Magic Judge Monthly: April 2019

Happy Spring, and war of the spark, judges!

While there’s a lot of interesting walkers joining the fight, we hope you’re ready for a very small policy update, and some flavorful meetings of judges and cosplayers!  Check out our sugar on top!


Nothing crazy this patch.  A few bullet points on updated language on some clarification, but otherwise just a cute picture of a cat.  That’s a good kitty!


Want to write a tournament report but not sure where to start?  This is a quick and easy guide with an example of what to do.


If you’re worried about your local MCQ and what they plan to use for staff, perhaps link them to this article.  Some stores may not be prepared for what the day entails or may underestimate the requirements for experienced staff.


Sphere updates, some response to the recent “situation” with the CFB AMA on the Judge forum, and some notes on the PC selection process.


You want updates?  We got updates. War of the Spark has adjusted the comprehensive rules in ways that you could only comprehend by reading the notes here.

Judge Article and Blog Posts – April 2019

  1. Judge cast:  JudgeCast #223 – Players Leaving the Game, JudgeCast #224 – Apps! Apps! Baby!, JudgeCast #225 – War of the Release Notes
  2. Knowledge Pool (non-English):Du bist der Schiedsrichter, Dunkler Mittrinker, drei mal, Etwas ausgeliehenes, etwas blaues
  3. Judge apps help: JudgeApps Updates – March 2019
  4. Translated rules:War of the Spark™ Release Notes, Magic Infraction Procedure Guide – May 3rd, 2019, Magic Tournament Rules – May 3rd, 2019
  5. Regional Blogs: New articles in:
    Europe – East regional blog 
    German Speaking Countries
    Magic Judge Iberia – Español
    Northeast USA Judge Family
    Juízes de Magic Brasil
    UKISA Regional Blog
    Jueces Hispanoamericanos
    The Northwest Passage
    USA Great Lakes Judges

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 March and April 2019, featuring 10 judges: Janit Mindis, Are Maturana, Savvas Themistocleous, Joe Wiesenberg, Jorge Requesens, Jernej Lipovec, Federico Donner, Paul Baranay, Takanori Nakamura, and Riki Hayashi!

Judge of the Week

303 — Pardon Our Dust

Welcome to the Fold

A big welcome to the following judges who worked their first MagicFest in April 2019!

MF Sao Paulo

MF Niagara Falls

MF Yokohama

MF London

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

1. AP has Garruk's Horde and Selvala, Explorer Returned, and a creature on the top of their library. Are they allowed to start casting the creature spell, activate Selvala, then choose not to cast the spell, which would end up in AP getting the second card of library in their hand and the creature back on top?
For the first example, AP has a 3 mana creature on top and 0 lands in play meaning that they know they will not be able to cast it for sure. For the second example, AP has a 1 mana creature on top, and they know their opponent holds a Force Spike. AP wants to be sure they will have 1 mana floating if they cast their creature. Can they refuse to cast the creature if Selvala produces a single mana?

A: Intentionally taking an action that you know to be illegal, while seeking some advantage, will lead to some judges choosing to disqualify you. Your first example is clearly in that dangerous area, and I can’t say I’d disagree with a DQ in that case – assuming, that is, I can figure out what in the world you were hoping to gain from it.

The second example, if I read you correctly, asks if you can start to take an action and then – after gaining information – change your mind. Generating sufficient mana during the steps of casting a spell, but refusing to finish because you didn’t generate extra mana, is a very (dark) grey area, one I would not venture into, nor be very forgiving of.

So, to clearly state this: you can’t perform any of the listed examples!

Approved by Scott Marshall
Cards: Garruk’s Horde, Selvala, Explorer Returned, Force Spike, Chromatic Sphere

2. AP controls Bolas’s Citadel and has an Ancestral Vision on top of their library. Are they allowed to cast it?

A: Yes! The Citadel has an alternate cost – it lets players cast a spell by paying life equal to the card’s converted mana cost instead of its normal cost. And the converted mana cost of a card with no mana cost (like Ancestral Vision) is zero. If the Vision is the top card of AP’s library, they’ll be able to cast it via the Citadel, and since its converted mana cost is zero, they’ll pay zero life to cast it.

Approved by Nathan Long

Cards: Bolas’s Citadel, Ancestral Vision

3. If AP controls Feather, the Redeemed and Dreadhorde Arcanist, and casts a spell that targets with Dreadhorde Arcanist's attack trigger, does the spell get returned with Feather's ability?

A: Assuming the creature AP targeted is one that they control (so that Feather’s ability triggers in the first place) and nothing else interferes, then yes, AP can return that card to their hand at the beginning of the next end step. The effects from both Feather, the Redeemed’s ability and Dreadhorde Arcanist’s ability each want to replace the action of putting the card into its owner’s graveyard with doing something else, so AP chooses one of those effects to apply (even though both effects want the card to end up in exile, they’re still separate effects). AP can choose to apply either effect–the other will then no longer apply and will do nothing. Choosing to apply Feather’s effect will create the delayed trigger that will return the card to their hand at the beginning of the next end step. (Choosing to apply the Arcanist’s effect instead would result in the card not returning, but nobody’s going to do that.)

Approved by Callum Milne  Cards: Feather, the Redeemed, Dreadhorde Arcanist


Player Experience Blog – How Not to Sleeve Your Cards

A lot of markings on the back of sleeves are not caused by wear of shuffling but by rough movement when putting a card in a sleeve. This video by the Player Experience Blog show us exactly how NOT to sleeve a deck!

Two-Headed Giant Release Notes

We bring you two new articles: War of the Spark Two-Headed Giant Release Notes and War of the Spark – 2HG Hidden Gems

How To Guides – Playing and Judging at the Same Time

Have you ever wondered what you need to think about when playing and judging at the same time? Follow this link to download the very useful guide full of hints and tips on when you can play and judge at the same time, as well as what you should do when taking calls from players or in your own match!

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 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!

Some of the Head judges got to meet a planeswalker in their journey to MF London!  Hello Kasmina (@NissaCosplay)