Sunday, November 9, 2014

How to protect yourself from cheating players in paper MtG?

Recently, there is a lot of buzz about cheating in paper MtG. DCI have even taken action and banned dishonest players. This article is not about moralising, but about protecting yourself from such players at tournaments. Obey these rules and you will be safe. Forewarned is forearmed.

- Clean the table - put away anything you don't need and ask your opponent to do the same. Don't get lost in the clutter. Assure, that sideboards are in deckbox. Some players try cheating by drawing cards from the top of sideboard.
- Always shuffle deck of your opponent if you have opportunity to do so.
- When your opponent is shuffling your deck, look back and forth between their eyes and your deck. Make sure your deck is face down and away from them. Make sure the top card of your deck is changing when they shuffle.
- Call judge whenever you are confused, the game state is unclear or weird. Don't take for granted what your opponent says.
- Take your time, don't rush even if your opponent sends you signs that he is impatient. You are obligated to play a pace conducive to finishing a match in the allotted time, not at the pace your opponent demands. On the contrary, if your opponent is playing really fast (usually combo deck players) ask him to slow down. You must understand what is currently going on during the game.
- Whenever you notice that your opponent is constantly spending about 40 seconds before taking any action don't hesitate to call judge and ask him to watch your match for pace of play. Do it as soon as possible if your opponent is without doubt stalling the game. Be aware of situation when he may have several potential plays so that he needs a little bit more time to think it off.
- Use notepad / smartphone to count life. Confirm any changes with your opponent.
- Clear the area behind you. Especially, if there are friends of your opponent who may share information about your hand nonverbally. This doesn't even need to be intentional. Sometimes facial expression might say more than thousand words.
- Keep counting cards of your opponent in early phase of the game. Drawing an extra card after a mulligan / during game is a common practice.
- Make sure your opponents completely resolve their spells. If Brainstorm was casted, make sure that two cards were put on the top of library.

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