Excellent timing. I've got some time to judge this weekend. First, my criteria.
Criteria are as follows, a modified version of the criteria from OMG Ponies. All builds will start with a base score of 12, representing 3 points in each category. Those category scores will change based on my answers to a series of questions, presented below. An answer of "Yes" will earn a +0.5 boost to that category, an answer of "No" will earn a -0.5 penalty to that category, while an ambivalent "Yes and no" will not change the score of that category at all. If there's a yes or no with a big but, it may merit 0.25 bonus or penalty. Thus, it is possible for a build to score anywhere between 1 and 5 points in each category. The questions are below:
1 Does the build present a compelling backstory or concept?
2 Does the build enter the Secret Ingredient through interesting or distinctive classes, or use interesting or distinctive means to fulfill prerequisites?
3 Does the build make use of any interesting race, class, feats, or mechanical tricks that the judge hasn't seen in common use before?
4 Does the build avoid "known cheese" and overused optimization suggestions?
1 Does the build utilize established power breakpoints and feat taxes for all classes and prestige classes taken?
2 Does the build function at the same power level throughout an entire adventuring day, rather than relying on "nova" powers?
3 Does the build thrive without requiring specific magic items, templates, or other "add-ons" to qualify for anything?
4 Does the build contribute significantly in terms of offense, defense, and utility?
1 Does the build qualify for all classes taken outside the Secret Ingredient?
2 Does the build qualify for all feats taken?
3 Does the build avoid any rules errors, questionable rules interpretations, cross-setting material, or material specifically disallowed from this competition?
4 Does the build avoid excessive dipping (defined as taking 2 or fewer levels in 2 or more base/prestige classes)?
Use of the Secret Ingredient
1 Does the build qualify for the Secret Ingredient and make special use of entry requirements?
2 Does the build complete the Secret Ingredient or present a compelling reason why not doing so is actually a better use of the Secret Ingredient?
3 Does the build pair mechanical abilities of the Secret Ingredient with the rest of the build in unique ways (e.g. do something not every other entry can do)?
4 Does the build complement the concept of its chassis through use of the Secret Ingredient (i.e. does the entry feel like a Visionary Seeker)?