Magic Judge Monthly: November 2016

Dear Judges,

Welcome to this year’s last edition of your favorite magazine for the busy Judge! The headers are a bit more festive, but the topics are still (very) serious.

Wishing you all happy holidays and a wonderful New Year,

The MJM team

Magic Judge Monthly 01.12Importantnull

Exemplar Wave 8 Open

Wave 8 is now ready to accept your nominations for awesome Judges! It will remain open until January 31st. If you would like information on a nomination that was deferred or to find out what that means in case it happens to one of your submissions in the future, check out this article.

Program Coordinator Change and Reintroducing Spheres

The Judge Program Coordinators have seen some changes, Jason Lemahieu has stepped down from the position and Alfonso Bueno has taken up the torch. Messages from both judges can be found in this article. The Spheres have also been revitalized. Here you can find what they are and which judge is in charge of each Sphere.

RC Wave 1 Updates

The Regional Coordinator selection for Wave One is complete. Some faces stayed the same and some regions have new people guiding them. To see all their lovely mugs and a brief description on what is required, check out this article.

Magic Judge Monthly 01.12Documents

Judge Article and Blog Posts November 2016

  1. Articles: Card of the Month – Kozilek’s Return, Modern Rules Problems – Spell Queller, Slow Play: Myths and Truths
  2. Bearz Repeating: Guest Post: Riki Runs
  3. Judge Conferences: Updates to Conference Support – December
  4. Battlefield Forge: Face2Face Games 3K – Modern Tournament Report
  5. GP Travel Guides: GP Madrid 2016
  6. Judge Games: And thanks for all the Island Fish Jaconius
  7. What’s Up, Docs: Out of Order Sequencing and The “Lanes” Method for Midround Constructed Deckchecks
  8. The Feedback Loop: The Spiderman Review, Feedbag #8: Top Down, Taking Selfies – Part Four, Radical Candor Workshop and Giving Thanks
  9. Other blogs and streams: The Elvish Farmer, Magic Rules Tips

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


Magic Judge Monthly 01.12Community

Happy Anniversary! November 2016

Visit the November anniversaries post and see if you’ve got glasses to clink and hurrahs to exclaim for colleagues who mark fruitful milestones with the program. This month’s edition of anniversaries is again jam-packed with features on Ingrid Lind-Jahn, François Grobler, Nikita Tarima, Riccardo Tessitori, Carlos Ho and Kevin Desprez. Cheers to all celebrants!

Judge of the Week November 2016

Hot topics: Selling Judge Imperial Seals

Controversial as it is, the recent buzz about Imperial Seals have spurred many perspectives. Very interesting to read insight from the Forum Moderators on this JudgeApps thread.

Magic Judge Monthly 01.12Answers

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

1. What constitutes “other tokens“ created with Faerie Artisans

A: The ability printed on Faerie Artisans is what’s known as a linked ability. Linked abilities are abilities printed on the same object that, taken collectively, will do something and then later refer back to what they caused to happen in some way. For a basic example, see a card like Voice of All–the second ability causes you to make a choice, and the third ability refers back to the choice you made for the second ability. Those two abilities are linked to each other.

The important thing to remember about linked abilities is that a linked ability can only ever refer back to the ability it is linked to–it will never look at other abilities that aren’t linked, even if those abilities cause similar things to happen as the linked abilities do. Faerie Artisans is a bit unusual in that its ability is linked not to a different ability, but instead to itself; however, the same principle still applies–the ability of Faerie Artisans can only ever exile objects that were put onto the battlefield with that same printed instance of that same ability.

So if Faerie Artisans is enchanted by Splinter Twin, the artisan’s ability will not destroy token copies created with Splinter Twin’s ability.

Answered by Callum Mine

2. AP casts Serum Visions, NAP casts Condescend your visions, X=4. AP responds with Spell Queller, targeting Condescend. NAP: Okay, not further effects. AP: Who is now empty handed, resolves serum visions, drawing a card, and scrying two cards to the bottom. Spectator: That queller couldn’t target the condescend since it was CMC 5, Judge! What ruling do you make?

A: We can back up here. The real issue for this case in terms of a back-up is, when we do back up, it’s only to the point of the error.

As many have stated, playing Spell Queller was legal. The error was attempting to target a spell with CMC > 4 – so that’s where we’ll back up to (if we back up).

There are times when players will feel bad about a judge’s ruling. That doesn’t invalidate a correct ruling – not even when the judge also feels bad. (Be careful about investing too much sympathy into your rulings!)

Answered by Scott Marshall

Serum Visions Condescend

3. AP-s turn, NAP says “At your end step”, discards Haunted Dead and returns it by discarding 2 Prized Amalgams, then tries to return Amalgams without saying anything. AP interrupts him and says he can't return them at that time, since the end step already started. If NAP now forgets to return the Amalgam at his own end step, and remembers again only on AP-s next draw step, would you let him return it?

A: If you explicitly announce a trigger – i.e., there’s no ambiguity about which trigger you’re announcing – and then fail to perform the actions associated with the trigger, that’s a Game Rule Violation (GRV), not a Missed Trigger (MT). And, the remedies for a GRV don’t work quite the same as those for MT. What you described – putting Prized Amalgam back on the battlefield whenever it’s remembered – is a remedy for MT, not GRV.

For a GRV – not (correctly) resolving a clearly acknowledged trigger – we could consider it a zone-change problem:

Originally posted by IPG 2.5:

If an object is in an incorrect zone either due to a required zone change being missed or due to being put into the wrong zone during a zone change, the identity of the object was known to all players, and it can be moved with only minor disruption to the state of the game, put the object in the correct zone.

If a Prized Amalgam trigger is, in fact, missed, it falls under this paragraph in the IPG:

IPG 2.1

If the triggered ability is a delayed triggered ability that changes the zone of one or more objects defined when the ability was created, resolve it. … the opponent chooses whether to resolve the ability the next time a player would get priority or when a player would get priority at the start of the next phase. These abilities do not expire and should be remedied no matter how much time has passed since they should have triggered.

For a GRV, returning a Prized Amalgam might mess with combat math or other strategy, which would definitely not be “only minor disruption”, so that remedy should be disregarded. (Note that we know Prized Amalgam normally returns tapped, but it could then attack on the next turn, or maybe you’ve got an Amulet of Vigor…)

For an MT, the opponent can choose between a couple points in time to return the Prized Amalgam.

And in either case, let’s make sure the Prized Amalgam’s controller didn’t choose to forget until a more advantageous moment…

Answered by Scott Marshall

Haunted Dead

4. Some regular-REL draft events are run by ‘Rare-draft’ prize scheme (Collect all Rares and Mystics (and sometimes foils) after the final round, and pick in ranking order). The problem/question is following: Is this scheme is allowed in Rated events? If it is yes, there are is problem/question. If the player who wants to drop leave the event WITHOUT putting his/her Rares&Mystics, does he/she commit any infractions? MTR allows the player to own the cards “that they correctly have in their possession at that time”.

A: It is allowed, but it’s not a great idea with Inventions; too many players (now) prefer “keep what you draft”.

If a player leaves early with their rares, there is no infraction from our (Judge) perspective. The store and other players might not welcome that player again.

Answered by Scott Marshall

Magic Judge Monthly 01.12Policy

Predicting Cutoffs

What is the minimum number of participants in an event that would guarantee that an x – 1 record will qualify a player for top 8? Well, in case a player at an event would be interested, there is no official documentation that states that an X-1 record will guarantee anything at any event. It is general consensus that Top 8 cuts cut to the top 8 players, not a record. More on the topic in the relevant forum post.

DCI Numbers Containing Letters

You might have been wondering why some of the new DCI numbers on printed cards may contain letters. This is a printing error; Wizards has accidentally swapped the online activation code with the DCI number
on this run of cards. If you look at the small text of the activation code, you’ll see that it’s all numbers and this is, in fact, the dci number for that card. More info here.

Judge Center Issues: Colorless Mana Fix

In light of the ongoing issue of mana symbols not being displayed properly in the Judge Center, there have luckily been some very positive developments indeed as the issue has now been resolved!

Linking the prizes of a tournament to a sports bet

It is well known that we judges have a zero tolerance policy on gambling in relation to match results or anything that would influence them, in order to maintain the integrity of Magic the Gathering as a strategy game. What happens, however when a TO, in an effort to encourage higher participation in a tournament, offers prizes based on players guessing the result of a football match totally unrelated to event match results, and the bet has nothing to do with the tournament itself? Answers here.

Decklists in Foreign language

What happens when a player submits a decklist in a foreign language that the judges cannot understand? With regard to this issue which might sometimes come up, it would seem that prevention is the best cure; it would be best to state to players prior to the tournament what the acceptable languages in which they can submit their decklists, would be.

Issuing Basic Lands as Replacements

Here we would like to highlight that it is good to remember that when a player has an illegal decklist and is required to replace the illegal cards with basics, this extends only to the five basic lands: swamp, forest, mountain, island, plains. What is more, it is the player who is obliged to find the basics, the burden is neither on the store, nor on judges.

Magic Judge Monthly 01.12Project
Find out which Judge Conferences, Grand Prix and SCG Opens have available worldwide staffing positions! You still have time to apply for 2017 Grand Prix Travel Panda Program by Panda Events

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