Magic: The Appealing

Hi, my name is Bernie Hoelschen. I'm a level one judge, and I've been playing Magic since about 1994. I have wanted to write articles about aspects of Magic: The Gathering tournaments and judging for some time, and decided that the first topic I would write about would be appeals and the appeals process for players. What is an appeal? An appeal is the process by which a player can ask for confirmation or clarification from another judge regarding a ruling they have received. Appeals are covered Read more

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Welcome to your first GP

Is your first Grand Prix or tournament held at REL (Rule enforcement level) competitive ahead of you? Then this document might just be what you need to read. I want to take the time to welcome you. Many people feel nervous and that these events are very daunting  Here are a few tips and tricks directly from a Judge that hopefully can calm your nerves and just in general help you have a better time.     0. Call a judge Do you think something went wrong, need help, Read more

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Card of the Month – Hadana’s Climb

Sultai Energy, or Sultai Constrictor, is a deck that has recently reappeared in Standard. The deck plays different creatures that enter the battlefield with +1/+1 counters on them, or that can earn them (e.g., ). We add to the mix, and we notice that flipping is definitely feasible. The ability of the gives flying and +X/+X to a creature, which at this point should already be big, and allows us to win the game in a few attacks - ideally, in a single one. Hadana’s Climb Hadana's Read more

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Card of the Month – Angrath, The Flame-Chained

Silently, without too much clamor, this card begins to appear in some Standard decks. If our opponent plays Rakdos or Grixis colors, we should not be surprised by this Minotaur … Angrath is also an interesting multiplayer card - the first and third abilities hit "each opponent," and the second one is what it takes to launch an unexpected attack. Angrath is one of the first planeswalkers with the legendary supertype printed on paper (we underline "printed"). Here’s a brief summary Read more

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Out-of-Order Sequencing

We all know that Magic is a complex game. There are thousands of unique cards, and these cards are governed by a ton of very boring rules (a loooot of pages of rules). Magic is also a game with actions and decisions and the order in which players must do these is detailed in the (again) unfathomable mountain of rulings. It can be quite difficult to perform every single play in a perfect manner. In fact, it’s not uncommon to see players do actions in an incorrect order that, by the rules, Read more

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Card of the Month – Hostage Taker

Have we met before? It’s simply natural to compare this new card with which, by the way,  is now rotating out of Standard. Actually, there’s a huge difference between them. Spell Queller, a white and blue creature, is very similar to a counter and therefore it is a tempo-oriented choice – we would love to see it in our hand as soon as possible, but it is far less useful in mid and late game. trades white for black, it costs one more mana and it is a control-oriented choice Read more

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Triggers in Competitive Events

. . . . What do all of these multi-format all-stars have in common? Their power comes from triggered abilities. What is a Triggered Ability? A triggered ability is anything that happens because something else happened — it might be that you started a certain part of the turn, another permanent entered or left play, your opponent drew a card, or nearly anything else. Triggered abilities are usually worded as “When/whenever/at (time), (do a thing).” Examples include: “When enters Read more

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