Magic Judge Monthly: March 2019

Welcome to your March issue of Magic Judge Monthly.  We’d really like some feedback on your reading enjoyment, as we’ve been testing new things, and getting the hang of new sections and blogs as they appear. Please leave us your feedback in the comments below!

We’re coming up to War of the Spark now!


By the time this digest is published this Level 2+ Judge Conference will be beyond its application date.  However, keep an eye out for Judge conferences in your area.  These events not only bring great information, but also connect many communities face to face.

Judge Article and Blog Posts – February 2019

  1. Judge cast: JudgeCast #221 – Triggers are Wonderful Things, JudgeCast #222 – Top 8 ways to keep your events moving faster
  2. Knowledge Pool (non-English): Der Friedhof ist nicht voll genug!, Die Eldrazi Diät, Schlüpfriger Serpopard, 4, 5, 6, … und jetzt?
  3. Judge apps help: JudgeApps Updates – February 2019, Updates to JudgeApps Account Creation
  4. Translated rules: New Translations!
  5. Judge Conferences: Conference report – Mini-Conference in Moss!
  6. Travel Guides: MF Calgary 2019, MF Strasbourg 2019, MF Bilbao 2019
  7. Regional Blogs: New articles in:Magic Judge Iberia – Español
    Juízes de Magic Brasil
    Judging in RussianGerman Speaking Countries
    USA Great Lakes Judges
    The Judges of Southeast Asia
    Northeast USA Judge Family
    Canadian Judge Family
    Europe – East regional blog
    Judging in the North!

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 February 2019, including Tobias Vyseri!

Congratulations to all of our Judge of the Weeks

299Dylan Harkness, Level 1 from Toronto, Ontario, Canada
300 — Special feature on the judges from the SCG Regional Championship in Columbia, MO
301Zie Aun Tan, Level 2 from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
302Irina Samonova, Level 2 from Podolsk, Russia

Welcome to the Fold

A big welcome to the following judges who worked their first MagicFest in February 2019!
MagicFest Bilbao
MagicFest Tampa Bay
MagicFest Kyoto
MagicFest Calgary

Exemplar announcements

March brought us the announcement of all judges who received an Exemplar during Wave 16. Congratulations to everyone that received one. Thank you for your hard work and dedication to the community!

Coaching Sphere

Learn about Conflict management with the Coaching Sphere!

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

1. You are the HJ of a Standard Competitive REL event. In the middle of a match, you see a player with sharpied mountains in his deck. Closer inspection reveals that they are Nexus proxies issued by another local judge, with their signature and the date of an event two weeks ago. What's the infraction and remedy?

A: The root issue here is that this player probably believes they’re doing the right thing and that they are trying to comply with policy. But he’s not, and we, as judges, need to educate him in that way. If the player has the original Nexus of Fate cards with them, simply educate him and approve those proxies to use in this event. There’s no infraction, so do not issue any penalty.

Approved by Scott Marshall
Cards: Nexus of Fate

2. Cynthia reveals Chancellor of the Annex from their opening hand. On Dave's first turn he plays an Island and passes the turn. On Cynthia's first turn she casts Faithless Looting. Dave casts Daze returning the Island to his hand, saying “float a blue”. Both players put their spells into the graveyard and Cynthia passes the turn, at which point Dave tries to cast Brainstorm with the floating blue. Cynthia says that the blue was spent to pay for the Chancellor trigger, while Dave claims the trigger was missed since Cynthia never said anything about it. Which player is right?

A: As I recall, cards like Rhystic Study and Frost Titan influenced the quotes you included, especially that phrasing in the IPG. What we wanted was to avoid the “gotcha” that could be achieved by remaining silent in hopes that Study would let you draw, or Titan would protect itself.

While your example is a bit different, the wording of policy confirms that Cynthia failed in her obligation to both point out the Chancellor’s trigger, and confirm that Dave was using the floating mana to pay. Instead, she assumed and the cost of that assumption is Dave gets to act as though she forgot her trigger; Dave’s position (really, his assumption) is defensible, because it’s Cynthia’s burden to point out the trigger and have Dave choose whether or not to pay 1. Or, short version: players who assume things usually don’t like the outcome.

Also: this is very much a “you had to be there” scenario, as so many fine details of the player’s communication could change the outcome.  This answer is based on the original presentation.

Approved by Scott Marshall

Cards: Chancellor of the Annex; Faithless Looting; Daze; Brainstorm

3. AP asks their opponent “what card is that?” pointing to one of NAP’s cards, to which they replied the creature’s power and toughness and one (but not all) of the creature’s abilities. Upon attacking, AP finds out the creature also has deathtouch, an ability that NAP omitted. What’s the infraction, penalty and fix?

A: The IPG allows incomplete but not incorrect answers – Derived Information. Also, bluffing is a part of Magic. Even at Regular REL, you can say “I’ve got lethal burn in hand, can you win this turn?” when your hand only contains basic lands. If an opponent believes you and scoops, score one for the bluff – it’s legal. At Competitive REL, bluffing about Derived information is one of the skills we allow. Sometimes, it feels wrong for the “victim”, but most instances point to that “victim” not asking good, or good enough, questions. So, no infraction, nor penalty.

Approved by Scott Marshall

4. AP commits a GRV, then activates and resolves the +1 ability of Karn, Scion of Urza. Once the cards have been revealed and one has been placed in AP's hand, AP realizes they have committed a GRV and call a judge. Leaving aside the question of “do you back up here?” how do you backup the activation of Karn?

A: The cards are known, so they can be shuffled into the random portion of the library before turning our attention to that GRV.

The point of a backup is to return the game state to as close as possible to what it was before. Backing up cards to the top of the library does not accomplish this, since now they’re known to the player when they should have been unknown. However we also don’t want to shuffle away random cards from a player’s hand, as that is extremely disruptive and can give the player a large advantage or disadvantage just based on a roll of the dice. That’s why we put unknown cards from the hand on top of the library. When the card is known to both players, and more importantly, known to the judge, there’s no risk of shuffling away the wrong card. We know exactly which one isn’t supposed to be in the hand, so the reasons for wanting to put it on top of the library don’t apply. I wouldn’t get tripped up over the exact way those cards made it into the hand, what matters is that they’re there and not known to the opponent. Most methods of putting a card into a hand that isn’t drawing it have it revealed to both players.

Approved by The Forum Moderators, Cards: Karn, Scion of Urza

Judging For the Win

The latest installment in the blog is Investigations | GP Cleveland Tournament Report and focuses on examining a judge call taking place during day two of a Limited Grand Prix.

Magic Rules Tips Blog

Check out the latest Magic Rules Tips! There is a variety of new articles that have been published on issues ranging from Properly Identifying Cards to What happens when you Regenerate a creature with a Scorchmark aimed at it and ‘What’s A Tap Cost, Anyway?

Find out which Judge Conferences, MagicFest and other tournaments have available worldwide staffing positions! You still have some time to apply for:

And many, many more!

Public Projects such as Judge of the Week and Welcome to the Fold 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!

Who wants Judge cookies?  Call a judge, get a sweet!  From @imTilley