Magic Judge Monthly: December 2018

Happy New Year Judges!  Here’s your news from the last month in 2018!  It’s been a bit quiet as the year wraps up, but that means hopefully many of you got to unwrap some time with family!  It’s exciting that we’re already close to Ravnica Allegiance – and soon we may see a war of the spark!

Happy Judging!

Exemplar Program

Exemplar Wave 15 has wrapped up and the Vanguard token Judge has been selected.  Follow the link to see who it is and the Recognition that earned them that spot.

Speaking of that, Wave 16 is well underway and will close on February 19th.  Don’t put off putting in your recommendations for outstanding Judges.  A small paragraph could brighten someone’s day!

Judge Conduct Committee!

The JCC has a new lead.  To see who will be taking over the position, check out this link.  A big Thank You to Christina Dionisio for her outstanding work the previous year.

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 December 2018, featuring Sebastian Braune, Alex Papageorgiou, Mitsunori Makino, and Juan Del Compare!

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

286: Alistair Crook, L2 from Cambridge, England
287: Billy Gilmore, L2 from Bolivar, Missouri
288: RC End of the Year Feature 2018, Part 1
289: 2018 Holiday Special, Part 1

Welcome to the Fold

A big welcome to the following judges who worked their first GP (soon to be MFs!) in December 2018!

GP Liverpool
GP Portland
GP Vancouver


The International Level 2 Conference is scheduled to take place May 25-26 in Vienna! Sign-ups to attend are currently being taken.

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

1. AP activates the +1 ability of Vivien Reid, looks at the top four cards, reveals a land card and quickly put the remaining 3 cards at the bottom of their library without shuffling/presenting them to his opponent. How should we handle it?

A: Although the first time you see it it’s probably fine to remind them they have to shuffle those cards, after that, TE-Insufficient Shuffling does apply. However, please don’t get stuck on “sufficient shuffling” when there’s only a few cards going to the bottom. If they make an effort to mix up the cards, let it be.

Approved by Scott Marshall Cards: Vivien Reid

At the beginning of a 9-player Standard PPTQ, quickly after starting round 1, the HJ checks the decklists and notices a player is playing their Modern deck and provided their Modern decklist. If the player didn’t have a Standard deck to switch to, what would be the best fix to this situation?

A: In this case, we are presented with a TE – Decklist Problem. The decklist is illegal in it current format. The player should exchange any currently illegal cards in his deck for basic lands from their choice and alter the decklist to reflect this. Obviously, if the player is playing a Modern deck, the chances that they could have a functional deck after this fix are near zero, so he would probably want to drop anyway. If they do, NEVER restart the tournament to be an 8-player single-elimination, nor announce it after players had started playing. Always stick to what you said in the opening announcements, in this case a 9-player 5-round and top 4 tournament.

Approved by Scott Marshall

Magic Rules Tip Blog

This month around, we would like to present you with a lot of new articles that you can check out at the Magic Rules Tip Blog.

Judging for the Win

The original article on the KCI combo which gained a lot of attention has been edited with a thorough description of the combo and a re-shoot of the entire video on the topic to clean up the explanations. Read more here.

Program Coordinators

The least ‘Ask Me Anything’ where judges could ask the Program Coordinators various questions ended in early December and the Program Coordinators are currently working on the answers. You can view the list of questions submitted on this thread.

Policy for Draft Pack Replacements

Can a player who opens a high-value booster, during a sanctioned, limited tournament, opt to buy another pack to replace the high-value pack? Answer!

Find out which Judge Conferences, MagicFest and SCG Opens have available worldwide staffing positions! You still have some time to apply for MF Yokohama, MF Kytakyushu, MF Niagara Falls and SCG Open Syracause.

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 Player Surveys 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!

 Debrief for staff at GP Liverpool was rather closer than usual, resulting in some hugs!