Magic: The Gathering Tournament Rules

Effective Nov 17, 2022
Last updated Nov 24, 2022


The DCI is a worldwide organization dedicated to organized play. It promotes, enforces, and develops rules and policies using the goals and philosophies defined in this document, (the Magic Tournament Rules, or the MTR), the Magic: The Gathering Infraction Procedure Guide, and the Judging at Regular Rules Enforcement Level document. It constantly reviews these rules and policies to ensure its goals are met.

There are two types of sanctioned Magic tournaments: rated and casual. Rated tournaments offer Planeswalker Points for each win, draw, or bye a player earns. Casual tournaments offer a single Planeswalker Point for participation.

The purpose of this document is to provide the infrastructure used to run Magic: The Gathering (“Magic”) tournaments by defining appropriate rules, responsibilities, and procedures to be followed in all DCI-sanctioned, competitive-level Magic tournaments. DCI-sanctioned tournaments are to be run consistently regardless of their location. This ensures equal treatment of players in different regions and also enables their smooth transition to international tournaments. All players are treated equally and share responsibilities according to the Rules Enforcement Level (REL) of the tournament. Both players and officials should cooperate to achieve their common goal of running a proper DCI-sanctioned 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. They are responsible for following the most current version of the Magic Tournament Rules (MTR) and Magic: The Gathering Comprehensive Rules. Spectators have their own set of responsibilities. Individuals violating DCI rules are subject to penalties defined by the appropriate document for the tournament’s Rules Enforcement Level.

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

Official tournament fact sheets located on the Wizards of the Coast website for specific tournaments may define alternative or additional policies or procedures. If a contradiction exists between this document and an official fact sheet located on the Wizards of the Coast website, 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.

2019 updates to this document are scheduled to be announced the Monday after each Prerelease. There may be additional dates in which updates to this document will be announced. The dates of any additional announcements will be communicated with at least 4 weeks’ notice. Other updates not involving updates to card legality may
occur without prior announcement.

The latest versions are available at

Annotated MTR

The Annotated MTR is a line by line deconstruction of each sentence in the MTR. The MTR is a very dense document with very few extraneous words. Each sentence has meaning, and it’s the AMTR’s goal to call attention to the finer details hidden in those sentences. It can be used as a study guide for L2, a refresher for judges coming back, or to settle judge nerd-fights, but its primary focus is education.

If you have any questions or comments about the Annotated MTR text please contact


1. Tournament Fundamentals

1.1 Tournament Types
1.2 Publishing Tournament Information
1.3 Tournament Roles
1.4 Participation Eligibility
1.5 Registration
1.6 Tournament Organizer
1.7 Head Judge
1.8 Floor Judges
1.9 Scorekeeper
1.10 Players
1.11 Spectators
1.12 Rules Enforcement Levels

2. Tournament Mechanics

2.1 Match Structure
2.2 Play/Draw Rule
2.3 Pregame Procedures
2.4 Conceding or Intentionally Drawing Games or Matches
2.5 End-of-Match Procedure
2.6 Time Extensions
2.7 Deck Registration
2.8 Deck Checks
2.9 Appeals to the Head Judge
2.10 Dropping from a Tournament
2.11 Taking Notes
2.12 Electronic Devices
2.13 Video Coverage

3. Tournament Rules

3.1 Tiebreakers
3.2 Format and Ratings Categories
3.3 Authorized Cards
3.4 Proxy Cards
3.5 Substitute Cards
3.6 Card Identification and Interpretation
3.7 New Releases
3.8 Game Markers
3.9 Die Rolling
3.10 Card Shuffling
3.11 Sleeves
3.12 Marked Cards
3.13 Hidden Information
3.14 Tapped/Flipped Cards
3.15 Graveyard Order
3.16 Sideboard
3.17 Supplementary Decks
3.18 Stickers

4. Communication

4.1 Player Communication
4.2 Tournament Shortcuts
4.3 Out-of-Order Sequencing
4.4 Loops
4.5 Triggered Abilities
4.6 Team/Two-Headed Giant Communication
4.7 Game Layout
4.8 Reversing Decisions

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 Modern Format Deck Construction
6.5 Vintage Format Deck Construction
6.6 Legacy Format Deck Construction
6.7 Pioneer Format Deck Construction

7. Limited Tournament Rules

7.1 Deck Construction Restrictions
7.2 Card Use in Limited Tournaments
7.3 Continuous Construction
7.4 Abnormal Product
7.5 Sealed Deck Pool Registration
7.6 Draft Pod Assembly
7.7 Booster Draft Procedures

8. Team Tournament Rules

8.1 Team Names
8.2 Team Composition and Identification
8.3 Team Communication Rules
8.4 Unified Deck Construction Rules
8.5 Team Rochester Draft Tournaments
8.6 Team Sealed Deck Tournaments

9. Two-Headed Giant Tournament Rules

9.1 Match Structure
9.2 Communication Rules
9.3 Play-Draw Rule
9.4 Pregame Procedure
9.5 Two-Headed Giant Constructed Rules
9.6 Two-Headed Giant Limited Rules
9.7 Two-Headed Giant Booster Draft Tournaments

10. Sanctioning Rules

10.1 Participation Minimums
10.2 Number of Rounds
10.3 Invitation-Only Tournaments
10.4 Pairing Algorithm


Appendix A — Changes From Previous Versions
Appendix B — Time Limits
Appendix C — Tiebreaker Explanation
Appendix D — Recommended Draft Booster Mix for Limited Tournaments
Appendix E — Recommended Number of Rounds in Swiss Tournaments
Appendix F — Rules Enforcement Levels of Programs

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