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U.S. Nationals/JSS Championship

Nick Hable

Helping to fulfill part of my requirement to retest for level 3, I am writing a report about the happenings of U.S. Nationals and the JSS Championship. In attendance were judges from all across the U.S. as well as representatives from Canada, Brazil, Argentina, and Germany. This is my second U.S. Nationals/JSS Championship. My first was last year at this time. This as always was a long weekend with 16 hour days of standing on your feet.

Nick Hable can keep his sense of humor even when handling administrative details

General judging issues: In the handout that was given to all judges at U.S. Nationals and the JSS Championship is a general ruling time line. First, gather all information about the game state that is available. Missing something here may lead to a bad ruling. Make sure you here both players individual concerns. Also hide any indications of what your ruling may be. Second, make a ruling. Making a ruling may involve consulting rules text, the Oracle, or other judges. Present the ruling to the players, explaining exactly what is going to happen. This may include handing out a penalty. Finally, deal with the results of the ruling - making an appeal to the head judge, further explaining the ruling or changing the ruling based on new information.

The team system works well when the team leader is a strong leader. So if you head judge or are a T.O. make sure the team leaders will be able to assign tasks to the team members so they will be most effective. Also team leaders need to make sure that everyone on the team takes a break for a round so they can get away from the players and get off of their feet. When distributing land and collecting deck lists it is very helpful to have two or more people working. Save time by having the initial of the last name of the player written on the deck sheet while they are coming in.

Some card interactions are a never ending source of confusion

Specific rulings:

  1. A question that I was asked at least 20 times this weekend, what happens when I tap a Kill Switch with a Static Orb in play? The answer is that all artifacts will remain tapped, except for Kill Switch, which will untap as normal. Also, all other permanents will untap as normal.

  2. During the JSS, I was asked about Tangle Wire multiple times. This, as I remember, was the #1 question last year during the JSS. The questions this year were mostly about tapping lands "in response to" the Tangle Wire. Since Tangle Wire does not target, that player must still tap the number of artifacts, lands, or creatures equal to the number of fading counters on Tangle Wire. Also if there is more than one Tangle Wire in play, the same permanent may not be tapped for more than one Tangle Wire.

  3. Meddling Mage forbids the card as it comes into play. The choice is not made until resolution of the spell, so it may be countered just like any other spell. Once the Meddling Mage is in play the card may not be played but if it comes into play by another method Meddling Mage won't prevent it.

  4. Once the card is randomly selected by any of the Planeswalker enchantments it is too late to respond to. So if a creature is dealt lethal damage or has a toughness of zero or less it will be put into the graveyard as a state-based effect. This won't be prevented unless a regeneration shield is up before the card resolves.

  5. For Story Circle like effects, the Story Circle checks upon resolution of the effect and when the damage would be prevented. If the source selected is not the correct choice then the damage is not prevented and the shield is not used up.

Almost everyone has asked a question about this card

Well here ends my seconds U.S. Nationals/JSS Championship report. Once again if anyone has comments, complaints, or just wants to say hi, my e-mail address is nicholas.a.hable@uwrf.edu. Thanks again for taking the time to read my report and I will be at Worlds so don't be afraid to come up and introduce yourself.

Nick Hable

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