September Magic Tournament Rules Release Notes

Posted in Competitive Gaming on September 30, 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.

Not a large amount of changes this time around. The rules have been updated with Throne of Eldraine in various sections. We have also updated Premier Event program names throughout.

The more specific changes this time around are:

Section 2.5 (End-of-Match Procedure): Wording has been slightly changed so that instances where cards give a player an additional turn are clearly covered.

Section 4.2 (Tournament Shortcuts): The scry shortcut has had the handling of the old mulligan rule removed.

Section 7.7 (Booster Draft Procedures): Sometimes a set has cards that are not basic lands in the basic land slot (in this case, players did not remove basic lands). Sometimes there is just a basic land (in which case you did remove the basic lands when opening a booster). To simplify things, players no longer need to remove basic lands from boosters when drafting. Just remove non-cards (tokens, etc.) and draft away!

In addition to these updates to the Magic Tournament Rules, a few updates have been to the Infraction Procedure Guide. 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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