The GP started well and my judge team members were unremarkable allowing the day to move quickly with rounds usually shorter than 75 minutes. We received fewer players than our maximum capacity so we didn’t need to break up into zones of any sort letting me linger with the losing players who are often an interesting combination of funny and angry. One the one hand, someone has to lose. Just as with professional tournaments, even if everyone there is amazing, someone will lose. On the other hand, there’s usually a reason that people are so bad and the more I lingered at the back the more obvious this became. Here are three examples:
##Warning Magicspeak ahead##
- Two players sit down to play a game and player A leads off with a Cabal Therapy naming “Vampire Hexmage”. The other player reveals his hand to show two and discards them and then yells “we’ve never played before, what are the odds that you’d pick my combo piece?!” I scanned the play surface for something suggesting shenanigans and saw that the exasperated player had two foil Merit Lage tokens in sleeves on top of his deck box.
- Player A leads off with a Leyline of the Void and player B is effectively toast in that he’s playing Dredge. Player A drops two Dark Confidants who swing for a total of 8 but that hit him for 16 life from reveals. Player B gets two Narcomoebas into play, Player A attacks and blocks the two Confidants… I’d consider this a mis-play but player A snatched defeat from the jaws of victory by playing another Confidant and reveals a Leyline and Force of Will on the next two turns causing him to die.
- Player A gets out Leyline of Lightning from his opening hand. Player B smiles and Pithing Needle’s it first turn. You’re so good.