July Magic Tournament Rules Release Notes

Posted in News on July 10, 2017

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.

The Hour of Devastation Prerelease took place this last weekend, so it's time for a Tournament Rules update.

In each update, most changes are small—grammar corrections, changes in language to provide better clairification on the intent of a rule, "housekeeping" updates (items that are updated each release due to new set announcements), etc. However, we sometimes have substantive changes, and those changes are listed below:

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 4.1 (Player Communication): Wording updated to clarify that free information overrides a derived information designation.

Section 4.2 (Tournament Shortcuts): Wording updated to clarify that combat and end-of-turn shortcuts only apply if the stack is empty. For the full explanation of these changes, see Toby Elliott's breakdown here.

Section 5.6 (Outside Assistance): Wording updated so that outside assistance definition terms match up better with the Magic Infraction Procedure Guide definition.

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


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
  • Sanctioning rules

Infraction Procedure Guide (viewable here)

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


I encourage anyone that 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

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