Must you get explicit permission to draw in your draw step? If not, what amout of time should you give your opponent to stop you? What resolution would a judge take if you drew and your opponent wanted to play something in your upkeep?
Ordinarily, giving you permission to start your turn (which most people are pretty explicit about) would be understood to include permission to draw. Considering that players do their beginning of turn routine in the wrong order all the time (and this is allowed per the out of order sequencing rules so long as no advantage is gained by doing so), the onus is very much on the player wanting to play something in your upkeep to communicate that clearly.
This is especially true given that your opponent's upkeep is one of the rarest times to want to play something - I HATE playing MTGO against opponents who put a stop there because it's a totally pointless break in the flow of the game 99+% of the time - and so it's normally safe to assume you can go through your own upkeep unhindered.
So clearly you don't need explicit permission (or every tournament I've ever seen has been run all wrong) - if a player wants to do something then he should say so instead of just saying "Go" or whatever he usually does. He's responsible for communicating clearly, not you for reading his mind.
Thinking of this (and questions of tournament procedure more generally) in terms of "how much time should I give him" puts the emphasis in entirely the wrong place (for one thing, it presupposes that poor communication has already taken place). You know very well that Magic is not a game of reflexes.
(EDIT: There will be some common-sense exceptions to this, most obviously when there are tappers on the board. Particularly ones that can hit more than just creatures.)
You don't need explicit permission -- it's on your opponent to speak up if he wants to do something. It's courteous to give him a chance, but the rules don't say anything about it. If it were ever to become an issue in a game, I'm sure that Wizards would put something into the MTR.
For now, this is the best we've got:
In general, any substantial pause is an indication that all actions have been taken, the sequence is complete and the game has moved to the appropriate point at the end of the sequence.
So a "substantial pause" implies that a player has passed priority.
No you don't have to get permission to draw your card in your draw step. If there is a triggered ability that an opponent controls you should give them ample time to annouce the trigger (in other words don't rush the draw). However if the opponent wishes to perform an action before you draw a card they should state that as they are passing the turn to you. Communication is key to playing a game of magic, and in general when players start a turn they will usually move quickly through the first 3 steps if they aren't aware of any other actions that other players want to make.
If a judge feels the active player didn't give their opponent an opportunity to act in the upkeep step, and if they feel the opponent clearly demonstrated they wished to act in that step, then they have the option to back the game up which would including putting a random card (if the draw card can not be uniquely identified) on top of the active players library and allow the opponent to take their action.
Drawing a card is the first thing that happens at the very beginning of the Draw step. However...
For the game to progress to the Draw step, both players must pass priority on an empty stack in the Upkeep. So unless that has happened, are you even in your Draw step?
Technically, no, you're not in your draw step. But kids these days never play technically.
In the first case, he would say "no it's not" and, if he happens to have one handy, slap you with a trout.
In the second, you did a poor job communicating. (Or at least that would be my default assumption, I can imagine circumstances where this wouldn't be the case but they'd be the exception, not the rule). As mentioned several times above, you should let him know you plan on doing something in his upkeep as part of passing the turn.
(This is a case where the very technical game described in the rulebook and the somewhat loosey-goosey one people actually play come apart, yes. This is not a problem. It's been that way for nearly 20 years and somehow the world hasn't ended.)
+1 on the trout. I understand that players want to wait until the last possible moment, but the sequence of events from "I end turn" to your upkeep is completely deterministic. Nothing is going to change how you play if I tell you I'm planning on casting something in your upkeep.
Say it after he untaps his first permanent during his untap step.
I think the best is to watch intently their hands and jump in as soon as they start untapping (or get too close to their Library); «Wait! Since you obviously are starting your turn, I'll do something in your Upkeep». This way, they can't pretend it still is the end of your turn.
True, the rules say that each player must pass priority in each step to advance the game. But the rules also say that shortcuts are allowed and that player communication is important.
Consider the similar situation of declaring attackers. It's acceptable in this case to let your opponent know that you want to hold priority when you get to the beginning of combat step, but the responsibility is normally on the active player to offer this chance before he declares his attackers. If he jumps the gun, the game can be (mostly) harmlessly rolled back a moment, and the active player simply gives up information if he moves to fast.
In the case of upkeep-draw, however, the active player only stands to gain by jumping ahead. If you had wanted to do something in his upkeep, the game can still be rolled back, but now he has valuable information. There are two ways to remedy this that put the onus on the drawing player:
First, to penalize him for drawing too quickly. This is undesirable because it introduces a significant difference between kitchen table play and tournament play. Nearly every new tourney player would run afoul of this penalty -- not good.
The second is to require that the drawing player ask permission of his opponent to draw. This is absurd, and there's no real reason why the convention shouldn't be applied to any situation in which the opponent has priority. This would be an exception to the shortcut rule -- partially undoing the good shortcuts do for the natural flow of games.
In either case, a player may suspect his opponent will cast something in his upkeep, decide that the extra information of his next card is worth a small penalty, and go right ahead and draw. He still comes out on top.
The current method of putting the burden on the reacting player only needs to be invoked when it is necessary, requires no infraction procedure, does not much disturb the game's natural flow, and burdens the player who is most likely to benefit from its use. I believe it is the best solution.
If you want to do things on your opponent's upkeep you could ask "anything on my end step?" as way of passing the turn. This limits them to passing or not passing priority to end your turn. Much better than "Done" or "Go ahead" which allows the opponent a full range of interpretation from reacting in your end step to drawing a card and then untapping out of order.
suppose i take Zauzich's suggestion and say "entering my end step. i pass priority to you. are you doing anything on my end step?" and my opponent says "no". and then i say "i'm going to do something during your upkeep". then my opponent untaps and says that it's his upkeep with me having priority. can i then decide that i'd rather not do something after all, or am i bound to "do something" because i said i would?
you can pass the priority without doing something, yes
You can not do something, but you opponent will get priority back still in upkeep if they want it.
Weather the below applies could be a point of interpretation I suppose.
From the Magic Tournament Rules:
The IPG forbids this - it stops players from sneakily getting opponents to skip steps or phases.
KyCygni, could you expand on this? ie break it down for me step by step to see what sneaky stuff i can do if this tournament rule didn't exist?
If both players pass priority during a step or phase, the game moves on to the next step or phase. If you say something to convince your opponent that you're going to do something during a step, and then he says "ok, do what you'd like to do", technically he's passed priority to you. Suddenly changing your mind and then passing priority back would mean that the game has moved forward - effectively, you lied. Players shouldn't have to worry about whether or not their opponents are accurately describing their future actions that haven't even taken place yet. If you want to give your opponent a heads up, feel free, but by no means is your opponent signing some sort of contract simply because he's acknowledging your "pause on X step" remark. The judges aren't going to want to give you a penalty for "cheating - fraud (e.g. lying)" when you honestly just decided to change your mind, so the gamestate just backs up to the beginning of the step as if your request was never granted. It fixes a lot of communication problems and only hurts the aims of players who are trying to win games not strategically but rather with sleight-of-tongue.
@GoblinBasar: that cleared things up for me very well. thank you!
I usually go with "wait in upkeep, please" over "I'm going to do something in your upkeep." This way, I'm requesting a pause rather than claiming I'm going to do an action--at which point I can choose to act or say, "nevermind, go ahead."
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