Hey, so we had a prerelease this weekend! Dragon's Maze! The culmination of the Return to Ravnica! Exclamation marks!
FNM: Anyway. So, I basically hung out at Mox Mania almost all weekend. I played Standard at FNM, and my record was 1-2-1. I don't remember much about what happened, other than losing to an aggro deck (I think) and a Junk Rites deck, beating a mono-white aggro deck, and ... apparently drawing against something else? I don't remember. Whatever. It was fun, but obviously not terribly memorable. Sorry!
Midnight Prerelease: So then there was the midnight prerelease. I played ... Judge Duty! This was my first event on Duty as a L1 Judge, and my first Prerelease. It was a great experience, both in and of itself, and as, well, experience. I've played in plenty of these things, but it was interesting to be on the other side of the fence, as it were. It reminds me of being in a band, and the difference between being in the audience and on stage. On stage, you can observe the crowd, and try to do your best to give them a good show/experience.
I was mostly a "gofer" .. picking up trash, pushing in tables (I'm told these two things are actually two of the most important things Judges do), and other housecleaning duties. I got to make a few announcements, which I felt very awkward doing, but I think that's one of those things, like being in a band, that I'll get used to as I get more experience doing so. There were a few rules questions, but nothing terribly complex. Oddly enough, Fuse never came up. I guess people just "get it."
In the meantime, my L2 mentor dude gave me lots of helpful hints about everything being a Judge entails. I started getting the feeling that was "grooming" me for L2, and at the end of the night when we did a little mini-review, he confirmed my suspicion, telling me that he thought I'd make a good L2. Okay, cool! :/ I'm flattered, but let's get me some real experience first, eh? :)
Sunday Prerelease: Two-Headed Giant at Mox, Head-Judged by .. yours truly! Yup, flying solo for the first time. I was a little nervous, but excited. We ended up with 7 teams (14 players total), so it was very manageable. I think I handled "MC" duties pretty well. I probably could have been clearer about a few of the rules (like deckbuilding .. you're allowed to share your entire pool with your partner). Things went very smoothly, and people seemed to have fun.
I took one thing L2 told me to heart, which was to make myself more available. I was able to socialize quite a bit at the Midnight event, which I was told was a good thing, but I was also told that I should do so "on the floor." When players see a judge actually nearby, they'll be more likely pipe up and ask for assistance. And I found that it was actually true. Sometimes I'd be walked by a match, and they'd grab me .. "hey, how does this work again?"
|F-in lifegain .. how does it work?|
I ruled that since the team gains 5 life, each player is considered to have gained life, so her ability triggers, then causes the opposing team to lose 10 life (5 per head). Player 3 (one of the opponents) didn't like that and asked me to verify. So I said I'd text L2 and ask.
I found out later, a mistake I made there was that I should have been more firm in my ruling. "Your team loses 10 life. That's my ruling, but I'll look up the rules and confirm." Then if I'm wrong, I come back and apologize (and fix, if still able). Anyway.
Well, L2 texted me back and confirmed my ruling. So, moot point? Maybe not! I knew this had come up in the Judge Study group on Facebook, so I looked it up Monday morning. And my heart sank when I found a rule .. that I had cited in that thread. There's a rule that says "players gain and lose life individually, and the result is applied to the team's shared life total" (or something to that effect). So, Player 2's life gain shouldn't have triggered the Guildmage ability at all. I texted L2 back, and he responded, "meh, it's 2HG, it's ambiguous, it's Regular REL, etc." Then followed up with the rule that says "if an effect says a player can't gain life, then no player on that team can gain life" (or something along those lines). So given that the "gain life individually" rule is somewhat ambiguous in how it applies to this situation, and that it would seem to violate the spirit of the "can't gain life" rule, he figured my ruling was probably correct. But it could have gone either way. "This is why we can't do 2HG at Competitive," he told me. Okay! So I'm gonna follow up with Player 3 at some point and explain everything that we found.
"Other than that ..." Yeah, I had a blast. I'm really enjoying doing the Judge thing. People who've been around me know that I'm not terribly outgoing. But once I feel comfortable I can be very outgoing, and I find those social interactions very invigorating and rewarding. You know, like actually being part of the community. :) I like it a lot. I want to do it more.
Well for now, it's back to being a Player. My next Judge gig is in two weeks for a PTQ at Misty Mountain. I'm kinda nervous about that, because it's Competitive, and I'm gonna need to be more secure in my Policy knowledge (especially the full IPG). Fun stuff. :)