Denis Schalck

Greetings Judges! This week’s Judge of the Week is Denis Schalck, L1 from Colmar – Besançon, France. Denis has been a judge since November of 2007.


Occupation: Court Clerk
Favorite Card: Ovinomancer, I built lots of silly decks around this card. I was very happy to see it was reprinted in Time Spiral, so I could get it in foil. I have a shoe box full of Ovinomancers and if you have some that need a home, I will take the greatest care of them.
Least Favorite Card: All extra turn cards like Time Walk, it’s boring to skip a turn.
Favorite Format: Sealed. Opening boosters and trying to build a good deck is a challenge and it eliminates net decking.
Commander General: Doran, the Siege Tower, it allows me to play aggro-control and lets me slip in some unusual cards such as Might of Oaks.

Favorite non-Magic GameKing of Tokyo: / Civilization.

Best Tournament Result: I once took 1st at an extended tournament. I was playing a Rock deck and I won in the finals by casting the only Might of Oaks in my deck on my unblocked Birds of Paradise.

Tell us your favorite judge story.
When I was still an L1 candidate, I saw a player casting a Disenchant on his opponent’s Black Knight. As I was about to step in and correct his error, his opponent quietly told him “You can’t do that, my Knight has protection from white.” I had to step in and pause their game to give them the correct ruling all the while trying not to laugh.

How did you get involved in magic in the first place?
I have been playing Magic since the French black bordered 3rd edition came out. There was a lack of organized play in our town (Besançon) and we wanted to start holding prereleases. We founded a non-profit organization and held our first event the Apocalypse prerelease. I then moved to where I currently live (Colmar) and found a new group of players, we started organizing more and more tournaments then realized we had a lack of judges for those tournaments. My friends Thomas and Gregory soon became certified judges. I had been acting as L0 judge and one day they told me “Why don’t you just take your L1 test Denis?” Unfortunately I didn’t pass the first time but it made me want to work even harder to become one of the certified judges in my community.

How has being a judge influenced your non-Magic life?
Most weekends I’m judging Magic, I organize the rest of my agenda around events, judge meetings, and other Magic related activities. I met my best friends while working tournaments and when I’m not playing or judging magic I’m with them. I have traveled to places I would have never been to or seen otherwise. Judging has also taught me to be less impulsive and to think before I act.

What motivates you to continue beiDenisSchalk2ng a judge?
I very much enjoy helping my community and seeing happy players around a table playing cards. Organizing tournaments and judging helps me to meet lots of different and cool people. It keeps me optimistic while helping me to quickly forget the bad things and only remember the good times.

What is one tip you have for other judges?
There are only solutions, not problems. Keep your cool, work hard, and nothing will be impossible. One very important thing, don’t doubt yourself and your capacity to do something or to handle problems. Confidence!

What is your favorite non-magic hobby?
I love reading books, mostly about WWII or European history. When I was younger, I wanted to be a paleontologist or some kind of historian understanding our past can help us build a better future. I also enjoy reading comics and sci-fi novels. I’m a huge fan of anything related to science fiction and I waste hours on my computer playing game such as Civilization or World of Tanks.

What has been your favorite magic event that you’ve judged?
GP Lyon in 2010, it was my first experience at a Grand Prix. I met lots of judges that quickly became friends and Daniel Kitachewski wrote a long review for me that I was very proud of. It was the first time I had applied for such an event. I got to judge the main event as a L1 which was a huge challenge as well as an honor and even got room sponsorship for the event. When my application was accepted, I took a few test and read over the IPG so I could be at my best.

If you could chat with one person, real or fictional, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Leonardo da Vinci, he was amazing! He was the first multitask scientist in the world and a talented artist.

What is your favorite “after event” story?
We were at a judge dinner and we noticed that the waitress first name was Thalia. We tried to negotiate the drinks prices, but there was no way you know Thalia likes to increase every cost! The next day we couldn’t help telling everyone that we met a legend, while laughing stupidly.

DenisSchalk3How do you have fun during events?
By creating unusual events, like wrestling style prerelase tournaments. During the Mirrodin Besieged prerelease, the whole staff wore the old black and white judge shirts and Mexican Lucha Libre masks. We gave the winner a champion belt for his performance in addition to his prizes. I know all the players and my staff will never forget this tournament!

If you were a creature what would be your creature type?
Rebel. I like to act different and not follow the crowd or the most common opinion. Being different is a garden that produces tasty and juicy fruits. Trying to be like everyone else leads you to being like no one.

Proudest moment of your Judge life?
My first judge recognition for the translation of the Judge apps translation, Rules translation projects and the Cranial Insertion translation. I was offered a picture frame with Tamyio as background and the card Browse in it. I must thank Alexis Rassel, my previous RC, for trusting me and asking me to join the Cranial Insertion French team. I  love translating the articles in order to help players and judges and I’m the only original member left on that team!

Is there anything else you’d like to add?
May the Force be with you!


Two Truths and a Lie
Two of the following statements are true and one is false. Figure out which!

1. I was petty officer on a nuclear powered submarine.
2. I’m a huge fan of Miley Cyrus.
3. Although I don’t like coffee, I really like Irish coffee.

The answer to the last Two Truths and a Lie...
Jorge is not 40!!!!


That’s all folks! See you next week!

By Ryan Hoffman and Jeff Higgins. Edited by Meg Baum.

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2 thoughts on “Denis Schalck

  1. This judge rocks as TO and as judge. Very good organisation and allways fun on his events.
    Very kind guy.

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