Welcome back, Judges, to another exciting installment of Judge of the Week! This week’s rockstar is a judge known for being dedicated to her local Judge community while maintaining a hectic personal life. Let’s learn about Flora Li!
Name: Flora Li
Location: Toronto, ON
Judge Start Date: November 2016
Why did you become a Judge? I got tired people doubting my rules knowledge, and trying to “scum me” on rules at tournaments.
Occupation: Tax Accountant
Favorite card: It rotates within my pool of favourites. Currently, it’s Burning-Tree Emissary (into Burning-Tree Emissary, into…)
Least favorite card: Simic Sky Swallower
Commander General: Kaalia of the Vast
Favorite non-Magic Game: League of Legends
Best tournament result: I won a Modern Masters win-a-box once… and some FNMs.
Random fact about yourself: I have an irrational fear of having my belly button touched. I cried once when my partner poked it.
You were nominated for your incredible dedication to your local Judge community despite having a somewhat busy life outside of judging. How do you balance your time between judging and other commitments? And why is this balance important to you?
Balance is a constant struggle for me. My day job can be very demanding from time-to-time due to tax deadlines, and my career is very important to me. When there are conflicting demands and commitments, it becomes a matter of prioritizing. I constantly have to remind myself that it’s okay to say no sometimes, and it’s okay to take a step back, because different people have different priorities in life. Maintaining that balance, however precarious it might feel sometimes, allows me to continue being able to participate in the things I love doing without burning out.
What are some tips you have for other Judges?
A meticulous Google calendar and diligent scheduling. You are only human and sometimes it’s just not possible to keep your social/work/Judge commitments organized in your head. A lot of my friends make fun of me for planning for weekends 6 weeks in advance. I feel that making sure you are aware of your commitments and plan to set aside the time for them also reduces the time you lose trying to figure things out last minute. Having a visual reminder of your upcoming weeks also helps you recognize when you should schedule in some downtime too.
What’s the best part about your local Magic community?
Friends. At one point in my life, I was a frequent drafter at my LGS, and would go once or twice a week. During that time, I was able to make friends and was invited to a group chat with everyone. While I don’t draft much anymore, that group chat is still my daily source for magic discussion, spoilers, and memes. I’m always grateful to that group and it keeps me connected to MtG even when I feel like I don’t have much time to keep up.
What is your favorite non-Magic hobby?
Well, I spend a lot of time playing League of Legends, so it’s probably that. I also really enjoy hiking and rock-climbing (top-rope only), but I think my absolute favourite “hobby” would be travelling. I am very fortunate to be born to parents who love to travel, so I have had the luxury of tagging along with my parents to many beautiful places. Next major family vacation: Norway.
How did you get involved in Magic in the first place?
As much I dislike how cliche this is, I started playing Magic as a way to spend time with my then-boyfriend. It was something that he spent a lot of time doing and I was curious about it. I had heard about Magic before, and naturally enjoy playing board games and card games so it wasn’t a huge stretch for me. We eventually broke up but are still excellent friends, and Magic continues to be one of our bonding activities (he’s a Judge too!).
What is the proudest moment of your Judge life?
Not gonna lie, getting a feature on Judge of the Week is pretty up there. I think my first ever exemplar nomination would be my proudest moment though. I was (well, actually I still am) frequently questioning my place in the program and whether I am actually a good Judge, but getting that exemplar for the first time made me realize someone actually thinks that I’m doing a good job.
What’s the biggest rule-breaking play you’ve ever made as a player?
Embarrassingly, at a Judge Social of all places. We were having a Modern Masters 2017 draft and my opponent had a Simic Sky Swallower, and cast Phantasmal Image copying Simic Sky Swallower. I told him he couldn’t do that since Simic Sky Swallower had Shroud. Of course, I was told that I was incorrect and we moved on. The next turn, I tried to use a removal spell targetting the Phantasmal Image, and a nearby judge promptly (and jokingly) gave me a GRV.
What character in Magic (real or fictional) represents you the best, and why?
I actually like to think that I identify with Liliana a lot, although I think it’s more so that I admire her versus actually being similar to her. I tend to like strong female characters who aren’t afraid to go after the things that they want and chase their ambitions. It’s very Scarlett O’Hara, who I also really admire and like.
Two Truths and a Lie
Two of the following statements are true and one is false. Figure out which!
- Snake and alligator are two of my favourite fried foods.
- I have set foot in all 50 US states.
- I have slept through 2 earthquakes.
If there is a judge who is also doing something exemplary, please nominate a judge TODAY!