If you want the play in the 40-Card Ladder, read the following:
How does it all work?
Here is the basic flow of events:
1) You make sure you are signed up. This means that you have registered yourself with my website at http://shadowera.gondorian.com/ladder40. If you aren't on there yet, you will need to Sign Up on that webpage and then send me a Private Message on here, so that I can activate your account. All new players join the ladder at the bottom.
2) Once you are on the ladder, you can pick someone any number of places above you and challenge them on this thread AND by Private Message. Be sure to tell the person when you will be available to play and what the password will be. (It helps if you Edit Profile on the ladder40 site, to show your timezone and availability.) Alternatively, if you find a ladder player in the chat room, you can challenge them directly there. (If they become unresponsive in the chat room, then use the forum + PM approach to challenge.)
3) If you receive a challenge, you either agree a time to play in the next seven days, or you reject the challenge. When you agree the time, you should also agree the password and whether you want to play a best of three match. If one player can't do best of three, you just play a one-game match.
4) If you reject a challenge from someone within 15 (FIFTEEN) places of your position, it is marked as an auto-loss in this thread. You are free to reject all other challenges with no penalty, but encouraged to play where possible. (e.g. If #8 challenges #3 then there is auto-loss if the challenge is refused; if #19 challenges #3 then it can be refused with no penalty.)
5) At the agreed time and date, the challenger creates game one with agreed password on the live server, and waits for opponent to join. Test server games are not valid for this ladder.
6) Whoever loses the match posts the result on this thread and reports it on the ladder40 website - there is a Report A Game link, once you are logged in.
7) If the winner of a match was the Challenger, then the loser can request a rematch, at a time convenient to both players.
7a) If you are both happy for it to be straight away (Instant Rematch), you may make quick changes to your deck in between, but you cannot change your Hero. The invoker of an Instant Rematch creates the game with the same password and waits. An Instant Rematch is exactly the same as any other Challenge, except you do not have the right to request another Instant Rematch afterwards.
7b) If one of you does not want to play straight away, the loser posts the challenge on this thread AND by PM, as normal.
8) If your opponent does not join your game within ten minutes of the agreed time, then it is an auto-loss for them and the auto-loss should be posted in this thread. As only the game Loser can report results on the website, you will need to have the loss registered by a Ladder Admin, who will see this thread and update the website. If you would like be a Ladder Admin, let me know.
9) If your challenge does not even get acknowledged within 7 days, it is also an auto-loss for Defender. It is each player's responsibility to check their PMs and this thread regularly. You can configure your PM to send you an email, so I don't think this is unfair.
10) When you lose a challenge, you only drop one place, and the Challenger takes your place. This is why I think the auto-loss is not a severe penalty for not turning up. Still, if you care about your ranking then play some games.
11) Positions on the ladder at time of the challenge is all that matters, for deciding whether you can reject a challenge without penalty. However, positions on the ladder at the time the game is recorded determines where a winning Challenger ends up on the ladder. (If the Defender has ended up lower than the Challenger then the Challenger has in effect become the Defender.)
12) You cannot change your deck within a best-of-three match, but you can change your deck as much as you want between matches. The exception is before an Instant Rematch, where you can change anything except your Hero.
13) All decks must contain at least 40 cards, including Hero. There is a separate 30-card minimum ladder (LADD3R).
14) I highly recommend the Shadow Era chat room, which you can get to via the usual link, or you can find it on my site by going to http://shadowera.gondorian.com/ladder40/frames.html (which works on iPad/iPhone, in case you are wondering.). This is proving to be a very good place for setting up games at short notice. If a challenge made in the chat room is accepted, then there is no need to post the challenge on this thread or PM each other, but please do post the result here. If a chat room challenge is rejected, feel free to make a formal challenge on this thread, so the date and time is logged.
15) If you have any trouble with anything, PM me or another Ladder Admin (Kentuequi, Reshiram99, fingertut and Flycheung). We have the power to record both winner and loser of any game.
16) If you type a player name incorrectly when recording a result, it will detect this and tell you to try again. Check the Ladder for everyone's correct name, including the case of the letters.
17) A disconnect during a game renders the game void. Log what happened on this thread and then play again, unless there is a major dispute about whether it might have been deliberate. Draws are also effectively void games.
18) If you do not play within a two-week period, you drop 15 places on the ladder. If no one is challenging you or accepting your challenges, I recommend inviting challenges from people lower than you.
19) If you want to be removed from the ladder, please send me a PM.
EDIT: Please do not look through the rest of the thread for other rules, because early discussion in this thread was based on evolving rules. This post is the only one you need for knowing all the rules.