It seems clear to me that if you use counterfeit nonbasic/nonland cards in an official tournament you're likely to get disqualified or even banned.

But what happens if somebody would play counterfeit basic land cards in his/her deck (assuming the weight and dimensions of the counterfeit card are equal to a official MTG card)?

On the one hand i think it would make no sense to sanction a player for doing so since basic lands have practically no monetary value. On the other hand it's probably in the interest of WOTC to only allow original cards in a tournament.

So basically my question boils down to this:

What would happen if a judge noticed a player using counterfeit basic land cards which are identical in weight and dimension to a original land card while even using sleeves in an official tournament?

  • 3
    Why would anyone use counterfeit basics in the first place? If you want a certain artwork, you can always just modify the art to your liking, which is perfectly legal. I just need a better feel for this frankly strange question
    – Hackworth
    Jun 25, 2020 at 8:59
  • It's more of a theoretical question. I know it doesn't make much sense but nevertheless it's possible. I'd just like to know what the rulings are.
    – bautista
    Jun 25, 2020 at 9:18

1 Answer 1


The tournament rules only allow official WotC product and make no distinction between basic lands and others. What would actually happen in a sanctioned event is ultimately the decision of the head judge, as there is no explicit penalty for using counterfeit cards that are indistinguishable from real cards.

From the MtG tournament rules, section 3.3 "Authorized Cards" and 3.4 "Proxy Cards", it is clear that only official, genuine cards are allowed in a tournament. A player can alter the card to a degree, as long as the card remains unmarked and essential information remains legible. When a card becomes marked/illegible during a tournament, the head judge may issue a proxy card.

However, the Infraction Procedure Guide only lists the penalty for using marked cards, the consequences for which range all the way from a simple correction to game loss, depending on the circumstances. There is no explicit penalty for using counterfeit cards that would be indistinguishable from the real cards, i.e. when they could not be considered marked.

Since using counterfeit cards is not allowed by the tournament rules, but the IPG does not cover that specific case, the head judge would have to decide on the penalty, depending on the circumstances, so a general answer cannot be given based on the official rules alone.

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