Magic Judge Monthly: May 2019

Seek the horizons, fellow judges!
Welcome to your May issue, and it’s all a little quiet for news as we approach Modern Horizons.  Hope everyone’s prereleases went well, and we’ll have Release notes and news on that launch, next month!

Featured Blog!
Judge Booth returns:

Judge Booth is back.  A program to challenge Judges and give non-Judge folks a taste of the strange and difficult questions the game we all love is able to offer up.  If you’d like to see the recent success of the program at GP/MF Strasbourg, this article will show you around.  If you’d like to challenge yourself with some of the questions, check out the Booth website.


Judge Article and Blog Posts – May 201

  1. Judge Apps Help: JudgeApps Updates – April 2019
  2. Travel guides: MF Copenhagen 2019
  3. Judge cast: JudgeCast #226 – MCQs and MC-Yous, JudgeCast #227 – Judge Code of Conduct with Eric Levine
  4. Knowledge pool – German: Ein Fall der Gnade, Ich nehm den Burger, nein, den Burrito, warte, eine Nudelbox?, eins zu viel, Der falsche Geist
  5. Translated rules: Judging at Regular REL – May 3rd, 2019
  6. Regional Blogs:
    New articles in:
    German Speaking Countries
    Europe – East regional blog
    Magic Judge Iberia – Español
    Jueces Hispanoamericanos
    Northeast USA Judge Family
    Judging in Russian
    Juízes de Magic Brasil

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 May 2019, featuring Johanna Virtanen, Michael Chamberlain, Rene Oberweger, and Braulio Gutierrez!


Judge of the Week — May 2019

Judge of the Week is still in hiatus.


Welcome to the Fold

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

MF Madison

MF Providence

MF Kansas City

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

1. If a player somehow controls a non-legendary Planeswalker (e.g. via Spark Double), and has a Mox Amber in play, can that Mox be tapped to add mana of that non-legendary Planeswalker colours?

A: Despite Mox Amber’s text not being clear enough, its controller can only tap it to add mana of a legendary creature or a legendary planeswalker.

Approved by Nathan Long  Cards: Spark Double; Mox Amber

2. AP plays Path to Exile targeting one of their opponent’s creatures. AP knows for some reason (e.g. via Surgical Extraction) that NAP does not have any more basic lands in their deck and fails to tell the player they can search for a basic land. In Competitive REL is this CPV?

A: It’s not. If the action would not have impact in the current game state, it’s not an infraction to fail to demonstrate awareness of it.

Approved by Scott Marshall

Cards: Path to Exile; Surgical Extraction

3. In the first game of the first round of a Competitive REL event, a player presents a deck with 62 cards main deck and 13 in their sideboard. While drawing for the turn, that player realizes they have forgot to desideboard from a previous tournament. Their list matched the 62-13 card configuration and the player didn’t notice because they asked a friend to write the list. At this point, which is the infraction and penalty?

A: This can go 2 ways: either the involved player keeps playing that game with no infraction at all (the deck matched the list, so everything is good) OR that player can have a Game Loss for Decklist Problem because the list “doesn’t match what the player intended to play”. The player can modify their list and deck accordingly and start playing the second game of the round with a 0-1 record!

Approved by Scott Marshall

4. AP attacks with Parhelion II and creates the attacking tokens. NAP controls Coveted Jewel, blocks the Parhelion II with a creature and takes 8 damage from the tokens. After all of that, who controls Coveted Jewel?

A: AP does. An ability that triggers whenever something “attacks and isn’t blocked” triggers if no blockers are declared for that creature, regardless of whether or not the creature was ever actually declared as an attacking creature.

Approved by Callum Milne  Cards: Parhelion II

5. Since it’s written in the MTR that Alpha cards (that have a different cut from the rest of the cards) can be used in tournament play if they are in purely opaque sleeves, if a player gets an uncut sheet, is he allowed to cut the sheet and play with those cards?

A: If a player can cut the cards precisely, and they can mimic the current cut, then the answer is yes. Otherwise, they’ll be considered Marked Cards. The only exception in the MTR is for Alpha cards.

Bonus Question: What if the cut can mimic that of a Magic card, but it’s done in a way that seems like a misprint?

A: The MTR currently allows it!

Approved by Scott Marshall

Judging for the Win

WAR New Set Digest is out now on the Judging for the Win blog.


Find out which Judge Conferences, Grand Prix and SCG Opens have available worldwide staffing positions! You still have some time to apply for:

And many, many more!

Public Projects such as How to judge your first GP document and Outreach Sphere 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!

From our twitter page: (Bears) How did Alfonso become a Mythic Championship Appeals Judge? The secret is mentorship! Here’s Alfonso receiving some help from Kasmina herself! ello Kasmina (@NissaCosplay)