Magic Judge Monthly March 2018

Welcome to the Spring edition of Magic Judge Monthly!  Don’t forget to enjoy springtime (or fall if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere), and we’re bringing you all the early judge news as we journey home next month to planeswalk to Dominaria!

There were spoiled release notes, so please take a look at those in the Policy section to prepare yourself to head to the home plane, and don’t forget that we have new Program Coordinators!




Exemplar wave 13 open!

Nominate a judge today on judge apps, for something great you’ve seen them do!

L2 exams are finally on Judge apps!

You can finally test your L2 candidates, and take a practice exam if you’re getting ready to test, all on Judge Apps!

Exemplar wave 12 announced

Please go to the nominations page to find nominations you’ve gotten, and :

Spring 2018 New Program Coordinators

After a long committee process, the class of Program Coordinators for the Spring of 2018 has been chosen.  Welcome CJ Crooks and Johanna Virtanen.


Would you like to participate in a closed MTGO beta, judges?  Not Arena this time, instead it’s helping improve rules in MTGO!

 Judge Articles and Blog Posts from March 2018

  1. Coaching sphere: How to handle feedback in everyday (judge) life – part 2
  2. Travel guides: GP Bologna 2018, GP Santiago 2018, GP Seattle 2018, GP Kyoto 2018 and GP Amsterdam 2018
  3. MJM Translations: New Translations
  4. Judge Conferences: TX North Central Winter Miniconference 2018 – Report
  5. Judge cast: JudgeCast #195 – Penalties, JudgeCast #196 – FNM&Ms
  6. Regional Blogs:
    New articles in: German Speaking Countries,
    Magic Judge Iberia – Español,
    Jueces Hispanoamericanos,
    Regional Blog for USA – Southwest!,
    The Judges of Southeast Asia,
    Juízes de Magic Brasil,
    Le Blog des Arbitres Francophones,
    USA – Southeast Regional Blog,
  7. Player experience blog: Card of the Month – Angrath, The Flame-Chained
  8. Help section: Responsive judge blogs
  9. The Battlefield Forge: GP Diary: Las Vegas 2017

More judge blogs can be found at the Judge Blog Portal.

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

Do you need a quick rules or policy answer?  Ask a Magic Judge!

Judge Anniversaries March 2018!

Congratulations to all of our March “birthdays” featuring Milan Majercik, Emilien Wild, and Abe Corson!

Judge of the Week  March 2018

Welcome to the Fold

A blog to welcome judges to their first Grand Prix as event staff!  Check out which judges were featured as they join the fold!

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

1. AP casts Declaration in Stone targeting NAP’s commander. Does NAP get a clue?

A: Yes, the clue is created! “When Declaration in Stone says “exiled this way“ it does not mean ”that were put into the exile zone this way“. It means ”That Declaration in Stone successfully performed the action ‘exile’ upon.” Declaration in Stone did perform the action known as ‘exiling’ upon the commander. That Commander may not have ended up in the zone that that action normally results in the card moving to, but that doesn’t change the fact that the action was indeed performed upon it.

This distinction can be seen more clearly with a different keyword action that’s used in a similar manner: “destroy”. Compare Declaration in Stone to Fumigate. If you use Fumigate to destroy a commander, and its controller chooses to put that card in the command zone instead of letting it go to the graveyard, you still gain a life for it, because Fumigate destroyed it. It didn’t go to the graveyard as a result of that destruction, but it was still destroyed. The same goes for Declaration in Stone, only with different, slightly more confusing terminology.”

Approved by Callum Mine

Cards: Declaration in Stone; Fumigate


2.NAP controls a Nezahal, Primal Tide. AP casts Fumigate and NAP responds by casting Negate targeting Fumigate. After Negate resolves, is it too late for the NAP to claim the Nezahal trigger?

A: It is not! According to the IPG, “the point by which the player needs to demonstrate this awareness depends on the impact that the trigger would have on the game”. In this case, “A triggered ability that causes a change in the visible game state (including life totals) or requires a choice upon resolution: The controller must take the appropriate physical action or acknowledge the specific trigger before taking any game actions (such as casting a sorcery spell or explicitly taking an action in the next step or phase) that can be taken only after the triggered ability should have resolved. Note that passing priority, casting an instant spell or activating an ability doesn’t mean a triggered ability has been forgotten, as it could still be on the stack.”

So, in this case, it all depends on what happens next. If AP tries to perform a sorcery-speed action, NAP should inform AP that the trigger is still on the stack.

Approved by Scott Marshall

Cards: Nezahal, Primal Tide; Fumigate; Negate


3. While holding a Sealed Competitive Event, can the TO allow players to choose individually the language of the boosters they want for their Sealed pool?

A: “A TO offering language choice for a sealed deck is fine. This happens at many international GPs now. MTR only says that all player must receive the same boosters (as in the same booster from the same sets). Language is not addressed.”

Approved by Scott Marshall and Wizards of the Coast


4. During an FNM, AP and NAP are playing and a Spectator, that has a friendly rivalry with NAP, tells AP 'make sure you win and I’ll buy you a drink'. Is this wagering?

A: It is not! “Per the OED, “wager” is another term for “bet”, and the first definition for “bet” is: risk something, usually a sum of money, against someone else’s on the basis of the outcome of a future event, such as the result of a race or game. While the material part of the bet doesn’t have to be equal, the key concept is two (or more) people risking something they value based on that future outcome. In the original scenario, only one player is risking anything, and thus fails the basic definition of “wager” (or “bet”).”

Approved by Scott Marshall
Editor’s note: Do remember judges, that most cases involving potential bribery, wagering, and collusion are often different and individual case-by-case.  Please take time to consider any situation you encounter, and feel free to confirm with other judges on rulings of this nature.


5. AP casts Time Warp targeting AP, NAP responds with Fork targeting Time Warp and changing the target to NAP. Both spells resolve and now we have AP extra turn (T1) from Time Warp and NAP extra turn (T2) from Fork. AP casts another Time Warp targeting themself and resolves (T3). CR 500.7 states that “Some effects can give a player extra turns. They do this by adding the turns directly after the specified turn. If a player is given multiple extra turns, the extra turns are added one at a time. If multiple players are given extra turns, the extra turns are added one at a time, in APNAP order (see rule 101.4). The most recently created turn will be taken first.”. What’s the order of the turns taken?

A: “When CR 500.7 talks about a player being given multiple extra turns, it’s only talking about cases where a player is given those turns all at the same time, as with Time Stretch and cards like it – it wouldn’t make sense for a player to somehow take more than one turn simultaneously, so the rules specify that the turns are added (and therefore are taken) one at a time.

This case doesn’t apply to your Time Warp scenario, because the multiple different copies of Time Warp are all resolving (and therefore giving their targets extra turns) at different times, not simultaneously. So this is the final order for taking the extra turns: T3, T1, T2, which is the reverse of the order those turns were created in.”

Approved by Callum Mine

Cards: Time Warp; Fork; Time Stretch

The Knowledge Pool

For this month’s edition, let’s take a look at the latest scenarios from the Knowledge pool:

  1. Extreme Exploration
  2. Building your own Tomb
  3. Monastery Swift-guide

Release notes for Masters 25 and Dominaria

The Release Notes include information concerning the release of the new sets Masters 25 and Dominaria, as well as a collection of clarifications and rulings involving the sets’ cards.

Judging for the Win

The Krark-Clan Ironworks combo is a rather complicated one and requires some pretty fine knowledge about the process of casting spells and how triggered abilities work. Since it forms a part of a widely played deck, it is an important interaction for you to be familiar with. Read on for a full explanation and analysis.


Find out which Judge Conferences, Grand Prix and SCG Opens have available worldwide staffing positions! You still have some time to apply for GP São Paulo, GP Chiba, GP Sacramento, SCG Open Louisville, SCG Open Minneapolis and SCG Con!

Check out the Grand Prix Solicitations and Select 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 Rules-Day Tuesday and Daily Regimen are looking for awesome judges who can help! If you wish to get more out of your Judging experience and give back to the community, sign up for something that interests you!

There are also new sweet Judge Tokens coming out! If you wish to advertise the Feedback Form while giving away a really cool gift to players, this is for you! Pre-order yours today and help players and judges alike!

Sugar on Top

More new Judge Tokens!  You can ‘pre-order’ them here, by April 12th!  If you miss the deadline, keep your eyes peeled for the next wave, which should be available in the near future.