A Nationals Kind of Weekend

For most of us, every weekend is filled with spell-slinging action, the weekend of September 16-17 was somehow very different for the 472 players registered for the event, all ready to spell-sling with their 75, game to draft and brew with the rest of the field, cause last weekend Neutral Grounds hosted something big, something that is very much worthy of a comeback, though it took 7 years before one of the biggest event of the game we all love and enjoy made its return… and yes, this is a very long intro, and yes I am talking about the National Championship. 🙂

I was fortunate to be part of Judge Team for the entire weekend, I was there for Day 0 (September 15) the day I opened so many booster boxes as we prepared the draft bags for the draft portion of the tournament, during that same day two events was firing, the Last Chance Trials wherein the winner will receive two byes for the main event (open to those qualified already) and the Last Chance Qualifiers wherein the winner will then qualify to the main event, not to mention Friday Night Magic, yup Day 0 was filled with spell-slinging action already, though the main event is yet to take place, one can already feel the competitive vibe among the players.

Day 1 (September 16)

With the stage all set for the main event, the door was finally opened for the players to enter the arena.

The Head Judge of the event L3 Joel Bantiles made his announcement during the player meeting, a few minutes after the 1st round of the National Championship had officially started and with seven rounds to be played for Day 1 wherein two draft portions of the tournament was scheduled, one can only imagine the excitement on how everything would unfold on this mixed-format tournament.

While looking around the place, you’ll see the “who’s who” of the competitive scene that our country has to offer, from National Champions of the past to former members of Team Philippines, not to mention various local grinders that you’ll most likely bump into FNM’s to PPTQ’s.

The draft portion of the tournament, was really something else, we prepared 64 pods for this and as soon as the 3rd round of Standard came to a close it is now time for the much anticipated draft.

Not everyone is used to playing mixed-formats and I know for certain that some local game store and even some playgroups did their best to prepare themselves for it, but nothing compares to the real thing. Cheers all over the place as the draft portion started, but the competitive atmosphere, is still very much present.

As Day 1 came to a close, a picture of the standings was painted and almost everyone will be coming back to Day 2, plus PPTQ grinders will be joining in, as a fan of the game my excitement was something that I had to contain. Hey you reader, did you joined us on Day 2? if so, two-thumbs up 🙂

Day 2(September 17)

The anticipation to know who will make top 8 was evident the moment Round 8 started, yes it is true that there’s a few more rounds that needs to take place, but as the rounds came to a close, the picture that was painted on Day 1, was somehow getting clearer, but Day 2 also featured PPTQ Rivals of Ixalan, featuring both Sealed and Modern format.

While side events like Legacy tournament, 8-Man Draft and 8- Man Modern was also firing that day. The event catered to other players not just to the participants of the National championships.

Let’s go back to the main event now, shall we? you might be wondering who made the top 8? well here they are 🙂

Let me also take this opportunity to inform you, that if you haven’t seen the videos uploaded by the RedZone, they have a video coverage of the playoffs, so please do click the link here

After all the playoff matches have been concluded, the members of the Philippines team has been named.

Congratulations to Ryan Españo The Philippines’ MTG Nationals Champion 2017, great job sir and to Ian Mark Gutierrez for putting up a great fight, they both join Mike Hron as members of team Philippines.

photo credit Neutral Grounds
Ryan Españo The Philippines’ MTG Nationals Champion 2017

Some pictures from Nationals weekend

 

and now a short interview with Sir Freddie Tan

photo credit Victor Viguilla
Sir Freddie helping out with the distribution of playmat and other goodies

1) What was your initial reaction when WOTC Organized Play announced National Championships will be making a comeback?
Surprised but not really. WotC has been making so may changes to their organized play program that it’s hard to be surprised by changes. It was however a welcome change. I’ve often missed the mixed format for Nationals which was lost in the transition to WMCQ.
2) Kindly share your most memorable moment during this year’s Nats weekend?
I think the best part about Magic Nationals for me is seeing a lot of old faces in Magic actually come back and do well. I think the limited format is where all the older players had the advantage.
3) Your take on our local MTG community?
As in any community, there will be bad eggs, but on the overall, it’s a great inclusive community, filled with intelligent people.
4) Any message for the Team Philippines?
Practice, practice, practice. I actually don’t know how this can be done with Mike Hron as part of our team. In the past he hasn’t been really open to practicing with the team. I really wish that the team captaincy would be passed down to someone who actually is a stakeholder and emotionally invested in team Philippines.
5) I heard you’ll be hosting an event for Dinosaurs?
Yeah. I was just inspired to do it because of all the old faces I saw during Nationals, and with Ixalan having a Dinosaur theme, it just seemed something funny to do and should be fun.

Thank you so much to Sir Freddie Tan and Neutral Grounds Philippines for letting me use their pics and for hosting a great event. 🙂

Photo credit also goes go Sir Victor Viguilla, . Thanks a lot 🙂

Be on the lookout for the interview with the Top 8 players and link to their decklist.

So there you go fellow planeswalkers, National Championship weekend for this year is now on the history books, Ixalan is on its way, are you ready?

Happy Spell-slinging weekend 🙂


Do checkout TheRedZone’s channel by clicking here

 

 

 

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A Nationals Kind of Weekend

Judge Tokens Feedback Form

I haven’t done this for a few months, so let me start by saying Hey! 🙂 


If you happen to be at Neutral Grounds at Alabang Town Center last August for their PPTQ Rivals of Ixalan chances are, you saw me handing out of one these

Now you might be wondering, what is the Judge Token all about? well, I had the chance to interview the guys behind the project, and let’s check out what they have to say 🙂

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(photo credit: Milan Majerčík)

Name: Milan Majerčík
From: Czech Republic
Level/Years Judging: L1 since March 2013, L2 since April 2015

1.) What is the Judge Token all about?
The main idea behind the Judge Tokens project is to provide a tool which would help with the following:
– advertisement of Magic Judge Feedback Form (https://blogs.magicjudges.org/conduct/feedback-form-2/), so players know where to turn to in case they want to provide a (positive or negative) feedback on a work of a Magic judge,
– building “public relations” of Judge Program and providing a helping hand in judge-player interactions,

– teaching the judges a habit of providing tokens to their players in order to keep board states as clear as possible.

2.) When did it all started and how it was received by the players and the Judges?
Firstly, I have been a fan of the Judge Feedback Form since its start, and I have always tried to promote it to the players and tournament organizers. I have sometimes encountered players who had had an issue with a judge and did not know the form even existed.

Second point was that in my tournaments I had a habit of bringing spare tokens to players whenever they were missing some. This acted as a preventing measure to any possible miscommunication issues and it also helped me as a conversation starter with the players.

Finally, I had also received some feedback through the form myself and I have learned that it was such an underused source of feedback. I realized that I would love as many judges as possible to receive this kind of feedback – directly from players – on their work.

So, a year ago, I decided to try something new and the idea of some judge-branded tokens came along. At first, I was discussing the idea with some local token creators. In the end, I decided to go for a “pilot run” associated with Grand Prix Prague in January 2017. This pilot allowed me to gather more ideas and opinions on it. Especially, an interest from some senior judges (Zdeněk Surý, Alfonso Bueno or Oli Bird) boosted my morale and will to continue. After the GP, I decided to go on “full throttle”. I created an official project in Judge Apps. I was also extremely lucky in this period, because Tan Zie Aun joined the project. Zie is not only an enthusiastic judge. He is also an extremely talented illustrator and graphic designer. He had worked on his own Magic tokens even before this.
Since then we have had the first “real” print run of Judge Tokens – connected with Amonkhet and Hour of Devastation, which reached tens of judges and hundreds of players all over the globe. Zie’s Zombie design is a “blockbuster” 😀

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3.) What have been the challenges so far for the Judge Tokens project?
You can imagine that one of the major challenges is finance. Printing is not free 🙂 Luckily, with the last print run we were able to cover the printing costs at least partially from donations. Yes, there are judges who share our vision and help us in this way. Thank you Tomáš Joska, Hsu Tienming, Miquel Àngel Moya, Mónica Gonzalez, Warren Hawkins, James Do Hung Lee, Angela Chandler, Nicholas Zitomer, Steven Chendra, Mikhael Dominico and Yopi Effendi!
Another topic is distribution itself. I would love to have tokens available in big tournaments like GPs and such. However, the current stance from WotC is that the graphic style we have chosen is not compatible with the official Magic style.
The last point I would like to make is connected to the previous one. I understand that there are judges who do not like to be connected with the Judge Tokens as they are (either they do not like the graphics or the idea itself). I personally feel sometimes as a kind of an offender.

4.) Any plan for the Judge Token project that you would like to share?
There are many plans, of course. We are preparing for Ixalan at this moment. In the future, we would also like to have a series of some “iconic” tokens which are used in Constructed play (for example Modern spirits…). We are also still trying to impact large events – to have the tokens distributed at those.

5.) Message to everyone?
Never give up!

And if you have any ideas or opinions on Judge Tokens that you would like to share, let us know (judgetokens@gmail.com).

Milan running Judge Booth at Czech Nationals (photo credit: Youko Shiratori)
Tan Zie Aun
(source: judgeapps)

Name: Zie Aun Tan
From: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Level/Years Judging: Judge since January 2012, L2 since February 2013

1.) What is the Judge Token all about?

The Judge Token project is… well, exactly what it says! We make tokens at the release for every set, and these tokens are distributed to players through judges during events. The tokens are used to encourage players to give feedback to the judges, whether by speaking in person, through the RC, or the Judge Feedback e-mail/form. As the saying goes, feedback is the breakfast of champions.

2.) When did it all start and how it was received by the players and the Judges?

Milan started the project in GP Prague last year, where each GP participant received two tokens (Servo and Energy) along with their goodie bag. I joined the project about two months before Amonkhet released.

Feedback has been very positive so far, there just isn’t enough tokens to go around!

3.) What have been the challenges so far for the Judge Tokens project?

Logistics is probably the biggest challenge. This is still a three-man operation and we’re moving thousands of tokens every month. Milan is handling most of the shipping and I’m very grateful for that. On the creative side, my biggest challenge comes from identifying the “common token” in the set (because we want to make tokens that everyone can use). I’m secretly happy that the upcoming set got spoiled early so I can at least work on Treasure tokens much earlier than the previous sets.

4.) Any plan for the Judge Token project that you would like to share?

No secret world domination plans unfortunately 🙂 We’re still a very small team so there’s pretty much nothing to hide. We’ll still be releasing new designs every set, of course.

5.) Message to everyone?

Thank you for your support towards the project. I’m just happy that I get to contribute to the M:tG community in a way I know.

P/S: If you like my art, please check out my artist page at https://www.facebook.com/eloneth 😀

Judge Tokens for Amonkhet
(photo credit: Milan Majerčík)

So there fellow planeswalkers, if you’re interested to have one, do speak to the local judge at your community and talk to him or her about the judge tokens.

Thank you for checking this article out and have a good week ahead 🙂

On a side note, be on the lookout for the upcoming Judge Tokens Feedback Form for Ixalan, pretty cool token, that I can guarantee you all.


The Philippines’ Magic: the Gathering Nationals main event is on September 16-17, 2017 and there is a Last Chance Trials and Last Chance Qualifiers for it this Friday September 15, 2017 for the details please do click the link .

The event is hosted by Neutral Grounds.

If you’ll be there, do say Hi! 🙂

Happy Shuffling 🙂


 

Judge Tokens Feedback Form

In 3… 2… 1  “JUDGE!!!”

Yup, that is just how it goes, well, without the counting of course, a player seeking for clarification regarding rules and/or card interactions, will be calling a Judge during their match and rest assured a Judge will be coming.

Grand Prix Manila 2017 hosted by CL Events was not an exception in regard to that, with a team of Judges coming from different parts of the world, ready to answer questions and be of assistance in every way possible 🙂

I’ve interviewed some of the Judges that I’ve worked with during the GP Manila weekend, to know about some interesting calls they handled during the event and some non-judge related experience, enjoy !!!

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Name: Riccardo Tessitori
From: Turin, Italy
Level/Years Judging: Former L5 (which doesn’t exist anymore), current L3, I have been judging for 16 years.

*Most interesting rules question you’ve encountered last GP Manila 2017? “I want to answer you by offering a short copy&paste from my “Rules” report, which is actually about miscommunication, infractions and special cases: *Chandra: end of combat or end of round* AP uses Chandra’s +1 ability, attacks with the two tokens, exiles them and then casts a creature. NAP says that it’s the end of turn. AP says “I thought I had to exile them at the end of combat”. The infraction is Game Rule Violation, because the player resolved an ability at the incorrect moment; the game is still at the end of combat; AP is allowed to cast his creature.”

*During the entire week up to the GP weekend, what is the most memorable non-Judge experience for you? “The sport that most of Italians watch is football, and in the NIGHT between Saturday and Sunday of the GP there was the final of Champion’s League, which is the most important title for clubs (only World Championship is to many more important). This year, Juventus (the good ones) was facing Real Madrid (the bad ones)… Why Juventus is “the good team”? Juventus is from Turin, which is the city I am from, so I may be biased ^__^ The match was starting at 2:45 in the night and OF COURSE we stayed awake to watch it!! I went with Matteo (Callegari) to Makati and there we met Luca (Romano) for a very enjoyable match and chats.

Thank you all for coming to GP Manila, keep enjoying Magic… and I hope will meet very soon for another GP Manila!!!”

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Edwin(wearing burgundy Judge shirt) explains to the player while Nick listens to the call made.
Name: Edwin Zhang
From: Toronto, Canada/Beijing, China
Level/Years Judging: Lv 3, been judging for 13 years

*Most interesting rules question you’ve encountered last GP Manila 2017?

“I actually have to think about this one, there wasn’t that many rules questions on me this time, and most of them were only appeals. 😛

*During the entire week up to the GP weekend, what is the most memorable non-Judge related experience
for you?
“This had to be the best trip to visit the island-in-a-lake-in-a-volcano-in-a-lake-in-a-volcano-on-an-island, with Matteo, Wearn, Patrick, Wella, Sha Dong, Erick and Felix! I have never been to anywhere like this before, thank you! 😊
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Alyssa, Wearn and Alex

Name: Wearn Chong
From: Malaysia
Level/Years Judging: 3 / 18

*Most interesting rules question you’ve encountered last GP Manila 2017?

“Player looking at 7 cards instead of 6 while resolving Aetherworks Marvel.”

*During the entire week up to the GP weekend, what is the most memorable non-Judge experience for you? “Expedition to Tagaytay!”

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Name: Wella Anne Ladera
From: Philippines
Level/Years Judging: Level 2, 7 years

*Most interesting rules question you’ve encountered last GP Manila 2017?
None

*During the entire week up to the GP weekend, what is the most memorable non-Judge experience for you?
“That scary horse ride; and great conversations over dinner and mojitos on Saturday and Sunday :)”

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Name: Ian Mervin Go
From: Quezon City, Philippines
Level/Years Judging:
L2 / 3 years

*Most interesting rules question you’ve encountered last GP Manila 2017?
“An aggressive Chinese player trying to advance the board state by declaring his blocks immediately so that the attacking player won’t be able to kill his blocker before it becomes blocked. Luckily QJ was there to help me translate and cool down the player.”

*During the entire week up to the GP weekend, what is the most memorable non-Judge experience for you?
“Bringing my teammates to lunch. Getting a Russian, a German, and a Canadian-Japanese to try out Sinigang na Hipon (shrimps in tamarind based sour soup), Pinais na Alimasag (young crabs cooked in coconut milk), Piniritong Tilapia (fried Tilapia fish), and Kare-kare (peanut based beef stew with ox-tail) for the first time is fun and nice. I like eating, and I also like sharing my experiences especially if it involves food.”

Name : Sashi Kumar Balakrishnan

Nickname : Loco

From : Petaling Jaya, Malaysia

Level/Years Judging: Level 2 / 14 years

*Most interesting rules question you’ve encountered last GP Manila 2017? “I can’t think of any which was too interesting.”
*During the entire week up to the GP weekend, what is the most memorable non-Judge experience for you? “watching wonder woman with some local judges”

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Name: Goh Wee Thean
From: Malaysia
Level/Years Judging: 2, 2 years judging

*Most interesting rules question you’ve encountered last GP Manila 2017?

“Not exactly a rules question, but during the PTQ on Sunday we had a situation where 2 pairs accidentally played each other’s opponents instead of the actual pairings. The situation wasn’t discovered until one of the pairs finished and went to sign the result slips only to realize it was wrong. And at that time, the other pair had inexplicably finished their matched and submitted the result slips! Normally this sort of situation would lead to the players who sat at the wrong table getting a match loss for tardiness, but since it was the bottom tables and wouldn’t affect much at that point in the tournament we decided to just change up the pairings and letting the results stand.”
*During the entire week up to the GP weekend, what is the most memorable non-Judge experience for you?

“Right before the GP weekend I actually moved to Taiwan to work. I reached Taiwan at about 1am Thursday Morning and had to fly straight to Manila at about 2am Friday morning to make it for Day 0 of the GP. So I basically started my new work life for 1 day and flew straight to the GP after.”

Yoshi, me and Wee Thean (GP Manila Day 2 PTQ Ixalan Side Event)

Name:Yoshitoki Sakai
From:Japan
Level/Years Judging:L3/Since May 2013
*Most interesting rules question you’ve encountered last GP Manila 2017?
Player A controls emblem of Gideon of The Trials.
Player B casts Approach of the Second Sun.
The question: “When you are supposed to win(Approach of the Second Sun) but can’t (Gideon’s emblem), What happens with Approach’s second ability,? Does this return to library?”
Answer is” No, it won’t return to library.

*During the entire week up to the GP weekend, what is the most memorable non-Judge related experience for you?
“My memorable thing is always same thing when ever I go GP, is making new friends. At outside of event and inside of event. This GP is my second opportunity to visit Manila.I still remember that got I to know lots of people last time, but also this GP I made lots of friends. It’s the main reason why travel as many as I can 🙂

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Name: Dennis Xiao
From: Singapore
Level/Years Judging: L2/6th year?
*Most interesting rules question you’ve encountered last GP Manila 2017?
“while shuffling, both players realized that the player A accidentally shuffled the card that was exiled by Gonti.”
*During the entire week up to the GP weekend, what is the most memorable non-Judge experience for you?
“Meeting up with old friends and making new friends! and having toilet runs 😞
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Name: Phil Peña
From: Calamba, Laguna
Level/Years Judging: Level 2/6 years

*Most interesting rules question you’ve encountered last GP Manila 2017?

“Player B casts Pull from Tomorrow, Player A agrees to resolve it. Player B then draws X cards. While Pull from Tomorrow is resolving, Player B cycles Censor from his hand, and draws a card from it as well. Player A then calls a judge, stating that Player B forgot to discard from Pull from Tomorrow.

The fix was to have Player B immediately discard at that point, but Player A appeals for a head judge ruling. Fortunately, the ruling was upheld.”

*During the entire week up to the GP weekend, what is the most memorable non-Judge experience for you?

“Eating at the judge dinner and finish through four rounds of buffet!”

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Name: Luca Romano
From: Italy
Level/Years Judging: Level 3/12 years
*Most interesting rules question you’ve encountered last GP Manila 2017?
Rules question: a lot of interactions between act of treason effects and cartouches, or creatures with exert. And also lot of questions about Decimator Beetle.

*During the entire week up to the GP weekend, what is the most memorable non-Judge experience for you? “
I’ve had a lot of nightlife fun, but the most memorable experience remains the visit at the Underground river in Palawan island.”
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Name: Ben Ferrer
From: Marikina Philippines
Level/Years Judging: L2, 2 years and 23 days
*Most interesting rules question you’ve encountered last GP Manila 2017?
“I encountered a question on a card with an intervening if clause (Toolcraft Exemplar) and was asked whether or not it will get +2/+1 if in response to the trigger going onto the stack, the only artifact that the player who controls the exemplar is destroyed. ”
*During the entire week up to the GP weekend, what is the most memorable non-Judge experience for you?
“Does taking helping judges get around count as a non-judge experience? If it does then that was most memorable. I learned so many things from experienced Italian L3s as well as taking a good L2 friend on a shopping expedition for Force of Will Products. Spending time with them convinced me further that I want to be judging for as long as I am able.”

Name: Nick Yu
From: Manila
Judge/Years Judging: level 2 – since 2009
*Most interesting rules question you’ve encountered last GP Manila 2017? “not really a rules question but more of responding to a player who only spoke mandarin. the fun part was listening in on the actual translation by one of the L3s from China and trying to piece my limited knowledge of Mandarin with it.” *
*During the entire week up to the GP weekend, what is the most memorable non-Judge experience for you?
“I got to play in my first ever GP Manila side event after judging since GP Manila 2010! (sealed deck, ended 2-2 with a deck that should’ve been an easy 4-0)”

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Name: Matteo Callegari
From: Parma, Italy
Level/Years Judging: L3, I certified for L1 in 2006

*Most interesting rules question you’ve encountered last GP Manila 2017?

Player: “Judge, what exactly Soulshift means?”
Matteo: “What?” thinking that I must have misunderstood or fallen into a wormhole and traveled 12 years back in time!
Player: “I mean, can I get back my Selfless Spirit…”
Matteo: ok, maybe no time travelling!
Player: “… with my Torii Watchward?”
Matteo: ok, that taxi must have been a DeLorean. For sure. Did we hit 88 miles per hour?
And then, looking at the other tables you realize that there was no DeLorean but that you got a call from the Choas Sealed event! 😀
Oh, by the way yes, you can get the Selfless Spirit back. It’s a good 12-year-time-travel combo!

*During the entire week up to the GP weekend, what is the most memorable non-Judge related experience for you?

“On Friday I joined the expedition to the island-on-a-lake-in-a-volcano-on-a-lake-in-a-volcano-on-an-island! Thanks to the kindness of local judges who setup a very easy and pleasant trip and thanks to Ronaldo the horse that I rode up to the cliff of the volcano. It was a memorable day 🙂

#mtgJudge
So there you go fellow spell-slingers, I know its been a few weeks since the GP but for me, there’s a lot of good stuff to talk about 🙂
By the way, to all the daddy spell slingers out there, “Happy Father’s Day!!!”

(Photo Credit: Mr. Victor Viguilla and Ms. Alyssa Miclat)

Don’t forget to check out Affinity Games’ interview with the 5 spell slingers who made top 8 🙂 please click here
Do check out CL Events website to know more about there next destination, please click here
Happy Shuffling!!! and don’t forget, support your local game store 🙂
____________________
Looking for a Pinoy MTG Podcast? please do check out The Redzone, click here !!!
Wanna browse a Facebook with tournament schedules only, please click here !!!
and if you’re looking for a board game, check out PC Butlers Computer Services by clicking the link here !!!
And if you wanna check out some Hareruya stuff, please click here !!!
____________________
Magic: The Gathering Official Coverage:For official coverage please click the link
In 3… 2… 1  “JUDGE!!!”

The Other Main events of GP Manila… French Duel Commander and Legacy Uncut Sheet!!!

Niche, a fancy term that describes a certain portion of a population. If we will use that
to describe certain formats of the game we all love, somehow it is safe to say that Legacy
and Duel Commander as a format here in our country both caters to such markets.

Fortunately, during the Grand Prix Manila weekend, CL Events provided a great number of side events, two of those may be a side event as announced, but for the players of the community, it is their “Main Event”.

So I took the opportunity and asked a few questions to the front-runner of the formats respectively, for us to know more about the respective formats.

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Tomee and some of the French Duel Commander Players.

French Duel Commander

Name: Tomee

Where do you usually play?: Kick Engines, Cubao

Been Playing for: ~4years

1. GP Manila host CL Events featured “French Duel Commander” as one of the side events, how did the “French Duel Commander” Community here in our country approached the event? As an ex tourney organizer, I took advantage of the upcoming GP side event by inviting all active duel players to come play for the “GP Manila 2017 Duel Commander Champion” title. Turned out really well I guess.

2. What deck did you play and why? I’m a fan of non-mainstream decks lately. So I tried UR partner draw-go control (Ludevic and Kraum) as I planned on exploiting PoP and Blood Moon. Lost to more prepared players though.

3. What is the current state of the format in the Philippines? There’s still a strong following of the format. But I believe this year is the lowest in terms of attendance. In terms of metagame, most players are on aggro/midrange plan. Control decks that adjust to these archetypes seem to get some success as well.

4. Top 5 commanders of the Format? Zurgo, GST, Titania, Partner Aggro, and JVP (in no particular order). These are mostly the decks I usually see on top tables.

5. Your take on the active role of WOTC with MTGO Commander 1v1? This is really good for the whole Philippine “EDH” community as we can now leverage on WOTC’s experience/resource/data etc to advance the format. Unlike Leviathan or French, which are controlled by a group of respected personnel, MTGO Commander 1v1 is officially governed/maintained by WOTC. Although it’s intended for MTGO, I believe could open a lot of possibilities for product support via Commander products, a little bit more objective in metagame/rules/banlist balance via WOTC experience, and rich metagame data via MTGO League tourneys. These are MTGO’s edge against Leviathan and French. In time, I believe, it can be a more stable format to follow on paper.

Any upcoming event for Duel Commander? We’ll have our very first MTGO 1v1 this June 17 at Kick Engines and French Duel Commander at Block 101 this June 25.

Name: Franz Bautista

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Franz Bautista with the Uncut Sheet !!! WOW !!!

Where do you usually play?: KickEngines

Been Playing for: Been playing Legacy for 4 years. Known the game since Scourge.

1. GP Manila host CL Events featured “Legacy Uncut Sheet” as one of the side events, how did the Legacy Community here in our country approached the event? -Everyone in the community was excited to join. I mean, it’s the Grand Prix. Getting to play even in a side event is a big deal. To us, it’s like playing in the main event itself since we don’t get to play in tournaments as big as that (we usually have major tournaments every month but we average 24-30 players).

2. What makes Legacy such a great a format? -It’s a very fun format – you get to cast powerful spells like Brainstorm, do power plays such as putting Griselbrand into play in the first two turns, crack a frozen Marit Lage turn 2, make 10 copies of tendrils of agony on the stack for the first two turns – and that’s just the surface. Legacy demands skill and deck mastery which makes it a lot more fun and interesting.

3. Top 5 cards of the Format? 1. Brainstorm 2. Ponder 3. Deathrite Shaman 4. Wasteland 5. Force of Will

4. What deck did you play and why? -I played Ad Nauseam Tendrils (ANT). It’s the only deck I have and I believe that it’s the best deck in the format.

5. What is the current state of the format in the Philippines? -We’re doing well to be honest. We have new players coming into the format recently and others who are interested. It’s because of LGSs KickEngines and Cedric’s Boardgame Cafe that players who are passionate of the format can play and get their monthly competitive itch. But of course, that is just the northern part of the metro. You wouldn’t believe how passionate the players from the south are too. They travel long distances just to get to a tournament and they’re the earliest to arrive at the venue! Now that’s passion. I’m really hoping to get a chance to work with LGS from the South in promoting and running Legacy events so that we can have bigger tournaments ala SCG, Ovino, KMC. I could go on and on telling everyone how awesome Legacy is but, TL;DR – LGS Support + Passion = Format lives

 

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Lastly, do you need scissors for that uncut sheet?

-xD

The number of players for Legacy and Duel Commander may not be the same as Standard and Modern but one thing is for sure, their love and passion for their respective format is as real as it gets.

There you go fellow spell slingers, do check out Kick Engines FB page if you would like to check out the local game store and play.

(Photo Credit: Mr. Victor Viguilla and Mr. Franz Bautista)

Don’t forget to check out Affinity Games’ interview with the 5 spell slingers who made top 8 🙂 please click here
Do check out CL Events website to know more about there next destination, please click here
Happy Shuffling!!! and don’t forget, support your local game store 🙂
____________________
Looking for a Pinoy MTG Podcast? please do check out The Redzone, click here !!!
Wanna browse a Facebook with tournament schedules only, please click here !!!
and if you’re looking for a board game, check out PC Butlers Computer Services by clicking the link here !!!
And if you wanna check out some Hareruya stuff, please click here !!!
____________________
Magic: The Gathering Official Coverage:For official coverage please click the link
The Other Main events of GP Manila… French Duel Commander and Legacy Uncut Sheet!!!

The Man in Barong Tagalog

Barong Tagalog, a clothing or outfit that is very much tied into our culture, nowadays used by politicians, Ninong during weddings and some use polo barong (a variety of the Barong Tagalog) as uniform for work.

 

So when I saw one of the participants at the venue, I was honestly a bit shocked to see someone actually wearing a Barong Tagalog, and what is more surprising is that, he is not a Filipino.

 

I had a quick chat with the champion of the recently concluded Grand Prix Manila Mr. Ryoichi Tamada who sleeved up with UW Flash utilizing Spell Queller to take home the trophy, fresh from his win after being declared as the Grand Prix Manila Champion, I sat down with him and we basically had a quick chat about why is he wearing a Barong Tagalog?

 

He said that “the room is very cold, so I looked for a long clothing, only this is available. Bought it”

Interesting right? All he wanted that time was something to somehow keep himself warm at the venue. He even admitted that, he has no idea that the clothing is something significant to the Filipino culture.

 

He said that he visits the country for work, but he is definitely looking to spend some vacation time here.

And during our short chat, he did say “This is his favorite(pointing at the Barong Tagalog), and yes a lucky charm,”.

Throughout the conversation, he is all smiles and with a very friendly and happy tone.

I shook hands with the champ and congratulated him, while some players patiently wait to have their playmat or other stuff signed by the GP Manila Champion Mr. Ryoichi Tamada.

 

Well, we may have some questions about why is he wearing a Barong but there’s no doubt that the champ has a winning pedigree, with a ton of top 8 under his belt, a recent top 8 from GP Kobe a week before, now he holds the trophy and once again, congratulations to GP Manila Champion Mr. Ryoichi Tamada.

 

 

 

 

(Photo Credit: Mr. Victor Viguilla)

There you go fellow spell slingers, Have a great weekend filled with MTG actions 🙂

Remember to have fun and be fair 🙂 it is a game, be nice 🙂

Don’t forget to check out Affinity Games’ interview with the 5 spell slingers who made top 8 🙂 please click here
Do check out CL Events website to know more about there next destination, please click here
Happy Shuffling!!! and don’t forget, support your local game store 🙂
____________________
Looking for a Pinoy MTG Podcast? please do check out The Redzone, click here !!!
Wanna browse a Facebook with tournament schedules only, please click here !!!
and if you’re looking for a board game, check out PC Butlers Computer Services by clicking the link here !!!
And if you wanna check out some Hareruya stuff, please click here !!!
____________________
Magic: The Gathering Official Coverage:For official coverage please click the link
The Man in Barong Tagalog

All roads lead to SMX MOA …Grand Prix Manila 2017

Hello fellow planeswalkers!, the recently concluded GP Manila hosted by CL Events had a lot of great moments and a lot of “first”. That being said be on the lookout for the interview of Mr. Justin Haguisan of Affinity Games, with the 5 Pinoy shufflers who made the top 8, our short interview with Mr. Ryoichi Tamada and much more.
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(Photo Credit: Mr. Victor Viguilla)
For some, it all started out on Friday, June 2, 2017, wherein Last Chance Trials for the Grand Prix was held at SMX- MOA, the venue for this year’s Grand Prix Manila, hosted by CL Events, who had a great line-up events all planned for a Magic Player’s “long weekend”. A full packed schedule of events, for the three day festivities, whatever format you play, CL Events got it covered.
For the 757 players though, June 3, 2017 is what that matters, cause Day 1 of the main event will certainly set the pace for you, as some of the local competitive players that I’ve talked to during the Grand Prix Trial season, “byes” are very important, cause that will send you to the winners bracket from Round 1 and so on. Now, the cool thing about a Grand Prix is that it is very different to other premier events of Magic: the Gathering, cause you don’t need an invite to be part of it but perform well, make the top 8, it can send you to the Pro-Tour! For this one, the destination is Pro Tour Ixalan. 
As rounds goes by, players with byes started to join in the duel, byes from “Planeswalker Points”, from GPT and of course byes awarded to Pro Players. With the main-event on-going, side events firing left and right, and the event also featured two talented artists Ryan Yee and Lius Lasahido signing cards and/or doing alters. The event was certainly a great place for all types of MTG enthusiast from French Duel Commander players to Modern, just look around and there’s a side event for you.

The featured match area, highlights the top performers during the Swiss rounds and it almost felt like each time a match was concluded at that area, loud cheers from the spectators would fill the room, as if someone just made a “goal!”, well the goal is to make day 2? Right?

18 points, that is what the main event grinders are aiming for to make it to Day 2, a better finish at Day 1 would definitely increase your chances to make it to the top 8, though for some just making Day 2 is an achievement on its own.

__________

For Day 2, the main event area got comparatively smaller, due to the fact that a good number of players from Day 1, didn’t the make the cut for 2nd Day, but it is safe to say that the intensity got a notch higher, remember the loud cheers after each round at the main event area? it just got louder and louder. I may not be at the main event area as I was one of the Judges at the PTQ Ixalan event, every time I hear a group of players cheering on, I just thought that “Perhaps a bunch of locals are actually playing really well, hope to see some make it to top 8” .
Yup, I did mention PTQ, a Pro Tour Qualifier side event which highlights the participants skills with Amonkhet Sealed, it may be a side event, but it is pretty much a main event on its own, an invite to a Pro Tour, that is as big as any prize could ever be.
The variety of side events offered for Day 2, attracted MTG players from all of sorts  of formats in such a away that you’ll see every area as busy as it could possibly be, the non-stop ODE draft, while Legacy players did showcase what the format is made of during the “Legacy Uncut Sheet” event.
Going back to the main event, when all was said and done, and the last Swiss round came to a close, five!, yes 5!!!, Filipino made the top 8, which is safe to say, that is the highest number of local players in our country making the top 8 of a Grand Prix. That is an achievement already for the Philippine Magic: the Gathering Community as a whole. It may not be a Filipino who bagged the entire thing, but the important thing here is that our fellow countrymen who made the top 8 and even for those who didn’t, but played well as much as they could, showed what competitive Filipino Magic is like.
And after all the spell slinging action, Mr. Ryoichi Tamada of Japan is our Grand Prix Manila Champion!!! Congratulations sir 🙂
Please do watch out for the short interview which will be posted soon 🙂
__________
There you go, fellow spell-slingers, I hope you all had a great Grand Prix Manila weekend, I would like to congratulate GP Manila Champion Mr. Ryoichi Tamada of Japan, Joe Soh of CL Events, the entire team of CL Events, congratulations to all the winners of every side events, Thank you to all of my fellow Judges both local and foreign judges, the scorekeeper for the main event and side events, amazing work everyone !!! and of course to all the players, I hope everyone had fun and do check out future CL events and events of a local game store near you 🙂
Don’t forget to check out Affinity Games’ interview with the 5 spell slingers who made top 8 🙂 please click here
Do check out CL Events website to know more about there next destination, please click here
Happy Shuffling!!! and don’t forget, support your local game store 🙂
____________________
Looking for a Pinoy MTG Podcast? please do check out The Redzone, click here !!!
Wanna browse a Facebook with tournament schedules only, please click here !!!
and if you’re looking for a board game, check out PC Butlers Computer Services by clicking the link here !!!
And if you wanna check out some Hareruya stuff, please click here !!!
____________________
Magic: The Gathering Official Coverage:For official coverage please click the link
All roads lead to SMX MOA …Grand Prix Manila 2017

A “Gathering” like no other, A tournament for a “cause”

Tournament, whenever you hear the word, what comes to mind?

“A competition, wherein participants play for something at stake.”

And the game we all love and enjoy is no different, from weekly regular events, Friday Night Magic, Pre-Release of a new set, Grand Prix Trials to competitive events like Preliminary Pro-Tour Qualifiers and of course the World Magic Cup.

There have been tournaments though, that may not fit into the such definition, yes there are prizes at stake and though the rules enforcement may be “Regular”,  the event is truly something “Special”. I am talking about “Tournament for a Cause”. According to senior players, the first of such of tournaments was done in Mid- 2000, when Neutral Grounds hosted tournaments where entrance fees are canned goods and noodles. The proceeds are then given to typhoon victims.

However, the first to be organized by a player where prizes were not sourced from the entrance fees collected, but were donated by friends of the beneficiary, was held at BCI Jupiter and the format used Vintage. An information shared by a long time player of the game.

On a personal note, December 23 of last year my father suffered from a mild-stroke, and fortunately I was at the right place at the right time, cause I was able to attend to him and call an ambulance, he is in a much better shape now. Few days after Christmas, Madcap Gaming Philippines’ T.O Christian Calienta and Ruby Rivas organized a fund raising event for my father, a “tournament for a cause”, make the long story short, I came into the event, emotional and very much thankful for the entire community.

Early last March, a duel commander tournament for a fellow planeswalker Joseph Icaranom a.k.a “Ka Satur”, named “Kasaturnament”, as Sir Glenn Marc Alesna (the tournament organizer of the event) puts it “MTG is not just a community, it is a brotherhood.” Wherein duel commanders gathered together to raise funds and provide a helping hand to a fellow planeswalker.

Also last March, a tournament for a cause for Myusik Garcia was scheduled though it didn’t pushed through as planned, a handful of our fellow planeswalkers decided to donate some money with the hopes of helping out the little angel.

 Yolanda, a Super Typhoon that goes by the international name Haiyan. We all do have memories of it, the devastation and all path of destruction by the super typhoon, but a collective effort of the community, to cast-out the natural disaster took place, it may not be any call to watch any gate, but is a call to lend a helping a hand, a fundraising event, wherein a good number fellow planeswalkers(perhaps, you’re among them) gathered together, to do what we all love to do, but for a purpose, a bigger purpose, provide help, for those who need it most.

John Bunyan said, “You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” , that quote is something that I’ve lived by for good number of years already. It may not be a flavor text on a card, but definitely something we can all ponder upon.

Over the past few weeks a couple of tournaments for a cause was held at various venues, if there will be more of its kind, then just imagine what impact a lending hand from various spell-slingers will make.

“Gathering”, yes fellow planeswalkers, the name of the game says it all, we “gather” to play the game, be part of an event, social gathering if you would like to put it that way, participate in a tournament, there are times that the event has more multiplier than a “Regular” event, not to your planeswalker points though, cause are times that a planeswalker multiplier is not the highlight, but lending a helping hand to someone who needs to be pulled up is.

So there you go my fellow planeswalkers, something different to talk about but still involves, the game that we all love.

Happy spell-slinging !!! 🙂

Credit to Sir Victor Viguilla for the photos and suggestions for the article 🙂

for more of his photos from the events mentioned above please click here, here and here 🙂


Just few GPT’s before the GP Manila? Have you secured your byes for it?

Do check the schedule posted by L2 Reuben Ferrer, click the link for the schedule 🙂

Looking for a sealed event with PPTQ Albuquerque invites?

3rd Leg of Pinoy Planeswalker Open Series: Modern Season 2. Click the link for details


Check out Hareruya’s great deals 🙂

Click the link: http://www.hareruyamtg.com/en/c/cAKH-R/

 

A “Gathering” like no other, A tournament for a “cause”