Saturday, January 30, 2016

Make a Note of It

In my last post I talked about getting to old business, and I included my notes from the SCG Open in Charlotte.  For this post I am going to unpack those notes and talk about those situations in greater detail.  Notes don't have to be extensive to be effective. A lot of my notes in Charlotte are in short hand and don't get very specific, but they were taken in the moment. As a result of taking them down as they happened I'm able to recall those events in great detail.

Up For Review

Judge A - ??
Judge B- reviews.
Judge C - learn network have fun. Good ethic. Hustle. Aggressive with slips. Excellent rules knowledge. Kolaghan's command scenario. Don't have to be the hero judge. Self care. Link articleSerum visions scry 3 dec fix. Judge C appeal. Shake it off. Correct infraction incorrect fix.
Lost Judge A to sides. Round 4. A adapts. Flexibility. Positivity.
Everyone shifted into empty areas without delegation. Awesome.
Unsurprisingly, Judge C received the longest review from me at this event. Pretty much a direct result of having more interaction with them throughout the day and as a result I had more content. Additionally they ran into a ruling and appeal in Round 6.  They were shaken with the appeal and overturn, these things happen. There are players that will appeal everything, I had a player once appeal my ruling on the activation of Barbarian Ring. I have also had more tardiness penalties appealed than I can keep track of.  The appeals process is there to make sure that players in the event receive a consistent experience, sometimes we're going to make the wrong ruling. It's important to try to understand why that appeal happened. Is my ruling wrong? Was my delivery poor? Would this player appeal my ruling of "Yes, we are playing Magic?" If we can pinpoint why it happened we can learn from it and grow as judges. Don't sweat the appeal, do talk with your Head Judge afterwards about the ruling and see how you can improve on it.

My note for Judge A was a result of myself and the sides lead getting our wires crossed on break schedules and A was willing to hang on to the clipboard for an extra round of On Demand events and was super positive about it. When I judge tells me "No it's okay, I love side events" I know the players over on that side of the room are in good hands and are going to have fun.

The short entry about a shift came at a time when floor coverage was lacking on the higher numbered tables, I moved to the back of the room to get my team to pick up those spots and they all shifted into those areas on their own. It was awesome and something I made sure to take note of so that I could talk about it with them later and include it in reviews.

A Wrench in Our Plans

9 rounds.
Table numbers
Match results slip
Round 2 - Full
Round 6 - Half
Sides Judge A 3 Judge B 4 Judge B 5 help sides with breaks.
No clipboard. Solutions? Extension sheet. Zone assignment. Track and record. Log extensions 5+ minutes
Some notes from the start of our day Saturday! It's pretty straightforward, 9 round event, we're handling End of Round and the Clock. Our breaks, our helping sides. And that we have a ginormous Open Series event.  The "Match results slip" entry was a reminder that I wanted to show my team how we fill out penalties correctly for our scorekeepers now using WLTR:

Then things got interesting. "I won't have a printout for you this round, I don't know if I'll have one for you at all."  WLTR was giving our scorekeeper issues and needed to focus their full attention on entering results for the round, as a result I had to adapt quickly and make a new plan for getting coverage during End of Round.  We started recording time extensions, we made sure that judges were spreading out into zones to keep vigilant for slow play and aggressively collect outstanding (read: delinquent) slips.  In lieu of a printout I drew a map of the room broken down into groups of tables. As judges would come up for table assignments the first few would get sent to the farthest tables to get me status reports. As judges came back with data I was able to build my own list of outstanding (read: delinquent) tables.  I think as a team and as a staff we executed this wonderfully. I can say with confidence that this hurdle didn't slow down our event one bit.

Time After Time

108 +328 +3
307 +10
116 +8
97 +12
56 +5 Player A again. Went over time r3
92 +3
151 +4
44 +12 (gl)
Tardy, we issue game losses, not wins.
This section is (mostly) self explanatory, I was End of Round lead, as such I was tracking time extensions. Table number, extension, and sometimes a note of a penalty. That last line refers to a match where I escorted a late player to his table.  His opponent was upset because another judge told him he had "Already won game 1."  It is important to remember in the case of tardiness penalties, we don't issue game wins, we issue game losses. Sometimes there is a circumstance where we aren't going to penalize a player for being late.  When I'm dealing with no-shows I make sure to tell the seated players "When 10 minutes pass or your opponent shows up, we'll take it from there" or something along those lines.  This doesn't guarantee any action for the player and can avoid confusion and feelbads.

Take to the Watch

Player B serum visions scry. Eyes.
Player C. Watch Face during shuffling. Side of deck. Purple sleeves. If player drops inform Sabin. Table 110. Eyes down mash shuffle. Right side of deck up. Left side of deck toward him while playing. Not figedty during match. Died stuck on lands game 2
This batch of notes referred to a couple instances of investigation. Our first player had some questionable methods while resolving Serum Visions, so I was asked to keep an eye on him and report back with what I saw.  Our second friend was flagged by our Deck Checks team and I was asked to keep an eye on him while he shuffled and played. Where were his eyes? What way was his deck facing? Was he messing with his deck while he played?  I took some more detailed notes here and let that team know what I saw. Luckily both of these players were on the level and neither were sent home early.

Fun AND Interactive

Wild Defiance + Spellskite. Trigger resolves?
Melira, activate inkmoth nexus, block. Damage?
Anger of the Gods, Spider Umbra - multiple replacement
Kolaghan's Command. Both shatter and shock target Frogmite. Regenerate with Welding Jar. What happens. Why?
Are judges asking the right questions?
Here's a quick rundown of the more interesting rules questions I encountered on Saturday:

"Judge, my opponent has cast Mutagenic Growth targeting his Glistener Elf. If I Activate my Spellskite in response to the Wild Defiance trigger, what happens?"

"My opponent controls Melira, and I want to activate my Inkmoth Nexus to block his creature, what happens when we go to damage?"

"Judge, my opponent cast Anger of the Gods, my creature is equipped with Spider Umbra. I get to just destroy my aura, right?"

"If I target my opponent's 2/2 Frogmite with Kolaghan's Command choosing 'Shatter' and 'Shock' and they regenerate it with Welding Jar, what happens when my Command resolves?"

I'm not going to get into a lot of detail here except for our Kolaghan's Command scenario.  I love this ruling because it forces us to ask the right questions and to read the card. So the answer here is that Frogmite is very dead, but why? We regenerated it!  It's dead because of the way Kolaghan's Command is printed.  The first thing that happens is "Destroy target artifact," when that happens Welding Jar's regeneration replaces the destroy effect. After that we continue to resolve Command and it marks two damage on Frogmite.  When the spell finishes resolving, State Based Actions are checked, and Frogmite dies.

Moving Forward

I hope to continue taking notes like this at my event this year, Being able to take them directly on my iPad (Also doubles as a portable hard surface for filling out penalties!) and upload them right to my email was incredibly convenient.  I've got another post in the works coming up to discuss our Sunday watching people play Legacy, and how much fun a player can have while shuffling their deck!

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