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Quard's Corner #07 from the Quard's Corner Archive
By Vincent Navarino
[Author's Note: If you've been catching up on all the existing Quard's Corners here on the Casual Players' Alliance, then I'd like to inform you that after reading this one, you're eligible for a free frontal lobotomy. Email] for details. Originally appeared in the July 1997 issue of the Vault e-zine]

Quard's Corner: Modifying the DCI's Tournament Rules for Magic

by Vincent Navarino

Welcome to Quard's Corner. This month I thought instead of doing a Q&A piece I'd try my hand at modifying the DCI's current Standard Floor Rules for Magic Tournaments. I hope you like it! And without much further ado, I welcome you to:

FLOOR RULES. Effective July 1st, 1997.

(Please note only sections which have been changed are listed)


Officially sanctioned competition requires the presence of a Head Judge (or Nurse) during play to interpret rules, terminate excessively long matches or players, disqualify players, perform simple emergency medical procedures and to make other official decisions (such as the Official Decision Not to be Bothered with Gross Stupidity, The Official Decision that all Official Decisions are Official and the popular Official Decision for the Craving of Honeycombs or other breakfast cereals). The Head Judge/Nurse may obtain the help of professional football or hockey officials to answer rules questions or perform other tasks at the Head Judge's request (such as obtaining coveted Stanley Cup or Super Bowl tickets). The Head Judge and the Tournament Organizer must not be the same individual as the cloning of human beings is illegal.

1.1 Head Judge/Nurse

If players should disagree with a Tournament Official's decision, then they will be publicly flogged or caned as a lesson to others. Never screw with a Tournament Official. The player is free to appeal the Tournament Official's ruling to the Head Judge. The Head Judge may overturn the verdict but if he does not then the player will be killed. Tournament Official's
decisions should never *EVER* be questioned.

1.1a All consequences resulting from violations of the DCI Standard Floor Rules that come to the attention of the Judge MUST be enforced. Competitors are not permitted to waive penalties, flags or their underwear on behalf of their opponents. The penalty for any violation of the floor rules is for the offender to be run over by a large steamroller until they become part of the floor.

1.1b Regardless of the wishes of the competitors involved, Judges cannot impregnate themselves. Thus, contortionists are not allowed to be Judges.

1.2 Termination of Lengthy Matches

The Head Judge may be required to determine the outcome of an excessively long match prior to its actual conclusion. In this instance, the Head Judge must give the players involved at least thirty minutes notice before intervening to terminate the match.

Once the warning period passes and the judge announces that the match is over, all play must stop immediately. Players in mid-turn are given a fixed amount of time, announced by the judge, to complete their turns before the match result is determined.

A Judge will then place a revolver on the table with five of the six chambers of the revolver loaded with real bullets. Each player must spin the cylinder of said revolver, point the barrel to his head and pull the trigger. If the revolver goes off, that player wins the match (this version of tie-breaking is called DCI-Roulette).

1.2.1 Timeliness

Players must take their turns in a timely fashion. Whereas taking a reasonable amount of time to think through game strategy is acceptable, deliberately stalling for time is not. Failure to begin a match in a timely manner in order to gain a psychological advantage is grounds for an immediate frontal lobotomy by a trained DCI staff-member with a rusty wire hanger.

1.21a Prior to each duel, competitors must complete all sideboarding decisions, mana stacking, marking of cards and shuffling of their opponent's deck within five minutes. Violation of this rule may be considered stalling, and therefore may result in a warning or savage beating at the discretion of the Judge. The Judge and/or Tournament Organizer may choose to set a time limit for these procedures of less than five minutes. All savage beatings will last at least 10 minutes.

1.2.2 Cheating

Obvious cheating will not be tolerated. Players caught cheating are amateurs and will automatically be strung up by their gizzards. They may also be used as a Pinata and beaten by players, judges and spectators alike with large sticks at the discretion of the DCI. Cheating includes, but is not limited to: receiving outside assistance or phone calls, scouting other players' cards, underpaying Judges or mana, using marked cards, using Mark's cards, marking cards during play, drawing extra cards or bad renditions of a pony, manipulating which cards are drawn from your deck or your opponent's deck, arranging the cards in a deck to form a card house, manipulating card draw, and deliberately traveling to New Jersey. If you're going there,
you're obviously hiding something.

1.2.3 Effective May 1, 1997. Unsportsmanlike Conduct

Unsportsmanlike conduct is unacceptable and will not be tolerated at
any time. Judges, players, and officials must behave in a polite, respectable,
and sportsmanlike manner. Players who use profanity, argue, act belligerently
toward tournament officials by jabbing them with sharp pointy objects,
tossing grenades into the crowd, firing random shots from their AK-47's
at Judges, tournament officials, spectators or at each other and/or otherwise
harassing anyone, will receive free electro-shock therapy and a warning.
Repeat warnings will result in the player being electrocuted until he strikingly
resembles a charcoal briquette. Collusion to alter the results of a duel
or match is considered to be unsportsmanlike and any player being caught
colluding will be forced to play Spellfire-- A Fate Far Worse Than Death.

1.2.4 Card Elevation

Players must keep the cards in their hand above the level of the playing
surface and cards must be elevated to at least five feet above sea level.
Also all players' cards are not allowed to be played in elevators. If any
of these rules are violated, the judge may issue a warning taped to a brick
and whack the offending player squarely on the forehead. A second violation
may result in the player's head being hit repeatedly with a croquet mallet.

1.2.5 Effective April 1, 1997. Proxy Cards

The use of "proxy" cards is not permitted. All cards in the participant's
deck MUST have the regular Magic: The Gathering card backs. Participants
may use cards from the Collector's Edition, International Collector's Edition,
or the Pro Tour Collector Set, or cards from the free Magic poker deck
that people received as part of their Legends DCI memberships. At no time
will black and white photocopied cards ever be allowed in tournament play.
Obviously counterfeit cards are not allowed. Unobviously counterfeit cards
are allowed, as long as they are of decent quality. Color photocopied cards,
as long as they are of high quality will also be allowed. This is a game
for everyone and we don't want it to slip into a Who's got the most money
type of game.

Violation of this rule shall be considered unsportsmanlike conduct and
all offenders will be taught how to make decent counterfeit cards through
our special "Make Your Own Cards" training booth set up at all sanctioned

1.2.6 Effective April 1, 1997. Card Sleeves

A player may use plastic card sleeves or other protective devices on
cards unless the judge declares otherwise at the beginning of the tournament.
If a player chooses to exercise this option, all cards in the player's
deck and sideboard must be placed in these devices in an identical manner.
If for no reason a player's opponent wishes a player to remove the sleeves
or protective devices, he or she is labeled a whiny cry baby and forced
to suck on a bottle of juice and wear XL sized Luvs diapers. If there is
a good reason made for a player to de-sleeve the player must immediately
comply. All requests to de-sleeve must be made prior to the beginning of
the match. However, this option cannot be taken if a player's deck is entirely
laminated. There is no current de-lamination policy.

Once the match is in under way, a player may only request that the Judge
inspect his or her opponent's sleeves. The judge may choose to disallow
a player's sleeves only if they are obviously not sleeves. A sleeve may
be used to mark a player's card if the card is in the opponent's playing
field. Sleeves used in this fashion can be card, shirt or jacket sleeves.

New card sleeves and/or protective devices are not permitted in sanctioned
tournaments until the DCI gives its official approval for their use. Once
approval is granted, no one can be forced to de-sleeve for anything other
than a very good reason.

1.2.7 Effective April 1, 1997. Shuffle

Prior to the beginning of each duel, each player shuffles his or her
deck. Regardless of the method used to shuffle the deck, before play commences
each player MUST conclude this process by singing "Let's Do the Time Walk
Again" from the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Each time a player shuffles
his or her deck during a match, the player's opponent may look through
the deck and place all land on the bottom and then shuffling the cards
three times using a standard riffle shuffle.

After shuffling, the decks are returned to their original owners even
if they are not in the tournament. This way people start playing with their
own decks instead of being unoriginal Xerox-heads and copying decks from
other players. If at any time during this process a player believes his
or her opponent's cards are not shuffled properly, the player may request
that a tournament official shuffle the deck. The official will then place
the deck in a large salad bowl with bits of lettuce and tomatoes and mix
the deck properly with huge plastic salad tongs. The mixed deck will then
squished together and handed back to the player.

Note: a player who is getting his deck mixed in this manner by
the tournament official can get his deck lightly seasoned with a nice herbal
vinaigrette dressing upon request.

At the judge's discretion, a one-minute time limit may be imposed for
all juggling that occurs during the duel itself.

1.2.8 Play-Draw Rule

The winner of a coin or opponent toss (or other random method) chooses
either to play first and skip around the table yelling "Woo! Lookit
me, I'm a Pixie!"
bypassing the draw phase for his or her first
turn or play second, drawing one extra card from anywhere in their library.
Under these conditions, the first player chooses one or the other before
looking at his or her hand. All play thereafter is normal: each player
plays and draws cards within his or her turn. After the first duel in a
match, the loser of each duel decides whether to play first in the next
duel. If the previous duel was a tie, the coin is tossed again to determine
who decides which player plays first.

1.2.9 "Mulligan"

At the beginning of each duel, after determining which player goes first,
both players draw their initial hand of seven cards (one card for each
finger on their hands). If a player discovers that his or her initial hand
contains all land cards or not the right land cards then the player may
declare a "Mulligan" and choose to restart the duel. Both player may also
reshuffle and draw seven new cards. Whether or not a player declares a
Mulligan, the opponent is then given a chance to review his or her own
cards and decide to declare a Mulligan. To declare a Mulligan, the player
must strike his opponent with the hand containing the seven cards before
new cards can be drawn. Any time players reshuffle their cards before a
duel begins, they always have the option to declare a Mulligan as long
as they have not already declared one. A player may declare only one Mulligan
per duel. A player can declare his opponent ugly any number of times per duel.

1.2.10 Card Translation

During sanctioned competition, players will refer to any English version
of a card to settle disputes concerning the interpretation of a card's
wording or powers. The opponent chooses which version of the card that
will be used to determine it's wording or powers.

1.2.11 Errata

The Errata list has been discontinued because it is now way too large
for even a Cray YM-P Supercomputer to store. If printed out even once,
bye bye Mr. Rain Forests!

1.2.12 Current Edition

All cards from the current edition will be interpreted according to
the wording on the previous printed version of the cards. All new cards
normally have not been play-tested enough and are bound to screw up game
play with silly things like " rest of cards on the bottom
of your library. Shuffle your library afterwards."

1.2.13 Forgetting About Upkeep

If a player draws a card for his or her turn without having paid an
upkeep cost, it is assumed that the upkeep cost was not paid and the appropriate
consequences were accepted. For example, most cards bury themselves if
the upkeep cost is not paid, in this case however the card will be buried
along with it's owner.

If a player draws a card for his or her turn without having dealt with
one or more upkeep effects (other than upkeep costs), those effects are
dealt with immediately. If any of the effects involved a decision, then
the player is issued a warning, and the cards that were drawn during the
draw phase are torn into little bits.

1.2.14 Effective May 1, 1997. Intentional Draw

Players engaged in a duel may mutually agree to accept an intentional
draw at any time prior to the beginning of a match. This agreement will
automatically be regarded as Collusion and the proper penalties will be

1.2.15 Effective April 1, 1997. Definition of Terms:

Duel: one game of Magic or two people at opposing ends armed
with hostility toward each other and swords or firearms.

Match: best two-out-of-three duels of Magic unless otherwise

Proxy card: a card used during competition to represent another
card; also obviously counterfeit cards, or any card that does not have
the appropriate Magic backing

Riffle shuffle: dividing the deck into two halves which are placed
end-to-end, lifted, and allowed to fall rapidly together and interleave,
as opposed to the Ruffles shuffle where ridged potato chips are
inserted between each card.

Cut: removing the top portion of a deck and placing it under
the bottom portion, without looking at the bottom card or removing the
top portion of your opponent's head and placing it under his chair

Sideboard: Any additional cards that are not part of a player's
deck. Players may exchange cards in their sideboard as long as the sideboard
contains exactly fifteen cards unless otherwise noted.

2.0 Rules for Magic: The Gathering

Constructed-Deck Tournament Play Classic, Standard, Classic Restricted,
Mirage Constructed, Mirage/Visions Constructed

2.1 Required Materials

In order to participate in a match, players must bring their decks,
sideboards, mommies, and DCI membership card to the tournament. A player's
deck must contain at least sixty cards, while his or her sideboard must
contain exactly fifteen cards.

2.1.2 Tournament-Legal Decks & Sideboards

Decks which contain less than 60 cards, or sideboards which contain
more or less than fifteen cards, are not tournament legal; their use may
result in disqualification from current competition or that aforementioned
savage beating. If a player is playing with a deck with no sideboard, then
a sideboard must be constructed using fifteen random cards chosen from
any opponent's library.

NOTE: Wizards of the Coast reserves the right to publish contents
of decks and sideboards so that unoriginal players can copy good tournament
quality decks instead of using that last brain cell in their small heads
to bring originality into the game and then start huge whiny Usenet threads
on how certain decks require skill to be played.

2.1.4 Sideboard Use

Before a match begins, each player must allow his or her opponent to
count the number of cards in the sideboard face up. Before the beginning
of the second or third duel in a match, players may change the composition
of their decks by swapping cards from their decks with cards in either
theirs or their opponent's sideboard. Any card exchange must be done on
a one-for-one basis to ensure that the sideboard remains at fifteen cards.
There are no restrictions on the number of cards a player may exchange
as long as one card is traded for another. Trading among players is allowed
while making sideboard decisions. Attempts to alter a deck other than through
a legal sideboard exchange may result in a player's disqualification from
current competition or lethal injection. Judge's choice.

2.1.5 Alpha Cards

Players may use cards that have slightly rounder corners (e.g., Alpha
edition cards--Alpha cards are the first section of the print run from
the original limited-edition basic set) as long as their decks are made
up entirely of these cards or if the player is using black-backed protective
sleeves. After all, we printed these cards and thus we should always encourage
the people who bought what we made to use them in tournament play instead
of telling them "Thanks for buying them, sucker!"

2.1.8 Four-card Limit

With the exception of basic land cards (Plains, Forest, Mountain, Island,
and Swamp, including snow-covered variants), a player's deck and sideboard
may not contain more than four of any individual card, by card title. Except
for Classic (Type I) play, anything goes.

2.1.9 Effective May 1, 1997. Restricted and Banned Cards

No more than one of each of the cards on the Restricted List is allowed
in a tournament deck (including the sideboard). No cards from the Banned
List are allowed in a tournament deck (including the sideboard). Violation
of this rule may result in disqualification from all beauty competitions
at the discretion of the head judge, and possibly from future competition
at the discretion of the DCI.

2.2 Ante

Players may not wager ante. They can only wager money.

2.3 Standard Deck Construction

No change except the Standard Tournament format has been renamed to
The New Coke Tournament Format.

2.3.1 There is no restricted list for The New Coke tournaments.

2.3.2 The Banned List for The New Coke tournament format:

* Any card that any player has whined that is broken

Therefore all cards are banned in all New Coke tournaments.

2.4 Classic Deck Construction

The Classic Tournament format has been renamed to The Old Coke Tournament

The Old Coke tournament decks may consist of cards from all editions
of Magic, any extension of the basic set, all promotional cards released
by Wizards of the Coast, Inc., and all limited-edition or stand-alone expansion

2.4.1 The Restricted List for The Old Coke tournaments:

* There are no cards that are restricted in the Old Coke Format
(Type I). Wake up folks, this is Type I we're talking about!

2.4.2 The Banned List for Classic tournaments:

* Again this is Type I folks, there are no banned cards here.

2.5 Classic Restricted Deck Construction:

Classic Restricted has been renamed to The Old Diet Coke format.

The Old Diet Coke tournament decks may consist of cards from all editions
of Magic, any extension of the basic set, all promotional cards released
by Wizards of the Coast, Inc., and all limited-edition or stand-alone expansion

2.6 Ice Age-Only Deck Construction:

This format was done away with for being far too limiting and silly.
We only made it to get rid of our inventory of IA and now that we've accomplished
that, bye bye!

2.7 Ice Age/Alliances Deck Construction:

Ice Age/Alliances has been cancelled. We finally sold out! Thank you!
Wee for us!

End of Changes..

Note: Are there any Magic related questions you'd like to ask me that
might see print in an upcoming Quard's Corner in Vault? If so, e-mail your
questions to me at

This article was put together for your reading pleasure
by Vincent B. Navarino (aka Quard on IRC:#mtg) and his imaginary trained
typing Ferret, Ferratio. Vincent considers himself quite the humorist and
can regularly be spotted late at night on IRC:#mtg(EFNet) tormenting the
people there with his rantings. He'd also like to write Magic humor for
the Duelist and someday might start submitting his articles to them, but
is too afraid of rejection right now after not having a date in over 3
years. If you'd like to talk with him please feel free to send him e-mail
at All feedback
received is welcomed.

Warning: any hate mail will be forwarded to a neighbor
he doesn't like.

Read More Articles by Vincent Navarino!

 - Wednesday (July 18. 2018)
 - Thursday (May 17, 2018)
 - Tuesday (Aprl. 24, 2018
 - Monday (Apr. 16, 2018)
 - Friday (Apr. 6, 2018)
 - Wednesday (Apr. 4, 2018)
 - Monday (Apr. 2, 2018)
 - Friday (Mar. 23, 2018)
 - Thursday (Feb. 15, 2018)
 - Thursday (Jan 25, 2018)

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