Judges perspective tournament report. Pats Games 1k

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Judges perspective tournament report. Pats Games 1k

Postby God Hates Us All » Wed Dec 31, 2014 8:05 pm

Hello, if the username wasn't obvious, this is Michael Kersch. I am one of several Austin local Level 2 judges and Head Judge for pretty much all of Pat's Games major events. This tournament report will be a bit different because it will be written from the perspective of a judge rather than a player. This will give you a sneak peek into the world of magic from the other side of the counter.


Pre-Tournament: Generally I try to show up about an hour beforehand to make sure that we have everything set up and ready to go by the announced start time. Usually there are 1 or 2 things that take a little bit longer and delay the tournament but I have never encountered the problem we had that day. I show up and Pat and the scorekeeper Jim Hughes are running around trying to fill an absurd amount of orders people placed at the last minute. Seriously, there were so many orders I have no idea how Pat and Jim didn't go insane. On top of all that we had all the usual stuff to do, like player registration, making sure everyone knows to fill out a decklist, putting up table numbers, etc... Pat probably had 50 orders to pull that were all placed either the night before or early in the morning. This set us a little behind schedule, but I started my opening announcements at 10:10 thanks to the speeding bullets that are Pat and Jim. My opening announcements generally consist of these things

1. Type of event and tournament organizer
2. Number of players registered and number of rounds based on attendance. (We had 62 players with 6 rounds)
3. Time limit of rounds (Usually 50 minutes. I have yet to run an event that has shorter or longer rounds)
4. The Rules Enforcement Level of the tournament (Most non-FNM and pre-release events are run at Competitive)
5. The Appeal Process
6. Tardiness Penalty
7. Any other announcements the TO would like me to say

Without any issues we get pairings for round one up almost immediately.

Round 1: We get started off pretty easily. At the beginning of each round we usually have 1 or 2 people that don't show up. When that happens we have them wait 10 minutes at their seat and then hand out game losses if their opponents don't show. This tournament we didn't have any tardies to hand out (we did have no-shows but no tardiness penalties). At about half way through the match I get just about everybody coming up to me asking where the match slips are. It's at this point I realize that I forgot to tell everyone during my announcements that we will be posting match result slips on the corkboard and not handing them out to each table. Not the end of the world, but definitely something I should have mentioned.

Round 2: This time I made the announcement about the match slips for the people who didn't win and didn't have to fill out the match slips last round know what the deal is. This round was relatively tame. I had a question come up about Blood Moon and Shock Lands. The question was if shocklands still came into play tapped if there was a Blood Moon in play. The answer is yes, they still do because paying the life is a replacement effect that happens before it hits the battlefield and therefore Blood Moon has no effect yet. You can still pay the 2 life to have it come into play as an untapped mountain. Also toward the end of the round I got an appeal. My floor judge was asked if the ability from Springleaf Drum was a mana ability. He said yes, which it is, but the player still wasn't sure so he asked me. Also during this round a player noticed before they started game 2 that he only had 55 cards in his maindeck during game 1. He took out the 5 cards he sideboarded in, but forgot to put the maindeck cards back in before the start of the round. This is pretty much a cut and dry game loss. At least he was honest about it.

Round 3: This round was super easy. No judge calls and even finished before the round time even ended. This is how all of them should go.

Round 4: This round I made a really stupid mistake. I got a call around halfway through the round asking if an Aether Vial was flickered out of play if it came back in with 0 counters. The answer is yes but I was unaware of why he was asking this. Player A activated his aether vial with 2 counters, in response the player blows up the aether vial. Player A says that the ability still resolves (it does) And then for whatever reason I say that it resolves for 0 because there are no counters on aether vial since it got all blowed up. This is wrong, I know it's wrong, but I had a brain fart and said that it resolved for 0. It resolves for 2 because that's the last known information the game has before the ability resolves. Fortunately it didn't really affect the match, he won anyway.

Round 5: Round 5 also went smoothly. It's at this point that most people drop. Once the tournament gets a little bit more than halfway over we typically start to take down tables and table numbers of unused tables and do the clean up around areas we're not using anymore. There was one call toward the end of the round. It's game 3 and player A activates 2 Tectonic Edge's targeting his opponents 2 red sources. His opponent floats 2 red mana and puts his lands in the graveyard. Player A then calls over a judge to see if he moves to combat phase, if there is any time for him to activate his mutavault to attack. My floor judge seems a bit unsure of the answer. He says that the first part of combat is declaring attackers. Player A wanted to know that so he can activate mutavault at a time where his opponent has no red mana to bolt it. The judges answer was incorrect, but I let him finish his ruling before I stepped in and corrected the situation. The combat phase consists of 5 different steps:

1. Beginning of Combat step (this is where you can activate mutavault)
2. Declare attackers
3. Declare Blockers
4. Damage Step
5. End of combat

So there is time before he declares attackers for him to safely activate mutavault and attack.

Round 6: At the beginning of round 6 we post standings first so the people who want to see if they can draw into the top 8 time to decide if they want to play or draw into the top 8. We also have to make sure that there is no collusion taking place as players may be tempted to give players incentive for a concession. For those of you who are unaware, this is an automatic disqualification. The judge program frowns on this, so don't do it. Round 6 also ends early as most of the people who knew they were in the top 8 just drew in. Once the round finishes we move on to the top 8.

Top 8: Most tournaments we do a courtesy deck check for the top 8. This was a Sunday, people had shit to do and I had to go to work when I was finished so I decided to skip the courtesy deck check. Also most top 8's are untimed rounds. Again, since this was Sunday and I had to work after the tournament I decided to time them at 60 minutes. Unfortunately we had 2 people in the Top 8 who weren't interested in a split so we had to play every match. The worst part was that the two people who had no interest in splitting made it all the way to the finals. It would have been too convenient if they got knocked out in the quarterfinals. Anyway, things were all quiet in the top 8. Rules questions are pretty scarce in the top 8 as most people who get there often know how things work.

I hope you enjoyed this tournament report on the judge side of things. Please feel free to ask any questions regarding the judge aspect of this event
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Re: Judges perspective tournament report. Pats Games 1k

Postby eldashgato » Tue Jan 13, 2015 3:49 pm

Interesting stuff.

Question: Why do they make judges write tourney reports? This is the first one I've ever seen.
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