The Rules

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Tournament Rules And Policy

SPELLFIRE events comprise one or more tournaments. Tournaments are categorized into tiers and are run under different levels of rules enforcement. The tier of an event is the highest tier of any of its tournaments.


SPELLFIRE is a collectible card game. It is designed to be played by two or more players. The idea is simple. Players build individual and unique decks of cards. The cards usually possess unusual powers, breaking or altering the rules.

A player's goal is to build an empire. The players draw cards individually from their decks and lay them down. Each player has their own deck. In most cases, cards do not mix from one player's deck with cards from another player's deck, but there can be exceptions.

Players are building their realms while others are trying to destroy them. A player's realm can be attacked and defended using champions (clerics, heroes, monsters, wizards, psionicists, thieves, and regents). Allies, events, spells, psionic powers, thief skills, blood abilities, magical items, artifacts, and other special cards strengthen these champions. In a successful attack, a realm is razed, and a defending champion is defeated. 

1. Tournament Information

1.1. Event and Tournament Types

SPELLFIRE events comprise one or more tournaments. Tournaments are categorized into tiers and are run under different levels of rules enforcement. The tier of an event is the highest tier of any of its tournaments. 

Tier 1 and 2 tournaments can be run by any Tournament Organizer (TO) who has an active Game Event Manager (GEM) Tournament Organizer account - some tournaments require an invite from Reality Game Arts, UAB to run. Tier 3 and 4 tournaments are run by Reality Game Arts, UAB or Organized Play (OP) partners appointed by Reality Game Arts, UAB.

1.2. Rules Enforcement Levels (REL)

In the realm of tournament play, adherence to specific guidelines and expectations is crucial for ensuring fair and competitive gameplay. These guidelines are categorized into three distinct Rules Enforcement Levels (RELs): Casual, Competitive, and Professional. Each REL is tailored to meet different objectives, and infractions during the tournament are addressed in accordance with the comprehensive Procedure and Penalty Guide.

1.2.1. Casual Rules Enforcement:

Casual REL is meticulously crafted for local in-store play, prioritizing the enhancement of player education and overall enjoyment. This level of enforcement is characterized by a supportive environment that encourages learning and camaraderie among participants.

1.2.2. Competitive Rules Enforcement:

Geared towards structured competition, Competitive REL strikes a balance between player education, enjoyment, and the maintenance of tournament integrity. Emphasis is placed on ensuring a fair and competitive atmosphere, fostering an environment where skill and strategy are paramount.

1.2.3. Professional Rules Enforcement:

Tailored for the pinnacle of competitive play, Professional REL is dedicated to upholding the highest standards of tournament integrity. This level of enforcement is designed to meet the demands of elite competitions, where precision and fairness are imperative for the integrity of the game.

It is common for most tournaments to operate under a single REL. However, certain events may adopt multiple RELs, introducing a dynamic element to the competition. Notably, in some tournaments, a Calling may transition from a Competitive REL on day 1 to a Professional REL on day 2 and beyond. This strategic approach allows for a nuanced and evolving tournament experience that aligns with the varying skill levels and aspirations of participants.

1.3. Formats

Tournaments comprise one or more formats. There are three categories of tournament formats that Reality Game Arts, UAB supports: 25-card, 55-card, and 75-card decks. It is up to the Tournament Organizer to define beforehand whether the participants bring pre-built decks or are provided sealed, or special, decks at the venue.

1.3.1. 25-Card Decks (Introductory)

25-Card Deck Tournament decks consist of realms, holdings, champions, allies, events, spells, magical items, and artifacts, where champions cannot total more than 40 levels and decks cannot contain avatars, dungeons and rules. For more detailed information see: - 25-Card Decks

1.3.2. 55-Card Decks (Standard)

55-Card Deck Tournament decks consist of realms, holdings, champions, allies, events, spells, magical items, and artifacts, where champions cannot total more than 90 levels. Avatar’s levels do not count toward the 90-level maximum but it does count as a champion. The dungeon card can be used as an additional 56th card as it does not count toward the 55-card total. For more detailed information see: - 55-Card Decks

1.3.3. 75-Card Decks (Favorite)

75-Card Deck Tournament decks are similar to the 55-Card Deck with a few key differences: champions cannot total more than 125 levels, an avatar can be included and will not count toward the total level (but still count as a champion), 76th card can be a dungeon card. For more detailed information see: - 75-Card Decks

1.4. Tournament Eligibility

In the pursuit of fostering a competitive and inclusive gaming environment, SPELLFIRE tournaments welcome participation from a diverse array of individuals. However, it is imperative to adhere to the following eligibility criteria and exceptions:

Eligibility for Players:

  • Individuals currently under a ban are ineligible to participate.
  • For tier 2+ events, individuals under suspension are ineligible to compete.
  • Participation is restricted for individuals explicitly prohibited by Reality Game Arts, UAB, or those asked to leave the venue by the Tournament Organizer.
  • Participants aged thirteen (13) years or younger require permission from their guardian(s).
  • Eligibility is contingent on compliance with local laws, Tournament Organizer rules, and venue management regulations.
  • Tournament officials are ineligible if the tournament is a Skirmish or tier 2+ event.

Eligibility for Tournament Officials:

  • Individuals currently under suspension or ban are ineligible for appointment as tournament officials.
  • Individuals who have already participated as players in a Skirmish or tier 2+ event are ineligible to serve as officials.

Special Considerations for Employees and Contractors:

  • Employees and independent contractors of Reality Game Arts, UAB, are generally ineligible to participate in Professional tournaments unless granted written permission by Reality Game Arts, UAB.
  • Employees and contractors attending tournaments must disclose their position to the Tournament Organizer, who reserves the right to deny entry at their discretion.

Specifics for Suspended Individuals:

  • Suspended individuals are prohibited from participating in tier 2+ events and tournaments with a competitive or professional Rules Enforcement Level (REL).
  • Participation in casual REL tournaments as part of a tier 1 event is subject to approval by the Tournament Organizer.
  • Suspended individuals are allowed to attend and spectate SPELLFIRE events but are ineligible to serve as tournament officials.

Guidelines for Banned Individuals:

  • Banned individuals are strictly prohibited from participating, attending, spectating, or acting as tournament officials at any SPELLFIRE event.
  • If a banned player is present at a SPELLFIRE event, they should be promptly asked to leave the venue in accordance with event policies.

These eligibility and participation policies aim to uphold the integrity of SPELLFIRE tournaments, ensuring fair competition and a positive gaming experience for all participants.

1.5. Player Identification

Events that require an invitation to participate and/or have an age restriction will require personal identification to participate. These include, but are not limited to, National Championships, ProTours, and World Championships. The following forms of identification are acceptable:

  • Birth Certificate (for players under the age of 13)
  • Driver’s License
  • Passport
  • School ID card
  • Government-issued ID card

Individuals with the Tournament Organizer, Head Judge, Floor Judge, and Scorekeeper roles are considered tournament officials. The Tournament Organizer may also designate individuals to act as tournament officials, even if they do not hold any of the associated tournament roles. The Head Judge and Floor Judge are both considered judge roles. Coverage Members are collectively referred to as coverage.

Tournament officials may change roles throughout the duration of the tournament, but an individual serving as the Tournament Organizer or Head Judge should remain in that role for the entire tournament.

For tier 1 tournaments, tournament officials may also be Players. For tier 2 tournaments and above, tournament officials may not be Players.

For tier 1 tournaments, the Tournament Organizer may also be a judge. For tier 2 tournaments and above, the Tournament Organizer may not be a judge.

2. Participants

2.1. Player

A Player is an individual who is participating in the tournament. A Player is responsible for:

  • Being familiar with the rules and policies of SPELLFIRE tournaments.
  • Bringing the appropriate tournament materials to participate in the tournament.
  • Complying with announced start times and time limits, and being physically present for games.
  • Acting in a respectful way and refraining from unsporting conduct at all times.

  • Maintaining a clear and legal game state, and good communication with other Players.
  • Calling a judge to rule an infraction or to settle a dispute between Players.

Informing Judges or Scorekeepers of any discrepancies in their tournament record.

2.2. Spectator

Any individual is considered a Spectator for any match they are not participating in, with the exception of individuals who are judges. A Spectator is responsible for:

  • Remaining silent and passive towards players, to ensure they do not influence the outcome of any match in progress
  • Discreetly alerting a Judge if they have observed a game action or otherwise that is in violation of our rules or policy
2.3. Tournament Organizer

A Tournament Organizer is the designated individual who is responsible for organizing and maintaining the logistics of a tournament. A Tournament Organizer is responsible for:

  • Ensuring the tournament details are advertised well in advance of the tournament date.
  • Providing a venue that adequately supports the tournament and the players.
  • Providing all materials necessary for tournament operations and logistics.
  • Organizing appropriate staff for the tournament to ensure a smooth and efficient operation.
  • Dealing with infractions in player conduct.
  • Organizing the distribution of tournament prizes to players
  • Reporting the tournament results to Reality Game Arts, UAB.

The role of tournament organizer (TO) needs to be designated before each event, at the latest before the start of the tournament.

2.4. Head Judge

A Head Judge is an individual who oversees the general operation of the tournament. In addition to Judge responsibilities (see Section 2.5 - Floor Judge), a Head Judge is responsible for:

  • Using sound judgment to enforce (or modify when necessary) the rules and policy of the game to uphold the integrity of the tournament.
  • Making the final ruling decision in the event a player appeals the ruling of a Judge.
  • Assigning Judges tasks and ensuring they have adequate knowledge to carry out the tasks assigned to them.
  • Providing feedback to Judges to support their rules, policy, and personal development.
  • Final authority on the official properties of a card and interpretation of its rules text.
  • Establishing the threshold for misprinted, damaged, altered, or marked cards; sleeves; game-layout; electronic device use; and issuing proxies.

The Head Judge may temporarily transfer their responsibilities to any judge if the Head Judge is unable to perform them. In exceptional circumstances where the tournament’s integrity would otherwise be damaged, the Tournament Organizer may fill the role of the Head Judge.

Large tournaments may have multiple individuals in the role of Head Judge simultaneously. In this case, one individual serves as the official Head Judge, and the rest serve as Appeals Judges. An Appeals Judge shares the same responsibilities and has the same level of authority as a Head Judge, but is directed by the Head Judge.

2.5. Floor Judge

A Floor Judge is an individual who is tasked with assisting the Head Judge with the general operation of the tournament. A Floor Judge is responsible for:

  • Attending judge calls.
  • Answering Player and Spectator questions.
  • Providing assisted information to Players.
  • Settling disputes between Players.
  • Assisting with reasonable requests.
  • Issuing rulings and applying appropriate procedures and penalties.
  • Pausing and investigating games when an infraction is observed.

2.6. Scorekeeper

A Scorekeeper is an individual who collects and processes the information of the tournament to generate the pairings, standings, and other records throughout the tournament. A scorekeeper is responsible for:

  • Generating the correct pairings for each round.
  • Inputting the results of each round into GEM.
  • Generate standings, typically before and after the final rounds.
  • Resolving any incorrect tournament information in consultation with the Head Judge.
  • Ensuring the tournament information entered in GEM is legitimate, true, and correct before submission.

2.7. Coverage Member

A Coverage Member is an individual who is doing media coverage for the event. A coverage member is responsible for:

  • Reporting appropriate tournament information in a way that ensures Players are not able to gain a strategic advantage.
  • Coordinating with tournament officials to organize feature matches.
  • Directing the match timing and game-layout for Players in feature matches.

3. Tournament Logistics

3.1. Round Structure

Tournaments are separated into rounds. A round in a tournament typically consists of a match between pairs of three Players, with three matches being played in the Preliminary rounds. Typically 2 points are awarded to the victor, 1 to the second place and 0 for third. Quarterfinals, Semifinals and Finals consist of Elimination rounds, based on the Players’ points accumulated in the Preliminary rounds. In case of a tie, the tied Players’ scores during matches where they played each other are compared. 

Elimination rounds are rounds of a knockout-style tournament, where Players are eliminated from the tournament if they lose a match (single elimination) and do not participate in subsequent rounds.

For timed rounds (see Section 3.2 - Timed Rounds), the Players play games until a Player has won a specified number of games or the time in the round expires. For untimed rounds, the Players play games until a Player has won a specified number of games. At the end of a match, if a result has not yet been determined, the Players complete the end-of-match procedure to determine the match result (see Section 3.4 - End-of-Match Procedure).

Generally, only 1 game is required to win a match, unless otherwise announced by the Tournament Organizer prior to the start of the tournament.

3.2. Timed Rounds

Timed rounds ensure that the tournament proceeds at a reasonable pace and gives Players a good idea of when to be ready to find their pairings for the next round.

The timer for a round should begin when the vast majority of Players are seated or have been given a fair opportunity to be seated. Players may perform the first game’s start-of-game procedure before the round timer starts, but they must wait to begin the first turn of the first game until after the round timer starts.

The match timer is fixed but a Judge may add additional time at their own discretion if there were multiple disruptions in order for the Players affected to finish the match. 

3.3. Start-of-Match Procedure

Each player randomly draws a card during a game. The last digit of the card number within the set should be remembered. It is the player with the highest number who goes first. For example, someone drew The Caravan (131/CL) from the Spellfire classic booster. It is 131 of 999. "1", the last digit, is the number that determines who goes first. If there is a tie, these players should draw again.

Next, each player shuffles their deck before placing it face down. All players are dealt their draw pile and never draw cards from each other.

After players have drawn five cards, they form their starting hand. With each turn, players draw three cards. The game is played clockwise around the table. Remember that no matter how many rule cards, magic items, or artifacts may indicate differently, each player draws three cards on their first turn. It is an absolute rule.

3.4. End-of-Match Procedure

It is possible to end a Spellfire game in three different ways. The player, who has three-to-six realms in play (depending on Format), none of them are razed and one full turn (after all other Players had a chance to perform their turn), wins the game. Turns by cards such as Caravan (and similar) are not counted.

Another way a game can end is when one of the players runs out of cards or the match timer ends. They have the opportunity to finish their turn, but the game ends when they rap (knocks to signal the end of his turn). When this happens, the player with the most unrazed realms wins.

To break a tie between two or more players with equal numbers of unrazed realms, count the number of razed realms. In the event of further ties, count the holdings. If there is still no winner, champions in the pool are counted. The player with fewer champions wins. If the game remains tied, the levels of the champions are considered (counting the first number if there are two in the icon). The winner is the player with fewer levels among the champions. If the game is still tied, the remaining cards in the draw pile are counted. The winner is the player with more cards in the pile.

In the 25-card game, there is one important additional rule when determining the winning player. Initially, the player with the most unrazed realms wins. However, in the event of a time limit or depletion of cards in the draw pile, and if multiple players have three unrazed realms, the winner is determined by the player who placed the three realms first.

3.5. Intentional Draws and Concessions

Players may intentionally draw games and/or matches by mutual agreement at any time, except for elimination rounds. Matches in elimination rounds can not be intentionally drawn, and games in elimination rounds can only be drawn when there is a stalemate or deadlock.

When a Player concedes a game/match, the result is processed as a game/match loss for the conceding player. A judge should be called when a Player wants to concede. Players may concede games and/or matches at any time, except for timed rounds. For timed rounds, Players may concede any time up to and including when time expires in the round, but once a Player takes an in-game action after this point, that player may no longer concede the match and must play the game to its natural conclusion. If a Player wants to concede after time is called, the player should be dropped from the tournament if there is not a genuine reason why they need to stop playing the current match. Examples of genuine reasons include but are not limited to:

There is a personal emergency that requires the attention of the player.

  • A player feels physically unwell.
  • A player is uncomfortable playing against the opponent.
  • A player spills a cup of coffee over themselves and their belongings and they want to concede in order to clean themselves up.

If a Player refuses to play a game and/or match, that Player is considered to be conceding the game and/or match. If all Players refuse to play a game or match, the match result is a loss for all Players. 

Players may ask for a concession from their opponent before presenting their deck during the first start-of-game procedure (see Section 3.3. - Start-of-Match Procedure). Players may not ask for a concession after they have presented their deck. Implicitly suggesting or pressuring a Player to concede may be considered to be asking for a concession. 

Players may not concede in exchange for any kind of compensation (see Section 6.4. - Bribery).


  • Two players do not want to play a game against each other, but do not want the result to affect their personal ranking. They agree to a draw for the match and submit that result.
  • It is the last round for the tournament and two friends are paired. One Player has enough match wins to make the top 8, so their friend asks them to concede the match before presenting their deck so that the friend has better tie-breaker odds.
  • Time is called in the round and one Player is in a clearly advantageous position, but can not win in the next two rounds. The Player does not ask for a concession, but their opponent decides to concede before taking any actions anyway because they want their opponent to have a win, based on the game state.
  • Time is called in the round, the Players have already completed the additional turn in the end-of-match procedure, and neither Player has won the game. Because neither Player decided to concede between the time being called and taking an action, neither Player may concede the game and it must be declared a draw. 

3.6. Dropping from a Tournament

A Player may drop from a tournament at any time. To drop from the tournament the Player must inform the Scorekeeper. Dropped Players may only be re-entered into a tournament at the discretion of the Head Judge.

Players who do not show up to their match are considered to have conceded the match and should be dropped from the tournament unless they inform the Scorekeeper before the next round pairings are generated.

If a Player drops from a tournament before the first pairings have been generated, they are considered not to have participated in the tournament and will not be listed in the final standings. If a Player drops after pairings for a round have been generated, they are considered to have conceded that round’s match before being dropped.

If a Player drops from a tournament early, they may not be eligible for participation prizes at the discretion of the Tournament Organizer. If a Player drops from the tournament after it is announced that they are in the top cut, there will not be a replacement for them in the top cut.

Players may not drop from a tournament in exchange for any kind of compensation (see Section 6.4. - Bribery).

3.7. Card-Pool Registration

Card-pool registration (referred to as a decklist) is a recorded list of all the cards that a Player may use or intends to use. Decklists are required from Players for all competitive and professional REL tournaments. While not required, the Tournament Organizer may require decklists for Casual tournaments. 

Decklists that are illegal, illegible, or not properly formatted may be rejected. Once a decklist has been accepted, the Player may not alter it. Players are responsible for submitting all decklists required before the beginning of the first round or at another time specified by the Tournament Organizer. Players that submit their decklists after this time may receive penalties. 

It is recommended that decklists are kept private to the Player and tournament officials for the duration of the tournament, with the exception of using it for coverage and providing it to Players in the play-offs at professional REL. If there are any changes to this, the Tournament Organizer should make it clear before the tournament begins.

3.8. Deck-Checks

A deck-check is a procedure to verify a Player’s cards against their accepted decklist (see Section 3.7 - Card-Pool Registration). For a regular deck-check, the Player’s cards are collected when a Player has presented their deck for a game (before they have drawn their opening hand), and are returned without the guarantee that they are in the same order. Regular deck-checks should ensure that the cards are not considered marked (see Section 5.6. - Marked cards) and that the player has presented cards legally (see Section 3.3 - Start-of-Match Procedure). Checked decks are sealed (rubber bands, deck boxes, foil or similar) and cannot be unsealed before the start of the match.

The Head Judge reserves the right to perform a (non-regular) deck-check for any Player, including when they are in the middle of a game or between rounds. If a deck-check is performed in the middle of a game, it must be returned to reinstate the game exactly before the deck-check was performed. If a deck-check is performed between rounds the Head Judge should keep in mind that it is not presented as though the Player was about to play the game with it; marked cards and presentation errors are typically not applicable. 

3.9. Judge Calls and Appeals

A Player may call a Judge at any time during their match. The recommended way to call a Judge involves pausing the game, raising a hand, calling out “Judge!”, and waiting for a Judge to attend the call. Tournament officials may pause a game and call a Judge on behalf of the Players. At a competitive and professional REL Spectators may not call a Judge, but may discreetly bring a game to the attention of a Judge if necessary. Judges should attend judge calls guided by the official Comprehensive Rules, Procedure and Penalty Guide, and Tournament Rules and Policy.

During a match, a Player should immediately call a judge when:

  • Any Player commits a minor infraction that can not be resolved between the players in a timely manner.
  • Any Player commits an infraction that requires a corrective procedure or might create a significant advantage/disadvantage for one of the Players.
  • There is a dispute between Players that can not be resolved in a timely manner.
  • There is an issue or emergency that requires a tournament official.
  • The Player needs to leave the table for any reason.
  • The Player otherwise needs the immediate oversight of a Judge.

A Player may also call a Judge when they want assisted information. During a judge call, Players must answer all questions completely and honestly and may request to do so away from the match.

For tournaments where there are both Head Judges and Floor Judges, it is preferable that a Floor Judge is the first responder to a judge call. If a Floor Judge is not available to respond to a judge's call in a reasonable amount of time, a Head Judge should be the first responder to the call.

Players may not request a specific Judge to attend their judge call or request a different Judge other than the first attending Judge. If there is an issue with language barriers, Players may request a translator to aid in the judge call, which should be honored if logistically possible.

After the attending judge has made a ruling, but before the procedure or penalty has been applied, either Player may appeal the Judge’s ruling. When a ruling is appealed, a Head Judge attends the judge's call to make the final ruling. When a Head Judge is the first responder, the player may still request an appeal, in which case the Head Judge should consult with another Judge before affirming or modifying their ruling.

3.10. Accessibility

The Tournament Organizer is responsible for making a reasonable effort to provide an accessible environment for Players to participate in the tournament.

Players may request help from tournament officials in regard to accessibility. Exceptions to specific tournament rules may be made on a case-by-case basis to make the tournament more accessible to individual Players, provided the exceptions do not give a strategic advantage to the Player. All exceptions must first be approved by the Head Judge.


  • Assigning a caretaker, friend, or legal guardian to aid a Player with certain tasks like drafting or shuffling when the Player is physically disabled. 
  • Assigning a specific play-table for a Player with a physical disability that prevents them from reaching their seat each round.
  • Allowing a player to use written phrases made before or during the event, to communicate common aspects of gameplay to their opponent. 
  • Allowing the use of electronic devices to facilitate translation during a judge call if no translator personnel are available.

3.11. Coverage

Reality Game Arts, UAB reserves the right to publish any official tournament information at any time, including during the tournament. The Tournament Organizer may also publish this information after the tournament is complete. By participating in a tournament, players consent to their tournament information being used for coverage purposes. This information includes, but is not limited to, the Players’ names, decklists, and results.

Tournaments may have live media coverage, including video coverage of matches by live streaming or replay broadcast (feature matches). During feature matches, coverage may direct the gameplay logistics and the use of tournament materials to improve the quality of the content being recorded and prevent players from gaining a strategic advantage. This includes, but is not limited to, using additional markers to visually represent information for the cameras, having the Players wear noise-canceling headphones, and prohibiting the use of material that features non-Reality Game Arts, UAB IP.

The Head Judge may authorize the use of video replays from official media coverage to assist in making rulings during a match. Video replays may also be used for the purpose of investigations after a match has been completed.

At casual and competitive REL, players may decline to be featured during rounds without penalty. At professional REL, or during play-off rounds at casual and competitive REL, if a player declines to be featured, they receive a match loss for the round.

Spectators are permitted to record matches provided that they do so unobtrusively. If a Player or Spectator wants to use an obtrusive method to record a match, they must request the permission of the Tournament Organizer and the Players of the match. 

4. Tournament Materials

4.1. Player Materials

Players are responsible for bringing their own materials required to play the event:

  • Physical, visible, and reliable items to record and maintain game information (pen and paper, counters, markers, etc.)
  • Materials required for the specific formats and REL of the tournament (assembled decks, decklists, sleeves, etc.)

For formats where Players are provided cards to play with, a Player is expected to care for those materials once they possess them. Players are responsible for looking after their own belongings at all times.

During a match at competitive and professional REL, Players are expected to keep their registered card in their card-pool clearly distinguishable from the other card-like objects. If there are cards stored with their card-pool that could conceivably be in the Player’s registered card-pool due to proximity, they are considered part of the cardpool unless they are cards that are promotional cards given out at an event.

These cards must not be sleeved in a way that they could be confused with actual cards in the registered cardpool. Created cards may be sleeved like registered cards, and may be stored with the Player’s registered card-pool.

4.2. Cards

A card is a physical object that represents itself in the game of SPELLFIRE. Players may use any official card in a tournament. A card is an official SPELLFIRE card if it:

  • Is genuine and published by Reality Game Arts, UAB.
  • Has a standard SPELLFIRE back-face, has a full-art back-face.
  • Has a QR code providing more information about the card.

Artist proofs are not official cards. 

Cards may only be included in a Player’s registered card-pool if they are legal in the format being played. Players are responsible for ensuring their cards are legal for the tournament. If they are unsure, they should ask the Head Judge. Card legality is defined and managed through the Card Legality Policy.

The properties of a card are defined by the latest printing of the card, subject to any errata published by Reality Game Arts, UAB.

4.2.1. Reprinted cards

A reprinted card (reprint) is a card for which a version has already been printed in a previous product. Reprints may feature new art, border, rarity, and even updated properties such as card text. Reprints are legal to play as soon as they are available.

4.2.2. Non-English cards

A non-English card is a card that is printed with text translated into a language other than English. A Player may use an otherwise-legal non-English card provided it is clear what card it represents and the Player is not using it to create an advantage, such as by having misleading text or pictures.

4.2.3. Misprinted cards

A misprinted card is a card that, through a design or printing error, does not accurately represent its intended form. A Player may use an otherwise-legal misprinted card provided it is clear what card it represents and the Player is not using it to create an advantage, such as by having misleading text or pictures. If it’s clear what the misprinted card is, but certain printed information on the card is missing or objectively incorrect (such as color, power, defense etc.), the Player is required to have the correct information available that their opponent can refer to and point it out when the misprinted card becomes visible to the opponent.

4.2.4. Damaged cards 

A damaged card is a card that has received physical treatment that ruins its aesthetic quality and/or functionality as a game piece. A Player may use an otherwise-legal damaged card provided that the damage was due to wear and tear or is otherwise accidental, and the damage does not cause the card to be unrecognizable, or give strategic assistance. Intentionally damaged cards, such as cards that have been cut, ripped, or shredded and reconstructed, are not legal. This does not apply to cards that have been intentionally altered, especially for artistic purposes. If a Player opened a damaged card from a limited product, or their card was damaged by an opponent or tournament official, the Player may be issued a proxy.

4.2.5. Altered cards

An altered card is a card that has been intentionally physically altered, especially for artistic purposes. Alterations include, but are not limited to, painting, foiling, collages, printed inner-sleeves, and anything that intentionally alters the visuals of the card. A Player may use an otherwise-legal altered card provided that any modifications do not cause the card to be unrecognizable, contain offensive material, or give strategic assistance. For the avoidance of doubt, altered cards must originally be official Flesh and Blood cards (not proxies); any artistic modification must not cover or obscure the name, pitch, color bar, or cost of the card; and at least one side of the card must remain unmodified to allow tournament officials to validate its authenticity.

At professional REL the primary subject(s) of the artwork must not be altered beyond recognition, including drastic changes to the silhouette, color scheme, and focus of the primary subject(s) in the artwork. The Head Judge decides what is an acceptable alter for the tournament.

4.3. Sleeves

A sleeve is a thin flexible card-shaped pocket that protects a card during play. If a Player chooses to use card sleeves, all deck-cards used during a game must be sleeved in an identical manner. At professional REL, the Head Judge may require all players to use sleeves for their deck-cards. Arena-cards do not have to be sleeved identically and may be sleeved or placed in heavy plastic cases, so long as they do not obstruct the game-space. Double-faced cards in a Player’s deck must be sleeved in completely opaque sleeves. At Competitive and Professional REL, sleeves with highly reflective or holographic patterns are not permitted. The Head Judge has the final say on whether any type of sleeve is not allowed to be used in the tournament. Players are responsible for ensuring that their sleeves do not cause their cards to be marked during a tournament (see Section 5.6. - Marked cards). A Judge may disallow the use of particular card sleeves if they believe that the sleeves are in a condition or of a design that interferes with shuffling or game play. A Judge may choose to delay having the Player change sleeves until the end of a match.

4.4. Inventory

A Player’s inventory is a group of cards that is a subset of the Player’s registered card-pool but is not being used in the current game. During the start-of-game procedure for each game (see Section 3.3. - Start-of-Match Procedure), each Player selects what cards from their card-pool they will start the game with and any remaining cards become their inventory for the game.

During a game, Players may look at their own inventory but not their opponent’s inventory. The inventory must be kept completely separate from other cards in the game. Other card-like objects should also be kept separate from the inventory during the game (see Section 4.1. - Player Materials).

4.5. Electronic Devices

An electronic device is a personal machine capable of recording or presenting strategic notes, communicating with other people, or accessing the internet (or a similar network). In general, Players may use electronic devices during a match as long as it is not used to gain strategic advice (see Section 5.2. - Note-Taking and Section 5.3. - Outside Assistance). During a match, Electronic devices may be used during the start-of-game-procedure for strategic notes, but not for communication. 

The use of an electronic device during a match must be visible to all Players. If a Player wants to use a device privately, they must request permission from a Judge.

Physical records should be preferred over electronic records when resolving discrepancies in a game (e.g. power totals).

At competitive and professional REL, devices may not be used at all during a draft.

At professional REL, Players may not use any electronic devices during a game.

Additional restrictions or exceptions to the use of electronic devices are enforced at the discretion of the Head Judge.

4.6. Infringing and Offensive Material

Individuals may not possess material that infringes the intellectual property rights of Reality Game Arts, UAB, or non-Reality Game Arts, UAB material that is offensive, disruptive, or affects the enjoyment of others. If an individual is seen in the possession of such materials, the Tournament Organizer should request that the individual remove the material, or be disqualified (or for non-Players, leave the venue). 


  • Unofficial play-mats with unauthorized use of artwork or logos owned by Reality Game Arts, UAB. 
  • 3rd-party merchandise with unauthorized use of artwork or logos owned by Reality Game Arts, UAB.
  • Counterfeit cards, designed specifically to mimic genuine SPELLFIRE cards.
  • Custom card sleeves or play-mats with overly sexualized characters.
  • Materials that are racist, homophobic, transphobic, sexist, ableist, or otherwise hateful.

5. Gameplay Logistics

5.1. Slow Play 

Players are expected to play games at a reasonable pace, to ensure that the match finishes within the round time limit and that the tournament can proceed on schedule.

Players are encouraged to remind their opponent about playing at a reasonable pace when the opponent is taking an unreasonably long time to make a decision that progresses the game state.

Players may call a Judge to moderate the pace of play, which should be honored if logistically possible.

If a Player exceeds the time limit for the start-of-game procedure (see Section 3.3. - Start-of-Match Procedure), they have committed slow play and should be issued the appropriate penalty. Intentionally playing slowly is considered Stalling (see Section 6.6. - Stalling).

5.2. Note-Taking

Note-taking is a broad term that refers to the use of aids to record information relating to the game. In general, Players may not take notes during games.

Players may take notes between games and Spectators may take notes at any time, but spectators’ notes may not be referred to during a game (see Section 5.3. - Outside Assistance). 

Any acceptable form of note-taking must be clear, accurate, and available to all Players and judges. Acceptable note-taking during a game includes, but is not limited to, the following:


  • Recording meta-game information such as the opponent’s name and hero, who went first, and the winner of the game.
  • Using a marker to represent the current turn-player, phase of the turn, or step of combat.
  • Recording the power total, changes to the power total, and the source of the change (i.e. the source of the damage or effect).
  • Turning permanents sideways or placing markers on them, to represent the use of activated abilities or triggered effects for the turn.
  • Recording the order of cards that you or your opponent played.
  • Recording opponent’s cards that are revealed from effects.
  • Intentionally ordering your discard or voided cards to determine what is in your deck (except cards that are relevant to the game state).
  • Calculating numbers or future game-states by writing them down.

5.3. Outside Assistance

During a match, draft, or when otherwise directed by the Tournament Organizer or Head Judge, Players may not seek advice from a Spectator or refer to personal notes made before or during the event, and Spectators may not give play advice to a Player. However, Players may take and refer to personal notes during the start-of-game procedure before each game. Electronic devices may also be used during the start-of-game procedure, as long as they are not used to gain or seek advice from a Spectator.

Players may be assisted by Spectators, notes, or electronic devices in order to make the tournament accessible for them (see Section 3.10. - Accessibility).

At competitive and professional REL, Players and Spectators are expected to remain silent during a draft.

5.4. Card Identification and Interpretation

A player may identify a card by name (or name and pitch), or they may provide a description or partial name that could only reasonably apply to one card (or card cycle in some cases). If a Player or Judge thinks the description or partial name is ambiguous, they must request further clarification before they assist with providing card information.

The official text for any card is the English text of the latest printing of that card, subject to any errata published. Players have the right to request the official text, which should be honored if logistically possible. Players may not use errors in the official card text to abuse the rules. The Head Judge is the final authority for card interpretations and may overrule official card text if an error is discovered.

5.5. Card Shuffling

Shuffling means sufficiently randomizing a set of cards so that it is in a state where no Player has any information regarding the order of the cards in the set.

Players’ decks must be shuffled at the start of every game and whenever instructed to do so. After a Player has shuffled their deck, they must present it to their opponent. It is recommended that the opponent cuts the present deck, but they may also shuffle it themselves.

If an opponent does not believe the Player has sufficiently shuffled their deck before presenting, the opponent should call a Judge.

There are numerous ways to shuffle a deck. It is recommended that players use multiple riffle and overhand shuffles, followed by a cut, to get a sufficiently randomized deck. Pile counting and other deterministic forms of shuffling are not acceptable methods alone to shuffle a deck. Players are expected to be able to shuffle their deck sufficiently and in an efficient manner.

If a Player had the opportunity to see the faces of any of the cards being shuffled, the deck is not considered randomized and must be shuffled again.

5.6. Marked cards

A card, or set of cards, is considered marked if it is distinguishable from other cards without being able to see the front of the cards. Players are responsible for ensuring that all of their deck-cards are not marked during a tournament. Players may alert a judge if they suspect their opponent’s cards are marked in a way that would give that player an advantage.

If the cards are sleeved, this distinction is based on whether the cards are distinguishable while they are in those sleeves. It is recommended that players exercise care when sleeving cards, and that they shuffle the sleeves or cards prior to sleeving to reduce the likelihood of creating a pattern. Players should be mindful that sleeves may require replacement throughout a tournament as they become worn from use.

The Head Judge determines which, if any, cards are marked. If an issue has been found, Judges may request that a Player sleeve/resleeve their deck immediately or before the beginning of the next round. 


  • A player has reversed the orientation of one or more cards in their deck.
  • A player has a deck of otherwise flat non-foil cards, but one is significantly curled making it a marked card.
  • A player has a deck of otherwise slightly curled foil cards, but one is completely flat making it a marked card.
  • A player has an unsleeved deck and one of the cards is slightly bent.
  • A player has used the same type of sleeves, but from two packs: one with a lighter hue.
  • A player has sleeves where some of the corners are folded over from wear and tear from shuffling.
  • A player has sleeves with art on the back and some of the sleeves have art that is misprinted or misaligned.

6. Behavior and Conduct

6.1. Sporting Conduct

Players are expected to behave in a respectful manner to anyone in the tournament area. While Players are not required to show sporting behavior, they should not behave in an unsporting manner.

Generally, unsporting conduct includes displays of negative, offensive, or disruptive behavior that affects the safety or enjoyment of others, and/or negatively affects the integrity or organization of the event. The Head Judge determines what constitutes unsporting conduct.


  • A Player uses offensive language around others.
  • A Player shoves others while moving through crowds.
  • A player takes photos of another person with malicious intent.
  • A Player ignores the instruction of a Judge (a player may appeal a ruling before following the instruction).
  • A player refuses to follow the instruction of the Tournament Organizer or Head Judge.

6.2. Cheating

Players are expected to abide by the rules of the game and tournament and cooperate with tournament officials to the best of their knowledge and ability. Cheating is when a player intentionally breaks these rules, ignores someone breaking these rules, or lies to a tournament official, in order to gain an advantage in the tournament.

6.3. Aggressive and Disruptive Behaviour

Everyone should feel safe in a tournament environment.

Aggressive behavior involves physical harm or the threat of physical harm that compromises the safety of individuals at the tournament. There is no tolerance for physical abuse or intimidation at any event. Items and/or weapons that are offensive or dangerous to the safety of other individuals are strictly prohibited from all SPELLFIRE events.

Individuals who disrupt the running of the tournament, create an unwelcoming or unpleasant atmosphere, who abuse, insult, harass, or negatively impact another individual’s tournament experience, may be asked to leave the venue by the Tournament Organizer. In addition, individuals may not be under the influence of alcohol or recreational drugs.

Individuals who attend a SPELLFIRE event are expected to have an acceptable level of hygiene. If a person does not meet the basic requirements of acceptable hygiene, they may be asked to resolve the issue or leave the venue.

6.4. Bribery

Players may not offer or accept a reward or other incentive in exchange for determining the result of a game or match, for dropping from the tournament, or for influencing an in-game decision.

Players may offer and accept a prize split with their opponent provided it does not influence the result of the game or match. A prize split does not have to be equal in value. Prize splits are facilitated by the Players themselves and tournament officials are not required to ensure that the prize split occurs.


  • Offering to concede in exchange for a concession in the future is considered bribery.
  • Offering money in exchange for a match win is considered bribery.
  • Offering favors to a player or official to induce an action they otherwise would not do is considered bribery.

6.5. Wagering

Individuals may not wager, ante, or bet on any portion or result of a game, match, or tournament.


  • Players of a match agree that the loser has to pay for dinner.
  • Two players agree to bet 20 on which of them will end up ranked higher in the final standings.
  • A group of players start a betting pool on who will win the top 8 of a tournament.

6.6. Stalling

Players must not intentionally play at a pace that avoids completing a game before the round time expires, or disrupts tournament organization.


  • A Player intentionally takes as long as possible to make decisions near the end of the round, so that they get a draw instead of a loss for the match.
  • A Player continuously makes judge calls to get as many and as large time extensions as possible and delay the start of the next tournament round.

6.7. Buying, Selling, and Trading Cards

Individuals are expected to follow the floor rules regarding buying, selling, and trading products and services.

If the event is held in a local game store, the store sets the rules regarding buy, sell, or trade activity. If the event is held in a public venue, the Tournament Organizer sets the rules regarding buy, sell, or trade activity.

At events run by Reality Game Arts, UAB, or Reality Game Arts, UAB partners, individuals may buy, sell, and trade SPELLFIRE single cards in the venue, unless otherwise stated in the event information published by Reality Game Arts, UAB. Buying and/or selling goods or services other than SPELLFIRE single cards at the event venue without permission from a Reality Game Arts, UAB is strictly prohibited. Individuals caught buying or selling goods this way may be asked to leave the venue and/or subject to further penalties.