Gatherer rulings aren’t always correct — you can’t abuse errors.

Gatherer is a great resource. It lists the official wording for every tournament legal Magic card, and many cards list rulings that a player may commonly run in to. But just like how you can’t take advantage of mistakes in the card text listed in Gatherer, you can’t take advantage of a misleading or wrong ruling in Gatherer.

Gatherer rulings come from a variety of places. Many of them were imported back in 2004 (which is why you won’t find any ruling in Gatherer with a date before 2004: that was the date all of the old rulings were brought in). Many other rulings are from the set FAQs, while others have been added as needed over the years. Occasionally, a ruling can become out of date. This is especially true when the rules change. For instance, the Magic 2010 rules change brought in a lot of rules changes, and not all of the rulings in Gatherer were updated right away. Another recent example involved cards like Melek, Izzet Paragon. Melek (and other cards that let you play with the top card of your library revealed) accidentally received a ruling that made it sound like you could play lands from the top of your library, which isn’t true for Melek.

While the rulings have been removed or corrected, they were up for a while. But if you tried to go to a tournament and try to use those mistaken rulings to your advantage, that won’t work in your favor. The head judge of any tournament has the ability to override any mistake found in Gatherer. This includes those rulings listed at the bottom. So if you went to a tournament and tried to play a land from the top of your library with Melek, the head judge would just say “Nope, that ruling is mistaken, you can’t play lands from your library with Melek.”

Most of the mistaken rulings have been removed from Gatherer. However, if you do find a bad ruling (or believe that a card could use a ruling), there are a few threads designed to help gather all that information in one place. This thread is for errors that you find in Gatherer, while this thread is for requesting rulings. Do note that changes will not happen immediately. The rulings are updated every few months (when a new set is released), so it may take a month or two before the rulings are added or corrected.

Today’s Tournament Tip written by Nathan Long

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