Tuesday, August 26, 2014

WPN Events: Sept, Oct

WPN September Events
    Magic: The Gathering

    Casual Play: Come to play, trade, or build decks for Magic: the Gathering. New Players Welcome. Also frequently run odd formats such as planechase, archenemy, commander, emperor, multiplayer, etc.
    Tuesdays: 2,9,16,23,30th; 5:00-9:00pm

    Friday Night Magic: Standard type 2 constructed event. $7.00 entry. 2 packs prize pool per player. Hosted by Dan Regewitz.
    Fridays: 5,12th. 5:30-9:00pm

    Friday Night Magic - 2 Headed Giant; Standard format. $10.00 entry.
3 packs prize pool per player. Hosted by Dan Regewitz.
    Friday: 19th. 5:30-9:00pm

    Friday Night Magic - Draft: Khans of Trokir Launch event. Special 4 pack draft. $20 entry. Promos for all attendees. 2 packs prize pool per player. Hosted by Dan Regewitz.
    Friday 26th. 5:30-9pm.

    Khans Prerelease: Come experience the newest set of Magic with this sanctioned sealed deck pre-release. Our first exposure to the Khans of Trokir. Once again NDC is proud to host an officially sanctioned pre-release event. Please note the times and prices below.
    Saturday, 20, 11:30 registration; 12:30 play begins. $30 sealed deck.
    Saturday, 20, 4:15 registration; 5:15 play begins. $30 sealed deck.
    Sunday, 21, 11:30 registraiton; 12:15 play begins. $30 2-headed giant sealed deck.

    Sealed Deck: Khans of Trokir Launch Event. Two Headed Giant Sealed deck (Using prerelease kits if product allows)! $25 entry. . Promos for all attendees. 2 packs prize pool per player. Hosted by Dan Regewitz.
    Sunday, 28th 12:15-5pm.

    Kaijudo
    Kaijudo Duel Days: We are proud to offer more fun, and challenging events with Kaijudo, rise of the Duel Masters. Casual League runs concurrently to this slightly more organized tournament event. $5.00 entry w/ prize support. Hosted by Russel Young and Dan Regewitz.
    Saturdays 6,13,27; 5-9pm.

    Dungeons & Dragons
    Encounters: Come explore and adventure with Dungeons & Dragons - Encounters.
    Wednesday: 3,10,17,24th

WPN October Events
    Magic: The Gathering

    Casual Play: Here, you rule. Come to play, trade, or build decks for Magic: the Gathering. New Players Welcome. Also frequently run odd formats such as planechase, archenemy, commander, emperor, multiplayer, etc.
    Tuesdays; 7,14,21,28; 5:30-9:00pm

    Friday Night Magic: Here, you rule. Standard type 2 constructed event. $7.00 entry. 2pack­­s prize pool per player. Hosted by Dan Regewitz.
    Fridays: 3,10,24; :30-9:00pm.

    Friday Night Magic - Draft: Join us for our monthly draft. $16.00 entry. 2packs prize pool per player. Hosted by Dan Regewitz.
    Friday: 17; 5:30-9:00pm.

    Game Day: Experience the power of play. NDC Butler to host a Magic Game day. This event is open to all players. Entry $10.00. 3packs prize pool per player. Standard constructed. Exclusive promos to be handed out to all participants and additional promos to be handed out to the top 8 finishers.
    Saturday: 18th 11:15am registration opens. 12:15pm start time.

    Kaijudo
    Kaijudo Duel Days: We are proud to offer more fun, and challenging events with Kaijudo, rise of the Duel Masters. Casual League runs concurrently to this slightly more organized tournament event. $5.00 entry w/ prize support.
    Saturdays 4,11,18,25; 5-9pm.

    Dungeons & Dragons
    Encounters: Come explore and adventure with Dungeons & Dragons - Encounters.
    Mondays 1,13,20,27; 6-9pm.

Monday, August 18, 2014

GPT Orlando - Tarentum; Head Judge Report

Grand Prix Trial Orlando – New Dimension Comics Mills (Tarentum, PA)
Head Judge Report

    Or how to run (or not) a Grand Prix Trial.

    This particular event represents my sixth or so Grand Prix Trial that I have had the fortune to judge in my years in the program. As such, I would like to not only cover some things that occurred in this event in a typical head judge report, but also write in broader strokes about what my fellow judges and Tournament Organizers can do to make these events run smoother.

    Preparation.
    These events take a certain amount of forethought and planning. To run a successful event the TO needs to make sure they have the space, and time to run the event. Provide for some lead time to advertise the event, secure the services of a certified judge such as myself, make sure they have a computer and printer that can be dedicated to the event. Assign someone (sometimes a judge, sometimes not) to keep score. Table numbers, paper cutter, water for parched players and staff – and probably a good number of items that I have failed to mention.

    The point is that as a TO, you need to think of the comfort of your players and staff. Absolutely anything you can do to make the day go smoother is probably a good thing. Jon (My TO on this event) gets a passing score in this department. His store recently underwent an expansion, and we had room for nearly 3 times the number of players we actually hosted (24). Drinks and snacks were on tap, we had a dedicated computer and printer in our room. At the end of the day I'd have to say we put on a successful event for everyone involved.

    I see part of my job as head judge to help the TO prepare. With new TO or ones I have not previously worked with, I try to make sure that they have considered all the things that go into these events. Because if something is forgotten or communication doesn't flow, it often creates a combination of delays or unneeded stress.

    Dealing with new Players.
    Grand Prix Trials are an interesting niche. They are relatively small events that occur on the store level, but they are Competitive Rules Enforcement Level. So you are often faced with players who are playing in their first competitive event. It becomes helpful then to make these events friendly to those players, while maintaining that competitive level. This is most easily done I've found through my Head Judge announcements. I discussed briefly:
    Today is Competitive REL – that simply means that we will hold you to more technically precise play.
    Outside assistance – If someone is involved in a tournament match, make sure that you do not say something that could be construed as play advice. By the same token, if you believe you see a rules issue, you can ask the players to pause the game, and get me involved right away!
    Sealed Deck Swap – You will receive 6 packs of M15. You will be opening these packs, and simply registering the contents of them with the checklists we just passed out. You will not be playing with the cards that you open.

    This is also true at least in part for the top-8 single elimination rounds. Many of your players may have never been in this situation before. It's good to have some instructions prepared for these players.
    Zone Draft – When passing packs, do not stack packs between players!
    Keep your eyes to yourself.
    Please do not discuss the draft in any way.
    You will have a chance to review your picks between packs.
    The rounds you are about to play are still best of 3 matches, the matches are untimed, but we still expect you to play at a reasonable pace.
    The rounds you are about to play are single -elimination rounds.

    Without mentioning names of course, I'm going to mention that we had one particular new player who I now know that this was probably his first ever magic event. As much as I rejoice to see anyone join this awesome hobby – this player is not the target audience for this event. I sincerely hope this player returns to this (or another store) to enjoy magic in the future, but I think allowing him to play at Competitive REL as his first event was probably a disservice.

    Penalties.
    Of course one of the things that is different at Competitive REL, is that we have a very well structured and defined system of penalties, defined by the IPG. And we had a few of those.

    That new player I mentioned before, the pool that he registered was done in a fashion that was rather incomplete and unclear. This was discovered by the player who received the pool at the start of the deck building process. This was also the moment when I became totally aware that this was in fact a brand new player. This falls under the Limited Procedure Violation penalty (warning).
    To resolve this issue, I worked with the player who received this pool. I assisted him in creating a more proper record of the pool.

    The real story was that during round 1, we found 1 deck list with an issue. And – you guessed it, it was this list. The player whom we had saddled with partial responsibility for recording this pool, had forgotten to record the basic land that he was playing. This falls under the deck/decklist problem penalty (Game Loss). However, I opted to downgrade this penalty to a warning for two potent reasons. First, that we had saddled this player with additional responsibility; second – I was collecting deck lists and double-checking them to see that the player had recorded their name and land – and somehow missed this one.

    The only other penalty on the day was another Limited Procedure Violation. This one occurred during our top 8 draft when a player who was between picks of pack 1, reviewed his picks thus far. It was quickly caught, and I re-clarified that review happens between packs only.

    Deck Checks
    All competitive level events also include some kind of deck list, and we judges are required to check at least some of them during the course of the event. The recommendation I often hear is that we want to try to check about 10% of the decks in the event. For this event of 24 people, I felt we could fill this basic requirement by checking a single match. I knew I wanted this check to occur sometime later in the event, preferably round 3 or 4 (of 5). I also knew that because we were a small crowd, and players were not required to play at their assigned tables (this was done so that we weren't boxed into one corner of an otherwise large room) – I was going to swoop into a game mid-round.

    Everything went according to plan here, except the check in question occurred in round 5 instead of round 3 or 4. While not ideal due to the fact that for several matches draws were declared, it accomplished our basic goals. I enlisted Jon's aid to check both decks in a timely fashion, and the decks were returned to the players without incident.

    Rulings
    Answering questions about rules and card interactions is one of many ways Judges serve the players. As this was a limited M15 event, there weren't many questions that stood out as particularly interesting. But I did take notes on 2 that I felt might be educational to some players.

    Generator Servant “T, Sacrifice Generator Servant: Add (2) to your mana pool. If that mana is spent on a creature spell, it gains haste until end of turn.
    Phyrexian Revoker “As Phyrexian Revoker enters the battlefield, name a nonland card.
Activated abilities of sources with the chosen name can't be activated.”

    If Phyrexian Revoker names Generator servant, than you may not sacrifice it for (2) mana. While this is a mana ability, Phyrexian Revoker doesn't care about this quality, and only cares that it is in fact an activated ability.

    Urborg, Tomb of Yogmoth “Each land is a Swamp in addition to its other land types.”
    Staff of the Death Magus “Whenever you cast a black spell or a Swamp enters the battlefield under your control, you gain 1 life.”

    Urborg's ability is static and continuously effects the game state. As such any land that you play or put into play will enter as a swamp, and trigger the staff of the Death Magus.
    As a side note, Urborg effects all land, and not just your own, so your opponent's land is also swamps if they happen to have a Staff of the Death Magus in play.

    Until next time, play some awesome magic.
- Dan Regewitz Lv1 Magic Judge

Sunday, July 20, 2014

WPN events August-Sept

WPN August Events

    Magic: The Gathering
    Casual Play: Here, you rule. Come to play, trade, or build decks for Magic: the Gathering. New Players Welcome. Also frequently run odd formats such as planechase, archenemy, commander, emperor, multiplayer, etc.
    Tuesdays: 5,12,19,26; 5:00-9:00pm

    Friday Night Magic: Standard type 2 constructed event. $7.00 entry. 2 packs into prize pool per player. Hosted by Dan Regewitz.
    Fridays: 1,8,22. 5:30-9:00pm

    Friday Night Magic - Draft: Join us for our monthly draft. $16.00 entry. 2 packs into prize pool per player. Hosted by Dan Regewitz.
    Friday: 15th 5:30-9:00pm

    Friday Night Magic - From the Vault: Standard type 2 constructed event. $15 entry. First place to recieve a From the Vault: Desolation. Hosted by Dan Regewitz.
    Friday, 22nd: 5:30-9:00pm

    Friday Night Magic (modern): Try your hand at this exciting non-rotating format that allows any card printed after 8th edition or Mirrodin block for use, excluding cards on the Modern banned list. Come enjoy this wonderfully diverse format. $10 entry. Prizes can be distrubuted as singles.
     Friday: 29th 5:30-9:00pm

    Magic GAME DAY!: Experience the power of play. NDC Butler to host a Magic Game day. This event is open to all players. Entry $10.00. Standard constructed. First place gets a championship mat. Exclusive promos to be handed out to all participants and additional promos to be handed out to the top 8 finishers.
    Saturday: 9th 11:30am registration opens. 12:30pm start time.

    Kaijudo
    Kaijudo Duel Days: We are proud to offer more fun, and challenging events with Kaijudo, rise of the Duel Masters. Casual League runs concurrently to this slightly more organized tournament event. $5.00 entry w/ prize support. Hosted by Russel Young and Dan Regewitz.
    Tuesdays 2,16,23,30; 5-9pm.

WPN September Events

    Magic: The Gathering

    Casual Play: Come to play, trade, or build decks for Magic: the Gathering. New Players Welcome. Also frequently run odd formats such as planechase, archenemy, commander, emperor, multiplayer, etc.
    Tuesdays: 2,9,16,23,30th; 5:00-9:00pm

    Friday Night Magic: Standard type 2 constructed event. $7.00 entry. 2 packs prize pool per player. Hosted by Dan Regewitz.
    Fridays: 5,12th. 5:30-9:00pm

    Friday Night Magic - 2 Headed Giant; Standard format. $10.00 entry.
3 packs prize pool per player. Hosted by Dan Regewitz.
    Friday: 19th. 5:30-9:00pm


    Friday Night Magic - Draft: Khans of Trokir Launch event. Special 4 pack draft. $20 entry. Promos for all attendees. 2 packs prize pool per player. Hosted by Dan Regewitz.
    Friday 26th. 5:30-9pm.

    Khans Prerelease: Come experience the newest set of Magic with this sanctioned sealed deck pre-release. Our first exposure to the Khans of Trokir. Once again NDC is proud to host an officially sanctioned pre-release event. Please note the times and prices below.
    Saturday, 13, 11:30 registration; 12:30 play begins. $30 sealed deck.
    Saturday, 13, 4:15 registration; 5:15 play begins. $30 sealed deck.
    Sunday, 13, 11:30 registraiton; 12:15 play begins. $30 2-headed giant sealed deck.

    Sealed Deck: Khans of Trokir Launch Event. Two Headed Giant Sealed deck (Using prerelease kits if product allows)! $25 entry. . Promos for all attendees. 2 packs prize pool per player. Hosted by Dan Regewitz.
    Sunday, 28th 12:15-5pm.

    Kaijudo
    Kaijudo Duel Days: We are proud to offer more fun, and challenging events with Kaijudo, rise of the Duel Masters. Casual League runs concurrently to this slightly more organized tournament event. $5.00 entry w/ prize support. Hosted by Russel Young and Dan Regewitz.
    Saturdays 6,13,27; 5-9pm.

    Dungeons & Dragons
    Encounters: Come explore and adventure with Dungeons & Dragons - Encounters.
    Mondays: 8,15,22,29th

Thursday, June 19, 2014

WPN events: July, August


WPN July Events
    Magic: The Gathering: Casual Play: Here, you rule. Come to play, trade, or build decks for Magic: the Gathering. New Players Welcome. Also frequently run odd formats such as planechase, archenemy, commander, emperor, multiplayer, etc.
    Tuesdays:  1,8,15,22,29; 5:30-9:00pm

    Friday Night Magic: Here, you rule. Standard type 2 constructed event. $7.00 entry. DCI sanctioned w/ prize support! Hosted by Dan Regewitz.
    Fridays: 25; 5:30-9:00pm.

    Friday Night Magic; Modern: Modern is non-cycling format that allows any card printed after 8th edition or Mirrodin block for use, excluding cards on the Modern banned list. Come enjoy this wonderfully diverse format. $10 entry. Prizes can be taken as packs or other magic product.
    Friday, 11th 5:30-9:00pm.

    Magic 2015 Core Set Prerelease!: Come experience the newest core set of Magic with this sanctioned sealed deck pre-release. Once again NDC is proud to host an officially sanctioned pre-release event. Please note the times and prices below. Hosted by Dan Regewitz.
    Saturday, 12, 11:30 registration; 12:30 play begins. $30 sealed deck.
    Saturday, 12, 4:30 registration; 5:15 play begins. $25 sealed deck.
    Sunday, 13, 11:30 registraiton; 12:15 play begins. $30 sealed deck.

    Magic 2015 Launch Draft!: Come celebrate the official release of the Magic 2011 core set with a DCI sanctioned Draft. Swiss rounds. $16.00 entry. Prizes based on attendance. Hosted by Dan Regewitz.
    Friday, 18: 5:30-9:00.

    Magic 2015 Sealed Deck: One of the best ways to enjoy a new set is to play sealed deck. This launch event features packs of the newest Magic core set. $30.00 entry. Prizes based on attendance. Hosted by Dan Regewitz.
    Sunday 20th: 12:10 play begins.

    Kaijudo
    Kaijudo Duel Days: We are proud to offer more fun, and challenging events with Kaijudo, rise of the Duel Masters. Casual League runs concurrently to this slightly more organized tournament event. $5.00 entry w/ prize support. Hosted by Russel Young and Dan Regewitz.
    Saturday 5,19,26; 4-9pm.

WPN August Events
    Magic: The Gathering: Casual Play: Here, you rule. Come to play, trade, or build decks for Magic: the Gathering. New Players Welcome. Also frequently run odd formats such as planechase, archenemy, commander, emperor, multiplayer, etc.
    Tuesdays: 5,12,19,26; 5:00-9:00pm

    Friday Night Magic: Standard type 2 constructed event. $7.00 entry. DCI sanctioned w/ prize support! Hosted by Dan Regewitz.
    Fridays: 1,8,22. 5:30-9:00pm

    Friday Night Magic - Draft: Join us for our monthly draft. We expect to draft M13 core set. $16.00 entry. DCI sanctioned. Hosted by Dan Regewitz.
    Friday: 15th 5:30-9:00pm

    Friday Night Magic - From the Vault: Standard type 2 constructed event. $15 entry. First place to recieve a From the Vault: Desolation. Hosted by Dan Regewitz.
    Friday, 22nd: 5:30-9:00pm



    Friday Night Magic (modern): Try your hand at this exciting non-rotating format that allows any card printed after 8th edition or Mirrodin block for use, excluding cards on the Modern banned list. Come enjoy this wonderfully diverse format. $10 entry. Prizes can be distributed as store credit.
    Friday: 29th 5:30-9:00pm

    Magic GAME DAY!: Experience the power of play. NDC Butler to host a Magic Game day. This event is open to all players. Entry $10.00. Standard constructed. First place gets a championship mat. Exclusive promos to be handed out to all participants and additional promos to be handed out to the top 8 finishers.
    Saturday: 9th 11:30am registration opens. 12:30pm start time.

    Kaijudo
    Kaijudo Duel Days: We are proud to offer more fun, and challenging events with Kaijudo, rise of the Duel Masters. Casual League runs concurrently to this slightly more organized tournament event. $5.00 entry w/ prize support. Hosted by Russel Young and Dan Regewitz.
    Tuesdays 2,16,23,30; 5-9pm.

Monday, May 12, 2014

To Defeat a God

To Defeat a God

I play a land, and brace myself. Xenagos flips 2 Ecstatic Pipers. A 2/2 that reads "when this enters the battlefield, Xenagos Ascended attacks this turn if able. Hero's reward - When this leaves the battlefield, each player gains 2 life."

Xenagos Ascended represents the only way I can win here. A 6/5 that reads "This can't leave the battlefield as long as a reveler is on the battlefield." and "When this leaves the battlefield, each player wins the game." Taunting me with a solution to the problem, but putting it behind the iron barrier of a strange ability that makes it better than indestructible.

I have however nothing except a tapped scryland, so I eat 6 and go to 14. On my following turn I draw a card, play another land, and manage a sylvan caryatid.

Xenagos flips a Rollicking Throng - 1/3 When it enters reveal the top card of Xenagos's library and Xenagos casts that card. It turns over another Rollicking Throng. The next card is Xenagos's Strike, a sorcery that burns each player for 4. I'm at 10, and Xenagos still has one more card this turn. It's a Maddened Oread. 4/2 - As long as 5 or more revelers are on the battlefield, it attacks each turn if able. Hero's reward - when it leaves the battlefield, each player gains 3 life.

At this point, there are 7 Revelers on the battlefield, 4 Rollicking Throngs, 2 Ecstatic Pipers, and the Oread. Fortunately for me the Oread is the only thing that would attack - but it's not going to because of summoning sickness. Still I'm at 10 life and starting my third turn. Overall, things are not looking good.

The "Defeat a God" challenge deck is the third and possibly final challenge deck issued by Wizards of the Coast. It asks us to defeat the mad planeswalker turned god Xenagos to restore some semblance of balance to the world of Theros.

Like the other challenge decks that came before it "Defeat a God" is a unique deck, with non-standard backs. It represents a special scenario for solo play. The primary puzzle of this scenario is to destroy or remove Xenagos Ascended, a 6/5 that remains in play as long as he is accompanied by revelers - a special creature type assigned to about half the cards in this deck.

The challenge deck itself is capable of some pretty brutal plays. The example I illustrated above is not uncommon and I can say from personal experience is very rough to deal with. I feel like the decks that will do best in this challenge are midrange decks that can trade creature-for-creature early.

Control decks have a decent chance of dying before they can wipe the board. Applying that release valve may not even help that much. If Xenagos casts a Rollicking Throng or Ecstatic Piper, you may find yourself back behind the 8-ball.

Aggressive decks should be able to handle all the smaller revelers in the deck. The problem being that Xenagos Ascended is himself a 6/5, and that can be a big body to deal with in a traditional aggro-burn deck.

So far in my play testing this has proved the most difficult challenge deck. Don't forget that on Journey into Nyx Game Day (5/24/14) you can attempt to defeat a god yourself at your local magic store. Check out the event locator (link) to find a location near you. If you do manage to take down a god, there will be a cool promo hero card waiting for you.