|Urza's Destiny Prerelease - Eugene, OR
Saturday dawned bright and early as I am on site by 7:00 AM.
I wander into the tournament area with my thermos of coffee and what do I
see? The setup is completely wrong! Once again, the banquet staff have managed
to mess up my requested layout. The turn over in those positions is horrendous.
I don't think I have dealt with the same person twice. Fortunately, one of
the banquet guys came in early and between the two of us, we manage to re-work
the setup enough so that it will work for the event.
With the layout dealt with, the rest of my staff starts to trickle
and we get the venue ready to go in time for 8:00 AM registration. Registration
proceeds smoothly until the 9:30 AM cutoff at which time we post a master
player list from DCI Reporter so that the players can verify their names and
DCI numbers. After a few tweaks and entering some latecomers, we run a pairing
in order to seat people for announcements and hand out the initial materials
to 154 brave souls.
The way I handle deck registration for the expansion pre-releases
is a little different. I have the players register the tournament packs first
and then swap and re-seat. Then we hand out the Destiny boosters and those
are the cards they use to build decks. This way we can catch people sneaking
in Saga product but we don't disappoint people when they bust open a nice
foil and would normally have to lose it.
Announcements, registration, and build proceed smoothly. No
matter how many times you explain how to use the check lists you always get
a dozen or so players that mark the wrong columns or come up to turn in their
deck lists and forget to mark down their starting deck. Round 1 starts at
11:20 pretty much on-time for a 10:00 AM pre-release.
Destiny has some interesting game mechanics, but we manage to
work through all of the rules implications without too much trouble. One of
the most common rulings I was asked was whether or not the Moa can put counters
on itself. (Yes it, can.) Another common point of confusion were the creatures
that read "...comes into play or goes to the graveyard do <foo>...".
I had lots of people think this was some sort of modal choice that you had
to make when you cast the creature. We also had lots of people asking questions
about what order all of the various CIP and entering graveyard abilities resolve.
They were pretty straight forward to resolve, but most of the casual players
were not able to work through the timing implications by themselves.
After six rounds of Swiss, the main event finishes up around
6:30. Prizes were then awarded based on match record only. Undefeated players
scooped up a box for their trouble.
Side events continued throughout the evening and consisted of
lots of sealed, draft, and even a few standard. I run all of my side events
8-person, single elimination and have been doing so for a couple of years.
That way you can use the nifty 8-player form that comes standard in the Organizer
notebook these days. I first got the idea after attending PTLA #2 and noticed
how WOTC ran their evening side events. I absconded a copy of the form they
were using at the time and have been running my side events the same way ever
Here is another tip: computerized score keeping is the only
way to go. I have been using some sort of computerized tournament software
for the last 3 years, and I cannot imagine my life as a TO without it. The
latest version of DCI Reporter has lots of functionality and works well. I
know pretty much all of the large TO's are already using tournament software,
but I'm sure some of the smaller organizers are not. Many judges are also
organizers, so if you or the TO you work with are not using DCI Reporter,
start using it as soon as possible. It is hands-down the best process improvement
you can apply that will increase the quality of your events. Period.
Overall, another great pre-release with nothing but positive
comments from the players. We were able to finish up all of the side events,
clean up, and get seated at the pizza parlor by 11:00 PM for a well deserved
dinner and refreshments. Many thanks to Bryon, Jeff, Aaron, Ian, Chris, and
all of the volunteers that helped out.