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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Judge's Corner

Floor Rule Changes

The new Floor Rules for Magic (and other games supported by the DCI) were posted on 19 August. Therefore, my column today will detail the changes that will effect your participation in sanctioned tournaments, starting 1 September. The regular question and answer portion of the column follows the changes.

Please note: I have attempted to catch every significant change. However, grammar changes have not been noted. Also, I take no responsibility for the accuracy of this information. Although I tried to be completely accurate, if I slipped and incorrectly noted a change, the printed copy of the rules takes precedence.

If you wish to see the new rules in their entirety or download a copy for yourself, visit http://www.wizards.com/dci/judge/main.asp?x=UTR_Intro .

Information in this changes column is accurate as of the posted Floor Rules on 19 August.

3. Player Eligibility
-Hasbro corporate employees can no longer participate in sanctioned tournaments.
-The three-judge system was removed, so the organizer and judges may no longer play in their tournament.

6. Publishing Event Information
-Tournament Organizers are now explicitly allowed to publish event information (such as players' decklists). This is in addition to Wizards of the Coast itself.

12. Tournament Organizer Responsibilities
-Organizers now required to report results within 14 days. (Was "in a timely manner.")

19. Three-Judge System
-Removed. The DCI no longer supports this (as of 1 September).

21. Shuffling
-The option for the head judge to require shuffling at events with REL 1 or 2 has now been put in the rules. (I seem to remember it in the rules this time last year, however, the copy of the current year's floor rules, dated 16 May, that I have does not contain this clause.)

23. Pregame Time Limit
-If a deck check is performed, the judge is required to give the player an amount of extra time equal to the time it took to perform the deck check plus 3 minutes. (This is just putting in the rules what has long been practiced at most events.)

24. Midgame Shuffling Time Limit
-Time limit changed from a hard 1 minute to "a reasonable time limit," with the note that most simple searches should be given 30 seconds.

26. Withdrawing from an Event
-You may no longer leave for a round or more (taking match losses for each round you were gone) and return to continue to play in the event. (Some organizers in small events allowed this, although it was not a common practice.)
-Clarifies what happens if a player drops after a cut is made (such as a cut to top 8). You do not advance the next ranked player in, rather, you continue play without that player (i.e. 7 players in a cut to top 8. The person who would have played the dropped player gets a bye).

28. Taking Notes
-Notes must be "brief."
-You may no longer take notes during a draft.
-Writing on card faces is now limited to signatures or artistic modifications. (Previously, you could write on the face of a card, to remind you when to bring it in from the sideboard, for example. This is no longer allowed.)
-Artistic modifications must not obscure the picture such that a card is not recognizable by picture.

29. Electronic Devices
-Headphones added to the list of devices an organizer or head judge may prohibit.

32. Card Interpretation
-Players may now request Oracle card text, if it is reasonably available. (Again, codifying what most judges already do.)

37. Game Markers
-Judges are now allowed to prohibit the use of inappropriate or offensive game markers, such as tokens. (Again, explicitly stating what has been practiced through other interpretations of the floor rules.)

38. Deck Checks
-New Section. Premiere tournaments and tournaments with REL 3+ must perform deck checks. It is suggested that a minimum of 10 percent of the decks in a tournament are checked, and suggested that deck checks occur at all levels of REL.

41. Cheating
-Public information that can be misrepresented now includes "statistics of cards in play" (hello, Morph!)

43. Slow play
-Play must continue in a timely fashion "regardless of the complexity of the play situation."

44. Marked Cards
-Clarification: Players are responsible to make sure their deck and sleeves aren't marked.
-It is suggested that you randomize your deck before you put it in sleeves, to minimize the possibility of a pattern due to sleeve production errors.

72. Draft Card Selection
-If you can't or won't select a card to draft, you are removed from the draft and are required to build a deck with the cards you have drafted up to that point.
-Failing to draft a card in the time allotted has been clarified as a Procedural Error-Minor.

74. Booster Draft Procedure
-Again, notes are disallowed during drafting or deck construction.
-Time allowed to pick a card specifically spelled out. Start with 40 seconds with a full pack (15 cards), and then reduce the time 5 seconds every time 2 cards have been picked.

75. Rochester Draft Procedures
-Again, note taking disallowed during draft/deck construction.
-Packs to be laid out on the table in 3 rows. (There were different ways of doing this before, and it varied from tournament to tournament. This standardizes the procedure.)

78. Rochester Draft Order
-All cards are now drafted out of every pack. If a table contains 7 or fewer participants, the draft will "bounce" twice in each pack. (Previously, you stopped drafting when all players had taken 2 cards, and removed the remainder of the cards from the draft.)

81. Participation Minimums
-Reference to the three-judge system removed.

93. Delinquent Tournaments
-"Fifteen days" changed to "fourteen days," to line up with section 92.

Appendix B - Definition of terms

Banned Card - Example changed.

Corporate Employee - Changed to include Hasbro employees.

DCI - Now covers miniature games as well.

Premiere Events - Names of what exactly are premiere events updated to reflect changes made in the past year.

Strategic Partner - Removed.


Penalty Guidelines

20. Definition of Penalties
-Disqualification - Clarifications about disqualification without prize. First, describes what happens with the standings. Second, clarifies that a disqualification due to accumulated penalties is not a disqualification without prize.

30. Applying Penalties
-Clarifies that decklist penalties should generally be given at the start of the round after which they were found, to avoid one penalty having more weight than another.
-However, if a decklist error is discovered during play (rather than through reviewing a decklist), the penalty should be applied immediately.
-Similarly, a situation brought to the attention of the judge during a round should generally result in a penalty being applied immediately, if possible.
-Clarification: You don't have to be disqualified from an event to be the subject of a DCI investigation.

40. Repeat Offenses
-At lower RELs, judges may repeat a penalty rather than move it up to the next level in the interest of education.

101. Deck Problem-Illegal Main Decklist
-Clarifies what should happen when a player fails to write a card or cards on the decklist, resulting in an illegal decklist (with less than the required number of cards).

"Now the decklist contains only 57 cards, so three basic lands of the player's choice are added to meet the 60-card minimum. However, if the player's actual deck contained … three Counterspells which were left off of the decklist, the three Counterspells would be added to the decklist and the player would be allowed to continue with his or her deck unmodified."

104. Deck Problem-Illegal Sideboard List
-Similar to 101, clarifies what happens with an illegal sideboard list (due to a shortage of cards).

"Then, if cards need to be added to make the sideboard list legal, the player should add the cards that were actually contained in the sideboard. For example, a player in a Standard Magic tournament has submitted a thirteen-card sideboard list with five Disenchants. Because there is a four-of-a-kind card limit, one of the Disenchants must be removed. After removal, the sideboard list will contain only twelve cards, so the cards that were actually contained in the sideboard are added to the list."

106. Deck Problem-Illegal Sideboard (No List Used)
-Instead of disqualifying the entire sideboard, make it legal. The focus here is now more on education rather than punishment, because this will only happen at lower REL tournaments, since decklists are used at higher level tournaments.

112. Procedural Error-Major
-Shuffling your deck after your opponent has cut it has been upgraded to a Procedural Error - Major from a Procedural Error - Minor.
-Most misrepresentation issues have been moved to this section as well.

113. Procedural Error-Severe
-More examples of what is a Procedural Error - Severe have been added.

115. Procedural Error-Misrepresentation
-Removed. Most instances of misrepresentation have been moved to Procedural Error - Major.
-The remainder of the 110 section has been renumbered to reflect the removal of this section. The numbers below reflect the new numbering.

115. Procedural Error-Tardiness
-Renumbered due to the removal of the previous section.

116. Procedural Error-Playing the Wrong Opponent
-Renumbered due to removal of misrepresentation.
-Examples expanded to include an example in a team tournament.

121. Card Drawing-Drawing Extra Cards
-Examples given to clarify.

141. Slow Play-Playing Slowly
-Examples changed and expanded. Any note of specific amounts of time (taken to make it slow play) have been taken out, and left to the judge's discretion.
-3 minute time extension added to this penalty.

151. Unsporting Conduct-Minor
-Examples refined.

162. Cheating-Stalling
-Penalty changed from Match Loss at REL 1-3 and DQ at REL 4-5 to Disqualification without prize at all levels.


Magic Floor Rules

104. New Releases
-Changed to reflect the sets coming out this year.

112. Match Time Limits
-Minimum time for a match is now 50 minutes (up from 45).

113. Play-Draw Rule
-Title of the section changed.

121. Deck Size Limits
-You must be able to shuffle your deck without assistance (Battle of Wits).

125. Standard-Format Deck Construction
-Legal sets changed to reflect the current and next year's environment.

126. Extended-Format Deck Construction
-Legal sets changed to reflect the current and next year's environment, as well as the rotation announcement.

129. Block-Format Deck Construction
-Legal sets changed to reflect the current and next year's environment.

132. Sideboard Use (Limited tournaments)
-You are able to request additional basic land while sideboarding.

148. Team Sealed Deck Tournaments
-New section. Gives procedures for 2 and 3 man sealed events.

Appendix A - Premier Events
-Deleted. No, I don't know why.


Since I got through that much quicker than I thought I would, let's go on to the questions…


Q: Can I Liquify a flashbacked Battle Screech?

A: No. Battle Screech's converted mana cost is 4, no matter how it's cast. So it can't be the target of Liquify.


Q: Phasing does not trigger comes into play abilities, correct? So, assuming I have a Vodalian Illusionist and a Wormfang Manta in play, couldn't I get infinite turns by phasing the Manta out at the end of all my turns?

A: Yes.


Q: Do Familiars reduce the cost of Kicker? For Example, I have 2 Sunscape Familiars in play, I play Rakavolver, now, assuming I pay the 2W kicker cost, does the Familiar reduce the cost of the Rakavolver?

-Eddie D.

A: No. Rakavolver is a red spell, and not a green or blue spell, so the Familiars won't reduce its cost.

Let's go on to the larger question, though … you have 2 Thornscape Familiars. If you decided to pay both kickers, the cost to play a double-kicked Rakavolver would be {1}{R}{W}{U}. If you had 3 Thornscape Familiars out, the cost to play a double-kicked Rakavolver would be {R}{W}{U}. This is because the Familiars reduce the play cost, and so you calculate the cost and then reduce it by the appropriate amount.


Q: On the card Alter Reality …

A: Alter Reality
Change the text of target permanent or spell by replacing all instances of one color word with another. #(This effect doesn't end at end of turn.)#
Flashback {1}{U} #(You may play this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then remove it from the game.)#

Q: It states that you choose a color word. I have always assumed that with colors, you choose one of the five. What exactly is considered a 'color word'? If it's just the five colors, why say it that way instead of just 'choose a color'?


A: It is indeed one of the 5 colors of Magic. I don't know why they worded it as they did.


Q: A while back I was playing my friend. He casts a Treacherous Vampire and when he attacked, he only had 1 card in his graveyard. I get him to declare attackers, and then I cast a Funeral Pyre to remove his only card in the graveyard. I say he must sacrifice it because he already declared it to attack and he has no card to remove, but he argues that when he declared it to attack, it is immediately removed and there is nothing to target...Who's right?

A: Treacherous Vampire
Creature -- Vampire
Whenever Treacherous Vampire attacks or blocks, sacrifice it unless you remove a card in your graveyard from the game.
Threshold -- Treacherous Vampire gets +2/+2 and has "When Treacherous Vampire is put into a graveyard from play, you lose 6 life."

Since the Vampire uses the word "whenever," the ability uses the stack. Therefore, you don't remove a card until the ability resolves. Thus, you have a chance to remove the card with Funeral Pyre before he can remove it to the Vampire's ability. So you are right.


Q: I attacked with a Cephalid Inkshrouder and a Krosan Wayfarer. He has a Mirror Wall. When he declares that he will block my Cephalid Inkshrouder, I discard a card to make it unblockable. Can he then change his block to the Krosan Wayfarer?


A: No. The Inkshrouder will still be blocked by the Mirror Wall. Making a creature unblockable after it has been blocked does not remove the creatures blocking it.


Q: My friend claims that when I counter one of his spells that the spell's effect never happened and he has 0 mana tapped as the side effect of my countering his spell. For example:

He plays the card Ghitu Slinger 2/2 for {2}{R}, when it comes into play, it deals 2 damage to target creature or player. Now I decide to counter this as I don't want to take damage so he says NONE of his mana is tapped because he never "played" his spell. I think this is screwed because everyone else I go against does the opposite (Has mana tapped). Am I right or what?


A: You are correct.

414.2. The player who played the countered spell or ability doesn't get a "refund" of any costs that were paid.

If he tries to say he didn't play the spell after you play the counterspell, and if this was in a tournament (and he indeed did play the spell), I would give him a hefty penalty for Misrepresentation (err … Procedural Error-Severe :)) and Unsporting Conduct (at least a match loss).


Q: I am a fairly new player with only casual experience. I was playing a green squirrel deck against a blue control deck, and had something like 8 squirrel tokens out. If I tap all creatures to attack, then play Vitalize, can I attack with those same creatures again, or is that card mostly for untapping for blocking? My opponent and I grudgingly agreed that it is mostly for blocking, after having read the rules about 20 times…could you help solve my little dilemma?


A: In this situation, it would mostly be for blocking. You only get one attack phase per turn unless a card or effect gives you another attack phase (like Relentless Assault). You can also use Vitalize with lots of creatures like Llanowar Elves to give you lots of mana.


Q: During a match with one of my friends, he played a card (I can't remember what it was called) that said something like "remove target player's graveyard from the game, does one damage for each card removed this way." I tried to counter it with a Counterspell. Now it starts to get confusing. He Counterspelled targeting my Counterspell. I Grip of Amnesia'd my own Counterspell, removing my graveyard from the game. Then, when everything else resolved, he removed my empty graveyard and I lost no life, right?


A: Correct.


Q: If I have a Thunderscape Familiar and an Aluren in play, could I cast stuff like a Blastoderm and a Jade Leech without having to pay its mana cost?


A: No. Familiars only reduce the play cost (cost to cast). They do not reduce the mana cost itself. So the mana cost of a Blastoderm is always {2}{G}{G}.


Q: First of all, a question related to one of your answers. You said:

>>>Q: What happens if a Phantom blocks a creature with trample? (for example,
Phantom Nomad blocks Force of Nature.) Does any damage trample through to
the player?


A: It can, yes, depending on how the damage is assigned.

502.9e Assigning damage from a creature with trample considers only the
actual toughness of a blocking creature, not any abilities or effects that
might change the final amount of damage dealt.<<<

Just want to make sure I understood right. Lets say I had a Phantom Centaur(2/0) with two +1/+1 counters on it (in effect, a 4/2). If I was attacked with a 5/5 creature with trample, the centaur would "prevent that damage" on 2 points, and the trample would carry 3 hits onto me?

A: If your opponent assigned 2 damage to the Centaur and 3 to you when damage went on the stack, yes.


Q: My next question is to how Breaking Point works.

A: Breaking Point
Destroy all creatures unless a player has Breaking Point deal 6 damage to him or her. Creatures destroyed this way can't be regenerated.


Q: I keep reading this card, but the punctuation (or lack) really confuses me. When do you deal 6 damage? When do you remove all creatures?


A: When Breaking Point resolves, the active player has a chance to have Breaking Point deal 6 damage to him or her. If he or she does, Breaking Point is done resolving. If he or she does not, then, starting in turn order, each other player may have Breaking Point deal 6 damage to him or her. If that person does, Breaking Point is done resolving. If that person does not, it goes to the next person, until each person has had a chance, or Breaking Point has dealt 6 damage to someone, whichever comes first. If all of the players in the game don't have Breaking Point deal 6 damage to them, then Breaking Point destroys all creatures without the possibility of regeneration.

See you Monday.

-Bill Guerin
DCI Level 2 Judge




Copyright 2001 Pojo.com


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