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Chinese Nationals

The Mad Hatter

Hello! This is The Mad Hatter with my first Judge Report. It's about another first- The First Chinese Nationals.

Now in China, things are done quite a bit differently. First of all, they are still playing 5th edition rules. Everywhere else in the world is in 6th edition (Classic), except China. (As a result, I have not learned 6th edition in detail as I am still judging and playing in 5th edition. I'm coming home soon, and, when I do I get to have a crash course in 6th via lots of playing and studying.) :)

Secondly, China only has two sets, 5th Edition and Urza's Saga. No Tempest, no Weatherlight, no Exodus, no Urza's Legacy and no Urza's Destiny. This makes for quite a different play enviornement and deck enviornement.

Thirdly, in everywhere else in the world, the English version of the card is what you play by. Also, you can play with any language(s) on your cards. In China, you can only play with the Simplified Chinese cards. English or any other language is not allowed at the tournament level. Also, because of this, they go by only the Chinese wording, and not the English one. This can make a big difference as translations (and mistranslations) can make things very different and strange. For example, both the Stone Giant and Wind Spirit were translated as Goblins! Hence, the Goblin Lackey decks are very popular over here as they are overpowered. Curiouser and Curiouser. :)

Fourthly, due to governmental regulations concerning who can and should play Magic, only College Students and High School Students were allowed to compete in the Nationals. I know of at least one good Middle-Aged player who probably would have done well, but could not play.

Finally, due to some mis-communication somewhere, the Nationals here was done as a Single-Elimination event. Also, they didn't do 50 minutes and six turns, but a simple 60 minutes with no extra turns. Hence, it was a very short, simple event.

Unfortunately, due to the fact that Magic in China is still in it's infancy, the fact that only certain people could play (namely college students), and the fact that it was during some of the student's exam time (delayed a few weeks due to certain World Events), the turnout was only about 55 players. With the format being Single-Elimination this was very short and simple.

There were no problems whatsoever. The Chinese are very nice and friendly, as well as a little naive in Magic. One player asked me how the new Control Magic works (I cannot think of the card's name right now to save my life). I told him (through the interpreter) that when you play it on a creature that you gain control of that creature and have to pay the upkeep required. He then put it on his own creature. I watched this, but could say nothing.

The Staff was proffesional and quick, and all went smoothly.

Anyways, pretty quickly, the team was chosen when they had gotten down to four players. They have a lot to learn before Worlds. They have to learn 6th Edition rules, lots of strategy, and about 10 card sets that they will have to play against in the Extended format. They will also have to learn the English wording of the cards (as Stone Giant is not a Goblin!), and, also, the new Oracle 6th Edition wording for the cards that they do know. All of this in a month. I wish them Good Luck!

WOTC Bejing generously brought me up from Wuhan to Bejing by train and put me up in a hotel overnight so that I could help them judge and gunsling. I could not be the Head Judge as I don't know the language, but I guess that they had me around if they needed me. They provided me with an interpreter for the Judging and Gunslining that I did that day. Since they had nine judges for so few players, and since it was single-elimination, they had myself and the other foriegn-type judge gunsling after only the first round. I guess that they decided that we were sort of a treat to play against. It was fun and I had a great time.

Thanks for reading,
The Mad Hatter

P.S. "Summoning Sickness" over here translates (I was told) as Jet Lag! :) :)

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