Best posts made by serberoth
posted in Vintage Community read more

This has certainly been an interesting read about the hypotheticals of these suits. As a long time judge I have been trying to come to grips with these suits and what they will mean, well frankly, for people like me. Of course there are other concerns as to what this will do for players and organizers, etc. The well thought out responses in this thread have been illuminating.
It is certainly true that WotC can exercise control over actions taken by the Magic Judge community. The DCI actually no longer exists (though they still own the domain name), it is an antiquated term as we have been rebranded as Magic Judges (checkout our uniforms). While I do not know what this means exactly in terms of the outstanding suits, our documents for the game and program structure are typically reviewed by the folks at WotC before we are allowed to publish them out. Now I cannot say who or for exactly what purpose, but I would imagine that they are reviewing the documents to make sure we are not going to negatively affect their brand. For example, I do know that our NWO documentation was under review by WotC legal before we could publish that out to the world.
Now before you get out your pitchforks, please know that I currently in no way associated with either of the cases (other than being a judge); however, if you have questions about the structure of the judge program as it currently exists or has existed (for the past 10+ years or so) I can answer those to the best of my ability. I do know people associated to at least one of the cases personally and it is my belief they have done this because they believe this will be a benefit of the judge program and by extension the game.
I can certainly understand that this certainly is causing turmoil in the play community as well as causes uncertainty for the future of the game and organized play. Just know that it causes uncertainty for those of us who judge this most wonderful game as well (especially the best format ever Vintage!).

posted in Vintage Community read more

To correct a misconception here, judge foils still exist. Their distribution method is what has changed. There are no guaranteed ways to obtain them any longer as they are no longer part of the package that is received at GPs. This was the change to which I previously made reference. This change was made by WotC due in part to another suit that was brought up against WotC for pretty much the same thing. In addition WotC has recently changed how product is handled for GPs and this has also caused a reduction in the amount of product that judges receive as part of that package.

Another thing that people continually mention here is that judges are expecting more "pay" from the suit and that judges are "volunteers". As far as the first item goes, that is not necessarily the endgame as far as I understand it. @evouga actually has the right of it here, they want to make a separate organization for judges. This organization will be able to assist judges with various administrative items, such as taxation, labour issues (those judges who come from countries outside of the GPs location), as well as benefits (including when judges get hurt while judging). The unilateral bannings of the judges in the Southeast US region and their mishandling was certainly a partial catalyst for the suit I am most familiar with. I will not speak to more about those bannings there is plenty of information already available on that topic.
To the second point, judges as "volunteers", while it is true that perspectively we volunteer to work these events. Going into it we are hired for the event, there is an expectation of give and take in the relationship. Look at a posting for staffing a GP, you will find sections on expectations and compensation. I have been on all sides of this equation having had to hire such staffs as well as being hired (many times). I realize what the expenses are for a TO when putting together one of these events, they are many and personnel makes up a large portion of them. From a player experience there are many subtle things that can improve your experience, things that you would never/do not notice, but they are there and make for a better day for you (which is great and I am certainly not arguing against those things especially as they almost always make my day easier). Yes, these things do come at a cost and a TO has to manage which items they will employ and which they will not for a given event. Anyway I have gone off on a tangent here, the point is perceptually we are volunteers, but we are in fact not. Beyond that legally we cannot be volunteers as all of the companies involved here are for profit, as far as my non-lawyer understanding is of the laws involved.

While it is true that exact level of service may not improve, there are tangible benefits that these suits are seeking. Most of them take place on the administrative level which do not affect players directly. However, we have something that we tell other judges all of the time when working long hours at events, and that is, "take care of yourself, as that allows you to best take care of the event". If we are on top of our game because we are aware then we can make your play experience that much better, but if we are not then it can easily have the opposite effect. It is my opinion that what these judges seek is simply to take care of their own, which lets us better take better care of TOs events, and ultimately you the players.

Sorry again for the diatribe style post.

posted in Vintage Community read more

@MaximumCDawg said:

My initial point was just that this lawsuit serves as a reminder that WotC lives in the Real World, where people CAN DO file lawsuits if they think they have grounds to do so. For me, it serves to dispel the idea that WotC can do what it wants and people will just grumble and go along with it.

Totally agreeing with you here, People hardly need a reason to sue someone if they think they can get something from it.
To my understanding you are correct, the cases are contingency fee based and if they lose then there will be financial impact to WotC because of these cases. That is if it goes to trial and if they lose, there is of course always the possibility of settlement and who knows what those terms could be (or if anyone will be able to tell you about them, which I doubt they will).

posted in Rules QnA read more

Hi folks, so it seems we have a few questions about the interactions of Oath of Nissa and Mishra's Workshop.

So first off let us start with this with this rule:

106.6. Some spells or abilities that produce mana restrict how that mana can be spent, have an additional effect that affects the spell or ability that mana is spent on, or create a delayed triggered ability (see rule 603.7a) that triggers when that mana is spent. This doesn't affect the mana's type.

The mana that we get from Mishra's Workshop falls under this particular rule. This rule simply acknowledges that some mana has restrictions placed on it; however, the type of mana we get from the Workshop is {C} as we would expect.
Now once we generate that mana and we decide to pay some associated cost of a spell or ability we are attempting to cast or activate we have this rule here:

117.3. A player can't pay a cost unless he or she has the necessary resources to pay it fully. For example, a player with only 1 life can't pay a cost of 2 life, and a permanent that's already tapped can't be tapped to pay a cost. See rule 202, "Mana Cost and Color," and rule 602, "Activating Activated Abilities."

This rule essentially says we are not allowed to pay costs for a spell or ability, unless we have everything we need to do so. Importantly this includes the appropriate mana both in amount and in type.
Now you may be wondering, but Oath of Nissa says the following:

You may spend mana as though it were mana of any color to cast planeswalker spells.

and the Workshop (for reference) says:

{T}: Add {C}{C}{C} to your mana pool. Spend this mana only to cast artifact spells.

This is just great! I have some mana in my mana pool from my Misrha's Workshop, that I cannot use unless I use it to cast an artifact (thanks to the Workshops restriction), and that I may use as if it were any colour to cast Planeswalkers! So the question here is which one of these wins!?!

Logically if we work this out we have mana that may be used to cast Planeswalker spells as though it were any colour, but also can only be used to cast Artifact spells. So with the mana from my workshop I can use it to cast any Artifact spell I so desire, as normal without an Oath involved. In addition I may also spend that mana to cast Planeswalker spells using the mana of an appropriate colour type, that are also of type Artifact. I must fulfill the requirements on using the mana or I am not allowed to use it, as per the 117.3 listed above. I have to have all the appropriate mana and in this case I do not since I cannot fulfil the restriction on the mana generated from the Workshop. So if WotC ever gets around to printing another version of Karn, or some yet unknown Planeswalker, that requires coloured mana and is also an Artifact, then this particular interaction might be useful; otherwise, might I suggest some other plans for your Oaths.

posted in Dredge read more

Sorry if I am necroing this thread.

Would anyone consider having a 61st card in their list?

These are geometric distribution percentages for a 60 cards list:
39.94996257 - Bazaar in Opener
65.3593571 - Bazaar or Powder in Opener
80.93533073 - Dredger in Opener
88.65527663 - Dredger in Opener or off EoT Bazaar

vs the numbers for having a 61 card list:
39.39868354 - Bazaar in Opener
64.66802567 - Bazaar or Powder in Opener
80.31025961 - Dredger in Opener
88.15313314 - Dredger in Opener or off EoT Bazaar

The 61st card for fitting something in when you run out of slots in the sideboard.