Communication Policy Violation


The Communication Policy Violation (IPG 3.7) is one of the most misunderstood violations in the IPG. The main reason for that is that a lot of judges believe it applies way more often than it actually does.


In this exercise we’ll talk about the actual infraction and what it does, or doesn’t, cover, and how to know whether you’re in CPV territory, or dealing with a plain old miscommunication between the players.


Before we dive in, you should probably do a quick read of the Player Communication (MTR 4.1) section of the MTR. If you paid attention, you noticed that the MTR section and the infraction have similar names. That’s not a coincidence - the two are related.

The Infraction

This infraction is very straightforward: a player violates the Player Communication policy detailed in the MTR. It doesn’t apply to any other kind of communication problems. The penalty is a warning.

A player refusing to tell their opponent how many cards are in their hand? CPV

A player thinks their opponent said “resolve” when they cast Dissolve? Not CPV




And the fix? If a player performed an action based on bad information given to them by their opponent, consider a backup to the point of the action (not the point of the bad information).


Simple infraction, simple fix. Just make sure you don’t abuse it.


For more (good) information, read these:

Communication Policy Violation (IPG 3.7)

Player Communication (MTR 4.1)

You can also read Toby Elliott’s blog for more details


You think you can handle some game situations gone horribly wrong? For each situation, please answer these three questions:

What is the infraction (and why)?

What is the penalty (and to which player)?

How do you fix it (and why)?

1. Situation 1

AP asks NAP how many cards they have in their hand. NAP answers “two”. NAP casts Fatal Push to destroy one of AP’s creatures, and AP notices that NAP has two cards in hand. When asked about it, NAP says that two cards stuck together and it messed the counting.

2. Situation 2

AP declares attackers. NAP points a creature in a 45° angle, says “This one is untapped”, straightens it and declares it as a blocker. AP calls for a judge.

3. Situation 3

Before the declare attackers step, NAP tells AP “if you attack me, I’ll just Silverstrike your creature. When NAP wins a turn later, they reveal their hand which has no Silverstrike in it.

4. Situation 4

NAP has a Gifted Aetherborn in Chinese on the battlefield. AP asks what it does, and NAP says it has lifelink. AP attacks and NAP blocks with Gifted Aetherborn, and then says that it also has deathtouch. AP calls a judge claiming he wouldn’t have attacked if he knew it had deathtouch.

5. Situation 5

AP asks NAP how many energy counters they have, to which NAP answers “count”.

6. Situation 6

AP asks NAP what’s their life total and NAP answers “eleven”. AP calls a judge saying that NAP is lying. NAP replies that he said “seven”, not “eleven”, even though he really said eleven at first. This is also confirmed by a spectator.

7. Situation 7

AP asks NAP for the number of cards in hand, and NAP answers “five”. AP then casts Duress, and while looking at the hand, notices there are only three cards. AP calls a judge claiming that they wouldn’t have cast Duress if the hand contains only three cards.

8. Situation 8

AP calls a judge because NAP is unable to detail all the actions taken since the game started, which should be free information, and asks for a warning for CPV to be issued.

9. Situation 9

Players disagree on life totals, but only AP has the life total written down. The game has progressed in a way that none of the players can fully recreate all the actions that resulted in life total changes.

10. Situation 10

AP attacks, and NAP, who’s at a very low life total, has no way to block without taking lethal damage. NAP looks at the cards in hand, and sees something that might help, so he decides to call a judge and ask a rules question. When NAP calls “Judge”, AP accidentally hears GG, and scoops, thinking the opponent just conceded.