Judges, thanks for checking in! The person we’re profiling is more of a Judge of the Week in spirit, because she has put her judging career on hold to take a job at Wizards of the Coast representing the Judge community’s interests. Say hello to Sara Mox!
Name: Sara Mox
Level: Wizard! (Former L1), #WotcStaff
Location: Seattle, WA
Judge start date: August 2014, sometime in the week or two after GP Portland.
Why did you become a Judge?
When I was at my first Grand Prix as a player (Sacramento in January of 2014), I saw something really special: a bunch of passionate people all coming together to make a great play experience for me and “1,800 of my closest friends”. I have a background in politics, specifically campaign management, so the event organization fascinated me. I knew even then that if I were to become a judge, I would want to help out in player relations as much as possible! The Judge community holds a special place in my heart as someone who also feels extremely passionate about supporting Magic, and I’m thrilled to have been given an opportunity to support judges and Organized Play here at Wizards.
Occupation: Associate Community Manager, Judge Network
Favourite card: Pack Rat. It was a 4-of in the first Standard deck I ever played with, and I had different artists draw me tokens for it, including Chris Rush! There are many other cards I enjoy, but Pack Rat is specifically connected to the beginning of my time playing Constructed Magic.
Least favourite card: Leyline of Sanctity. Typically, I’m a Burn player in Modern, so seeing that pre-game is a big bummer.
Favourite format: Right now, Modern. But I play a lot of Limited, I <3 draft!
Commander General: I don’t play Commander often, but the general for the deck I use most often is Shattergang Brothers. One could say Goblins are my spirit creature type…
Favourite non-Magic Game: Anything that can be learned in 10 minutes, specifically lately Ultimate One Night Werewolf and Billionaire Banshee. I love bringing gamers and non-gamers together.
Best tournament result: I’ve top 8ed every draft I’ve been part of! 😉
Random fact about yourself: Before I was a judge, the main hobby I had was trapshooting. I grew up in a family that did competitive trapshooting and I did it a bit myself before becoming a tournament officiant for that sport, so basically, I’ve always been a judge at something.
How did you get involved in Magic in the first place?
When I was 13 years old, my brother got me into the game. I always find this funny, because now I work for Wizards and he stopped playing Magic shortly after. Thanks for the great influence in my life, Ian!
You were nominated to be featured because of your role as Associate Community Manager, Judge Network. What kinds of things do you do in this role?
The best explanation of my role is that I am a resource and loudspeaker for the Judge community. I am here for judges every day to answer questions and connect them to people here at Wizards who share similar interests and goals for making our Organized Play experience the best it can be.
How has this role influenced you as a judge?
Really my time as a judge is on hiatus for now, since I work for Wizards. But one thing this role has done is given me an even wider perspective on the things that Judges do to make their community better. If I felt happy to be part of the community before, now I feel even more enthusiastic about helping such a wonderful group.
What is a typical day like for you as Associate Community Manager?
Answering questions from judges, talking to Regional Coordinators/Program Coordinators, talking to internal folks about good things we can do for Judges, playing Magic!
How long have you been working as an Associate Community Manager?
Since February 2016.
What are some of your short- and long-term goals for your job?
Short-term goals: Become more familiar with each Region by attending events in each of the larger geo-regions.
Long-term goals: Helping the Judge community accomplish its long term goals!
What have been some of the adjustments you’ve had to make in your role?
I had to move from California to Washington! That was the biggest adjustment. But my husband recently moved up here and we are settling in finally.
What are some of the common issues or questions judges have, and how have you addressed them?
The most common questions I get from judges are usually just ‘who do I talk to about this?’ The answer is either ‘me!’ or, or more often, ‘your RC!’ A lot of what I do for my job is simply connecting the right people so they can figure out solutions together.
What’s the best part about your local Magic community?
I met my husband through it! My husband, Will Mox, is a Magic player/judge, and the first time I met him was due to Magic. He was standing behind me in line at a Chipotle, talking about Magic. I was a freshman in college and didn’t have many friends yet, and I seized the opportunity to make some. He and his friends invited me to play Magic with them that next week, and the rest is history! 7 years later, we’re married, and we even had an FNM at our wedding! Our wedding was actually featured in Offbeat Bride recently!
The best part about my (old) local Magic community was the welcoming they gave me, a college kid away from home for the first time, and I know that feeling isn’t unique to just my community. We say that Magic has the best community in gaming, and I really believe that. I’ve been part of other hobby communities in my life, and the Magic/Judge communities have thus far been the most awesome!
How have people involved with Magic reacted to your having the last name “Mox”?
Most people don’t believe me at first! My husband Will and I decided we wanted to make our own family name, and settled on Mox as the best one.
What is your favourite non-judging moment that happened with other Judges?
My favorite non-judging moment has to be the leadership conference that David Zimet put together for the Area Captains in the US-Southwest Region last year. As an Area Captain, I had been in Davis interacting with the local community, but it was the first time I got the chance to communicate with all of the other ACs about what we could do to make our Region better. That weekend was such a wonderful meeting of people who wanted nothing more than to do good for their local communities.
What’s the biggest rule-breaking play you’ve ever made as a player?
In one of my first constructed tournaments ever, I was playing Mono-Black Devotion, and I had cast a Nightveil Specter without having the requisite blue/black mana. My opponent called a judge, and I remember being terrified! Over walks Vicente Davis, who sat down with us, gave me the GRV, and then continued to watch the match. I think he could sense my nervousness, because he added that he wanted to watch Magic, and that he wasn’t watching me specifically. I continued to be scared for the rest of the match! He still teases me about that moment almost every time I see him.
What positive aspects has the Judge Program contributed to your everyday life?
I can’t think of a single day in the last two years that has gone by without interacting with judges. The Judge community has given me a lot. Best friends, a wonderful way to engage with Magic that I never knew was possible, and in general, a network of mutual understanding and excitement that has been monumental in my adult life. I really can’t say enough good things about how the Judge community has contributed to my life!
If you were a creature what would be your creature type?
As I said above, I would probably be a Goblin. “Rummaging”, as we call the ability, is just so resonant with me. I am a passion- and emotions-driven person, and I tend to jump into many things in life feet first without looking back. That attitude drove a lot of my accomplishment as a judge, and it’s an attitude I see in many judges, who forge ahead with all of their passion to make events and their communities better.
What was the proudest moment of your Judge life?
The proudest moment in my judge life was a day in the beginning of 2015 when I got an e-mail from Billy San Juan asking if I’d like to join the Pro Tour as an Event Host. David Zimet had recommended me, and it was the moment that I realized I had found my niche in judging, interacting with players and ensuring their event experience was excellent. My experiences on the Pro Tour with judges like Liz Richardson, Billy San Juan, and Nicolette Apraez are some of the most valued experiences I have, as I was often in awe of being included in what I consider to be the cadre of the best player experience focused judges in the community.
Two Truths and a Lie
Two of the following statements are true and one is false. Figure out which!
- My name has been in several Nintendo Magazines for having the high score in Tetris.
- I have lived in 2 different countries.
- I once got 3rd place in a trail race.
If there is a judge who is also doing something exemplary, please nominate a judge TODAY!