(September 26, 1999)
This event was an Urza's Block constructed (Urza's Saga, Urza's Destiny,
Urza's Legacy) and was run the day after the Mercadian Masques prerelease.
The turnout for the prerelease the day before was over 200 players and only
44 showed the next day. The number playing in this PTQ totaled 48 and the
enrollment was hampered due to some players wanting to play in the second
day of the prerelease, the fatigue and time factor from the day before, and
possibly financial budget constraints in a single weekend.
The tournament went very smoothly and the ratio of the number of judges per
player was higher than usual due to the prerelease, so the staff was able to
perform more random deck checks. I continued with the idea of checking both
players at the table and also checking them in later rounds whether or not
they have been checked before. All players understood this and one player
even came foward stating he did not register his sideboard, and I informed
him he would have to play without it for the remainder of the tournament.
An interesting event occurred at the beginning of the tournament. A couple
of players approached me asking how I would rule on Confiscate or Treachery
coming into play using Replenish and whether it could be placed upon an
untargetable. Apparently a ruling was made in Memphis, that it could happen
but I had some doubts and hadn't read it anywhere. I recalled that the
rulings regarding Crown of the Ages and Enchantment Alteration had been
reversed, but that was only regarding comes into play abilities of the
enchantments. My scorekeeper had the current Oracle download from 2 days
earlier and we looked at the rulings on those cards. One confusing issue
was the fact that there was no zone change, but I did know that the the
enchantments moved did not retrigger the coming into play effect, but it
wouldn't be the same under Confiscate or Treachery since they are coming
into play via a zone change.
Since I had told the two players my initial ruling and a lot of time was
spent looking up relevant text before the tournament started, I decided to
stick to my original statement even though I had doubts. I made an
announcement to the entire playing field before starting the tournament
stating that Confiscate and Treachery could NOT target an untargetable when
coming into play by Replenish. Only one player voiced an objection and
asked if I read the judge's list. I responded "regularly and tell me how
recently it was and I will find it". His reply was "I don't remember and I
don't care because I'm not playing that deck".
Needless to say throughout the tournament I began searching the DCIJUDGE-L
lists from the web and could not find anything. I really wanted to see the
relevant ruling and it wasn't until the next to last round that my
scorekeeper found the similar ruling regarding a Morphling, and Confiscate
after using the ability of an Academy Rector. This showed that I had made
the wrong ruling knowing that the answer was out there somewhere but it
could not be found in a timely manner, including a search of D'Angelo.
I believe sticking to the ruling for the final round (and also the finals)
was the right choice because it stayed consistent. No players complained
about it and it wasn't even a Morphling deck that won the finals. Part of
being a judge is to take the views of other people seriously and to work
through your own doubts, but you have to make a decision because you are
the head judge. On a rare occassion you might even be wrong, but the
integrity of the game stands when the ruling is consistent throughout the
tournament. It would have been a mistake to reverse the ruling for the last
round even though it was in error.