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Canadian Nationals - HJ Report

Collin Jackson

Canadian Nationals took place at the Empire Landmark hotel and conference center in Vancouver, B.C. Seventy of the best Canadian players showed up after being invited on ranking, pro points, through a meatgrinder or Regional Championship, or by being on the previous year's national team.

The staff for the event included Elaine Ferrao (tournament manager), Scott Larabee (scorekeeper), Chris Page (Level 3), Mauro Bongiovanni (2), Duncan McGregor (2), Jason Ness (2), Mark Richardson (2), Mike MacPhee (2), and Michael MacKinnon (2). I was the head judge.

Because of the small size of the event, we neglected to use the senior- judge system that often characterizes premiere events. Instead, I took a more direct approach to dealing with the judge staff. This allowed me plenty of opportunities to observe the rules questions and situations that really made my judges think:

Q: When do you determine the cost for Extravagant Spirit's ability?
A: When the ability resolves. It's a good idea to play out the cards in your hand during your upkeep to reduce the ability's cost.

Q: If you Disenchant a Planar Void, what happens?
A: The Planar Void is put into the graveyard and its ability triggers. Then the Disenchant is put into the graveyard. Then, the Planar Void card in the graveyard is removed from the game.

Q: What happens if you Seal of Cleansing a Planar Void?
A: The Seal of Cleansing is put into its owner's graveyard when the ability is activated. The Planar Void ability triggers and goes on the stack on top of the Seal of Cleansing ability. The Planar Void ability removes the Seal from the game, and then the Seal ability resolves and destroys the Planar Void. The Planar Void ability triggers and when it resolves, the Planar Void card in the graveyard is removed from the game.

Q: During his opponent's combat, a player taps out and then plays Flowstone Slide, a sorcery. How do you resolve this situation?
A: The player should receive a warning for misrepresentation of the Flowstone Slide. The mana remains in his pool, and he will most likely receive mana burn. If he had played the Slide and then tapped lands to pay for it, then he would get to take those mana abilities back.

Q: Zerapa Minotaur is enchanted with Flaming Sword. What happens when the Minotaur's ability is activated?
A: The ability removes all instances of first strike, including the first strike granted by the Sword. However, if you were to play the Sword after the Minotaur's ability resolved earlier in the turn, the Minotaur would regain first strike for that turn.

Q: Due to sticky sleeves or whatever, a player sees the next card in his deck when trying to draw a card. How do you resolve this situation?
A: Give the player a warning for looking at extra cards. Show the extra card to both players, then put it back into place. There's an important reason that we don't shuffle the card back into the player's deck: we don't want players to intentionally look at extra cards and say nothing (if they like what they're about to draw) or call over a judge to shuffle (if they want a different card on top of their deck).

Q: A land is enchanted with Living Terrain and then Jorael, Empress of Beasts is activated. Is the land 3/3 or 5/6?
A: The land is 3/3. Apply the two effects to the land in timestamp order.

Q: What happens if the damage dealt by Vicious Hunger is prevented?
A: The controller of Vicious Hunger still gains 2 life.

Q: How the heck does Keldon Berserkers work?
A: When you declare the Berserkers as an attacker, they check to see if you control no untapped lands. If you don't, then the ability triggers and will go on the stack when you gain priority. When the ability resolves, it checks again to see if you control no untapped lands. If you still don't, then the Berserkers gets the bonus.

Q: A player accidentally tapped a land by bumping it. Should he take mana burn?
A: No; we try not to penalize the players for being clumsy. But if you think he just screwed up and overtapped his mana, make him take the burn.

Q: A player plays Silverglade Elemental, searches his deck for a forest, and puts it into play tapped. Then he says, "Go." Should he take mana burn?
A: Clearly he made a mistake. Yes, he should take mana burn.

Q: A player activates War Tax, and the Tax is Disenchanted in response. Will the War Tax ability still affect attacking creatures this turn?
A: Yes.

Q: A player draws eight cards at start of game. What should you do?
A: Give the player a warning and make him or her mulligan down to six.

Q: A player gets his cards signed by an artist at the event, but the signature is in metallic ink. The metallic ink sticks to the back of the player's other cards, causing them to be marked and sticky. What should you do?
A: Tell the player to find some sleeves and put them on his cards.

Q: A Laccolith Grunt is blocked by Lightning Hounds. Who wins?
A: The Grunt does. You can use the Grunt ability to take out the Hounds before first strike damage is dealt.

Q: A player says "Go," then changes his mind and taps a mountain to play Inflame during his end of turn step. Is this acceptable?
A: No. By saying "Go," the player is trying to end his turn by passing priority in the end of turn step. He can't change his mind, at least not at an event of this caliber.

Q: One player attacks, and the other activates a Rebel search ability to get a Reveille Squad as a blocker. Does the Squad untap the defending player's creatures?
A: No. The Squad wasn't in play when attackers were declared.

Q: One player attackings with a Thieving Magpie, but the defending player has a Crumbling Sanctuary. Does the Magpie controller get to draw a card?
A: Negative. The Sanctuary prevents the damage and replaces it with something else, so the Magpie hasn't actually dealt combat damage.

Q: Masticore A attacks and Masticore B blocks. If Masticore A pings Masticore B four times in response to combat damage, will Masticore B have to regenerate once or twice to survive?
A: Twice. Regeneration removes Masticore B from combat, but the combat damage on the stack will still hit Masticore B regardless of whether Masticore B is still in combat.

Q: Can I tap an already-tapped land with Rishadan Port, just to get rid of mana?
A: Yes.

Q: Can I use Parallax Wave on an animated Ghitu Encampment?
A: Sure. The Encampment will come back as a tapped land when the Wave leaves play.

Q: A player has a Yawgmoth's Bargain in play. He untaps and forgets to skip his draw step, drawing a card. What should you do?
A: Force the player to pay one life for the card he just drew.

Q: A player has a Phyrexian Tower and an Academy Rector in play, but he hasn't actually sacced the Rector to get Yawgmoth's Bargain yet. But he pays a life and draws a card off his deck. What should you do?
A: Sorry, that's drawing extra cards. Game loss.

Q: Can Misdirection be used to counter Misdirection?
A: Yes. Misdirection has a single target: the spell which is to be retargeted. (The choice of what to change the target to is made when the Misdirection resolves.) In order to use Misdirection to counter Misdirection, make the original Misdirection target the new Misdirection. The original Misdirection's target will be illegal when it tries to resolve.

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