Magic Judge Monthly: October 2015

Dear Judges, welcome to the October edition of Magic Judge Monthly!

Read all about the happenings in our worldwide judge community over the last month. You still have time to participate in the Exemplar program and a chance to help in a noble cause.

Until next time, happy reading!


Suspended Players Page updated

Eric Shukan has posted the updated Suspended Player List and has a few reminders for Judges dealing with disqualifications.  This includes important information for anyone who might be dealing with shady behavior at their events and how to process the offenders.

Review Expert Group

An all-star group of Judges, lead by Jeremie Granat, has been assembled to assist you in writing reviews.  Whether you want help writing your first or critique on your latest, they are here to help.  They are also looking for a few Judges to help them out.  If you think you can lend a hand, check out this forum post.


Judge Article and Blog Posts October 2015

  1. Articles: The Forbidden Look, Summer Tales (Part Two), Tweaking the new DEC Rules, One Hundred and Counting…
  2. Bearz Repeating: Entwining Experiences: The EDGE Method, The Power of Position, Entwining Experiences: Feedback Is a Gift, Appealing Off the Layers, Gamewarden and Logistics of Battle
  3. Mystical Tutor: Live Session October, Lessons
  4. Judge Conferences: Presentation Design Principles – Part 1 and Presentation Design Principles – Part 2
  5. Battlefield Forge: Some Good, Some Bad – SCG Chicago Modern PIQ, Tournament Report for WMCQ #1 – Philippines 2015, On-demand Events at SCG Cincinnati – The “New Normal” and SCG Worcester Two Day Report: First time Team Lead + Sunday Funday
  6. GP Travel GuidesGP Brussels 2015, GP Madison 2015, GP Quebec 2015 and 2015 First Semester News
  7. Judge Games: One in Ten (or Was That Fifteen)
  8. Flashcards: New updates available

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

Knowledge Pool October 2015

  1. Here, let me shuffle… uh…
  2. A Bit Impulsive
  3. Nissa’s Chosen
  4. Drawing in, the hard way
  5. Let’s not scry about it

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


JudgeCast #130 –  The Ever-Expanding DEC (and friends!)

JudgeCast #131 – Bad Habits of Good L1s Redux


Happy Anniversary! October 2015

A big congratulations to our October 2015 judge anniversaries! Featuring Irina Samonova and John Alderfer!

Judge Advancements October 2015

Find Michael Wiese updated Judge advancements on our forum or directly on Judge Center.

Judge of the Week October 2015

149 Jeff Daran level 2 from North Carolina, USA

150 George Gavrilita, level 2 from Italy

Cover Letters for GPs

If you are wondering how to write the perfect GP cover letter, then it’s really worthwhile to look at the article Writing Effective Cover Letters and listen to the Judge Cast We got you Covered.

Noble Cause – mtgforlife

A new campaign to collect money for Doctors without Borders is out! It is open for Magic players and judges, all around the world. If you would like to make a contribution, visit the project page.


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

1. I cast Dig Through Time but look at 8 cards instead of 7 and correctly add 2 of them to my non empty hand. After that I notice the error. With the new rules it is DEC and we have to take the appropriate remedy to the Dig Through Time card set but in fact that set does not exist anymore. What remedy should we apply?

A: Too late to do much now. Issue the infraction and there’s no fix.
Approved by: Toby Elliott, L5, Los Altos, California, United States

2. Anson is playing Living End against Noah's Skred. Noah currently has a Boros Reckoner and a Relic of Progenitus on the field and one mana open. Anson casts Demonic Dread, targeting Boros Reckoner and begins to cascade. He flips cards until he reveals Living End, saying simply “Living End”. Noah responds by activating Relic’s 1 mana ability. With the ability on the stack, Anson casts Violent Outburst and cascades into another Living End. My question is, in this scenario, has Anson committed to casting the Living End off Demonic Dread (the first one he revealed), or can he still decide not to cast it. What if his comment upon reveal had been “Reveal Living End”?

A: Since cascade doesn’t give you a time frame to cast it, you cast it while the cascade trigger of Demonic Dread is resolving or not at all. They can’t hold on to the spell and try to cast it at a later time. If they don’t cast it while the cascade trigger is resolving, it ends up on the bottom of the library. So if they cascade into the Living End and don’t put it on the bottom, it seems safe to say that they’ve chosen to cast the spell.
Approved by: Nathan Long, L2, Wizards.Com Boards NetRep

3. Player A controls Sylvan Library and his life is below 8.
At his draw step, he drew 2 cards at resolving the triggered ability of Sylvan Library and he shuffled them into his hand completely by mistake. What happens with the new IPG?

A: The IPG really doesn’t have much to do with this; it’s more about how Sylvan Library should be handled. It was not, and is not now, either GRV or DEC.
If the cards get mixed in with the rest of the hand, then “choose two cards drawn this turn” is an impossible action, and you’ll have to pay the 4 life per card.
Approved by: Scott Marshall, L5, Lakewood, CO, USA

4. At FNM a player failed to reveal the top card of his library from a Nissa, Sage Animist and put it directly into his hand. I looked into his hand and saw there were two non-land cards there. He had already showed his opponent that there were no lands in his hand, and although the new IPG policy states that we should have his opponent shuffle a card from his hand into his library I felt this would be more damaging to the game than simply leaving it as it was. Both players were fine with it and they continued playing. Was this correct? What about at Comp REL?

A: Yes, this was fine for FNM. At comp REL, consider, before this latest update to the IPG, that error was upgraded to a Game Loss.

While it’s often fine to find a fix that best fits the situation ***AT REGULAR REL***, at Comp REL, you are correct in following policy.

If a player is unhappy that their opponent gets to choose which card they lose, you can gently remind them that, just last week, it’s the whole game that they’d lose, not just one card. I’ve also used phrases like “this is why it’s so critical to pay close attention to the game, and avoid costly errors.” Not an accusation, hopefully not even taken as confrontational, but still emphasizes that this remedy is to correct their mistake.

Another phrasing that might help: “Because stuff happens, we have these set remedies defined to repair the game state in a way that is as fair to both players as is possible, depending on the error.”
Approved by: Scott Marshall, L5, Lakewood, CO, USA

5. End of turn of Norbert's turn, Albert fetches for a land. He shuffles his deck and does not present it to his opponent. Albert then directly untaps and draws his card for the turn. Norbert calls for a judge. After investigation, you believe Albert did not cheat (by shuffle tutoring for example). The card drawn cannot be identified in Albert's hand.

A: The IPG has a new line for TE- Insufficient Shuffling: “A player unintentionally fails to sufficiently shuffle his or her deck or portion of his or her deck before presenting it to his or her opponent or fails to present it to his or her opponent for further randomization.”
Approved by: Scott Marshall, L5, Lakewood, CO, USA


Missing FNM and BaB Promos

An interesting question has been raised this month regarding what stores are meant to do with any surplus FNM and BaB Promos. In any case, it is unacceptable for the promos to just go missing. Follow the link to find out more about how stores are supposed to distribute surplus FNM and BaB promo, and in which cases an investigation may be in order.

App Updates

The IPG, JAR, MTR, Oracle, CompRules, MTR documents have been updated for Battle for Zendikar and are available here in ISilo, EPub and EReader formats. There is a new iOS app, Augmented Reality Card Scanner which may come handy on providing oracle text on cards in various languages.

WER updates

There have been some reported issues regarding WER functionality on Windows 10. Here you can read potential solutions to problems you may run into, and also take part in the ongoing discussion sharing your own experiences.

Running Two Rounds in WER Simultaneously

The best example of when we might want to do this is while running a league. Ever wondered how you can do it? Click here for the ingenious answer!

Is it Acceptable to Run 35 Minute Rounds at a Games Day?

There are certain exceptional circumstances that would allow us to go below the prescribed 40 minute limit. Read on to see what the correct procedure is in order to ensure we are within the scope of proper policy procedures.

Ending a Tournament Midway and Determining a Winner

Sometimes an independent TO might wish to run an invitational style series where the top 2 or top 4 get an invite and the tournament concludes midway through the playoffs. It is absolutely fine to do this as long as it has been clearly announced at the beginning. Read on for all the details.

Playoffs with Limited Time

It might be the case that a judge works with a TO who wants to enforce a time limit to playoffs for reasons such as having to pay store employees overtime, and having to charge players extra in after hours. Here is something to brush up our knowledge on ending playoffs within a limited timeframe.

“Casual” Cheating

You are judging at a competitive REL event. You notice that while playing a casual game after a tournament match between two participants has concluded, one of the players is clearly cheating. How do you handle the situation? Read on to find out.


Find out which Judge Conferences, Grand Prix and SCG Opens have available worldwide staffing positions! You still have time to apply for GrandPrix Nagoya’16 and Grand Prix Vancouver 2016, as well as the Eastern European Winter Conference and Conferencia del Rio de la Plata 2016.

Check out the Grand Prix Solicitations and Selected Staffs for more details on individual tournaments.

Public projects such as: the Articles Blog, Battlefield Forge, Card of the Week, Customer Service, Czech MTR translation, French Projects : Blog and translations and others 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!