Digital Tournament Rules

Effective June 2020
Last updated June 25, 2020


Tournament Play has always been a big part of Magic: The Gathering. With more and more tournaments being held digitally, it is more important than ever to have a guide to call out what is unique about playing or running a digital tournament. This document will provide a similar infrastructure to the guidelines provided by the Tabletop MTR, but with a focus on digital tournaments and the unique challenges that come with running an event with players spread out all over the world.

As much as possible, digital tournaments are to be run consistently regardless of their location. This ensures equal treatment of players in different regions and enables their smooth transition to international tournaments. It is our expectation that players are treated equally and share responsibilities that are called out in this document. Both players and officials should cooperate to achieve their common goal of running a smooth digital tournament. Players and officials must treat each other in a fair and respectful manner, following both the rules and the spirit in which those rules were created. Players are responsible for following the most current version of the Digital Magic Tournament Rules and Magic: The Gathering Comprehensive Rules. Spectators have their own set of responsibilities. Individuals violating these rules are subject to penalties defined by the appropriate document(s).

Information in this document may contradict (or have information not contained in) the
Comprehensive Rules. In such cases, this document takes precedence.

This document is meant to be the default rule set for digital tournaments. Tournament
Organizers may have Official fact sheets for specific tournaments which may define alternative or additional policies or procedures. If a contradiction exists between this document and an official fact sheet, the information in the fact sheet takes precedence.

Wizards of the Coast reserves the right to alter these rules, as well as the right to interpret, modify, clarify, or otherwise issue official changes to these rules without prior notice. Updates will be made to this document as necessary.

The dates for updates to the legality of individual cards in formats contained in this document will be communicated with at least one week’s notice. Other updates not involving changes to card legality may occur without prior announcement.

This document is intended to be a supplement to the Magic Tournament Rules published here.


1. Tournament Fundamentals

1.1 Tournament Types
1.2 Publishing Tournament Information
1.3 Tournament Roles
1.4 Participation Eligibility
1.5 Account
1.6 Tournament Organizer
1.7 Head Judge
1.8 Judges/Tournament Admins
1.9 Lead Admin
1.10 Players
1.11 Spectators

2. Tournament Mechanics

2.1 Match Structure
2.2 Play/Draw Rule
2.3 Pregame Procedures – MTG ARENA Challenge info
2.4 Conceding or Intentionally Drawing Games or Matches
2.5 End-of-Match Procedure
2.6 Deck Registration
2.7 Open/Closed Decklist
2.8 Appeals to the Head Judge
2.9 Dropping from a Tournament
2.10 Taking Notes
2.11 Video Coverage

3. Tournament Rules

3.01 Tiebreakers
3.2 Formats Categories
3.3 Card Legality – New Releases
3.4 Sideboard

4. Player Communication

5. Tournament Violations

5.1 Cheating
5.2 Bribery
5.3 Wagering
5.4 Unsporting Conduct
5.5 Slow Play
5.6 Outside Assistance

6. Constructed Tournament Rules

6.1 Deck Construction Restrictions
6.2 Card Legality
6.3 Standard Format Deck Construction
6.4 Historic Format Deck Construction

Appendix A – Changes From Previous Versions

Appendix B – Round Timing

Appendix C – Recommended Number of Rounds in Swiss Tournaments