New MTG Policy for Magic Judges Allowing Takebacks From Players

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By Jake Vyper | More Articles MTG Writer/Streamer
October 02, 2018  12:56 PM

Wizards of the Coast

Big changes are coming with the release of Magic: The Gathering's latest set Guilds of Ravnica this Friday. In addition to the Kaladesh and Amonkhet blocks rotating out of the game's Standard format, Teferi, Hero of Dominaria is also getting an Oracle update, plus there will be new policy changes with the release of the new Magic set. 

The official Magic Judge blog announced the policy changes for Guilds of Ravnica, and there's one section in particular that talks about allowing players to reverse decisions during a game of Magic

Usually, in a game of Magic, when a player makes a decision, they can't take back but in some cases, a judge can allow a player to reverse their decisions only if the player didn't gain any new information after the decision was made. "What we focus on is information gained," The Magic Judge blog explained "If a player makes a move, then pauses and receives a response, the action is locked in. But if they say 'Terror that creature, wait, no, that one', or 'Island, Terror your Squire, hmm, I need this Swamp to play that instead,' we’ve been (inconsistently) forgiving; now there’s better guidelines on what’s important here and what shouldn’t be forgiven. Of course, if the judge is unsure as to whether information has been gained, they should default to not allowing the decision to be reversed."

If you're curious, here's the new section from the Magic Tournament Rules: 

4.8 Reversing Decisions

Players are expected to consider their options before taking an action and players are not usually allowed to take back an action that has been communicated to their opponent, either verbally or physically.

Sometimes, a player will realize that they have made a wrong decision after making a play. If that player has not gained any information since taking the action and they wish to make a different decision, a judge may allow that player to change their mind. Judges must carefully consider whether the player has gained information since making the play that might have affected the decision; in particular, players may not try to use opponent reactions (or lack thereof) to see if they should modify actions they committed to. If the judge cannot be sure no information was gained, they should not allow the decision to be changed.

Examples
1. A player plays an Island and, before anything else happens, says “Sorry, I meant to play a Swamp.”
2. A player says “No blocks” immediately followed by “Wait, no, I block with this creature.”
3. A player says “Go. Wait, land, go.”

This policy has been in effect for years, they were just never explicitly stated but now, that they've officially written down guidelines for reversing decisions to increase consistency. 

Guilds of Ravnica will feature five guilds: Selesnya (green-white), Boros (red-white), Golgari (black-green), Izzet (blue-red), and Dimir (blue-black). 

The following set, Ravnica Allegiance will feature the other five guilds: Azorius (blue-white), Rakdos (black-red), Gruul (red-green), Simic (green-blue), and Orzhov (black-white). 

Guilds of Ravnica will be released on October 5. Prerelease events will take place on September 29-30.

Related: WPN for MTG 'Library Kids' Revoked For A Bad Reason, Wizards of the Coast Responds

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