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Important Things to Know Before You Go:

0. Your proper conduct is vital to a successful event. Don't break the law, be unsportsmanlike, sloppy, late, unattentive, offensive in odor or behavior, or act out. Be there before the start time of the event. Don't give your Deck an inappropriate name. HotC reserves the right to modify your deck name if they feel it is inappropriate. Extreme violations of this rule can lead to Game Loss and/or Disqualification.

For Regionals and Nationals, if you are not in the venue at the start time of the tournament, you will not be able to enter the tournament. We strongly suggest you arrive early.

0. In Regionals, you may choose the name of the My Logicalist card that you use when you reveal your My Logicalist. This is because some areas may not have had the opportunity to get My Logicalists for certain Logicalists.

1. Your decks must have proper HotC translations if necessary, and be legal.
This means either A: HotC Translation slips in all of the cardsleeves or B: The physical reference cards (color or B/W) printed single-sided and provided under the individual card pages on HotC (example, under the "Reference Card" link on that card's page) for all Japanese cards, and only translations that directly pertain to the cards in your deck - electronic translations, such as having them on your mobile phone, are not allowed. More info below)
- A printout of all the cardsleeve inserts with the ones you used 'circled' is not legal.
- A printout of the textfile with all the cards is not legal.
- A printout of the textfile with just the cards you are using and images put next to them is not legal.
- A printout of reference card without the images, or too faded to read easily, or shrunk, is not legal.
- A double-sided printout is not legal.
- A thing you made yourself by copying the text off the HotC site and putting it in your own format is not legal.
- A cardsleeve insert made of the reference card and not of the cardsleeve is not legal.
- A cardsleeve insert without the bottom 'chunk' cut out so that you can't see the power without sliding it up is not legal.
- A cardsleeve insert improperly cut out (not along the black lines) is not legal.
- An application that shows translations is not legal.
- "I only shunk them a little bit so I could fit them on a page" is not legal.
- "I know / Everyone knows what my cards do so I don't need them" is not legal.
- "The person running the tournament says we don't need them" is not legal.

Either A: all of your cards have a properly-cut-out cardsleeve insert from our cardsleeve inserts in them all facing the same way (even if the cards are not Japanese, so that all cards are the same width), or B: you have printed the Reference Card directly from the HotC Reference Card Link (or screenshotted the complete card and printed it in another program without making it smaller, or editing it in any way) for each card that you play that is non English. No other methods are legal. Failure to follow this rule will make you ineligible for Entry.

We suggest you simply open up the Reference Card page for each of your cards in your browser and hit "Print". Cut those out, and there you go (assuming you actually printed the correct cards, and your printout is readable, and so on).

This isn't hard. Reference Card Link. Print. Repeat. Done.

As long as the cardtext/name/gameplay data is identical, you may use the standard rarity Reference Card / Insert for the non-foil/SP/RR/SP/CR/etc. version of a card. Note that this does not allow you to use the wrong Card ID on your Decklist, or the TD for the BP, or so on. This allows you only to use one Reference Card for your 3 RR + 1 SP of a card, or a standard Reference Card for the foil and non-foil version of an EB card. You must alert your openent when you play a card that does not match the picture on the reference card.

Should you have a legal card that is not yet translated on HotC, please contact us, and we will give you a temporary translation, and contact your Regional saying it is legit. You give the translation of your card to your opponent when A: you play it to the Field, B: you activate its ability, or C: when it is in an open zone or referenced on a card in an open zone, is also in an open zone, and your opponent asks for it. (in case A and B you give it to them whether or not they ask) If a card is not in any open zone, and not currently resolving, your opponent does not require the translation - however, you cannot take back any translation while they are reading it. (It is the equivalent of your opponent asking you to wait while they read one of your cards)

2. Know how to play properly. The How to Play has a long, detailed Comprehensive Manual. Read it. Print it out and bring it with you, if you want. This includes knowing how to treat your opponent's cards with respect. No hitting them with your nails, bending or crushing sleeves when you have control of any of them, and so on. Also, you should take care to not skip steps. Level before you start your Main Phase. Keep Intercept and Logic Definition separate. Clearly say "Pass" when you are out of Limit, even if you have no Limit. Also, Closed Zones are Closed for a reason. Looking at Closed Zones is not allowed. This means "looking at your opponent's deck while shuffling it", and so on. Also, Do not interefere with matches. No commenting on matches or the players in them, no talking about what people in a match / at the table are playing, none of that. If you do something that a player that you are not currently playing could say affected your game, you could be penalized.

3. Your sleeves / cards can't be marked. Marked means a lot of things. There's more info below on what to look out for.

4. Learn how to randomize a deck. 'Stick your 8 Paradoxes in at equal intervals and do a five-second overhand shuffle' is not randomizing. Looking at the bottom of the deck during the shuffle or cut is not randomizing. When you shuffle, you should shuffle well enough that it doesn't matter what you started with. To be specific - if you are 'pre setting up' your Waiting Room so you 'shuffle well', you can be called on improper shuffling (which can be taken as a Slow Play issue, if you hold up the game to do pre-sorting), because there is no reason to do that if you are shuffling properly. More info on Shuffling below.

5. You should Pre-register, and pre-fill out a Decklist in pen or typed on a computer. The person running your regionals is not allowed to look at your Decklist without the Head Judge's permission. Should you win, they will be looking at it to perform a deck check, but they are not allowed to discuss the contents of anyone's deck - as the only people that will have seen it are you, the advisor, and us at HotC. Decklists may be made public by HotC after Nationals.

Click here for the Blank Deck List.

Print one and fill it out in (via a computer or pen) in advance. If your Deck List is incorrect, you can get removed from Top Cut - it has happened at the National Level before. Yes, we need the whole name and whole number. Yes, you have to put the card down as both the TD and BP versions if you have both in your deck. Yes, SPs are different numbers from the regular versions, as are RPs, as are SRs.
- Having the TD ID number for your cards when you play the BP version is a Deck List Failure.
- Having more or less than 50 cards in your Main Deck and/or listed is a Deck List Failure.
- Having more or less than 10 cards in your Gate Deck and/or listed is a Deck List Failure.
- Having the wrong ID number for a card because you play different versions of it is a Deck List Failure.
- Decklist failures are a minimum of a Game Loss. If it is a Top Cut Deck Check, this will get you removed from the standings completely.
- While you do not have to have the rarity of the card (the letters after the space), you are allowed to, and you do need to have everything that denotes the card ID, so we strongly suggest you put everything down. For example: The "full ID" of a certain card is, for example, "EB01/048 CP". The following are the only legal ways to write that: 1. "EB01/048" 2. "EB01/048 CP". That's it. "1/48", "048", "EB01" are all illegal. As such, we are telling people to write the entire ID, so we do not encounter these problems.

Every card must have the full and proper Card ID for your decklist to be legal. Everything listed in the card ID area is the Full ID. Failure to follow this may get you a Game Loss.

6. This is a WGP side event, run by Heart of the Cards, supported by Bushiroad.

7. Anyone can enter, even if they aren't a US citizen.

8. Once you qualify for an invitation, you cannot play in any other Regional. Be sure to read the Advisor / Winner Manual to see what you need to do!

9. If an advisor tells you to "Hold", freeze. Do not under any circumstances touch your deck - if after a "Hold" was called because you have been assigned a deck check due to somone saying you had tapped sleeves, and you tap your deck down before the Judge or advisor takes it, you could be immediately Disqualified.

10. The person running your regionals is not the Head Judge. The Head Judge is available via Skype or Cell Phone during the tournament. Ask the advisor to talk to them if you need to. To ask for the Judge / an Advisor, raise your hand and say "Judge". When you win a match, raise your hand and say "Report".

11. If you don't like a ruling that your advisor makes, you can appeal to the Head Judge, available via Skype or phone. This is only if you feel they are in error - if you screw up, and you actually screwed up, the Head Judge is not going to overturn what the advisor said. If the Advisor does not allow you to escalate, or you think the Advisor is doing something sketchy, contact us immediately via email or Twitter.
Tournament Checklist and Procedure:
__ Did you preregister?
__ Did you bring your properly sleeved, legal Main and Gate deck, extra sleeves, proper translations, and completed decklist?
(NO textfile / text-only printouts. NO unsleeved slips. NO electronics / apps. In-sleeve Translations, or HotC Reference Cards, ONLY.)
__ Did you read all and understand all of the information in the Manual and on this page?
__ Did you do your Decklist properly?
(FULL Card Id for EACH CARD. TD / BP cards are different. SP/SR/RR cards can be different.)
__ Did you get enough sleep, eat properly, and make sure you are properly following all hygiene and clothing rules for HotC and the location?

__ Check in with Advisor
__ Sign Signup Sheet
__ Hand them folded deck list filled out via computer or written in pen with name and Confirmation # showing
(fold bottom up to top, covering all BUT your name and Conf#)
__ Fill Out Player Slip and give back to Advisor

__ Wait to move to seat until all pairings are announced
__ Shuffle up, offer cut to opponent (which can be a cut or shuffle, if the opponent shuffles, you get last cut)
__ Rock Paper Scissors when told to (on the four count - "Rock, Paper, Scissors, Shoot", pumping fist on each word, throwing chosen symbol on "Shoot")
__ Final Five - Set up Gates, each Draw 5, turn player mulligans, then other player mulligans
__ Begin Play when told to
If you need a Judge, freeze, raise hand, say "Judge". This freeze stops your clock
If opponent raises hand and says "Judge", freeze.
If you are not satisfied with the ruling, you may "Escalate" - you will be put in contact with HotC for final ruling
__ When you finish playing, maintain game state, await 20/10/5 minute warning / freeze at-time-over, and raise hand when asked for "Reports"
__ If *you* win, *your* Player Slip (the one with *your* name on the very top) will have a W by your opponent's name, and *their* slip will have an L next to *your* name.
__ After match, make sure to return to play area by end of round
__ Do not modify your deck without express permission from HotC until after End of Tournament (and Interviews)

__ If in Top Cut / Winner's Circle, present deck for deck check
__ If not in Top Cut / Winner's Circle, standby, in case failed Deck Checks put you in Top Cut
__ After Top Cut / Winner's Circle announcement, get a Promo if you haven't already. If there are not enough Promos, you have a chance to get a promo - if not, the Judge will have instructions on how you get it
__ If Winner, you MUST get your picture taken and submit an Interview Report with HotC before you leave - the Judge will ask you to fill one out

Decks / Sleeves / Mats

Decks must either have 100% translation sleeves, or the player must either have a sheet or set of index cards (or other multi-sheet device) of the Reference Cards (not the inserts, or the raw text file) to allow the opposing player to understand the cards in English. You cannot simply print out the translation of your entire set and circle the ones that matter (you also cannot X out ones that aren't used). You cannot print out just the sleeve inserts and hand them to your opponent. We suggest printing the english translation card (available on each card's translation page) and placing them on 3x5 cards (if it is too long for the card, let it hang off the bottom instead of modifying it). These translations must be revealed for every card as it is first played to the Field, or for any card in an open zone at the opponent's request. Reference cards are available on the individual card translation pages of this site. Should a card not yet have a translation, and you have not contacted HotC for it, an authorized judge will translate it on-the-spot. Note that willingly misrepresenting a card is cheating.

Deck randomization is a serious matter. A shuffle is a randomization followed by an opponent cut. Simply 'fanning in' Paradoxes on Deck Refresh and performing a few overhand shuffles is not sufficient - randomization must be done to a point that it does not matter if Paradoxes or other cards were placed in deliberately prior to shuffling. Players must use at least one full table/riffle/bridge shuffle when they randomize a deck, and if the opponent is not satisfied, the opponent may request to randomize the deck themselves (and they are responsible for the safey of those cards while doing so). According to comprehensive rules, an opponent may instead 'shuffle' a deck as opposed to 'cut' it. Being able to randomize a deck without damaging the sleeves is a required skill to enter the tournament. If you cannot due to physical disability, please contact your Tournament Organizer in advance so you can bring someone to help you shuffle. Players must take care to preserve the quality of all cards they touch. The shuffle taught to Judges is a 7x Faro + Bulk (non-single card, over and under) Monhegan, followed by a cut. You may not request a Judge Shuffle for no reason. In cases like this, a judge may choose to watch the opponent shuffle the deck to be sure they do not damage the cards. Damaging cards through carelessness can warrant Game Loss or Disqualification penalties, as well as reporting to proper authorities for destruction of property.

A 'cut' is a single 0-50 card removal as a pile from the top of a deck in order at once, then the remain cards placed on top. It is not a three-pile shuffle, it is not a bridge, it is not anything but a single cut. If you do more than this, you did not cut, you shuffled - which means your opponent then gets to cut their own deck. If you do not trust the randomization, ask them to do it again. If you still are not satisfied, call for a Judge. If all you have is an advisor, ask them to watch you and your opponent randomize the deck, and to be careful. Don't ever hurt another player's cards, you are responsible for damage (this includes hard side-tapping with your fingernail).

If your opponent must choose / view your cards from a hidden zone without you being able to see ( such as Stock, or Deck - note that this is exceedingly rare), you must use a capable neutral third-party to show translations for each to your opponent. Use the Advisor. If the advisor is in the match, the two of you must agree on a third party. If you cannot, contact the Head Judge.

The deck you play in a Regional does not have to be the same in any way to what you bring to other Regionals or Nationals. You cannot, however, change your deck mid-Tourney, or between any Swiss / Double-Elim and Top Cut within the same Tourney.


- three sleeves per card max (example: "penny", sleeve, oversleeve)
- must be sleeved
- sleeves cannot be damaged
- all cards must be identically sleeved as others in their deck (Main and Gate should use different sleeves)
- 1 card per sleeve
- sleeves must be transparent over all areas of card text and information (this means no printed matte finish on the face-up side, and any holographic stickers or other opaque areas must not cover any card information).
- cannot use sleeves that unnecessary slow / impede shuffling (if hard sleeving, you better be good at shuffling)
- Note that purchased sleeves are not necessarily uniform. You may buy sleeves that have some that are shorter than others, or have a fold in the corner. In Regional and greater events, it is your responsibility to use uniform sleeves.
- Oversleeves with printing of any sort will be very thoroughly examined, as we have had instances of players hiding marks underneath the printed parts of oversleeves before. We strongly suggest that if you use oversleeves, you only use 100% clear oversleeves, so as to avoid any possible miscommunications.
- These rules are also enforced by the Deck Check. If you make it through an entire tournament with a winning position (a high enough ranking to receive a prize / invitation), you should expect as least one. Decks and their sleeves are checked thoroughly for any evidence of deceit. For example, if all of your sleeves are slightly worn, but the four cards with the most wear in the upper-left corners are the Grade 1 part of your Ride chain (Cardfight!! Vanguard) or your Door Trigger Climax (WeiB Schwarz) or your Paradox (Luck & Logic), you should expect at least a Game Loss. For example, if all of your Climaxes (WS) are at the top of your sleeves (so they can be noted when looking at the top of the sleeve from the side) or perhaps have an identical crinkle on the right side, that is an equal penalty.

What are marked sleeves / cards?
Marked sleeves are cards that someone can identify while they are face down as being different than other cards. This is the most common form of cheating at HotC tournaments, and as such we are very strict on our sleeve rules.
- "My sleeves are scuffed from playing" Change them.
- "My sleeves were slightly different lengths when I bought them I did not shave them" Change them.
- "That is some dirt on the edges from my deck box" Change them.
- "These are just reflective because that is the sleeve material" Change them.
- "My cards just happen to be tapped in at different lengths from casual play" Tap all cards in to the same depth.
- "How do people cheat" We have personally seen the following at events: Tactics cards put in slightly shorter sleeves. L1s tapped to a higher sleeve depth than the rest of the cards. Well worn sleeves with crumples in the corner for L4s, side for Paradox. Patterned sleeves with tiny scratches to show Tactics. Reversed oversleeves on L4s. Players with tapped decks 'tapping them back to normal' when a judge asks for them to check / at the end of a game. Players putting their Paradoxes in their Drop Zone upside down so they are reversed on refresh. Players heating their deck so the CR Paradoxes bend slightly more so they can tell which is which. And so, so much more.
- "So does that mean I should have extra sleeves on me just in case" Yes.
- "But I use all CP Paradoxes and they naturally bend I can't help it" Flatten them or change them.
- "So what do you officially recommend for the tournament" Sleeving your tournament deck in new sleeves with new oversleeves, and bringing a pack of extras of each layer. Before the tournament 'deck checking yourself' to make sure that it doesn't just happen that all your Paradoxes are in shorter sleeves. Making absolutely sure your cards look the same from all four sides, flattening any cards bent due to foiling, or simply changing them out for the non-foil versions if you cannot.
- "That is crazy, no one would do these things, that is silly" It happens in every card game, all the time. The judge team for HotC has a combined thirty years of official TCG judge experience, and we have seen everything here happen so many times it isn't even surprising any more. While we strive to have a fun and engaging experience, and we have found that L&L players are some of the most friendly and welcoming players in the TCG world, there are bad apples in every competition where prizes or pride is on the line.

Marked cards are cards where defacement covers an active area of the card, or allows it to be picked out while face down. The only non-active area of a card is the artwork. So, if someone has signed your card, and it is covering the card text area, or the trigger, or the power, or name, or soul, or anything like that, it is not allowed. Regarding teling the card as different face down, this includes but is not limited to a dark marker 'inking' the edge of a card, or a hard press pushing through to the back, leaving an impression that can be seen through sleeves.

either single-sleeved in new opaque solid color sleeves or double-sleeved in new character sleeves and new oversleeves, 'tapped' in to the same level, individual reference cards for opponent translations, and extra sleeves ready for the possibility of a 'busted' sleeve. Please note we take marked decks very, very seriously, and a player who does not take proper care of their deck in a tournament environment is only hurting themselves. Things that can get you penalized: shaved sleeves, certain cards 'tapped to the top of the sleeve', crumples that allow us to pick out any individual cards / tech combinations / level 0s / etc, certain combinations of sleeves reversed in a deck so they can be recognized (reversing Paradoxes, etc).
Note that printed matte finish (screentone) is different than matte plastic (which is just non-shiny clear plastic). See-through matte plastic is fine for the front / back of cards, and is considered 'transparent' for ruling purposes.


- cannot be bootleg (if character picture / logo / etc., must be from legitimate rights holder - printing copyrighted designs / images on mats is not allowed. If you bought a mat from an auction site and it did not come in official packaging / official logos, or sent someone a custom picture to print that includes copyrighted images, it is probably no good)
- cannot be reflective
- if not official bushiroad L&L/non-specific product (points mat, paper mat from trial deck, universal Bushiroad rubber mat without any game markings, Bushiroad mat with L&L markings etc), opponent must approve of mat for you to use it
- If the judge decides for any reason that your mat is inappropriate, it is inappropriate and cannot be used.


- all cards must have official HotC translations made available by the player - either inserts or Reference Cards
- inserts, if used, must be identically sized and oriented within sleeves
- translations must be presented to the opposing player upon the card being chosen as a target for an effect or played / activation of an effect on them (for example - when targeted for a salvage, or played to Field).
- translations must be provided on request for any card in an open (temporarily or otherwise) zone. (for example, your opponent sees a card in your Level Zone, and asks what it does)

Language and Card Legality:

Only Japanese-language cards may be used at all events. Please bring all proper translations.


Closed zones (stock, deck, etc) must have face-down cards stored in a uniform matter. This means no 'flipping around' Paradox cards in your deck so you can tell when a Paradox is coming up, no turning them in Stock so you know which ones in Stock are Paradoxes, etc. This is ruled in HotC-run events as 'Notetaking' or 'Marking Cards', both of which are against the rules.

Moving cards from Open to Closed Zones must be confirmed. As such, when you Refresh, your opponent must confirm it before you put the cards into the Closed Zone that is the Library. This does give them the opportunity to review the cards. Note that if multiple cards are moved in a specific order simultaneously ("put a Member and its Soul into Stock"), you do not need to confirm the order that they are placed, but you do need to confirm which cards are moving.
Mandatory actions cannot be 'skipped'. Should you draw before you stand all of your Members, you must go back and stand them. Players should call a judge if they feel their opponent is pressuring or 'sharking' them.

Non-mandatory actions can be skipped. If you Level Boost before Intercepting, you have chosen not to Intercept. If you deploy a Member before Leveling, , you've passed on Leveling. If it says "may", and you don't do it, and you keep going, you didn't do it.

You can be penalized if you fail to follow appropriate 'manner' rules. This includes, but is not limited to: hygiene issues, inappropriate dress or actions, threatening your opponent, grabbing your opponent's collar, taking insufficient care of their cards (tapping on them strongly with a pointed nail, bending them, etc), making excessive / annoying noises (loudly flipping through the cards in your hand while they are thinking, talking to them, etc), rushing them (if you feel someone is slow playing, call a judge), and so on. These rules exist to make sure everyone at the tournaments has a fair time.

No spectating. We have found through speaking with players and advisors that there is no appropriate penalty to a player who gets useful information without requesting it from a third party (someone watching saying "That is their 8th Paradox" for example), and as such dishonest players may use that to their advantage. Persons not directly involved in the judging of the match, or who in any way are involved in playing, may not watch other matches.

If you require medical or other special assistance, contact HotC in advance so we can accomodate you as best we can.

Notetaking / Equipment
Players may not create any record of information gathered in-game during game, nor reference outside information gathered other than official rules and translations. Note that this covered using your cards and play area to store data (turning cards in your Level upside down to denote Paradoxes remaining, etc). No outside equipment, electronic or otherwise (paper, pencil, watch, clock, phone, timer, etc) may be used during or for your match. Should outside equipment or an assistant be required, contact HotC in advance so we can accomodate you.
Player Problems

I lost my confirmation number!
Register again, and write it down this time. Your new number is your new 'place in line'. If you don't have your confirmation number, you aren't registered, and are treated as such by the Judges when it comes to promos and whatnot.

I never got my promo at my event!
If the event did not have their promos in time (customs issues are a continual issue in overseas Organized Play), the person assisting should have told you about the Promo Promotion. Make sure you know your Player Number, and then read more here.
Tournament Format

(the following is subject to change without notice)
Regional / Last-Chance Tournaments are Best-of-1 Swiss, with (minimum 3) rounds until there are one or less X-0 players (or 6 rounds maximum). At this point, Strength of Schedule determines the Top Cut, equal to the number of invites, into an unseeded Best-of-1 Single Elimination. Strength of schedule is based on wins, losses via Slow play, opponent's win percentage (minimum 1/3 wins), opponent's opponent's win percentage (minimum 1/3 wins), and playoff. Nationals is a Swiss Double Elimination with a specialized Top Cut selection to a randomized Top Cut - more information is available here: Nationals Tournament Format.

Time Limits
L&L Best of one matches are 40 minutes. This includes time taken to present translations to the opponent. Time starts when the round starts, which is after the "Final five" (which is 1. shuffle and cut both decks 2. RPS, winner is the turn player and goes first 3. both sides draw five and set up gates 4. turn player bottomdecks up to five and draws to five 5. opponent discards up to five and draws to five). You are told when 20, 10, and 5 minutes remain. In L&L, games that go to time without Slow Play calls are Double Losses, there is no sudden death. In the Swiss format, a Double Loss is worth zero points (the same as a loss), so it is in both players' best interests to play expediently and watch for slow play. Should you believe your opponent is playing in a manner that will not allow you to reach a match conclusion, notify a Judge of Slow Play immediately (during game). That Judge will view your actions, tell any players that are playing too slow to speed up, and grant your match additional time to offset the Slow Play. Should your opponent continue to Slow Play after the second warning, no more time extensions will be given - and if the game goes to time, the Slow Playing player will lose (and the non-Slow Playing player wins). In the Top Cut, games that go to time are wins for the turn player - however, the non-turn player should have called Slow Play by then. Doing so is their responsibility. Matches that include an active Advisor are given a 10-minute extension post-timecall. When an Active Advisor's match is interrupted for tournament business, their clock is stopped.

What sort of judging do you perform?
We perform Passive Judging. This means that our judges are not responsible for pointing out flaws in player games without a judge being called to that game. Now, this does not mean that judges are not constantly on the lookout for cheating / incorrect play - they are, and will call them accordingly. It means that if a player makes an in-game error and a judge does not see it, it is the opposing player's responsibility to actively call a judge over to rectify the situation. If someone slow plays, call them on it. If they told you a card's power was X and it was Y, call them on it. If they are intimidating you or otherwise being unsportsmanlike, call them on it. If you think they stacked their deck, call them on it. It is a player's responsibility to keep an eye on the state of the game. After a game is almost always too late to get a ruling that will change that game's outcome (for example, there is an exception for verified cheating - all directly-run HotC events are often recorded).

What if I skip an optional effect?
You have passed on that effect. If you trigger, and reveal a Gate, and move that trigger to Stock without taking the appropriate card, you have passed on that ability, and are then not allowed to do so.

What can get me a game loss?
A non-exhaustive list of things that could get you a loss: Decklist mistake. Illegal deck. Giving advice to a seated match. Asking for advice while seated in a match. Giving information about the match next to you. Being 5+ minutes late to your match. Looking through your deck/stock when you aren't allowed. Failure to maintain game state to such a state that the game cannot be redeemed. Bullying. Mocking. Intimidation. Making closed zones indistinguishable (shuffling your hand and Stock together, drawing extra cards and shuffling your hand, etc). Marked cards. Slow Play. Failure to randomize properly.

That's really strict!
Yes, it is. That is the rules. They exist so that players cannot use sloppy play as an excuse to take advantage of other players, and to keep the possibility of staff giving different penalties based on personal feelings.

What can a Judge do?
In some cases, a Judge may determine an outcome that will remove advantage for an error made. For example, if a player was supposed to give power to a member at the beginning of a turn, and it is mid-attack, they may be told to give the power to a member on a broken Gate. A player that reveals a single stock that was put into stock by a blind method may have their opponent asked if they want that card in the stock, or shuffled into Deck and a new one given. If color/world wasn't met on a Tranceunion play, and the players are on the second or third attack, the game may be rolled back, but if Level Boosts were used / Gates were revealed, those fights must be re-matched as possible, so that the turn player does not move matchups around so a Level Boost would have affected it.

Why no spectating?
Because spectators can intimidate or annoy players, reveal information about the game the players may not realize, give indications to things that happen in closed zones, signal, cheat, take advantage of being able to play faster than others to 'review the field', and on and on. No spectating means no spectating. If you are watching a game, or the players in a game, or their sleeves, or their mat, or anything at all, you are spectating. Don't.

Why is the only pairing software for Regionals allowed from HotC?
- Most pairing software does not account for certain things (like avoiding double-pairups and downs), and the Head Judge cannot guarantee that the pairing software used is not compromised in some way. Pairing software is provided to Regionals due to multiple incidents of Tournament Organizers failing to follow instructions, and in some cases willingly editing tournament structure to some players' benefit. We regularly pair 40-60 person tournaments by hand with less than 10 min downtime between rounds, including Top Cut calculation - It is simple math and proper record keeping. It is not difficult, provided the instructions are followed. However, Regionals are to use the HotC Tournament Software, as it disallows T.O.s from modifying the pairings. Regionals must have verifiable, repeatable results that can be researched by HotC, and Nationals must have repeatable, verifiable results to report, and as such are paired according to those specifics.

Why do you run the National tournament manually?
We do this because we strive for openness, all possible fair actions are done by hand and then checked by all judges present. We realize this takes a slightly longer time, especially during topcuts, but we feel the openness leads to a better tournament experience. The only thing we do via computer is the pairing shuffle, wihch is done via an atmospheric random shuffle (such as one from During this shuffle, should an illegal pair arise (previous matchup, double pair-down, etc), the two are set aside and the first legal pair is then matched with the first set aside player, second with the second, and so on. Should this not be possible due to all legal matches paired, that entire section of pairing is re-randomized. While there are a number of great pairing systems available, there is always a chance that someone may create a flawed / loaded version of that program unbeknownst to all tournament persons. Our manual system has multiple layers of checking and redundancy, and all information is easily viewable.

What is Tiebreaker priority?
In descending order:
Largest Number of (Wins + Byes)
Smallest Number of Rounds played with a non-Slow Play Timeout
Strength of Schedule: All players have a 'Personal Strength' (PS) of (Number of non-Bye Wins / Number of non-Bye Rounds played), minimum 1/3. Strength of Schedule is the average of the PS of all non-bye opponents you have faced.
Strength of Strength of Schedule: Strength of Strength of Schedule is the average of the Strength of Schedule of all non-bye opponents you have faced.
Previous Head to Head Winner: If two players are tied at this point, and have played each other previously, the previous winner is ranked higher.
1-Game Single Elimination Match (this game does not affect any other schedule)
Coin Flip (Player registered first in the lineup is Heads, selected player is ranked higher)
Please note that Ties are, for all scoring purposes, a Loss for each Tied player, it is vitally important you call Slow Play.

Click here for the Event Advisor / Invitation Winner Manual.

Why don't Invitations pass down?
Passing down invitations allows players to bargain with them, play to support other players to the detriment of solo players, increases overhead and opens the door to double-booking. Should an X place player not intend to go, that does not mean that the X+1 place player is the next strongest, and would allow players 'just outside the bubble' to influence those who are going. To avoid all of these complications, invitations do not pass down. Do not enter the regional tournaments unless you plan on going to the National event if you qualify.

Tournament Flow

- You arrive there before the event, with your sleeved deck and proper translations. When the Advisor begins taking signups, you go to them, hand them your folded decklist (folded so that only the player name and info shows), give them your name and confirmation number. They take your decklist without looking at it and put it in the decklist pile, and enter your information in the system. They fill out a Player Slip for you and place it in the Player Slip pile.
- The time of the tournament arrives. The Advisor announces the final call for signing up. The last players sign up. Signups are closed.
- The advisor announces a few things, including how to contact the Head Judge. They then begin the tournament. Should anything seem out of the ordinary or incorrect, you ask the Advisor. If you are unhappy with their answer, you contact the Head Judge.

- The advisor announces the pairings. After all pairing are announced, you take your seat next to your Player Slip, confirm your opponent's name with them, and shuffle.
- You RPS with your opponent to determine starting player. Use a four-count: "Rock, Paper, Scissors, Shoot", throwing your chosen symbol on the "Shoot". Repeat until a Turn Player is chosen (by winning RPS).
- You "Final Five": Starting with the Turn Player, each player puts out Gates, draws 5, bottom decks 0-5, then draws back up to 5. Both players then hold, and wait for the Advisor to start the round.
- The Advisor starts the round, and play begins.
- You and your Opponent play. Should you have a question or believe your opponent to by Slow Playing, you raise your hand and say "Judge". If your opponent does this, you immediately freeze. When the Judge comes over, you resolve the situation with them. If you are unhappy with the resolution, you ask to Appeal to the Head Judge. The Head Judge's ruling is final.
- When someone wins, both players freeze, and the winner waits for the 20/10/5/0 minute time call, and raises their hand when asked to "Report". The Advisor will come over (this may take a bit of time) ask them who won. They reply with their name. The other player is asked if this is correct, and if it is, the other player says "Yes". The Player slips are filled out - the slip of the winning player will have a "W" written on it to the right of their opponent's name, and the other player will have an "L" on their slip to the right of the winner's name. Both players confirm that their slips are correct - at this point, the match results are set, and the players can clean up their cards. The Advisor takes the slips back to the head table.
- When time is over, the Advisor will say "Freeze", and everyone freezes. Players that have not had time added onto their match due to Advisor interruptions lose. After this is taken care of, Players that do have time remaining will be unfrozen to play the remainder of their match.
- At any time after their match, but before the beginning of the next round, a player may Drop by telling the Advisor.

- Deck checks are performed randomly. The Advisor will be notified by the Head Judge if a Deck Check needs to be done randomly.
- The event continues until A: at least three rounds have finished and there are one or less undefeated players, or B: six rounds have completed. At this point, The Top X Players (where X is equal to the number of Spots this Regional grants) will be deck checked, and if they pass, they will receive an invite. Should they fail, the spot drops down to the next highest-ranked player. Note that players that resleeve or modify their deck post-tournament but pre deck-check may be considered cheating.
- Players that receive spots must get their picture taken, and fill out a short interview and contact sheet prior to leaving the event space. They will be contacted by Heart of the Cards via the information on this sheet - mistakes could cost them their invite. Should players who earn spots not hear from HotC within 1 week, players should contact HotC to determine the problem.
- Players that leave collect their promotional material. Should there not be any available, the Advisor will instruct them on how to obtain it.

Common Rulings

When a Defeated Member with Soul is moved to Stock, the order is:
1: the Defending player confirms with the Attacking player the Member and the cards in the Soul.
2: the Defending player shuffles those cards amongst themselves as they see fit without showing the Attacking player.
3: the Defending player looks at, chooses, and moves those cards one at a time to Stock. The defending player knows the order of the cards moved to Stock, the Attacking Player does not. The Attacking Player only knows the list of cards moved, not their order.

If Refresh happens during Draw Phase, the Removed card happens after Draw 2, but before Stock (as they are separate rule actions). 1 Card in deck = Draw / Refresh / Draw / Remove / Stock. 2 Cards in deck = Draw / Draw / Refresh / Remove / Stock.

If Refresh happens during Level Boost, a card is played before the Remove, but Abilities due to that card played are after. 1 Card in deck = Boost / Draw / Refresh / Play / Remove / Activate (if it is a Tactics for example).

Are Logicalists/Foreigners color/world-restricted? Trance?
The only rule is "deployed Tranceunion Members must match either faceup color or world". Trancing is deploying. Logicalists / Foreigners are not Tranceunions.

Can I look at my own facedown Level Zone cards?
Yes, but your Opponent cannot.

Can I look at the card moved to Stock during the Draw Phase?
No. It moved from a fully closed zone to another fully closed zone. No one gets to see it.

I have zero cards in hand and Level Boost. Is the card I play from that considered to be "from hand"?
Yes. © 2011-2018 Heart of the Cards. Intellectual Property Notice