Tips for Judging Extended

Posted in NEWS on December 8, 2015

By Wizards of the Coast

Gijsbert Hoogendijk

So it's the time of year again to dust of things you don't use often. Be it Christmas decorations or Duals, both don't see too many uses during other seasons. With the qualifiers for San Diego just behind us, people will try their best to get to Osaka. The format for the qualifiers will be extended.

Have the latest Oracle

The extended card pool is as big as ever at the moment, 5 complete blocks, 3 basic sets, 1 standalone and 10 duals are a lot of cards. There are also a lot of viable decks (as was shown in New Orleans) so many of these cards will actually be played as well. There is one big problem though, many of the cards are written for a different set of rules.
So the first and foremost advice is to make sure that you have the Oracle available to you in its most recent incarnation. Many cards have a new wording because of the comprehensive rules. So if you trust the cards too much you will make mistakes. The players will make mistakes too, because they play with cards they don't use often. This year at Worlds a pro-player actually went and fetched a Donate with a Merchant Scroll. The card was in German and it said it could fetch 2 things so he knew one was instant so the other had to be sorcery, right? Actually it is blue instant and interrupt.

The New Orleans Pro Tour showcased the Extended format

Have a List of Legal Cards

Another thing which is pretty important is to make sure to have a list with all the legal cards. I don't mean a banned list - no actually something that has all the legal cards on it. A banned list together with the extended oracle would be good. Let me give another example: At an extended tournament some time ago, we had the complete Oracle and the banned list. During registration we had a player come up to the judges station and ask if Disintegrate was legal. Honestly we had no clue. He had a 4th in his deck, but wasn't sure if it was in fifth, neither were we. Nobody had a card list, nobody knew for sure. We decided to take the safe approach and we disallowed him the use. Of course we found out it was in Fifth edition 2 hours later.

Avoid Clear Sleeves

Another problem which will come up with newer players is the fact that they don't have good sleeves. I wrote a whole article about sleeves already but there is another important thing in extended. New players don't want to spend money on sleeves because they still want to spend money on the cards they so desperately need. So they use the thin, ultra cheap, CLEAR sleeves. Clear sleeves are the bane of extended, the difference between the card backs of older vs. new sets is so big that the deck is marked no matter how you look at it. So make sure to have opaque sleeves available for the players and educate the new players why it is so important to have them even if they cost 8 times as much as the ones they are using.

I don't think there should be a lot of other major issues specific to extended PTQs. The ball is in your court to make it a smooth tournament.

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