Unclear use of card names on deck lists

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While many decklist errors are clerical, it is one of the few times a player usually has a significant period of time in advance to prepare, be cautious, and double-check themselves (except limited events without pre-printed decklists). Indeed the PG encourages judges to remind players of the consequences for submitting an illegal decklist - so all players (assuming judges are following their responsibility) should already have received a Warning prior to posting of round 1. In practice its likely that a judge only makes announcements after players have completed their decklists, but this announcement should be made prior to picking up decklists and provide 5 minutes for players to review their lists before collecting.

I also can't stress enough the need to check decklists early. Catching decklist errors late in a tournament sets you up to want to increase penalties, and can be unfair to those caught later, than earlier for the same infraction. Even if this causes a 10 minute delay in a tournament, its worth it.

The crux of what we are discussing actually is this: When the title of the card written isn't an actual card is it an illegal decklist or a procedural error (and what level)?

We already know that listing 'Phyrexian Debaser' vs 'Phyrexian Defiler' is a procedural error - minor (Caution). But these are both actual cards. What occurs when the listed card isn't the title of an actual card? Is this an illegal main decklist (for decklist contains cards that are illegal for the format).

The answer is clearly these are all Procedural Errors as they don't meet the three conditions of an illegal main decklist (see PG #101)

But what level of error (minor, major, severe)?

Case #1: Abbreviation (player shortcut) - clear.

'Arg.Wurm' = Argothian Wurm : no other possibility _currently_ exist
'Logic'= Circular Logic: no other possibility _currently_ exist
'COP Red'=Circle of Protection: Red (I stress currently here, because there likely will be something in the future - and then you will have a different penalty occur to this player for the same action he took some months ago.)

Penalty Minor (Caution) - "Someday there might exists another possibility and you should be more careful since you had the time prior to the tournament to write it out."

Case #2: Abbreviation (player shortcut) - unclear but limited.

'Ar.Wurm' = Argothian Wurm or Arrogant Wurm
'Vengeance' = Akroma's Vengeance or Vengeance
Or clear cases, but used slang.
'FTK' = Flame-Tongued Kavu
'Finkel' = Shadowmage Infiltrator

Penalty Major (Warning) - "This can be confused for another card. You should write out the full name whenever possible and when not, at least enough to not be confused with another card. For example 'Ak.Vengeance' would have been sufficient for a caution but you didn't listen to the importance of getting your decklist accurate."

In all cases verify the actual card and modify the _decklist_ to match the physical contents of the deck at the time of the check. If rounds have passed, a check with previous opponents is in order. If the investigation turns up more contrary information proceed to intentional infraction. Do not assume you know what the card should be.

In cases where there are multiple instances of such on a single decklist, you should upgrade the penalty for multiple infractions.

In all cases you can upgrade to Game Loss if you gave the requisite pre-tournament warning and reminded players of the consequences for submitting an illegal decklist, especially at REL3+ events - at REL2 or lower you might warn that such could be easily upgraded to Game Loss.

Case #3: Abbreviation (player shortcut) - stupidly unclear or unreadable (even with second opinion).

'Wurm' = [I'm not listing all 43 - go to Gatherer to find out]
'COP' = [Again - see Gatherer for the 8 choices]
'Phyrexian' = [I'm not listing all 43 - go to Gatherer to find out]
'l-H Dr@g#^' = Two-Headed Dragon in really bad handwriting.

Penalty Severe (Game Loss) - "This can be confused for many other cards or I cannot decipher what you wrote here. You should write out the full name in clear print whenever possible and when not, at least enough to not be confused with another card. For example 'A. Wurm' would have been sufficient for a warning but you didn't listen to the importance of getting your decklist accurate. I'm giving you a Game Loss "

In all cases verify the actual card and modify the _decklist_ to match the physical contents of the deck at the time of the check. If rounds have passed, a check with previous opponents is required. If the investigation turns up more contrary information proceed to intentional infraction.

In cases where there are multiple instances of such on a single decklist, you should upgrade the penalty for multiple infractions.

In all cases you can upgrade to Match Loss if you gave the requisite pre-tournament warning and reminded players of the consequences for submitting an illegal decklist, especially at REL3+ events - at REL2 or lower you might warn that such could be easily upgraded to Match Loss.

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