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Regular REL » Post: IE/CE basic lands at FNM?

IE/CE basic lands at FNM?

Aug. 31, 2018 05:36:57 AM

Markus Beschoner
Judge (Level 1), Tournament Organizer

German-speaking countries

IE/CE basic lands at FNM?

Hi all,

a player brings their IE or CE basic lands to a regular FNM (because they look nice) in opaque sleeves. What is the correct response from a jugde:

a) let them do it, as nobody is hurt. (argument: them replacing them from the land station creates feel bad moment with no gain for the other players.)
b) enforce the rules as soon as someone complains.
c) actively prevent the player from using them, to comply with tournament policy. (argument: not sticking to policy whenever possible leads to all kind of problems).

Thank you!

Aug. 31, 2018 06:15:12 AM

Iván R. Molia
Judge (Level 1)


IE/CE basic lands at FNM?

¿into a draft?
I dont understand the essence of the question…

In constructed, any player can use the basic lands than she/he wants… i usually use some lands altered by my cousines…

In limited, if the lands have the same sleves that the rest of the deck, its ok for me.

Aug. 31, 2018 06:21:05 AM

Lars Harald Nordli
Judge (Level 2)

Europe - North

IE/CE basic lands at FNM?

Originally posted by From the MTR 3.3. Authorized cards::

Players may use any Authorized Game Cards from Magic: The Gathering expansions, core sets, special sets,
supplements, and promotional printings. Authorized Game Cards are cards that, unaltered, meet the following
• The card is genuine and published by Wizards of the Coast
The card has a standard Magic back, is a double-faced card, or is a card that is part of a meld pair.
• The card does not have squared corners.
• The card is not a token card.
• The card is not damaged or modified in a way that might make it marked.
• The card is otherwise legal for the tournament as defined by the format.

The Head Judge of a tournament may issue a proxy (see section 3.4) for a card that has become worn or damaged
during the tournament. Any other cards that are not Authorized Game Cards are prohibited in all sanctioned

Since CE/IE cards doesn't have a standard Magic back and is not a double-faced card or is a card that is part of a meld pair, they cannot use it in a sanctioned event. That means that I would go for responce C.

Explaining this to the player, I would try to go for the diplomatic way and say something like: “Hey, cool basics! You know, since they don't have a standard Magic back I can't let you play them in this event. Luckily we have some other basics over there (points to land station) that you can lend during the tournament.”

Edited Lars Harald Nordli (Aug. 31, 2018 06:24:51 AM)

Aug. 31, 2018 06:24:50 AM

Mark Mc Govern
Judge (Level 2), TLC

United Kingdom, Ireland, and South Africa

IE/CE basic lands at FNM?

Hi Markus - unfortunately the rules on what cards are legal in tournament play (MTR 3.3) supersedes the desire to let this player play some nicer looking lands, so it's © for me.

You note that not sticking to policy can lead to problems. In this case the problem is “where is the line between letting players do what they like and have fun, and players using cards that aren't legal”. I agree that, in practice, the harm in letting someone use basic lands like this is next to zero. But then you have to decide what's the new “line”. What about easily accessible commons? Uncommons? Rares that they have a real copy of but want to play the CE version for fun? None of these are easily separated by a nice clear line. But a blanket “it's not allowed” is a nice clear line that's easy to understand.

Additionally, you have a nice document that backs you up in your decision. And if someone argues “but this other judge let me”, you still have this document to back you up.

One of the great benefits of having an MTR (and IPG etc) is the situation becomes “the policy says no” rather than “the judge says no”. This shift in focus takes any perceived “blame” away from you, and onto a digital document. You're not the bad guy, the policy is. This is a useful thing to remember if a person is particularly upset about something and you need to deflect negative reactions.#

Also, handling a situation like this greatly benefits from good customer service. The easy solution is the player just shrugs and says “ok”. But if you sense that they really had their hopes up about playing these cool lands then how you handle it will greatly effect how much fun they'll have that evening. You can comment on how cool they are; perhaps suggest other methods of play that allows them to use them (e.g. testing decks with friends; playing in Chris's Cube; when cracking a booster box for drafting with friends etc).

Aug. 31, 2018 06:37:57 AM

Iván R. Molia
Judge (Level 1)


IE/CE basic lands at FNM?

ooohhhh collector editions! now i understand it XD

Aug. 31, 2018 10:42:54 AM

Emilien Wild
Forum Moderator
Judge (Level 3), Grand Prix Head Judge


IE/CE basic lands at FNM?

Originally posted by Markus Beschoner:

a) let them do it, as nobody is hurt.
Markus, I appreciate that you're thinking about the philosophy, and try to figure out why we would like to enforce a rule when you describe it as a “victimless crime”.

I'd like to remind you that as judges, we not only are here to help the tournament organiser to provide a pleasing and fulfilling experience to their customers, the players, but also help them to fulfill their obligations toward third parties, such as local law agencies and the Wizards Play Network.

In this case, the WPN has a direct interest as having every player playing with legal Magic cards. For the established Magic player, it's easy to think as basic lands as worthless, and easy to get for free, but it's still a product that Wizards sell to shops - and that need to be acquired by players.

Also, I'd like to remind you that CE/IE cards have a square corner. I'd be concerned about the possibility of them being marked, even in opaque sleeves, based on how they feel while being shuffled. Even if that's not the case, it's not easy to demonstrated, and I'be worried about perception, adding another reason to not allow these cards in a tournament setting.

- Emilien

Aug. 31, 2018 11:38:15 AM

Scott Marshall
Forum Moderator
Judge (Level 3), Regional Coordinator (USA - Northwest), Hall of Fame, L3 Panel Lead

USA - Northwest

IE/CE basic lands at FNM?

As others have noted, CE/ICE cards are one example of what's meant by “has a standard Magic back” (they don't), and the prime example for “does not have squared corners” (they do). As such, CE/ICE cards are not legal in any sanctioned event - only for casual, unsanctioned events (i.e., around your kitchen table).


Sept. 1, 2018 03:44:35 AM

Charlotte Sable
Judge (Level 3)

Europe - North

IE/CE basic lands at FNM?

C, 100%

Allowing the player to use these cards is the same as allowing them to
anything else that's not a real card in place of a basic, such as world
championship deck basics, pokemon energy, etc.
While these are cool options, none of them are real cards and thus they
can't be allowed in a sanctioned event.

On Fri, Aug 31, 2018, 13:41 Markus Beschoner <

Sept. 6, 2018 06:45:02 AM

Iván R. Molia
Judge (Level 1)


IE/CE basic lands at FNM?

hahahahaha, i dont use mountains and forest… i use fire and leaf energys XD

Sept. 7, 2018 08:14:18 AM

Winter Hughes
Judge (Level 2), TLC

United Kingdom, Ireland, and South Africa

IE/CE basic lands at FNM?

Originally posted by Iván R. Molia:

hahahahaha, i dont use mountains and forest… i use fire and leaf energys XD

A fun idea :) and one that would be perfectly fine at the kitchen table. At sanctioned events we have a hard line on it though, and judges especially should be setting the example for players to follow.

Edited Winter Hughes (Sept. 7, 2018 08:14:46 AM)