Magic Judge Monthly: November 2015

Welcome to this year’s last edition of your favorite magazine for the busy Judge!

November was quite a quiet month, guess we’re all slowly getting ready for the festive season! If you feel like doing a good deed yourself, don’t forget you still have time to recommend Judges.

Happy reading and enjoy the holidays!

Best wishes,
the MJM team


Judge Article 2015

Want to vote for the Judge Article of the Year? Now is your chance! Voting can be done at If you haven’t read them all, shame on you! Austrian Judge Christian Gawrilowicz has compiled the links for all the articles this year. Read up on a few topics that interest you and cast your vote.


Judge Article and Blog Posts November 2015

  1. Articles: Running on-demand events at a GP, PPTQs: Head Judge-TO Communication, Planar Magic (Planechase)
  2. Bearz Repeating: Reading List and Discipline
  3. Mystical Tutor: November Lessons
  4. Judge Conferences: Conference Policies and Guidelines: October update and On the Road – Part 1
  5. Battlefield Forge: Polishing Up Deck Check Technique @ San Diego SIQ 2015, Loco and the Adventures of the Missing Luggage (GP Sydney 2015), GP Lyon 2015 Sunday Team Sealed – Head Judge Report and Grand Prix Beijing 2015 – Team Sealed
  6. Judge Games: Nick’s Tasks and Bonus: Judge Makes the Card @ GP Brussels
  7. Flashcards: New updates available
  8. MTGScorekeeper: 2015 Mid-Atlantic Judge Conference: Virginia is for Reviewers by Riki Hayashi
  9. Translation updates

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

Knowledge Pool November 2015

  1. Incomplete Disregard
  2. That’s No Moon
  3. Bop to the Top

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


JudgeCast #132 – Deck Checks Decktacular
JudgeCast #133 – A Very JudgeCast GP


Happy Anniversary! November 2015

Check out the November Judge Anniversaries, featuring Kepa Arrieta, Christian Gawrilowicz and Cristiana Dionisio! The new project lead will be Ron Thompson. Johanna, big thanks!

How Can Players Contact Judges

There are a few official ways to contact certain Judges- via Judge Center or Judge Apps. It’s possible for players to have both accounts without being certified. If possible, try to avoid asking Regional Coordinators for other Judge contact information. The feedback forms usually won’t help much, as it don’t provide specific contact details.

Note for Newer L1’s and Judge Candidates

There is so much more in our Judge world then simply certifying and judging. The Judge community is always expanding in various directions, be it in social media, forums, articles, groups, mentoring, conferences… This unofficial list provides a lot of ideas on how to improve your Judge life.

Google Calendar for Premier Events

A new Google calendar is available for your viewing and adding. It will be periodically updated as new events are announced.


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

1. At competitive REL, halfway during game 2 a player draws a card, from his own deck, but belonging to his opponent. Both players receive a game loss, causing simultaneous Game Loss penalties which don't affect the match score - meaning they start game 2 all over again.
My question is would you give them a time extension, and if so how much (considering at that point it's impossible to know how long the original game 2 took)?

A: At competitive REL, it’s D/DLP and a Game Loss for each player, we end the game, have them correct their decks, and begin game 2 over again – the GL penalties offset and don’t count towards the match total.

And since the wounds are self-inflicted, I will only give them a couple extra minutes – i.e., the time I spend resolving the problem. Time extensions are intended to compensate for not being able to play while dealing with staff – rulings, deck checks, even moving them to a dry table after a spill.
Approved by: Scott Marshall, L5, Lakewood CO, USA

2. Can you make proxies for Expeditions, due to the high value nature of the cards?

A: No, please do not do this. Do not create proxies for “valuable” cards. Also to note: Policy does not support proxies for checklist cards. Players need to either have checklist cards, or opaque sleeves.
Approved by: Scott Marshall, L5, Lakewood, CO, USA

3. I’m trying to find ways to help my local game store reduce the time a tournament takes. Here are the options we came up with. Are these allowed?
1) Make the tournaments have 40 minute rounds rather than 50.
2) Have the tournament be one round less than recommended.
3) Enforce a Game Loss at 0 minutes.
4) End the match at time, and higher life total wins.

A: No to 3 and 4!
Ask your players and TO some things to help with time:
Do the events always start on time, or do you have a lot of last-minute arrivals & signups?
Can we start earlier? 30 minutes? 1 hour? (find out how many players he’d lose)
Could we shorten the rounds, starting next week (i.e., give them notice to not play slow decks)

Ask everyone to do their part, to help people get home earlier!
Approved by: Scott Marshall, L5, Lakewood, CO, USA

4. Player A controls Player B's Greenwarden of Murasa. Greenwarden dies. I know Player A controls the trigger even if Player B is the owner of the card, but does Player A have the option to exercise the ability by exiling Greenwarden from Player B's graveyard?

A: Yes, Player A can choose to exile the card. There’s nothing preventing Player A from exiling the Greenwarden of Murasa from Player B’s graveyard, so Player A can choose to exile the card and return the targeted card, even though the Greenwarden ended up in another player’s graveyard.
Approved by: Nathan Long, L2, Durango, CO, USA, NetRep

5. During AP's Beginning of Combat Step, NAP casts Master Warcraft.
During the Declare Attackers Step, AP is forced by NAP to attack with 3 of his creatures. But NAP is controlling a Propaganda, and AP calls a judge to know how to manage this situation. He has 6 untapped lands and he knows that he can’t be forced to tap them and pay Propaganda's ability. But what happens after he decides not to activate mana abilities? The game goes back to the first moment of the DAS, but here we go again. Is this a loop?

A: The relevant part of the loop rules here is 716.5, which explains that players cannot be forced to take outside actions that aren’t part of a loop in order to end that loop. In this case, that means that AP can’t be forced to tap lands to end the loop.

Instead, it is NAP who must make different choices–they’re going to have to either choose for nothing to attack (which will definitely be legal) or else communicate with the AP to figure out exactly what, if any, attacker configurations AP is willing to pay for (Propaganda; Master Warcraft.).
Approved by Callum Milne, L2, Nanaimo, Canada, NetRep


Bugs on Judge Apps

It has recently been noticed that the ‘Provide Feedback’ link in the Judge Apps sometimes gives an error message. If you happen to get this bug you could visit this forum page to get directions on what to do, and see what steps have been made to resolve the issue.

Apps for iPhone

Are you an iOS user? Are you in need of a handy Judge App for your iPhone to assist you in your judging endeavors? Look no further than this thread!

Catch cheaters – Counterfeit Cards

An interesting discussion has been initiated which revolves around the topics of how to identify counterfeit cards, carry out a proper investigation and what Policy has to say about this. Read all about it here.

New Deck Check Method – Impressions

Remember the constructed deck check technique that came out a few months ago, inspired by the Australian deck check technique for limited? It has been in use for a while now with a number of judges trying it out and sharing their observations here. You can read about the benefits it has to offer over the conventional methods, as well as some of the challenges that need to be addressed before this method is able to truly shine!

DCI Number Lookup in Judge Center

Is there a way to look up a player’s DCI number in the Judge Center, and are there specific reasons mostly related to personal integrity and data protection as to why a Judge Center profile page does not display the users’ DCI numbers? Get the information here!


Find out which Judge Conferences, Grand Prix and SCG Opens have available worldwide staffing positions! You still have time to apply for Grand Prix Houston 2016, Grand Prix Detroit 2016, Grand Prix Melbourne 2016, Grand Prix Toronto 2016 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!