|A Player's Guide to Tournament Play
1) You must have a legal deck and your deck must remain
legal throughout the tournament.
Standard: Your deck must contain 60 or more cards.
All the cards in your deck must be from sets currently recognized as legal
in the Standard environment. You may use an older version of a legal card. Your
tournament organizer/judge will be able to tell you what sets are currently
allowed and what cards are banned (remember, there are regular changes to both).
It is your responsibility to ask if you are unsure.Some
tournaments require that you register your deck on a deck list form. Writing
your deck down will help you to eliminate non-legal cards. If you use a
sideboard, it must contain exactly 15 cards (or 0). At the beginning of each
match, you must restore your deck and sideboard to their original
Sealed Deck/Booster Draft: Your deck must contain 40 or
more cards. All cards not in your deck are in your sideboard.
You will be disqualified from the tournament if you have an
illegal deck. Count the number of cards in your deck before you start each
match. Make sure that all of your cards that are placed in your opponent's
territory are returned to you after each match. Be sure to return any of your
opponent's cards to him or her. The contents of your deck are your
2) The cards in your deck cannot be marked so that you would be
able to tell what card is on top of your library. If you use sleeves
with holograms, all the holograms have to face inward (on inside lower left
corner). All cards have to be placed in their sleeves with the top of the card
near the top of the sleeve. All cards in your deck should be facing the same
direction. Cards should have roughly the same amount of wear. Card sleeves
should have roughly the same amount of wear. If you are using sleeves, then the
sleeve is considered part of the card for determining if the card is marked.
3) While you are participating in a tournament, do not watch
other player's games. Trying to obtain information about decks you might
play against may be considered unsportsmanlike conduct. When you are done
playing, leave the playing area until it is time for the next round. Do not take
notes during a game.
4) Behave in a polite and respectful manner towards your
opponent and the Judges. Foul language, threats, unwillingness to accept a
judge's direction or ruling are all examples of unsportsmanlike behavior.
Unsportsmanlike conduct can result in a warning or even
5) Both players must follow the published rules found in the
Players Handbook. Be particularly careful about the drawing of extra cards.
You can ask how many cards your opponent has in his or her hand and you can
request that your opponent hold their cards in a fan so that you can easily tell
how many cards they have. All cards are to held elevated above the surface of
the table. You can always count your opponent's library and graveyard. You may
also look at the cards in your opponent's graveyard (just don't reorder them).
6) If you have a question about the meaning of a card, the
application of a rule, or something you or your opponent has done/or is about to
do - call a judge. The judge will be happy to clarify any situation for you.
If you wait a couple turns, and then call a judge, it will be too late to
restore the game situation.
7) Beginning the game: Shuffle your deck thoroughly. Your
opponent may then cut your deck. For the first duel the winner of the die
roll/coin toss selects to play first or draw first. For any subsequent games,
the loser of the previous game selects play or draw.
8) Each Match is played best 2 out of 3 games. If you only
play one game, whoever wins that game, wins the match. In a Single elimination
tournament each match needs a winner. In this case, the tournament organizer
will tell you what will be done in the case of a draw/or incomplete game.
Sometimes, life totals are used for the incomplete game. In a Swiss Tournament a
drawn match is permitted.
9) Each Match has a time limit. You will be informed of the
amount of time to complete the match. Try to play promptly. Stalling is not
allowed and can result in a warning or disqualification. Be sure to be in your
designated seat when the beginning of the match is announced.
10) You are responsible for keeping track of your Life
Total. You must use a physicial means of keeping your life total. The more
stable the device used, the better. A pencil & paper are best. Counters are
better than dice (which are easily knocked over). It is also a good idea to keep
track of your opponent's life total.
11) Warnings and/or Disqualifications are sent in to the DCI
and become part of a player's permanent record. Judges issue warnings (both
official and unofficial) based on the severity of the offense, whether it was
intentional or unintentional and whether it was disruptive or nondisruptive to
the event's integrity. Cheating, for example, is considered intentional and
disruptive. Single, double, & triple warnings can be issued. The
default penalty for 3 warnings is ejection from the event.