May Magic Tournament Rules Release Notes

Posted in NEWS on May 18, 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.

With the announcement earlier today of Guilds of Ravnica, I am pleased to present this abbreviated Tournament Rules update.

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.

Section 3.2 (Format and Ratings Categories): When the section on Block Constructed was removed in the April rules update, we forgot to remove Block Constructed from this section. Fixed!

Section 3.7 (New Releases): Added the release information for Guilds of Ravnica. Also added is the previously announced product Global Deck Series: Jiang Yanggu & Mu Yanling here. This product will be legal in Standard, but only in China. Globally, this product will not be legal in Modern. As with all other products, it will be legal in the Eternal Constructed formats (Legacy and Vintage). You can read more about this here.

Section 4.2 (Tournament Shortcuts): The shortcut regarding assigning combat damage in Two-Headed Giant–format tournaments has been updated to reflect the recent change to the way combat works in Two-Headed Giant.

Section 6.3 (Standard Format): This section has been updated to include Guilds of Ravnica and Global Deck Series: Jiang Yanggu & Mu Yanling. The sets that will leave Standard when Guilds of Ravnica is released have been marked with the rotation date.

Section 6.4 (Modern Format): This section has been updated to include Guilds of Ravnica.

Appendix D (Recommended Booster Mix for Limited Tournaments): Various updates and additions due to the announcement of Guilds of Ravnica.


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 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
@ScottLarabee