Whew, what a weekend!
Grand Prix Las Vegas was an incredible experience. I’m currently still processing everything I learned from the event. While I’ll be continuing with the second part of someday soon, that day is not today.
Today’s post, instead, is about something that you’re more likely to encounter than a many-thousand player Grand Prix. You could encounter it at your local store’s next PPTQ, or even at FNM.
Today’s post is about backups.
At GP Vegas, I was involved in a few situations where a backup could be considered as a fix, or where I was consulted to approve one. Here are a couple of them! What would you do in these situations? Let us know in the comments!
As usual for these sorts of scenarios, you may assume that no one is cheating, but feel free to draw attention to any situations that seem especially suspicious. Further, you may assume these scenarios are at Competitive REL, and that you have the ability to conduct backups.
Service with a Guile
Annie controls Guile, Hearthfire Hobgoblin, and Ethercaste Knight. Nunu controls a Tumble Magnet with three charge counters and a Runed Servitor. Annie says “Combat?” Nunu says, “Sure.” Annie attacks with all her creatures, and Nunu blocks Guile with the Runed Servitor. Annie says, “OK, take 5.” Nunu replies, “Yes, and we both draw a card.” Both players mark the damage and draw a card from the Servitor’s trigger; Annie now has four cards in hand. In her postcombat main phase, Annie plays a Blood Ogre and puts a counter on it from bloodthirst, then passes the turn. Then Annie realizes that Runed Servitor shouldn’t have been able to block Guile, and calls for a judge. Do you rewind? How far? What factors influence your decision?
What’s Black and Blue and Sorcery Speed Only?
Lumiel is playing against Belial. On her turn, Lumiel casts Dimir Guildmage and passes the turn. Belial untaps, draws, and says, “Go.” Lumiel taps eight mana and says, “On your end step, Dimir Guildmage, targeting you twice, discard two cards.” Belial discards two cards. Shiva the spectator interrupts and asks the players to call a judge. Do you rewind? Why or why not? What if Belial had done something on his turn?
Sweet Oracle O’ Mine
Axl is fighting Noel. Axl has just cast Etched Oracle with sunburst of four, leaving him with no cards in hand. At her first opportunity, Noel casts Smash to Smithereens targeting Axl’s Oracle. Axl says, “In response, I’ll activate Etched Oracle’s ability and draw.” Axl picks up four cards from his library, and Noel calls for a judge. What do you do?
Aladdin attacks Nala with a 2/2 Stormblood Berserker. Nala’s only creatures are Dimir Guildmage and Spikeshot Elder. Nala blocks the Berserker with both of her creatures, stacking them on top of each other so the Guildmage is closer to the Berserker. Aladdin passes priority. Nala then casts Apostle’s Blessing targeting her Dimir Guildmage, and names red. Aladdin passes and lets Nala’s Blessing resolve, then casts a Blessing of his own. When it resolves, Aladdin names black, and moves Nala’s creatures so that the Spikeshot Elder is closer to his Berseker. Nala calls for a judge. What do you do? Does your response change at all if the Berserker is a 1/1 or a 3/3?
In Atom’s draw step, Nebula casts Vendilion Clique and announces she’s targeting Atom with the trigger. Atom reveals his hand, and Nebula selects Chimeric Mass. Atom puts Chimeric Mass into his graveyard, and neglects to draw a card. Nebula then Lightning Bolts Atom’s Court Homunculus. When Atom puts Court Homunculus into his graveyard on top of Chimeric Mass, the players realize Atom’s mistake, and call for a judge. What do you do?
I look forward to hearing your thoughts on any or all of these scenarios! Don’t be afraid of “being wrong”: asking questions is how we learn! Besides (spoiler alert), these scenarios may not always have one right answer. Check back next week, where I’ll share some thoughts on these scenarios, as well as recap any discussions from the comments.