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Report 2008 - GP Birmingham - Riccardo Tessitori
Articolo del 1-6-2008 a cura di Tessitori Riccardo
Tessitori Riccardo

Just the time to come back home, to wash all my clothes, to (almost) recover from the jet-lag because of the travel to PT Hollywood… and it’s already time to leave for GP Birmingham!

First advice to travelers: try not to go to two long events, two weekends in a row in two different continents.


Well, the cards are the same, the problems are the same, and the format is the same… stop!

GP Birmingham is block constructed!

GP Birmingham is the first professional event with a new format!

Second advice to travelers: the first professional event of a new format is always exciting; new decks, new card interactions, worth to go!


The decks

581 players attended GP Birmingham, with thousands and thousands of faeries and kithkins…

In the Top8 there were three Faeries, three Kithkins, one Elemental (the first time I saw a Horde of Notions on a table, I thought “It’s surely a lucky charm”; at my local store, for the last six months, every time we opened a Horde of Notions in a draft, it ended on the Magic notice board, where there are now dozens… and now that detested limited card became a terrifying constructed card!) and one Command.


The judges

Adam Cetnerowski, L4 from Poland, was Head Judge.

Gabor Heigy from Hungary was Scorekeeper.

Kevin Desprez, L3 from France, was shadowing the head judge.

Nick Sephton and Jason Hewlett, the local heroes, coordinated all public events.



There were two seminars:

Glen White (teacher from London): How to prepare a seminar

Jurgen Baert: How to answer players’ questions

If any of you attended these crowded and involving seminars, and have some notes, I encourage you to share them with all of us.


New judges

Congratulations to Jin Shen from Leeds and Peter Stephenson from Stafford, who passed the L1 test.


Layers, copies, animated lands… help!

Did I say “new format, interesting new card interaction”? You could bet on it, we had quite some troubles!

My opponent has too many creatures and he’s going to kill me; after he attacked, I animate my Mutavault and I play Mirror Wave on it, so that all enemy creatures become NOT animated Mutavaults, and are removed from combat.

My opponent is attacking me and he’s playing his Mirror Wave on his Cenn, to make all the attacking creatures huge; I can survive by playing my Mirror Wave in response, targeting my 1/1 Spirit token, so that his Cenn’s copiable values are “just 1/1”.

My opponent is attacking with his Mutavault and I play Pollen Lullaby; his Mutavault will untap in his next turn, because Pollen Lullaby modifies the rules of the game (and his Mutavault will be just a land when my Pollen Lullaby will try to keep it tapped).


Demigod of Revenge

“When you play Demigod of Revenge, return all cards named Demigod of Revenge from your graveyard to play.”

What happens if I play the Demigod and my opponent plays a Counterspell without saying anything?

Is it obvious that he plays it after the triggered ability resolves (and the Demigod will not return itself into play), or he made a mistake and it will be assumed that he played the Counterspell at the very first opportunity, or he will be asked by the judge when he played the Counterspell since he didn’t say anything?

For GP Birmingham, the decision was that “unless he says differently, a player is considered to play *in response to a spell or ability* at the first opportunity available”.


Drawing extra cards or NOT drawing extra card… this is the problem

An interesting discussion was about a spell illegally played (for example, if the spell is played without having the correct mana), with the opponent not noticing and letting it resolve (and therefore drawing one or more cards).

Is it “just” a Game Rule Violation, and the fact that the opponent didn’t notice is enough to say that the spell on the stack will resolve and no “extra” penalty will be issued OR it is Drawing Extra Cards because the card is drawn as a direct consequence of the illegal play? (I hope I didn’t ask too much to my English… ^__^ I’ll try to write simple sentences in the future).

OK, let’s not misinterpret the following sentence in the Penalty Guide: “If a player moves cards into his or her hand while correctly resolving a legally played spell or ability, but that spell or ability was the result of a sequence of events caused by a different Game Play Error, the infraction is the appropriate Game Play Error, not Drawing Extra Cards”. The Penalty Guide clearly say “legally played”, meaning that an infraction happened before legally playing the spell or ability that caused the card to be drawn.

So, if the card is drawn as a *direct* consequence of an illegal play (like underpaying a spell), the infraction is Drawing Extra Cards; if the card is drawn as an *indirect* consequence of an illegal play (it means a separate and independent action), we should consider only the direct result of the first infraction, that will be a Game Rule Violation.


Adopted by the UK

I started judging professional tournaments in 2003 and (with only one exception in 2004) I went to all the Euro/GP/PTs in UK:

European Championships 2003 (London)

GP London 2003

PT London 2005

GP Nottingham 2005 (my first GP abroad as HJ)

GP Cardiff 2006

Nationals 2007 (the UK festival, a great event)

GP Birmingham 2008

I told it during the judge meeting, these people succeeded in making me feel at home ^__^

When you judge, at your local store or abroad, I wish you could always feel welcome and comfortable like I always do in the UK… and this is my final ruling!


Riccardo Tessitori