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Bureaucracy (card)

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Bureaucracy 3UU
(un-official text)
Enchantment
At the beginning of each player's upkeep, that player performs all chosen actions in the order in which they were chosen, then chooses a simple physical or verbal action that can be performed safely while sitting in a chair. When a player fails to perfom all actions in the correct order, sacrifice Bureaucracy and that player discards his or her hand.
Bureaucracy 3UU
(printed text)
Border Color Silver
No. creatures in art 2
Enchantment Unglued Rare
Pursuant to subsection 3.1(4) of Richard's Rules of Order, during the upkeep of each participant in this game of the Magic: The Gathering® trading card game (hereafter known as "PLAYER"), that PLAYER performs all actions in the sequence of previously added actions (hereafter known as "ACTION QUEUE"), in the order those actions were added, then adds another action to the end of the ACTION QUEUE. All actions must be simple physical or verbal actions that a PLAYER can perform while sitting in a chair, without jeopardizing the health and security of said PLAYER.

If any PLAYER does not perform all the prescribed actions in the correct order, sacrifice Bureaucracy and said PLAYER discards his or her complement of cards in hand (hereafter known as "HAND").

Lines of Text 12
Illus. Mark Zug
Collector Number 14/94
Secret Word Hot
Gatherer entry
MagicCards.Info entry

Strategy and Combos

Bureaucracy either has synergy with or is an answer to almost every "voice matters" and "physical participation matters" card in the game.

Frequently Asked Questions

Also see Voice matters and Physical participation matters.

Do I have to perform an action and/or say what it is as I add it to the action queue?

Possible answers:

  • No. It is perfectly possible to indicate an action you're adding to the action queue without doing it yourself or saying it out loud. You could write it down, for instance.
  • Yes. You must perform the action. The card's intent is for each player to perform the same series of actions the previous player performed but with a simple addition to the end.
  • Yes. You must both perform the action and say what it is out loud. You must make it clear to other players what exactly they're supposed to do.[1]

Who is the first person to actually have to perform a Bureaucracy action?

This depends on the answer to the previous question, "do I have to perform an action and/or say what it is as I add it to the action queue?"

The next player to have an upkeep is the first player to add an action to the action queue. He or she may or may not have to perform the action at this time, depending on the answer to that question. Either way, the player who has the upkeep after that one is forced to perform that action before adding his or her own.

Of course, people may usually choose to perform any action at any time, and players Bureaucracy "forces" to perform actions may fail to do so.

What counts as a "simple" action?

Can I add a game-relevant action such as "reveal your hand"?

Possible answers:

  • No. Since it has to do with game information, it is not a simple physical or verbal action.
  • Yes, but a player revealing his or her hand for Bureaucracy can expect the other players to avert their eyes. It's against the rules to look at somebody else's hand.
  • Yes. This works just as if the card specifically told you to reveal your hand.

Can I add a normally rule-breaking action such as "shuffle your deck"?

This may depend on the answer to the question, "do I have to perform an action and/or say what it is as I add it to the action queue?"

Possible answers:

  • No. Since it has to do with game information, it is not a simple physical or verbal action.
  • If you don't have to perform the action in order to add it, then the answer is a simple "yes." If you do have to perform the action in order to add it, then the best you can do is to choose an action that is only illegal under certain circumstances. For instance, you could add "pick up all Slivers you control and put them into your hand" as long as you control no Slivers at the time you add the action. Note that this could make it impossible to perform all actions in the action queue for some unlucky player.
  • Yes. And since the card instructs you to perform that action, you get to do so without breaking the rules.

Can I add a normally law-breaking action?

No. A player cannot perform an law-breaking action, and it would most likely jeopardize his or her health and security if he or she could, anyway.

If I fail to perform the actions, can I respond before discarding my hand?

Possible answers:

  • Yes. The card's printed wording suggests that the sacrificing and hand-discarding effect is the effect of a triggered ability, meaning that you will have priority again before it resolves.
  • No. The text in the card's text box is effectively "At the beginning of each player's upkeep, that player does a physical or verbal action after doing all previous actions done in this way. If that player does not, sacrifice Bureaucracy, and that player discards his or her hand."[2] This is all part of one effect, so in order to do anything before discarding your hand, you'll have to do it before tackling the action queue.

If a player fails to perform all actions but the Bureaucracy sticks around, is his or her action still added to the queue?

(This question is relevant if the sacrificing triggered ability is countered or removed from the stack or if an effect causes Bureaucracy to phase out at any point in time after its upkeep ability triggers and before it's sacrificed.)

References

  1. Mark, Mark (September 9, 1998). "Unglued QAS". http://www.vic.com/~dbd/NFd/faqs/Unglued.QAS.
  2. Carter, John (November 13, 2004). "April School's Day". MagicTheGathering.com. http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=mtgcom/daily/jc14.

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