Hello everyone! Anyone who has played in a Competitive REL event with a constructed deck has already experienced the joy of filling out a deck registration sheet. Anyone who has judged a Competitive REL event with constructed decks has experienced the kill-joy associated with handling those lists.
There are some aspects of the Wizards officially published deck list that can be confusing. The biggest problem I’ve seen is people not realizing that the “Name” section is vertical on the left side of the sheet. It’s highlighted, but that prints out as grey, making it easy to miss. Also notice that this area is formatted as Last name before First name. You may wonder why the name field is set up this way. Well the answer is actually a good one. Judges arrange the lists in alphabetical order by last name, and place them in an accordion file with landscape orientation. This leaves the last name as the most upper-left thing visible, making sorting through lists easier for judges.
Another thing people might never notice is that the right column is labeled for basic lands. This is a bit outdated, as there’s not a particularly good reason to separate basic lands from the rest of the deck on the sheet. Best practice is to simply list all the nonland cards first in the left column, followed by all the lands (either in the same column or all together in the upper right column).
Notice that the sideboard section is in the bottom right (not the upper right!). If you happen to write it all in the upper right before you realize it, just draw a box around that with an arrow pointing to the sideboard section. Judges are pretty smart and will be able to figure out what you meant.
Please write legibly, using complete card names and arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, 4, 18) rather than hashmarks (I, II, III). Writing “Bob” on your list may SEEM obvious for your modern deck, but you’re just asking for trouble, and only saving a couple seconds vs. actually writing “Dark Confidant.”
The boxes for “Main Deck” and “Sideboard” totals are also not particularly important (we care about the cards registered, not the number you write there), but if you’re running 61 or 62 cards, it can be helpful to acknowledge you realize that by writing 61 or 62 in that box, so judges don’t have to wonder whether you might have made a mistake (because 60 cards is so ubiquitous at Comp REL tournaments).
Last notes: The “Deck name” and “Deck designer” fields are completely irrelevant. Don’t bother filling them in, and please, PLEASE, don’t write inappropriate things there. Judges can and will issue Unsporting Conduct penalties for writing (or drawing) rude/vulgar things on your deck list.
Thanks for reading!
Today’s Tournament Tip written by Josh Stansfield