IRC #mtgrules FAQ

What is #mtgrules?

The Magic Judges Internet Relay Chat (IRC) channel #mtgrules is focused towards rules questions. Players, Tournament Organisers, and Judges who are unsure of Magic: The Gathering™ rules questions can ask in #mtgrules without fear, and in the knowledge that they will be served by judges with the right answers, backed up with reasoning and rules quotes if needs be.

Short questions about tournament policy are fine, but may be redirected to #mtgjudge if the situation is complex, or further questions stem from the original. Channel Operators will stymie off-topic conversations as quickly as necessary to avoid spiraling into idle chatter.

What’s a channel Operator?

This channel has some people who run it – they are Level 2 or higher judges who have been selected (so please don’t ask if you can be one) to ensure that the topic of conversation stays on relevant rules questions. If an Operator (signified by a star or @ symbol) asks something of you, please respect that request. Our current Operators (and their usernames) are:

Jason Lemahieu (Lems)
Level 3, Wisconsin (USA)

Jason Lemahieu (Lems)
Level 3, Wisconsin (USA)

James Bennett (jbennett)
Level 3, Kansas (USA)

James Bennett (jbennett)
Level 3, Kansas (USA)

Mark Brown (MnarkBr)
Level 2, Australia

Mark Brown (MnarkBr)
Level 2, Australia

Johanna Virtanen (flame-)
Level 3, Finland

Johanna Virtanen (flame-)
Level 3, Finland

Jack Doyle (Scryus)
Level 3, United Kingdom

Jack Doyle (Scryus)
Level 3, United Kingdom

Arttu Kaipiainen (luma)
Level 2, Finland

Arttu Kaipiainen (luma)
Level 2, Finland

Carsten Haese (Cars10)
Level 2, Ohio (USA)

Carsten Haese (Cars10)
Level 2, Ohio (USA)

Nathan Long (Natedogg2)
Level 2, Colorado (USA)

Nathan Long (Natedogg2)
Level 2, Colorado (USA)

Channel etiquette

So can I just ask a question?

When joining the channel, it’s a good idea to wait a few seconds to see if there is already a discussion in progress. If there is, we recommend waiting until the previous question has been answered. If nobody is talking, please go ahead and ask your question! There are almost always volunteers available to answer and there is no need to ask first if anyone is awake. However, sometimes it may take up to a couple of minutes for someone to answer your question, so please be patient!

I have a question about a card that’s going to be in the next set, is it okay to ask?

Before the release of a new set many people want to ask questions about cards that have not been released yet. We can’t answer questions about unofficially leaked cards. Official previews (listed on the Wizards of the Coast website) are fine.

We also won’t answer questions about new mechanics until the rules have been officially released, due to the likelihood that these rules may change. Everything will be explained in the Release Notes, which are released prior to prereleases for the set.

How do I make card text appear?

Type “!cardname”, and our automated bot Datatog will display the card text. Please don’t use him on the channel unless it’s related to a question you’re asking. If you just want to look at card text, send him a private message – type “/msg Datatog !cardname”.

What level are you guys? How do I know who’s a certified judge and who isn’t?

Most of the channel regulars are certified judges, but we do have some rules experts who are not certified. We have judges of every level on the channel, and if someone gives an incorrect answer, others will quickly correct him or her. The channel moderators are at least Level 2.

Why was that guy banned?

Disruptive behaviour will not be tolerated.

If you’re unable to join #mtgrules and joining other channels also doesn’t work, it may be that your IP is banned by the server you’re trying to use. Trying a different server may help. See EFNet’s website for a list.

This channel is great! I’m a tournament organizer, can I use this channel when my players have questions during a tournament?

Of course. However, it’s always a good idea to have a judge physically present at your tournaments. If you would like more information about finding a certified judge near you, or about becoming a judge yourself, please join #mtgjudge. (/join #mtgjudge on most IRC clients)

I’m a judge and want to help out with answering questions. Are there any rules?

That’s great; we’re always looking for people to help out. However, understand that this channel isn’t really a training ground for people to test out their knowledge and take guesses at rules questions. This is where people who have honest questions come to have them answered.

If you are a judge who wants to start helping out, try sitting back for a while and thinking about answers you’d give while others do so. It’s a great learning opportunity and will help you when you build the confidence and skill to answer questions on your own.

Don’t continue discussions past the point of questioning; be on the lookout for when the original questioner leaves the channel. Don’t discuss in detail how an interaction would work under previous rules or policy systems. Direct users to where they need to be – policy and tournament operations in #mtgjudge, off-topic chat in #mtg.

Lastly, respect the requests of the Operators. If they maintain that a conversation topic is off the table, don’t continue that line of thought. Those who answer rules questions aren’t exempt from a one-hour timeout.

How to connect to IRC

If you’re reading this FAQ, you have probably located #mtgrules already and clicked the link in the topic. If you don’t, here are some tips:

You can use the Online Tool to connect to #mtgrules directly through a browser.

You can use an IRC client such as mIRC or irssi to connect. We are located on the EFNet network, and choosing any of the servers should work. If your client does not list servers, try irc.efnet.org to connect to a random one. Once connected, type /join #mtgrules.

You can use another web-based service such as the one located on EFNet’s website.

To join a password-protected channel (+k), type /join #channel password.

For more IRC related informartion, check out this helpful website.

This page written by Johanna Virtanen and Jack Doyle