Changes to mulligans and board state layout

We got some news from the mothership yesterday, and it’s spicy!

In the upcoming Pro Tour (PT Magic Origins), Wizards will be testing out a new mulligan rule for competitive play. You can read the technical change to the rule here, but the quick breakdown is that players now get to scry 1 once they have completed all mulliganing decisions. Personally I think this is a great way to go about trying to fix the variance problem that the game currently has, but the thing that I don’t like about it is that there is now another chance for players to get a violation before the game begins at competitive level play.

Board State Layout
In addition to this, players who are playing in the feature match area will now be forced to layout their board in a particular fashion. The quick breakdown is as follows:

– Lands at the bottom, with nothing to be placed below them.
– Library to the side of the play area (either left or right).
– Graveyard next to the library.
– Exile zone near the graveyard and visibly separate.
– Cards exiled by a permanent in play must be placed “in proximity” to the permanent exiling it so that it is clear.
– Untapped cards must face the player who controls them.

This, I think, will be the change that splits the community the most. We’ve seen plenty of trash talk on live stream chatrooms about players who put lands in front of creatures and other permanents, and we’ve seen people complain about being confused about what’s what when they first join the viewership midway through the match. Hopefully this change will – at the very least – curb these kinds of attacks on players.

Judge Rulings and Video Coverage
Previously, any form of video from coverage has not been available to judges while investigating for rulings during a game. This change puts the ability to have access to this squarely in the hands of the head judge of the tournament. This change also introduces dedicated judges whose sole responsibility is to monitor matches on coverage.

What are your thoughts on these changes?

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