Magic Judge Monthly: October 2014

Hello and welcome to the October edition of Magic Judge Monthly! This month is definitely business as usual as we move towards finishing off the year. Make sure you don’t miss this opportunity to catch up with what’s been going on in the world of judging. Also, you may notice that once again our Sugar on Top section is a bit lacking. If you have any suggestions please feel free to send them through to us! Until next time, happy judging!


Wizards Account System

The new Wizards account system is now live, and this affects everyone with a DCI number (so this means you!). We would strongly recommend that you check out this article if you haven’t, and also make sure you check out the FAQ from Andy here.

Introducing the {O}fficial Resources site

David de la Iglesia“On behalf of Joel Krebs and myself, we would like to introduce the {O}fficial Resources site:

The {O}fficial Resources site is the place to find all sorts of information about judge levels, certification, the Spheres, Magic: The Gathering™ rules, DCI tournament rules and policies, and various other topics. All content on this page is up-to-date, {O}fficial, and approved by the Magic Judge program.”

You can read more on the forum here, but make sure you check it out!


October Articles 2014

Find the list of articles on the Judge Wiki and feel free to join the discussions on JudgeApps.

Rules tips

Knowledge Pool October


Happy Anniversary!

Who says the month is out of reasons to celebrate? Join our anniversary celebrants in begging to differ and see if the list shows you a name that deserves a ping of cheer! Here’s to those making those milestones this month! Tasha Hayashi is under the spotlight this month as she celebrates a very fruitful five years with the program.

Judge Advancements

Michael Wiese: “Hello everyone! With only 197 advancements for October we are not breaking the record for one month again. Still thats a good amount of new judges and advancements :)”

Congrats  on L3

Nicola DiPasquale and Carlos Rada join the L3 ranks! Read more about all our recent L:3’s in the L3 advancement thread by Christopher Richter

Judge of the Week

The first wave of Exemplar Program recognitions

Sean Catanese introduces the debut batch of recognitions through the Exemplar Program and does some very important elaborations. Read about the Exemplar Program if you haven’t done so yet here.

The road to L1 and L2

The year is approaching some of sort of twilight, and with that draws close a time for new beginnings. A lot of people with judging on their mind will either want to finally get certified or move up a notch – get to L2 for a lot (including myself) or move further in the program.
With the potential flux of people going in such directions here are a valuable bunch of resources – both for mentors and those gearing towards advancement.
Certifying for L1 – Where do I go from here?
This true-to-life thread unveils the struggles of an L1 candidate towards certification. There’s so much to learn from it so do check it out.
Justification for judgification
Gregory Titov started a thread discussing various inspirations towards becoming a certified judge. It attracted a good amount of insight.
Lots of real perspectives.
Study Guides (L1 and L2)
Also, Brian Schenck presents guides for both L1 and L2 hopefuls.

Judge Booth – Questions needed for KTK

The booth wants you! Expand the pool of fresh questions via the judge booth – Michael Wiese explains how in this post.


1. America controls an attacking 20/20 creature and Norway is at 20 life. After Norway declares no blocks, he casts Deflecting Palm, choosing America's creature. If America has a Deflecting Palm in hand, can they cast it then to re-redirect the damage right then? Do they choose Norway's spell on the stack? If they fail to cast their palm before Norway's resolves, can they cast their palm before damage and choose the redirect effect?

A: America can do it either way. If they cast their Deflecting Palm in response to Norway’s Deflecting Palm, that’s just fine. If they do it after Norway’s Palm resolves, that’s just fine too.

When a player is choosing a source of damage, they can choose…well, basically anything they will ever have reason to want to choose. The full list of possible choices is as follows:

  • Any permanent currently on the battlefield
  • Any spell currently on the stack.
  • Any object referred to by an object on the stack.
  • Any object referred to by a replacement or prevention effect that’s waiting to apply.
  • Any object referred to by a delayed triggered ability that’s waiting to trigger.

The second and fourth ones are the relevant ones here. America can choose Norway’s Deflecting Palm as a source and have their own Palm work as it should no matter whether or not Norway’s Palm is still on the stack.

Approved by: Callum Milne, L2 Nanaimo, Canada, Forum Moderator


2. Player A casts Show and Tell: Player A puts in iona, and Player N puts in Painter's Servant. Does Player A have to name a color first, or do both players name a color secretly then reveal at the same time?

A: When multiple players need to make decisions at the same time, the active player makes their decision first, then the nonactive player. That’s covered by these rule:

101.4. If multiple players would make choices and/or take actions at the same time, the active player (the player whose turn it is) makes any choices required, then the next player in turn order (usually the player seated to the active player’s left) makes any choices required, followed by the remaining nonactive players in turn order. Then the actions happen simultaneously. This rule is often referred to as the “Active Player, Nonactive Player (APNAP) order” rule.

Example: A card reads “Each player sacrifices a creature.” First, the active player chooses a creature he or she controls. Then each of the nonactive players, in turn order, chooses a creature he or she controls. Then all creatures chosen this way are sacrificed simultaneously.

101.4b A player knows the choices made by the previous players when he or she makes his or her choice, except as specified in 101.4a.

Since Player A is the active player, they’ll have to choose a color for Iona, then Player B, knowing what color Player A has picked for Iona, will be able to select a color for their Servant.

Approved by Nathan Long, L2, Durango CO, USA, Forum Moderator



3. While peeling cards off the deck for the second Trap, my opponent describes Archive Trap as “gay”. Should I call a judge at this? What would the call be?

A: You should never be scared to call people out for that, in a Magic game or in life. That’s how you affect positive change.

Imagine the surprise, should that player show up at a GP and continue to exhibit the behavior that he learned was acceptable in his Regular REL environment, back home?

A lot of other great points have been made, but let’s not forget that the offending player is also losing out, here – on an opportunity to learn something about how the world really works.

Maybe something as simple as “you know, at a PPTQ|GPT|GP that remark could earn you a Match Loss, if your opponent was offended by it.” That’s a non-threatening way of stating the problem; no accusations, no confrontation, just “hey, you should probably know…”

Approved by Scott Marshall, L5, Lakewood, CO, USA


4. Augustus has 3 creatures of varying size, Nero has 1. Game 3, 5 minutes left on the clock. Augustus taps his last 2 lands, shows a Savage Punch and says I'll fight your creature with… before thinking for a moment. Nero, wanting to save time, quickly says Stubborn Denial it while Augustus is thinking. Augustus says No wait I actually don't want to cast this. What do you do?

A: My philosophy on actions you’ve started but not completed has long been “If you had an opportunity to learn something from your opponent’s reaction, you’re committed to that action.”

In this example, I’d talk to both players about the time between tapping & announcing, and reacting; if I felt that Nero was interrupting Augustus’ thought process before Augustus was truly committed to it, I might side with Augustus.

However, in situations like this, it usually goes in Nero’s favor; Augustus not only gave Nero plenty of time to react, and had a chance to read that reaction – but Nero did react and Augustus now has info he wasn’t entitled to. At Comp REL, think, THEN act.

I suspect you’ll find some variance in this – it’s a scenario that benefits greatly from having actually been there… 😉

Approved by Scott Marshall, L5, Lakewood, CO, USA


5. Antony gets a GPE-GRV - Warning. He then gets a GPE-GRV - Game loss for screwing up a morph. Does his next GPE-GRV that would normally be a warning get upgraded to a game loss, or does it stay a warning? The IPG states that “A third or subsequent Warning for a Game Play Error offense in the same category is upgraded to a Game Loss.” It's the 3rd time he's gotten the same infraction, but only the second time he's getting a warning.

A: A third GPE-GRV Infraction will have its Warning upgraded to a Game Loss, whether or not any prior Warnings were upgraded. It’s entirely possible to get 3 consecutive Game Loss penalties for GRVs – two Morph failures, then any other GRV, whether or not it would merit an upgrade on its own.

Remember, these penalties are meant to be educational as well as to protect the integrity of the event. If a player continues to make GRVs after receiving two infractions, he or she is just not learning that lesson … hence, we upgrade. When we issue the first Warning, we usually say “…and please be more careful…” – that phrase actually has teeth.

Approved by Scott Marshall, L5, Lakewood, CO, USA



Judge Apps on iOS

As a reminder, if you’re looking for such an app, MTG Guide receives several recommendations.

Scheduling Events in the Distant Future

… if we’re counting “February” as distant from “October.”  A quirk of the new PPTQ scheduling system is that, if your event is late in the season, this may be further out than WER will let you schedule.  One workaround is to use the webapp site, which doesn’t impose the same date restrictions.

Managing the New Password System and Judge Center

The new account control system seems… less than compatible with Judge Center.  If you’re still having issues logging in, it may help to use a variant of your DCI number, e.g., if you have an 8-digit number, try the 10-digit version.  This thread includes some other tips for fixing your login, including taking a mulligan on your Wizards account.

Players Discussing Investigations

When a player is disqualified, this will often lead to gossip and speculation about what exactly happened, and what the DCI might do about it.  Keep in mind that it can’t help to make any kind of definitive statements of the situation, and it’s typically best to just let the conversation run itself out.  At most, stick to reminding people that they don’t know everything about the situation, and still won’t even after the investigation is concluded.


Judge Conferences, Pro Tour Qualifiers, Grand Prix and SCG Opens have available worldwide staffing positions! You still have time to apply for GP San Jose.

Check out the Grand Prix Solicitations and Selected Staffs such as GP Milan and GP Manila

New GP Travel guide for San Antonio and Santiago are available! Find a list of other guides right here.

Public projects (such as The Knowledge Pool and Judge Conferences – Photos) are recruiting! If you want to get more out of your Judging experience and give back to the community, sign up to something that interests you and help out.