Hej alle! Hello everybody! This week on Judge of the Week we travel across the pond to Copenhagen, Denmark where we are featuring Jonas Breindahl, L2! Jonas has been judging since the Return to Ravnica prerelease and picked up L2 at the November 2013 Nordic Judge Conference in Helsinki, Finland.
Occupation: Student, Software Development
Favorite card: Venser, Shaper Savant
Least favorite card: Anything with banding
Favorite format: Avacyn Restored Draft
Commander general: Riku of Two Reflections
Favorite non-Magic Game: King of Tokyo
Best tournament result: 6-0 at Gatecrash Game day or 6-3 at day one of GP Malmo.
Random fact about yourself: I have played the violin since I was 6.
Why did you become a judge?
During a local FNM I got to talk with the local judge, Gilbert Hedegaard, who told me about the judge program and that I should consider joining. I was pretty new to the game, but was hungry for learning about the rules and rules interactions, so the next time I saw him I made sure that he would set those gears in motion.
Tell us your favorite judge story.
As an L1, I teamed up with two local L2s to make an unofficial mini judge conference targeting L0s and very new L1s. I got to do the entire process of finding speakers, inviting judges and even got to hold a seminar myself. We contacted a couple of stores who were willing to donate spare promos so we could give out “promo packages” as well. During the day, we got to test 5 L0s from that 4 passed. It was an awesome day, the entire process and the fact that I couldn’t do any of the testing, really pushed me to reach for L2. Also the post-conference judge dinner burger was delicious.
Tell us an embarrassing story that you’re not afraid of everyone knowing.
As a newly minted L1 I was the head judge at a small Gatecrash Prerelease. By accident I overslept and arrived at the game store 45 minutes after the tournament should have started. Being my first prerelease and my first tournament at that store, I was so embarrassed. When I arrived I found that a player had taken initiative and started passing out boosters for deck building, he had also just started adding people to the tournament in WER. Because of his help, we could start round one only one hour and fifteen minutes after the tournament start. Even though he only had around 20 minutes to deck build he did end up 6-0ing the tournament with his double Assemble the Legions.
What motivates you to continue being a judge?
A player approaching me wanting to learn more about the rules and help his or her community by becoming a judge motivates me a lot. I love to teach the basic rules, often writing down the acronyms of layers, discussing each word, and then handing it to the new judges afterwards. I love it whenever players and fellow judges think about the rules then come up with an awesome rules question that makes me have to dig to find an answer and the reasoning behind it. My collaboration with fellow L2s is also a big motivational force; their tenacity towards judging and the community is a great inspiration.
What is your favorite non-judging moment that happened with other judges?
It must be the cafe dates with fellow judges Anders Thiesen and Gilbert Hedegaard, the self-named “Dream Team”. During these café dates we share life and judging stories, discuss rules questions, and try to dream big for our local area. It was at these meetings that we thought up our L0 Judge Conference, I was pushed to test for L2, and we agreed to start having regular judge meet-ups where we invite local judges to just hang out, cube and have fun.
What’s the biggest rule-breaking play you’ve ever made as a player?
During the Avacyn Restored prerelease I had Infinite Reflection in my sealed pool. During a match I cast it on my opponents creature, making all my creatures that creature. When that creature died for some reason I believed that all my creatures reverted back into their normal self. Even though I probably only cheated myself it’s definitely my worst.
If you could chat with one person, real or fictional, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
I would love to meet the L5 judges, where I would just have them teach me everything they know about judging. I would ask questions about rules, philosophy, interacting with players, and then feed on all the knowledge I would gain from their answers. The complete knowledge and authoritative character of the L5s really amazes me and makes me even hungrier to know that there is so much that I have yet to learn.
What would you be doing now if Magic no longer existed?
For one, I would probably be a better student at my university. Though to be honest I would probably just delve into some other game like the MMO Neverwinter or the card game Netrunner or maybe I would spend more time developing software and apps.
What character in Magic (real or fictional) represents you the best, and why?
The real person is Marshall Sutcliffe, the host of Limited Resources. His logical thinking and hunger for learning how to be better really inspires me and pushes me to think more when I play, advancing me as a player. This quality can definitely be transferred to my judge life where a constant reevaluation of my interactions and myself help me locate situations where I was in error then better myself. The fictional character would be Gideon Jura; his “Honor above all else” matches the Ned Stark lessons that we are taught up here in the cold north.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I am fairly active on the subreddit MTGJudge on Reddit, and I would ask everyone that has never been or who does not regularly visit, to come by. On Reddit we have great opportunities to discuss judging amongst ourselves while still having the possibility of interactions with the players as well. You will also sometimes get to see awesome interactions with high-level judges like Toby Elliot and Riki Hayashi. Come by www.reddit.com/r/mtgjudge and say hi! We have a very cool thread going at the moment. If you could say anything to the entire judge community, what would it be?
Two Truths and a Lie
Two of the following statements are true, and one is false. Figure out which!
1. I have attended the World Championships of the board game Carcassonne two years in a row.
2. Playing poker I won a trip to Bahamas where I won first prize in a tournament of $7,500.
3. I have developed an app with more than 40.000 downloads, that connects people who needs favors with people that want to help.
Written by Jeffrey Higgins and Alaric Stein