Today in Magic News: 11/18/15

Posted on Wednesday, November 18th, 2015 Uncreative Name, LSK
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Disqualification at Vintage Championships

In the final round of the 2015 Vintage Championships the match was tied 1-1, with Dave Steele at 2 life and Ryan Elliot at 4.

It was Steele’s turn, and he had a Mana Crypt and Sphinx of the Steel Wind in play, with no way to remove the Mana Crypt. Elliot had no cards in hand, no mana available, and no creatures in play other than a single Auriok Salvagers.

It all came down to this: If Steele survives the Mana Crypt flip, he could swing for the win. If he loses the Mana Crypt flip, he takes 3 damage, losing the game.

Steele and Elliot checked their pockets before Steele remembered he had change in his backpack from the breakfast burrito he had earlier that morning. He unzipped it, grabbed a handful of change, and Elliot picked a quarter out to toss.

Suddenly, Judge Steve Nguyen stepped in.

He explained that the table judge had alerted him to some possible rules infractions, and requested Judge Nguyen’s assistance in ensuring both players were playing fairly and legally. Both players were instructed to cease play in order to answer specific questions about the match state. Steele was pulled aside first, and asked about the previous turns of the match. Steele answered to the best of his knowledge, and after a quick search of his hand, graveyard, and assessment of the battlefield, his story checked out. Next it was Elliot’s turn, and the same occurred. The life totals were correct, the game state was correct, and it was Steele’s upkeep. Judge Nguyen then conferred with the rest of his judge staff and the Head Judge of the event before approaching the players once more.

“I’m sorry, but I’m required to disqualify both of you.” he said. “It’s against DCI rules to have a match where the winner is determined by a coin flip.”

As the DCI rulebook does not cover a simultaneous disqualification in the finals, the winner of the tournament will be randomly determined between the 3rd and 4th place finishers.


Platinum Player Opens Sealed Pool of All Expeditions, Scrubs Out

During a side event at last weekend’s GP Atlanta, Chris “The Nuts” Smith, a local Platinum club member, had a Sealed pool to remember: the entire pool consisted entirely of Zendikar Expeditions. Lending credence to the theory that premiere event card pools are seeded with hot rares, this was both a blessing and a curse for Smith: while opening several thousands of dollars of Magic cards, he was unable to create a competitive deck from the pile, since none of the cards have win conditions.

Smith had to settle for dropping from the event in the first round and then making his way to an on-site vendor to recoup his entry fee. He was later seen at a nearby tavern ordering drinks for event staff and fellow players.

In his trademark pithy style, Smith had this to say: “Better lucky than good, but I can’t win with lands,” he remarked. “I’m not Jarvis Yu.”


Emergency Ban of Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy in All Formats

In a surprise article posted on Wizards’ main page yesterday, an emergency ban was announced for the first time since Combo Winter: Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy won’t be seeing another tournament any time soon. Here’s what they had to say about the ban:

“Wizards of the Coast examines tournament results from each competitive Constructed format. When a format becomes imbalanced, or too many games are not interactive, we examine the cause.

After seeing tournament results over the last few weeks, specifically those after the rotation of Theros block from Standard, Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy has shown to be a problematic card in that particular format. We compared both tournament results and commentary from the community to that which existed at the time when Jace, the Mind Sculptor was legal, and saw many similarities. While the impact of the card itself has not led to a metagame that is in any way warped or stagnant, we are issuing a ban in order to prevent what we see as an eventuality.

This change will have its largest impact on Standard, where Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy is most heavily played, but history has shown us that powerful, undercosted blue cards tend to find a place in almost every format. Rather than allow the situation to grow out of hand and issue separate bannings, we have decided to acquiesce to the lessons of history and save ourselves and players a lot of time waiting for the eventual ban to occur.

This ban in particular extends to all formats. While Vintage has the distinction of being the only format which does not ban cards, with exceptions to particular classes of cards such as ante cards and manual dexterity cards, we are including Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy on this list in order to maintain consistency across formats. Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy is now regarded as a manual dexterity card; this does not affect any other cards which require tapping to activate or have a transform trigger.

Players who enter a Magic Origins Draft or Sealed event and obtain a copy of Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy in their card pool are advised to notify a judge so that the card can be replaced with a basic land of their choice. In the case of Magic Online, this substitution will now happen automatically. We are aware of a bug which instead replaces any copies of Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy with an booster pack of Legions and a copy of Incite, and it is being worked on.

“In Commander, Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy is banned as an eligible Commander; in the main deck, Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy is now considered to have a purple card identity, and therefore de facto banned by the rules governing color identity in decks.”

The list of all banned and restricted cards, by format, is here.