|Nemesis Prerelease (Day 1) - Mountain View, CA
It was Prerelease weekend at Neutral Ground in Mountain View, CA, and I
was settling in for the long haul. In the past we had always run one big
tournament on Saturday and one big tournament on Sunday with side events
throughout both days. This time, however, since we were competing
opposite PTLA, the TO decided on a different schedule: we ran tournaments
at midnight Friday; 9, 2, 7, and midnight Saturday; and 9 and 2 Sunday. I
played in the midnight Friday tourney. Six rounds finished a little after
7:00 in the morning; I then settled down to judge the remainder of the
The first tournament's staff consisted of me (a Level 3), the TO (a
Level 2 --- and PTLA champion Trevor Blackwell's brother), and two Level
1's. It got started late (as usual); with registration and getting
everyone seated, we didn't actually get started until 10:30 or so. It had
152 players; we played 6 rounds and then awarded prizes to anyone who was
6-0 (a box), 5-0-1 (9 packs), or 5-1 (six packs). The tournament was not
the smoothest we've ever run; there were three rounds in a row where
someone was accidentally dropped from the tournament. This became a real
pain, and in fact there was one situation we couldn't resolve with the
computer (fortunately, the player involved decided to drop anyway, so we
were saved). Other than that, though, things went fairly smoothly. A
list of questions asked with answers is included below.
The 2:00 tournament was run as soon as we had enough seating to
accommodate the new tournament. I was not directly involved in it; it was
run by one of the Level 1 judges who had been helping me.
The 7:00 tournament only had 20 people in it, so I ran it by myself. We
ran 5 rounds this time and gave prizes for 5-0 (20 packs) and 4-x (5
packs). The tournament ended slightly after 1:00 AM. At this point, I
had been awake for 28 straight hours, but I still felt pretty good. I was
definitely ready for Day 2.
Questions asked at Day 1 of the Prerelease and their answers
Many of these questions have obvious answers, but I am including them
to illustrate the types of questions that are asked at Prereleases. The
pool of players tends to be less experienced than at QT's, so you get some
relatively easy questions.
Q: Can an animated land block a creature with "Fear"?
A: No, the animated land is colorless but _not_ an artifact.
Q: If I block a Laccolith, can the Laccolith kill my blocker before it can
A: Yes; its damage is dealt and resolves in the Declare Blockers step,
long before even first strike damage goes on the stack.
Q: If I enchant my 3/3 Laccolith with a Laccolith Rig, what happens?
A: If you creature is blocked, both trigger separately, and you have four
options: (1) Deal combat damage to the blocker; or (2) deal no combat
damage to blocker and do one of the following: (a) deal 6 damage to one
creature (in two packets of 3); (b) deal 3 damage each to two different
creatures; or (c) deal 3 damage to only one creature.
Q: My opponent casts an enchantment targeting one of his creatures. I use
Misdirection to change it to targeting my Mossdog. Does it gain a +1/+1
A: Yes; the enchantment is a spell controlled by your opponent. This is
called a "good play (TM) by you."
Q: Do creatures return to play in the same orientation (tapped or
A: No. They are new creatures, so they come into play untapped, with
summoning sickness, with all their Fading counters, etc.
Q: What happens to creature enchantments?
A: They go away. This is different from Phasing.
Q: Can Trap Runner stop a creature with "fear ability"?
Q: What happens if Trap Runner uses its ability on Alley Grifters?
A: It becomes blocked, so opponent discards a card. Note that this can be
a fairly neat combo if you control both cards; you can attack with the
Grifters, put damage on the stack, and _then_ use Trap Runner's ability to
do two damage to your opponent _and_ make them discard a card.
Q: Can Topple be cast if there is more than one creature tied for highest
Q: Blastoderm (5/5, untargetable) is in play. Can Topple be cast?
A: Unless there is a targetable creature with power >=5, then Topple
cannot be cast _at all_ in this situation.
Q: If I target Tar Pit Warrior with this, do I gain the 2 life?
A: No, the Tar Pit Warrior is destroyed before the Vicious Hunger
resolves; when Vicious Hunger resolves it has no legal target and is
Q: Doesn't a creature automatically deal damage when it's declared as a
A: No. If it's removed from combat before damage goes on the stack (e.g.,
by killing it with Ballista Squad) then it doesn't deal damage, although
the creature is still considered blocked.
Q: My opponent casts a Global Enchantment (Flowstone Surge) targeting one
of my creatures. What happens?
A: This is a judgment call. At the time, the judge at the table said that
the Enchantment comes into play. If I had known about the situation, I
probably would have allowed the player to take back the play (since this
is a Prerelease and supposed to be fun).
DCI Level 3 Judge