Magic Judge Monthly: November 2017

Dear Judges,

Welcome to the last edition of MJM published this year.

We hope you had a great 2017 and we wish you happy holidays and a wonderful New Year 2018! Enjoy our selection of updates, and a very tasty treat, right at the end.

See you in 2018!

The MJM team

Magic Judge Monthly 01.12Important

Exemplar Changes to Wave 12

Normally here we just remind you to make sure you use your Exemplar Recommendations, that is still important, however the Exemplar Program is in for major changes!

  1. Conference foils will rotate much faster
  2. Exemplar tokens will be distributed, with one lucky Judge per wave having a token made in their likeness.
  3. Foils are no longer guaranteed. The team has added a randomization element to the mix and I suggest you check the article for more info.
  4. Due to the tokens, any recognitions with errors will be deferred.
  5. “Proxy” Nominations are no longer allowed. Only RCs will be allowed to make recognitions on behalf of other Judges.

For all the specifics and more in depth explanations of each of these points, check out this article. It also has some art style you can expect to see your fellow Judges turned into.

Magic Judge Monthly 01.12Documents

Judge Article and Blog Posts November 2017

  1. Articles:  Program Coordinator Travel Diaries – Chapter #1, Common Considerations when going to your first large Magic event!
  2. Judge Conferences: Updates to Conferences Support – November 2017
  3. GP Travel Guides: GP Madrid 2017
  4. The Feedback Loop: Self-Reviews Aren’t Solo-Reviews, Buying In, Writing Reviews, Part 2 and Mentoring
  5. Knowledge Pool: Landed in Hot Water, Grim Speculation, Ambidecksterity and Absento Vanguard
  6. Judgecast: JudgeCast #185 – Halloween Odds and Ends, JudgeCast #186: Unstable Preview – Rules Lawyer, Unstable Preview: Rules Lawyer (With Judge Promo Bonus!), JudgeCast #187 – Turn-Based Actions
  7. Other blogs and streams: Welcome to the Fold, The Elvish Farmer, The Competitive Judge, Judge Games, Ask a Magic Judge, 5 Minute Magic

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 November 2017!

Congratulations to all of the Judges celebrating their “birthdays” in November! Featuring Darren Gamble (who is celebrating 20 years as a judge!!!), Kevin Desprez and David Lyford-Smith!

Judge of the Week November 2017

#232 Nik Zitomer Level 2, from Roswell, GA
#233 Josh McCurley Level 2, from TX
#234 JOTW Exemplar Wave 10 Part 2
#235 Imogen Tilley and David Lyford-Smith, Level 2, from UK
#236 Eric Smith Eric Smith Level 3, from New York, NY

Submitting Advancements During Judge Center Downtime

Should you wish to submit an advancement for a candidate whose test was proctored while judge center was offline, simply contact your Regional Coordinator who can help with that. Easy as pie.

Magic Judge Monthly 01.12Answers

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

1. The active player has Lethal vapors on the field. During his main phase he casts Teferi's Protection, holds priority and activates the ability of Lethal Vapors an arbitrary large number of times. Opponent realizes that this will cause him to take lots of turns while he is unable to do anything and eventually lose the game for drawing from an empty library. Because of that in response to all of that he activates the ability of lethal vapors a number of times equal to the active player. In response to that the active player activates the ability lots of times again. The players start throwing bigger and bigger numbers at themselves and finally call a judge to resolve the issue, because this state isn't actually going anywhere.

A: This falls under the loop rules, in short: the active player will have to choose a number of times to activate, then the nonactive player (knowing that number) can activate it more times, and then we’re done (the active player is not allowed to activate it anymore). In this case, the active player (the one casting the Protection) will have to stop before their opponent does.
Approved by Nate Long.

Cards: Lethal vapors; Teferi’s Protection

2. Another Lethal Vapors Question! AP says “Activate Lethal Vapors for 1000 times.” *NAP says “I'd like to cast Trickbind targeting the first one, so you cannot activate it anymore.” Then they called a judge. What happens?

A: It’s easy to think that players would just assume they’re retaining priority, however those players who understand the rules better will know to explicitly state that they’re retaining priority. Those who don’t have that advanced knowledge will quickly learn. Also, those who do have advanced knowledge of the rules have earned the advantages they might gain.
The reasoning behind that part of the MTR: cards like Nantuko Shade, where the default is that you do NOT want to retain priority when you say “pump it X times”; instead, each activation is assumed to include a priority pass. The fact that Lethal Vapors doesn’t fit the rules as well as the dozens (hundreds?) of cards like Mr. Shade is no reason to change a rule that’s worked quite well for over a dozen years.
Approved by Scott Marshall.

Cards: Trickbind

3. Doing a targeted deck check on a player because his deck was about as tall as a commander deck and discovered he has sleeved a token in the perfect fit behind all his cards (which were all foil). The tokens were all the same (I checked about 15 of them), and the sleeves were opaque. I checked with my head judge and he said it was ok, but it still felt weird to me. Is this ok?

A: We’re ok with the situation. Essentially, the cards aren’t different from one another. So while it’s unexpected, it fits within both the letter, and the spirit of the rules (I can’t see how someone might gain advantage from all this).
In this instance: we don’t want Marked Cards, so ensure that the “double-carding” results in consistent thickness throughout, with no exceptions. A further concern is randomization, and the added thickness could impair shuffling; make sure the player can do so sufficiently, in a reasonable amount of time. If neither of those potential concerns are in fact a problem, then there’s nothing wrong.
Approved by Scott Marshall.

4. Is Bomat Courier’s trigger really detrimental? Why!?

A: Bomat Courier is one of those cards that gets played because of the detrimental trigger (and the other stuff that goes with it, obv). This discussion also came up with Nyx Weaver, among others.
Wizards Magic R&D team often provides guidance for our Policy team, on how they want games to flow, how mechanics should impact game play, etc. It’s actually a wonderful collaboration! And, R&D was quite clear: losing resources like this is detrimental.
Also, policy says to look at the trigger in a vacuum, not in game context (except for universal triggers where detrimental or not depends on whose turn it is – e.g., Howling Mine).
“Hey, I’m losing a resource!” –> detrimental (in a vacuum).
“But I want to have that happen!” –> context suggests benefit
Approved by Scott Marshall.

5. Andrea is playing against Nicola in a Competitive Legacy Tournament, and casts a Tendrils of Agony, pointing out its trigger ability. Nicola then asks: “How many spells did you cast this turn?”. Does Andrea have to answer this question completely and with no omissions? Or can he say “You can count them on your own”? In short: what kind of information is this one?

A: This is derived information. Other than a few specific things – number and type of counter, e.g. – that are listed in the Player Communication Policy as Free information, counting things is usually Derived.
“How many spells have you cast?” –> Derived, don’t have to answer;
“Did you cast A, B, C, and D this turn?” –> Free, you have to answer (but if they forgot about E, you don’t have to volunteer that info).
Approved by Scott Marshall.

Cards: Tendrils of Agony

Magic Judge Monthly 01.12Policy

Google Calendar Updates for 2018

The premier event calendar has been updated and you may access the ID on the relevant forum post to synchronize it with your personal calendar. Here, you can also find the iCloud version of the calendar.

Team Sealed Top 4

The correct seating arrangement in the pod of a Team Draft is an issue that sometimes comes up. Read this forum thread in order to clarify which player sits where.

WER and Multi-Format Event

Check out the various suggestions provided as to how to best report a Multi-Format Tournament at Competitive REL.

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 Phoenix, Grand Prix Madrid, SCG Open Dallas and SCG Open Philadelphia.

Check out the Grand Prix Solicitations and Selected Staffs for more details on individual tournaments and to know if there are some last minute solicitations you can apply to!

Public projects such as Welcome to the Fold and The Collected Company Mentorship Project are looking for volunteers who could lend a hand. If you wish to get more out of your Judging experience and give back to the community, sign up to something that interests you!

Sugar on Top

Cake for Decklists!
L2 David Greene submitted this decklist printed on a cake at the recent RPTQ in Florida!  Hope no one eats his sideboard!