Magic Judge Monthly: September 2015

Hello Judges, welcome to the newest edition of Magic Judge Monthly!

Take a few moments and see all the news and updates in our Judge community, such as the updated Drawing Extra Cards policy.

Until next time, enjoy this relaxing issue!


Goodbye Andy and New Interim Judge Manager

After 16 years of working with Wizards of the Coast Andy Heckt has resigned.  Some words of appreciation and some perspective on just a small slice of what Andy did for the community from James Do Hung Lee and other Judges can be found in this forum post.  Filling in as Interim Judge Manager is Aaron Hamer.

New Mulligan Rule and Policy Updates

Battle for Zendikar policy changes!  Toby Elliott provides excellent information for Judges on how to handle drawing extra cards, Digging Through Time for eight, and what to do when players forget to scry.  And a little reminder on the new mulligan rule starting from the same edition.

Suspended Players Updated

The Suspended Player’s List has been updated again.  Eric Shukan also provides some advice about when and when not to boot someone for prize splitting in the Top 8.  Give this a quick read to ensure that you’re not disqualifying someone who is in the right.

Updates and New Judge Pages

Annotated MTR is a new project explaining and deconstructing the Magic Tournament Rules. A new web page, provides various tips on WER and running larger tournamnets.

The Judge booth underwent several updates in order to work better on various devices and in multiple languages.

The Judge Conduct Committee (JCC) has published its Quarterly Report. If you’re a L3+ and would like to join the JCC for its 2016 term, applications are  open now through the end of November.

Judge Exemplar Wave IV Open

Exemplar Wave 4 is now open until January 17th. Recognitions can be submitted by L2+ judges through the Judgeapps interface, accessible through the ‘Recognitions’ option on the menu on the left hand side.


Judge Articles and Blog Posts September 2015

  1. Articles in September: BFZ Policy Changes, Using Trello as a GP Public Event Manager (PEM), Miscommunication? You need to make a decision!, Investigating Life Totals corrected to an incorrect number, Prerelease Tips and Gathering Feedback, Battle for Zendikar Edition, Two-Headed Giant (2HG)
  2. Bearz Repeating: You Make the Ruling #1: Legacy Systems, Task Mastery, You Make the Ruling #2: Standard Situations, Entwining Experiences: Values, Mission, and Vision, Creatures of Value, Entwining Experiences: Being SMART, Entwining Experiences: Working Your Judge Slip and Reality Strobe
  3. Mystical Tutor: Live Session September, Lessons
  4. Judge Conferences: Your First Conference
  5. Battlefield Forge: GP Hong Kong – Day 2 Team Lead, SCG Summer Regionals Florida: The Ballad of the Judge Experience, Capitol Debates, Capital Mistakes – Red Shirting SCG Washington DC’s Modern PIQ, InGeniousCon: Clever Event Hacks and the Judges Behind Them at GenCon and Eternal Weekend (WMCQ + Vintage Champs) Report
  6. GP Travel Guides – 2015: GP Lyon 2015, GP Sydney 2015, GP Seattle/Tacoma 2015 and GP Beijing 2015
  7. Translation rules: Battle for Zendikar Release Notes
  8. Judge Games: Judge Makes the Card and Thank you!
  9. Flashcards: September update
  10. Two-Headed Giant Release Notes : Battle for Zendikar 2HG Hidden Gems and Battle for Zendikar Two-Headed Giant Release Notes
  11. Best Article of June 2015: Recognizing Level 1 Judges by Carlos Ho and Jasper Overman

In case you would like to discuss an article, visit our Judge forum.

Knowledge Pool September 2015

  1. Be Patient, then Dash!
  2. The Missing Link
  3. Stand Your Ground
  4. Always double-check

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


JudgeCast #128 – Rise of the E-maildrazi
JudgeCast #129 – Battle for Zendikar Release Notes Awokened!
JudgeCast Special – Battle for Zendikar Spoiler!


Happy Anniversary! September 2015

Step right up this way and check out September’s celebrants of their five, ten and fifteen year anniversaries! Featured this month are Nick Buras (aka The Judgefather), Steven Zwanger and Adrian Estoup. Also, check out how David de la Iglesia describes his “old” friend Andreas Jepsen.

Judge Advancements September 2015

Michael Wiese says:

“Hello! It is time again to welcome the new judges in our lovely community, as well as congratulate the new L2s.

Some of you pointed out that sometimes as a Tester Brain Schenck is listed for tests he didn’t do. That’s because Brian is doing a great work within a judge center fixing little errors and taking care of the judge center at all and my script is looking for the judge who has entered the review. Together with Brain, I was able to identify this error and for the next posting (October) the real testing judge will be listed. Sorry any problems this might have caused.”

Judge Hall of Fame- Congratulations!

Toby Elliot, Jason Ness and Scott Marshall all join the HOF (Class of 2011). Join us in congratulating MJM’s own Uncle Scott on this thread.

BFZ Prerelase Player Survey

Player feedback about the recent PR experience is currently being gathered. For a link to the survey, check out Paul Baranay’s post.


Questions asked in the month of September and an [O]fficial answer, just for you!

1. If a card is physically present but not in a playable condition (by being in graded case) could one issue a proxy and be seen as the same as a proxy replacement for a card becoming damaged during a tournament?

A: Nope, not in a sanctioned event.

If a card is damaged during the normal course of play, the HJ can create a proxy. This does not apply to a card that is unplayable before the event begins.
Approved by Scott Marshall, L5, Lakewood CO, USA.

2. At the beginning of my upkeep, I control no permanents other than a Barren Glory, and I have no cards in my hand. The triggered ability goes on the stack. Then my opponent destroys the enchantment. Do I still win the game?

A: Yes you will. The correct interpretation is the straightforward English one, (B): “If you control no permanents, not counting Barren Glory.” The trigger doesn’t care whether or not you control Barren Glory at the time it resolves–it’s telling you not to include Barren Glory in the count when you’re checking how many permanents you control.

If the trigger wanted to make sure you still controlled Barren Glory, it would need to say so, and would instead read something like “if you control Barren Glory and no other permanents”
Approved by Callum Milne, L2-Rules Netrep, Canada.

3. On MTGO, with Hallowed Moonlight active, a Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy doesn’t re-enter the battlefield transformed. Is this correct?

A: MTGO exiling them instead is a bug, not correct behavior.
Origins Jace and company should enter the battlefield transformed, completely unhindered by Hallowed Moonlight.
614.12 is the applicable rule, because Hallowed Moonlight is trying to modify how permanents enter the battlefield. The Moonlight’s replacement effect checks what Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy will be on the battlefield in order to determine if it should apply, sees that he’s not going to be a creature, and therefore doesn’t apply.
Approved by Callum Milne, L2-Rules Netrep, Canada.

4. Player A controls a Lantern of Insight. The top card of Player B's library, an Island, is face-up. Player B activates his Scalding Tarn. He places the face-up Island onto the battlefield and picks up his deck to shuffle, clearly just taking a shortcut to the search.
Player A stops him and tells him that, since Player B “found” the top card of the deck, he needs to reveal the new top card before he shuffles.
Player B reveals a Serum Visions, returns it to the top of the deck, and proceeds with the shuffle. Once complete, he flips the new top card face-up, revealed by the Lantern. Play continues.
Is this correct, or did Player A trick Player B into giving away more information than necessary when he told him to reveal the Serum Visions?

A: Yes, Player A is correct. Since there is a (very) brief period of time in between the card being put onto the battlefield and the shuffle being performed, the next card in the library will be revealed for just a moment giving Player A a chance to see it.
Approved by Callum Milne, L2-Rules Netrep, Canada.


Smartphone apps – TiebreakerJS

You can manage MTG tournaments with your smartphone even when offline! The TiebreakerJS is an app that provides you with everything you need to run a tournament from the comfort of your phone! Get the zip file containing the complete package here.

MTG Augmented Reader – reality card scanner software

This awesome piece of software has not originally been intended for judging, but may come in handy in International Events when you can’t remember the name of the card and have to provide Oracle Text. Follow the Reddit link to download it and also watch a tutorial on Youtube. Please note that currently the app is only available for Iphone, but there might be plans to develop it for Android as well!

Judge Center Issues update

Certain important issues have come up after various tests carried out recently, indicating that sometimes the Judge Center and the membership database profiles do not sync properly, therefore creating difficulties in generating exams and carrying out certifications. Read on to find out all related details and what to do in order to avoid running into these difficulties.

New Constructed Deck Check Technique

A new deck check technique has surfaced, based on the highly popular Australian Deck Check technique for limited. What’s the catch? This deck check technique is intended for constructed decks! In this forum topic you can read more about how it is performed, the benefits it offers, and certain concerns that need to be addressed in order to make it truly successful.

Drop in Response to Deck Swap in Sealed Tournaments

With the inclusion of Expedition Lands in Battle for Zendikar, it is becoming a more common occurrence for players to be enquiring as to when exactly they can drop from a limited tournament. There is currently a reference in Section 2.10 of the MTR, but there are still some grey areas like what happens during a deck swap. Get some important clarifications on the linked topic.


Find out which Judge Conferences, Grand Prix and SCG Opens have available worldwide staffing positions! You still have time to apply for Grand Prix Vancouver, Grand Prix Mexico City,Israel Judge Conference, SE-USA Winter Judge Conference, Pro Tour Oath of the Gatewatch (Atlanta) and multiple SCG tournaments.

Check out the Grand Prix Soliciations and Selected Staffs such as GP Madrid and GP Brussels.

Public projects (such as Review Expert Group) are looking writers, editors and translators. 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!