Magic Judge Monthly: September 2018

How well do you know the Guilds of Ravnica, judges?  Is this your first visit to the City of Guilds?  Or is this just one of many returns?  As we enter the city, and crash the gates, you’ll find a maze of information, cards, and new documents this month, but Magic Judge Monthly has you covered.  Much like the living Guildpact, our publication has all your release notes, and information from the program coordinators.  And if you are truly feeling some Dissension, check out the judge tokens you can order below!

Happy Judging!


To see the chosen Vanguard for this season and read the review that earned that Judge their face on a token, see this article.  Also, Wave 15 is now open and available for your recommendations.  You have until November 20th to complete your entries.

Judge tokens:  Window open right now!

Want a great thing to give your players or other Judges?  These tokens from the Judge Tokens Project feature original art and information on how players can provide Feedback to Judges.  If you want more information or to place an order, follow this link.

GP judge contract updates: EU, NA:

The system has been updated and there is a good grip of information if you’re working Grand Prix events outside the United States or a non-USA Judge working a Grand Prix inside the United States.  For all the ins and outs and for links to the new websites, see this forum post.


Judge Articles and Blog Posts from September 2018


  1. Judge cast: JudgeCast #209 – Top 8 Problematic Triggered Abilities, JudgeCast #210 – Guilds of Ravnica Release Notes
  2. JudgeApps Help and Updates:
  3. JudgeApps Updates – August 2018Travel Guides: GP Hong Kong 2018,
  4. GP Lille 2018Translated rules: Guilds of Ravnica Release Notes
  5. Regional Blogs:New articles in:
    German Speaking Countries
    Judging in the North!
    Jueces Hispanoamericanos
    Canadian Judge Family
    USA Great Lakes Judges
    Europe – East regional blog
    Juízes de Magic Brasil
    The Judges of Southeast Asia

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

Congratulations to all of the judges who celebrated an anniversary in September 2018, including Eric Smith, Patrick Ericsson, and Brook Gardner-Durbin!


Congratulations to all of our Judge of the Week — September 2018

273:Alex Jacques, L2 from Blue Springs, Missouri

274:Flora Li, L1 from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

275:Travis Lauro, L2 from Riverside, California

276:Nelson Mendoza Moral, L2 from Zaragoza, Spain

Welcome to the Fold

A big welcome to the following judges who worked their first GP in September 2018!
GP Detroit
GP Hong Kong
GP Stockholm

Program coordinators

This month, the Program Coordinators brought back the “travel diary” and talked about projects relating to maintenance and quality.

Planar Bridge

Planar Bridge is open to judges at each GP that wish to discuss the current goings on within the judge community. Take a look here for some notes on what has happened at past meetings.

Coaching- writing recognitions

This month, the coaching sphere talked about writing recognitions for fellow judges. This is especially important for those Exemplars that you want to send out!

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

1. AP controls a Flameblade Adept and NAP controls a Rest in Peace. AP casts a Goblin Lore. What is Flameblade Adept’s power?

A: The Adept will have 4 power! Even though the action of discarding a card means to move it from its owner’s hand to that player’s graveyard, this action doesn’t care if there are any replacement effects altering where the card ends up. So, when AP discards the 3 cards thanks to Goblin Lore, the Adept will trigger that same amount of times and becomes a 4/2!

Approved by Nathan Long   Cards: Flameblade Adept; Rest in Peace; Goblin Lore

2. NAP controls a Nevermore and chose the name Alive (Alive//Well) as it entered the battlefield. Is AP allowed to cast Well? And can AP choose to Fuse the spell?

A: For the first question, the answer is yes! When AP casts Well, Nevermore won’t prohibit him from casting, it because that half has a different name than the card named by Nevermore.

However, AP can’t cast Alive, nor can he Fuse the spell, because in both cases the spell has the name that Nevermore forbids.

Approved by Callum Milne

Cards: Nevermore; Alive // Well

3. AP controls an Insolent Neonate and activates its ability by discarding a Bridge from Below. Does AP get a token?

A: The answer is yes and no. It only depends on AP’s choice. “When reading a card’s activated ability, you will see that different parts of the ability’s cost are separated from each other by commas. Each such part is a separate component, and when an activated ability has more than one component to its costs, those different costs can be paid in any order relative to each other.

Insolent Neonate’s ability has two components: “Discard a card” and “Sacrifice Insolent Neonate”. If AP discards a card first, then Bridge from Below will be in their graveyard at the time the Neonate is sacrificed and will therefore trigger. If for whatever reason they decide to sacrifice the Neonate first instead, then the Bridge will not enter their graveyard until after the Neonate has already died, and therefore will not trigger.”

Approved by Callum Milne

Cards: Insolent Neonate; Bridge from Below

A player brings their Collector’s Edition basic lands in opaque sleeves to a Regular REL event. Shall we allow it?

A: Per the section 3.3 of the MTR, at sanctioned events, we can only allow cards that have a standard Magic back. Even if it’s only a Regular event and despite being in opaque sleeves, we should enforce the policy as soon as possible, because not sticking into it can lead to future problems. If we stick to policy, we always have a document to back up our decision.

Approved by Scott Marshall

5. AP targets his opponent’s Eternal Scourge with an ability. NAP forgets to exile it. This is a Missed Trigger situation, but is there any penalty to NAP

A: “The Missed Triggers project identified this one as generally detrimental; the trigger denies you a resource, and makes you cast it all over again.

It can be argued (and it has been) that this also “fizzles” the opponent’s spell or ability, thus making it hard to get rid of, and therefore it’s a good trigger. That benefit softens the blow a bit, but it’s still detrimental. Something as innocuous as Amoeboid Changeling makes the Scourge nearly useless. In my book, that’s detrimental,” thus the penalty for NAP is a Warning for Missed Trigger.

Approved by Scott Marshall

Cards: Eternal Scourge; Amoeboid Changeling

Guilds of Ravnica Release Notes

The Release Notes include information concerning the release of Guilds of Ravnica, as well as a collection of clarifications and rulings involving the set’s cards.


2HG Release Notes – Guilds of Ravnica

Here you can find all the information relevant to the Guilds of Ravnica 2HG Release Notes & Hidden Gems.


Review of Rules: Convoke

Now that Guilds of Ravnica has been released, brush up on convoke (and related mechanics, delve and improvise) in the returning mechanics review article here.

Find out which Judge Conferences, Grand Prix and SCG Opens have available worldwide staffing positions! You still have some time to apply for GP Oakland, GP Prague, SCG Open Las Vegas, SCG Open Baltimore and the World Magic Cup in Barcelona if you are a level 3!


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 the Judge Booth 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!

Sugar on Top!

We’re once again featuring the Judge Tokens project exciting art- as we can see newly themed Ravnica Soldier and Elf Knight!

The window is actually open for once (aligned with this publication), so you can order your tokens up until October 12th!