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QT-Mountain View, CA (PT-LA)

Doug McCarthy

Nov 27, 1999
68 players (7 rounds), REL 3

Judging staff:

  • Peter Costantinidis, Level 3 (HJ)
  • Doug McCarthy (me), Level 2
  • Bao Phac Do, Level 1 pending
  • Conan Blackwell, Level 2

Format: Mercadian Masques sealed with MM booster draft for top 8

This was the second tournament I have judged since the new Penalty Guidelines have gone into effect. The first one was two weeks previous to this. Peter Costantinidis wrote a very good report on that tournament; if you haven't read it, you should.

This report is going to pale in comparison because, frankly, not a whole lot of interesting rules infractions came up. I think people are finally getting the hang of Sixth Edition rules. The one interesting deck-construction mistake came to light during round 1. During the early rounds of a Limited format tournament, Peter typically goes through all the deck lists to check for registration mistakes - no name on the sheet, less than 40 cards registered, things like that. One person didn't mark down any basic land in his Used column. This would fall under Illegal Main Decklist, which is a DQ at this rules enforcement level. But this wasn't a typical Illegal Decklist - it was an obvious oversight and not a possible attempt to cheat - so after conferring with the rest of us, Peter gave a match loss instead of a DQ, and made the player register the exact type and amount of land he was playing with right then in his deck.

Some of the more interesting rules questions that came up were:

Q: Does Invigorate save a creature from Wave of Reckoning?
(Invigorate: ...Target creature gets +4/+4 until end of turn.)
(Wave of Reckoning: Each creature deals to itself damage equal to its power.)
Strategically, can you cast Invigorate after Wave of Reckoning's damage has gone on the stack to give itself four more toughness without having the four more power deal its damage?

A: No. Spell and ability damage doesn't "go on the stack" the same way combat damage does. There is no window of opportunity between the time the damage from WoR is determined (which is on resolution) and the time the damage is successfully dealt to do anything that might save the creature. You can play Invigorate in response to WoR, but that won't do anything to save the creature, as the extra damage the creature will do to itself due to the power increase from Invigorate will exactly offset the toughness increase from Invigorate.

The player involved and I had a good long chat over this when the round was over. He said that having two different ways of resolving damage - one for combat, one for non-combat - was unintuitive and that it went against the goal of 6E rules making things simpler. This is a common complaint I hear from players. I have yet to come up with a better response than "well, that's the way 6E rules are."

Q: If you use Giant Caterpillar's ability during someone's End Step, when does the Butterfly token come into play?

A: At the beginning of the next end step, not at any time during this one. The time that delayed triggers get put on the stack for this end step has passed.

Q: Does Natural Affinity set off Monkey Cage and make 0 Monkeys?
(Natural Affinity: All lands become 2/2 creatures until end of turn....)
(Monkey Cage: When a creature comes into play, sacrifice Monkey Cage and put into play a number of 2/2 green Ape creature tokens equal to that creature's converted mana cost.)

A: No. The act of playing NA when there is land in play does not put creatures into play; it just turns stuff that's already in play into creatures. So no creatures come into play, and the Cage's effect doesn't trigger.

Q: If Natural Affinity has been played earlier this turn, and there's a Monkey Cage already in play, and a land is played, NOW does the Monkey Cage trigger and make 0 Monkeys?

A: Yes. This is straight from rule 410.10b. In fact, this is almost exactly the first example given for 4.10.10b.

Q: I have a Mercadian Atlas in play. It is my End Step. I have not played a land this turn. I pass. My opponent passes. Can I decide to draw from the Atlas now?
(Mercadian Atlas: At the end of your turn, if you didn't play a land this turn, you may draw a card.)

A: No. When a triggered ability like the Atlas has the word "may" in it, you have to decide when it triggers whether you are going to use its ability or not. By passing, you have communicated that you do not wish to use its ability. This is rule 410.5.

One interesting event happened during the quarter-finals. One player was cutting his opponent's deck in the popular three-pile way. His opponent objected, saying that the cutting player wasn't merely cutting his deck in two, so it should be considered shuffling, and he should be able to cut his own deck afterwards. I repeated the short form of the definition of the word "cut" ("taking a section of the deck that wasn't on top and putting it on top") and told him that by that definition, his deck was indeed simply "cut". He appealed to the Head Judge. Peter repeated the definition and told him again that his deck was simply "cut" and not "shuffled". He continued to protest, saying that the backs of land cards and the backs of non-land cards are different, even within one set, and that by cutting this way, the cutter had two different card backs to look at and could determine which section to put on top by whether he was desperate for land or non-land at the time. We told him that that was not a sufficient reason to not let him cut his deck the way he wanted to, and to continue playing. I felt like saying, "well, if you are worried about that, you should be playing with opaque-backed sleeves," but I don't like requiring players to buy something else that they aren't required to buy.



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