Live Coverage of 2005 Pro Tour Columbus

Posted in Event Coverage on October 30, 2004


What wonderful and interesting situations happened at Pro Tour-Columbus as the new sets met the old in a fresh extended environment? Surprisingly few. Overwhelmingly, the problems encountered by the judging staff involved language barriers or asking for the Oracle text of non-English cards (especially Cephalid Illusionist).

Kami of Ancient Law

By now you've probably delved deep into the inner workings of the Cephalid Breakfast deck, but it had one interesting choice in Kami of Ancient Law. The new 2/2 creature from Champions of Kamigawa does what Seal of Cleansing could never do: be Exhumed to deal with Worship. Also appearing in the sideboards of Affinity builds to take out Energy Flux, the Kami of Ancient Law proves its superiority over instants like Disenchant with the ability to attack. You too might need to make the choice involving the 1W slot in an extended deck someday -- which is more important: the ability to attack, or the ability to destroy artifacts and be played as an instant?

Eternal Witness, perhaps the best card in Fifth Dawn, showed up everywhere from Aluren decks to Enchantress to Awakening to the many variation on the black/green deck popularly known as "The Rock." Sean Salder even called his deck the "Witness Relocation Program" and used cards like Vedalken Mastermind, Aether Vial, and Repulse to truly exploit the power of its coming into play effects.

One of the most interesting interactions I saw as floor judge involved a match where Living Death was cast with Eternal Witnesses lying in both graveyards. When Living Death resolves, all coming into play effects happen simultaneously and are added to the stack at the same time. The active player, the person who cast Living Death, has his effects go on the stack first and must therefore pick targets for his Witnesses first. The non-active player's Witnesses have the added bonus of having their triggered abilities resolve first while knowing the locked in choices of the first player's targeting decisions. Complicated plays like this are what truly define the pros.

Witness Relocation Program

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Finally, Judge Paul Morris reported a complex situation during one of the matches he covered. Isochron Scepter (imprinting Fire/Ice), Sphere of Resistance, and Pyrostatic Pillar were all on the table at the same time. Isochron Scepter makes a copy of Fire/Ice which is played during the Scepter's resolution, additional costs, such as Sphere of Resistance must still be played. Pyrostatic Pillar will trigger since, as the converted mana cost of a spell is not increased by Sphere of Resistance. Unusual situations like these don't happen often, but our high-powered staff at the Pro Tour was more than equipped to handle it.

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