Magic Judge Monthly: September 2016

Dear Judges,

Greetings from GP London! Hope you all are doing well and are ready for a quick summary of all the important topics during the last month. Find out all about Level 2s certifying Level 2s, Judge celebrities and some unusual match score reporting.

Happy reading and until next time,

The MJM team



Level 2 Tester Certification

You may have heard about Level 2 Tester and now it has come to fruition. If you’re Level 2 and want to be able to advance Level 1’s or just looking to find out more about what this certification enables, check out this link. Feel free to join the Judge discussion in the forums.

Judge Conduct Committee Feedback Form Update

The Judge feedback form is now easier to access than ever. If an organizer, player, Judge, or anyone for that matter has feedback about a Judge, this easy to use form will be the resource they need. The link also contains a detailed description of the purpose of Judge feedback and how it is used.

Exemplar Wave 6 Recognitions Posted

The most recent Wave of exemplar recognitions has resolved. The announcement can be viewed here. The next wave ends in less than a month, so be sure to keep an eye out for Judges doing exceptional things!

New Program Coordinator

A new Program Coordinator has been selected. You can view the selection process and a response from the selectee Kevin Desprez here.



Judge Article and Blog Posts September 2016

  1. Articles: On Demand Events: Results and Prizes, Policy Changes for Kaladesh
  2. Bearz Repeating: Pro Tour Sydney: Day 1
  3. Mystical Tutor: New Lessons
  4. Judge Conferences: The Meet’n’Greet Of Public Speaking
  5. Battlefield Forge:  BFZ Standard PPTQ – October 18th 2015, Calls from the Floor of GP Sydney and SCG Standard Regionals Ohio
  6. GP Travel Guides: GP Kyoto 2016, GP Santiago 2016, GP London 2016, GP Atlanta 2016 and GP Dallas / Forth Worth 2016
  7. Judge Games:  The Truth
  8. What’s Up, Docs: PT Sydney HJ Report
  9. The Feedback Loop: My First Review – Abby Kraycar, Taking Selfies – Part Two, Feedbag #6: Feeling a Bit Drafty and Scaling Feedback
  10. Other blogs and streams: The Elvish Farmer, Just a Little WordPress Judge Blog, Chatter of Judges, ,  Magic in 10- Kaladesh:, EDBlog
  11. Kaladesh release notes

In case you would like to discuss an article, visit our Judge forum. Don’t forget to regularly check our Judge blog.


Knowledge Pool September 2016

No news yet, but if you would like to submit a Knowledge Pool scenario, here’s how to do it.


Judgecast  September 2016



Happy Anniversary! September 2016

September anniversaries are in and, it must be said that, there are a lot of names on the list. Featured this month are judges Kaja Pękala, Aaron LaCluyze and Maria Zuyeva. Shout-out these L2s from the Philippines: Dominick Yu Ping Kun and Philip Adrian Pena for hitting the 5th year mark.

Was it mentioned that there are a lot of anniversaries this month? Well to back that statement up, here’s a link to a special edition of anniversaries for September exclusive for L3 celebrants. Six L3s are featured, namely Ryan Stapleton , Dan Stephens , Steven Briggs , Sean Catanese , Justin Turner and Ben McDole .

Congratulations to all celebrants!

Judge of the Week September 2016

173 Jonas Drieghe Level 2 from Belgium

174 Matt Sauers Level 2 from Indiana, USA

175 Jeff Higgins Level 2 from Oregon, USA

176 Nicolas Sabin Level 3 from North Carolina, USA

Explaining Magic to Hearing and Visually Impaired

As the game continues to reach out and breach new borders, there is growing attention towards being able to share the game with more people with special needs – particularly to the blind and deaf. Thread-starter Rami Abdo has gotten lots of important feedback about the topic that points towards several directions that can be taken to help efforts to teach Magic: the Gathering to people who would normally have a relatively difficult time learning the game. You will find Rami’s thread here.


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

1. Would Panharmonicon cause Erdwal Illuminator to trigger twice?

A: No, Panharmonicon will not apply to the Erdwal Illuminator‘s trigger. The Illuminator’s ability is triggering because of investigating, not because of an artifact or creature entering the battlefield, so Panharmonicon will not apply. It doesn’t matter that part of investigating involves an artifact entering, what matters is that the ability is triggering because of investigating.
Answered by Nathan Long

2. If in response to the crew ability on a vehicle, a player flashes in Imprisoned in the Moon or Song of the Dryads onto the vehicle being crewed, does the permanent still become a creature? What are its stats if it does?

A:  While the Song of the Dryads will make it into a land, it will not get rid of the power and toughness that it currently does not have. When the crew ability resolves, it will have the printed power and toughness, since the Song did not get rid of it, so it will be an artifact creature land with the printed power and toughness for the rest of the turn.
Answered by Nathan Long
Imprisoned in the Moon

3. Can you create proxies for high value cards like Expeditions or Inventions in limited events?

A: No. Do not create proxies for “valuable” cards.
The question remains, what about players who have an Expedition, want to play with it, but don’t want to degrade the condition and value of the card?

  • The player may use an exact replacement – e.g., a Khans of Tarkir Polluted Delta instead of an Expedition Polluted Delta.
  • The player may double-sleeve their deck and shuffle carefully.
  • The player may elect to play without the Expedition, to protect it.
  • DO NOT CREATE PROXIES (unless a card is damaged during the normal course of play)

Answered by Scott Marshall

4. The rules for fabricate N are written as: You may put N +1/+1 counters on it. If you don’t, create N 1/1 colorless Servo artifact creature tokens. According to the IPG, this means that missed Fabricate triggers do not expire: no matter how long ago the trigger was missed, we should create N Servo tokens. How do we rule?

A: The reminder text on cards with Fabricate may cause us some heartache, as it doesn’t quite match the rules text (roughly, “put +1/+1 counter(s) OR make servo tokens” vs. “put +1/+1 counter(s); if you don’t, make servo tokens”). However, it is definitely a trigger that specifies a default action.

And, from the IPG: “If the triggered ability specifies a default action … give the opponent the choice to resolve it choosing the default option.” I know, that sentence may need a bit of explanation – maybe next time? – but the summary of changes in the Appendix confirms what I’m about to tell you: “Default-option triggers let the opponent choose whether to resolve it.”

So, I play a creature with Fabricate 2, and get distracted (probably by you, you motor-mouth gamesmanship-type person, you!), forgetting to choose an option. On your turn, you attack into what appears to be a clear board, then I remember the 2 servo tokens I was counting on as chump blockers. You have a choice: you can let me resolve the default option, or not. I’m guessing you’re going to reward my forgetfulness by choosing “not”, so I don’t get my chump blockers. (See how you are??!?!!!? grrr…)

Answered by Scott Marshall

5. If you use the shortcut “combat”, but then pause and wait for the opponent’s response, is it too late to crew vehicles?

A: Yes it is, and players need to be aware of the tournament shortcut.  The appearance of Vehicles in Magic has not changed policy re: this shortcut.  Players should take actions in their combat step immediately instead of trying to pass priority if they want to attack with vehicles.

Answered by Scott Marshall


WER Player Lookup Issues

For some time now, it has been noted that every time there is a search made for a player in WER, it always returns no result. It is believed that this is a change related to players not activating their DCI Membership cards. Read more on this topic.

Judge Center Issues

According to the latest update: A person’s name is no longer a unique identifier that you can use to verify a DCI# is active via the Planeswalker Points website for the purposes of a review. In case a mistake takes place with the review, please do not fix this yourself. Instead you should submit feedback in the Judge Center or message Brian Schenck directly in order to alert him about the issue.

Team Trios Scorekeeping

This forum thread shows us how to properly report the match results in a Team Trios Tournament.

Intentional Draws After the First Game of a Match

Player A has won the first game, and while playing the second game players decide to draw the match. Player A concedes the second game and then they draw. How are we supposed to register this result in WER? Read all about it here.

We should make it clear that this situation is different to a normal ID decided at the beginning of a match which should be reported in the WER as 0-0-3.

Eight – Players Draft Over in 15 Minutes

How might that be possible, you ask? The situation, explained in this forum thread sets out a scenario where players decide to prize-split instead of playing the games out.


Find out which Judge Conferences, Grand Prix and SCG Opens have available worldwide staffing positions! You still have time to apply for Grand Prix Shizuoka’17(Spring) and the Scottish Judge Conference 2016

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

Public projects such as Player Surveys, Mystical Tutor, MJM Translation, Judge Achievements, Flash Cards, Conference Guidelines and Policies and others are looking for help.

If you wish to get more out of your Judging experience and give back to the community, sign up to something that interests you!