JOTW Exemplar Wave 14 Part 2

Judges, time to celebrate the accomplishments of the second group of top Exemplar recipients from Wave 14! We asked them “Which of the guilds of Ravnica do you most identify with as a judge and why?” You can find the first group of responses here.

L1 Dess Knight of the USA-North region received recognitions for areas ranging from shining at the prize ticket station at GP Minneapolis to leading the paper team at SCG Regionals.

When it comes to being a judge I identify with Selesnya. A lot of my own development and personal philosophies have more to do with seeking harmony and building a community that’ll uplift and help one another. I’ve many times heard the Judge Program called a “cult of self improvement” and the growth and flourishing that comes with being in the judge program very much makes me think of them.

Plus I like trees. Trees are pretty.

L3 Alex Yeung of the Greater China region received recognitions for areas ranging from optimizing the deck check tracking tool for Pro Tour Minneapolis to leading the deck check and sorting team at GP Chiba.

Of course Boros! It is my favorite guild!

In the story line, the Boros Legion supports and executes the rules, just like what MTG Judges do.

Interestingly, the keyword of Boros is “Mentor.” Mentor is also very important to judges. We mentor others so we can grow together.

L3 Riccardo Tessitori of the Italy and Malta region received recognitions in areas ranging from assisting with a snafu with slips to holding an in-depth discussion about the Planar Bridge project.


White is order, structure, law. The strength of the Judge Program is the sum of the strength of all its members, who support each other and create something that is bigger than the simple sum of its members. It’s much more; like a complex brain has a huge numbers of synapses, the Judge Program has a huge number of interactions, and in both cases the result is a very high value structure.

Red is impulsivity, action, energy. The Judge Program is alive and active; projects are built, conferences happen, problems arise and get solved, changes happen and people adapt; like particles of air, the judges are in continuous activity and will continue to evolve.

With organized structure and swift action, the victory is guaranteed!

L3 Julio Sosa of the Hispanic America-South region received recognitions in areas ranging from actively seeking feedback at GP Sacramento to helping mentor judges outside of GPs.

I believe that there is not a single Guild that represents me best, but rather a combination of Selesnya and Izzet. I know they are very different guilds, and it was very difficult for me to define why they fit me best, so I will let MaRo do that for me 🙂

Some years ago, he wrote about Selesnya that “Both colors are focused on the bigger picture of community.” I find this very true about myself regarding what I do for my region; I always try to be involved in initiatives that focus on benefit the community and its growth as a whole, being conferences, certifications, seminars, or projects.

On the other hand, I simpathize a bit with the Izzet League because “The most interesting thing about how Red/Blue functions is that each individual finds his own path.” When interacting with other judges, I always try to encourage them to find their own ways on how to contribute for the Judge Program. There are lots of things people can bring from their own backgrounds to events and projects, and finding THAT special way to contribute makes it even more meaningful.

L2 Gilbert Hedegaard of the Europe-North region received recognitions for areas ranging from maintaining the Judge Booth at GP Copenhagen to creating content for his region’s L2 Mentoring Project.

Before Guilds of Ravnica was released, I took the guild test on the mothership and was identified as either Izzet or Rakdos respectively. For many years, I had assumed I was Azorius, so I was surpriced by those results. At the current time of writing, I’m beginning to identify myself with Rakdos, both when judging and in my personal life,

The first time I really felt that was my identity was from reading Blogatog. Someone had asked Mark Rosewater about the positives of Rakdos, most of which I identified with. As a judge, It’s apparently the way I provide feedback to other judges that’s Rakdosian. That’s also how I mentor new judges. Now here are some details on that:

Writing reviews – As I’m observing other judges to write reviews, I’m always thinking about their preferences. How does the judge/person learn? What are their preferences? How can I help this judge improve on their terms? Anything else I need to factor into these considerations?

Mentoring – I love to observe judges improve over time. For many judges locally, I’ve been known to mentor countless judges. Several of those are now L2. When studying to become a judge, it should be fun for the candidate. To help the candidate, I’ll provide them with new material in the way they prefer. This is usually visual, auditory, or text. I currently have an unpublished article about this that I don’t know how to finally publish.

As part of writing this, I’ve now come to embrace Rakdos. I personally believe that, by understanding our own emotions, we can become better people (the red part). Simultaneously, I also understand that while systems and structure can help some, it’s the individual that’s the expert of their own preferences (the black part). Both part are equally important in order for us to improve as people and as judges.

L1 Inês Aguiar Branco of the Iberia region received recognitions for areas ranging from helping bridge the gap between Spanish-speaking and non-Spanish-speaking judges at GP Madrid to hustling during Portuguese Nationals.

I think Boros is the guild of Ravnica with which I most identify as a judge. It is a fast and straightforward guild to play with and I think some of the Boros energy can be seen in my judging as I am very pragmatic, vivid, and straight to the point whenever I wear the black.

L2 Wei Jia Tjong of the Southeast Asia region received recognitions for areas ranging from giving a masterclass in proactivity at GP Singapore to making presentations on policy updates to the Singapore community.

To me, being a part of the Judge Program is akin to being a member of the Selesnya Conclave: as individuals we help to maintain peace by keeping the playing field fair and bring life through a player-centric service in our local community.

As a group, we are united in our actions through a single mission to build a positive and enjoyable Magic community around the world. This is especially apparent in larger events (e.g. GPs, PTs), where we work together as one team to make it a success regardless of our position in the Program.

L2 David Silva of the Iberia region received recogntions for areas ranging from single-handedly handling 19 side events during Portuguese Nationals to assisting a player who needed First Aid.

I’m a member from the Boros Legion!

The Boros Legion represents everything I love from Red and White, my favourite colours. Members of this guild are brave, watchful, and righteous, qualities I value in any judge. They work through action and emotion (Red values) to enforce the laws and mantain order and peace (White values) on the plane. As a judge, I also work as a Boros. I don’t write the rules and laws (that’s Azorius work), but I enforce them in order to create a great environment in the venue, just like the Legion does in the city.

I’m also a huge fan of Aurelia’s work. Since she took over the guildmaster’s throne, she’s reforming the guild, turning members in all ranks of the hierarchy more engaged in combat and blended with the lower ranks, giving the Legion a sense of community and equality just like the judge community. As opposed to Razia, Aurelia goes to the frontlines to lead the army, which also embodies my will to work to be a good leader in events and projects.

Last but not least, the keyword introduced for Boros in the last set represents one of the aspects I mostly appreciate and like to do in the community: act as a Mentor. Particularly in larger events, I try to mentor less experienced judges so they can improve and we can have a better tournament and community!

L2 Kentaro Guthrie of the Canada region received recognitions for areas ranging from organizing a cultural exchange between Japanese and other judges and preparing heavily for Canadian Nationals.

I’m not sure how to answer this but I’m wearing an Underground Sea T-shirt right now so let’s go with Dimir. It has the cards I like drafting and casting the most! Some of their methods seem like they’d go against the judge code of conduct though…

L3 Yukio Victoria of the Hispanic America-South region received recognitions for areas ranging from coordinating the Colombian judge conference to engaging with feedback during GP Vegas.

As a judge, I probably tend to be rather rather Azorius. I value order and communication, with procedures being clearly defined and followed to enable us to get things done well. Being hasty (Boros) can produce undesired results if your main priority is time, and focusing too much on community (Selesnya) can lead to judges not minding the floor as much as they could.

In my personal life… well, Dimir has always been my favorite guild. Secrecy and using information to leverage your position? Sign me up!

L2 Janit Mindis of the Hispanic America-South region received recognitions for areas ranging from writing an article about the importance of diversity to the Judge Program to repeatedly reminding a fellow judge to take his break.

As a judge, I consider myself Selesnya, because I think a good team work is more important than very good individual work.

I believe unity and good will between members of the team is fundamental so we can all grow together. The whole is something more than the sum of its parts.

L2 Matthew Westfox of the USA-North region received recognitions for areas ranging from helping make sure that PPTQs in his area were covered to working hard at GP Minneapolis.

My heart lies with the mad scientists of Izzet. I think two of the most important parts of judging are heart and intellect- the love of the game and the community, balanced with the ability to use logic and reason to resolve issues.

I think a lot of problems happen because players or judges go too far to one end or the other, and so I value the Izzet focus on holding heart and intellect in tension with each other.

L2 Chuanjie Seow of the Southeast Asia region received recogntions for areas ranging from mentoring judges in the Singapore community to helping introduce Purple Fox software at GP Singapore.

Well the Dimir guild is all about secrecy is it not?

So linking it to judging, House Dimir trades in information. I personally really like to archive useful judge tidbits like “How to improve the player experience.” “Penalise the infraction not the individual” sort of topics, then mold it into something both local judges and players can understand. I really enjoy learning then sharing various tournament operations that utilize technology such as end of round Purple Fox by Aurélie and the Kefka app for ODEs. Mentorship is a norm for all Dimir operatives as we have to completely prepare our fellow judges, or Dimir underlings, so they can carry out their tasks of espionage better.

As a Dimir middleman operative, this is all I know as our guild operates on a strictly need-to-know basis. I do know, however, there are multiple Dimir lords within the judge hierarchy. At the moment I do report to Lord of Pipistrellos, Emilien Wild.

L3 Michael Chamberlain of the United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa region received recognitions for areas ranging from being willing to deliver critical feedback to being a voice of reason on various subjects.

I’d like to say Izzet for the madcap experiments of thought or Orzhov as it’s my favourite guild but, when it comes to me as a judge in the program, I’m Selesnya through and through.

I believe we are stronger together than we are apart and I don’t mind being tapped down to help others get to their goals. I also enjoy the quietmen and cult ironies for work with the JCC and as a therapist, but even that is part of accepting that each of us can play a role in being the best we can be.

L2 Tobias Vyseri of the Canada region received recognitions for areas ranging from succeeding as  a side event lead at GP Toronto to unsnarling a pairings problem at GP Washington D.C.

I used to think I was pretty in line with the Azorius Senate, after all rules and law are very much core tenets of judging. However, recently I feel a lot more like a member of the Izzet League, where I simply want to run as many “experiments” as possible.

I’ll work an event, see what worked and what didn’t, and change my strategy for next time. So that slowly over time, with many iterations and a few boatloads of data, I become a better judge.

L2 Milorad Pavlovic of the Europe-East region received recognitions for areas ranging from organizing the Balkans regional conference to handling side events at GP Turin.

I’m fan of Esper and I really enjoy playing all three colors that makes it. But, guilds are much more than just colors and I will always go for the Azorius Senate because of their advocacy for the blind justice and peace, which reflects some of my personal beliefs.

After all, I am a Judge and they are (inter alia) the Department of Justice 🙂

L2 Alexey Chernyshov of the Russia and Russian-speaking Countries region received recognitions for areas ranging from translating exams to scorekeeping Russian Nationals.

I’m not really into Magic lore, but I’d say Azorius. Just because this guild is all about the law, it was founded by a judge, and its main goal was to prevent Ravnica from descending into chaos. That is the baseline of a judge’s duties: to preserve order and consistency.

And without judges, some tournaments will definitely end up in chaos 🙂

L2 Matheus Sobral of the Brazil region received recognitions in areas ranging from writing an article about prize-splitting to his involvement in reporting on a bribery situation.

Definitely Azorius! Since members of this guild are the lawmakers, I can’t think of any other guild that would be best suited for me as a judge. Also, I enjoy not only applying the rules and policies, but thinking about them, why they work like this, and if they could be improved somehow. This pushes me even further to Azorius and away from Boros, who act much more like enforcers of the order, a police force.

L1 Adrian Preston of the Australia and New Zealand region received recognitions for his presentation on creating a welcoming play environment. (Note: We currently have no picture to use for Adrian.)

The Golgari Swarm, arguably the most essential guild to the day to day functioning of Ravnica. Whilst they share the shadowiness of Dimir, existing in the periphery of day to day life, they are also a critical and respected part of that life. Like the Golgari, we have volunteered to deal with the more unsavory parts of society, helping deal with issues and stop them piling up over time, and in doing so we allow our community to grow and flourish. We are an essential part of the magic ecosystem, in both the service we provide, and the community we grow.

That wraps everything up for this Exemplar Wave. If we receive additional responses, we will publish them as part of this article. Join us next week as we return to honoring a traditional Judge of the Week. As always, if there is a judge who is also doing something exemplary, please nominate a judge TODAY!

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