Brazilian Nationals 2004 - Judge Report

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Hi, I’m Rafael Dei Svaldi, a Level 2 from Brazil.

Last weekend (June, 18-20) we had the Brazilian Nationals 2004, in São Paulo. After a long trip of 18 hours by bus and one extra hour by train, I arrived at the venue exactly on time. Devir, the organizer of the event, choose a nice place to hold the tournament, the Associação Koelpening. He had 111 players, including one girl, which is really rare in brazilian tournaments.

The head judge of the Nationals was Pedro Ceriotti, our “borrowed” brother from Uruguay, and team leaders were me and Henrique Amigo, from Devir. We had 10 judges working with us, with some new judges joining the old ones from previous Nationals.

The Brazilian Nationals

Day One

Day one started at 9.30 a.m., after player registration. During the registration, a great problem ocurred. Rodrigo “Perninha” Castro, a top player ranked 5th on brazilian rank, wasn’t in the Nationals player’s list. Since the organizers couldn’t rearrange the list, he wasn’t allowed to play.

The format for day one was Mirrodin block draft, followed by 3 rounds of swiss and another draft, with 3 more rounds. The draft portion of the tournament didn’t have any major issues, aside from a lot of cautions and warnings due to players talking in the draft. This time we had stamped cards for the drafts, so we didn’t have the problems of players bringing their own cards from home.

Our team was in charge of deck checks. We had 7 game losses due to sideboard errors, and 2 match losses due to Illegal Main Deck list. It was one of the Brazilian Nationals with the smaller percentage of deck lists problems (less than 10% of the players). This number used to be bigger in previous years.

During the matchs on day one, the main questions players had were about timing of spells and abilities, and about the phases and steps. Another trouble was due to “regional language”. Here, in Brazil, a lot of players use regional slang when dealing with some Magic words. When you have one hundred players in the same tournament who use different expressions from 10 states to say they pass the priority, they cast a spell and so on, you can just imagine the level of confusion.

Day Two

Without registration and draft pods, day two was shorter than day one. The tournament started at 9: a.m., with players competing in 6 round of standart swiss. Lot of G/W, Goblins and Affinity decks. Again, timing and phases questions, but this time we had to deal with more complex troubles, as players reached the end of tournament, and were more eager to win.

Bad timing of cycling.

One situation that serves as an example of the questions we met occurred on the last round of day 2. Player A cycled decree of justice and, after drawing the card, tried to use its ability to produce tokens. Effectively, he misrepresented the order in which the abilities went to the stack. In order to avoid issuing him a game loss for drawing extra cards, I considered that he cycled the decree and choose to not use its token producing ability, turning the game loss into a warning. Allowing him to play the abilities in the right order would have led to him paying for the tokens knowing the card that he would draw (a matter of great importance on that game).

The double DQ

At the end of round 10 on the second day of the tournament, a player approached the judges with a digital camera recording of a player, Bruno Araujo explaining that he had just accepted eight boosters in exchange for forfeiting the match to his friend, Roni Rodrigues. The head judge summoned the players, one by one, to explain the situation. Bruno Araujo confessed on spot, but Roni Rodrigues claimed innocence. Due to the digital proof and other information the judges had, and because of Bruno’s confession, a DQ without prize was issued to the two players.


After some pairing problems with our computer, we managed to start the final matches at 4:30 p.m. All the matches were quite friendly, and we didn’t had any relevant rules issues. Congratulations to National winner Osvaldo Barbosa.

The photos were courtesy of Silvio Compagnoli, from Devir.

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