Journey Into Nyx Policy Changes – for Players

With the latest policy update, there’s a major change to the Electronic Device policy for Competitive and Professional REL.

It can be summed up easily: Don’t use them during matches or any other “official” times (drafts, deckbuilds, etc). Taking a brief personal call is OK in an emergency – we realize there are doctors, parents, first responders, and other people who must be able to take phone calls playing – but, otherwise, leave your devices in your pocket until the match is over.

We tried having a policy to define what could be done with devices, but it was out of date with regards to the capabilities of devices almost immediately, and exploitable loopholes kept surfacing. We had the choice of writing a complex and ever-changing policy, or taking the cleaner route of disallowing them entirely during matches. The latter seems like a safer course. Devices may be used freely at Regular REL as long as it is visible to both players; Outside Assistance rules still apply.

A few players have asked about using video cameras to record or stream matches. This is allowed as long as the device is passive, not consulted, and you have permission of the Head Judge and each opponent.

One other clarification that is not a policy change: at the end of extra turns, players are not allowed to flip over the top cards of their decks to do comparisons or see “how things would have worked out” to determine the winner of a match. The rules do not allow players to look at those cards until the game has ended, and, once the game is over, it’s using an outside the game method to determine an outcome.

25 thoughts on “Journey Into Nyx Policy Changes – for Players

  1. Well now I have to change my whole strategy. How will I ever win ANYTHING without my knowledgeable trusty electronic extension of my inferior feeble human brain? I will just have to do it the old fashioned way. 1.put some colors together 2. Add lands 3. Shuffle and draw 4. Set cards on table. 5. Turn guy sideways. 6. Bask in the glory and envy of everyone who fell short of your genius. 7. Repeat.

  2. Boooo! I don’t understand why you can’t just have a policy that matches the real world. “Anything you couldn’t do with dice/paper, you can’t do with your electronic device.”

    You can only push against the avalanche of technology for so long before you get buried by it.

    I don’t know what type of loopholes would be possible with such a policy, but maybe enforcement is too hard. (Though it seems easier to detect violations than detecting slight of hand.)

  3. So at competitive REL players cannot use cellphone apps anymore to keep track of life points and whatnot, instead reverting to good old pen and paper?

  4. Hi, I’m an L1.The people in my playgroup are wondering are the product boogie boards banned from events as they are electronic devices but have no capability to communicate with other devices and function basically as a sheet of paper. In case you are not sure what I’m talking about here is a link –
    I would imagine that they are banned as there seems to be no exception but the wording is fairly vague. I’ve also seen at least one other judge having this same debate on facebook already. I was wondering is there a reason that the ban on electronic devices is not instead a ban on things that can wirelessly interact with other devices? Is it just for ease on the judges?

  5. This has an unintended consequence of making it technically against the rules to use a pacemaker or hearing aid at tournaments.

    While obviously this would never be enforced, it’s probably a good idea to add an explicit exception to clarify that electronic devices of a medical nature are excluded from this ruling.

  6. I work and live in Seoul and they use Korean cards so i need need look up a card every now and then to see what the identical looking white or red card with a human or menotar in it does. There are what 1000 cards in standard alone? So Thanks to this rule i cannot play magic now. Working as intended Thanks you for this brilliant narrow viewed rule change. Guess you only care about your English reading market.

  7. How does this ruling apply to players playing at PTQ and other competitive REL events where the player does not speak the native language? As a foreigner living outside of an English speaking country how can I be expected to receive oracle text of a card when the judge staff, outside of major cities, don’t speak English? In the past I have used my phone, making it public information as per old policy, to check the wording on a card.

    This policy change is quite a profound change and is quite a problem for anyone playing competitive REL events outside of their native language. Due to this policy I don’t feel comfortable enough to play in foreign language PTQs outside of major cities, whereas prior to this ruling I would have gladly attended PTQs and other competitive REL events.

  8. i have dislexa i use the celculter on my phone all the time in deck bilding and in costrucked if i need to do the math so im no wrong so you are sayong i cant use it for that i can not help i have dislexa !!!!!!!

  9. By “not consulted,” do you mean “not concealed”? Otherwise, could you clarify what you mean by that?

  10. These rules are ridiculous. I don’t carry pen and paper or turndown dice. I use my phone. Also, the post game turn thing, grow up. Everybody does it to see how it could’ve been. Shut up, stop being anally retentive, and just let us play the damn game.

  11. Good morning.

    Sorry to say this, but the new electronic device policy is a joke. Most players ( as myself) use electronic devices to abstract from the noise and help to focus on the game . Electronic devices like MP4’s should be allowed .

    Best regards.


  12. What about the use of an electronic device to monitor things such as life totals and poison counters or to look up Oracle Text of an unfamiliar or foreign language card?

  13. so does this mean that players are no longer allowed to use digital life counters on a phone, tablet, etc, even if it is in view of both players, lying on the table and only interacted with to adjust life?

  14. This is a horrific call on the part of the judge community. People can very easily turn off any wifi or data connection with the flip of a switch in order to avoid literally any complications that might come from a cellphone or other electronic device visible to both players throughout the match. The rules should reflect such.

  15. I am more than a bit upset about there not being an exemption for something as simple as listening to music. Building a sealed pool can be tough in a room when people start chattering about what they opened, passed, and how strong their colors/pool/deck is or isn’t. Being able to turn on and tune out, greatly helps some of us build without all the static. I hope that in a future update, there will be a change that allows this.

  16. Hello
    Does someone using an application that suggests a mana distribution (e.g. 8 forets 9 plains) count as outside assistance.

    Would it therefore be off limits at a regular REL?


  17. What are those of us who use our electronic devices to track life totals supposed to do just use a pen & paper or a spindown this new ruling is completely unjustified and unfair.

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