SCG Standard Regionals Ohio

Aaron Hammer, Level 1, Newark, Ohio, United States

Aaron Hammer, Level 1, Newark, Ohio, United States

August 6, 2016 | Greater Columbus Convention Center

210 Players | 12 Judges

Head Judge: Jarrod Williams

At the SCG Regionals hosted by Comic Town, I was assigned to the paper team. Previously, I have distributed  match slips at my local FNM, but I have yet to do this task at a larger event. My duties for this event were new and exciting. I met my team lead, Jesse Meiring and my team mate Chelsea Hogan. Jesse seemed energetic and a great guy, so we were going to get along just fine. I’d met Chelsea once before, but haven’t worked with her on a team until this event. She shared the same energy I see in most awesome judges. It ended up being a great day.

Considerations and Lessons Learned

  1. Don’t try to be a hero and cut too many match slips at once with the paper cutter. I mangled a few. Only one needed tape and luckily the others were not bad enough to require reprints.  A more experienced L2 judge made me feel better about myself when he did it too. This paper cutter was a bit sketchy, so that didn’t help. For example: beautiful cut, beautiful cut, beautiful cut, SLIP MANGLE MANGLE, beautiful cut, etc. In the end, taking the task slow and steady while trimming fewer sheets of paper with each cut was successful. It is something so easy to consider, yet so easy to forgo while rushing to get all the slips cut.
  2. If you don’t have boards already set up for your pairings, go find a place to put them.  Also, get painter’s tape up before the player’s meeting and determine who will take down each round’s pairings and when. I volunteered for this job and I believe I did well. No pairings were still up with 20 minutes remaining in any round, except when I was on break, which brings me to my next learning experience.
  3. Always ask someone to take over your duties before going on break. When I went on break no one took the match slips down. Mainly because I was the one doing it and didn’t slip on it all day, so no one else had to think about it. I also didn’t remind my team lead that I had taken care of this task up until that point.

That was my experience on the paper team. Afterwards, I also volunteered to be one of the top 8 judges, so I stayed through the conclusion of the event. The semi-finals featured a Bant Company mirror where game 1 lasted over an hour. Game 2 concluded when one player counted his opponent’s graveyard and declared he had no creatures remaining in his deck. Fantastic!

When the paper team’s tasks were all settled, I helped out with floor judge calls. Here were the interesting ones from my notes:

Essence Flux + Spell Queller  doesn’t work the way you want it to. When your Spell Queller leaves play and re-enters during the resolution of Essence Flux the ETB and LTB triggers both go on the stack. No matter what order you decide to put them in, the ETB trigger has no spell to target and will be countered on resolution unless you get a more complicated scenario with an additional spell already on the stack. The LTB trigger isn’t the spell coming back, rather it’s the question of “may cast”. The exiled spell hasn’t been placed on the stack yet to be targeted by the ETB trigger.

In another case I observed, Archangel Avacyn‘s Flip trigger can be responded to with a removal spell. So can her indestructible trigger. Also, a player cannot sacrifice Mausoleum Wanderer with no spell to target. If that were the case, it would say “up to one target” instead. In this case, the player wanted to sacrifice his  Mausoleum Wanderer to make Archangel Avacyn transform.

A vigilant, attacking Anointer of Champions can target itself with its activated ability. The ability’s text does not specify that it has to target another creature.

The extra turn granted by Emrakul, the Promised End counts as one of the five extra turns after time has been called for the round. In a brutal scenario that I was fortunate to have watched, Player A, who was controlling Player B’s turn activates Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy and discards player B’s Emrakul, the Promised End which flipped the Jace. He then made player B use Jace’s – ability to and cast To the Slaughter from the graveyard, asking player B to target himself and sacrifice player B’s Sylvan Advocate and Liliana, the Last Hope. Furthermore, he asked player B to cast Pulse of Murasa to make Player A return another copy of Emrakul to his hand. Player A also asked player B to play an Evolving Wilds and fail to find a basic land. Yet another interaction in this brutal turn showed Player A asking player B to activate the – ability of his Sorin, Grim Nemesis, target itself using all of its loyalty as the value of X. To top it all off, player A asked player B to activate his Lumbering Falls and attack it into player A’s Emrakul. What a slaughter!

Gaining control of a planeswalker with Dragonlord Silumgar does not cause ETB triggers on the planeswalker. It was already on the battlefield even though it switched sides. Sorry players no Oath trigger for you!

Bouncing melded cards, like Brisela, Voice of Nightmares to your hand causes both cards to go there. This also applies to other cards which changes the zone of the melded card.

Players don’t have to acknowledge P/T change triggers on a Mausoleum Wanderer until it becomes relevant to the game state. Thus, your opponent didn’t miss those triggers if they sacrifice it in response to you casting a spell and say, “Counter unless you pay 3?”

Similarly, when a player casts Emrakul, the Promised End, passes the turn and reaches for Player B’s deck. Player B calls judge hoping Player A missed trigger on controlling a turn. Unfortunately for player B, player A was demonstrating awareness of the trigger as it was becoming relevant to the game state.

I also observed that what makes Elder Deep-Fiend so good is the fact that a player’s mana pool empties at the end of steps and phases. Thus, if a player esponds to an Elder Deep-Fiend‘s ability by tapping the targeted lands during his/her upkeep, he/she will no longer have the mana that was floated during her draw step or her main phase.

On Penalties

I had to issue 2 players game losses for being tardy by around 8 minutes. I also warned a player for looking at extra cards  for revealing one too many cards to Evolutionary Leap. My final penalty of the day was a warning for a GRV given to a player who used Murder targetting a Lumbering Falls which was hexproof.


That’s all folks. I’m a terrible writer. Hopefully my ramblings were interesting at least. I had a blast and I hope to test for Level 2 soon. My comfort level was very high and I’m very confident that I can do this at the highest level my family life and availability will allow me. Working larger events like this is what I want to do, so L2 is where I want to be by the very definition of roles. On a side note, pierogies are amazing. Don’t ever work an event at the Columbus Convention Center without eating at North Market across the street, more specifically, at Hubert’s Polish Kitchen.

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