Duelists' Convocation International (DCI) officially announces the departure of Fallen Empires and Ice Age from the Standard (Type II) tournament environment. Cards from these sets will no longer be permitted in sanctioned Standard tournaments as of January 1, 1997.

DCI will continue to sanction the following tournament formats after January 1, 1997, but will calculate the results in the appropriate ratings category:

Ice Age ConstructedClassic (Type I)
Ice Age SealedLimited
Ice Age/Alliances ConstructedClassic (Type I)
Ice Age/Alliances SealedLimited



DCI has reached a decision to change the format of the Standard (Type II) environment, beginning on January 1, 1997. Previously, the environment was defined as the largest set of currently available cards. This policy created quite a large tournament environment! However, because of inconsistencies in print run sizes, expansions sometimes remained in the environment longer than we planned, and some sets were in danger of leaving the environment before competitors had any genuine chance to fully explore their cards' capabilities.

In order to regulate these factors in the face of inconsistent availability of expansions, the DCI is changing the composition of the Standard (Type II) environment to one wherein the basic sets and stand-alone sets will replace old versions of each other as the new version is released, and limited-edition expansions will be replaced by the next limited-edition expansion a year later. Card sets should enter the environment as another set leaves, keeping Standard tournaments fresh, challenging and exciting over time. DCI believes this will also enable competitors to more easily predict which card sets are permitted in Standard tournament play at any given time.

DCI has previously promised ninety (90) days notice prior to removing any card set from the Type II environment; since the new policy is not effective until January 1, 1997, DCI is notifying members at this time that Fallen Empires and Ice Age will be leaving the Standard environment in January.

The following floor rule will therefore read as follows on January 1, 1997:

2.3 Standard (Type II) Deck Construction

Standard (Type II) tournament decks may consist of cards from Magic: The Gathering, as well as any current extensions of the basic set, all current limited-edition expansion sets, and all current stand-alone expansion sets. Players may also include cards from previous printings that appear in the most current edition as long as they do not have features that create "marked" cards, such as cards with corners that are rounder than other cards.

The Duelists' Convocation International (DCI) uses the following policy to determine the composition of the Standard (Type II) environment:

Card set:Replaced by:When is it replaced?
Basic SetNew edition of Basic SetThirty (30) days after release date of new Basic Set
Stand-aloneNew stand-aloneThirty (30) days after release date of new stand-alone
Limited-edition expansionNew Limited expansion which has a release date of more than ten (10) months after the outgoing limited- expansion's release dateThirty (30) days after release date of new limited-edition expansion

EXAMPLE OF NEW POLICY: When Fallen Empires and Ice Age leave the Standard tournament environment on January 1, 1997, the card sets permitted in this format will be as follows:

Fourth Edition (Basic Set)
Chronicles (Extension of the Basic Set)
Mirage (stand-alone)
Homelands (limited-edition expansion)
Alliances (limited-edition expansion)

The next card set scheduled for release is Visions , due out in January or February 1997. When Visions is released, it will replace Homelands in the Standard (Type II) environment.



The Magic: The Gathering® Fifth Edition rules will be effective at all DCI sanctioned tournaments as of November 8, 1996. The new rules may be found in all Mirage starter decks (available October 8, 1996) and in issue 13 of The Duelist.



On November 1, 1996, the following sections of the DCI Standard Floor Rules for Magic: The Gathering will be amended to read as follows:

1.1a All consequences resulting from violations of DCI Standard Floor Rules which come to the attention of the Judge MUST be enforced. Competitors are not permitted waive penalties on behalf of their opponents.

1.1b Regardless of the wishes of the competitors involved, Judges must correct any rules mistake (whether from the Standard Floor Rules or from the rules for Magic: The Gathering) they notice or that comes to their attention, and must ensure that the appropriate consequences are applied.

1.2.1a Prior to each duel, competitors must complete all side boarding decisions, deck shuffling, and shuffling of their opponent's deck within five (5) minutes. Violation of this rule may be considered stalling, and therefore may result in a warning or disqualification from current competition 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 (5) minutes. This time limit must be adequately advertised and announced prior to the tournament.



Many Duelists' Convocation members have remarked that, while they appreciate our policy of announcing changes in the Banned/Restricted Lists one month before they become effective, there have been problems in getting the information out in a timely manner. So, we have decided to make certain days of the year "Banned/Restricted Days." No, that doesn't mean you'll have to cross those days off your calendar! It just means that we will announce changes to the Banned and Restricted Lists ONLY on those days.


In addition, the Duelists' Convocation would like to take this opportunity to announce that the Banned and Restricted Lists for Type I and Type II sanctioned tournaments will henceforth be separated from one another. That is to say, each card which is Banned or Restricted in the future will be considered on its own merits for each type of tournament: The addition of a card to the Banned or Restricted List for Type I tournaments does NOT necessarily mean the card will also be added to the Type II Banned or Restricted Lists.







Letter to DCI Members

Greetings to all DCI members,

The Duelists' Convocation International (DCI) is excited and pleased to announce the beginning of the 1996-97 tournament season! In keeping with our customary policy, we would like to briefly discuss the newest changes to the tournament environment, and our rationale for making them.

Hymn to Tourach Restricted in Standard (Type II)

Hymn to Tourach from Fallen Empires has been the center of more controversy than any other single card throughout the later half of the 1995-96 tournament season. Competitors began to suggest its restriction shortly after the first Pro Tour event in New York, primarily because the card was seen by many as the cornerstone of the popular and successful "Necro" deck. Many DCI members expected its restriction on June 1 but were surprised when the DCI decided to restrict Land Tax but not Hymn to Tourach.

The DCI explained that, at that time, it lacked sufficient data on Hymn's true influence in the Standard (Type II) tournament environment. Necro decks had barely started to dominate tournaments, and Alliances had not yet been released, giving rise to the possibility that new card combinations and deck designs would emerge to challenge Necro decks. Moreover, the actual cause of Necro's success was still open to speculation: Some competitors claimed it was the result of several other cards, while others theorized that it was due to the sheer number of competitors (particularly top-ranked players) who used the deck.

The conclusion of the 1995-96 season and the release of Alliances gives the DCI more information on which to base a decision. Hymn to Tourach's impact is more readily visible: One need only recall the semifinal match at the 1996 U.S. Nationals, between Dennis Bentley and Matthew Place to witness the Hymn's early game-swing advantage, as well as its strong ability to stifle new deck-construction ideas.

Strip Mine Restricted in Standard (Type II)

Restricting Strip Mine (Fourth Edition) echoes the DCI's Black Vise decision earlier this year: Strip Mine is a card so generally effective that an overwhelming majority of tournament players decide to include it in their decks, regardless of the deck's theme or purpose. Its tremendous ability to provide an early game swing-not to mention the fact that it cannot be countered-makes the card too attractive to ignore.

Fastbond Restricted in Classic (Type I)

Fastbond (Revised) has occupied a spot on the DCI's "most-watched" list for some time. Fastbond is similar to Channel in its ability to create grossly overpowered, game-winning combinations. This is most obvious when Fastbond is used in conjunction with Storm Cauldron, effectively creating a Channel for colored mana, with preventable damage.

The DCI hopes you agree that these changes offer the prospect of a stronger, more dynamic tournament environment as we inaugurate the new season!

Sincerely, Jason Carl
Director, DCI


In an effort to significantly increase the number of sanctioned tournaments available to its members, the Duelists' Convocation North America (DCNA) has announced the following changes to the organization's sanctioning policies and guidelines. All changes will take effect February 1, 1996.

1. The DCNA will now sanction tournaments that are held in retail outlets.

As of 2/1/96, the DCNA will extend its sanctioning guidelines to include retailers as well as game organizations and independent coordinators. Retailers may sell product throughout the course of a sanctioned tournament.

2. The DCNA will sanction tournaments with an entry fee of up to $20.00.

The DCNA will permit coordinators to charge up to $20.00 for sanctioned events, but will not sanction any event requiring an entry fee greater than $20.00.

There is one exception to the above rule. Where event coordinators feel a higher entry fee is needed to finance a larger tournament, they must submit a request for exemption that contains information supporting their claim. The DCNA Sanctioning Department will review and approve requests on a case-by-case basis.

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