A couple friends of mine flew out to Grand Prix New Jersey last year to play in “GP Treasure Cruise is still legal”. My friend Kyle made a deep run into the tournament, and actually found himself in a win and in for Top 8. The tiebreaker math was a little unclear for the last round, and he thought he was only playing for Top 16, but either way he was playing an important match against an unknown player.
Kyle gravitates towards slower decks, and he and his opponent found themselves pretty far into the round before they started their third game. At this point in time, Kyle and his opponent agreed that they very much did not want to draw, and that one of them should concede if things came down to turns.
Push came to shove, and when turn five rolled around Kyle controlled a Jace, the Mind Sculptor and was clearly ahead of his opponent. I don’t recall all of the particulars, but nobody had threats in play but Kyle was obviously ahead with his active Jace and had considerably more cards in hand. He might have had Counter-Top as well, but even just with the Jace he was in a commanding position. At the end of the round Kyle’s opponent reneged on his promise, and seeing as Kyle was obviously winning they ended up with a draw.
Now, this scenario is pretty clear cut. Kyle was in commanding position and his opponent made a promise. His opponent obviously should have conceded and he basically stole a Grand Prix Top 8 and a PT invite from Kyle.
Other times, things are not so clear. Just to give another scenario, I was playing at 3-0 with RUG Delver in an SCG Open a couple years ago and I was paired against Miracles. My opponent won a long game one and I won game two without doing much playing. Game two dragged on specifically because my opponent spent a lot of time spinning his Sensei’s Divining Top.
In game three I had gotten my opponent down to two life while he set up Counter-Top and killed all of my creatures. Time was called, and on turn five he asked for a concession. At 3-0 in a nine round tournament, a draw was actually worth slightly more than a loss, and I technically had outs in the form of the two Fire // Ice left in my deck coupled with some clever play and some bad draws from my opponent.
More importantly, I have had approximately three unintentional draws in my entire life. I play quickly, and there’s no way that I used even half the round time that my opponent did. The draw wasn’t terrible for either of us and I didn’t see it right to reward my opponent for playing a slow deck slowly, especially when I did have outs. I declined and we drew.
Comically enough, I merely cashed the tournament while my opponent Top 8’d, so it’s not like he lost anything.
The question is, under what circumstance do you concede on turn five of extra turns? Does board state matter more, or do you factor in your opponent playing slowly? Perhaps you’re in the camp that never concedes, as you believe that players should have to earn all of their wins in a specific fashion. Chime in in the comments on how you handle turn five scenarios.