Travelling is experiencing life and discovering the differences between our culture and others’, and I will never get tired of encouraging all of you to keep an open mind to whoever is different from you, as it offers you one of the best opportunities of growth.
Japan is probably the country that is different from everyone else.
It is described in movies and documentaries, but I’m confident that there is no documentary that may give you the feelings of being there and observing all those small details that make it unique.
Back to Japan
After a summer of tournaments in old Europe, intercontinental travels started again, with two Japanese GPs.
Nagoya, first Grand Prix with the new Guilds of Ravnica.
In Italy, we have a proverb that, approximately, says “If you got to 30, you will get to 31”.
GP Nagoya was my event number 30 in Japan, and GP Shizuoka was my event number 31.
The first time I went to Japan, Pro Tour Yokohama 2003 as a player, I would have never imagined that this simple game would have allowed me to travel so many times to beautiful Japan.
Among the 30 countries I visited thanks to Magic, here you have the top 5:
US: 33 events
Japan: 31 events
France: 20 events
Spain: 19 events (note: at the end of the year, Spain will reach France, after the World Magic Cup)
UK: 14 events
Policy study: IPG with tracked changes
One of the aspects of judging that is among the most important is policy knowledge, which has to be maintained updated.
Policy documents change every new set (3 months), and changes are highlighted in Appendix B and described in the Policy Perspectives blog.
One way of studying the policy changes is by taking the old text and the new text, and compare them, with the goal of understanding the reason for the change or removal or adding of any sentence or word.
Here you have the complete list and analysis of changes of the IPG of the four sets released in 2018.
Let’s take a look at just one:
2.5: Partial fixes don’t create triggers that wouldn’t have been there at the time.
For each of these fixes, a simple backup may be performed beforehand if it makes applying the fix smoother.
For each of these fixes, a simple backup may be performed beforehand if it makes applying the fix smoother. Triggered abilities are generated from these partial fixes only if they would have occurred had the action been taken at the correct time.
The added sentence indicates that an action due to applying a partial fix doesn’t trigger any ability, unless the ability would have triggered at the moment the action should have happened.
Partial fixes are used to fix a mistake at a later time without performing a full backup.
If an ability should have triggered, it’s appropriate that it triggers; though it’s not optimal, we accept that it triggers in a wrong moment of the game.
If an ability should not have triggered, it seems inappropriate to make it trigger only because we are fixing the mistake at a later moment.
My opponent casts a card that deals 2 damage to all creatures, while I control a 1/1, a 2/2 and a second 2/2 that gives +1/+1 to all my other creatures.
By mistake, we believe that the first 2/2 would remain a 3/3 and not die, and we leave it on the battlefield.
The other two creatures die.
My opponent controls an enchantment that says “Whenever a creature controlled by your opponent dies, you may have that player lose 1 life”.
The mistake makes me lose 2 life points instead of 3.
If the mistake is discovered after a couple of turns and my opponent still controls that enchantment, my 2/2 (that wasn’t a 3/3 any more) would be moved to the graveyard, and I would lose 1 life point, as the triggered ability from my opponent’s enchantment triggers, because the enchantment was on the battlefield at the moment my 2/2 should have died.
Imagine exactly the same scenario, and now, after some of my creature have died, I cast an enchantment that says “Whenever a creature you control dies, you gain 100 life points”.
Do you agree that my opponent would try to defeat me without killing my creatures?
Imagine the mistake we made with the 2/2; we now discover it after my powerful enchantment has entered the battlefield.
The 2/2 that should have died is moved to the graveyard, and the triggered ability…
In 2017, in would have triggered, as the enchantment was seeing one of my creatures dying.
From January 2018, the enchantment would consider that the creature should have died before the enchantment entered the battlefield, which makes the game progress in a way that is closer to what it would have been without the mistake.
The document with all the changes tracked and explained will be updated after each set’s release.
Time to go back home
Guilds of Ravnica has arrived, and our next stop will be at the Pro Tour that will highlight the new decks and strategies, in Atlanta.