I made two rules mistakes during this event, one of which I was able to correct immediately and the other I unfortunately did not. First, I should have known more about Beacon of Destiny.
I incorrectly ruled that the damage would "fizzle" due to lack of target.
Rule 419.6 indicates differently, however- if either the original recipient of the damage or the new one is no longer in play, the damage redirection effect does nothing. I regret that I was not able to correct this sooner, but I can guarantee that this is one I won't soon forget, either.
The second one concerns Aurification.
In my opinion, the problem is with the gold counter. The card text would seem to imply that as long as the creature had a gold counter on it, it was a Wall as well as whatever else it was, regardless of any changes. In other words, the "is a wall" effect is continuously recalculated and put on top of whatever other creature type may exist.
Fortunately, I consulted with Paul and Adam, and Adam whipped out the Onslaught FAQ
From the Onslaught FAQ:
If a spell or ability changes the creature type of a creature with a gold counter on it, the new creature type overrides all previous creature types (including Wall). For example, you can use Imagecrafter's ability to make your creature able to attack for a turn.
I was able to go back and reverse myself, which is one of the few perks of being a head judge. However, I'm still annoyed with myself for blowing that as it was an absurdly easy call, but I had just read the rulings on the Riptide Mangler and how its power was calculated with counters and I'm fairly certain that's what threw me off the beaten path.
Or how about this:
So if I wasn't sure that the player calling for me was fishing for an easy win, this clinched it. Later, I checked back in on their final match to make sure they were at least being civil; the Rules Fisherman asks me, "So if I had called you later after the match had started, would he have gotten a game loss?"
"Most likely, yes. Of course, it was better that you caught it early. You see, if a judge is inclined to think that a player is deliberately allowing a severe rules infraction to occur in order for his opponent to receive a severe penalty, we are often inclined to severely penalize that player for unsporting conduct. So as you can see, it was definitely to your advantage to call for a judge earlier, rather than later."
None of this was nearly as exciting, however, as what happened in round 6, the next-to-the-last round.
Wonderful. My first event as a Head Judge and I'm going to have to fill out three disqualification reports. I quickly questioned a spectator and an adjacent player, neither of whom could say with any certainty what happened. I separately questioned each team to get their recounting of events. Their stories diverged at the point where the player at the center of this controversy gets back from checking the standings. Team A (the team that called for the judge) could certainly have benefited from 3 points, whereas their opponents Team B would not, as they were paired up. To further complicate matters, Team A contained two players with less than stellar reputations, including one with a previous DQ for excessive rules lawyering and general unsporting conduct, whereas Team B's players were well known by Paul, who vouched for their character. In the end, I did not have enough evidence from parties that were not involved and so I issued a warning and a very stern reprimand to Team B. As fate would have it, Team A did win the match but missed out on the top 4 by a single point.
In later conversations with the players from Team A, I made it known to them that their previous behavior did play a role in what happened to them today, and that they were well advised to improve their attitudes a bit. These were younger kids, and I felt somewhat like an older brother to them. If you find yourself lecturing players, it helps you if you really try to keep their best interests at heart. If I have a weakness as a judge, it's that I tend to look for the good in people and really want to give people the benefit of the doubt. I get burned occasionally with this policy, but I just can't see myself changing.
Well, I can't name names because I only heard a rumor that a player cried after I ruled against him, but I didn't personally witness it.
In no particular order:
Overall I had a great time working as a head judge and I hope to do it again soon
Also, lest I forget, a special thanks to Laurel Chiat, owner and TO of Dream Wizards for giving me the opportunity to work with her and to John Carter for being a good mentor.