Dear Gentry enthousiasts,
Some of you may have played in a competitive event yet while others have not.
This article is a small guide with do’s and dont’s and tips about competitive events (such as the Gentry Open).
Because this event is run at a competitive rules enforcement level, your judges will behave a little bit different than you are used to. At a normal league event or a FNM judges are there to prevent mistakes from happening and helping you out if you have a question about the rules.
At a competitive event, judges assume every player attending the event know the rules and their cards. You may have the impression that judges are there to enforce game rules, they are not, but they will uphold the game rules so everyone has a fair play expience.
The biggest difference between regular and competitive play is that while in regular events judges will prevent you from making mistakes, in competitive play judges will not interfere until a mistake has been made and will give the player who made the mistake a penalty.
This being said, don’t be afraid to call a judge over as your opponent makes a mistake. At competitive play there are bigger stakes at play than in the average casual event. Because of this your opponent hasn’t always got your best interests at heart.
Never forget, a judge is a human too, and humans can make mistakes. At most competitive events there will be a floor and a head judge. If you think your judge made a mistake, don’t be afraid to appeal their decision with the Head Judge whose decision is final.
While participating in a competitive Magic event you wil be expected to bring your deck list and it is also likely that your deck will be checked to this list. Several players each round can be expected to be checked and not just the top tables. Deck checks may even take place mid match to see if any cards from outside the game have been slipped in your deck.
A decklist should contain following items:
- Your name
- Your DCI
- A full list of you cards in your main board
- A full list of the cards in your side board
Please note that while writing down the cards names you should use the full English name of the cards (for example, just Gideon is not enough). Please make sure this is correct because if you get a deck check and there is a mistake, this could lead to a game loss.
An easy way to create a deck list is by using this site: https://decklist.org/
If you want to be sure if your deck list is correct or not, you can always ask a judge present at the event.
Your deckbox should only contain following items:
- your mainboard cards
- your sideboard cards
Following items are also allowed:
- a divider
- double faced cards you have replaced with checklists in your deck
Please do not put other cards in your deckbox which you are not going to use. If you get a deck check and items that are not allowed are found, you get a game loss and this might lead to an investigation for cheating (even if you may not play the cards in the format you are playing).
Have a good look at your sleeves before the tournament, they should all be in a good condition and also be colour matched. Sleeves are checked while the judges perform a deck check. Key things to look for are grease marks, dents and the corners.
While playing in a casual event most of the time if you forget a trigger, you call a judge and your trigger will be put on the stack anyway. This is not the case in a competitive event. Important to remember is that you are responsible for your own triggers but not for those of your opponent and don’t have to point out if he missed one. If your opponent missed a trigger which may be considered “detrimental” (he gets an advantage by missing the trigger) you should call a judge. An example of a detrimental trigger is when your opponent forgets to sacrifice his Lathnu Hellion when he has no energy left.
You have to tread a fine line, what you say could effect the game so you need to not speak or not make gestures that may help a player. When you are watching a game and see a mistake being made, you should ask the players to stop playing for a moment and call a judge.
Game one finishes and you opponent sighs and comments “I should not have kept the hand with one land”. The player next to him / her innocently comments “You should never keep a hand with only one land in it, it’s bad.”. At this moment you should call a judge because the spectator is giving your opponent advice on how to play and this may influence your opponen’s mulligan choices.
Watch out because in this scenario the spectator could get a game loss for outside asisstance.
Always be clear when announcing your decision. you also have to be aware that saying “OK” means exactly that, you cannot change your mind and you ahve accepted the opponents play. You also need to be aware that if you make a mistake your opponent is less likely to let you change your mind, take backs are much less frequents at competitive events.
When playing an FNM or an other casual tournament it can be that everyone wins a price. Larger events have the tendancy to push the prices towards those that do well and you may even find that there are no entrance prizes.
These points are the core differences between a regular and competitive event.
If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to contact me or a another judge, they will be glad to help you and give you more information about competitive play.
May your opponents feel the Hour of Devastation when they play against you,