EPIC GRAND QUALIFIER
Last weekend, Wise Wizard Games ran our very first Epic Grand Qualifier. Pandemonium Books and Games in sunny Cambridge MA was the chosen site.
What’s a Grand Qualifier you ask? Well…a normal WCQ, players smash face until one remains, and that eventual winner receives an invite to the World Championships. A Grand Qualifier is a tournament that has a cash prize pool of $1000, and two players receive invites rather than just one. (Get it? Grand? $1000? You’re welcome, everybody!)
Because of the cash prizes, the rule about qualified players being unable to play is lifted. If a player would receive an invite and has already qualified, that invite passes down to the next available player.
This was the first time we played a significant event with the new rules (read that post here ). Of the new rules, the rule concerning the end-of-turn procedure seemed to affect the players the most, with many having to shift their tactics slightly.
The new EOT rule says that if your opponent tries to end the turn, and you make a play, you have to continue making plays until you pass initiative back. Once you pass initiative back, your opponent can end the turn if they want, and you will lose the ability to make further plays. (Previously you could make a single play then pass initiative, forcing your opponent to keep attempting to end the turn and giving you initiative each time.)
Players welcomed the new rule, though they had to make sure they were playing it correctly, and that usually involved questions for the judge.
RULES QUESTIONS THAT CAME UP
Q: Does Blind Faith affect Champions that enter play after it resolves?
Q: Will Blind Faith remove the Breakthrough ability granted by Lash?
A: Yes. An effect that says “<Target> gains <Ability>” is effectively adding the text to the card. It’s why Elder Greatwurm can’t gain Breakthrough from Lash, but it would still get the +4 Offense (because going from 30 to 34 makes that much more of a difference).
Q: My opponent attacks with a Faithful Pegasus and uses the ability to attack with a Human. If I break the Pegasus, does the human still have Airborne?
A: Yes it does. Removing the source of an effect doesn’t remove the effect. The Pegasus, mortally wounded, still manages to fly the human to his destination before departing to the next world (i.e. the discard pile).
Q: I play a Medusa (Loyalty 2: Break Target Champion). When I reveal for Loyalty and choose a target, my opponent informs me that the chosen champion has Untargetable or Unbreakable. Can I take that back?
A: Yes. Rule 3.7 says you can take something back as long as you haven’t gained new information or passed initiative. Your opponent has gained some free information from the Loyalty reveal, but you have not.
MAKING THE CUT
We decided to run 4 rounds of Swiss with a cut to top 4. Everybody in the event received a bunch of promos, including some Wise Wizard Fair promos that we had left over! #value
After the dust settled, this was our top 8:
1 John Tatian
2 James Moreland
3 Connor Daly
4 Thomas Dixon
5 Nick Blandin
6 Michael Whittington
7 Benjamin Hebert
8 Daniel Weiss
Quite the stacked event. You’ll recognize John Tatian as the current Epic World Champion, so his coming first isn’t all that weird. Thomas Dixon won a First-Chance Qualifier at Wise Wizard Game Fair 2016, so the invites automatically passed to Connor Daly and James Moreland.
The top 4 still wanted to play for prizes and pride. Plus, Dark Draft is an amazing format and they wanted to play it out.
Already-qualified players Thomas Dixon and John Tatian squared off in one semifinal, while the other semifinal saw freshly-qualified Connor Daly taking on James Moreland.
In the end, James swept Connor after a very tight game 2. Meanwhile current World Champion John Tatian comes back from a game 1 loss to shut out Tom Dixon in games 2 and 3.
James and John opted to split the remaining prize. Since John finished as higher seed, he is technically the winner, though every one of the top 4 will be appearing at Epic Worlds 2017.
We’d like to thank Pandamonium for hosting the event, and our players for making the trek from as far as California. We will be crafting a more in-depth analysis of the winning decks and the draft decks in a later article.
In the meantime, if you are interested in running an event in your store, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try to make something happen.