Policy Changes for M19

It's a small update this time around, so I'm going to use this space to talk about a few additional things at the bottom that aren't policy changes, but are useful guidance. In the meantime, updates! We've Been Here Before By far the biggest change in terms of text volume is a new Communication section in the Magic Tournament Rules dedicated to loops. They'd come up again because of Teferi, and I was talking to Magic Rules Manager Eli Shiffrin about how we could make them better. "It's

Read more.

Policy Changes for Dominaria

There's a whole lot of text changing the IPG and MTR this time, but there's only one significant functional update. A lot of the change is removing the gendered pronouns. Yay! Thanks, Chicago Manual of Style! What We Talk About When We Talk About Magic In keeping with the theme of Dominaria, let's talk about some history! The communication rules have been a section that we've historically avoided messing with. It took a lot of work between 2007 and 2009 (or so) to get them just right,

Read more.

Policy Changes for Rivals of Ixalan

I know, I know. We're all in mourning. It'll be tough to get through a policy update, but we can power through. It's a small update, so if we all work together, it won't be too bad. But enough about the end of Unstable drafting. What does Rivals of Ixalan bring to the table? To the City! Players are not objects. For most people, this is a pretty weird statement, but if you're a judge, this means that, until today, statuses that a player had were not explicitly defined as free information.

Read more.

The Reflex

I learned something new yesterday, and I wanted to share it with folks, since evidence suggests you'll all get to learn it too! (Note: this is for judges. It's irrelevantly technical for everyone else). There's also an IPG update to go with it, but it won't have much impact. The reflexive trigger change was one of the easier ones to word in the last update. We have a term that encompasses them, I went to the Comp Rules to make sure I understood the exact formulation of the "when you do," and wrote

Read more.

Policy Changes for Ixalan

Avast me hearties! I'll bet you were all expecting a Dinosaur-size update here. Think of all the jokes! Alas, it's more merfolk-sized; a solid set of changes, but not one to get judge-Timmies excited. Let’s drive pirate jokes into the ground, instead! Rrrrremembering "When you do" Triggers Rrrrrecent triggers in Amonkhet are of the form "You may do something. When you do, something happens". The most common of these is Exert. Ask the average person what's a trigger here, and you'll

Read more.

Desperate, But Not Serious

Triple warning: this piece has very little to do with judging. It is going to scoot all over the place in service of a central premise. Also, I'm not speaking on behalf of Wizards, just providing the perspective of someone involved in all levels of OP (and Commander). I have an ARAM record of 1880-1844. For the many of you to whom that sentence meant nothing, ARAM is a game mode in League of Legends. Unlike "normal" League, which is an intricately strategic game involving warding, roaming,

Read more.

Policy Changes for Hour of Devastation

After a few super-sized updates, I'm pleased to report that the Hour of Devastation tournament document update is... not all that devastating. All the changes are the sort of thing that would usually end up in the "Other Notes" section. If you're going to skip an update this year, here's the one. See you in Ixalan! Any beaches around here? What, you're still here? So, let's start by talking about something that's not an update. With the separation of Deck and Decklist penalties, a question

Read more.

How to Think About the New Combat Shortcut

People have been asking for more explanation on the new combat shortcut. There's not as much there as people think; for all the words, it's not doing too much. But, it is different from before, so people want to make sure that they understand those implications. Let's run through it! There's two mental models you can adopt that I find help to think about the new shortcut. They're technically different but lead you to the same place when you evaluate situations (yes, you can find corners where

Read more.

Policy Changes for Amonkhet

We've got a new infraction that changes almost nothing, and a two-word change with deep implications. We've got wholesale revision to the most commonly-invoked shortcut, and a new type of relatively rare unmissable trigger. We've got new rules for identifying cards, and old rules about not helping others do so. More HCE! More about sets! It's an Elder Dragon sized update! The Big Split Let's start with the most changed text, which is a reversion of sorts. Back in the mists of time

Read more.

Policy Changes for Aether Revolt

Down with rules! Wait, no, that's not right. The citizens of Kaladesh may be revolting, but it's business as usual for the Consulate's policy team, ready with a shiny new downgrade, more changes to shuffling, and a few tweaks and clarifications. There's a lot of words here, but most of the changes are for clarity, not changes in direction. As the Oracle Update Bulletin puts it, we have nonfunctional changes. As the Consulate values the time of its citizens, we're going to adopt a system

Read more.