Transcript – August First Week: RCQ Formats

10:01:01 am – Samantha Harr:
Hello, everyone, and welcome back to first week. It’s first week, Wednesday now. And in August, I am filling in for Daniel who couldn’t make it, but we’ve got a really great presentation today, on. Rcqs from much much storied very famous Judge, Brooke, Gardner Durbin. I I am under the impression that Brooke does every event in like a three-state area. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Brooke for those in the audience who haven’t gotten the pleasure of meeting you yet.

10:01:33 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
All right. Oh well, thank you, Tama. Hello. My name is Brooke and as Sama said, I travel around a decent amount I’m based in Montana, but it’s not a whole lot of events here. So I pretty frequently you escape past the borders. Um, and I’ve been playing since before I could read. Like, I’m I remember way back in the day learning to read, so that I could read my own cards without needing, to just remember the art to the picture anymore.

10:02:09 am – Samantha Harr:
I love that. So cute.

10:02:14 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
And so, yeah, I’ve been playing for a good while I’ve done. Like, just about everything you can. As a player short of qualifying for the big stage, a lot of quarter final exits in Ptq, but um,

10:02:27 am – Samantha Harr:
That’s amazing.

10:02:30 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
And as, as a judge, I just passed my eight-year anniversary as L2. And I’ve done just about everything. An L2 can do in that time in fortunate to have a lot of good opportunities. I’ve been a lot of GPS. I’ve been a head judge for a number of the different circuits from Nerd Age gaming to Star City to face to face up in Canadia. And yeah, so I’m gonna talk a little bit about the constructed formats for Rcqs to help folks knock off some rest because I’m sure like me folks. Haven’t been doing a whole lot super recently up until well, you know, the last while up until fairly recently and so if you’re anything like me, you’ve got a lot of us to knock off. So I’m gonna be going over the a little bit of policy, a little bit of rules. And a little bit of explain this weird stack to me.

10:03:33 am – Samantha Harr:
I love that. Yeah I every time I submit an application to run an rcq, something comes up and I have to cancel. So I’ve I’ve been just teasing myself not getting to actually not getting to actually judge one yet. So I’m super excited to hear your perspective on how things are going. What the different formats are like. So yeah, absolutely. So take it away. Brooke.

10:03:53 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
All right. Let’s see. So the yeah, we’re gonna be talking about just the competitive formats, the limited is their own beast and would take more time than we have available here. So again, there’s a bit about me. I’ve done a lot of traveling around. I want to specifically, shout out the Dominaria’s judgment podcast, discord As I got a lot of that I asked there about common things that they had seen about the things generating repeated judge calls and they helped me a lot with this. So, first thing I want to mention is Mulligans, this will be relevant in any format, whether you’re doing a standard standard pioneer or modern. Um, so the a lot of a lot of people are doing part of the Mulligan’s wrong, it says that we’re to take a Mulligan you shuffle back and then you put that down the correct number of cards on the bottom, right? And at that point, after you have put the cards on the bottom, then you have finished taking a mulligan and you say If you want to keep a keyboard Mulligan again, and so, a lot of people are Resuppling drawing a new hand, declaring if they want to keep or not, and then putting on the bottom, which is a slight difference. And if you and I are booking and we both Mulligan, the key thing is that we each have to decide, which card to put on the bottom before, we know whether the other person is going to Mulligan again or not when it might actually make a difference. Like If I know you’re gonna go to five, maybe I decide to keep a slightly riskier six and I’ll put like my third land on the bottom instead of my five drop on the bottom or something like that.

10:05:51 am – Samantha Harr:
yeah, that’s a really subtle decision

10:05:51 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:

10:05:52 am – Samantha Harr:
point. But, you know, the higher stakes, the higher competitive events, that makes a ton of ton of sense in a big difference. It could

10:05:58 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
Yeah. And I wanted to mention it because it is a very you know it’s probably the most common thing I see players getting wrong these days. Um, and then also on Mulligans, uh, there’s an important piece that was deleted. Um I’m not great on tracking exact dates of changes and whatnot but it’s one that some folks think is still wrong. When we are mulliganing. Our only additional remedy is Take an extra mulligan, you know, assuming we do something wrong here, when we have committed procedure, Mulligan procedure error, the remedy is, you take an extra mulligan There used to be some text here about. Like if you want to, you can let the opponents basically hidden card error. You and that has been deleted.

10:06:46 am – Samantha Harr:

10:06:47 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
That does not exist. You will not find it. It is an empty void. And so

10:06:52 am – Samantha Harr:
I want to apply hidden card error as the fix to everything, but I am not

10:06:56 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:

10:06:57 am – Samantha Harr:
the popular opinion there. So it is what it is.

10:06:59 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
Sure. Yeah, this is at only six words here. This is probably our simplest remedy in the books. It’s if we mess up mulligans, you take an extra mile again. And the story. No, no longer have the option of revealing, the hand, and letting the opponent choose one. So, with that, I wanted to stuck starting with standard first. Not a secret. I think that standard is probably the the least popular of our three formats at least in paper at the moment, modern seems anecdotally to be the most popular one followed by Pioneer. And so that means if you do find yourself, judging a standard event, I would bet that this has the most errors of just, I don’t know what my cards do. I thought it did X and it does ABC instead. Um, and so, Yeah, a lot of things have just not knowing what the cards do because it’s been on arena. A lot of players are maybe coming from arena. Just dipping their toes into paper for the first time and you being totally unfamiliar with the concept of tracking their own triggers, remembering to adjust their own life, totals and everything. I would expect that kind of error to be more common here than in the average, game of the other formats. So the first cool interaction here from Standard there’s a pretty popular deck that is almost. It’s most commonly just a blue red and then splashing white for hanata here. And the way these interact is, our hinata says that your stuff costs less to cast for each target and magma, opus turns out can have a whole pile of targets. and so this interaction lets you cast your magma, opus potentially for only two mana and if you’re dividing up among a whole bunch of different targets, And turn out turns out. Eight man of spells that I only cost two. Generally, a pretty good deal. and so,

10:09:20 am – Samantha Harr:
Those savings, the value.

10:09:21 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
yeah. I’m, I’m a blue man. I know you’re Red Mage at heart. I’m a more the azorius guy, but hopefully, we can come to come to terms to handshake on big things. Like magma, opus, being sweet.

10:09:37 am – Samantha Harr:
I’ll I’ll admit, I’ll admit to that one.

10:09:38 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
I mean it’s it’s at least half red.

10:09:40 am – Samantha Harr:

10:09:42 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
So the magma is here says that. We are dividing damage among any number of targets, which then begs the question. Can you target something to in order to make your magma, opus cost less? But then not actually deal with the damage, for example, suppose your opponent doesn’t have any creatures and you have a bunch of creatures, you want to make your magma, opus cost less but you don’t actually want to shoot your own dudes. And so pop quizama, if we are targeting something, can we deal at zero? Do you think? Yes, it can deal zero. No, it has to deal one or This is unacceptable. I challenge you pistols have done.

10:10:31 am – Samantha Harr:
Oh gosh. Don’t pop quiz me. Um I think it has to deal one.

10:10:35 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
You are absolutely correct. Yes, if we are going to target something, then if we’re gonna

10:10:42 am – Samantha Harr:
Some gotta happen to it.

10:10:44 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
If we are going to target something that and dividing stuff up, among our targets, then whatever you target has to get at least one of the things you are dividing around. Whether it’s damage, plus one plus, one counters, Chris High, fives, whatever. You if you’re gonna target it, then you have to give it one of the items. Um, and then let’s see. Next card was Thalia definitely legal in our older formats, but I think at the moment scene, more play in standard and in standard, then in the older ones, there’s several different decks that can play her and sometimes have her in the sideboard or There’s a mono-wide aggro that usually plays here in the main deck. Um, and so, the question is for refresher, what happens if we have to spell you, you control Thalia and I play a spell without pain my extra one. and so this, It. Some people want to give the game rule violation and failure to maintain game state for the opponent. But the and that would is is a reasonable assumption as one of, you know, it feels very similar to just illegally, casting a spell under normal conditions. You tap the wrong mana for your spell, or What have you. Um, this When we have illegally cast a spell, It’s a game of violation, you can either back up or you can leave the game where it’s at. Um, and this bit of text about when to give the opponent failure to maintain game state. Lots of people remember this, but I just want to highlight. However, If the judge was believes that both players were responsible for the Grv such as Because you have a thing changing the rules of the game, as they currently exist, then it’s game rule violation instead of just failure to maintain gain state. And so yeah, the the philosophy there, basically being that, you know, if you, if you have a thing changing the rules of the game, then you have to be that then you’re more responsible for me. Breaking the rules of the game as they currently exist, then under normal circumstances.

10:13:15 am – Samantha Harr:
We all got, we all got to be responsible for the things. We inflict on this world, you know?

10:13:19 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
Exactly. Yes you are. You know when will you learn that? Your actions have consequence. Exactly. Yeah. You know, if I’m staring off into La La Land and you tap the wrong mana for your cryptic command, then like I need a slap on the wrist to pay a little bit more attention. But I haven’t directly I did not cause you to tap wrong mana for your cryptic but if I, you know, if I have the Thalia or whatnot, that is changing the way you have to play the game and I’m staring off in La La Land, then I’m slightly more responsible here. um, Let’s see, then modified is kind of a new it’s a newer ability but works pretty similar to some of our Some older abilities. Yeah, I I see you clapping. Very nice. Yeah this is a card, I’m sure speaks to your soul. so, the interesting thing about modified is that it almost, but not quite Just works exactly the way you would assume from the name. So, modified means that if you have any kind of counter on the creature, it’s modified if you have an equipment or an aura that you control. And so, that’s the key thing. The an aura controlled by an opponent does not cause your creature to be modified. Which feels a little counterintuitive at least to me. It feels like, you know, if you have a big red idiot and I pacifism it, you know it feels like that thing is modified, right? But not meant to be and so yeah, if we have

10:15:02 am – Samantha Harr:
None of my none of my big red things are idiots. They’re big red geniuses. Okay. All of them very smart.

10:15:06 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
Right. That’s why they do many things other than attack, right?

10:15:10 am – Samantha Harr:
Okay, easy. Your geniuses at the things they’re geniuses at anyway.

10:15:17 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
Fair enough, they’re geniuses at putting poor helpless azorius, mages like myself down to bed.

10:15:25 am – Samantha Harr:

10:15:26 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
So this works um very similarly if you’re been judging a while and just knocking somewhere else. Stop modified works. Very similarly to some other spells that you might remember, ferocious and metalcraft just name a few In that it does not lock in. As you know, this is a spell that does a thing and if you meet a condition it does more things and it does not lock in. As the more thing at the time, you cast it, it checks that when it is resolving. And so you know if I galvanic blast and while I have three artifacts and in response you kill a bunch of my artifacts because you’re mean like that. Then my galvanic blast is only going to deal the two damage when it’s resolving. If I don’t need the condition and same with modified you know if I play a spell that cares about the number of modified creatures I have and in response you point a couple doom blades at my boys. Then when my spell resolves, I don’t have any modified. I get the lesser thing. Even if I had the bigger thing at the time I cast, and it’s not locked in, during

10:16:37 am – Samantha Harr:
Crack an open, a cold doom blade with the boys?

10:16:42 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
testing um alrighty and then we have a blitz which is our alternate casting cost the Testing um alrighty. a blitz which is our alternate alternate casting cost The poster child for this. New ability is the tenacious And so the question is, you know, do you think this is a detrimental or non detrimental? We’re gonna kill it off, but we are gonna get a card back from it. And so, you know, one possible solution would be just to flip a coin, you know, at the table in front of the players.

10:17:34 am – Samantha Harr:
That’s awesome. Wizards loves when we flip coins and you know, do they just random stuff to determine game?

10:17:40 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
Yeah, it’s a really great look for us

10:17:41 am – Samantha Harr:
They love that.

10:17:43 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
as judges if we do things at random but You know, in case it wasn’t clear. That is a joke. Please do not flip a coin to decide if we’re giving out a warning or not. So your creature.

10:17:58 am – Samantha Harr:
Yeah, please don’t do that.

10:18:02 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
Your creature die. The fact you get a card out of it. Is nice and all, but it’s not gonna change that we have. We have one fewer piece of cardboard in play, so I would be not looking at that favorably. Um, so that is all I have on standard on to some of the bigger and more powerful formats pioneer. In case you haven’t judged much recently. This is about the same size and power level of modern when it was first introduced in. Like 2012 or so. I forget exactly. Um, if you remember back in the days where we would like, play one kitchen things for value in whether we were blue white or jund and just you know, it’s like that kind of vibes in Pioneer where a lot of most Dex have a good amount of interaction and we’re a lot of trying to get two for one song each other. Um and so our promo at the moment is the very fancy looking mix. Those trying to mix for the top eight

10:19:09 am – Samantha Harr:
Here, you know.

10:19:10 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
players of Rcqs and so the The Nickto sees a lot of play in a mono green back. So tell me a red mage. Do you approve of green as well? Or are you a real strict with it?

10:19:26 am – Samantha Harr:
I love green except for kitchen finks. That is my number one least. Favorite card of magic because persist ruins, my lightning bolts day.

10:19:34 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
But that is valid.

10:19:35 am – Samantha Harr:
Normally, normally a big fan of green.

10:19:38 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
Okay well if you haven’t gotten into pioneer yet you might want to check this one out. This is a very popular and quite strong deck and it is a bunch of planeswalkers, a bunch of creatures that have triple green in the calcium cost and it’s centered around Nick. Those And so the question is, can we if we activate Nick those is this a mana ability? Or you know if you activate Nick those can I kill off or do something nasty to one of your triple green creatures in order to make you get less mana than you thought it would?

10:20:15 am – Samantha Harr:
Maybe anything can be a mana ability. If it really believes in itself, Brooke, maybe that’s the key.

10:20:19 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
That’s that. I’ll check with the comprehensive rules on that one but that’s the until I get back to you on that. Let me cite this. Bit of the comprehensive rules. Um, which says an activity is a mana ability if it doesn’t target and make those despite counting many items does not target any of them. Um, and it could add mana to the players Mana pool. Pretty sure this meets that one and it’s not a loyalty ability. And so, yes, our our neck, those activation just like tapping a mountain. It does not use the stack despite being slightly more convoluted than

10:20:59 am – Samantha Harr:

10:21:01 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
just tapping a basic. It’s basically the same deal. You can’t respond to it. You can’t do anything nasty to creatures in response to make them get less than they were expected.

10:21:12 am – Samantha Harr:
Yeah, I think when I first started judging any time, a man ability was like, Have just other things going on, I’d be like, Oh it can’t count, it’s got other things. It’s got other things, but

10:21:21 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
Sure. Yeah.

10:21:22 am – Samantha Harr:
The list of specifications actually aren’t that. Intense it just looks like a lot of words.

10:21:26 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
Right. Yeah, I mean it’s just three things. Um, if it doesn’t target, it’s gonna add mana and it’s not a loyalty ability. Then it’s amount of ability, full stop. All right, so I wanted to talk a little bit about the mono green deck, some more because it has a pretty convoluted combo. As it’s like, late game engine, which is pretty different, to my knowledge from other decks in times past. And so I wanted to go over it so you can know what you’re looking at. If you see it in action here, So late game, combo with the monogreen back is if it has two cars and two Chiaras. And then I think it’s 13 mana with Nick, those but it’s if it has unreasonably, large numbers of mana from Nick, those And so the way this works is we’re gonna play kiora and we’re gonna you we’re gonna generate a pile of mana off of the neck. Those use kiora to untap it and we’re going to use Karn to go wish And then our two, we’re gonna play a new kiora and we’re gonna play a new car and killing off the old ones. And what we wished for with our great Creator is the pestle and Cauldron. Which the relevant backside of this says, you get to return two things from your graveyard to your hand each player games for life. And then exile the restorative verse And so we play qr1. We play car and one do our things and then we play kiora, 2 and Karn to and reuse the restorative burst to return number one, of each back to hand. And if we’ve got enough mana off of our neck, those there’s a loop um, And so if we’re generating exactly enough mana with the Nectos, then this loop is just going to make each player gain for life as many times as we want. And so a lot of times this deck can just be like, well, I can’t do anything really cool this turn but most decks, it turns out care about the opponent’s life total. And so this deck can just say What if you and I are both at 10 million and then I’ll figure out winning next turn or in three turns or something. When I don’t have to worry about your creatures anymore. And then if we have just one man or more than what is needed for the loop, then we’re gaining infinite mana with the combo as well, and of course that opens up a lot of other doors. The other yeah, important rules quirk here. Is that our car It Grant can grab things, not just from outside the game, also from exile and so our pencil and cauldron, we grab this because it’s an artifact. Well, satisfies cartons conditions and then the back side is what we actually cast and it says Exile restorative first and when it’s an exile, then it’s back to the front side, the pestilence cauldron, being the face upside what the game is looking at. So you can wish for it repeatedly. um, and so that is a lot of moving pieces. I explained that. Okay, that makes sense.

10:24:57 am – Samantha Harr:
Yeah, this these kind of combos, just blow my mind. I feel like sitting really think about these got a really stew on them. That’s a lot going on.

10:25:05 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
Yeah. yeah, that’s what I want to talk

10:25:08 am – Samantha Harr:
Very cool though.

10:25:09 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
about it because it is, um, a lot, a lot of moving pieces and makes you a couple of rules quirks. Like, you have to know that the restorative burst when it’s exiled, the game is looking at the pestle and collagen. Again, you are not looking at the restorative verse so you can wish for it repeatedly. um, the other thing that this brings up is our discussion of loops. And so, if I have established my loop here and I’ve shown what I’m doing with the tapping and the untapping, and the wishing, and the manners, then I get one. I’ve demonstrated, what I that I know what I’m doing here. And I can keep doing it without you saying, Hold on. I respond like that or Ever, then I get to just say, I do this X many times. And you don’t get to stop me because it’s inconvenient for you, sorry?

10:26:12 am – Samantha Harr:
Now, I pull out the coloring book and wait for you to tell me when you’re done.

10:26:15 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
Okay, yeah, yeah, the IRL f6. Well, if I’m kind of considerate, I’ll bring the coloring book for you. So that

10:26:23 am – Samantha Harr:
Ah, what a pro? What a pro.

10:26:26 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
Yeah, the the meaningful part to remember here with our loops is that the opponent can’t say, No, I don’t recognize this loop. I’m not okay with you shortcutting to having done this 38 times, they can’t say no unless they’re going to say after you’ve done it twice at this point in the loop, I’m gonna do a thing cast my spell that you either need to. When I start doing my loop, you need to either say. Yep, that’s a shortcut or you need to say what you’re doing at work.

10:26:59 am – Samantha Harr:
Here, right? If you’re gonna interfere, you have to actually interfere if you’re just not, okay with it in your heart, you need to learn to be okay with it in

10:27:05 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:

10:27:05 am – Samantha Harr:
your heart because it’s going to happen.

10:27:07 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
I love the way that yes, need to learn to be okay with it in your heart. Then next thing I wanted to talk about was hidden card error pioneer. I think is probably the most likely

10:27:21 am – Samantha Harr:

10:27:23 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
format to get hidden card error at the moment. Any format you might have a situation where like your sleeve stick together and you draw too many cards. Any all of the formats have some hand trips that say, you know, do do something with the pop of your deck and then put some number of cards in your hand. But in, in pioneer, there are several very popular, very widely played cards that get at one of our other pieces of hidden card

10:27:53 am – Samantha Harr:

10:27:53 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
air, which is if you’re looking at a bunch of cards and you like mess up picking up the wrong number of cards. So we’ve got of course, narset the poster child for HC. Even though she is a at this point, not causing many hidden card, errors herself, we’ve got storm. The festival is a cocoa. Look alike that says, Look at the top five. Any two permanents with mana value, 5 or less. So this is played in the aforementioned, mono green Planeswalk redek, Collected company, of course itself specifically called out in by name in our hidden card error section. and then, Memory Deluge. If you haven’t played much recently or judged much recently, this one is all over the place in both. I mean, all of the formats I’ve seen

10:28:51 am – Samantha Harr:

10:28:52 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
it occasionally in modern but more commonly in pioneer and then of course standard because spell is sweet. You might not like salmon. But this one, this speaks my soul.

10:29:04 am – Samantha Harr:
I can see that that is not for me. I don’t even need to read the text. I can see right away.

10:29:08 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
Sure. Yeah, there’s a lot it’s a yeah. You

10:29:10 am – Samantha Harr:
Good for someone just not good for Sama.

10:29:14 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
so all of these involve grabbing cards off the top of your deck and doing a thing with them. And so sometimes in an effort to try and be careful with it, players will, you know, grab like top couple of

10:29:28 am – Samantha Harr:

10:29:28 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
cards move them over to this hand and then they’ll go back and pick up some more cards with the other hand. And of course, when that’s happening, sometimes they’re gonna grab the wrong number of cards with the second grab. um, And so I don’t want to, you know, this is not a presentation on hidden card error. I’m not gonna get into all the super ends. Now it’s of all of it because that would be it’s own whole thing. But I want to remind folks that you always operate on the smallest set. And so if I’m doing collected company and I pick up three cards and then I move them over here and then I pick up four cards and oops call a judge. The problem is over here, we know this set of four is where the extra card is. So that’s where we’re gonna operate. If I have mixed the cards together, then we have one set of seven. Now you do that on the whole thing but if I do the separate two-handed thing and they haven’t mixed, there’s no question about where the air is just operate on the smaller part, you know, that there’s nothing wrong with these three cards. I picked up first.

10:30:33 am – Samantha Harr:

10:30:37 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
Already and then talking more about hidden card error. It’s important to remember. Also that The. The If the opponent signs off on it, then it’s not hidden card air. Also, if the opponent has the card that is changing, the rules of the game flashback to our earlier, tholia

10:31:00 am – Samantha Harr:

10:31:00 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
talk, then it’s not hidden card air

10:31:03 am – Samantha Harr:
That’s not.

10:31:04 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
and so It is yeah, our definition of hidden card air specifically calls out if you acknowledge the action or you have the continuous effect, modifying the game rule not hidden card error. Look elsewhere and so narset, static should not be causing hidden card. Error at any point don’t don’t assign hidden card error because I drew some extras while you control at no point. Should that be a thing? Um, yeah. Were you judging the first like couple of month or two after Narset was revealed or released?

10:31:45 am – Samantha Harr:
I wasn’t actually, I had taken a quick break from from Judge World, then just had a lot going on in life. So yeah, I’m kind of having to catch up on some of these things.

10:31:54 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:

10:31:55 am – Samantha Harr:
Which is why I appreciate that. You’re letting me participate in your presentation Brooke. I’m learning to audience.

10:32:01 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
Um, the yeah, the the first several months after Narset was released, was a lot. Um, there were a lot of hidden card errors and a lot of people trying to gain each other. And so we had to go through, uh, several iterations of exactly how strict we were being with this up on the GP circuit before we got, it ironed out, officially written in policy. And yeah, I remember just the first Several events I worked right after she was released. She was everywhere and you know our poor team leads and everything were severely overworked. As just they were getting bombarded by folks from every side saying like hey hidden card error, approval hidden card air approval hidden card air approval and so I’m glad those dark days are past us.

10:32:53 am – Samantha Harr:
Oh gosh. They were like deep in the hidden card air mines.

10:32:57 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
Yeah. All right, back to another weird deck to explain here. Uh, I’m sorry, Daniel couldn’t join us because I know, he’s a I’m sure he’s got to be a thespian stage lover. I know he’s a combo guy, in general. I’m pretty sure this is his back in

10:33:15 am – Samantha Harr:
That seems right up his alley.

10:33:15 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
Pioneer. Yeah, he’s storm guy for sure. So, our combo here is we’re gonna make entirely too much mana with Lotus Field and thespian stage, copying same. And then we’re gonna do some tapping and untapping with hidden strings. It says, you can untap two things and then there’s also a There’s also another card draw spell that also says, Do your thing. And then on tap Two Lands and so with these together we can make a pile of mana with the stage and the lotus field. And after we’ve got a pile of mana

10:33:51 am – Samantha Harr:

10:33:52 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
and a miracle occurs and then the but we just declare our opponent to be That’s clear enough, right?

10:34:01 am – Samantha Harr:
Then a miracle occurs.

10:34:03 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:

10:34:04 am – Samantha Harr:
That’s like the question mark. Question mark. Question mark. Step the process. Yeah, profit.

10:34:09 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
Right, right? Yeah. Yeah. We’ll be a little bit more explicit We’ll be a little bit more explicit Right, right? Yeah. Okay. We’ll be a little bit more explicit after you have generated. A piles of mana with your tapping in here. Um, the most common way this goes is that we cast emergent ultimatum. Which lets you grab three mono colored cards with different names and so depending on exactly the board state and whatnot, I’m not gonna pretend to be an expert in playing with this neck and so we’ve I’m not sure exactly how you decide which cards you actually want. But some of the more common ones I’ve seen people grab our Lear, lets you recast stuff from the graveyard Omniscience says that you can play stuff without pain. It’s mana cost and then we have a bunch of tutors of various types. The dark petition is a demonic tutor that also gives you some mana Behold the Beyond grabs three cards instead of just one and mastermind’s acquisition it The stack frequently also plays some wishes Faye of wishes is another common one that says And so we’re gonna be able to grab stuff. We From the sideboard. And so, if you shuffle up these five and basically deal them out at random your opponent’s, gonna have a real bad day and regardless of which one, they put back with the ultimatum. The other two in just about any combination, should be enough to let you declare them dead. As, in some way, we’re gonna go grab our approach of the second son from the board. It seems to be like the, the most common way to win again. There’s several different ways you can go about it, but this is from looking a tournament results. This seems like the most popular way. And so it’s what’s your most likely to see in the field? So we go get our approach of the second son from the sideboard. Play it search for it again, play it a second time, and about your uncle

10:36:11 am – Samantha Harr:
It says that on the card.

10:36:12 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
Yeah, it’s just you you just got to

10:36:14 am – Samantha Harr:
They’re explicitly.

10:36:15 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
squint at. It’s, you know, written between the lines. So that is a pioneer on to the moderns. Definitely, the biggest difference about judging modern compared to judging any of the other formats is that backups are a lot more complicated.

10:36:34 am – Samantha Harr:
Here’s the yeah, there’s an evergreen problem looking at this slide.

10:36:37 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
Yeah. Yeah in modern you are way more likely to have a fetch land sitting in play. And that’s much more likely to mean actually we can’t back up where if it was the exact same problem. In in one of our other formats, maybe we would have been able to back up. And so, yeah, if you are judging a modern event soon, make sure to check the board state double check. There’s a, you know, 50 different art versions of every card these days, make sure you actually know what every land is and that if you are gonna be rewinding, the game and putting cards from hand back on top, and all the rest of it, that you’re not, That you’re not doing so with a fetch land out except in the most extreme situations.

10:37:27 am – Samantha Harr:
Better be real sure.

10:37:29 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
Yeah, like double check with your head. Judge phone, a friend like, sit down and meditate on it. A couple minutes. Are you sure you want to do that?

10:37:38 am – Samantha Harr:
Full spiritual journey. Absolutely.

10:37:42 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
Yep. Um I have seen it done. I’m not sure if I have done it. Yeah, I have seen it done. I’m not sure if I have done it.

10:37:49 am – Samantha Harr:
I’ve done it. I do it again.

10:37:50 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
Okay. Fair enough. Yeah. I mean You know you judge enough. encounter the extreme situations.

10:37:58 am – Samantha Harr:
I also used to play a lot of modern

10:37:59 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:

10:38:00 am – Samantha Harr:
so I don’t know.

10:38:01 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
right on.

10:38:01 am – Samantha Harr:
It is what it is.

10:38:02 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
Sure. Um, all right. So let’s talk about lands. This is another big distinction for modern compared to the other formats. The other formats have very little that is affecting land types and whatnot. And modern is chock, full of it. These cards are everywhere. Um, the two most common ones being dried and blood Moon spreading seas seems to have dipped in popularity recently, but you know, it could always be back tomorrow. So, all of these are effects that are going to be changing the land type. And sometimes that makes lambs happy and sometimes that makes lands. Let’s see. Have you been judging much recently? Are you familiar with this interaction?

10:38:48 am – Samantha Harr:
No, I haven’t.

10:38:49 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
I get to introduce you to a whole new

10:38:49 am – Samantha Harr:
I have not judging much recently.

10:38:51 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
thing. Awesome.

10:38:52 am – Samantha Harr:
Do share.

10:38:53 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
All right, so Ursa Saga is one heck of a magic card I believe. That’s the technical term and so it is both an enchantment and a land. And each of those the enchantment has a type and the land has a type. The land is connected with Ursus and the enchantment is connected with Saga. Those are it’s not land type or so saga. Um, and so, yep.

10:39:21 am – Samantha Harr:
Make sense.

10:39:23 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
So a common thing here, is that we want to kill off the opponents or so sagas in order to give the in order to stop them, from pumping out the constructs. And the way we do this is we hit the saga with one of our land affecting things, and the interaction of a couple rules. Here is gonna say that your saga is now dead. That’s the short boil down of of what it means. But the reason why

10:39:50 am – Samantha Harr:

10:39:51 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
Yeah. Our reason. Why is because if an effect set to land subtype to one or more, basic lands types. So we’re setting it to Island in this example with a spreading series but it’s the same with a Blood Moon entering play or something. And then it loses all abilities generated from its rules text. So it’s an island here. Then it loses all of its existing abilities. It doesn’t have its chapter saga text here. Um and then our other ability says, if the number of lore counters on asaga is greater than or equal to its final chapter number. Then you sacrifice it. So as soon as we have this in play at the same time as a Blood Moon, it doesn’t have its chapter abilities. And so it’s going to have more saga counters on it than it has chapters because it doesn’t have chapters. And so now 7:15.4 says, it’s got to be dead.

10:40:55 am – Samantha Harr:
That’s very clever.

10:40:55 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:

10:40:55 am – Samantha Harr:
I like that.

10:40:59 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
And so I put for illustration here that it’s an island and it has the ability to tap for blue despite that you don’t get a chance to tap it for mana before it is that because it needs to be sacrificed, does not use the stack. It is just full on Betsies.

10:41:18 am – Samantha Harr:
the great illustration, you’ve provided

10:41:20 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
Oh, thank you. I spent you know, graphic design is my passion, so

10:41:24 am – Samantha Harr:
Clearly. Yes.

10:41:28 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
All right, then another deck that warned some discussion here is the yog-month combo deck in modern. This is the sort of next evolution of like the old birthing products kind of the Heliod ballistinex these All right. warned some discussion here is the discussion here is the yog-month combo deck in modern. This is the sort of next evolution of like the old birthing products kind of the heliod ballistinex These have gone through a bunch of different incarnations, but were a toolboxy with things like court of calling and

10:41:47 am – Samantha Harr:

10:41:50 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
eldrich revolution. We have a bunch of birds and elves and we have a bunch of one of for the right, you know, the right creature for the job that any given moment. And these days, the popular one to build around is yogama and physician, which lets us the second ability. There is the most commonly playable. You can pay a life and sack a creature to put a minus one. Minus one counter on another target creature and drop card. So if we are sacrificing creatures and we have something like a blood artist then we get some fun and profit every time that the every time our creature dies and if say, our creatures don’t actually die because they have undying then we’re really off to the races. And so the way this works is with undying, we can it with online. It’s going to return to the battlefield if it with a plus one. Plus one counter on it and so if we remove that counter say by giving it a minus one, minus one counter, then it’ll come back again. And so our big combo here is if we have a board state like this, we could keep sacrificing the young wolves to take the counters off of the other young wolf and each time we move our counters around and sacrifice and bring back our wolves and the opponent is losing a life off of our blood artists. We’re getting a card with our yoga moth and we’re really doing it. And so, the question is, of course, what happens if a creature has both a plus one? Plus one counter and a minus one, minus one counting on it at the same time. Um, and so, for sake of time, I’m not gonna put you on the spot, but our counters are both gonna just go poop. They annihilate each other.

10:43:44 am – Samantha Harr:
I knew this one. I knew this one.

10:43:45 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
It’s okay.

10:43:46 am – Samantha Harr:
This was this was on This was this was on one of my actual judge exams.

10:43:46 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
Okay. Okay, you remember this one? Yeah, this is a very common question on the L2 tests. I’m not sure if it still is today but sure was when I certified for L2 I remember I had at least one question about this.

10:44:02 am – Samantha Harr:
Thank you. CJ Crooks

10:44:06 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
Uh, so yeah, if we if our creature has both a plus one, plus one and a minus one, minus one counter on it at the same time, then these are going to annihilate each other in a big fire explosion. You don’t have to challenge the I

10:44:17 am – Samantha Harr:
the best kind.

10:44:20 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
like to think of it as the two counters challenge each other, to a dual pistols at dawn. But yeah, our counters are gonna go away right now even if it’s not actually Um, all right, so all right, if you knew that one, I’m gonna put you on the spot for this one, then yeah,

10:44:35 am – Samantha Harr:
Oh gosh, okay.

10:44:36 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
Yeah. Brace yourself. All right. So our attacking our active player attacks with a one-one. And we block with a 1-1 with one one counter on it, get used to hearing one a lot.

10:44:50 am – Samantha Harr:

10:44:51 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
All right, and then after damage, then we put a minus 1, minus 1 counter on the creature. It’s now one one, with one damage marked with All right. then we put a minus 1, minus 1 county And so our question is, what happens to our what happens? Next time we check our state-based actions. So we just established our counters are going to annihilate each other. Next time we check state-based effects. Or actions.

10:45:22 am – Samantha Harr:
Is this one of those weird? Is this one of those weird trick questions? We’re like the order of state-based actions matters.

10:45:27 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
Oh, I sure hope not because I could not tell you the order.

10:45:30 am – Samantha Harr:
Oh, thank goodness. Thank goodness. Like Brooke. You can’t do this to me.

10:45:35 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
No, no, the short answer.

10:45:37 am – Samantha Harr:
I assume it would die.

10:45:38 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
Yes, it is very much dead. We have a one-one with one damage and a one of each kind of counter on it and so yes, it’s gonna be dead um because we’re we’re checking Next time we check state base actions. We’re say Oh this thing has at least lethal damage marked on it. It needs to be dead and at the same time, our counters are gonna say, Oh, we need to annihilate each other. And so, the key thing here is that I’m dying is get a look at the how the creature existed last on the battlefield. And so there are no choices to be made by either player. No one has no, it doesn’t matter who the active player is or anything, it doesn’t matter. We what kind of they don’t get any kind of choices about this. We’re gonna do all of the actions together and so, our young wolf last time, it existed on the battlefield, it had a counter on it so it’s not going to come back. That makes sense. Are always glad to check if I’m

10:46:46 am – Samantha Harr:

10:46:46 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
explaining. Awesome. All right, dress down. This is also as they say, a hack of a magic card. And so this says a bunch of trinket text. And then, for deceptively complex words, creatures lose, all abilities. played in modern at the moment And so, this is a pretty commonly in because of several rules interactions. There’s a bunch of the popular creatures. Have sweet enter the battlefield abilities that we can turn off and more Ah, and so the first really weird interaction here is a fun fun little layers question. Our see, so, you know, we all know layers are very good for explaining how things work, intuitively 99 and a half percent of the time. This is definitely our other half percent where it feels very weird because our dryad if we have it out at the same time as dress down, it’s going to not have any abilities. And also our lands are every type. It had me. And this is a because if we look at our layers here, the dryad and also stuff like Blood Moon and spreading seas, but the Dryad is the important one here. They all apply changing in the type layer, which is therefore, and then

10:48:12 am – Samantha Harr:

10:48:16 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
the the creature loses its ability in the abilities layer. But remember when you’re dealing with layers, you never go back up. It’s always top down and once something begins applying, it’s not gonna stop applying if it’s later turned off.

10:48:33 am – Samantha Harr:
That train goes one direction down the tracks.

10:48:35 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
The exactly, yes. So yeah, our triad turns all the lands grain bow in type layer. And then inabilities layer the dryad loses all of the abilities. And so it has no text. And also lands are all of the things because of its text, which doesn’t exist. Easy. Right.

10:48:57 am – Samantha Harr:
Pepperidge Farmer members though.

10:49:04 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
Then we have a dash here with Gregivan has to be one of our more popular creatures. So this says, we dash it and in response the non-active player casts dressed down and so what abilities does our Agavan have? And do we have to return it to hand at the end of the turn? Um this is a it doesn’t matter actually which one of these enters play first. this is, A dependency because dress down is literally just vibin doesn’t care about rag of Anne being there or not. And the ragavan, what abilities it has or doesn’t have depends on the dress down. And so that means we’re always gonna apply the dress down first, and the key thing here is Dash says That’s easy to do it is you may cast it for its other mana cost, Remember for Chalice of the Void or things that care about the Mana cost, the Bandit Valley of the card that eat no matter how we’re casting it. The man of value is still just the number in the corner. So if you have a chalice on the board, tell us of the void on one we dash, it’s still gonna get counter. Um, and so Dash says that it’s gonna gain haste, and you have to return it at the beginning of the next step. And so the way I think of this is when it’s saying the creature, gains haste, that is giving that to the creature. It’s not saying like as a game rule that creature can attack this turn or something like this. It’s saying This creature has the ability haste. It’s like we take our Sharpie and right in the text box and so that gets turned off by dress down. It is not going to be able to attack this turn. However, the return part is not written into our text box, that is a game rule outside of the creature. And so that part is not turned off and you will have to return it. So basically just down, makes maximumly sad regular. Your Agavan is going to regardless of which order. They interplay Ragavan, is going to not have haste and you will have to return it.

10:51:30 am – Samantha Harr:
No fun, no fun for Ragavan.

10:51:32 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
No. Yep. Dressed down is a mean fickle beast. Ah, I Then the next example of reg pairs of of dress down making things not, fun is with mercktide region. So the relevant ability of the mercide here is that it enters the battlefield with a plus one. Plus one counter on it for each instant and sorcery card exiled with it. And if we check our definition of a replacement effect, it’ll tell us without any question. Mark Tide regent entering with those. Counters is a replacement effect. Most creatures enter normally most creatures, don’t care what you delved to cast to them. Most creatures. Don’t enter with one one counters. This one cares about all of that. This one is being weird and different like that, which means this one is The replacement effect. It’s doing this stuff instead of the normal phase, how I remember it. So this is definitely a replacement effect and If you one of our other rules here, it says that replacement effects. Modify how a permanent users, battlefield blah. Um, and to determine which affects apply, and how you check the characteristics of the permanent as it would exist on the battlefield. And so, when our Merc side region is on the battlefield with dress down. It’s going to have no text. And so we’re sort of looking forward. As the Merc side is Regent is entering, it’s gonna have no abilities. So that means it does not enter with any count. Ers, This is a basically the same rules interaction here but just it feels more complicated. But really rules-wise, it isn’t as our shock lands and bloodman’s from. I forget again, I’m bad with keeping track of the when things change. Exactly. But I remember when this changed several years back and so, yeah, you you do not have to pay two life to make your shock land. Enter untapped, it’s going to have no abilities when it’s on the battlefield. So you don’t have to pay the two life, it just enters untapped as amount.

10:53:49 am – Samantha Harr:

10:53:50 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
basically, the same rules here, apply So that is a hopefully bringing you up to speed on some of the more common rules questions. You might see in the wild, a little bit of a refresher of some of the relevant policy at play. Do you have any questions to fire away or from the chat or anything?

10:54:13 am – Samantha Harr:
Now these are great. Yeah chat. If you all have any questions feel free to throw them in now so so Brooke. When are we getting the like legacy invented? Combos to look out for.

10:54:22 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
Just as soon as those become rcq formats.

10:54:26 am – Samantha Harr:
Any day any day?

10:54:28 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
Yeah, yeah, I’m sure that’s just right around the corner.

10:54:32 am – Samantha Harr:
You have a lot of fans in this chat, by the way.

10:54:35 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:

10:54:35 am – Samantha Harr:
The people love you Brooke,


10:54:44 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
the cat. I don’t have a cat.

10:54:50 am – Samantha Harr:
Displacer Kitten.

10:54:52 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
Oh, okay. The let’s see. So this is a card from the new commander, some some set. So you are not gonna have to worry about the cat in any of your rcq formats. If someone shows up playing the cat

10:55:11 am – Samantha Harr:
I think.

10:55:13 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
then we have a very different conversation. You don’t have to rule. Worry about it as far as the rules go in game.

10:55:20 am – Samantha Harr:
Turns out this was ADB being a troll. Ignore him.

10:55:23 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:

10:55:24 am – Samantha Harr:
People love the dress down explanations. Is. Is sleep. Your favorite magic card? That’s from my husband. Y’all.

10:55:37 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
Hey, Billy Willy.

10:55:37 am – Samantha Harr:
This is what y’all this is my job. Can you chill out in the chat please? I love you all but stop.

10:55:41 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
oh, so,

10:55:45 am – Samantha Harr:
Anyway. Yeah, this has been fantastic Brooke. This is great. And I appreciate you getting me up to speed because I’ve been hyper cautious over the covid times, really? Haven’t gotten out much to do to do much judging yet, and I’m excited to get back into it, but a little nervous because, yeah, I I know, I’m rusty, I know. I’m a little out of date and so I got to study up and gonna be good.

10:56:04 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
We all are. Yeah, I mean I think I think everybody is a little gusty. I’m definitely still feeling it like The other day I was at an event a week under two ago and I was shadowing and L1 um and we had a question where one player had not paid for their packed of the green one and they had drawn the card. And the question was Well what happens now with this pack? And so I was I was shadowing the L1 and I went to, you know, we stepped away from the table to talk about it and we went to the IPG and I knew I remembered that, we no longer had the default actions where it’s just like, Oh you do a card you’re dead. But I was I was looking through the IPG trying to find the exact text to show them thinking like Oh find the section that says It’s not that. And of course our IPG does not bother with a bunch of devoting texts to what it isn’t? It just as to what it is. And I was here trying to prove the negative and I was like, I know it’s not the just you’re dead, but I should be able to find some text about it in here and so it took any a second to realize Oh yeah, that it I’m not I’m never gonna find something saying it’s not a default action so I felt pretty rusty there, for sure.

10:57:33 am – Samantha Harr:
What it is. This? What? It isn’t? Anything else?

10:57:36 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
Right. Right. So, yeah, I mean we’ve we’ve all got a lot of rust to knock off. And so, yeah, my number one piece of advice for anyone coming back to events in the near future would be just to, you know, the there’s no shame in making sure we get it right. I mean, any judge call is gonna be, it’s better to be to give them an answer. That’s a hundred percent right in five minutes than it is to give them a one that’s wrong. In three minutes. And so take the extra time take your ego out of it, just double check with someone else. If you’re if you’re only 98%, sure check with someone else available.

10:58:21 am – Samantha Harr:
Absolutely, yeah. If you’re in a situation where you have other judges on the floor, Absolutely. If you’re in a situation where you If you’re in a situation where you hesitate hesitate

10:58:35 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
yep, that’s

10:58:36 am – Samantha Harr:
24 hours a day who are super, super awesome about answering questions and Especially an emergency situations. We have an SOS channel for Commander and we have an SOS channel for everything that’s not Commander. So pop in there and ask your questions and people are going to be thrilled to help you. You’re never alone when you’re a

10:58:53 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:

10:58:53 am – Samantha Harr:

10:58:55 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:
Absolutely. So, thank you for giving me the stage Sama.

10:59:01 am – Samantha Harr:
Yeah, absolutely Brooke. You’ve been fantastic. This has been so much fun.

10:59:02 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:

10:59:04 am – Samantha Harr:
Um, and thank you, audience, for being fun and listening in. And yeah, um, tomorrow’s first week is going to be me and Matthew, we’re gonna be talking about the, the changes we’ve just made to the conference application system. which,

10:59:19 am – Brook Gardner-Durbin:

10:59:20 am – Samantha Harr:
Is really most of it is just back in detail stuff to make it like easier on our office to get stuff out the door, but you know, it does have some effect on on the folks at home. So we’ll be talking about that and answering questions tomorrow. So yeah. Thank you, everyone. Tune in tomorrow and Is really. detail stuff to make it like easier on our office to get stuff out the door, but you know, it does have some effect on on the folks at home. So we’ll be talking about that and answering questions tomorrow. So yeah. Thank you, everyone. Tune in tomorrow and Brooke will talk to you soon.