Magic Judge Monthly: September 2017

Hello Judges,

Welcome to the September edition of MJM.

This month we have quite a lot of “Q and O”, as well as a few documents and guides which might be useful for new and inexperienced judges. Also some updates on Judge Center and some rather interesting conversations.

Happy reading!

The MJM team

Magic Judge Monthly 01.12Importantnull

Judge Center Downtime

Judge Center is up!  Just kidding. Current estimated date of availability is Tuesday, October 31.  If you’re looking for Judge stuff to check out until then, scroll down a little bit and read an article or three.  

Judge Tokens

This project, lead by Milan Majerčík has quickly become one of the best ways to tell players about the Judge Feedback Form. The tokens are an affordable way for Judges to provide tokens to players and spread information about how to give anonymous feedback about their performance.

RC Selection  

The selection process has ended and the results are in. If you’re interested in seeing who the new and returning Regional Coordinators are, check out this link. Be sure to congratulate them the next time you see them!

From the PC Desk

The Program Coordinator Blog has been updated with (basically) everything that has happened this Summer. Changes to the Spheres, Level 2s as Regional Coordinators, what’s happening with JudgeApps, and a handful of other topics.  Skim it over if you want a quick review of the past few months events.  

Magic Judge Monthly 01.12Documents

Judge Article and Blog Posts September 2017

  1. Articles:  Public Events Management – Part 1: Preparing the Judges, Owning Your Mistakes, Policy Changes for Ixalan, Card of the Month – Teferi’s Protection and Judge Center Announcement
  2. Judge Conferences: JTQs – Documentation updated! and Some news on the Card Counting Challenge
  3. Battlefield Forge: Sealed Grand Prix Toronto | Face to Face July 21-23, 2017
  4. GP Travel Guides: PT Albuquerque 2017 and GP Lyon 2017
  5. What’s Up, Docs: Running a draft without stamped product
  6. The Feedback Loop: Anonymous Feedback,  If I Could Change One Thing About Feedback, Breakfast of Champions and Avenues for Local Feedback
  7. Knowledge Pool: Look Ma, No Hand!, Light in the Darkness, Once again through the Grizzle, Not all Gideons are Allies and About to get Domi-nated
  8. Judgecast: JudgeCast #181 – Convention Magic with Kyle Knudson and JudgeCast #182 – Ixalan Release Notes
  9. Other blogs and streams: Welcome to the Fold, The Elvish Farmer, Judge BoothThe Good Judge,  Ask a Magic Judge
  10. Ixalan: Magic in 10 – IXL Prerelease, Ixalan Two-Headed Giant Release Notes, Ixalan 2HG Hidden Gems  and Bingo
  11. Missed trigger chart

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 September 2017!

A big round of applause for all Judges celebrating their “birthdays” in September! Featuring Adrian Estoup, Frank Wareman, Jared Sylva and Ronald Thompson

Judge of the Week September 2017

Documents for New Judges

A great opening announcement for new judges, mostly recommended for pre-releases. Please feel free to drop a few comments to the author.

If you are new to floor judging on GPs, then this guide will help out with GP main event judging.

Magic Judge Monthly 01.12Answers

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

1. While eternalizing Sunscourge Champion a player forgets to pay the discard cost. He notices this after already putting a token in play. While discussing this with some judges they said we couldn't oblige the player to discard the card because he was committing an illegal action and we shouldn’t oblige him to take the correct action. Can we use the GRV partial fix?

A: First – be careful in how much you try to stretch the idea of simple backups – we call them simple for a reason. Don’t try to do too much with these.
A simple backup has a specific definition. In this case, it’d be a player paying for Sunscourge Champion, not discarding, and putting it onto the battlefield. If the opponent then pointed out that there was a discard involved, we could apply a simple backup and let the player not play the Champion. Beyond that, they should probably pay more attention about discarding cards, lest they suddenly find that they have to do so.
We can apply the Partial Fix, and require a discard right now. Either player – or even both of them – might feel disadvantaged by the timing of that, but – hey, one of them committed a Game Rule Violation, the other Failed to Maintain the Game State. Live and learn, my friends. In the original scenario, the player forgot one of the steps of that action; if it’s pointed out right away that a discard is also required for that action, then a simple backup of the entire action is fine.
Approved by Scott Marshall.

2. Replacement effect changes! Kalitas and Anointed Procession? Hideaway lands with Blood moon? Ambush commander with Essence of the Wild and a Forest!? Containment Priest and Nature’s revolt? Thalia Heretic Cathar and March of the Machines? Prismatic Omen and Sulfur Falls? and, If an artifact planeswalker activates a + cost loyalty ability with Winding Constrictor out and Doubling Season, does Doubling Season just double the counter placed by Winding Constrictor or both it and the loyalty counters placed as a cost?

A:It no longer matters why the opposing creature is dying–if Kalitas, Bloodchief of Ghet replaces the creature dying with exiling it and making a zombie, the Anointed Procession will apply and double that token, no matter what was causing the creature to die.
Hideaway lands don’t exile cards with Blood Moon out.
Ambush Commander will have Forests enter as Essence of the Wild!
Containment Priest will exile all your opponents’ lands entering under Nature’s Revolt.
Artifact (creatures) will enter tapped against Thalia, Heretic Cathar!
Winding constrictor will modify counters, so Doubling season will also apply to artifact planeswalkers +1 (to +4). (Remember also that Doubling season won’t apply to +1 of artifact planeswalkers alone.)
Annnd! Prismatic Omen won’t let your Sulfur Falls enter untapped alone.
Approved and approved and approved and approved by Scott Marshall and Callum Milne.

cards March of the Machines

3. A player has a Cavern of Souls on ‘merfolk’, and I have a Cryptic Command in hand.
The entire game he has announced “blue for merfolk”, “Uncounterable” etc. One time he taps his island and Cavern without saying anything, and looks at me. I ask him if he would like to make a colored mana with it, as I didn't feel like calling a judge. How would you handle this call, if the player were to attempt to counter it?

A: We’ve long held that, if the Cavern of Souls could have been used to make the appropriate spell uncounterable, then it did so, by default; essentially, a player would have to specifically state “I’m not getting colored mana to make this uncounterable” for us to rule against that – and that just doesn’t happen. You can always use a Counterspell– it’s still a legal target – but the spell won’t be countered.
Approved by Scott Marshall.

cards: Cryptic Command

4. Is it allowed to turn cards from my library sideways? For example, I cast Approach of the Second Sun for the first time in the game. It resolves and I get 7 life and put in in my library 7th from the top. Can I turn the top 7 cards of my library sideways, so that I know when the Approach is on top?

A:Practically, both players have the knowledge that the card is 7th. Then 6th (after 1 card is drawn) etc etc. So neither player is gaining advantage they otherwise wouldn’t have. To me it’s akin to leaving a marker on top of your library to remind you of an upkeep trigger. Seems perfectly fine. If the opponent asks the player to “fix” their library (i.e., not have those top 7 cards rotated), I’d agree and instruct the player to cooperate. If the opponent is fine with it, leave it be.
Approved by Scott Marshall.

cards: Approach of the Second Sun

5. A player has N cards exiled by Bomat Courier. He activates the ability, but draws N cards from his library rather than picking those from under Bomat Courier. Penalty? Fix?

A: The player has discarded their hand before drawing the cards in this situation, correct? If so, then their hand is empty when they draw N cards. Since their hand was empty, we know exactly which cards belong in the library and this can be corrected with public information. In this case, we would issue Looking at Extra Cards and shuffle the cards he drew back into the random portion of the library.
Approved by Scott Marshall.

cards: Bomat Courier

6. Three more Questions!!
Firstly if my opponent says something like, ‘Path your guy then attack with these’ - is this a CPV as they didn't tell me I can search? Is it a CPV if they allow me to go to blocks without telling me I can search?
Secondly if I have a Leonin Arbiter in play and Ghost Quarter or Path my opponent am I required to tell them they can search due to the GQ/Path even if they can't pay the 2 for Arbiter and if yes when should I inform them they, in fact, cannot search?
Thirdly as Modern contains cards such as Simian Spirit Guide if I Mana Leak my opponent's spell when they have one land untapped but 2 cards in hand am I required to ask them if they intend to pay the 3?

A: Firstly: By trying to shortcut from Path to attacking, it’s probably pretty fair to think that the player is assuming the opponent is going to search. And technically they’re not supposed to assume. However I think it’s much more logical to think of this as the player proposing a shortcut, consisting of ”Path; no responses; resolve path, you search; priority pass to declare attackers; declare appropriate attackers”. I’d be loath to penalise the player with a CPV unless the opponent didn’t actually search and the player didn’t remind them.
Secondly: No – you’re not required to say anything when you cast Path. Not about the Leonin arbiter, and not about the choice to search or not. If they pay 2 in response, and then don’t actually search as path resolves, you’ll have to remind them. If they don’t pay 2, then you don’t have to say anything as path resolves, as there is no choice to be made.
Thirdly: As above, you don’t have to say anything as Mana Leak is cast. You also don’t have to say anything as Mana Leak resolves. Either they pay the 3 mana, or their spell is countered. There’s nothing really to forget here.
Approved by Scott Marshall.

cards: Path to exile; Ghost Quarter; Simian Spirit Guide

Bonus: In the previous scenario (question 6), is waiting for a reminder Slow Play?

A: Yes. I suspect that putting your creature into exile, and then sitting there waiting for a reminder (while your opponent waits for you to make your decision), instead of taking the action that’s required of you, constitutes Slow Play. If two players are staring each other out, and no Magic is being played, something is definitely wrong! The caveat of course is when your opponent immediately carries on with the turn and doesn’t remind you. At which point, we’re back to CPV – congrats (I guess?) you’ve got your opponent a CPV.
To explain a bit about the philosophy, and hopefully help y’all understand how I come to these conclusions, consider the actual wording in MTR 4.2: During the resolution of one of their spells or abilities, a player may not assume their opponent has taken a shortcut. They must seek confirmation that a choice with no visible impact was taken.
Like so many communication issues, problems arise when someone assumes something, esp. when it’s to their benefit, and/or the opponent’s detriment, to do so. There were enough actual instances of chicanery, esp. with Path to Exile, for this to become (what I like to call) a problem worth solving.
The purpose of this change is to offset that little quirk of Oracle text being Derived, and thus eligible for incomplete statements; when that quirk modifies how players understand certain common card templates, it’s worth fixing. Please don’t try to extend it well beyond that purpose.
Approved by Scott Marshall.

Magic Judge Monthly 01.12Policy

Tracking Dubious Actions at Store Level

A recent debate has sparked up revolving around the subject of whether suspect behaviour by a player needs to be tackled at store level by creating some sort of store-specific “dubious actions list” which is available only to store-owner and judges. In short, it is unadvisable to create such a list, and for more on how to tackle dubious behaviour at store level, read on here.

Simple Countdown Timer

At an event we often find ourselves having to display the round timer on a different computer than the one running WER and for that purpose we offer a good internet-based one that would be simple to use.

Various Apps and Applets

Bugko, read all about the September 2017 Updates.

EventToCal Apple– We would like to introduce a new app that has the capability of automating the schedule of monthly events by taking a list of stores using their wizards event locator links, filtering the events and then creating the equivalent events right on your Google Calendar.

Nationals Draft Pods Issues

We bring to your attention some issues that have come up during the draft portion of Nationals so you can be prepared for future events using a similar tournament structure.

The issues are overcome by creating draft pods manually and you can follow this link for a handy guide on how to determine the exact number of pods and precise distribution of players per pod.

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 Indianapolis 2018 and the Conferencia Jueces Rio de La Plata 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!