Hello and welcome back to Judge of Week where we highlight the best and brightest. Out of the tall grass of Nemur, Belgium, a Wild Judge appears. Emilien has been a constant presence on the GP circuit for quite some time. He’s a pillar of Moxen and of the Belgium community, now let’s take a closer look at the Judge in the hat.
Name: Emilien Wild
Location: Namur, Belgium
Judge Start Date: June 2008
Occupation: Stay at home father, for my 18 months old son Prométhée.
Favorite card: Genesis Wave. That’s like all your favorite cards at once.
Least favorite card: Trade Secrets. Thank you, Commander committee, for banning it.
Favorite format: Booster Draft. The play experience changes every single time, and last blocks have been really deep to draft.
Commander General: I have a script that picks out a random commander every month to build around.
Favorite non-Magic Game: Avalon, which is a Werewolf/Mafia game without the downsides of the original.
Best tournament result: Grand Prix Lyon top 16 in Modern
Both Scott Marshal and Fabian Peck recognized you for the mentorship you bring to each post on the Tournament Reports forum. What is your process for making each post so impactful?
If a Judge takes the time and effort to share a tournament report, it is the duty of the Judge program to spend as much time and effort to use that as an opportunity to educate not only this Judge, but anybody spending time to read the report. I try to comment on every report I can. With comment, I try to isolate what makes each report special: does the Judge share something that was unique? Do they share something that’s relevant to the current seasonal topic? How about a policy change? Perhaps a new procedure that we’re implementing?
I then build on that experience as an example to educate on something that is broader, and touch on the philosophy of what we do and why. That way, every Judge can then adapt those teachings to their own events and their own context.
What advice would you give to Judges looking to follow in your footsteps?
There are many ways to achieve the same goal. It is important to not confuse the goal and the means, the destination and the journey. Different contexts require different tools. Never be afraid to try something new that could be a better fit to the current situation than what we usually do. But do not spend too much energy reinventing the wheel if the tools you already have provide good results.
Toby Elliott recognized you for helping a kid who’d lost his Commander deck. Could you talk about what happened and how you made a difference?
My girlfriend Emmanuelle and I are huge fans of the artist Steve Argyle. I was lucky enough to be staffed for Grand Prix San Jose 2014, where Steve Argyle was present. I used most of my breaks to wait in line to get cards signed or just watch him alter cards and playmats. While I was waiting, I overheard another player telling him that he wanted to get his Commander general, Damia, Sage of Stone, signed, but that he just lost his whole deck.
Returning his deck was not something I could do. But I did have a playset of Damias I was going to get signed, so sparing one was a no-brainer, and that player was now able to get his new card signed by Steve.
Kevin Desprez recognized you on how you approach cultural differences while working abroad. What do you do differently at events abroad?
Most of what we do at events has been standardized: we have paper teams, pairing boards, deck checks, public events teams, head Judges, team leaders and floor Judges, etc.
However, we evolve in different contexts, and those contexts can introduce minor differences. That means that Judging in a different continent means that you encounter different ways to do things. Since humans are creatures of habits, those differences may be perceived as wrong or uneasy.
If you go past this initial reaction, and ask about why people do what they do, you’ll understand the contextual differences that led to those changes. This in turn will provide both an enlightenment on why other people do things their way, but also why you do things your way. This experience will also make you think about how else you can do it, which can lead to some improvements.
What is one tip you have for other Judges?
Do not lose sight of the core of Judging: keep it fair, keep it fun. For players, for organizers, as well as yourself.
What’s the best part about your local Magic community?
That we have a really developed Judge community, so we can focus our energy on Judge development instead of Judge acquisition to ensure that the Judge quality is tremendous. Working with amazing people is a blast.
What positive aspects has the Judge Program contributed to your everyday life?
The Judge program has been a life-changer for me. It helped me mature, to open my mind, to visit so many different countries, to be in touch with so many cultures. I believe that who I am as a person (and a dad) is thanks to the program.
How do you have fun during events?
Challenge yourself, but keep in touch with what truly matters to you. Do not hesitate to tell other Judges if you want or need to do something. Make sure you save time for yourself.
Proudest moment of your Judge life?
Being one of the first “Pillars of Moxen”, a recognition program set up by one of European Grand Prix organizers that is merit-based and means auto-selection and perks for their next three GPs.
If there is a judge who is also doing something exemplary, please nominate a judge TODAY!