Introduction to Judge Classes

The weekly Mystical Tutor presentations are not intended to replace in person mentoring. An experienced Judge is able to tailor lessons, questions and motivation to a candidate on a more personal and practical level than online presentations. Beyond that, organizing and running a Judge class can teach you not just about mentoring, developing community and leadership, but can provide you with insights into the comprehensive rules and policy. If you have to explain how something works to a persistent candidate who constantly asks questions, you must have a deep and expansive knowledge of the rules. If you don’t have that when you start, you’ll develop it along the way.

This article provides a syllabus for running Judge Classes in your local Magic community. We’ve developed this structure so that a candidate who is interested in becoming a Judge can attend lessons on a weekly basis and, after approximately two months, take the L1 exam and certify as a Judge.

Many of these lessons are accompanied by a set of practice questions. These questions are intended to help reinforce the information given during the associated lesson. We recommend encouraging members of the class to work cooperatively on answering these. This allows the more knowledgeable students in the class to help others, and allows you to gauge the strength of your candidates. After everyone has completed the questions, going over them in an open conversation allows you to hammer home crucial knowledge.

We advise presenting these lessons on a laptop or screen that is visible to all of your candidates. These presentations are lighter than the weekly Mystical Tutor prezi’s, but you’re there to provide additional context and information.

Feel free to borrow and modify these lessons as needed. In particular, we suggest that you replace the card images with cards that have meaning to you. When trying to explain a concept, examples are almost always helpful, and having a card image on screen that you can link to an example is immensely useful.

While we do recommend that you offer this class when you have multiple candidates, it can be redesigned to suit individuals as well. If you have multiple candidates, it is possible that some of them become ready for testing early in the syllabus than after the whole eight weeks. If that happens, especially if there are multiple candidates who are prepared, contemplate adjusting the schedule to cover the JAR and running your first event early in the course, so that your candidates can test when they’re ready, rather than after attending all eight lessons.

Finally, after the conclusion of your class, it is incredibly meaningful if you stay in contact with your candidates. If necessary, you can direct them towards more resources for study, provide questions and answers, and just generally be helpful. Beyond that, however, even when they test, and become certified Judges, it doesn’t mean that they no longer have anything to learn. Stick with them, and help the flourish in the Judge community. If you are unable to continue to directly mentor them, reach out to your friends with the community and see if anyone can help.

Without further ado, here are the individual lessons:

  1. Taking a Turn
  2. Can You Cast a Spell?
  3. Keyword Actions, Keyword Abilities and Ability Words! Oh My!
  4. Handling Triggered Abilities
  5. State-Based Actions and Replacement Effects
  6. The Interaction of Continuous Effects - AKA Layers
  7. Judging At Regular - The JAR
  8. Running Your First Event