Welcome back, judges! Hopefully, you have had a chance to recognize excellent work by your peers in the recently closed Exemplar wave. Today, we’re going to check in with some of the top Exemplar recipients from Wave 15. We asked them, “Which planeswalker or planeswalkers do you most identify with as a judge, and why?” Here is the first group of their responses. We’ll be back in a few weeks with a second installment.
L3 Jurgen Baert of the BeNeLux region received recognitions for areas ranging from empowering his break team members at GP Stockholm to teaching stress management by way of example.
I feel a lot of sympathy for Nicol Bolas. He’s really just a misunderstood hero, who has foreseen the destruction of the multiverse in every possible future, except for one. And he is following the path towards that one future. And it tears him apart. He lives every day of his sheer eternal life in agony as he plays his own role in creating that future. In that role, he is forced to do a lot of things that history will see as evil, yet leaves him with no choice … except that of guaranteed and utter destruction of all life as he knows and cherishes.
And the saddest part is that he can share this wicked fate with nobody. No friend, no foe, no soulmate, no antagonist. For he is destined to be the multiverse’s number one antagonist if he wants to be its savior.
Why do I identify with this, you may ask? You’ll know when it happens to you 😛
L2 Hannah Lissaman of the United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa region received recognitions for areas ranging from helping organize the UKISA Regional Conference to her efforts on the Kickstarter team at GP Stockholm.
As a judge I’m a little like my favourite planeswalker card, Ajani, Valiant Protector.
I do my best things for players and for the community when I am bringing judges together from far and wide, equipping them with what they need to do well, and hopefully sometimes being a facilitator for the really amazing things that my judge colleagues get up to.
L2 Mani Cavalieri of the USA-Northeast region received recognitions for areas ranging from helping out on the main event at GP Providence even though he was on scheduled sides to his presentation on making great judge calls.
As a judge, I identify most with Tamiyo: I live to collect, share, and experience stories. I draw power from these stories – and not just ones that happened to me, either. I’ve learned the most from my friends when we work together at events (and unwind together afterwards). Those conversations stay with me, rolled up in stories that I happily share with new friends each chance I get. I look for something fascinating to learn each new place I go, and am happy to widen my story circle.
Outside the context of judging, I identify strongly with other walkers: I identify with Arlinn Kord, because I also spent many years struggling to understand myself and learning how to harness (rather than hate) what made me different. I identify with Chandra, whose passion for her friends and loved ones is difficult to restrain, and who tends to tackle new situations headfirst. And I identify with Tibalt, because as far as the game of Magic is concerned I’m not necessarily very good – but I do love mischief and researching things that others might find…unseemly >:)
L2 Daniel Saléh of the Brazil region received recognitions for areas ranging from his tact during investigations to his dedication to learning.
I think that would be Jace. As a judge, I choose my words and actions carefully, because I know how they impact the Judge Program and the Community. It also reflects how I am as a person, and as a player. Yes, when playing Magic I am a very passioned control player.
For me, it’s not enough to know the rules and policies. I need to understand why they function like that, in order to share knowledge with my mates more efficiently. I try my best to make we all grow together.
L1 Damien Berry of the Australia and New Zealand region received recognitions for areas ranging from his contributions to the Ask a Judge Facebook group to the professionalism he displayed at GP Melbourne.
As a player, this question has a very easy answer – Sarkhan (because dragons!) – although shoutout to Domri and Garruk since I do enjoy my big stompy monsters.
As a judge, this question took much more thought. “Trample” isn’t really ideal that translates to judge-dom (Though if you figure out a way, please let me know!). Eventually, the answer became apparent – Ajani. With strong friendships and a drive to do good, Ajani is definitely the planeswalker, I most identify with as judge.
L3 Daniel Lee of the USA-Southwest region received recognitions ranging from acting to ensure a judge felt safe after learning about a player who had made her feel uncomfortable to helping several L1s and L2s advance.
The planeswalker I identify most with is Tamiyo, Field Researcher. First, she is one of only two planeswalkers that match my personal color identity. Second, the Tamiyo’s Journal – Clue token cipher was one of my absolute FAVORITE ways that Wizards has woven lore into the cards printed in a set. Finally, a field researcher is always investigating and always seeking to improve their craft, exactly like a judge!
Also, let’s be real. Tamiyo’s a nerd. So am I (big shock). And casting stuff for free is awesome. So is drawing cards. She’s just really great okay?!
L2 Elli Eirini Osmantzikidou of the Europe-East region received multiple recognitions for her work on the Europe-East conference.
I would say I am identifying with Nahiri. She cares about her people and she is not afraid of challenges, as I care about judges and players and I am always open about taking challenges.
But I am also a bit of Chandra. My emotions do get the better of me a lot of times. Hopefully I am not burning stuff (yet).
L2 Darren Horve of the USA-Northwest region received recognitions for areas ranging from his moderation of the Planar Bridge conversation at GP Denver to his scorekeeping for the SCG Columbia Regionals.
As for the question – woof, that’s a tough one for me. I mean, if it were which one do I just identify with the most – it would be a lot easier. But “as a Judge” that’s a bit harder. So, to make this fair – I’m calling in some back-up.
I asked some of my fellow judges and friends and their answers were…. less than helpful. One said Angrath because I’m angry in life and the other said Dovin because he’s a cop and makes tokens, alluding to my former profession and the fact that I spawn a bunch of children. SO, that was a bust.
Moving on from that debacle, I would think that as a Judge – I would fall into Ajani. Specifically, Mentor of Heroes or Wise Counselor. I think that I am probably a better teacher/instructor/mentor than I am as a practical judge. Some may argue with that, but those are the ones that most fit my judging style.
(Psst, in personal life it would probably be Domri – the Chaos Bringer type. As… well if I DO go somewhere with the family… you can be sure there will be chaos!!!)
L2 Chase Shank of the USA-Central region received recognitions in areas ranging from a stellar performance on deck checks at SCG Regionals to driving through the night to assist a judge in a family emergency.
I’d have to say Gideon. I’m a pretty straight shooter and always willing to help out a player or fellow judge.
Most importantly, he seems like the kind of planeswalker who’d be rocking flip flops while judging a local FNM.
L2 Chiaki Tamura of the Japan region received recognitions in areas ranging from his watchfulness of players’ games to his enthusiasm with judges.
I think Karn is best. There are three reasons why I think so. First,he makes rules and wishes to be peaceful. He made Argentum(Mirrodin) and works to keep order. Judges make rules and working to keep the players’ order.
Second, he doesn’t have any colors. Judges should not have prejudices against dirty players. We have to make theory that why the player get penalties.
Third, he carries his expectations of the past. Judges get trust from players and some tournament organizers. Many past judges built that. We have to keep it.
L2 Philippe Monlevade of the Brazil region received recognitions for areas ranging from his performance as part of the Kickstarter team at GP New Jersey to his handling of sleep-in specials at GP Sacramento.
Domri Rade, from second Ravnica.
I fell in love with him when I was a player, and when I became a judge, It made sense why I like him so much.
His +1 he looks for more bodies, witch translating to Judge means, I’ll search for help and I’ll provide help when it’s needed.
His -2 is exactly what I feel for the community. I’ll fight for it, even when it’s not a easy fight. I’ll be there. (but we must be careful, some creatures has hexproof/indestructible, and that can do more bad then good :/
His ultimate makes everyone around him better, and that’s my goal when I’m judging. It might be by advice, a boost, a compliment, a help, whatever it takes to help someone 🙂
L2 John Reuben Ferrer of the Southeast Asia region received recognitions for areas ranging from his mentorship of L1 judges to his coordinating PPTQs across multiple islands.
My judging style would be most like Ajani, Mentor of Heroes. I always want to put myself in a position where I can make others better or help them figure their way out of a tight spot. Gaining 100 life isn’t part of my repertoire but I definitely enjoy working with people in the Magic community and renewing their passion for the game both as players and as judges. I guess that’s kinda the same thing.
L1 Manuela Celidonio of the Italy and Malta region received recognitions in areas ranging from an article she wrote about age-related issues in tournaments to her involvement in a local Q&A Facebook group chat aimed at players.
The planeswalker I most identify with as a judge is Tamiyo: curious, scholar, travels through planes to gain knowledge, without interfering with the problems but understanding them and making them understood by others, eventually offering her help to save Innistrad from Emrakul, by working together with the other planeswalkers.
L2 Bartłomiej Wieszok of the Europe-Central region received recognitions for areas ranging from his contributions as part of the deck lists team at GP Lille to his assistance in the remote certification of a judge.
Will Kenrith – Why? It’s totally not about his abilities. For him to be the best, he need his sister, and we as judges need others too! Be that other judges to learn from or to teach, and we need others in form of players even more.
It’s worth to remember that we are there as a community for the community, and Will shows that. (And he’s with his sister are in Izzets colours, so that’s extra point 🙂 )
L2 Matthew Newnam of the USA-Southeast region received recognitions for areas ranging from his willingness to incorporate feedback to his excellence as a scorekeeping lead.
I’d probably have to go with Jace Beleren. He is well known for being super technical and a bit of an over-thinker, and is also a leader (the Living Guildpact). I definitely overthink anything and everything possible, and my main role in the program these days is to be a Scorekeeper Lead at various MF’s (fitting those super technical and leader requirements!). That being said, when he was trapped on Ixalan, he lost his memory and became a pirate with Vraska. I can’t say that I became a Pirate or went on adventures with a Gorgon Assassin, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t. It sounds like a huge blast! 🙂
L2 Elsa Gara Maqueda Nevado of the Iberia region received recognitions for areas ranging from writing an article on deck checks to showing a positive attitude during a sealed PPTQ.
Also, I always try to give feedback to other judges to improve or explain some situations to discuss about how can resolve that situations with different points of view.
L1 Thor Bardon of the USA-North region received multiple recognitions for his taking point in organizing a mock tournament.
Planeswalkers are known for their personalities if not more their ego…and some of my friends when I asked them for help were sure to point this out.
I’d honestly say that my identity in the planeswalker world would be Estrid. The one of many faces and talents I think is similar to my many titles with Magic judge, wedding officiant, fraud investigator, cargo handler, and soon-to-be pilot, naming a few. I like to learn new things and take on challenges that I’ve never done before. Estrid adapts to her surrounding, I try to do the same.
That’s all for this week’s installment. Look out for part II in a couple weeks. And as always, if there is a judge who is also doing something exemplary, please nominate a judge TODAY!