|Nemesis Prerelease (Day 2)-Mountain View, CA
When last we left our hero (that would be me, for those of you just
joining us), he had played in a midnight tournament, then judged two full
tournaments ending at 1 AM the next morning. Any sensible person at this
point would get some sleep, but no one ever claimed Level 3 judges are
sensible! The store was starting some drafts, so I decided to play. I
was noticeably unsuccessful in the drafts, but I had a good time. After
being eliminated in the first round in both drafts, I played some games
for fun, including an epic battle that lasted almost 3 hours, with 1.5
hours for the third game. By this point it was 8 AM and the next
tournament was starting in an hour. I went to get some breakfast and load
up on caffeine.
The second day was (as usual) smaller than the first one. We had 70
players, and the prize structure was the same as the previous day (a box
for 6-0, 9 packs for 5-0-1, and 6 packs for 5-1). The judging staff
consisted of me (Level 3), a Level 1, and an uncertified judge with whom
I'd worked before.
Once again, the tournament ran very smoothly. The only interesting
judging situation occurred when two players called me over to say that one
of them had just drawn his opponent's Muzzle; apparently it had been
accidentally shuffled into his deck after the first game of the match. If
it had been in the middle of the game, this might have been awkward, but
it was still the second turn and the only permanents in play were one land
each, so I just had them start over. I didn't issue any warnings; my
philosophy on Prereleases is that I basically don't want to give out
warnings unless someone attacks me with a machete. ;-) (Attacking a side
judge is only worth a Caution. ;-) Don't get me wrong --- if someone
deserves a warning, I have no qualms about giving them one, but this is
supposed to be a fun event and I prefer to keep it low-key.
The most exciting part of the day was during the fourth round, when I
was trying to simultaneously run the 9:00 tournament and start up the 2:00
tournament. We were somewhat understaffed to be running two large Limited
events simultaneously; only the fact that it was a Prerelease and the fact
that for the most part there were very few problems or questions saved us.
The 2:00 tournament had 32 players in it, so we ran 5 rounds and had
the prize structure from Saturday's 5-rounder (20 packs for 5-0, 5 packs
for 4-x). Things went extremely well in this tournament. For the last
two rounds of the 9:00 tournament, both tournaments were going
simultaneously, but it wasn't a problem because there were so few
Finally, at approximately 8:15 PM on Sunday, the last tournament was
over. At this point, I had been awake for almost 60 consecutive hours and
had been either playing or judging Magic for the previous 44 hours.
Despite this, I felt pretty good. I'll probably never do anything like
this again, but it was fun to do once. Hopefully, we'll never be opposite
a Pro Tour again and we'll have a more normal schedule for future
As with my previous Prerelease post, I'll end this with a list of rules
questions asked and answered at Sunday's Prerelease.
Questions asked at Day 2 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 I remove all five counters at the beginning of my upkeep?
A: Yes. Put the "remove counter" ability on the stack, then respond by
removing all five counters. When the ability resolves, you will have to
sacrifice the Hydra.
Q: Can anyone use its ability?
A: No, only its controller.
Q: Does using Trap Runner on a Laccolith trigger its ability?
Q: Does Massacre kill a Nightwind Glider?
A: Yes. Since Massacre is not targeted and does not deal damage,
Protection from Black doesn't help.
Q: In response to Topple, my opponent increases the power of a creature so
that it now has the greatest power. Do I get to kill that bigger
A: No. Once Topple is cast, its target is locked in. If the target is
invalid on resolution, then Topple is countered.
Q: If a creature with no fade counters on it and another creature of the
same type with a fade counter on it are both in play, will the one without
A: A card only looks at itself. When upkeep rolls around, any Fading card
with no counters on it will be sacrificed, even if there's another card
like it with fading counters on it in play.
Q: If a spell's target(s) are invalid on resolution, do the non-targeted
effect(s) go through?
A: No. The spell is countered.
Q: When does summoning sickness end?
A: At the beginning of a card's controller's turn.
Q: A creature is given Protection from Red after a red creature blocks it.
Is it still blocked?
Q: I attack with a trampling creature and my opponent blocks. I then use
Ballista Squad to kill the blocker and my opponent regenerates the
blocker. Do I have to trample the creature?
A: No. In fact, you _can't_ assign damage to the creature. Regenerating
it removes it from combat, so you have no choice but to do all the damage
to the defending player.
DCI Level 3 Judge