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Urza's Block Sealed Deck - Fairbanks, AK

April 3, 1999 - 25 players

James Ruppert

I was the Tournament organizer and the only judge for this event. The local comic shop provided the product and I ran it. We were surprised by the turnout since we had expected only about 16. The registration and deck construction went smoothly. The only hitch was that one of the boxes of Urza's Saga starter decks contained preconstructed decks. Fortunately the person who got the bye didn't mind driving over to the comic shop and picking up a starter. He was back before the second round began.

This was a friendly local tournament in a community where cheating has never been a problem. I did not require deck registration, but I did announce I would check the deck of the top 8 for any irregularities. I did that more to discourage cheating than with the idea I would be able to identify any clear irregularities. I suppose that if someone came up with two Crater Hellions I might decide he had slipped one in, but barring that, I am sure it would have been hard for me to know if someone had slipped in a card.

One interesting ruling related to the interaction of Contamination and Fertile Ground. The question was, of course, when Contamination was in play did the land that Fertile Ground enchants produce only black mana. I ruled that Fertile Ground created a triggered effect that produced the one mana of any color so it was not affected by Contamination. Was I right?

Lifeline continues to plague judges as I had to go over the end of phase steps any number of times. It is hard to keep up with this card. Even on the judges list there are continual questions. I guess I am never completely sure about my ruling on this.

Another question involved Soul Sculptor. Player A declared an attack with one creature. Player B said "In response I turn your creature into an enchantment." Some discussion ensued about the timing of all this, but I ruled that this created an illegal attack situation which nullified the attack and kicking the active player back into his main phase.

The tournament winner was playing a green and black and the second place player was playing red and green. Both had a splash of artifacts. It was a smooth and enjoyable tournament for all.

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