Date: Aug. 18th, 2017

Time: 6:30pm
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We use the newest Magic Release booster for prizes.


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MTG Hour of Devastation Pre Release



Magic Judge of the Week
Raoul Mowatt
Posted on 14/11/2012  John Temple   

Hello everybody! Our next Judge Raoul The Judgeof the Week hails to us from Chicago, Illinois. It’s Raoul Mowatt, L2! He was nominated by Albert Egho. Albert says:

Raoul was very welcoming when I first got back in to Magic during Innistrad. He does his homework to a “T”. He is also responsible for at LEAST two others that I know becoming L1 Judges by encouraging them and keeping his eyes and ears out to spread the word on opportunities and tournaments. He is the person everyone always goes to to make sure they made the right decision. His love of all formats and consistent enthusiasm to help other players are a big reason that he deserves judge of the entire year, but the biggest reason is that he really is just a great enough guy.

WOW! Strong words! So let’s learn some more about this awesome Judge!

Occupation: Attorney. I work for the City of Chicago, defending it and individual police officers in alleged cases of police misconduct.
Favourite card: That’s a tough one. I will go for Lightning Bolt, based on it probably having been the one I have played the most over the years, its flavor, its power and its simplicity.
Least favourite card: High Tide or Second Sunrise for making those decks possible.
Favourite format: Draft!
Commander general: I don’t play a ton of Commander, but I do have a fair amount of Commander decks. I’ve got Sakashima the Impostor; Glissa, the Traitor; Sharuum the Hegemon; Karn, Silver Golem; Marrow-Gnawer. At some point, I was putting together decks based on Progenitus and Hanna, Ship’s Navigator, but never got around to finishing them. I’d be remiss if I didn’t give a shout-out to Art Edson, the judge who I shamelessly borrowed deck lists for many of those decks from. Also, I wanted to have a deck for each of the members of the crew of the Weatherlight, so I welcome deck lists for the other guys! There are plenty of good lists for Captain Sisay on the Interwebs, but not so much with Gerrard, Ertai, Tahngarth, Orim, Squee, or Crovax.
Favourite non-Magic Game: Again, it would be tough to limit to one. I’d probably go with Ascension. I also love Battlestar Galactica. I have three 6-foot-tall bookcases full of board games, many of which I’ve bought on a whim or got as judge comp but haven’t gotten to play.

Why did you become a judge?
I’m a lawyer by trade, and wanted to be the first DCI judge and black-robe judge. Now that I’m DCI-certified, the hard part’s out of the way. The (more) serious reason is probably familiar to most of the people on this list: I tended to be the guy at my local store who got asked about rules questions, so why not take the plunge and study up?

How has being a judge influenced your non-Magic life?
I think some of my family members can appreciate me spending time judging wizard poker more than they could playing wizard poker. Some of my past and present co-workers give me grief about slinging fireballs or being king of the dorks and what not. The only downside is that there’s only 24 hours in a day, and spending as much time, energy and money on Magic means that can’t be spent elsewhere. Sometimes, for instance, that means my wife is a Magic widow, particularly when I travel to judge events. But she seems to take that part in stride. I broached the notion of getting her into scorekeeping, but we’ll see if we follow through with that.

You were nominated by Albert Egbo because your constant work toward building a community environment. please give us some tips about how you believe a magic Judge can achieve a constant improvement on their player community.
Just ask “What’s in it for me?” It’s the Chicago way.

The real if probably boring answer pretty much boils down to being an ambassador for the game, following the Golden Rule, keeping the lines of communication open and remembering the roots of why you love Magic. All of these kind of mix together, so hopefully this doesn’t come off as babbling.

We all have probably heard the notion that judges are ambassadors for their store and tournament organizer, for the judge program and for the DCI. But for each of us, putting that in practice it may be different.

For me, it means recognizing that there are different communities of players and trying to meet their various needs as best I can. At my local store, First Aid Comics, we usually get somewhere between 12-18 players for FNM on a typical week. Their experience ranges from just getting started to the players who have aspirations to go to a GP or a Pro Tour. They might want anything from advice building a deck to answers to rules questions to a friendly ear after a bad beat to insight into how to become a judge themselves. I’ll try to help out where I can.

Along the same lines, one of the main thing people need is cards. I happen to have been playing Magic more or less since 1994 or so, and somewhere along the lines someone put in my head the notion of getting play sets of cards. So I have a pretty extensive collection. And I’m not shy loaning out cards or decks to people. I figure the more people who play, the merrier. Fortunately, I haven’t run into any problems getting cards back or anything so far.

One of the other things I do is participate in a Facebook group called Northside Nerd Night, with over 200 gamers from the Chicago area, many of them Magic players. So I’ve tried to use that as a mechanism to spread information about tournaments, to celebrate successes of local players, to answer rules questions that people raise, to share news about upcoming Magic products, to facilitate ride/room sharing and things of that nature. So I would highly encourage using social media for things like that.

And going back to the Golden Rule, I just think of how I like to be treated as a player and tend to treat people like that.

Not to be a brownnose, but it also helps to have an awesome community of players both at my local store and in the larger area.

What is your favourite non-judging moment that happened with other judges?
I don’t know if I could boil it down to a single moment, but I’ve been to two judge conferences and they are awesome. I would highly recommend them to anyone. Great advice, great people, the chance to get some quality playing and networking time in. I think at the last conference, one of my favorite moments was being in a M13 draft and somehow winning a match against one of my good judge friends, Bob Knox, despite playing about as horribly as possible.

What motivates you to continue being a judge?
It’s usually as fun as playing. Sometimes more. I’ve never gotten mana screwed while judging. The aforementioned great community of players. It’s super-rewarding to get thanked by players for helping out, and to help them have a great time. The realization that I won’t knock Kai Budde, Jon Finkel or LSV out of the Hall of Fame as a player.

What’s the best part about your local Magic community?
What’s not to like? Chicago’s got so many Magic players from so many backgrounds. It’s great to see some of our locals have success at the highest levels of Magic. Almost to a person, the folks I have met at the various Chicago-area stores I’ve played at have been smart, cool and diverse. I’ve met a couple of professors, a candy maker, a couple firefighters, a bunch of students, a psychiatrist, and some fellow lawyers. We’ve joked about opening up a firm where we bill our clients for our workday drafts. I like the name Yawgmoth, Bolas & Norn.

What is your favorite non-judging moment that happened with other judges?
I don’t know if I could boil it down to a single moment, but I’ve been to two judge conferences and they are awesome. I would highly recommend them to anyone. Great advice, great people, the chance to get some quality playing and networking time in. I think at the last conference, one of my favorite moments was being in a M13 draft and somehow winning a match against one of my good judge friends, Bob Knox, despite playing about as horribly as possible.

What’s the biggest rule-breaking play you’ve ever made as a player?
I don’t know if it counts as a “play,” but I have been sent on a one-way trip to the Dairy Queen before for Bribery. Well before I became a judge, I was playing in one of the old-school big prereleases, where prizes got awarded based on standing after four rounds. I was hungry and totally ignorant that Bribery was even a thing. So I was like, “Scoop to me, I’ll give you a pack and I can get something to eat.” I then explained to one of my friends who was judging what I did, and he did what he was supposed to do.

What would you be doing now if Magic no longer existed?
I imagine I would fill the Magic-shaped hole in my life with games from the aforementioned set of bookshelves of games, to a certain extent.

Two Truths and a Lie
The of the following statements are true, and one is false. Figure out which one!

1. I was the subject of an academic paper for my involvement with Magic. It was for someone’s deviant psych class.
2. Back in the day, I traded a Mox Pearl for a Lord of Atlantis, because the Mox only added mana but the Lord fit into my Unstable Mutation-Merfolk deck.
3. My friends have been accused of running an illegal Ponzi scheme to fix prices on Magic cards nationwide and to rip off small children.

Wow! What a awesome interview! Thank you Raoul for being the pillar of your community that you are! Til next week Judges!
The answer to last week’s Two Truths and a Lie…
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