Greetings Judges! This week’s Judge of the Week is Rob Castellon, L2 from Maine!
Rob was nominated by Federico Donner, L2 from Uruguay. Federico had the following to say about Rob:
“Whenever we meet at tournaments he is always a really, really funny guy but that can also be a serious judge. He is very good at pointing out interesting rules quirks and corner cases and always has a fundamental way to deal with them. Also, he has a Balance tattoo, that alone should be enough.”
Rob has been a judge since July 25th, 2010. It took him only nine months to ascend to the L2 ranks on April 23rd, 2011. He made the commitment to become a judge because his local store wanted to have a certified judge for the prereleases. Rob had too much fun at the regional prerelease that he attended, so to meet judges he continued to attend those. The need for the local store was filled once the regional prereleases were discontinued.
Occupation: Industrial Electronics Repair
Favourite card: Time Sieve
Least favourite card: Aetherling
Favourite format: Two Headed Giant Limited!
Commander general: I don’t play bad formats.
Favourite non-Magic Game: Civilization Revolution for PS3!
Best tournament result: By numerical value, first at a bunch of FNMs. By Pro Points, 5th at Pro Tour Dragon’s Maze.
Random fact about yourself: I have an older brother that also plays Magic and has built all the decks I have ever done well with. I Top 4ed an SCG Legacy open with his Reanimator deck, Won a PTQ with his UW deck, and Top 8ed a PT that we built together for. He is also a L1 judge, and could easily be a better judge than me if he had time.
Tell us your favourite judge story.
I had a floor judge approach me at a standard PTQ (when Swords were legal) about a ruling, I was busy doing an investigation and told him I would be right with him. After I was done my investigation I asked him what he needed and he told me that he had figured it out. I asked about the ruling. The situation was that a player stole a creature equipped with Sword of War and Peace, and the players were wondering how the trigger would resolve. He provided the correct answer. I simply asked, “What non-red effect stole the creature?” The look on his face was priceless.
How has being a judge influenced your non-Magic life?
I have quite a bit more confidence. I am able to talk about things with people of varying degrees of knowledge a lot better. In my job, I talk to people with no electronics knowledge and people with more knowledge than me. Just like when discussing rules with players and with high level judges, I need to be able to change how I talk to explain things in terms that they will understand.
You were nominated by Federico because you are “always a really, really funny guy but that can also be a serious judge.” How do you manage to strike a balance between having fun and being serious?
I have always been able to have fun while judging. I also have a magical switch that turns me into serious mode when needed. A lot of judges have issues with either being always serious and not seeming like they are having fun, or, even worse, not being able to stop joking around when the serious pants need to be put on. Being able to strike a balance between fun and serious is something that just comes naturally to me, and I wish I could explain how to do it to other people but I can’t!
Also, how did you make the decision to get your Balance tattoo?
I have always liked the Kev Walker version of Balance. I really wanted a Magic tattoo! A friend of mine that I was talking to helped me get over my fear of getting a tattoo and I went through with it. I got it on my upper arm so that it would not be visible in my day-to-day life, but still easily show-able to people. I underestimated how many times I would need to take off my judge shirt at events to show people.
What motivates you to continue being a judge?
I just love Magic. Judging allows me to be around the game and hang out with friends. I have met some awesome people through the game, and being able to have mini-vacations to random locations throughout the country to hang out with friends is insane.
What’s the best part about your local Magic community?
My local store is full of people that just want to have fun. People that are overly competitive generally get weeded out pretty quickly. We have people that are genuinely nice human beings.
What is your favourite non-judging moment that happened with other judges?
The support at the Pro Tour was insane. The Twitter world blowing up with Eric Levine and Jared Sylva leading the way was hilarious.
Here are a few #RobCastellonFacts that took Twitter by storm:
What’s the biggest rule-breaking play you’ve ever made as a player?
I cast a spell without proper mana ON CAMERA!!!
What would you be doing now if Magic no longer existed?
My life would be void of all meaning.
Two Truths and a Lie
Two of the following statements are true, and one is false. Figure out which!
- I have a Momir Basic box.
- I have never had a ruling overturned.
- I don’t think I am a very good Magic player.