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Onslaught Prerelease Report

Sheldon Menery


Event: Onslaught Prerelease, Anchorage
Site: Dimond Mall, Anchorage Alaska
Date: 28 September, 2002
Players: 92

Staff: Sheldon K. Menery, Level 3, David Phifer, Level 1, Ariel K. Jones, Level 1, Bryan Woodward, Level 0, Scorekeeper: Lisa Menery

Tournament Setup

Perfect timing and lousy weather led to the best-ever turnout an Anchorage Prerelease. Ninety-two players showed, eclipsing the previous high of 83.

As always, the festival atmosphere of the Prerelease kept emotions in check and the good times flowing. Generous placement awards, door prizes, and random giveaways led to a superb event.

We did try something new for the event: understanding the relatively small turnout, we preregistered all the decks during the week before the tournament. The players overwhelmingly appreciated the gesture and the opportunity to play an hour earlier than they might have otherwise. There were still some decklist errors, but they were all from players incorrectly recording the contents of their decks or forgetting to write down the basic lands they were playing. During registration of the decks, one of the staff registered a deck that had a duplicate rare in the Tournament Pack and both Boosters. A player may have had a tough time convincing us that was the case if we discovered later in the event (especially given that one of the reasons we decided to register the decks ourselves was cheating of this type in a previous event). Encourage your players to point out to a Judge deck anomolies like this. Even if it's legitimate, the earlier they point it out, the less likely a problem it's going to be for you.

We explained in detail both Morph and Cycling to the players, complete with how we would penalize infractions (as per the DCI guidance). Players seemed to understand completely. We didn't hand out a Morph penalty all day.

Relevant Rulings

Q: If I Morph a face-down creature, does it trigger comes-into-play abilities?
A: No. The creature was already in play.

Q: If I Morph a Blistering Firecat then play Backslide on it, will it be sacrificed at end of turn?
A: No. The end of turn sacrifice is not dependent on Morphing the Firecat. If it's not face up at end of turn, it doesn't have the ability.

Q: If I enchant a face-down creature and then Morph it, does the enchantment go away?
A: No. The creature never leaves play. There's no time that the enchantment isn't still enchanting the creature.

Q: If I have two Aether Charges in play and play a Krosan Colossus, do I get to do 8 damage?
A: Yes. The Colossus is a Beast, so Aether Charge triggers twice. You deal 4 damage two times.

Q: If Ebonblade Reaper is face down when I attack with it and then I Morph it, will I lose half my life?
A: No. The ability will only trigger if the creature is face up when you declare it as an attacker. Once you get priority and turn it up, the time for abilities that triggered on declaring attackers has already passed.

Q: If I use Mistform Mutant's ability on a Bird Soldier, which creature type do I overwrite?
A: Both. An ability that changes creature types overwrites ALL previously-held types.

Q: If I attack with a Hystrodon and my opponent blocks with a 2/2 creature, do I get to draw a card?
A: Yes, if you assign 2 damage to the blocking creature and 1 to the player.

Q: What if the blocking creature is a Gustcloak Sentinel and my opponent activates its ability?
A: Yes, because of the Trample. During the Combat Damage Step, there's no creature to which damage can be assigned, so you may assign all the damage to the defending player.

Q: If I looked at a face-down creature last turn with an Aven Soulgazer, can I look at it again this turn?
A: Only if you active the ability again. Otherwise, you can't look at it.

Q: Can I use Chain of Silence on a bunch of my own creatures, or do I have to bounce back and forth between me and my opponent?
A: You can Chain of Silence yourself as many times as you can afford to sacrifice a land, which gives you the opportunity to copy the spell.

Q: Why can't I choose "Platypus" as a creature type?
A: Because of the updated rule 214.7a: "If a card instruction requires choosing a creature subtype, you must choose one, and only one, existing creature type."

Q: Is "Monkey" a creature type?
A: No, but "Ape" is.

Q: If I activate Walking Desecration, naming "Bird," does my opponent have to attack with his Bird Soldiers or just his Birds that are no other creature type.
A: Your opponent must attack with anything that's a Bird or a Bird and something else.

Q: Can Voidmage Prodigy sacrifice himself to activate his ability?
A: Yes, because the card doesn't say otherwise.

Final Thoughts

Another successful Prerelease for the Anchorage community. The Onslaught cards seemed well-designed and well-templated, and we had few questions from experienced players. The set was definitely well-received. Players very much liked the creature type themes and the big fatties. They're already looking forward to the rest of the Onslaught block.

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