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QT-Sacramento, CA (PT-NY)

Don Barkauskas

Well, here goes --- my first tournament report. I've actually started several others, but something else always managed to come up and take priority. Hopefully, I'll actually be able to finish this one.

The QT took place in Sacramento, CA and was run by the Neutral Ground staff from Mountain View, CA. It was a 76-player tournament, so we ran 7 rounds to cut to the top 8. The judging staff consisted of myself (a Level 3), a Level 2 (who will be testing for Level 3 at PTLA --- good luck, Doug!), and the TO, another Level 2. Because Doug was getting ready to test for his Level 3, I let him essentially Head Judge the event. Iwas the official HJ and players could appeal to me, but I made it clear that I would reverse Doug only if he was blatantly wrong. This was a good deal for me --- it was by far the easiest tourney I've ever had to run. I took the glory and Doug did all the work. It's good to be the King! ;-)

The tournament itself ran very smoothly. We set a new record for fewest decklist errors --- we only had to eject one person for registering fewer than 60 cards and we had no sideboard errors! That's far and away the best at any tournament I've ever HJ'd.

There were not many interesting rulings. The biggest was probably the Necropotence error --- we were using the Oracle wording, so Necro players had a large advantage. This caused a fair amount of consternation. Another big surprise to many players was the (actually correct) rule that Necro prevents a player from being damaged by a tapped Mana Vault. Doug also correctly ruled that with Land Grant, the forest card had to be revealed to the opponent. (Better yet, he did this on logic alone ---both of us had forgotten about the errata to the card!) The most interesting ruling we encountered was the question of sacrificing a Phyrexian Negator with lethal damage to itself. It was initially ruled incorrectly, but we got it right eventually --- the Negator dies from the lethal damage as a state-based effect before the Negator's ability goes on the stack.

The only bad situation that came up was during a deck check in Round 6. I always make it a policy to try to deck check every player who will be in the Top 8 so that if any match losses for marked decks or DQ's for illegal decklists are warranted, they occur in the Swiss rounds and not in the single-elimination rounds. The two 5-0 players had ID'd and so we deck checked them, and one of them had his Forces of Will easily distinguishable from the rest of his cards. That was Marked Cards---Pattern, so he received a match loss and his opponent the win. The match loss receiver ended up ID'ing into the Top 8 anyway, and he sleeved his deck for the Top 8, so everything turned out OK, but I hate situations like that.

The tournament ran really quickly --- we finished the Swiss rounds and the Top 8 in approximately 10 hours. The major factor in the speed of the tourney was the lack of control decks. The top 8 consisted of a green weenie deck, a Donate/Necro deck, a blue control deck, a B/R Necro deck, and _four_ Sligh decks. In the quarterfinals, green weenie defeated Sligh, Sligh beat Sligh, B/R Necro beat Donate/Necro, and Sligh beat blue control. In the semis, Sligh beat green weenie and Sligh beat B/R Necro. That left the Finals as Sligh on Sligh; I left to take a bathroom break and got back in the middle of the second game! (I hadn't even realized they were going to start!) In the end, Nickolas Krestoff qualified for PTNY.

It looks like Sligh is back! (And let me tell you, it's better than the days when High Tide was dominating. AT least Sligh on Sligh is quick!)

Stay tuned to this site for my next exciting tournament report (the Nemesis Prerelease --- 36 straight hours of judging!)

Don Barkauskas
DCI Level 3 Judge
barkda@math.berkeley.edu



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