MTG SEA Championship Final Cycle 1 – Robin Williams’ Tournament Report

Robin Williams is an L2 judge from Indonesia and he was part of the recently concluded SEA Championship Final for cycle 1. Learning from the experience, he decided to write a tournament report which he generously shared with us.

MTG SEA Championship Final Cycle 1 – Day 1
Location: Roselle-Simpor Ballroom at Marina Bay Sands Singapore
Time: Saturday, November 26,2022
Total Players: 154 Players
Format: Pioneer
Role in the event: Deck check & Floor Judge

Saturday – Main Event – Deckcheck
This was my first big event overseas. So, I was pretty excited to see what it was like! My first impression was that everything looked so normal except for the open decklist side. That made my mind at ease, as I can judge like usual.
One of the biggest differences is that EOR(end of round) was quite hectic. Posting time extensions for a match in the time board is also important. Other judges may be unaware of the extra time given to some tables for various reasons (mainly deck check and Judge Call).

At the beginning of round 2, one player called for Judge, and I approached him. He told me that he forgot to desideboard. He realized it when first when he was drawing the first 7. I was unsure and called for my fellow judges to help me check. With his help, we give him a warning for a deck problem. Correcting his deck to what’s it supposed to be and forcing him to do a mulligan.


I got a call where Bloodtithe Harvester was trying to kill the NAP’s creature with its ability. NAP(non-active player) says that he doesn’t have enough blood tokens to kill his 4/4 creature as he only got 1 blood token. AP(active player) told me that he cast Bloodtithe Harvester last turn and forget to tick the die atop his blood token. Oops, a missed trigger then, I let the opponent choose whether he wants to give the trigger back, and certainly, he doesn’t give it. The game continues as it is.

Photo Credit: MTG SEA Championships

Player A (NAP) calls me and asks “does Dauntless Bodyguard choose what to protect as he enters the battlefield. I told him yes; Dauntless Bodyguard choose who to protect as he enters the battlefield(etb)”. NAP then proceeds to destroy 1 opp creature after the Dauntless Bodyguard etb choosing the creature NAP want to kill and the AP sac his Dauntless Bodyguard.

Before anything else happen he then complained to me saying that the creature should die first before it’s protected by Dauntless Bodyguard. I said that the AP doing the correct thing. NAP confirm again, did Dauntless Bodyguard choose what to protect as he ETB, again, I told him yes. Then NAP told me when the ability on the stack I destroy the creature it’s a legal move. I finally see the problem. I told him Dauntless Bodyguard’s ability doesn’t use the stack. He chooses as he ETB. But you can destroy the creature when Dauntless Bodyguard’s on the stack. Naturally Dauntless Bodyguard can choose another creature to protect.


A player called after casting Detention Sphere. He asked me can he target Kumano Faces Kakkazan and Etching of Kumano using 1 Detention Sphere. As it’s the same card. I told him that he cannot. Even though it is one card, and the name’s different so Detention Sphere also checks it as a different permanent.


As I was watching 1 of the last table in the round. AP taps his forest enchanted with Wolfwillow Haven trying to add GG to his mana pool. NAP told him that Damping Sphere should add him colorless instead of G. After confirming with some fellow judges. We concluded that Wolfwillow Haven adds additional G not adding GG so it will still give AP GG instead of colorless mana.

Photo Credit: MTG SEA Championships

The player realized that he shuffled 1 of his sideboard card to the deck midgame. The deck is still legal to play so we told him that he should play as it is.

MTG SEA Championship Final Cycle 1 – Day 2
Location: Roselle-Simpor Ballroom at Marina Bay Sands Singapore
Time: Saturday, November 27,2022
Total Players: 116 Players
Format: Modern
Role in the event: Floor Judge

This is my mistake, and I only realized it after 3-4 days after the event. Spell Queller exiling Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer.

AP killed the Spell Queller and asked me if he can cast Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer using its dash ability.

I told him yes, he can cast him using its dash ability but he has to pay its mana cost. Because Spell Queller gives another alternative cost (cast without paying its mana cost) and Dash is also an alternative cost, He can only choose one of those. After 3-4 days after the event, I checked the gatherer to check my note for the event. The gatherer says:

If a player casts a card “without paying its mana cost,” they can’t choose to cast it for any alternative costs, such as emerge costs. The player can, however, pay additional costs, such as escalate costs. If the card has any mandatory additional costs, those must be paid to cast the card.

After reading this I realized I give a wrong ruling. Things to learn.

Last but not least is the most interesting call over the weekend which includes a lot of other judges.


It’s time for the round. I was watching one table as the player ticks down Karn, The Great Creator. He looks at his sideboard, and before he takes a card from it, he casts Sylvan Scrying. NAP told him that he failed to resolve Karn’s ability, and asked me what will happen next?

Since it’s just out-of-sequence play, AP can first search his sideboard and then resolve Sylvan Scrying. NAP didn’t really like my answer and decided to appeal.

AP explained to the Head Judge what was on his mind. He already took a card (Walking Ballista), so he cast the Sylvan Scrying to find Sanctum of Ugin to big cast Walking Ballista and search for another card. The NAP told the HJ that AP doesn’t seem to check his sideboard. Following some discussion with other judges, the HJ decided that Karn’s ability “failed to find” and that the game should be re-started when the AP tries to resolve Sylvan Scrying.

In Conclusion

I had a lot of fun at MTG SEA Championship Final Cycle 1. Knowing other judges from the region and working with them is the best experience I can get. I learned a lot from them and hopefully can improve my judging in my own country. Thanks for the opportunity and I hope we can work together again at the next event! Cheers!!!

We would like to thank Robin for sharing his tournament report so that we can all learn from it as well.

MTG SEA Championship’s Facebook page and Website
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