Deck Play Testing

TappedOut forum

Posted on May 3, 2021, 9:27 p.m. by AdwinBalkar

So this might be a stupid question, but how do I playtest my deck against someone elses?

Mcat1999 says... #2

Not a stupid question at all. Unfortunately as of now there is no means to challenge another user to a battle on this site; you can only piolet their deck yourself.

To do so, open all appropriate decks in different tabs on your computer and you'll need to navigate about. If you are fortunate enough to have multiple monitors, that significantly helps.

You'll be making all moves and decisions for all decks, so use your best judgement and always try to make the best move possible, despite having full information of every other hand. For example, it you have a Damnation and the board is looking really nasty out there, it makes sense to play it... Even if you know another deck has a Counterspell and another has Teferi's Protection

Remember to use turn order. If the Teferi's Protection player gains first priority, it makes sense to cast that. But it would also make sense for the player with the Counterspell to use that during their priority if it saves their boardstate.

It takes practice to get "good" at. I still make a lot of mistakes and will close out a game if it gets too complex and I can't keep up with four "players" worth of interactions. However, it does make you a better player, over time.

May 3, 2021 11:56 p.m.

Mcat1999 says... #3

In my experience doing what I mentioned above, the hardest thing are other players triggers, such as Smothering Tithe and Rhystic Study . But these are easy to overcome. You just create the appropriate number of tokens and draw the appropriate number of cards when you remember on their next turn.

The one I keep forgetting is Winter Orb . It sucks landing tree full turns, only to get back to that one control player and going "oh. right. shit."

May 4, 2021 2:07 p.m.

Femme_Fatale says... #4

Playtesting against someone else's deck is treading on dangerous legal ground. Some programs already got hit in the past and tappedout does not want to follow them.

May 4, 2021 10:22 p.m.

Mcat1999 says... #5

Femme_Fatale, how so? What potential laws is it breaking?

May 4, 2021 10:27 p.m.

Femme_Fatale says... #6

The fact that we would be providing an alternate way to play a game that we do not own any rights to free of charge? Should be pretty self-explanatory.

May 5, 2021 2:26 a.m.

AdwinBalkar says... #7

Sorry, but that isn't an alternate way to play the game. Just a different deck make up. There are no legal pretenses that can be used to argue that. You are playing by the same rules and using the cards that they released. If someone could pull that argument off then by rights this ENTIRE site violates that because of the fact that you can still playtest the other person's deck. Now, if it was against their wishes then that would be one thing, but the fact that you can make your deck private negates that argument.

May 5, 2021 7:37 p.m.

Mcat1999 says... #8

I looked around into it. What I found are two potential arguments.

  • Copyright claims
  • Piracy

Tappedout makes zero claim to any cards here provided in the database, nor any claims to WOTC, Hasbro, MTG, Heroes of the Realm, Arena, Magic: Online, Books, Novels, Comics, etc. The idea of a copyright claim is predicated on you claiming the identity for yourself and attempting to profit off of it. While I am more than certain the site generates income via ad revenue and membership subscriptions, it does not generate income from the image hosting and file sharing services. If the idea of selling memberships and advertisements is grounds for a copyright claim by Hasbro, then every single store who is ACTUALLY selling the cards on the secondary market has Hell to pay.

As for Piracy, this one is strange. Technically speaking, we are using digital proxies. We are playing the game using an electronic placeholder for the cards. WOTC stands firm on their stance on proxies, being illegal in tournament settings (lest possibly tokens) and are not to be sold, as THAT violates a copyright claim and is technically stolen company information and property being sold for profit. So you get to a grey area on Piracy. Is illegally downloading a videogame, movie or song Piracy and grounds for legal consequences? Actually, yes. So is downloading a card image the same thing? Again, technically yes. But the grey area is the fact that WOTC is fine with proxies so long as two conditions are met.

  • 1.) Not being used in a sanctioned tournament
  • 2.) Not being sold or exchanged for value

The argument can be applied that it yeaGO makes a system with which upgraded members with paid subscriptions can challenge each other, and they are challenging each other with digital copies provided by the site, the yeaGO is funding and selling proxies and thus falls into both copyright and Piracy. However, if yeaGO makes the system free to all users, then this particular service is NOT being sold, and thus it is NOT copyright or Piracy.

Additionally, we can not be awarded benefits FOR playing. This includes:

  • Earning deck cycling or featuring for every X number of games we play
  • Earning points for winning games
  • Being given upgraded membership levels with increasing benefits

This falls into the realm of gambling and sales. Being rewarded for winning is gambling and sanctioned play, which makes the digital proxies on the site now illegal. Furthermore, merely being given rewards for playing (even if we lose) still generates some sort of inherent value.

As long as we, the users, garner no value outside of purely emotional (joy, splendor, frustration, disbelief, excitement, etc) then we are not engaging in anything different than a bunch of people sitting in their kitchen table with markers and basics and playing the game that way.

As for the site itself, if the site isn't selling the ability to play, then it isn't profiting off of playing. If playing is merely a free feature of the site, and the site requires no paid membership to use it, it isn't profiting from it.

It would be incredibly difficult to argue against these claims, outside of stretching the legal boundaries very thin. But the thinner you stretch something, the easier it is to punch a hole in it.

  • Is Tappedout making claims of ownership?
  • No.
  • Is Tappedout profiting off of playing?
  • No.
  • Is Tappedout rewarding players for playing?
  • No.
  • Are users allowed to sell their digital copies?
  • No.
  • Are users allowed to sell entire deck constructions?
  • No.
  • Are users allowed to play for ante by trading virtual copies?
  • No.

Every question is met with a resounding "No."

The only real issue would be unforseen legal fees, which I understand that sucks but I am assuming legal methods are already in place, being a website and all.

So I fail to see the real issue here.

May 5, 2021 8:05 p.m.

Caerwyn says... #9

Mcat1999 - I assume you're not an attorney because you managed to get... pretty much all your armchair lawyering wrong. As an attorney myself, I quite understand where yeaGo is coming from.

  1. Copyright is not "predicated on you claiming the identity for yourself"--it is predicated on using copyrighted materials of another for your own end. I do not have to claim that I wrote Outlaw: Champions of Kamigawa to be in violation of a copyright; I merely have to reproduce it (or heavily rip off elements of it, etc.).

  2. Starting to use TappedOut as a competitor to Wizards' online products could open TappedOut up to liability. Though Wizards has taken a somewhat lackadaisical approach to protecting their rights from online competitors, that doesn't mean they might not one day.

  3. Copyright does not require the violator to profit in order to be a violation.

  4. Piracy isn't a separate issue from copyright violation--it's just the more colloquial term for infringement, usually applied in a digital setting.

  5. There is a difference between kitchen table proxies and TappedOut; TappedOut generates income from its website. When you use someone else's copyrighted materials to generate your own profits, you run into additional liability problems. Though TappedOut might not profit directly from the playing in such a situation, it still profits from the site, and such a playtesting feature would be quite a draw for potential new users (and thus new revenues).

Wizards has turned a blind eye to other sites that allow online play; but they do not have to turn a blind eye. TappedOut wants to avoid potential liability by avoiding legal grey areas. It's a perfectly understandable, entirely logical position to take.

May 5, 2021 8:48 p.m.

AdwinBalkar says... #10

Caerwyn That makes more sense. I was laboring under the illusion that the person was stating that the sites were facing suits from the people who had their decks play tested. That was what I was saying had no legal precedence for a lawsuit.

May 5, 2021 10:11 p.m.

yeaGO says... #11

I don't think it would really add much, a lot of work to basically recreate that which already exists

May 6, 2021 4:05 p.m.

Femme_Fatale says... #12

This site already has a practically never ending amount of features to implement and redesign, don't think we need something that 10 other sites and programs do that both requires a large team's constant attention and that WotC/Hasbro are turning a blind eye to. They didn't always turn a blind eye in the past, and for something as large as tappedout I don't want to have them suddenly not be turning a blind eye anymore again.

May 7, 2021 2:51 a.m.

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