a reason to doubt that there's 80+ cards in there then I would speak to a judge. As others have mentioned, the number of cards remaining in a deck is open information and you can request it at any time, but for the sake of being a good opponent, don't be a dick about it and don't slow matches down because of it.
More generally, it is appropriate and normal to speak to a judge when you arrive at an event or between rounds and ask about these sorts of things and how the judge/judge team intend to handle specific issues like this.
it is very normal to ask a player for number of cards in library before the game. I am saying that as a mill player, but even if you're not on mill, knowing if he runs 82 cards can change your plays a bit (you know he's not as likely to hit solitude etc.)
I think there's a difference between asking before every game and counting or calling a judge to count.
When did cards in deck being open information change? Last I remember (which was a while ago, to be fair), you could only ask for cards in hand and the graveyard.
401.3 Any player may count the number of cards remaining in any player’s library at any time.
Wild. I guess I missed that when I read the comp rules. The guy who taught me told me directly that I couldn't count a library and had to derive that info from other sources. He lied about a lot of things, so I guess that shouldn't be surprising.
Yes, you may ask your opponent for any public information, such as cards in hand, their graveyard/exile, and cards remaining in their library.
Past that, you can call a judge for a card’s oracle text at any time, and frequently at high level events judges will do random deck checks to ensure that your opponent is playing the deck they’re supposed to be playing.
Actually now, since players are basically expected to have phones available at all times because companion, they are allowing players to look up their own oracle text.
I'll double check that this isn't just at regular and edit my comment.
MTR 2.12, this is not the full section
>Device use during a match other than brief personal calls must be visible to all players. Players wishing to view information privately on electronic devices during matches must request permission from a judge.
Does that apply at Competitive REL?? It looks like a Regular REL thing, but MTR != JAR.
Yes, this applies at all RELs now. The change was made in July 2021.
> A few years ago, we opened Regular Rules Enforcement Level to allow electronic device usage, and that was quite successful. Now, we're unifying the rules across all Rules Enforcement Levels—you can use your device during matches if you do it out in the open. This allows for looking up Oracle text in Gatherer, or using a die-rolling app, but keeps the concerning behavior—outside assistance—in check.
> Electronic device use is still prohibited during drafts and Limited deck building, as the idea of "publicly visible" doesn't apply as cleanly and there's no reasons to be using them during those periods.
Thanks! It looks sensible, good to know as the Comp REL scene opens up again where I am.
> such as cards in hand
"Excuse me, what cards are in your hand?"
The correct answer to this trick question is:
"Magic: the Gathering cards, duh!"
But what if I have a Pokemon card in my hand? Wouldn't I be lying then or am I allowed to lie about that information?
Working a recent event, sat down at a table as it was close to end of round. Player across the table from me draws for the turn and turns the card around for me and the opponent to see. He had just drawn a treasure token from the top of his deck that was in the same color sleeve. Asked what he should do, and I reply “luckily, that’s not actually a card. Let’s put that somewhere else and draw a real card for the turn now.”
Funny story, I brought my brother (who didn't really play magic) to FNM and gave him RDW to play. Opponent said to him "cards in hand?".
Instead of telling them the number, he just layed down his hand for them to see. Guess he thought it was like thoughtseize or something. Then he burned them out a few turns later.
I mean, they dont have to give you that info. You sure are free to ask though
You can always, at any time, check the number of cards currently in a library. It's public information and it's relevant in plenty of situations other than just Yorion. However, there's some practical consideration to it. You can't count libraries every single upkeep. If you're being unreasonable then a judge may penalize you.
With that said, if your opponent registered a Yorion deck then they registered an 80+ card deck. It would be extremely silly to intentionally present a deck other than the one you registered. If you think your Yorion opponents are intentionally presenting 79-card decks, by the same token your non-Yorion opponents might be presenting 59-card decks too. Decklist registration and random deck checks are a part of Comp REL tournaments in order to catch things exactly like this. The tiny edge one gets from presenting 59-card decks does not balance out against the risk of getting deck checked, especially since you can really only pretend it was an accident once or twice. Overall, it's just not a thing people do and the practice of counting every opponent's library at the beginning of every game is ridiculous.
If you suspect your opponent of cheating by including a companion in a deck without meeting the companion requirement, call a judge. If you want to check just because, there are almost certainly better uses of the 50 minutes assigned per round.
Isn't it pretty obvious if your opponent has a 60 card pile vs 80? If you ask to count the cards on the off chance you think your opponent registered 78 instead, that just seems paranoid. Especially for a tourney with deck lists taken before. A judge will probably check it at some point if they make it deep into the tourney.
I get people thinking I have a yorion deck all the time because of my perfect fit hards. They're much thicker than traditional perfect fits for double sleeving. If I wanted to at a local event I could probably get away with playing Yorion companion in a 60 card deck based off of how many times people think I just forgot to announce him.
I have been deck checked at the beginning of top 8 in literally all but one tournament at 1K level and above. Assuming your 60 card gambit works well enough to give you an edge where you make it into later rounds you almost one hundred percent will end up getting caught.
My store runs lots of comp REL events with 1 or 2 judges who play commander in a side room, don't deck check unless they are tipped off about something and only deliver small rulings. I think just making it known that 60 can look like 80 is helpful. I don't want people losing at their FNM to small-time cheaters, same as I don't want someone getting cheated in finals of a $1k. You are correct though.
> My store runs lots of comp REL events with 1 or 2 judges who play commander in a side room, don't deck check unless they are tipped off about something and only deliver small rulings
It is literally a requirement that deck checks are completed at Comp REL
I would think it's less about registering an illegal deck (especially with printed decklists) and more of "forgetting" to put some cards back in between matches kind of in the same vein as pre-sideboarding against a known opponent's deck.
You are 100% allowed to count your opponents deck when they present it for shuffle and cut.
Can I check my opponent deck if he got a lurrus to verify his deck only had 2 CMC in it?
But why? If they ever play/reveal a permanent cmc>2 you can call them on it then, and if they don’t it didn’t benefit them in any way
You can have a judge check
Number of cards in hand or deck and cards in exile and graveyard are all open information. When I used tocplay dredge people would ask how many cards I have in deck and after the first time they ask they would often just pick it up and count. If they tell you no when you ask for anything that is open information you can call a judge.
Pile shuffle their deck and count (What it's actually for)
Don't be this kind of magic player.
You can count but I usually put their deck next to mine and eyeball it.