October Magic Tournament Rules Release Notes

Posted in Competitive Gaming on October 1, 2018

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, references to "deck building" have been changed to the more proper "deck construction."

Section 1.4 (Participation Eligibility): We actually made this change back in July in a WPN announcement. We're just playing catch-up. Stores may now run Regular Rules Enforcement Level (only) tournaments with an age restriction (e.g., "16 and under" or "21 and over"). Stores need to make sure this restriction is well advertised.

Section 3.4 (Proxy Cards): The language regarding when a proxy may be issued for checklist cards has been cleaned up.

Section 3.7 (New Sets): Ravnica Allegiance has been added.

Section 4.2 (Tournament Shortcuts): Two updates here. First, clarification has been added that shortcuts involving scry also apply to the new Guilds of Ravnica keyword ability surveil. Second, the shortcut involving "passing priority when the stack is empty" has been updated for clarity.

Section 4.8 (Reversing Decisions): This is a new section that permits judges narrow leeway when a player wishes to take back an action. For complete information on this section, you can read Toby Elliott's explanation here.

Section 6.3 (Standard Format), Section 6.4 (Modern Format): The tournament legality date for Ravnica Allegiance in Standard and Modern has been added.

Section 8.4 (Unified Deck Construction Rules): This one comes up quite a bit: in a Team Constructed event, can Relentless Rats (or similar cards that allow a player to have any number of copies in their deck) be in two player's decks on the same team? We have now clarified this. Only one member of a team in a Unified Constructed tournament may have Relentless Rats (or Rat Colony or Shadowborn Apostle) in their deck. They may still have any number of them in their deck.

Appendix D (Recommended Booster Mix for Limited Tournaments): The recommended booster mix for tournaments with Ravnica Allegiance has been added.

Appendix F (Rules Enforcement Levels of Programs): Grand Prix Trials (which are now only run at Grand Prix events) have been returned to Competitive Rules Enforcement Level.

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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