Magic Judge Monthly: November 2014

Welcome to the November edition of Magic Judge Monthly! As we move towards the end of the year, it’s time to sit back and relax as we help you catch up on the busy affairs of the month. As the holidays come closer, make sure you’re up to date with what is going on in the world of judging. Until next month, happy judging.


Judge Conduct Committee and the Magic Judge Code

Sean Catanese “Good afternoon, I’m proud to announce that we have a new official document and system concerning judge conduct! The Magic Judge Code is our new code of conduct document. You can find more information about it here.
The Judge Conduct Committee is responsible for addressing concerns raised in this new system. You can find more information about it here.
The Magic judge feedback form is a tool to collect reports of awesome and less-than-awesome conduct from the wide spectrum of our community’s members. Players, organizers, and judges alike are welcome to use the form. You can find out more about the feedback form here.
A companion thread for this announcement, where you can ask questions and discuss with other judges can be found here.

Change in handling morphs

Toby Elliott ”Effecive immediately, failing to reveal your morph is now a Warning. A non-morph played as a morph, unless it’s caught by the player almost immediately, remains a Game Loss.”
Full explanation can be found on Toby’s Blog

Suspended Players Page Updated

The suspended player page has been updated for the July and August cases. You can find all information at:


November Judge Articles 2014

Tournament Reports as Tournament Essays by Joshua Feingold
5 Steps to Writing Better Tournament Reports – video by Blair Frank
Dealing with Difficult Players by Evan Cherry
GP Los Angeles by Kevin Desprez

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

Knowledge Pool November


Happy Anniversary!

This month’s anniversary roster adds a certain cheer to the yuletide that’s already rampant! Marking his 15th is Uncle Scott Marshall himself and is joined by a score of 10 and 5 year celebrants. Don’t forget to check out the triple feature on Jeff Darran, Jens Strohaeker and Niko Glik!

Judge Advancements

Michael Wiese:”Hello everyone. Should I say November wasn’t a successful month with “only” 164 advancements? To be honest, two years ago I would really celebrate that, but nowadays it’s just normal. But that does not mean I am not proud to see we are growing and our community becomes bigger and bigger. Thanks and well done to all testers.

Congrats on L3

Christopher Richter shares the latest on new L3 advancements.

Judge of the Week

119 Scott Neiwert level 3 from Idaho, USA
118 Joe Gillard level 2 from the United Kingdom
117 Jara Karban level 3 from Czech Republic

Mitchell Waldbauer stepping down

More news from Christopher Richter as an L3 decides to give way to the new.

MOJO Holidays – Registration Open

Argentinian L3, Adrian Estoup shows us how this season is truly one to be thankful for with a triple MOJO treat on December 26-27. Scott Marshall provides the relative schedule for Mountain Time, too! Enjoy!


1. If you animate dead and target a God creature (Purphorus, for example), will the animate dead, even briefly, attach to the creature if you don’t have enough devotion?

A: The Animate Dead will return the creature, but it can’t attach to it. The Animate Dead will go to the graveyard and its leave the battlefield ability will trigger, and when it resolves, you’ll sacrifice the creature.

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

2. In Alex's pre-combat main phase, Alex controls a Polukranos and 5 untapped forests and is at 3 life. Neil controls a tapped monstrous Fleecemane Lion and a tapped Sedge Scorpion and is at 7 life. Alex activates Polukranos for X=2, puts 2 counters on Polukranos. Alex attacks with Polukranos and tells Neil he is dead on board because Polukranos is now a 7/7. Neil has acknowledged all of Alex's actions and agrees with his assessment and verbally concedes. Let's assume Alex is not cheating and truly missed his Polukranos' triggered ability. What do you do?

A: Seriously – Alex can say “you’re dead on the board, cuz Polukranos is now 7/7”, even knowing that the only legal target for the trigger is the Scorpion – he hasn’t made an incorrect statement, but has *predicted* a future game state that can’t actually happen. It’s up to Neil to realize that Polukranos is about to die. If I’m Neil, I just say “sure … what are you targeting?” 🙂

Another wording that could be OK: “hey, it’s a 7/7 now, you’ve got no blockers – you’re at 7, right?”
If Alex went so far as to say “I attack for 7” and turn Polukranos sideways, we’ve got a missed trigger (because of that assumption you mentioned), but a GRV if he honestly didn’t know that 0 targets wasn’t a legal choice.

If Alex doesn’t violate the Communication Policy while encouraging Neil’s poor conclusions, it’s a legal Jedi mind trick. It’s also very dangerous territory, because Alex could easily misrepresent something and cross that line.
Approved by: Scott Marshall, L5, Lakewood, CO, USA

3. On Andrew's third turn during his main phase, Nick realizes he actually didn't draw a card for his own turn 1. They both call me over and see what's going on. What do you do, assuming no cheating?

A: Assuming we have determined that Nick did in fact miss his draw, this seems like a pretty clear GRV / FtMGS with the additional remedy of having Nick draw a card right now. The IPG, under GRV has this to say about additional remedies:
IPG 2.5: If a player forgot to draw cards, discard cards, or return cards from their hand to another zone, that player does so.
Q: “but, this is so close to Cheating, I don’t think he should get to draw that card now…”
A: Once you’ve investigated and decided that this is not Cheating, just follow the IPG. It’s very dangerous – and destroys our goal of consistency! – to deviate just because you didn’t quite get to Cheating.
Approved by: Scott Marshall, L5, Lakewood, CO, USA

4. At regular REL, if a player notices his own face-down card does not have Morph and calls judge, what is the best fix?

A: If he was supposed to play another card from his hand but confused the two, I think switching the card with the one that was supposed to be played is the most organic way to fix the game. All other solutions just replace a broken game state with another broken one.

If he wasn’t supposed to play a different card, assumed that the card had morph, and any back-up is out of question, I’d be incline to just leave it as it, as the partial fixes are normally used to restore the game state in a quick and easy way, not to try to bring justice by penalizing the offending player in a creative way.

Those solutions only apply to Regular REL, after an investigation for potential abuse made me feel nothing shady was going on.

Only let the player ‘swap out’ their morph if they caught the problem really quickly and if this is not in itself going to cause a lot of disruption.
Approved by: Kim Warren, L4, London, England

5. What's the correction done if a player realizes he has cards sided in that he doesn't want sided in during the initial game procedure of game 3?

A: You can change your mind until you present your deck for the opponent to shuffle; at that point, you’ve represented “this is the (legal) deck I’m playing”.
Approved by: Scott Marshall, L5, Lakewood, CO, USA


Paperless DCI Tips

The DCI has gone paperless, but this can make it awkward to refer people to the correct URLs, such as This thread has the good idea of creating QR codes that can be printed for people to scan, and links to a sample one.

Logistics of Grand Melee

If you’re looking to jump into the wide wacky world of Grand Melee, be sure to brush up on the rules, and also look to the linked thread for some good tips such as using hats as turn markers.

Solution for current Judge Center migration of DCI# issue

If your account got out of order during the recent system updates, Andy Heckt has posted instructions on how to get things back into working order… and for how to do it correctly, for those who just stayed away while things were shaken out.

The issues with account migration extended to certain functions of the judge site. In situations like this, it is often possible to enlist a judge’s help in working around the problem, e.g., printing out L1 tests if you need them.

WER Tips and Tricks

If you need to transfer a local player database between computers, this blog post has excellent instructions for getting WER through the process.

If a player has to leave for an emergency, it’s best to enter them as having conceded any match in progress, instead of just dropping the player from the tournament. This is especially important in the first round, when the drop is most tempting, since doing so apparently leads to divide by 0 errors.

WER apparently continues to have freeze issues when run in offline mode. As noted earlier in the thread, if you expect spotty internet at an event, it’s best to log in and create the event on a good connection before traveling to the venue.

Authorized cards and sanctioned casual events

Mobile Apps

TiebreakerJS is a useful tool for handling pairings and some other things, if you’re running an unsanctioned event and therefore won’t be accessing WER. In this thread the author points out that you can actually load the page, and use it offline, if you expect issues with battery life or with Internet access.


Judge Articles – Looking for Topics!

If you have an idea about writing a topic find more information here.

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

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

Find a list of all GP guides right here.

Public projects (such as Battlefield Forge and Card of the Week) 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.

Sugar on Top

And finally, wishing you all a happy holidays from the entire Magic Judge Monthly team! See you all next year!

Magic Holiday