Judges, welcome back! Your latest rock star has gotten acclaim for being an excellent mentor, for giving great feedback and for working through hard discussions. Allow us to present Ilan Seid-Green, area representative for Eastern Pennsylvania!
Name: Ilan Seid-Green
Location: Philadelphia, PA, USA
Judge start date: March 2013
Occupation: Undergraduate Student – Mechanical Engineering
Favorite card: Today? Serum Visions.
Least favorite card: Remand. As you can see, liking Serum Visions right now doesn’t necessarily mean I’m all about the blue.
Favorite format: Modern
Commander General: Leia Skywalker. Oh, you meant Magic? I don’t really (read: at all) play Commander, so…
Favorite non-Magic Game: I’ve been playing a lot of CIV 5 lately.
Best tournament result: Top 8 of a PPTQ, probably.
Random fact about yourself: I’m a member of a lightsaber choreography stage combat group called Dragon Jedi.
Several of your Exemplar recognitions have to do with having difficult discussions with other judges. How do you reach out to other judges who are having tough times?
It all comes down to paying attention and asking questions. Throughout a day of judging I’m constantly asking those around me how they are doing, and I’m looking for real answers. When something comes up, we talk about it. I do my best to offer both support and solutions; often the best solutions actually come from the judge having difficulty, they just need prompting and a person will to talk it through, so it’s not uncommon for me to ask things like “what do you think you can do to fix this?”
What do your responsibilities as an area representative include?
A lot of it is dealing with minor concerns regarding the judges in my area. Something goes wrong at an event, leading a judge or a player to come to me about another judge. I talk to everybody, try to figure out what really happened, and judges improve for the future. It can be very helpful to those with concerns to have someone in an official position that they know they can go to.
It also involves knowing the judges in my area so I can comment on them when they apply for large events. Some amount of helping stores and judges find each other, especially for events with specific requirements like PPTQs. Honestly the whole thing is just a lot of talking to people, in person and online.
How did you get involved in Magic in the first place?
Basically it went like this: Back in high school, someone I liked mentioned that they wanted to know how to play this game their sibling used to play. Me being the nerd I am, I decided it was right up my alley to learn how to play so that I could teach them. So I went to my local store, bought an Eventide Superabundance theme deck, and looked up tutorials online about how to play. I didn’t end up teaching that first friend how to play for at least two years, but I taught two other friends and became the rules person for our little group.
How has being a Judge influenced your non-Magic life?
On the one hand, it means I’m out of town or busy a lot of weekends, meaning my friendships at school don’t develop as much as they could. But my Magic friendships definitely make up for that. On the other hand, being a judge has taught me so many useful skills that I can apply to the rest of my life: critical and logical thinking, interpersonal skills, organization, and by far the most relevant for me personally: the ability to remain calm under pressure.
What motivates you to continue being a Judge?
It’s a challenge that I enjoy. It’s really as simple as that. I really like helping run tournaments, interacting with players, and answering judge calls. I get to watch Magic, think about Magic, and talk to players and judges. I am constantly challenging myself to be better, learn more, and develop myself. Every successful event, successful presentation, and exemplar recognition inspires me to keep judging.
What is your favourite non-Magic hobby?
Rock climbing. It’s really my ONLY non-Magic hobby, honestly.
What’s the biggest rule-breaking play you’ve ever made as a player?
Break rules? I’ve never done that. Okay, maybe a few times, by accident. I’ve definitely cast Griselbrand for 7 mana to win the game, but can you blame me for that mistake? The card is all about 7s.
What is the strangest card interaction you have seen in a tournament?
I’ve definitely seen a few, but the one that comes to mind right now is the classic Gitaxian Probe + Trinisphere, Phyrexian mana being the one thing that didn’t get the Delve/Convoke rules update.
What do you see as your short-term and long-term goals within the Judge program?
I suppose that depends on how short and how long! My overarching goal is always to be the best judge I can possibly be. If you’re looking for something more specific, I guess my short-term – short term being in the next year or so – is to make Level 3. My long-term is to judge in as many different locations as possible.
Two Truths and a Lie
Two of the following statements are true and one is false. Figure out which!
- I won a nerf version of Garruk’s axe, which is now hanging on my wall.
- Every poster on my wall is a map of some sort.
- I have 8 pairs of sunglasses sitting on my desk.
If there is a judge who is also doing something exemplary, please nominate a judge TODAY!