Dragon’s Maze Policy Changes – For Judges and Players

In the modern history of Competitive Magic policy document releases, there’ve been some big changes, and there’ve been some times where there were only a few things to talk about.

Then there’s today. If you’re ever going to ignore a document update, today is that day. A few words have changed here and there for clarity. The definition of Improper Drawing at Start of Game got rewritten (but didn’t change). Spectators now have to be physically present at the event (so people watching at home no longer need to be quiet during deckbuilds!). Seriously, I’m reaching here. Oh yeah, we fixed the loophole to make shocklands legal to draft in Dragon’s Maze.

We actually have some interesting things we’re working on, so I’d expect some updates for M14. But there’s been a lot of upheaval recently – especially around the trigger rules, which I’m happy to report seem to have found a sweet spot – so we figured a bit of a break would be nice.

There is, however, a new version of the JAR being released. Big props to Kim Warren for taking it on and shepherding through a rewrite that had stalled on more than one occasion. Again, philosophically not much has changed, but it incorporates things we’ve learned over the last few years and is hopefully easier to read. It packs a lot of good advice on judging Regular REL tournaments into a mere two pages.

Enjoy the prereleases, and may you have success traversing the maze… especially if you’re Simic.

5 thoughts on “Dragon’s Maze Policy Changes – For Judges and Players

  1. The updated definition of ID@SoG (which it is said contains no substantive change in philosophy) goes as follows:

    “A player draws the wrong number of cards during pregame procedures, or does not skip their draw step while playing first. This infraction is only issued before a player takes a visible legal action during the game; if discovered after that point, the infraction is Drawing Extra Cards.”

    What happens when one or both players take game actions before the starting player’s draw step (such as putting down a leyline or gemstone caverns, resolving a chancellor’s trigger, or casting a spell or activating an ability during the first turn’s upkeep)? Am I to understand that, in such circumstances, the correct infraction is DEC? Is that fair? It seems to me that the reason we ordinarily treat the situation as one of ID@SoG rather than DEC is that forgetting to skip one’s first draw step is a common error which people often commit accidentally and automatically (please correct me here if I’m wrong). If that’s true, then surely a player would be even more prone to accidentally making this mistake when he is distracted by his or his opponent’s game actions in the time between mulligans and his first draw step. Out of curiosity, what would be the harm in changing the rule to state that the infraction should be treated as DEC after a player has taken a visible legal game action during or after the first main phase of the game?

    1. It becomes DEC for you once you take a legal action. If you plop a Leyline into play, then draw a card on the first turn, it’s DEC. If your opponent does, it’s still IDoSG until you do something else.

      1. That seems reasonable. Being distracted by one’s own actions prior to the first draw step doesn’t seem like a good reason for leniency, whereas being distracted by one’s opponent is another matter. I suppose I was confused by the wording of the definition. In the phrase “this infraction is only issued before a player takes a visible legal action during the game…” I mistakenly took “a player” to mean “any player,” rather than the same player referenced in the first sentence of the definition.

    1. They have a different expansion symbol on them from DGM, so they wouldn’t be legal to play if they came out of that booster during, say, a DGM-ODY-INV draft.

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