Magic: The Gathering Level 1 Requirements

The following Judge Academy modules and the included quizzes must be completed:

Magic Core Competencies

  • Steps and Phases of a Turn
  • Combat in Depth
  • Casting Spell and Activating Abilities
  • Replacement Effects and Triggered Abilities
  • Layers (Focus on Layer 7)
  • Priority and State Based Actions
  • Detail of Different Magic Formats

Community Building

  • Fostering a Positive Environment
  • Encouraging Sportsmanship
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Public Speaking
  • Teaching Skills
  • Event Promotion and Marketing
  • Building Relationships with Local Game Stores
  • Demoing Magic
  • Building Your Judge Brand

Event Management

  • Being an Effective Host
  • Making Announcements
  • Event Logistics
  • Introduction to Investigations
  • Delivering a Ruling
  • Magic Tournament Rules
  • The JAR in Depth
  • Basic Scorekeeping in WER

You can track your progress through these modules on your Judge Academy skill tree located in your Profile. While the Level 1 Elective modules are not required for certification, we highly encourage you to complete them as they offer valuable resources for your continued judging career.


Upon completion of the modules above the Level 1 final test will become available and a score of 80% or higher will be required to pass.

L2+ Endorsement

You will also need to get an endorsement from an L2+ Judge.  They can endorse you from your profile page. Just like in the past, a fully automatic system without a human checkpoint can lead to issues. We listened to the feedback of judges around the world, and came up with the endorsement system to help alleviate their concerns. In the past, every L1 Candidate needed to find one L2+ that was willing to help them to become Level 1. This has not changed. However, in the past, that L2+ needed to be physically present in order to interview and test the L1. That caused some high barriers to entry, and occasionally put a heavy burden on L2+ judges, and that is something we changed about the system. Currently, the L2+ judge endorsing you does not need to be physically present for any part of your process.

If you are looking for someone to endorse you, consider the judges in your area. Even Level 1 judges know at least one Level 2+. Our communication hub has forums, discord channels, and many areas have their own Facebook groups. You can also always head to your local game store during an event to meet those that currently judge. While the process of getting an endorsement may be quick, it can take some time to get to know those in your area. Part of the benefit of requiring L1s to be responsible for finding their own endorsements is that is pushes them to start inserting themselves into the community. This is a global program that leans on and depends on each other, and it’s important to know other judges and to be able to know where to go if you need help. Therefore, before you can become a Level 1 Judge, you need to show that you are resourceful enough to find help when you need it.

Endorsements to not have to be full reviews. It can be hard for remote judges to find another judge without traveling great distances, let alone a Level 2+. At this time, the endorsement can be made at any point prior to purchasing your membership. We suggest finding someone sooner in your process, as it can sometimes add unfair pressure on the L2+ for a Candidate to say “Well, I’ve already passed the test, come on!”. Passing the rules and policy tests for L1 will be enough to prove they have met the base level expectation of what it means to be a Level 1 Judge from a knowledge side. With that taken care of, the endorsement is more about who the judge is as a person, since that is a thing we can’t check electronically.

Although we ask that you put some thought into the conversation you have with the candidate, we do not expect the process to take more than 30 min or so. In terms of what used to be expected when testing an L1, imagine you have a candidate approach you at a Magic Fest that you don’t know. They’ve studied, taken an online class, and passed their L1 Practice test with at least an 80%. What questions would you want to ask before you cleared them to test? Below I’ve listed some example items for the endorsing judging that they might want to discuss with the candidate, although these are just suggestions:

  • Is this person a real person who is not already a certified judge?
  • How did they hear about Judge Academy, and why do they want to become a judge?
  • If you already knew this person, what kind of a community member are they? Are they a helpful player? Are they toxic to the community?
  • If you didn’t already know this person, why did they come to you? Are there other judges in their community?

Finally, once you have your endorsement and pass your exam, head to the membership tab on your profile page to obtain your Level 1 Judge Academy subscription and complete the process of becoming a certified Level 1 Judge. Congratulations!