Magic Judge Monthly: June 2015

Dear Judges!
Welcome to the June edition of the MJM magazine!
We hope you’ll have a few moments to skim through last month’s topics and find out something new and interesting (such as PPTQ MTR updates and MOJO 2015).
Until next time, enjoy and happy reading!


Exemplar Wave 3

There are about five weeks left before recognitions are due for Wave 3.  If you’re interested in some statistics for Wave 2, Eric Levine, wrote an article with lots of data.  Don’t let your recommendations go unused!

Announcing the Player Experience Sphere

A program dedicated to improving player experience just broke ground.  Unique to this project are that all aspects must include player input.  If you or someone you know, player or Judge, is interested in assisting, check out project leader David Lyford-Smith’s David Lyford-Smith forum post for more information.

Suspended Players Page Updated

The May DQ cases have been processed and the Judge Center and Player Page have been updated. Player Investigation Leader, Eric Shukan Eric Shukan, has some words of advice for Judges when addressing players working on a prize split, and how to properly obtain a written statement.  Check out his forum post for more details.

MOJO 2015

The Magic Online Judge Open (MOJO), an exclusive event for Judges worldwide, is an annual free sealed deck event on Magic Online.  A free Judge Avatar for participating and a Moat if you finish the 5 rounds at 4-1 or better!  To find times you can participate and other information check out the forum post here.

New PPTQ Season 3 Rounds and Tops

PPTQs are a hit and Season 3 is underway.  There were some changes to the MTR for how Premier events work.  To make sure you’re operating them appropriately check out Appendix E.  Most notably a 9-16 person Constructed event will have 5 Swiss rounds, but Limited will have 4.  The cutoff for these events depend on the format also.

List of Official Rulings

Have you always wanted a comprehensive list of official rulings made by high level Judges specific to policy?  Good news!  The aim of this project is to help create a consistent experience for players and provides reasoning behind each ruling.   What happens when a player shuffles their opponents hand into their opponents library?  What is the fix for a player who chooses a Planeswalker after casting Show and Tell?  An abundance of great information.


Judge Articles Jun 2015

  1. Writing a Self-Review with Stephan Classen by Stephan Classen
  2. Strategic Feedbacking: Timing Matters by William Anderson
  3. Recognizing Level 1 Judges by Carlos Ho and Jasper Overman
  4. Policy Perspectives by Toby Elliott
  5. Judges and Social Media: Abiding by Wheaton’s Law by Sean Catanese

Find a list of all the articles on the Judge wiki and articles blog. In case you would like to discuss an article, visit our forum.

Judge Blogs Updates Jun 2015

  1. Blog Bearz Repeating: Backup to the Future, Backup to the Future Part II, Summer Reading List and A Tale of Two GPs: Part Two
  2. Blog Whats Up, Docs: GP Utrecht Support Judge Report and GP Charlotte Appeals Judge Report
  3. Blog Mystical Tutor:
  4. Blog Battlefield Forge: Phoenix Comics & Games, Your Friendly Neighborhood Tabletop Shop, Communication and Goals and The State of Flooring and other tales
  5. PPTQ winners info document
  6. GP Travel Guides – 2015: Lille, Montreal, Dallas/Fort Worth, Santiago de Chile and Detroit
  7. Judge Conferences blog: Facilitating a Seminar: Avoiding the Common Mistakes (Part 2)

Knowledge Pool Jun 2015

  1. Collateral damage
  2. Ambidecksterity
  3. D’oh-main

If you would like to submit a Knowledge Pool scenario, here’s how to do it.


Judgecast #122 GP Vegas Debrief

Judgecast #123 Get On My Level


Happy Anniversary! Jun 2015

Check out June anniversaries and see which judges celebrate their 5 ,10 and 15 years! Featuring Jose Nazareno, Jeremy Behunin, and John Shannon.

Judge Advancements Jun 2015

Michael Wiese: “Hello everyone! Once again it’s time for the advancements within our beloved community. Last month we had 211 advancements, which is just great.

I am often asked what kind of date i use to determine this list. The date entered the advancement review is what counts for this list, because that ensures that i wont miss anyone.”

Congratulations to June Level 3s!

Congratulations to the newest L3s around the world: Hans Wang from Taiwan, Adena Chernosky  from USA, Charlotte Sable  from Canada (residing in Finland) and Yukio Victoria from Colombia!

Judge of the Week

Magic Judge Hall of Fame Updates

The class  of 2008 has a few new candidates (Jeff Donais, David Vogin, Juan Del Compare…) but remember, you still have time to cast your vote(s)!

JHoF is also looking for help. If you’re interested take a look at this post.

Judge Tower

Ever wondered how to properly play this curiosity of a “format”? Then look no further! This post answers all of the common problems you might encounter. Have fun!


Questions asked in the month of June and an [O]fficial answer, just for you!
1. Alison casts Silumgar's Command choosing the second and third modes and targeting an artifact for the bounce and Rusted Relic for the creature. The bounced artifact drops the number of artifacts controlled by Alison's opponent to below 3 and Rusted Relic is no longer a creature. Is the -3/-3 effect placed on the noncreature Relic?

A: Yes, the Rusted Relic would get -3/-3 from Silumgar’s Command, although that won’t have too much of an effect on the Relic unless it becomes a creature again later that turn.
Approved by: Nathan Long, Netrep, L2, Durango CO, USA

2. Decimate is targeting Artifact Enchantment Land Creature (animated Inkmoth Nexus with Enchanted Evening out, let's say) four times. Will this target be destroyed once or four times? It matters when multiple regeneration shields are involved. Would one be enough to prevent this destruction? And most importantly, why?

A: Everything is destroyed at the same time. If you cast Decimate with all four targets targeting the same permanent, one regeneration shield is enough to save it from being destroyed. A similar case is a 1/1 creature that’s dealt 1 damage by a creature with deathtouch – it’s being destroyed twice at the same time, so one regeneration shield is enough to save it.
Approved by: Nathan Long, Netrep, L2, Durango CO, USA

3. For Surge of Righteousness, is “that's attacking or blocking” the target limitation (so the spell can't target non-attacking/blocking creature)?

A: The targeting restriction of Surge of Righteousness is “target red or black creature that’s attacking or blocking”. It’s describing what object can be targeted by the Surge (a creature that red or black and is also attacking or blocking).
Approved by: Nathan Long, Netrep, L2, Durango CO, USA

4. I have somewhat mixed feelings about a ruling I made recently. Let's start with the situation:
The last round of pPTQ is in progress, Stephen just ID'ed into the top and is watching another match. At some point he asks the players to stop the game, calls the judge and says to judge and players:
-Player A has just played Rancor and attacked, players wrote the new life totals, and A passed the turn. But they have forgotten about the Eidolon of the Great Revel's trigger player B controls.
Is this outside assistance?

A: No, it’s awkward that the spectator reminds player B of the trigger, which B probably won’t forget again – but the spectator is trying to get a judge involved, as per the guidelines in the MTR.

MTR 1.11:
If spectators believe they have observed a rules or policy violation, they are encouraged to alert a judge as soon as possible. At Regular or Competitive REL, spectators are permitted to ask the players to pause the match while they alert a judge.

I would ask the player to be more discreet next time, but they did not commit an infraction. Pausing a match, asking the judge, is not a penalty. This spectator did what the MTR says he should do. There is no infraction for following the rules.

A similar scenario has been discussed, where a spectator notices an infraction but doesn’t say anything, because it benefits his friend. That spectator has also done nothing wrong – even if he failed to do what’s right. The MTR doesn’t require spectators to get a judge for an infraction, but it does *encourage* that, and (Regular/Comp REL) allows interruption of a game.
Approved by Scott Marshall, L5, Lakewood, CO, USA


Judge Center Issues

Some of the issues involving multiple Judge Center profiles, and other issues, are creeping toward resolution. WotC developers have reached a point where they can hand-merge multiple profiles, given the DCI # to work with.  Also, if you run into issues with someone having a bugged name entry (e.g., filling out examination forms or DQ reports), these can typically be resolved by having that person re-enter their name in the system.

“Sleep in Specials” at a Sealed Grand Prix – How to Improve

A recent thread discusses ideas for improving the SIS experience for players.  A common theme of the thread is to focus on creating a process that allows the players to maximize their time.  Generally speaking, they should be able to show up at a particular time, verify and build their pools, and be done.  If they have to mill around, it defeats a large part of the purpose of SIS.  (At Orlando, sitting there doing nothing with a preregistered pool, while waiting for the masses to register their pools, was just miserable.)

Side Event Bracket Logistics

In some recent Grand Prix judges have experimented with double-entry methods for on-demand events. If you accept the premise that players turn in messy bracket results that are hard for scorekeepers to understand, then it becomes valuable to print out a second copy of each bracket, and for judges to condense the results into a few X’s which can be entered with 7 clicks.  This does generate some work for judges, but think of it as offloading work from the scorekeepers.  The article comes with some nice visual aids as to how this was done at GP Utrecht.

Proxy Events in Casual Magic

Proxy cards are not allowed even in casual events. If you have use WER to create such an event, do not report it! There are other programs which could do the required task. Please read this post for more information.

WPN – Judge Relationship

if you as a judge have ideas how to improve organized play, contact your regional coordinator instead of a WPN representative directly. If you’re a player, it’s best to go through Game Support. As always, if you suspect fraud or other TO issues, you are encouraged to send a detailed report investigations[at]wizards[dot]com.

Judge Level Expired Incorrectly

In case a judge’s’ level is incorrectly showing in Judge Center, please contact  Judge Center directly. Contacting a RC (Regional Coordinator) is another option, but not always necessary. In case of more complicated issues, the problem will be processed by WotC.


Find out which Judge Conferences, Grand Prix and SCG Opens have available worldwide staffing positions! You still have time to apply for GP Beijing,  Grand Prix Oklahoma City 2015, Western Canada Regional Judge Conference 2015, Open Series: Charlotte.

Check out the Grand Prix Solicitations and Selected Staffs such as Grand Prix London and GP Prague.

Public projects (such as Magic Judge Hall of Fame, Articles Blog, Battlefield Forge, Card of the Week) are looking for looking for authors, editors, translators and much more. If you wish to get more out of your Judging experience and give back to the community, sign up to something that interests you to help out!

Sugar on Top

Riccardo, the Wedding Guy


At GP Chiba