Magic Judge Monthly: July 2017

Hello there Judges,

Welcome back to another MJM edition, right in the heart of summer (or winter).

We have prepared for you very light reading and a bit of extra Q and (Official) A! Just so you know, some of the (O) Answers are exclusive to MJM readers only. Other than that, we have a standard selection of PPTQ tips and tricks, more docs regarding Hour of Devastation and updates to Judge Apps.

Enjoy and see you soon!

The MJM team

Magic Judge Monthly 01.12Importantnull

New JudgeApps Accounts

The process for adding accounts to Judge Apps is changing a bit.  If you’re Level 2 or higher and in the habit of certifying new Judges this tutorial is a great place to start.  If you have any further questions, this forum post may be of assistance.

MOJO 2017

Ready to get your MOJO flowing?  Do you like playing in free events?  This event played on Magic Online is exclusive to Judges.  That’s pretty cool!  There are several different events to allow Judges from all over the world a comfortable time to play.  Check out this article for all the information, and most importantly, links to sign up for the events.

Magic Judge Monthly 01.12Documents

Judge Article and Blog Posts July 2017

  1. Articles: Announcing the 2017 GP HJ Summer Class, Why the Coaching Sphere?, Card of the month – As Foretold, Hour of Devastation rules quizlet, Policy Changes for Hour of Devastation, Hour of Devastation Pre-release Judge Bingo, Not. A. Gimmick. – GP Cleveland’s All-Women Judge Team
  2. Judge Conferences: Nordic Spring Conference 2017 – Report, Project Master Plan
  3. Battlefield Forge: The Worst Tournament Ever
  4. GP Travel Guides: GP Metz 2017, GP São Paulo 2017, GP Turin 2017 and GP Denver 2017
  5. Flashcards: MTR All Questions – Updated
  6. What’s Up, Docs: Miscommunication (yes, again)
  7. The Feedback Loop: Flash Feedback
  8. Knowledge Pool: The Second Sting Hurts the Most, Wrapped Away, Mismanaged Mimicry Memory and Sins of Our Past
  9. Judgecast: JudgeCast #176 – Hour of Devastation Release Notes, JudgeCast #177 – Learning About Learning
  10. Welcome to the Fold: Grand Prix Toronto 2017, Grand Prix Kyoto 2017
  11. Other blogs and streams: The Elvish Farmer, The Multiverse Project, Just a Little WordPress Judge Blog, A World of Magic, Ask a Magic Judge.  5 minute magicExemplar wave 9 highlights ,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.

Magic Judge Monthly 01.12Community

Happy Anniversary July 2017!

Congratulations to the 5, 10, and 15-year-old Judges celebrating an anniversary this month!  Six Judges have been featured this month, be sure to check it for the inside scoop on your favorite folks in black.  Featured Judges are: Jeff S Higgins, Ryan Stapleton, Michael Wiese, Davide Succi, Walter Zara, and Antoine Bouaziz .

Judge of the Week July 2017 

More Hour of Devastation Reads 

If you would like to attempt a game where you are trying to figure out how to do as many damage to your opponent as you can until turn four while playing cards only from the new set, then you should check out this Hour of Devastation Mind Game.

Already featured in the articles section,but it bears repeating, The hard-working people at the New Set Quizlet team are happy to present the Hour of Devastation rules quizlet. Why not head down there and test your knowledge!

Needles to say, the Hour of Devastation Policy Documents have also been posted.

Magic Judge Monthly 01.12Answers

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

1. With Urza’s Bauble are both players are allowed to know/see what card is revealed, or is the process described by the card supposed to only allow the player sacrificing the Bauble the opportunity to see the card revealed?

A: In practice, it would be awkward (at best) to obscure that information in any effective manner, but the reasons go beyond that. When asked, the Rules Manager (Eli “to the rescue” Shiffrin) said:

“You can tell which card is being looked at. When a random object changes zones, that object must be known immediately before performing the action in case replacement effects can affect that event. The same philosophy holds here, even though there’s no zone change involved and it’s unlikely that this event could ever be modified.”
Approved by Scott Marshall (and Eli Shiffrin!)

Urza’s Bauble

2. The Scarab God's ability exiles a Clone from the graveyard. The Clone copies a Grizzly Bears on the battlefield. What are the characteristics of the token?

A:The token will end up the same as a normal token copy of Grizzly Bears: a 2/2 green Bear creature.

The Scarab God‘s ability includes modifications to the copy effect it creates, and these modifications become part of the token’s copiable values as part of applying that effect, so the token copy of Clone that it’s initially making would look like this:

Clone – {3}{U} (Black)
Creature – Zombie
You may have Clone enter the battlefield as a copy of any creature on the battlefield.

But this creature has a replacement ability that modifies how it enters the battlefield. You apply that ability and choose to copy Grizzly Bears, so now you take the Bear’s copiable values and apply them to the token, overwriting the existing characteristics. The Clone ability doesn’t include any exceptions or modifications to the copy effect it creates, so it copies all the Bears’ characteristics, and you get:

Grizzly Bears – {1}{G} (Green)
Creature – Bear
Approved by Callum Milne

3. Is it legal for Player A to say to Player B: 'I want the pro point and you can't get a pro point, do you mind conceding to me?'

A:There is no infraction in Player A’s statement/question. Some judges are just very cautious in this area because of where the conversation might lead.
Additional, bonus (MJM-only!) content: Bribery is a confusing topic, but it’s also a major concern for Wizards (similar to Improperly Determining A Winner), and that’s why we are encouraged to stand firm when enforcing this. That mentality, combined with the complexity of the policies, leads to too many players being inappropriately DQd. Please be sure to study the policy, and my and Toby’s [O] answers.

I’ll also pass along Andy Heckt’s wisdom: it’s better to steer players far, far away from the line than to try and help them tiptoe on the line. Instead of helping them figure out how to come close to Bribery without being DQd, guide them firmly back into safer conversations. Many senior judges have said, repeatedly, to be very pro-active and help players *before* they say something unfortunate. (I agree, completely.)
Approved by Scott Marshall

4. Adalbert is playing Earthshaker Khenra, targeting Noah’s Winding Constrictor with the triggered ability. Noah responds with Grasp of Darkness on Earthshaker Khenra while the triggered ability is still on the stack. Earthshaker Khenra is put into the Graveyard. Adalbert declares attackers. Noah declares Winding Constrictor as a blocker. It can block, because Earthshaker Khenra's triggered ability was countered on resolution. However, Adalbert didn't realize it was countered and Noah didn't tell him. Does Noah need to inform Adalbert that Earthshaker Khenra's triggered ability was countered on resolution before he (Noah) declares blockers?

A:Noah has no responsibility for Adalbert’s misunderstanding. Since the Game Rules are what countered that ability, it could be argued that would fall under Derived Information, so Noah can’t lie about it, but he doesn’t have to answer questions that were never asked.

Approved by Scott Marshall
Earthshaker Khenra; Winding Constrictor; Grasp of Darkness

5. AP controls Spirit of the Labyrinth and, during their upkeep, casts Ancestral Visions with their opponent as a target. NAP draws three cards and AP calls for a Judge. You discover during your investigation that AP knew NAP could not draw all three cards and was trying to gain an advantage as they know the fix for HCE is effectively Thoughtsieze.
Has AP done anything illegal?

A: Spirit-Ancestral is not a combo, and playing to get your opponent to commit an infraction that might benefit you has never won a GP or Pro Tour. What Toby and I said before is just as applicable here: it’s not illegal, it’s not likely, and it’s not worth worrying about. 🙂

Quote by Toby: Unless there’s a sudden introduction of cards that makes this deck… vaguely good?… I don’t think we need to do a lot of worrying.

Quote by Scott: There is nothing wrong with laying a trap for your opponent, even one that … increases their chance of making a mistake. If that mistake happens to result in an infraction, then we – as neutral arbiters – apply the appropriate penalty and remedy, per the IPG. The educational aspect of those penalties will, hopefully, allow that player to avoid repeating that mistake.

Approved by Scott Marshall.
Spirit of the Labyrinth; Ancestral Vision; Thoughtseize

6. In a PPTQ, Albus attacks with Khenra Eternal. Neville blocks with Harrier Naga. Albus casts Gift of Strength, then says “Oh, wait, you lose 1 from Afflict”. Neville answers “No, that's too late. Since you cast a spell, the trigger is missed.” Do you intervene? If you do, do you give a penalty to Neville?

A:Players are not required to know the IPG; I’m reluctant to say they’re not expected to know it, as that implies it’s unexpected when they do – and many do. Players can’t intentionally violate the CR, nor the IPG. Please don’t jump to conclusions without first conducting a reasonable investigation. We know that Neville is intending to have Albus miss the trigger, but we can’t know that Neville intends to violate policy to accomplish that. If we were there – and none of us, except perhaps Florian (assuming this isn’t another hypothetical scenario), were actually there. Lacking the opportunity to chat a bit with the players, let’s not assume intent. A recommendation if you hear this: Ask something along the lines of “Is everything going okay over here?” It’s simple, it’s friendly, it’s customer-service-oriented, and it encourages the players to use the resources we provide, namely rules & policy expertise. And, as you noted, you aren’t intervening, you’re just offering an opportunity.
Khenra Eternal; Harrier Naga; Gift of Strength

Magic Judge Monthly 01.12Policy

Overly Competitive Players

A very interesting forum discussion has begun regarding an age-old issue faced by WPN Stores all around the world; how to make sure that both casual and competitive players have fun at FNM. Join the discussion, or simply go over to the thread to check out some of the very good suggestions provided.

Increasing PPTQ Attendance

Increasing the attendance at PPTQ’s has been an area of concern for many stores. Good organization among the local stores in an area helps achieve the goal very effectively, and what is more, there is also this very useful PPTQ guide for stores and 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 Grand Prix Portland 2017.

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

Public projects 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!