Tournament rotation

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So recently I've gotten into playing Magic competitively and so I figured I'd buy some cards.  I went into my hobby shop and I heard someone say "this is the last night to play before standard rotates out."

What does that mean, and how do I know when a set is going to become unusable in tournaments?
this Friday will be the rotation

Scars of Mirrodin, Mirrodin Besieged, New Phyrexia and M12 will rotate out of Standard and Return to Ravnica rotates in

the next rotation will be early October 2013, when the Innistrad Block and M13 will rotate out and an as of yet unknown set will rotate in
proud member of the 2011 community team
wizards.com/Magic/TCG/Resources.aspx?x=j...

That should help.

~ Tim   

I am Blue/White Reached DCI Rating 1800 on 28/10/11. :D
Sig
56287226 wrote:
190106923 wrote:
Not bad. But what happens flavor wise when one kamahl kills the other one?
Zis iz a sign uf deep psychological troma, buried in zer subconscious mind. By keelink himzelf, Kamahl iz physically expressink hiz feelinks uf self-disgust ova hiz desire for hiz muzzer. [/GermanPsychologistVoice]
56957928 wrote:
57799958 wrote:
That makes no sense to me. If they spelled the ability out on the card in full then it would not be allowed in a mono-black Commander deck, but because they used a keyword to save space it is allowed? ~ Tim
Yup, just like you can have Birds of paradise in a mono green deck but not Noble Hierarch. YAY COLOR IDENTITY
56287226 wrote:
56888618 wrote:
Is algebra really that difficult?
Survey says yes.
56883218 wrote:
57799958 wrote:
You want to make a milky drink. You squeeze a cow.
I love this description. Like the cows are sponges filled with milk. I can see it all Nick Parks claymation-style with the cow's eyes bugging out momentarily as a giant farmer squeezes it like a squeaky dog toy, and milk shoots out of it.
56287226 wrote:
56735468 wrote:
And no judge will ever give you a game loss for playing snow covered lands.
I now have a new goal in life. ;)
The most important points to remember are these:
When people say 'rotation' they are usually specifically talking about the Standard Format. If you aren't playing the Standard format (So for if you're not playing in a tournament at all for instance) you don't need to be worried. The Extended format also rotates, but that format isn't as popular.

Rotation happens once a year on the Friday that the Fall set is released. This year the Fall set is Return to Ravnica, last year the Fall set was Innistrad, and the year before that it was Scars of Mirrodin, for instance.

All sets between the Fall set two years ago and the Fall set last year all leave when the new set comes in. Usually this is four sets, for instance this year it's Scars of Mirrodin, Mirrodin Besieged, New Phyrexia, and Magic 2012. Approximately one year from now Innistrad, Dark Ascension, Avacyn Restored, and Magic 2013 will rotate.

If a card has printed in any of the currently legal sets, then any version of that card is still legal. For instance, Giant Growth was reprinted in Return to Ravnica, so you could run a copy of Giant Growth from Magic 2011 or even Alpha if you wanted to.

After Rotation, the following sets will be legal in Standard:
Innistrad, Dark Ascension, Avacyn Restored, Magic 2013, and Return to Ravnica. 
Immature College Student (Also a Rules Advisor)
Block Constructed: All of the cards of a given block.
Standard: The current block (Return to Ravnica), the last block (Innistrad), and the last Core Set (M13).
Extended: The current block, the last three blocks (or everything since Zendikar), and the last three Core Sets (M11, M12, and M13)

There is a short period when there are two Core Sets in Standard and four in Extended. This is because Core Sets rotate out when the new block rotates in, but they rotate in three months before.

Modern: Everything since Eighth Edition and Mirrodin, except for non-randomized products.
Legacy: Every traditional Magic card (excluding Un sets).
Vintage: Same as Legacy, but with the exception of a few oddball cards (in short, cards that change card ownership, the ante mechanic, and three cards that bug judges), nothing is banned; overpoewred cards are instead limited to 1.

Note that the English name of a card is all that matters in determining its legality.

Casual formats are generally eternal, though ones like BYOS and BYOB are not.
139359831 wrote:
Clever deduction Watson! Maybe you can explain why Supergirl is trying to kill me.
---- Autocard is your friend. Lightning Bolt = Lightning Bolt
ante cards are in fact banned, not just restricted, in both Legacy and Vintage
proud member of the 2011 community team
ante cards are in fact banned, not just restricted, in both Legacy and Vintage



Fixed. Didn't catch the ambiguity.
139359831 wrote:
Clever deduction Watson! Maybe you can explain why Supergirl is trying to kill me.
---- Autocard is your friend. Lightning Bolt = Lightning Bolt