Magic Judge Monthly: January 2017

Dear Judges,

Welcome to the new edition of your favorite magazine for the busy Judge! Catch up with all the happenings from last month- such as return of the Knowledge Pool (blog) and something rather unusual, but useful: evacuation procedures on larger events.

Wishing you (in advance) a lovely Valentine’s day,

The MJM team <3

Magic Judge Monthly 01.12Importantnull

Disqualification Documents Updates

If you’ve never had to disqualify a player in one of your events, count yourself lucky.  If you’re new to the process and want to review the documents before you’re put on the spot, or want to check out the January update, check out this link.  

Judge Conduct Updates

The Magic Judge Code has been updated!  If you want to see a brief description of the changes made, Johanna Virtanen has compiled the update and also briefly discusses changes made to the committee members in this article.

Latin America – Spanish Region Split

The Spanish Region has been divided!  Effective on April 1st the region that contained the Northern border of Mexico all the way to the southern tip of South America, will be split into two.  For a colorful map of the two new regions and an explanation for the divide, head over here.

Judge Projects Organogram 2017

Interested in some new art to hang, but have no idea what to pin to your barren walls?  Just in time to save you from the necessity of decision is the Global Judge Project Organizational Chart, complete with pictures of your favorite Judges in their corresponding programs.  The chart can be downloaded from this article and provides useful links to the Judges and programs mentioned there.

Exemplar Highlights and New Article Series

Judge Exemplar Program Coordinator Bryan Prillaman provides a review for 2016 and expectations for the year to come.  Also, Nicolette Apraez has a new project related to the Exemplar program focusing on highlighting well written reviews.  You can see that article and the highlighted reviews from Wave 7 here.

Magic Judge Monthly 01.12Documents

Judge Article and Blog Posts January 2017

  1. Articles: Announcing the 2017 Winter Class, Judge Blogs – a 2016 Year in Review, Self-Reviews: Asking the Right Questions, Sunday Side Event Management – Roles Overview, The End of Round by Zone, Self-Reviews: Reasons and Solutions, Playing vs. Judging
  2. Judge Conferences: The No-Distraction Rule, Conferences Policies – January 2017 update! And Storytelling 1: The Hero
  3. Battlefield Forge: Head Judging a Standard PPTQ with Vehicles and Energy, Modern SCG Open Milwaukee, PPTQ Nashville @ Neutral Grounds Centris Walk, Looking at Vessel of Nascency in Standard: Reporting on PPTQ Nashville @ Neutral Grounds – Glorietta and A Tale of Two Days: SCG Knoxville
  4. GP Travel Guides: PT Dublin 2017, GP Porto Alegre 2017 and GP Brisbane 2017
  5. What’s Up, Docs: Handling disagreement on life totals, part 2: Invisible and Premiere Events Feature Matches Time Philosophy
  6. The Feedback Loop: Introduction to Coaching, Coaching a Mentor, Feedbag #10: TOtal Recall, My Favorite Coach and Focusing Feedback
  7. Other blogs and streams: The Elvish Farmer, Just a Little WordPress Judge Blog, Chatter of Judges, Magic Rules Tips,  A World of Magic, Hidden card error chart , Missed trigger procedure chart and Program Coordinators Blog
  8. Aether Revolt: Two-Headed Giant Release Notes and Magic in Ten – Aether Revolt Prerelease notes and Aether Revolt Release Notes  and Policy Changes for Aether Revolt

More judge blogs you can find at Blog Portal

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


Knowledge Pool

Magic Judge Monthly 01.12Community

Happy Anniversary! January 2017

2017’s first salvo of anniversaries is in and it is packed with five features on Thomas Ralph, Matt Sauers, Mitja Bosnič, Jurgen Baert, and Toby Elliot. Check out the post and see if there’s a buddy or two to congratulate!

Judge of the Week January 2017

Looking for Judges Feeling Left Behind by Exemplar

Last month, we visited a thread tackling the challenges vis-a-vis recognition facing judges in relative geographic isolation. We again revisit the concern this month which tells everyone implying its importance.

Helping out the Judge Program

Russell Deutsch wondered what more he could do for the program that was exactly his thing. If you asked the same question or know someone in a similar predicament, this thread he started might just be a worth your five minutes.

Evacuation Procedures

As judges, we are involved in events that are attended by scores of participants – pretty huge crowds are common. While unusual, the possibility of needing to facilitate an evacuation during a tournament is real. This was the topic of a thread started by Michael Chamberlain.

Magic Judge Monthly 01.12Answers

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

1. I hit a player with Grim Flayer. I choose to put a Progenitus in the graveyard and the other two cards on top of my library. Do the two cards stay on top of my library, or do they get shuffled in?

A: The other two cards will not end up shuffled into the rest of your library, and will instead end up on top of it in whichever order you choose.

Grim Flayer‘s ability tells you to put any number of the cards you’re looking at into your graveyard and the rest on top of your library in any order. Progenitus‘s replacement effect alters this instruction, so now you’re being told to shuffle Progenitus into your library and put the rest of the looked-at cards on top in any order. While the cards are technically present in the library at the time it’s being shuffled, you accomplish this by keeping those cards set aside during the shuffle, and then placing them on top after you’re finished, as is done with cards like Enlightened Tutor and Lim-Dûl’s Vault.

Answered by Callum Milne

2. “If Exquisite Archangel is dealt lethal damage at the same time that you’re dealt damage that brings your life total to 0 or less, its effect applies and your life total becomes equal to your starting life total. You choose whether Exquisite Archangel is moved to exile or to your graveyard.” Why do you get to choose? What rules are applicable here?

A: That’s covered by this rule:

400.6. If an object would move from one zone to another, determine what event is moving the object. If the object is moving to a public zone and its owner will be able to look at it in that zone, its owner looks at it to see if it has any abilities that would affect the move. If the object is moving to the battlefield, each other player who will be able to look at it in that zone does so. Then any appropriate replacement effects, whether they come from that object or from elsewhere, are applied to that event. If any effects or rules try to do two or more contradictory or mutually exclusive things to a particular object, that object’s controller—or its owner if it has no controller—chooses which effect to apply, and what that effect does. (Note that multiple instances of the same thing may be mutually exclusive; for example, two simultaneous “destroy” effects.) Then the event moves the object.

When state-based actions are checked, there are two things trying to move the Exquisite Archangel: its trying to move it to exile since you would lose the game, and it’s trying to move to the graveyard since it has lethal damage marked on it. The controller of the Archangel gets to choose which effect to apply and where that card ends up, so they get to choose if it ends up in exile or if it ends up in the graveyard.

Answered by Nathan Long

3. Previously, it was legal to 3-pile your opponent's double nickel pile shuffle to mana-screw them. However, with the new change, when a player piles twice, they are breaking a rule. Not calling a judge on this, while knowing that you are supposed to call attention to your opponent breaking the rules, is Cheating. Therefore, if you witness this situation, it may end up in a double DQ after investigation. Is this correct?

A: If you’re just pile shuffling twice, maybe because that’s what you learned, it’s one of those (infamous but non-existent) Tournament Error – Other things. Or, not an infraction; we just educate and tell them not to do that again.

If you’re intending to stack your deck, it’s Card Manipulation – a form of Cheating.

The point is ok, but we didn’t make it illegal to three-pile your opponent’s deck because you want to make sure nothing’s fishy. We did make it illegal to pile shuffle more than once per game, which is required to accomplish the mana weave (that double nickel, and its cousins).

Answered by Scott Marshall

4. A player accidentally picks up 4 cards when resolving a Ponder. What is the appropriate infraction and fix?

A: This is HCE. The cards you look at for Ponder are, in fact, a set (per its intended use in the HCE definition), and adding an excess card(s) to that set falls under HCE. Reveal the set, choose one to be returned to the correct zone (shuffled into library, in this case), then finish resolving Ponder correctly with the other three.

Answered by Scott Marshall

5. Let's say I open my hand in G1 with 2 sideboard cards in it. Judge returns those 2 cards to sideboard and now I have 5 cards in hand. May I mulligan? If yes, can I mulligan to 6 (7-1) or to 4 (5-1)?

A: If, as noted in the recent KP scenario, the sideboard cards duplicate one or more main deck cards, the downgrade to Warning does not apply, and this is simply a Game Loss – thus, mulligan is no longer relevant.

However, if we do apply the downgrade, we now have a starting hand of 5; the two sideboard cards (and any others in the deck) cease to exist. This has two ramifications:

  1. a) if you choose to mulligan, you will mulligan to one less than your current hand size – in this example, to 4.  
  2. b) if you do not choose to mulligan, you can still perform the “scry” (CR 103.4 doesn’t actually call it that; in a related post, Florian referred to it as the “Vancouver Scry”, since it originated at Pro Tour Vancouver, August 2015), because your starting hand is less than the 7 you originally had.

Bonus! Andrew casts Harnessed Lightning targeting Nicole’s Reflector Mage. In response, she sacrifices Selfless Spirit giving Indestructible to the Mage. While resolving Harnessed Lightning, Andrew just puts it into his graveyard, he doesn’t verbally announce gaining 3 energy nor spending any of the energy for Lightning. What do you do as a Judge that is spectating this match?

A: We do not step in. A and N have reached a legal game state, with which they’re both satisfied; stepping in at this point would amount to coaching A. Leave it alone.

Answered by Scott Marshall.  Original discussion.

cards Harnessed Lightning  Reflector Mage Selfless Spirit

Magic Judge Monthly 01.12Policy

Finding Sanctioned Events in WER

We have a very useful forum thread for you, should you ever find yourselves in a situation where you are judging an event at a store you are cooperating with for the first time, and the person who knows the login details of WER is not around.

Prerelease with Less than 8 players

Can you run a Prerelease Event with less than 8 players? The short answer is ‘no’, however there is a more elaborate one too!

Running Tournaments on Notecards

There is a very good forum thread outlining all the ins and outs of running a tournament exclusively by means of notecards. For all the details regarding the existence of an appropriate pairing algorithm and ingenious suggestions of how to conduct this procedure successfully, read more here.

Legality of Taped Cards

We would like to bring to your attention a topic on the legality of ripped cards that have been later taped in order to be used in a sanctioned tournament. Read up on all the grey areas revolving around the subject, and the debate as to when their use should be considered acceptable and when not. Adding a little more spice to the debate is the proposition that these cards might not replaceable as is the case of the Power Nine!

PPTQ Winner Info Documents

Kaylee Mullins has designed this extremely useful document directed towards PPTQ winners. We should say, excellent job! Read more in the relevant forum thread.

Clock Software

What we’ve got in store for you under this topic, is a variety of suggestions on possible clock softwares that can be used to time rounds in tournaments. Enjoy!

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 Grand Prix Montreal 2017, The 7th Annual BeNeLux Judge Conference and The UKISA Southern England Conference.

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

Public projects such as The Panda Project, 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!