Here there be dragons! On ancient maps, phrases like this one were used to describe far-off areas which had yet to be explored. After all, when you’re literally dealing with the borders of the known world, who’s to say that there aren’t dragons (or something equally scary and dangerous) on the other side? As navigational and sailing technology improved, these borders were pushed further and further back until eventually we had an accurate picture of the whole world.
A judge’s rules knowledge often has an analogous progression. At first, rules knowledge is basic, confined only to a few essential topics. The focus is on what happens when cards interact. The knowledge base for level 2 contains a wider array of topics and a deeper understanding of how things work. Finally, the highest level demands a yet more rigorous understanding of not only how, but also why cards function. At this point, the time for shortcuts and simplified representations has ended, and study of the actual text of the CR becomes necessary. The pages here focus on this deepest level: an L3 understanding of the rules.
All that might sound a bit intimidating, and I commend you on the boldness you show by being interested in it. Like the explorers in the Age of Discovery, you will be pushing back the veil and probing where others dared not tread, albeit in a much less life-threatening way. Like them, you will need to be prepared for anything you encounter on this journey, including rocky patches, roadblocks, and frustration when things aren’t going as quickly or as easily as you’d like. Your reward? The understanding that comes from seeing things firsthand rather than being told by others. The distinction of having attained the highest level of rules and policy knowledge. The satisfaction of having banished your personal dragons.
Let’s get started.