Hey Judge folks! This week’s Judge of the Week is Carlos Rangon, a (At the time of this interview) Level 2 from Brazil. He has many passions in life, but the word on the street is his cooking is divine!
Carlos tells us that his first event as a judge was in 1998, I certified for L1 in 2004, and L2 in 2008! [Editor’s note! As of June 1st, 2014, Carlos has graduated to L3! Congrats Carlos!]
Why did you become a judge? At first, my community needed someone to run events, but after some time I got more and more interested in judging. Now I judge because I like it!
Occupation: Government employee.
Favorite card: Mindslaver
Least favorite card: Any printing of Jace.
Favorite format: Sealed deck.
Commander General: I am building my first commander with Ruhan of the Fomori
Favorite non-Magic Game: Board games and God of War and Need for Speed
Best tournament result: I have won some FNMs and prereleases.
Random fact about yourself: I love bacon on pizza.
Tell us your favourite judge story.
Back in 2007 at Brazilian Nationals, we held the second draft on day 1, followed by building and the players playing in that draft at beginning of day 2. We did not enforce for cheating, because all product was stamped . During a deckcheck on that draft, we noted a Triskelion in a deck that was not listed on the decklist, but the card was stamped, so our first thought was that the player didn’t list that card. The counterfeit was almost perfect, but had an little fail on the stamp; it was made with a ballpoint pen and we could perceive some rounded marks around the stamp.
Tell us an embarrassing story that you’re not afraid of everyone knowing.
In 2011, at GP Santiago, during one of my breaks I took some time to look around the venue and try to buy some souvenirs; after some time I realized that I was lost in Santiago, and since I didn’t remember the venue address and couldn’t find any open cybercafés to find information on the internet, I walked almost an hour without directions. When I almost lost all hope I saw a guy with a Mtg T-shirt, and after some bullying with my situation “Hey judge, don’t you know where you are judging?”, that guy gave me directions and saved my life. Sorry Daniel Kitachewsky (my team lead)!
How did you get involved in magic in the first place?
In school a friend talked about a game called “RPG”, so I brought a magazine (the old Dragão Brasil #2), and there’s an article about a game played with cards. So I went to a store (the ancient Brazilian players will remember the Forbidden Planet), then I brought a Revised two-players deck box… here the story starts!
How has being a judge influenced your non-Magic life?
A lot of things, but mainly it made me aware that teamwork really depends on each small task being performed for the entire group to succeed in their work. And now I can speak English, not fully fluently, but enough to stay alive for a few hours in Central Park!
You are on multiple translation projects. What are some of the challenges that translating rules and exam questions present?
The difficulty is standardizing. We have many volunteers working on localization, but the Portuguese language is complex, where you can speak the same thing in at least 10 different ways, and all of them are grammatically correct. The most difficult [thing] is to maintain an internal consistency in the documents so that from beginning to end it has the same form of writing.
The exam questions are even more challenging, to keep the exam questions up to date we need a lot of time and dedication, because Judge Center is an living thing and every translated question is subject to further review depending on rule changes; even some technicality updated on documents reflects in localization, since the questions keep returning and need to be reviewed again.
In these many years I’ve made a lot of friends and I every time I meet those friends again… [you can] be sure that there’s a lot of fun.
And every tournament is different from each other one. Always there are new situations arising that require the judge to develop new skills, and this is challenging to the extreme. For those who think that the life of a judge is always the same, you are mistaken. Ohhh how you are mistaken.
What is one tip you have for other judges?
Always keep the good work on, even when you think that nobody is looking or paying attention on you. Your recognition will comes at any moment, because always there is someone observing the things you do.
What is your favourite non-judging moment that happened with other judges?
Every moment I’m with judges out of a tournament is special, but now I remember the last time (that is fresher in the memory):
In GP Buenos Aires at the end of day 1, all Brazilian judges would go to dinner together, but at the end of the story I got separated from my group (or they forgot me, who knows???), and ended up going to a fast food place with judges from different countries (Argentines, Chileans, Colombians and Venezuelans) and despite the language barrier (for those who do not know we speak Portuguese in Brazil and the rest of Latin America speaks Spanish), we ended up having a great time having fun, talking and laughing for hours.
What’s the biggest rule-breaking play you’ve ever made as a player?
One day my Thirst for Knowledge countered a spell and gave me an extra turn.
I’m not a cheater, but once (before I became a judge) I was playing UW control, against a Agro deck. At end of one of my turns in the late game, my opponent played an instant and in response I played a Thirst for Knowledge (fetching for a counter) and it took me a while to decide which card I would discard. After discarding an Artifact, I looked at him and said, “Ok”. He answered “Go”, I untapped my lands and played for an extra turn. The guys who were watching the game could not contain their laughter and my opponent still asked – “What’s up?”
What has been your favourite magic event that you’ve judged?
GP Porto Alegre (2004). This was my first experience in a high level tournaments and was when I got my certification.
What positive aspects has the Judge Program contributed to your everyday life?
With the program I’ve learned a lot about organization and especially self-organization, for every tournament we need to check.
If you could chat with one person, real or fictional, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Probably try to contact one revolutionary leader; the list would begin with Tiradentes, Washington, Gandhi, Castro, Marx, Mao tse, Lenin, Robespierre, and Simon Bolivar. Since I can talk with only one, after some cuts (and how difficult that was), I choose Gandhi.
A revolution isn’t something easy to do, and do it without any guns are even more difficult. So talking with this revolutionary peacemaker probably would change my life.
What is the strangest card interaction you have seen in a tournament?
I don’t remember any specifics, anyways, I believe that an interaction is only strange if I can not resolve it based on the rules, which is extremely rare, since our rule book (CR) is extremely detailed.
How do you have fun during events?
I love corner cases and tricky situations. So when the things cool down in a event I start puzzling other judges about rules and policies.
If you were a Planeswalker what would be your ultimate?
-10: All Karadors become Force of Will. This effect doesn’t end when the tournament is finished. (joking)
-10: Charlie [editor: Carlos’ nickname] removes the judge shirt and people start having real fun.
If you were a creature what would be your creature type?
What hobbies do you have outside of Magic?
You can call me chef Charlie.
Cooking makes me feel very happy. For me cooking is like a kind of transmutation’s art. I enjoy creating things, and at every step of the cooking process you must taste the flavors and make decisions about what you’re gonna do next, add some spices, herbs, cook a little more, etc. These elements turn the process into something special and unique. And the best part of this is after the cooking, when you share with the ones you love (specially my beloved wife Cinthia and my daughter Diana).
Proudest moment of your Judge life?
Being the Judge of The week definitely fit this category. Besides that, During a prerelease, a young player comes to the judges and asked – Who is the Charlie?” I presented myself to him and he said – Thanks, because of your work now I can read and understand the rules.
This little piece of recognition of the translations project really marked me and made me proud to know that what I was doing really are making a difference for some people.
Two Truths and a Lie
Two of the following statements are true and one is false. Figure out which!
1. I planted seeds of organic arugula in my backyard. I love arugula!
2. I already worked in 8 different places, but never worked on the same city I was living.
3. When I was 17-years old I got arrested for vandalism and spent a night in jail.The answer to the last Two Truths and a Lie...
Written by Aaron Rasmussen and Stephan Classen.