This week’s JOTW is level 2 Alexei Gousev. Alexei comes from Davis in California, except for the summer, where he resides in the San Francisco Bay Area. Alexei was introduced to Magic through a friend around Odyssey block, however, he did not own any cards until Legions. After a short break from Magic, Alexei began playing again in Ravnica block. He was certified for L1 by Eric Levine at his third ever tournament. Looking back, Alexei says he does not think he was ready at the time. He passed his level 2 test at US Nationals in 2010, where John Alderfer tested him. Talking about his most memorable judging experience Alexei says:
“Travelling to distant and far away lands is by far my favourite part of judging (if the rest of this year goes according to plan, I will have gone to 7 GPs, 2 PTs, Worlds, and 7 SCG Opens in 2011 alone). For that reason, Magic Weekend Paris has been my most memorable experience so far, and I'll be following that up with GP Amsterdam in a few months.”
What interested you in judging?
Seeing all the awesome judges at the tournaments I was playing in, and wanting to join that group.
Favourite Magic format?
Legacy, because playing with good old cards is awesome. Also, I don't play regularly as much as I used to, and I can take a Legacy deck I built 3 months ago to a tournament today and do fine, which isn't really the case for other formats like Standard. Also unlike Standard, once you have everything, you do not need to re-buy a bunch of stuff every 3 months.
Favourite Magic storyline character?
Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker. I like the fact that they took an iconic older character and turned him into a recent planeswalker. My primary EDH general is Nicol Bolas, not because he's the "best" option for those colours, but because he's just that awesome. Also, the planeswalker absolutely destroys people in EDH.
Favourite Magic Card?
So many choices... I'm gonna go with Juzam Djinn. Did I mention I like cool old cards? :P
What do you do outside of judging?
Write code. Lots and lots of code. Seriously, I need a Google Docs spreadsheet to keep track of all the projects I'm working on. At the moment, I have 5 projects in development and 9 more queued up for the future. (In addition to having a full time summer internship at Qualcomm).
Describe your magic community.
At the rate we're going, we're soon going to have more certified judges than we do players.
Favorite Board / video game?
Favourite / Worst magic set?
Favourite is Mirrodin because that's when I first really got into Magic big time
Least favourite is Shards of Alara block because being forced into 3 colours almost every single draft was pretty miserable.
What’s your favourite rule or section of a policy document?
Comprehensive Rules 714 - Subgames.
I don't think I've played one in the past year or so, but Shahrazad is one of my favorite cards ever.
I have over 90% of my phone's contacts memorized.
I can solve a Rubik's cube blindfolded in less than 5 minutes (including memorization time).
I can memorize the order of a shuffled deck of cards in less than 5 minutes.
Alexei Gousev has selected Eddie Cheung from Canada to be featured in the coming weeks.