Magic Judge Monthly: October 2016

Dear Judges,

Welcome to the newest edition of your favorite magazine for the busy Judge! Last month had some very interesting topics (such as sexism) and had celebrated quite a lot of anniversaries. Find out all about it, and much more in this issue.

Happy reading and see you next month,

The MJM team


New RC in German Speaking Countries

Seven years is a long time for any job, especially for a volunteer position as demanding as Regional Coordinator. Michael Wiese has stepped down as RC for the German Speaking Countries. Stefan Ladstätter has shown that he is capable and has taken over the position.



Judge Article and Blog Posts October 2016

  1. Articles: Do Not Pass Go, Staying L2, Staying Awesome, L2 Candidate FAQ
  2. Mystical Tutor: New Lessons
  3. Judge Conferences: Updates to Conference Support – October and New Feedback forms!
  4. Battlefield Forge:  Tournament Report for WMCQ III PH (17 September 2016) – Head Judge Report
  5. GP Travel Guides: PT Honolulu 2016, GP Kuala Lumpur 2016, GP/WMC Rotterdam 2016, GP Warsaw 2016 and GP Denver 2016
  6. What’s Up, Docs: Team Sealed GPs specifics (Also a GP Kyoto HJ Report)
  7. The Feedback Loop: Feedbacklash, Taking Selfies – Part Three, Feedbag #7: Leading a Horse to Water and Scaling Feedback for New L1s
  8. Other blogs and streams: The Elvish Farmer, Just a Little WordPress Judge Blog, Chatter of Judges, EDBlog

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




Happy Anniversary! October 2016

A big round of applause for our 5, 10 and 15-year old celebrants!Featuring Inhwan Kim, Chris Richter and Thales Bittencourt.

There is also a separate page for L3 anniversaries that you simply have to visit: presenting Aaron Hamer, Giorgos (George) Trichopoulos, Jeremie Granat and Sebastian Pękala.

Judge of the Week October 2016

Name Tags

Judge name badges are officially created by Wizards only for L2 and L3 judges; new L2s are added to the list for the next production run automatically, and Regional Coordinators handle special orders (replacements, name changes, corrections, etc). They are not common in L1s, however, there are unofficial ways of getting your customized name tag. More information on the forum.

Hot Topics: “You’re fired!” and Sexism

The phrase “you’re fired” is often used in a joking manner after ending a tournament, but one must bear in mind that it might be misinterpreted. Take a quick look at this discussion which lists the pros and cons of this phrase.

Female Judges are quite often faced with non-obvious sexism at events, such as being called “sweetheart” or even getting their rulings appealed.  All the experiences, solutions and suggestions are found on the forum.


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

1. Player A controls Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth and Plains. Player B controls Blood Moon. I know that Urborg is a basic Mountainwith no abilities, but my question is: What is the text of the Plains controlled by Player A?

A: No it does not. Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth‘s effect is dependent on Blood Moon‘s effect, since applying Blood Moon’s effect will change the existence of Urborg’s effect (by removing its abilities when it becomes a Mountain). You apply Blood Moon’s effect first, and nonbasic lands become Mountains. This removes Urborg’s ability and it only has the ability to tap for one red mana. Since Urborg no longer has any abilities, no lands will gain the Swamp subtype. Your Plains is just a Plains: it will not have the ability to tap for black mana.
Answered by Nathan Long.

2. Where in the MTR does it say that Masterpiece editions are allowed in limited (sealed/draft) formats?

A: The MTR update was done before we knew about Masterpieces. Assume they’re fine and we’ll have an update for AER.
Answered by Toby Elliott

3. Adam controls an Eldrazi Mimic, casts and resolves a Reality Smasher and says “Trigger”. Norman responds to the trigger casting Boros Charm(for example) choosing to deal 4 damage to Adam. Boros Charm resolves and Adam says nothing about the choice and declares attackers. Is it still assumed that Adam chooses the Mimic NOT TO BE a 5/5 because the opponent did respond?

A: I interpret this phrase from MIPG: “assumed to have made the affirmative choice unless the opponent responds” to mean unless the opponent responds to that trigger. Any other interpretation renders this somewhat vague, and that’s not how the policy team works. Yes, there is an economy of words – necessary to maintain a workable document – but the words are carefully chosen by masters of proper English syntax. Reading too much into any wording, or – as in this case, in my opinion, reading it “sideways” – can destroy meaning.
Eldrazi Mimic
Reality Smasher
Boros Charm
Answered by Scott Marshall

4. To be clear, can a player pile shuffle every time he/she needs the deck to be randomized or only once per game/match using it as a method to count the deck?

A: Policy allows no more than one pile count, but that’s allowed each time you randomize the deck. If you crack a fetch-land, resolve a tutor effect, or even if you mulligan, you are required to randomize – and thus, you’re allowed another pile count. If it was only allowed once per game or per match, that’s what policy would say – and it doesn’t.

That other thread does take the tangent of “is it Slow Play?”, but I also tried to emphasize, in that thread, this is a new and significant change; educate the players, first and foremost. My concern, from that other thread, is that some seemed to need another reason to issue penalties; this policy change isn’t intended to fuel a “witch hunt”, but instead we want players to stop wasting time with a shuffling method that doesn’t really randomize.
Answered by Scott Marshall

5. If a player shuffles with the card faces towards them, is it Insufficient Shuffling or Looking at Extra Cards?

A: Insufficient Shuffling can only occur while shuffling. Interestingly, it’s at the point when a player presents that we know they’re saying they shuffled “enough”, and we might tell them they didn’t. We don’t normally assess Insufficient Shuffling during the act of shuffling, since we can’t know if it might still become sufficient.
Answered by Scott Marshall


Guide for Beginner GP Floor Judges

Currently, Thomas Wood a Level 2 from Perth, Australia is working on a document to help outline the basics of Floor Judging a Grand Prix for judges who are experienced, but not necessarily at judging as part of a team at a Grand Prix. As this is currently under construction, all are invited to add your comments and suggestions here.

Google Calendar Updated for 2017

The calendar has been updated with all events in 2017, reflecting the following changes:
– GP Lille now in Metz
– GP Vegas (Standard) replaced with GP Vegas (Limited)
– GP Hong Kong added

Apps and Audio Files

The latest Mobile Docs Conversion update is out, now also including Kaladesh.

Some useful apps for scanning the picture of a Magic card to find the names are MTG Familiar and Delver Lens. Read about this and more within the relevant forum thread.

You can listen to recordings of the Two headed giant briefing for players and of the JAR document within the latest update of Audio Files.

Vocabulary for Polyglot Judges

One of the many cool things in the judge community is that it provides a lot of opportunities to travel abroad and the experience is so enjoyable that the desire sparks to learn foreign languages. However since we are judges, why focus on basic vocabulary for tourism and casual conversations, when we have access to this great resource, containing some vocabulary which can be used during a Magic event, along with specific terminology as well as the translations of most common words from the IPG or the CR.


Find out which Judge Conferences, Grand Prix and SCG Opens have available worldwide staffing positions! You still have time to apply for Grand Prix San Jose 2017 and Grand Prix Vancouver 2017.

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

Public projects such as Presenters Training Team, 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!