Judges, welcome to a special edition of Judge of the Week! We are celebrating some of the top Exemplar recipients from Wave 14 by asking them “Which of the guilds of Ravnica do you most identify with as a judge and why?” Here is the first part of their responses. We’ll be publishing the second part in a couple weeks. And don’t forget: nominations for Exemplar Wave 15 are due November 20!
L2 Bartłomiej Wieszok of the Europe-Central region received recognitions for areas ranging from his performance as appeals judge during Polish Nationals to his spreading news through his region’s Facebook.
The guild that I most identify with as a judge (and a player too!) is Izzet. As a judge, you need to be wise as a Blue Mage, be able to answer all complicated questions, have some Strategic Planning ready to use. However events never go exactly as planned, so as a judge you need often to improvise as well. You have to Invent solutions to an issues that you have not expected.
And what is most important in the Izzet League – you will have a lot of fun doing all those crazy experiments… I mean judging!
L3 Jon Goud of the Canada region received recognitions for areas ranging from assembling a Standard format primer for Pro Tour Dominaria to taking the time to prepare for his first time in the feature match area.
Even though I’m a very Izzet personality, as a judge I’m very Selesnya. I’d like to think I have a very participative and collaborative leadership style, and nothing excites me more than watching a team of judges work together to accomplish great things (convoke)!
L3 Christian Gawrilowicz of the Europe-East region received recognitions for areas ranging from helping a judge understand Purple Fox software to his work on the deck list team at GP Barcelona.
I’m definitely Azorius – I’m all about acquiring knowledge and share it with others to make the group stronger. I also love to bring order into chaos and set up structures.
That’s why I’m mostly involved in judge projects at the very beginning to lay the groundwork.
L2 Hao Du of the Greater China region received recognitions for areas ranging from getting a judge to think about how to better draw questions from players to improving end-of-round procedures by translating Purple Fox software to Chinese.
As Boros’s latest guild ability, Mentor, is implemented in Guilds of Ravnica, Boros has surpassed Azorius as my identity as a judge within the Ravnica setting. As a judge, one of the most important skill that we value is that we’re able to grow ourselves through mentoring.
Additionally, when we work together, we usually can achieve things that we can’t do individually. Teamwork is essential in judging, just like Battalion, the Boros ability in RTR block.
L2 Sam Lewis of the USA-Southwest region received recognitions for areas ranging from his enthusiasm while managing Turbo Town at GP Washington D.C. to his contributions to the Planar Bridge project.
I identify with Simic because of their focus on improvement. The Simic are always becoming better and making the next generation better, and doing so both through science and nature.
This is something I really strive to do, aiming to become a better version of myself through learning more and also better harnessing the empathy and understanding that are essential to great interactions with players and other judges alike.
L1 Aleksandra Ladygina of the Russia and Russian-speaking countries region received recognitions for areas ranging from organizing a team-building exercise at Russian Nationals to leading a judge conference.
I think the guild of Ravnica I most identify as a judge is the Selesnya Conclave. All within the guild are considered mouthpieces of that singular voice, and they seek to expand their guild by evangelizing their message and adding members, so as Judges.
We are bonded with a policy into community where each and every member supports the others. We are spread all over the world helping Magic to grow into something bigger, than just a game.
L2 Gediminas Usevicius of the Europe-North region received recognitions for areas ranging from boosting the ODE team’s spirits at GP Copenhagen to helping prepare for a mini-conference.
Always trying to improve yourself or give opportunities for peers to do so, just to become better for the sake of growth itself. Yeah, I am describing Simic. And that is one of the amazing things about judging – the growth you experience, you want it or not (but we usually seek it).
This is why we have Examplar Program and Reviews. But of course, judging is not only about improvement (Simic), it is also about community (Selesnya). However, if there is no blue, it can‘t be true. 🙂
L2 Ryan Wood of the USA-Northwest region received recognitions for areas ranging from taking the initiative as a member of the decklists team at GP Sacramento to volunteering to team lead at the PTQ at that event.
As a judge, I would say that I identify very closely with Dimir. I tend to always find small flaws in my phrasing, or subtle ways to change how I do a task. I find that subtlety rewarding when I can change for the better, and Dimir is all about being subtle.
Additionally, I love to walk around a lot and gather as much information as I can about the metagame and talk to players about specific lines of play that they chose in games, which is another key trait of Dimir: information gathering.
L2 Nenad Cizmic of the Europe-East region received recognitions for areas ranging from coordinating regional PPTQs to presenting at and organizing a regional judge conference.
Well I never thought about which guild I would choose as a judge. I suppose that right choice would be Boros as they represent Law and Order, but my true colors are Dimir. Blue and Black was always my choice as they are the prime colors for control. And as such now that I think about it, I think that Dimir would be a great house for judges.
Control is something that every judge needs to keep tournament running as planned and to know everything what is happening. And if a little of deviousness shows up in a judge, that would be good too as it can help to catch offenders.
L3 Steven Zwanger of the USA-Midatlantic region received recognitions for areas ranging from his dedication to the L3 Quiz project to his pre-event communication with the GP Minneapolis Floor team.
My usual response is: Golgari. We recycle!
That answer sometimes feels a little weird because I don’t identify with green at all. But all the guilds have some admirable qualities (okay, maybe not Orzhov). Maybe one reason I like Golgari, besides being environmentally friendly, is that I played a green-black Birthing Pod deck in Standard up until Return to Ravnica came out, and that deck was fresh in my mind.
L1 Allyson Cole received recogntions for areas ranging from her efforts to make the Annotated IPG even more accessible to her proactive and energetic performance at GP Sao Paolo.
The guild I would identify with the most is Izzet: I make things explode, for science!
I love controlled chaos and am always looking for something to do. I’m always up to try something new even if it might not work, and if it doesn’t, that just means the next time will be even more fun. When it comes to judging, I love being able to jump around, working on different events, like HJing Commander, Draft, and Legacy at the same time.
I will take controlled chaos over calm any day.
L1 Joseph Sapp of the USA-Southwest region received recognitions for areas ranging from his looking out for his team members to his service as a Judge Buddy mentor.
I identify most closely with Selesyna as a judge. I have always been a community builder and I’ve spent a lot of time guiding and mentoring people either as my own judge candidates, or through the judge buddy program. I have had some amazing mentors, and I do my best to repay that goodwill by being the best Judge Sensei possible.
I love having people come back to me down the line and saying “our time together was valuable, look what I’ve done!” Being a part of this community has been one of the best experiences of my life.
L3 Anniek van der Peijl of the BeNeLux region received recognitions for areas ranging from organizing an Easter Egg hunt at GP Amsterdam to creating a script to handle pod creation.
I originally identified as Golgari, for their ‘work with what you’ve got’ mentality, but I think Emilien Wild correctly pointed out that I am in fact Izzet. I like experimenting with new systems to do things and figuring out solutions on the go.
I do usually have a backup plan in case of explosions though…
L2 Jonah Kellman of the USA-Northeast region received recogitions for areas ranging from his leadership at SCGCon on side events to handling a tricky DQ and other difficult situations at SCG Louisville.
If only a guild existed that I identified with – I’m an independent agent. I love finding the truth of things, compiling information and discovering the truth. I linger in the shadows, observing everyone, learning everything.
Finding new techniques to approach investigations or to help develop my peers, talking people, collecting gossip. For me, knowledge is the root of perfection and efficiency, and that is what I aspire towards.
Definitely Identify Myself Independently, Really.
L2 Nathaniel Graham received recognitions for areas ranging from keeping a volatile situation under control at SCG Indianapolis to maintaining his Judge Cookbook.
I would say as a judge, it would be the Boros Legion? A Lawful Neutral approach to law and order. Aspects of judging are very straightforward and linear at the “lower levels” but the upper levels indeed have angels and the ranks are certainly stratified, if only in perception.
I also feel a brotherhood in the ranks, which makes large events and social platforms very gratifying.
L1 Lindsay Taylor of the Australia and New Zealand region received recognitions for areas ranging from showing leadership in teaching players to a presentation at a judge conference.
I suspect my answer will be a common one: the Selesnya Conclave. I enjoy playing Magic in my community and became a judge because I wished to give back by providing some of the support and structure that will see that community grow and thrive. As a L1 the focus has to be on working with the stores and players to make sure the game stays fun and rewarding.
That’s all for this go-around. Stay tuned: in a couple weeks, we will have another set of responses.
As always, if there is a judge who is also doing something exemplary, please nominate a judge TODAY!