The one change that I feel may affect most of you, is the clarification of Pile Shuffling and when it can be done. They have clarified that they ‘are now restricting pile shuffling to once per game and only at the beginning of that game.’
Here’s the text of the Release Notes:
General change throughout the rules document: Past documents have used the terms “event” and “tournament” interchangeably. We have cleaned this up and now use the term “tournament” in all appropriate instances.
Introduction: Last week, we announced that Banned and Restricted announcements will now be made both on the Monday after Standard-legal set Prereleases and five weeks after a Pro Tour. Since each Banned and Restricted announcements necessitates a Magic Tournament Rules update, that schedule is now defined in this section.
Section 2.4 (Conceding or Intentionally Drawing Games or Matches): There are a lot of creative ways to score an intentional draw. Entering a match result as 0-0-3 has long been the correct way to report an intentional draw. We have clarified that you can also use the “0-0” result button in Wizards Event Report (WER) to enter an intentional draw. This will automatically enter a result of 0-0-3 for that match.
Section 2.6 (Time Extensions): Featured matches that involve video coverage of those matches often do not start at the same time as the main tournament, often take additional time for the players to get to those matches, and are not always timed separately. Additionally, situations involving the video production can take time away from players playing. To account for these situations, we are giving featured matches that involve video coverage a 3-minute time extension (plus any time that elapsed between the start of the round and the arrival of players at the feature match area). Note that if featured matches are timed independently, this extension is not given.
Section 3.9 (Shuffling): In the previous Tournament Rules update, we announced rule changes regarding “pile shuffling.” Based on observation and feedback, we are now restricting pile shuffling to once per game and only at the beginning of that game. Remember: “pile shuffling” is not sufficient shuffling. It should only be used to count the cards in a deck.
Section 4.2 (Tournament Shortcuts): The language of the shortcut dealing with targeting a planeswalker with a damage spell to redirect that damage to the controlling player has been updated to make it clear that the redirection portion of the shortcut only applies when targeting an opponent’s planeswalker.
Section 6.1 (Deck Construction Restrictions): We have clarified that Masterpiece Series cards may only be played in formats where the card is already legal. This has always been true, but we have specifically referred to the Masterpiece Series by name to avoid any confusion.
Section 6.3 (Standard Format Deck Construction): Since we announced this earlier than the normal schedule, you probably already know this change. Three cards have been banned in the Standard format: Emrakul, the Promised End; Reflector Mage; and Smuggler’s Copter. You can read the explanation as to why these cards were banned in the Banned and Restricted announcement.
Section 6.4 (Modern Format Deck Construction): We also banned two cards in the Modern format: Gitaxian Probe and Golgari Grave-Troll. You can read the explanation as to why these cards were banned in the Banned and Restricted announcement.
Section 7.2 (Card Use in Limited Tournaments): Like Section 6.1 above, we have clarified Masterpiece Series use in Limited tournaments.
Appendix B (Time Limits): Based on player feedback (particularly from Pro Tour and Grand Prix tournaments), we have lengthened the review period between boosters during a booster draft. The review period between the first and second boosters is now 60 seconds (previously 30 seconds). The review period between the second and third boosters is now 90 seconds (previously 45 seconds).
Appendix D (Recommended Booster Mix for Limited Tournaments): Various updates and additions due to the announcement of new expansions.
Jeremy aka “Strictly Average” is an ‘average’ guy with ‘average’ plans. He is the creator and overboss of Strictly Average Gaming, which includes the Patreon group and StrictlyAverageMTG.com