Magic Judge Monthly: February 2016

Dear Judges,

Welcome to the February edition of the magazine for the busy Judge! We hope you will find something to your taste and maybe even learn a thing or two.

Take care and until next month!


Exemplar Wave 5 Open

Wave 4 of Exemplar has wrapped up and Wave 5 has begun. Bryan Prillaman has all the details on what the next wave holds and important information on how to write an effective recommendation. This wave ends on May 1st, which is only two months away, so keep an eye out for exemplary Judges!

Introducing the Rules Resources site

All your Magic: The Gathering rules in one easy to use site. This includes links to the Annotated MTR and Annotated IPG, which provide an in-depth look and explanation of each section of those documents. Definitely worth checking out and bookmarking.

News in USA Northwest and Midwest

The Midwest Region has been divided into three regions North, Central, and Great Lakes. Steven Briggs remains vital and will coordinate the Central. Rob McKenzie is the King in the North. Jarrod Williams is heading up the Great Lakes. The Northwest, which has been in RC flux, may have settled a bit also when it acquired Scott Marshall as a permanent Coordinator. Congratulations to all the Regional Coordinators!

New Judge Community Manager

The aptly named Sara Mox has accepted a full-time role as Community Manager for the Magic Judge Network. Congratulations on the new job, Sara! We’re sure you’re being bombarded with questions, meeting coworkers, and learning all your new tasks, but some of us  wish to know the answer to a question that’s been bugging me for years. When are Beebles coming back?


Judge Article and Blog Posts February 2016

  1. Articles: Zach of All Trades: Scorekeeping SCG Regionals, Introducing the Rules Resources site, Introducing the new Judge Community Manager, Sara Mox!
  2. Bearz Repeating: Missives from PAX South, Guest Post: Imposter Syndrome and Judging, Keeping Track and PPTQ Stories: Slow Play and Tilt
  3. Judge Conferences: The ‘Tells’ of Body Language – Part 3: Being the Receiver, Hosting the Virginia Judge Conference at Battlegrounds and Organizing a Judge Conference – What can go wrong
  4. Battlefield Forge: OGW Release Day at Hareruya, Mana Deprived Super Series 3K (Montreal, QC, Canada), PPTQ Metropolis Centre (Madrid, Spain) for PT Sydney 2016 and SCG Regionals – Providence, 2/6/2016
  5. GP Travel Guides –  BoM Madrid 2016, GP Barcelona 2016 and GP Melbourne 2016
  6. Judge Games: The Kangaroo Court is now in session!, Judge Letter @ GP Vancouver
  7. MTGScorekeeper: Being An Effective Line Captain, Matt Braddock: EE 5k Satellite, Baltimore, John Brian McCarthy: Judge! My Points Are Wrong!  and Let’s Talk About Words: “Investigations”
  8. What’s Up, Docs: Investigating, step 0: Knowing when to investigate, Policing your Team Building, Whispers of the Muse, buyback edition and PT Atlanta Head Judge Report

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

Knowledge Pool February 2016

  1. Die Another Day
  2. Sticky toppings can get messy
  3. Sudden Death
  4. The Highest Form of Flattery

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


JudgeCast #139 – Exemplarillaman

JudgeCast #140 – An Appealing Episode


Happy Anniversary! February 2016

Big congratulations to the Judges celebrating their anniversaries in February! Featuring Gareth Pye from Australia.

Judge of the Week February 2016

L3 Checklist Tracker

If you are preparing for your L3 exam, this chekclist tracker from Gareth Tanner may come in handy. There is also a  more compact version available for you convenience.


Questions asked in the month of February and an [O]fficial answer, just for you!
1. I control a Chromatic Sphere and Words of Waste. I activate the ability of the enchantment. Then, I start casting a spell, sacrificing the Sphere. Will my opponent discard the card face up or face down? If it is face up, it creates a way to have a free information about a card in opponent's hand, if I finally do not cast the spell.

A: The card is discarded face-up. However, if you start to cast a spell without intending to finish simply to increase your knowledge of your opponent’s hand, you’re probably gonna have a bad time. As has been previously explained in a similar case, intentionally taking illegal actions to gain advantage is Cheating, and will come with a DQ.
Waste not, in the second possible combination, is never a mana ability, and cannot interact with this.
Chromatic Sphere, Words of Waste

Approved by Callum Milne, L2 Netrep, Nanaimo Canada

2. If I painter's servant and name blue, will I be able to glittering wish for a stony silence in my sideboard?

A: Nope. Painter’s Servant can only affect cards in one of the game zones. It will not affect cards outside of the game, like the sideboard. The cards in your sideboard are not affected by the Servant’s ability, and you could not use Glittering Wish to get the Stony Silence out of your sideboard.
400.10a Cards in a player’s sideboard are outside the game. See rule 100.4.
400.10c Cards outside the game can’t be affected by spells or abilities, except for characteristic-defining abilities printed on them (see rule 604.3) and spells and abilities that allow those cards to be brought into the game.

Approved by Nathan Long, L2, Netrep, Durango CO, USA

3. A player announced a Sphinx's Revelation for 5, tapped his lands, confirmed with his opponent, and drew his cards. It wasn't until after the draw that he realized the Revelation was still in his hand; the solution I suggested at the time, which we applied, was that the point of error was moving the card to the stack (he cast it legally except for that step), and that the legality of the error couldn't be verified (he could have bluffed having the spell, knowing he could draw into it), so we issued a GRV - upgrade to GL.

With the new category of Hidden Card Error (HCE) taking over for GRV upgrades and DEC, it seems that this error still falls under the same line of thought; they committed a Game Play Error by not casting the spell correctly, but now that they've drawn the cards their opponent can't verify that it was legal to cast this spell, and neither can a judge.

A: This remains a GRV, not an HCE.
The philosophy in the IPG applies just fine, so we back up to the point of the error – 5 random cards (but not Sphinx’s Revelation) on top of the library, the spell is announced, but the card was never moved to the stack; put it on the stack, and the opponent has priority. If the opponent isn’t going to respond the second time, either, then we can save some time by skipping the physical manipulation of randomly moving 5 cards around for all of 3 seconds; instead, just put Sphinx’s Revelation in the graveyard, record infraction(s), and move on.

Approved by Scott Marshall, L5, Lakewood, CO, USA

4. Matter Reshaper dies. Player announces the ability, then draws without revealing. What would you do?

A: The error probably “cannot be corrected by only publicly available information”, and – as far as we can tell from the original scenario – this was done “without {the} opponent’s permission”.

So, the player reveals their hand, and the opponent selects zero cards – there are no “excess or unverified” cards in this example. Since no cards are being returned to the library, no shuffle is required.

If there’s only one card in hand, then “the zone in question contains only a single card”, in which case a simple correction is “reveal that card, please”, and this is a GRV, not an HCE.
Matter Reshaper

Approved by Scott Marshall, L5, Lakewood, CO


WER Issues

Sometimes you might run into an issue where WER doesn’t pair the top 8 or the top 4 of a sanctioned tournament properly. FInd out how you can resolve the issue of incorrect creation of rounds.

Now we outline how we can go from a single elimination event to swiss, and then right back to single elimination! All by applying some very inventive ways.

What would you say to a player who asks you if they can be enrolled in two events at the same time? Get your answers on our forum.

Also, a request has been made that a “downloading updates” text or graphic be displayed when WER is running the updater. Find out how you can resolve issues of not properly updating WER to the latest version in the forum thread.

If you are using Rtools, read up on how to install Rtools on a store PC and properly point it to use WER.

WPN Events Page and Honolulu PPTQ Season Sanctioning Open

Aside from wishing to announce that the sanctioning window for Honolulu is now open, we would also like to point you towards the WPN Events Page, where all events with open sanctioning windows can be found.

Eternal Masters Sealed PPTQ Format

Is this a viable format? Read Helene Bergeot’s statement on the matter.

Tax information for USA tournaments

Read up on the issue of gathering tax information for USA tournaments in this forum thread.


Find out which Judge Conferences, Grand Prix and SCG Opens have available worldwide staffing positions! You still have time to apply for Grand Prix Pittsburgh and Grand Prix Sao Paulo!

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!