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Canadian Regionals-Central

Duncan McGregor

Judging report - Central Canadian Regionals
Ajax, Ontario, Canada
April 29. 2000

Attendance: 110

Judging Staff:
Duncan McGregor, Lvl 2 (Head Judge)
Allen Pengelly, Lvl 1
Michael Isaacs, Lvl 1
Marvin Paguirigan, Lvl 1 (TO)

The tournament ran rather smoothly, and I'd like to thank my staff for helping make that so. The first thing we did, during registration, was to check decks for legality before we started the first round. While the other judges were needed to help registration, I would collect some decklists and look them over behind the judges station. I was thus available for rules questions, but was able to look the decklists over to check for 60+ cards main deck and 15 (or 0) in the sideboard, and no banned cards. We caught around half a dozen illegal decklists, and had the owners correct them before we started.

We also discovered that the printer we had was rather abominally slow, taking about 3 minutes to print out a single copy of either standings or pairings. Because of this, we decided to dispense with results entry slips and simply require both participants in a match to report the result to the judge at the computer. This thankfully did not cause any problems through the day.

After my opening announcements, we started the first round at 10:20.

Round 1 Questions
- Does the mana pool clear at the end of upkeep? A: No, it will not clear until the end of the phase, after the draw step.

- Defense Grid cast, Annul in response, Counter targeting the Annul. Can the non-active player cast a second Annul on the Defense Grid? A:Yes.

- Seal of Cleansing used on a Planar Void. What is removed from the game? A: Both the Seal and the Void will be removed from the game. [COLLIN?]

- An activated Lurking Evil is removed from the game with a Parallax Wave. When it is returned to play, will it still be activated? A: No, it will be as if it was just played. This was one of the most frequently asked questions.

Round 2: start at 11:32
- Deckchecks were done starting this round. One player was asked to resleeve due to worn cards (no pattern).

- A player sacrificed his Skirge Familiar to a Phyrexian Tower for BB, then wanted to discard cards to the Skirge for more black mana. He was told that the Skirge was already in the graveyard, so it's abilities cannot be played.

- The timing of the Academy Rector's ability had to be explained. This was another question that came up several times. A: When the Rector goes to the graveyard, it's ability triggers and is put on the stack. When the ability resolves, if the Rector is still in the graveyard, you may remove it from the game and search for the enchantment.

- A player used nine mana to case Stroke of Genius on himself for six, then noticed as he was drawing that there was a Defense Grid on the table that both players had forgotten about. As it was the player who was drawing who noticed, and he had not placed the cards into his hand yet, this was ruled to be Looking at Extra Cards. The drawing player was given a warning and the extra cards were also shown to his opponent.

- A judge was called to a table where two Morphlings were facing off. One player said that he wanted to kill the other Morphling and keep his alive, and asked "How can I do this?" The judge told him that he could not answer strategy questions.

Round 3: start at 12:56
- Another player was asked to resleeve due to worn cards (no pattern).

- A player (Player A) asked a judge to watch his match as he believed his opponent (Player B) might stall. Player B was playing Bargain, which could possible go off in a single turn, while Player A's Draw-Go would need more time. Player B _was_ playing rather slowly, although I noticed later in the day that he seemed to play methodically in all cases. He was asked once to maintain a reasonable tempo of play, and the match ended not long after Player A put a Masticore onto the table.

Round 4: start at 2:10
- Player C declares Opportunity. Player D casts Rewind on the Opportunity. Player C casts Misdirection on the Rewind. Player D casts Misdirection, declaring "I'll Misdirect it onto the Misdirection." Player C called us over as Player D had not properly declared his spell. A: Player D must back up and properly declare his spell. Both players were also informed that the new target for a Misdirected spell was not chosen until resolution of the Misdirection. The players then quickly confirmed that it was legal to Misdirect another counter onto that Misdirection.

Round 5: start at 3:17
- Two decks were found to have markings on them this round, one during a deckcheck and once when a player noticed differences in his opponent's cards through clear sleeves. Both were asked to resleeve.

- Can mana be tapped for a Frantic Search in response to a Rishadan Port, then the Search cast after resolution? A: Yes. The player was also informed that the lands untapped are not targetted by the Search on announcement, but are chosen on resolution.

Round 6: start at 4:25
- One player asked to drop out after pairings had been done. We told him that this could not be done. He told us he was leaving anyway, and so forfeited his match to the opponent.

- When a Serra Avatar is sacrificed to a Greater Good, is it shuffled back into the library before or after you draw the cards? A:Before.

- Can a Vendetta be Misdirected to a black creature? A: No.

- A player found, before game 1, that he was missing a sideboard card, and asked if we could check with his previous opponent to see if he had it. The opponent did not, but the player found the missing card on his own.

- A player cast Counterspell with two mana when there was a Defense Grid on the table. Neither player noticed until a later turn, when they realized that an illegal play had been made, and called a judge over. A: Warning for the player who cast Counterspell and continue playing. The game had progressed too far to correct the mistake.

A player came over to ask about a point of tournament procedure. He claimed that, starting a few years ago, to forestall collusion in PTQs, a rule was made that players could drop out of the top 8 without playing, simply collecting the prize and leaving. The quarter-finals opponent of a player who left like this would get a bye instead of a match win. This would be done to prevent players from paying people in the top 8 to drop out, so that they could get in. While I would not doubt that this had been done in the past, I told He that this was not a part of any tournament guidelines that I had seen, and that there were two options available for dropping out after the seventh round. Either a) you dropped before the top eight was announced, and were not in contention; or b) you dropped after having made top eight, would get prizes for 5-8th place, and would concede the quarterfinals match to your opponent. He talked about this for a bit, then gave a counterargument to his own position: if a player knew he was facing a very bad matchup in quarters, he could withdraw from the event then, and spare himself the ratings loss. He ended up dropping from the event at 5-0-1, having gained the rating points he was looking for.

Round 7: start at 5:37
- Two Phyrexian Negators ran into each other in combat, and the two players each declared the Negators as one of the five permanents being sacced. They were told that they could not do this, as the Negators were in the graveyard well before the ability resolved.

The cut to top eight was done, with the break coming cleanly at 16 points, so that all 5-1-1s made it in and no 5-2-0s did. We set up each quarterfinal match with a table judge and began the playoffs. Most of the simple rules questions had been dealt with by this time, so only two incidents occured during the playoff rounds that needed attention. - During quarterfinals, a player accidentally picked up two cards while drawing instead of the one he should draw. A warning for looking at extra cards was issued and the second card was shown to his opponent.

- At the start of semifinals, the table judge for one of the matches looked at the sideboard of one of the players (playing Cradle Rebel) and found 4 Fresh Volunteers in it. He asked the players to wait for a minute and we verified that the Volunteers were supposed to be main-deck. The player had forgotten to de-sideboard after his previous match. He was given a game loss and told to reset his deck to its normal state.

The finals playoffs went fairly quickly, with Eugene Lo's Ponza deck winning the tournament. Congratulations!

Overall, it was a great experience. I look forward to head judging the Prophecy prerelease. The one thing I could have wanted done differently was more judging staff, but there are not that many judges in the area. This is looking happier for the future though, as a couple of people have expressed to me an interest in becoming a judge. I can't test them myself, of course, but I directed them towards the judging website and talked to them about what is needed to be a judge. Hopefully they will follow up on this.

-- Duncan McGregor



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