January Magic Tournament Rules Release Notes

Posted in Competitive Gaming on January 21, 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 type names have been deleted, added, or changed as appropriate.

Section 2.5 (End of Match Procedure): This section has been updated to clarify that if time is called after a player has passed their turn, the opponent's turn is turn zero (0) in the five additional turns. For complete information on this section, you can read Toby Elliott's explanation here.

Section 2.7 (Deck Registration): This rule has been updated so that opponent's decklists in a Top 8 playoff at Limited-format Professional Events will be provided to player's in the Top 8. This now matches what was here previously, but only applied to Constructed formats.

Section 4.4 (Loops): Guidelines have been added to clarify how to handle choices that maintain loops. More information from Toby here.

Section 5.2 (Bribery): The requirement that a judge must be called if an opponent offers a bribe has been eliminated. Clarification has been added to show that enticing an opponent into offering a bribe is prohibited. For complete information on this section, you can read Toby Elliott's explanation here.

Section 6.4 (Modern Format): Krark-Clan Ironworks has been banned in the Modern format. You can read the explanation as to why this card was banned in the banned and restricted announcement.

Section 8.6 (Team Sealed Deck Tournament): Language has been updated to clarify that players may exchange cards in their pool in Regular Rules Enforcement Level tournaments that do not use decklists, but only between rounds.

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 on his blog.

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 fundamental 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 to 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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