Welcome to magicthegathering.comNew to Magic? Click here!
Return to Magicthegathering.com front page





Return to Magicthegathering.com front page

Texas Magic League 5k Qualifier - Judge Report

Jason Matthews

Location: Waco, Texas
Store: The Game Closet
Date: April 5, 2003
Jason Matthews, Level 1 Head Judge
Mitchell A Waldbauer, Level 2 , Jonathan Pechon, Level 0

I recently had the pleasure of Head Judging my first event (other than more informal events such as Friday night magic). I arrived at the store at around 10:30 am to the grand total of about 8 people and needless to say every time I see a tournament with this many people there I get the jitters thinking that the attendance will be low. I personally love a large turnout for tournaments because it lets me get more experience with a variety of people and gives me the chance to field more questions.

Right when people turned in their deck registration sheets I started to check them for errors and other problems. With only 2 or 3 people to handle a tournament I recommend immediately checking the deck lists so that you can avoid problems and starting early will free you up to spend more time on the floor where you belong.

When I got through checking the 23rd deck list, I made the call for last minute registrations and of course those players who waited until the last possible moment to turn in their lists all had deck list errors. I cannot stress enough to players not to wait to the last moment to fill out their sheets. Players need to weigh the benefits of watching the field for information of the metagame versus the game loss or match loss they might receive because they rushed. Well the final call was made and we couldn't start on time because we decided to wait for a car load from Austin(remember us boys). 12:30 and the attendance is set at 30 and it looks like its 5 rounds of Swiss with a top eight to round it out.

I put up the pairings for round 1 and sit the players down for my first speech of the day. The worst part about giving the players this speech is I know the second I say "Are there any questions?" I will get to hear the standard...can I cheat?(no),how many rounds are there?(I just said 5), can I have Bill Payne thrown out?(no he's too popular and large). Well the speech being done I set the timer on my watch and write the time for the round where everyone can see it, and we are off and running.

Round 1
This round goes fairly well with only one incident of note. I was called to a table where a spectator had told player A the play to make in an important moment in the game. When I arrived player B was noticeably upset but was already scooping up his cards. Players need to be reminded that if they are going to call a judge, they need to wait for the judge to arrive because the judge can't do any thing if the game has ended. I determined that it wasn't a friend of player A that gave him the advice...it was just a mouthy spectator. Hmmm now I have a reason to make speech 2 at the beginning of round 2. No other problems happened this round but just so that you know I did my job here are the magic questions I was asked.

Question: Does "Oversold Cemetery" trigger each upkeep even if I have less than 4 creatures in the graveyard.

Oversold Cemetery
At the beginning of your upkeep, if you have four or more creature cards in your graveyard, you may return target creature card from your graveyard to your hand.

Answer: NO it triggers only when you have 4 or more.

Question: What Color is the damage dealt with "Contested Cliffs"

Contested Cliffs
{T}: Add {1} to your mana pool.
{R}{G}, {T}: Choose target Beast you control and target creature an opponent controls. Each creature deals damage equal to its power to the other.

Answer: Contested cliffs doesn't deal the damage the creatures do so it depends on the color of the creature.

Question: Can I remove a "Roar of the Wurm" in response to it being cast?

Question: Can I remove a 'Roar of the Wurm' in response to it being cast?

Answer: No. Once a the flashback spell has been announced it is on the stack and is no longer a legal target for removal.

Round 2
Second speech of the day is made. Players are all warned that a game loss penalty will be applied if they are caught giving advice to players involved in another game. If the advice is between friends both will receive a game loss. I note that this falls under unsportsmanlike conduct, can be construed as cheating, and maybe a splash of procedural error severe if you want to touch all bases.

Deck checks begin this round and there are no problems with them.
I give them +7 minutes and they use every minute including extra turns to finish out the round.

I was not called for any questions this round.

Round 3
Deck Check again has no problems and they get +8 minutes.

No speech this round. I have to issue a game loss for tardiness that upgrades to match loss when a player fails to show up and apparently didn't drop in the prior round.

I also issue a stern warning for a player not sacking to Braids during upkeep. Normally I believe this should be a game loss because the players should really be used to this card by now. The player has only land in play and no cards in hand, he hasn't drawn yet so I give him a warning with a very cross look on my face and allow them to continue.

At this point I get to eat lunch..yay for me. The other judges must be fielding some of the questions so I'm left with no questions to pass on.

Round 4
I post the standings and the mathematicians start running numbers and start to draw or decide if they have to keep playing to win into the top eight.

Finally a deck check gives me something to do early in the round.

Jason Krysak is called up to the front by a fellow judge and I ask him to find the 2 copies of "Deep Dog" that he has on his deck list and he only manages to find "Deep ANALYSIS". I think about kicking him out of the tourney but realize that I can't do that and just have a laugh at his expense and he does too. Players note always check your list twice and take your time. I do issue him a friendly warning so I can say I did my job. I give them +8 minutes and they don't even need it.

I stop by the feature match to watch for a second and come up to see Player B looking at his hand in what appears to be a hopeless situation. He starts taking his time. I'm waiting to see some action here. He looks at his graveyard. He looks at the board. Remember He's looking at a hopeless situation. Then he starts to count his library. At this point player A looks to me with the "why is he taking so long" look. So I caution player B for slow play. Player B is visibly upset and lets me know it. I was unaware that he had lost Game 1 and this was for the match. Even with a lot of time left in the round I consider slow play too serious to overlook. I stand by the caution even though he immediately scooped after that and informed me not to tell him how to play. As we all know arguing with judges or being belligerent is not a way to make your case.

Round 5
Mathematicians are back and the fun of drawing-in continues. As usual I make sure there is no collusion talk or bribery.

Throw in a few more game losses for failing to show up and upgrades to match loss and the rest of the round was very quiet.

Top 8
Only things of real interest for the quarter finals was a player realizing he had forgot to de-side board for Game 1 when they were already a few turns into the game. I apply the game loss and allow them to sideboard for game 2. If this had been caught in a deck check it would have been a game loss and no sideboard for game 2.

A player took 7 cards on a Paris instead of 6 and was rewarded with a free Paris to 5.

Semi finals and Finals were not really a problem as all I had to do was watch players to make sure they didn't do bad things during their splits and no DCI points were given for product ..so I am a happy little head judge.

I would like to thank all the players that came to play magic, have fun, and generally support magic in Texas. I wish bad things on the players that felt the need to cause incidents in my home store. I would also like to thank Mitch and Jonathan for their invaluable help. Many hands for make easy work. .Thank you again for the good experience of my first tournament as head Judge.

The web site address is texasmagicleague.com for information on the Texas Magic League series.

ESRB Privacy Certified - Click to view our privacy statement