Lay of the Land

There seems to be a little confusion about the new on-camera layout rules for PTs and GPs, and a bunch of it is coming because of misunderstanding over what it means to be a rule.

While these are “rules”, they aren’t rules in the same sense as the contents of the Comprehensive Rules. They set out a list of expected norms that we want players to adhere to while on camera. That makes sense – a player tuning in to coverage can more quickly get themselves up to speed if they don’t have to spend the first few moments figuring out where everything is.

The rules themselves provide for a fair bit of discretion. The guidelines even acknowledge that some things don’t have an overwhelmingly-accepted answer (your deck can be on either side, for example). As long as you’re adhering to their spirit, we’re not going to worry about the exact letter of the law. You gained control of a creature with equipment on it? Nobody is going to be upset if you don’t turn the equipment the other way around. You turn a single land upside down to indicate you played it this turn? Not a problem!

Common sense continues to apply. A card exiled by Shelldock Isle should be near/under the land. A card exiled by Necrogenesis doesn’t need to be. As long as the board broadly conforms to the expected style and information is grouped relevantly, that’s all that’s being asked for. How we handle the extreme outliers – dredge comes to mind – remains to be seen, but those are few and far between and hopefully appropriate norms will emerge.

Even if your board is too far outside expectation to be acceptable, judges won’t be coming down with penalties. Just a friendly nudge that you need to move something a bit to make it clearer to everyone. Fix it up and play on.

Thankfully, we dodged the true holy war. Your lands can still be tapped in either direction!

9 thoughts on “Lay of the Land

    1. I believe I also tap anticlockwise thinking about it abstractly. Then again, I’m also going with the “left handed” excuse for this one. Tapping my lands to the right sounds weird.

      1. Mine get tapped every which way. I usually clean them up at EOT, but I often find myself with lands facing 3 directions (left-tapped, untapped, right-tapped). It’s bad.

  1. Wait, so I can’t expect to get my DCI sanctioned micrometer to ensure correct tolerances?

  2. Is there any recommendation for where to put cards like plainswalkers and their emblems, enchantments and artifacts/equipment not attached?
    It can sometimes be awkward, due to poor vision, resolution or camera angle, when watching coverage to distinguish between creatures and other permanents on the battlefield.

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