7. Limited Tournament Rules PDF Print E-mail

The rules in this section apply to all Limited tournaments, including Sealed-Deck tournaments (sections 7.3 and 7.4) and Draft tournaments (sections 7.5, 7.6, 7.7, and 7.8).

 

7.1. Limited Formats

The V:EKN sanctions the following Sealed formats:

  • Sealed (standard) (see section 7.3)
  • Restricted Trade (also called Michigan Draft) (see section 7.4)

The V:EKN sanctions the following Draft formats:

  • Booster Draft (standard) (section 7.6)
  • Table Draft (also called Rochester Draft) (section 7.7)
  • Mixed Draft (also called Elder Draft) (section 7.8)

7.2. General Limited Format Rules

7.2.1. Limited Deck Composition

The minimum sizes for the library and the crypt in limited formats are determined by the number of boosters used per player. If any starters are used, the minimums are forty for the library and twelve for the crypt.

If eight or more boosters are used per player, the library minimum is forty. Otherwise, the minimum for the library is five cards per booster, and see Recursion (section 7.2.2) below for the mechanism used to increase the effective size of the library.

In all cases, the library cannot contain more than ninety cards.

If twelve or more boosters are used per player, the crypt minimum is twelve. Otherwise, the minimum for the crypt is equal to the number of booster packs used per player.

Crypts may contain cards from any groups without any limitations based on group numbers.

Note: The rules based on number of boosters assume that each booster pack has eleven cards. When using boosters from the sets that don't have eleven cards in each booster (e.g., the original 1994 and 1995 base sets, or from the Dark Sovereigns, Ancient Hearts, or The Sabbat expansions), then calculate the effective number of 11-card-boosters by dividing the total number of cards by 11 (rounded to the nearest whole number). Use that number to find the minimum deck sizes (this section) and the number of recursions (next section).

 

7.2.2. Recursion

When the minimum library size is less than forty, each player gets a number of recursions based on that minimum size. (The term recursion is based on the draft format which inspired it, the Internal Recursion Draft format, also known as Swainbank Draft).

Each recursion allows the player to use a discard phase action to shuffle all the library cards in his or her ash heap back into his or her library. This can be done whether or not there are any cards left in the player's library or hand. A player is not considered to have exhausted his or her library if he or she has any recursions remaining (which means that a player cannot attempt to withdraw if he or she has any recursions left, for instance).

The number of recursions is chosen to make the effective library size (the size of the library multiplied by the number of times the player goes through the library) as close to sixty as possible. The following table shows the number of recursions each player gets based on the number of booster packs used per player.

Boosters

 

Minimum
Crypt

 

Minimum
Library

 

Recursions


12+


12


40


0

11


11


40


0

10


10


40


0

9


9


40


0

8


8


40


0

7


7


35


1

6


6


30


1

5


5


25


1

4


4


20


2

3


3


15


3

2


2


10


5

1


1


5


11

Note that sixty is used for the effective library size rather than forty, because players will typically want to use recursion before their hands are empty, and because some library cards may be in play area or may have been removed from the game during play (and therefore not returned to the library by recursion).

 

7.2.3. Limited Deck Registration

The head judge or tournament organizer may require players to record on a decklist every card they receive in a Limited tournament. Once the cards are registered, players have a limited amount of time to prepare their decks before play begins. The V:EKN recommends that organizers check a reasonable number of decks against their decklists each round.

 

7.2.4. Card Use - Limited Tournaments

All cards players use in Limited events must be received directly from tournament officials. Every player receives identical sealed product (same number and assortment of booster packs as every other player in the tournament), with the possible exception of preconstructed starter decks. If any preconstructed starter decks are used, they may be distributed randomly to the players. The organizer may require that players use the decks they are randomly given, or may allow the players to trade starters amongst themselves before opening any of the sealed product (starters or boosters).

Optionally, the organizer may have the players bring their own sealed product, with whatever restriction to set(s) and/or number of boosters and/or starters from each set the organizer chooses. These restrictions must be advertised well in advance of the tournament. In these cases, the players won't necessarily have identical product.

Players may use only the actual cards they receive or draft at a Limited tournament plus any additional cards specifically provided by the tournament organizer. Players may not trade or replace the cards they receive or draft at a Limited tournament with any other cards, even if the replacement is an exact copy. If a card is damaged or otherwise considered "marked," players must comply with section 7.2.5 - Abnormal Decks, Boosters, and Cards.

 

7.2.5. Abnormal Cards or Boosters

Players who have an abnormal number of cards in the decks or booster packs they receive must inform the head judge, who may replace the deck or booster pack at his or her discretion. If a player receives a "marked" card (section 5.4), the head judge may replace that card with a proxy card at his or her discretion. (See section 4.5 - Proxy Cards)

Neither White Wolf nor the tournament organizer guarantees any specific distribution of card rarities or frequency in a particular booster pack or deck.

 

7.2.6. Early Departure and Late Arrivals

Once a player in a Limited tournament has received sealed product, he or she may not leave (withdraw from) the event prior to the conclusion of first round. If a player violates this rule, he or she must return the product he or she received from the organizer, and receives a "Loss" for the round on the official tournament record and is dropped from the tournament.

Late arrivals can be added, if the organizer permits it. The added players receive product and build decks according to the sealed deck rules, even if the tournament is a draft. This is true even if there are multiple late arrivals. They can be added into the tournament in any round after they have completed the contstruction of their decks.

7.3. Standard Sealed Deck Tournament Rules

7.3.1. Deck Construction

Before tournament play begins, each player receives an assortment of sealed product. Each player then creates a tournament deck that meets the Sealed-Deck size requirements found in the game's V:EKN Floor Rules. Players are given a set amount of time, determined by the event organizer, in which to construct their decks.

The head judge or tournament organizer may require players to record on a decklist every card they intend to play in their decks. Failure to properly record the cards being played will result in the head judge applying the appropriate provisions of the V:EKN Penalty Guidelines.

 

7.3.2. Sealed Deck Swap

A Standard Sealed Deck event may require participants to perform a sealed-deck swap. In a sealed deck swap, players do not play with the decks they originally receive at the event. Instead, the sealed product - as well as deck-registration sheets - are handed out to all players in the event. Players open their decks and record the contents on their deck-registration sheets. This process is called "registering a deck". A tournament official will then collect the sealed product and the corresponding deck-registration sheets. Next, 10 to 20 percent of the decks are handed back out to the players who registered them. The remainder of the decks are handed out randomly to all players who do not have a deck. It is perfectly acceptable for players to receive their original decks back at this point. This entire process is called a sealed-deck swap. Players will then construct decks from the product they have at this time.

 

7.4. Restricted Trade Tournament Rules

Restricted Trade (also known as Michigan Draft) follows all the rules for Standard Sealed (see section 7.3), with the following changes:

 

7.4.1. Preparation for Trade

Library Cards: Each player constructs a library cards as normal, except that it must contain exactly 50 cards. Each player then selects 15 cards from his or her remaining (unused) library cards; these cards form the player's trade stock.

Crypt Cards: Each player constructs an initial crypt of 10 cards. The remaining crypt cards are kept as a sideboard. After the trading phase, each player will take two crypt cards from his or her sideboard to put into his or her crypt, bringing the crypt size up to the standard 12 cards (after which the sideboard is put away - the cards remaining in it cannot be used for the rest of the tournament).

 

7.4.2. Player Distribution

With their initial libraries, crypts, trading stock, and crypt sideboards, the players assemble randomly into trading circles (called pods) of four to five players. Pods may correspond to the Players' first round table assignments.

 

7.4.3. Trading Procedure

Players in a trading pod place the library cards in their trading stock faceup in front of them.

The player trading first from the cards presented on the table is called the active player. The first active player is the participant in the first seat, designated by the judge. After each successful (accepted) trade, the player to the left of the active player becomes the active player.

The active player offers a trade by selecting a faceup card in front of another player in the pod. The owner of the selected card may accept or decline the offer, with the following results:

  • Accept. The owner of the selected card selects a faceup card in front of the active player. The two selected cards are exchanged and placed facedown.
  • Decline. The owner of the selected card turns the selected card facedown where it is. The active player cannot select any other cards from the same player again this turn.

If the active player has no faceup cards, or if all other players decline to trade with the active player, then his or her turn is over and the player to his or her left becomes the new active player.

If only one player has any faceup cards, he or she turns them facedown.

Once all cards are facedown, the trading phase ends. The players then add two cards from their crypt sideboards to their crypts and shuffle their 15 trading stock cards into their libraries (bringing the libraries to 65 cards). Once all pods have finished the trading phase, regular tournament play begins.

7.5. General Draft Tournament Rules

7.5.1. Player Distribution

Players assemble randomly into drafting circles (called pods) of roughly equal size at the discretion of the tournament organizer or head judge. Pods may correspond to the Players' first round table assignments. A tournament official then distributes the booster packs to be drafted to each player in the pod.

As players draft the cards, they must place their cards in two orderly piles in front of them, one for library cards and one for crypt cards. Drafted cards may only be reviewed between the drafting of packs.

 

7.5.2. Draft Format

The organizer chooses the format for the draft (table draft, booster draft, etc.). The organizer may choose different formats for each sealed product, and may choose to use some of the product in a "sealed deck" format rather than drafting it. For example, the organizer may specify that players will use preconstructed starters as sealed deck and then add cards from two booster packs (per player) drafted using booster draft rules.

 

7.5.3. Draft Card Selection

Before the tournament begins, the head judge must announce how much time each player has to select a card. If a player fails to select a card in the time given, the pod judge issues that player a random card from the cards from which the player is selecting.

 

7.5.4. Deck Construction

Once drafting is complete, players are given a set amount of time, determined by the event organizer, in which to construct their decks from the cards they drafted. The decks must be constructed according to the specifications of section 7.2.1. The head judge or tournament organizer may require players to record on a decklist every card they intend to use in their decks, as well as all cards they drafted.

 

7.6. Booster Draft Procedure

At a signal from a tournament official, each player opens the booster pack specified by the official and counts the cards. If a player does not have the appropriate number of cards in his or her booster pack, he or she must notify the judge immediately, who will replace the pack. The player chooses one card from the booster pack, then passes the remaining cards facedown to the player on his or her left. The opened packs are passed around the drafting pod - with each player taking one card each before passing - until all cards are drafted. Once a player has removed a card from the pack, it is considered selected and may not be returned to the pack.

After each player's first pack is drafted, a tournament official will instruct players to open the next specified pack and draft in the same fashion, except that the direction of drafting is reversed. This process is repeated until all cards in all booster packs are drafted. For example, if five booster packs were being drafted, the first, third, and fifth pack would be drafted clockwise and the second and fourth pack would be drafted counterclockwise.

 

7.7. Table Draft (Rochester Draft) Procedure

Before the tournament begins, the head judge must announce how much time each player has to select a card. If a player fails to select a card in the time given, the pod judge issues that player the "oldest" card still remaining from the booster pack.

Example: The pod players each lay out cards two cards from his or her booster pack. The cards can be considered to be in chronological order (1-10), where 1 is the first card placed on the table by the player who will draft first and 10 is the last card placed on the table by the player who will draft fifth. If a player fails to draft in a timely manner, the cards on the table are examined by the pod judge and the "oldest" card on the table (not yet drafted) is given to the player.

During a Table Draft, players must always display the most recent card they drafted from the current set faceup. When all cards are drafted from the current set, players may move their cards from that pack to any position.

 

7.7.1. Table Draft Preparation

At a signal from a tournament official, each player opens the booster pack specified by the official and counts the cards facedown. If a player does not have the appropriate number of cards in his or her booster pack, he or she must notify the judge immediately, who will replace the pack. After counting the cards facedown to make sure the pack is correct, players then move all crypt cards to the top of the pack facedown.

Note: some packs may have a different number of crypt cards than others.

Players then place their opened packs facedown on the table in front of them. At a signal from the pod judge, players place the top two cards from their booster pack faceup on the table. Players are given twenty seconds to review the cards before drafting begins.

 

7.7.2. Table Draft Active Player Rotation

The player drafting first from the cards presented on the table is called the active player. The first active player is the participant in the first seat, designated by the judge. After all cards on the table have been drafted, the player to the left of the active player becomes the active player for the next set of cards.

 

7.7.3. Table Draft Order

The draft order moves in a horseshoe pattern, beginning with the active player, continuing around the table to the last participant in the pod group who has not yet drafted a card. The last player in the group selects two cards, instead of one, and the drafting continues in reverse order, moving back to the player who began the drafting (the first person who drafted from the set). After all cards are drafted (with each player having two cards from the current set), the table judge prepares for the next booster-pack draft.

Example: Five players are seated around a table. They are numbered 1-2-3-4-5 in a clockwise order. The active player is Player 1. Each player opens and counts his or her booster pack (facedown) and moves the crypt cards to the top. Then each player places the top two cards from his or her booster faceup in the center of the table. After the twenty-second review period has expired, the draft order is as follows:

Player 1 - card 1
Player 2 - card 2
Player 3 - card 3
Player 4 - card 4
Player 5 - card 5
Player 5 - card 6
Player 4 - card 7
Player 3 - card 8
Player 2 - card 9
Player 1 - card 10

Player 2 would become the active player for the next set of cards, drafting first.

 

7.8. Mixed Draft (Elder Draft) Procedure

For mixed draft, the players in each pod open all of the packs/starters that they received from the tournament officials, counting the cards in each facedown to verify that each pack or starter is complete, and then separating the crypt cards from the library cards (both facedown). If a player does not have the appropriate number of cards in his or her booster pack or deck, he or she must notify the judge immediately, who will replace the pack or deck.

After the cards are counted and split into crypt and library piles (two piles per player), the library cards are set aside and the crypt cards are drafted according to the Table Draft procedure (see section 7.7).

After all crypt cards have been drafted, the crypt cards are set aside and the library cards are split into piles. The size of the piles is specified by the tournament organizer. Each pile is then treated as a separate booster, and the cards are drafted according to the Booster Draft procedure (see section 7.6).