April Magic Tournament Rules Release Notes

Posted in Competitive Gaming on April 29, 2019

By Scott Larabee

Scott Larabee started at Wizards of the Coast in 1998, having organized premier Magic tournaments since 1996. He is currently the E-Sports and Premier Play Programs Design Manager. He enjoys Commander and board games.

Magic: The Gathering Tournament Rules Updates

Here are the Magic: The Gathering Tournament Rules update notes for the latest release (which can be found here), listed by the section number of the rules. To have more context, you should refer to the actual wording in the document itself.

General: Throughout the document, the names of various programs and event types have been deleted, added, or changed as appropriate.

Section 3.9 (Card Shuffling): Clarification added that both players may perform a single pile shuffle on each deck at the beginning of a game.

Section 4.8 (Reversing Decisions): During a team event, a decision may still be reversed if a teammate points out the issue.

Section 8.2 (Team Composition and Identification): Rewritten to make it clear that if a member of a team is disqualified, the entire team is disqualified, and no member of that team will receive prizes or Planeswalker Points for that event.

In addition to these updates to the Magic Tournament Rules, a few updates have been made to the Infraction Procedure Guide and the Judging at Regular REL documents. Toby Elliott has a full write-up on these changes in his blog at https://blogs.magicjudges.org/telliott.

That's all for this update! If you have questions about Magic Tournament Rules, I recommend the following resources:

Magic: The Gathering Tournament Rules (viewable here)

This is the main rules document that governs competitive tournament play. It defines:

  • The fundamentals parts of a tournament;
  • The various roles and responsibilities of participants;
  • The mechanics of a tournament;
  • The violations that come with tournament play;
  • The various formats for tournament play; and
  • Sanctioning rules.

Infraction Procedure Guide (viewable here)

This document provides the recommended penalties and procedures to handle rules violations.

I encourage anyone who is interested in tournament-level Magic to read these documents. They are the rules under which a tournament is run, so being familiar with these documents can help you become a better player. In some cases, the Magic Tournament Rules supersede the Magic Game Rules, so knowing these rules can keep you from entering some awkward situations. You can also contact Wizards of the Coast Game Support. Information about how to do that can be found here.

—Scott Larabee

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