Promos and Important Reminders! June 30th!

Hey all! Today is the first Tuesday of June so we have some reminders for you this month!

First off, our next Member Mailing will be in Mid-July, so on July 1st, we’ll be pulling all of our reports in order to make sure the delivery and distribution process goes as smoothly as possible. This means that the cut off date for the summer mailing will be June 30th. Please take the time to make sure your shipping address is accurate. If your address changes after this date, please email us at to make any changes!

June 30th is also the last day to transfer over your Historical Judge Level to Judge Academy before they expire. That said, we understand that the world is in a weird place right now, and many judges may not be sure where Judging will fall for them. We started a Level Restoration Program for those judges who wanted to return to the community when Judge Academy first started. We intended this to be a temporary thing put in place in order to bring experienced judges back who were intrigued by the new structure or had taken a step back due to event maintenance requirements in the past. However, it’s clear that if our goal is to accommodate times when life gets in the way and judges need to take a break or step back from their role in the community, then this is something that we need to continue.

The requirements may change as requirements for different levels change, but the idea is that if you are Level 2 or Level 3, and do not join Judge Academy before your old level expires, if/when you are ready to start judging again, we want to make it easy for you to do so. This means that up to 5 years after your level expires, you can come back to judging with a shortened process. For level 2, that’s just an exam to ensure you are up to date on rules and policies. For Level 3, it’s a shortened Level 3 process.

June 30th is also the date that we’ve given current L1s to complete the Community Building track in the Level 1 Modules. The previous process for L1 did not include official soft skills coursework, and when Judge Academy brought back the idea of the Rules Advisor, we also raised the bar for what’s expected at Level 1. Any judge who certified under Judge Academy needed to complete the new requirements, and judges who brought over a historical Level 1 were required to complete the supplemental coursework in order to meet the new requirements and keep their Level 1 status. We are working on a report that will email reminders to anyone who has not completed the supplemental modules. If you believe you will not be able to meet these requirements by June 30th, please email us at as soon as possible so we can work with you to find a solution.

Finally (I promise I’ll get to promos next!) A quick word on conferences! I am still making my way through ALL the digital conference requests. I was hoping to finish responding to requests today, but it’s looking like those will finish going out tomorrow or Thursday, so thank you in advance for your patience on that!



Notes on these Promos! These are the promos going out to Judge Academy members in Mid-July. These will not be going out to conferences.

That said, starting in July, the Jan/Feb promos (Spell Seeker, Demonic Tutor, Gamble, and Enlightened Tutor) will be added to the pool of possible supplements to the Conference mailings. This means that currently, conferences receive Arena Rector, Sylvan Tutor, and 2 of the 4 cards from the November mailing. Come July, conferences will receive Arena Rector, Sylvan Tutor, and 2 of the 8 cards from previous mailings.

SO! Here are the Summer 2020 Promos:


          1. Victor P

            *Have to agree
            (lol is this a freudian slip), can’t edit my comment xD

          2. xiomega

            Lol… you can disagree, but it doesn’t change the fact that I like them 😀

        1. Anniek

          I suspected it could be that. I just hope people will be more descriptive and constructive in their feedback than saying ‘I hate this’.

  1. Seth Carroll

    I mean I’m not one to complain but this is the first time In my judge life that the conference foils were more appealing than the mailouts. I mean it’s not terrible but definitely not why I was expecting for my first promo mailing for judge academy.

    1. SJuhasz

      I feel the same 🙁
      And also kind of sad, that because of the current situation there will be no conferences (at least in my area) to attend to get the conference foils and randoms from the previous promos. I would have loved that Sylvan Tutor and Demonic Tutor :'(

      1. xiomega

        Quote from above:
        1) “Finally a quick word on conferences! I am still making my way through ALL the digital conference requests.
        2) “This means that currently, conferences receive Arena Rector, Sylvan Tutor, and 2 of the 4 cards from the November mailing. Come July, conferences will receive Arena Rector, Sylvan Tutor, and 2 of the 8 cards from previous mailings.”

        I guess you will have the possibility to participate in an online conference and get foils as well as living you the possibility to get both Tutors you are looking for?

        1. JPablos

          It’s not the same. For the online you either have to present, or be chosen as a Mod to be eligible for a promo. Before you only had to attend a conference to get the promos, and the presenters/mods would get an extra promo pack. Now you don’t get any promos for attending.

          1. xiomega

            As far as I know, the current online conferences are not Judge Academy conferences but were put together by the huge effort of the sphere (pre-JA structure). I don’t know if the online conference sponsored by JA will only give promo to presenters or admins or to everyone as if they were physically present.

            I think we can at least wait and see?

          2. Kris Kleinsteuber

            Hi. If you are a paid member and a Level 1 or higher judge at the time you participate in an online conference within your region, you will get the promo support mailed to you by the organizer. I know this because I’m organizing one and have been given assurance for promo support for the judges that attend from my area.

            “The other option includes promotional support for all JA Judges from your region that attend the conference, in addition to the organizers and presenters. While some organizers may allow other judges to attend, those judges will not be eligible for promo support. For this, the organizer will receive a single package with 4 conference promo packets for them, and enough promos for each presenter to receive 2 packs, and each attendee to receive one.”

            They are not giving promos if you attend one that is outside of your area, or if you attend something like the massive judge seminar series that was hosted last month. Only organizers, moderators, and presenters earned foils from that.

  2. Mitch

    Not a fan of these. The last set were all powerful and iconic tutors, but with the exception of Pod these feel like someone went on scryfall and just grabbed some cards with the word search. I had set myself a goal of finishing my L1 before this mailing and I probably still will, but these promos are a much less exciting reward for finishing.

  3. Joe

    I’ll agree, this set of promos is definitely less exciting from a perspective of power level and iconic-ness, but perhaps the first two mailings set expectations too high. I think it would be nice to include at least one exciting card in each mailing group like they had done in the past. With the first set it was Mentor and Chalice. The second mailing included Demonic Tutor and Enlightened Tutor. Maybe it would have been more reasonable to spread out the iconic cards instead of setting the bar so high.

    That said, I am happy to see the Seb McKinnon Sterling Grove art finally make it to paper. His art has definitely added a lot of flavor to the Magic world.

    Interestingly, these cards continue to fit the theme of “Tutors” started with the 2nd mailing and conference promos. If they are sticking to this theme, we may continue to see other Tutor cards in the future. Maybe we’ll finally see a promo for Grim Tutor, or Worldly Tutor. Maybe even a reprint of Imperial Seal with new art. I’m excited to see where they go next.

    1. Tyler Espinoza

      I think they mentioned sometime around their first set of mailings (with demonic tutor etc.) that they were going to do themes from year to year, and this year’s theme was tutoring (something to do with expanding your knowledge) and you can see it in the conference promos like sylvan tutor as well. Though since this is the last mailing of the year, I expect next year’s promo selections will have different themes.

  4. sanschutz

    These are terrible. I love the art by Seb (as always). Buy ffs. I just get into the program and this is the reward? If rewards are reduced I’m out. I can’t hit lvl 2 with covid right now anyway :/

  5. Tobias

    I think they have to do better!

    Being a judge now comes with a price tag and we all assumed that the judge promos need to make up for this. Those 4 don’t. They are not really EDH staples and in competitive play are also quite narrow. And the original printings are not really in demand.
    (And compared to the secret lairs it is even more disappointing)

    But especially in these times, where none of us can judge, this is extra crucial.

    1. Nicolette Apraez Post author

      Don’t forget there are 2 member mailing in each year of membership (three if you joined early), in addition to the site, moidules, and Judge Benefits, and Promos from attending conferences (which are still available Digitally).

    1. Scarlett

      Would love to know the same. Got kind of screwed on the conferences. :/ Would loved to have gone to one, but would at least like to own the promos since they’re some of my favorites.

  6. Cody Hamlet

    To who can answer:

    Is there a way to set up JA to notify you of blog updates such as these?

    Seems strange I find out updates second hand from Facebook.

  7. Alejandro van Mourik

    “For level 2, that’s just an exam to ensure you are up to date on rules and policies.”

    As a Level 2 who wants to keep his level, where do I do this test? I can’t find it anywhere… =(

  8. Scarlett

    I’ll be honest, these are not great. Beautiful art on Grove, but not great card choices. I’m certainly not going to complain about promos, but I expect better when we’re now paying money to be judges.
    I’m still pretty bummed that I couldn’t get any of the Conference promos because there was never one near me. Would really rather have those than these.

    1. Nicolette Apraez Post author

      Don’t forget there are 2 member mailing in each year of membership (three if you joined early), in addition to the site, modules, and Judge Benefits, and Promos from attending conferences (which are still available Digitally). JA also doesn’t pick promos, the Judge Program never has.

  9. Victor P

    It’s unfortunate that JA rarely replies in the comment section.

    Out of the 18 people who commented on this post:
    9 people disliked the promos.
    1 was neutral
    1 liked them
    The remaining 7 didn’t comment on the promos.

    1. Nicolette Apraez Post author

      This is true, but keep in mind we also have channels for questions and feedback, if people have questions, since people are submitting “Comments” here.

      And while I appreciate the tally, picking Promo cards is not a power Judge Academy has, and the judge program has NEVER made those decisions. Promos are generally decided by Gavin Verhey at Wizards. We have passed the sentiment along, tho.

  10. Macedo de Araujo

    I’m not hate these cards at all, but thinking about the distribuition, the first wave has a blue, black, red and white tutors; to conferences we have a white and a green tutor; a land tutor (eye of ugin) makes sense to complete the pack, but the others are too weak or too specific to use properly, mainly in commander. if the objective is make a bond between waves, i assume it’s fair give to us huge wincon to be searched with these tutors.

  11. Charles Johnson

    I see that sodium levels are extremely high for these foils. I think they are fine foils. I’m grateful to receive any foils given. I have people that look for these and value them highly, so I can trade them for things that I need.

  12. Alex Bauschke

    So they picked 2 cards that are banned in Modern the premier format that these cards would see play and two cards that will basically never see play in any format other than Enchantress EDH deck will like Sterling Grove. It sucks that these cards will do nothing but sit in a binder since they are largely unplayable.

  13. Billy Siefferman

    Is there a delay in shipping? Not sure were to post this. I’ve seen before that July 15th was the ship out date on the promos, but it’s July 30th, and no promos. I’m in Seattle WA btw, last time Judge Academy sent me stuff it was from Portland Or. usually takes a day or two mail time.

    I get things are a little sower with Covid about, but just hoping stuff has not gotten lost in the mail. Anyways Stay Safe Y’all

    1. Nicolette Apraez Post author

      Hey Billy, promos were en route to distributors on the 15th, but then they needed to get them and then create all the packs and packages safely, covid precautions, etc.
      So, no nothing is lost yet, and I’d expect it early next week. Distributors around the world got the go ahead this week, so as soon as their hub is ready to mail them out, they have the green-light from us.