Magic Judge Monthly: July 2015

Dear Judges, welcome to the newest edition of the favorite magazine for the busy Judge!

One of the major updates is concerning new IPG updates, Drawing Extra Cards. Take a few moments to find out how the infraction is handled under new rules. Other than that, everything is easy-breezy so enjoy the rest of the summer (or winter) with our light-reading topics.

Until next time, enjoy and happy reading!


Origins IPG and MTR Updates

You’ve probably received word by now about the Origins Policy changes. In case you haven’t, Toby Elliott has posted a blog detailing changes to Drawing Extra Cards (now a warning) and some other clarifications. Also, TO duties have been expanded in the MTR. The line about saving match result slips for six months has raised some eyebrows.

Update to L3 Certification Process

Minor changes to the Level 3 Certification process have been put in place and communication is no longer a required quality. Joint recommendations are also now available. For more information and hopefully answers to all your questions, check out  Daniel Kitachewsky’s blog post.


Judge Articles/Blog Posts July 2015

  1. The Australian Deck Check Technique by Matteo Callegari
  2. Policy Perspectives  by Toby Elliott
  3. Same Song, Second Chorus by George Fitzgerald
  4. Handling end of matches by Kevin Desprez
  5. Bearz Repeating: A Flusterstorm in the Hand, Communication and Consequences, Exemplary Failure
  6. Mystical Tutor live sessions
  7. Battlefield Forge: How to run Big Events on a Small Scale,  A Tale of the Quest for Knowledge, Improving Interactions, I’m late and SCG Worcester
  8. GP Travel Guides –  Jul 2015: GP San Diego and GP Prague 2015
  9. Judge Conferences blog: Connecting with the Audience

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

Knowledge Pool July 2015

  1. A pound of the cure
  2. Should I stay or should I go?
  3. Brightness of the Future
  4. I mustache you a question

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


  • Judgecast Special Driving with JudgeCast
  • Judgecast #124 Magic Origins Release Notes
  • Judgecast #125 As Easy as DEC


Happy Anniversary! July 2015

With the July Anniversaries up, see if you’ve got a name or two to look up and send a double thumbs up! Don’t miss out on the feature on Jess Dunks – the month’s featured judge for anniversaries. And also, cheers to George Gavrilita of France as he celebrates five years with the program! Congratulations to all our July celebrants!

Judge Advancements July 2015

Michael Wiese welcomes the new judges in our community and congratulates the new L2s and L3s from last month.  A total of 234 advancements which is really great!

Judge of the Week

Welcome to L3

A new L3 for Canada, Jon Goud, is welcomed by Gavin Duggan in Christopher Richter’s L3 promotion thread.

Study Guides for L1s and L2s

Are you looking for a clear and concise guide for L1 certification? Are you an L1 with his sights towards L2? If you are any of these then Brian Schenck’s Updated Study Guide Recommendations thread is something you should check out. Here, he links both a study guide for L1 candidates as well as one for L2.

Magic Judge Hall of Fame — History  and Class of 2008

Take a trip down memory lane and peek into how judges were originally appointed to L3, L4 and L5 prior to the year 2000. The process is captured within this forum post by L3 John Shannon. Finally, congratulations to the Class of 2008!

Stepping Down as a Judge

In case anyone would consider stepping down as a judge, the best way to follow proper procedure is outlined in this forum thread.

Player’s Reviews of Judges

Judges are expected to provide players with the optimal gaming experience. To this end, a discussion has been sparked and it sheds light on how players can submit judge reviews. You can take part in the conversation here.

Training Grounds, a New Study Group for L3 Candidates

Announcing the Training Grounds, the place where L2 judges can take the last few steps on their way to L3 certification! Read more about the various blocks and how they relate to L3 Qualities here.


Questions asked in the month of July and an [O]fficial answer, just for you!
1. What's the 'O'fficial policy on facilitating a prize split in the top 8 of a PPTQ? Are we allowed to do that, or should we just be telling the players to play and not allowing them to come to a group decision about a split?

A: The current wording of the MTR does specifically disallow prize split arrangements when a prize that is neither cash nor unopened product has yet to be awarded.

Once again, I encourage TOs to award product prizes (at their GPTs or PPTQs) at the end of Swiss, then have a Top 8 for those players who wish to win the Byes or RPTQ Invite. Having those product prizes at stake during the Top 8 really enables the kind of behavior we need to discourage – some players might even feel we’re encouraging it. (They’d be wrong, but that doesn’t change their impression of the prize structure.)
Approved by: Scott Marshall, L5, Lakewood, CO, USA

2.Adamaro controls a Whisperer of the Wilds and a Shu Yun, the Silent Tempest. He casts Cached Defenses, and bolsters onto Shu Yun. Then, he attacks. His opponent declares “no blocks,” and Adamaro says “take 7, 3 power plus three counters plus Prowess.”
Something went wrong, as the Cached defenses should have added counters to the Whisperer. How do you rule this? Missed Trigger or GRV or what?

A: This question led to an incorrect initial answer, a fair bit of discussion among L4+ judges, and the conclusion that Adamaro missed the Prowess trigger by taking an action that’s only legal if the trigger is missed. Toby’s explanation (to the L4+s) sums this up nicely: “Missed Triggers are defined in terms of *demonstrating* awareness of the trigger at or before the first relevant point, and the rules to do that are concretely defined. That allows the opponent to proceed with a level of certainty (“it’s not missed until something happens that shows you it is”). Introducing the idea that there’s still a possible timeline where we have a non-missed trigger+GRV is problematic there, and we’d need to shift to rules based on whether the judge believes the player was actually aware of the trigger, rather than demonstrated that awareness.”
Approved by: Scott Marshall, L5, Lakewood, CO, USA

3.Anson controls an Alhammarret's Archive, while Noah controls a Chasm Skulker. Anson casts Day's Undoing, but the players were unsure as to how the effects would happen. What happens?

A: The replacement effect from Alhammarret’s Archive is applied as normal to the cards being drawn from Day’s Undoing, and while Chasm Skulker‘s ability also triggers during this process, those pending triggers are wiped out by the process of ending the turn.
Approved by: Callum Milne, L2, Nanaimo, Canada, Netrep

4. a)Starfield of Nyx and ETB triggers? Will an enchantment entering with 4 other enchantments enter as a creature? What about Nylea, God of the Hunt with 4 devotion before she enters? Or Nylea with 5+ devotion?
b) If I cast a Replenish and receive a Starfield of Nyx along with a God. Now, if my devotion is not enough to have him be a creature, he's obviously a creature with p/t=cmc. But what if I receive enough devotion later in the game, is his static ability only type-changing or also p/t-setting respectively linked?

a) In order to determine what abilities trigger when something enters the battlefield, you look at the very first moment after that object has entered the battlefield to see if that object, as it exists at that moment, matches the conditions of any ETB triggers, those abilities trigger. All three cases you mention here will trigger Aura Shards, because in the very first moment after it has entered the battlefield, it is a creature–there is never a time when the object has already entered the battlefield, but is not yet a creature.

b) The Starfield and the God do not have the same timestamp, because if multiple objects would receive a timestamp simultaneously (for example, when Replenish returns multiple enchantments), the active player determines their timestamp order relative to each other. (CR 613.6j)

If the active player chooses to give the God the earlier timestamp, then the Starfield’s animation ability will always apply last, so no matter what the God will always be a creature with P/T equal to its CMC.

If, on the other hand, the active player chooses to give the Starfield the earlier timestamp, the God’s “de-animation” ability is applied last, so whether or not the God is a creature at any given moment will depend on whether or not its controller has sufficient devotion at that time. While it’s a creature, though, it will always have P/T equal to its CMC.
Approved by: Callum Milne, L2, Nanaimo, Canada, Netrep



Just a reminder regarding player suspensions – please do not discuss them on the Judge forum. In case players inquire about their own hypothetical suspension and the corresponding criteria, the recommended course of action is to exclude yourself from the conversation.

WER: Standings of Previous Rounds and Events that End After Midnight

It is not unusual for tournaments ending after midnight. Simply export the WER file and contact your TO to send it to Wizards customer help. A bit better than changing the computer’s time.

Printing standings of previous rounds can sometimes be problematic, especially when play-offs have started and final round swiss standings are required. A possible workaround is printing standings for all players (not only the enrolled ones) and removing the ones that dropped in the swiss part of the tournament. Or you could try deleting all the rounds until you get to the desired one, print the standings and re-enter the scores.

Promo Cards and Legality

The only formats that allow special/promotional card use as of printing date of the special set are Vintage and Legacy (MTR on Wizard’s Document Center).

Bribery – Help Players to NOT get DQ’ed

The topic of bribery is a sensitive one. It is an area where players need to be educated and judges should be actively involved in the coaching process. Read more about how a judge should get involved in situations where players could be helped to not get DQ’ed here.

Mobile Devices

Get access to the latest Mobile Docs conversions! The IPG, JAR, MTR, Oracle, CompRules have all been updated for Origins. Check out the Mobile Devices: CR, IPG, MTR, Oracle thread for more info.


Find out which Judge Conferences, Grand Prix and SCG Opens have available worldwide staffing positions! You still have time to apply for GP Brussels, GP Lyon, GP Atlanta, Scottish and Mid-Atlantic conferences,  as well as SCG Indianapolis and Milwaukee.

Public projects (such as Articles Blog, Battlefield Forge, Conference Guidelines and Policies)  are looking for looking for presenters, 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!