Magic Judge Monthly: April 2018

Say hello to Dominaria!   There’s a lot of new articles and news this month, and as we enter the spring season and approach Battleborn, check out the new Dominaria policy, as well as the fact that we have an Interim Judge Community Manager!

As always, happy reading, busy judges!

New Technology Sphere Leader:

Jason Lemahieu is stepping down as Technology Sphere leader and passing the torch to Paul Baranay.  They have been working together for years on this project and the transition should be a smooth process.  A big thank you to Jason for running such a great program and a big welcome to Paul!

RC Selection Committee:

A new Regional Coordinator Leader has been selected and it’s the same person who was doing the job previously.  Congratulations to Sebastian Pekala and good luck in the coming year!

Interim Community Manager!

As many of you know Community Manager Sara Mox recently had a baby.  Baby is well and mom is on parental leave. While she is out of the office, Eric Levine will stepping in to do all the tasks required of the community manager.  Good luck Eric and best wishes to Sara!

Dominaria Policy Updates!

Toby Elliott has released an article with the changes you need to know going forward.  This one is mostly about communication and information.  There is also an update to a certain way Judges create proxies and what criteria need to be met.

Status of the Judge Program:

Want the sitrep on the Judge Program and expectations for the future.  Look no further. Some of these things have been covered in the previous articles, but if you’re interested in the Cliffs Notes of what’s going on check out this link!

Judge Articles and Blog Posts from April 2018

  1. Judge cast: JudgeCast #197 – Layers (Part 1), JudgeCast #198 – Dominaria Release Notes!
  2. Program Coordinator’s Blog: Announcing the 2018 Regional Coordinator Leader!
  3. Regional Blogs:
    New articles in:
    Judging in the North!
    Canadian Judge Family
    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,
    Europe – East regional blog
    USA Great Lakes Judges
    Judging in Russia
  4. Planar Bridge: Captain’s log – March 2018
  5. Judging for the Win: Leading the Deck Checks Team

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 April 2018!

Congratulations to all of our April “Birthdays”, featuring Jack Hesse, David Guteša, and Jasper Overman!

Judge of the Week April 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!

GP Seattle
GP Hartford
GP Sydney
GP Columbus
GP Bologna

Inclusive spaces

Dustin De Leeuw wrote a great article on how we, as judges, can make each event enjoyable for everyone.

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

1. AP casts Manamorphose and when it resolves AP draws a card before choosing which colors to add. What is the infraction, the penalty and the fix?

A: This falls under GPE – Game Rule Violation. The penalty is a Warning and if we want to backup we would put a random card from AP’s hand onto his library, let him choose the color and then AP would draw the card. However, this is the same result as just let AP choose the color after we are called, without a backup, because AP already knows the identity of the card he is about to draw. So, for purposes of simplicity we let the player choose now which colors to add.

Approved by Scott Marshall  Cards: Manamorphose

2. AP activates Teferi, Hero of Dominaria +1 ability and only controls lands that are untapped. NAP controls a couple of tapped lands. Does AP must choose to untap NAP’s lands?

A: Yes. When the delayed trigger resolves, its controller must untap two lands if it’s possible to do so. If the only tapped lands on the battlefield are controlled by the opponent, the player will be forced to untap some of their opponent’s lands.

Approved by Callum Mine  Cards: Teferi, Hero of Dominaria

3. If Haphazard Bombardment triggers and among the options is a permanent with indestructible, should this one be part of the random choice?
A: No, because “not being able to choose an impossible option happens even when that choice is being made randomly, and it’s impossible to destroy something that’s indestructible. As such, the random choice is made from among the permanents that can legally be destroyed.

This does not happen with destruction-replacement effects like regeneration, because destroying a permanent with a regeneration shield around it is not an impossible action.”

Approved by Callum Mine  Cards: Haphazard Bombardment

4. NAP controls an Ixalan’s Binding which exiled AP’s Squee, the Immortal. Can AP cast that same Squee from exile?

A: Yes, he can! The first thing you do when you cast a spell is move it from where you’re casting it (in this case, from exile) to the stack. Then, during 601.2e, we check to see if we’re able to cast the spell. Since Squee is on the stack, not in exile, the Binding isn’t preventing you from casting Squee, so you would be able to cast the exiled Squee.

(Note: this interaction may be affected by a future rules change.  This answer is how it works right now, in real life; Magic Online and Arena do not allow casting of Squee exiled by Ixalan’s Binding.)

Approved by Nathan Long and Callum Mine 

5. AP controls a Twilight Prophet, but she has not the City’s Blessing. During her upkeep she reveals the top card of her library (a Swamp) and put it into her hand. She proceeds to draw for her turn and after the draw step, both players realize the trigger shouldn’t exist, calling a judge. What’s the appropriate way to resolve this?

A: In this case, all actions that were performed by AP were observed by NAP and confirmed by him. In that case, this can’t be treat as HCE, so it would be a GRV with a possible backup to the point of error, which was putting the trigger on the stack. In the backup, the Swamp is set aside, a random card is returned to the top of the library and then the Swamp on top of it.

But if we learn that AP rushed through the actions without giving NAP reasonable time to correct the error, this should be treated as HCE, where the Swamp was the correct card to be drawn (and was just revealed by AP) and the other card was an extra draw. The remedy would be to put the Swamp aside, reveal the rest of the hand to NAP and let him choose one card to be shuffled into the random portion of the library.

Approved by Scott Marshall  Cards: Twilight Prophet

6. NAP controls a Damping Sphere. AP controls a Mana Reflection and taps his City of Traitors for mana. How much mana did AP add to the mana pool.

A: When a land adds 2 or more mana, Damping Sphere and Mana Reflection will try to replace the same event, so the controller of the affected object should choose in what order the replacement effects will affect the event. If AP chooses to apply first the Mana Reflection and then the Damping Sphere, the CC generated by City of Traitors would double to CCCC and then it would become C. If AP chooses to apply first the Damping Sphere and then the Mana Reflection, the CC generated by City of Traitors would become replaced by C and then doubled to CC.

Approved by Callum Mine Cards: Damping Sphere; Mana Reflection; City of Traitors

Dominaria Policy Updates

Check out the Dominaria Policy Updates here. Interesting topics have been covered such as for instance some important changes to the communication policy section and the new rules governing the use of proxies for warped foil cards that don’t come in a non-foil version.

The Knowledge Pool

For this month’s edition, let’s take a look at the latest scenario from the Knowledge pool:
Bitter over Borrowed Burn

Two-Headed Giant Release Notes and Building tips:

The Dominaria rules changes have overhauled how combat works in Two-Headed Giant! Click here to learn about those changes and about how individual Dominaria cards work in 2HG.

There is also a very handy article on the 2HG Hidden Gems that highlights which new cards to look out for within the format!

Judge Articles:

Check out the excellent articles Missing Cards: When Infractions Collide focusing on different situations where a player might realize their deck is missing a card, and how they are solved according to the IPG, as well as Hidden Card Error 101 reminiscing about the time when Pro Tours weren’t streamed on Twitch!

Player Experience Blog: Card of the Month:

This month, we are taking a look at Hadana’s Climb alongside a few scenarios that demonstrate how the card would function properly in certain situations.

Announcement Helper:

The Customer Service Project is back with a tool to try to make your announcements at prereleases a lot easier!


Find out which Judge Conferences, Grand Prix and SCG Opens have available worldwide staffing positions! You still have some time to apply for GP Orlando, GP Brussels, GP Los Angeles, GP Providence and SCG Open Atlanta!

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 Mystical Tutor and Public Promotions 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!