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MTG Pro Tutor - Insights, Tips & Advice from Magic: The Gathering Pros

MTG Pro Tutor is a top rated Magic: The Gathering podcast and here's why: professional Magic players and community notables share their origin stories twice a week (Tue & Fri) and impart actionable tips you can use the next time you sit down to play. Learn from the wealth of experience they've built through hours of practice and playing against hundreds of opponents and start seeing improvements in your own skill right away. Don't you hate feeling like you play and play and don’t improve? Surrounding yourself with better players is the best way to level up and the MTG Pro Tutor podcast is your way of doing that. Subscribe if you want to take your Magic: The Gathering skills to the next level while hearing cool stories and getting actionable advice from the biggest names in the Multiverse.
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Aug 26, 2016

Robert Lombardi has a Degree in Mechatronics Engineering, he'’s married and has a 6 month old son. He has been playing Magic since Visions, took a break in Odyssey and got back in during Zendikar. He'’s the Champion of Grand Prix Toronto and made Top 8 of Grand Prix Montreal. He'’s much better at Limited than Constructed and is actively trying to be less hyperbolic.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Robert Lombardi when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor! Listen here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep125

First Set

4th Edition

Favorite Set

Khans of Tarkir

Favorite Card

Lightning Bolt

What makes Magic: The Gathering fun for you?

Deck building

Worst Magic Moment

Losing to an "unplayable" card. Sub per cards when used correctly have a place. Expand your range.

Proudest Magic Moment

Winning GP Toronto.

Conversation with Yourself 10 Years Ago

Don't get out of the game. Go straight to university.

Deepest Thing You've Learned About Yourself

He was a poor looser.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Restricting themselves to archetypes in draft. You need to be able to draft a good deck regardless of what you open.

How to Effectively Prepare for a Big Event

A lot of free time leading up to the Grand Prix. 6 hours a day playing against the best decks (the gauntlet).

Daily Rituals

Draft daily.

Mentors

John Buden, Patrick Chapin

What's in Your Tournament Bag

Binder of Rares, Dragon Shield Sleeves, 10 of each land

Improvement Suggestions

Consume, content; articles, streams/videos; more friends & share cards. Focus on learning instead of winning during play testing. Treat your opponent with more respect.

Magic Resource

LSV, Patrick Chapin, Huey, Owen, Reid Duke

Connect With Robert Lombardi

Twitter: @RobertLombardi0

Check Out Magic Story

Magic Story brings the lore of the Multiverse to life in an audio presentation never before heard in the Magic community.

Listen to Episode 1 here or on www.magicthestory.com

 

Sponsors

Patreon milestone 2

Aug 23, 2016

Philippe Gareau has been playing Magic: The Gathering for 18 years and made his first Grand Prix top 8 at GP Montreal which qualified him for Pro Tour Kaladesh in Hawaii. Philippe lives in Quebec City, Canada.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Philippe Gareau when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor! Listen here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep124

First Set

Tempest / Stronghold

Favorite Set

Time Spiral

Favorite Card

Life from the Loam

Early Challenge

Learning the stack. Understanding the stack helped Philippe get to the competitive level.

Worst Magic Moment

GP Ottowa 2014 - Khans Limited - Philippe had multiple Secret Plans in play with a mandatory draw clause. He was disqualified because he missed the draw trigger.

Proudest Magic Moment

Top 8 at GP Montreal 2016 and qualifying for the Pro Tour.

Favorite Format

Cube

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Players don't trust in their own instincts. Too many players copy the 75 cards of an online deck. To get ahead, look at the strategies and tweak to address them.

What's in Your Tournament Bag

  • Deck
  • Playset of commons
  • Clothes

Ravnica Guild

Golgari

Non-Magic Activity

Talking with people about cards and match ups.

Improvement Suggestions

Try to play for a limited time. Never be afraid to experiment. The best way to win at Magic is to lose at Magic.

Magic Resource

Connect With Philippe Gareau

Find Philippe on Facebook

Check Out Magic Story

Magic Story brings the lore of the Multiverse to life in an audio presentation never before heard in the Magic community.

Listen to Episode 1 here or on www.magicthestory.com

 

Sponsors

Patreon milestone 2

Aug 19, 2016

Jonathan Melamed is a husband and father and has a PhD in Neuropsychopharmacology. He’s a long time Magic player, a Level 1 Judge, a Tournament Organizer AND store owner from Brasilia, Brazil. He has 2 Grand Prix Top 8s and 1 Pro Tour Top 16.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Jonathan Melamed when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep123

First Set

Ice Age

Favorite Set

New Phyrexia

Favorite Card

Island/ Oath of Druids/ Tropical Island

What makes Magic: The Gathering fun for you?

The challenge of Magic drew Jonathan in at the beginning. All these years later the game is still challenging.

Early Challenge

Learning when/how to attack. As a control player attacking didn't come easy to Jonathan. Playing a lot of limited helped him learn.

Worst Magic Moment

Feature match in a Pro Tour in 2009. Playing a UG Landfall deck. Jonathan won but a well-respected player looked at him and said "you play so awful". This hit Jonathan hard. Jonathan focused on learning everytime, even if he wins. Pay a lot of attention to the game.

Proudest Magic Moment

National Top 8 in 2011 (first major top 8) made Jonathan realize he could do it.

Best Format

  • Modern
  • Learn the deck you are playing. Learn it inside and out.
  • Learn the other decks as well. Get to know their game plan

Deepest Thing You've Learned About Yourself

Be positive. No matter what. Jonathan struggles with this sometimes but knows how important it is.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Not communicating well during a game. If you communicate well the entire game then mistakes come across as honest instead of cheating.

Non-Magic Activity

Neuroscience articles help Jonathan improve his focus.

 

What's in Your Tournament Bag

  • Coat
  • Food
  • Water
  • Playmat
  • Notepad
  • Dice

Improvement Suggestions

Have fun.

Connect With Jonathan Melamed

Twitter: @InsideMTG

Check Out Magic Story

Magic Story brings the lore of the Multiverse to life in an audio presentation never before heard in the Magic community.

Listen to Episode 1 here or on www.magicthestory.com

 

Sponsors

Patreon milestone 2

Aug 16, 2016

Andrew Sullano is a Pro Tour veteran who has attended Pro Tour Avacyn Restored, Return to Ravnica, and Oath of the Gatewatch. He made top 4 at Grand Prix Oklahoma City. Andrew lives in Dallas, Texas.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Andrew Sullano when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep122

First Set

Betrayers of Kamigawa

Favorite Set

Shadowmoor

Favorite Card

Wild Nactl

What makes Magic: The Gathering fun for you?

At first, Andrew liked the lore. Then, because when he gets into things he like to do them well, he started getting more competitive. Now, Magic is a social component of his life and he likes the people he can surround himself with when he plays.

Early Challenge

Andrew lost a lot during team drafts when he started and while this was disheartening he learned to ask for help. By getting guidance from better players he slowly improved his win percentage.

Worst Magic Moment

At Grand Prix Pittsburgh Andrew was salty most the day because he needed 2 points to get Silver level as a pro player and even after two byes he found himself 6-3. His core group wasn't with him on this trip so things just seemed bad. Thankfully, another friend scooped to him and he was able to carry on but Andrew learned that the people you surround yourself with are very important.

Proudest Magic Moment

Making top 4 at GP Oklahoma City.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Players are quick to clean up and move to the next game after losing. Andrew takes his time and reviews the entire game in his head (especially if he lost). He will analyze hands, land drops and spell sequencing to see what he could have done better.

Non-Magic Activity

Exercise

What's in Your Tournament Bag

Deck

Clothes

Toiletries

Improvement Suggestions

Draft at least once a week (if you're new to the game).

Set a long-term goal (like making Day 2 or Top 8 of a Grand Prix) and then actively work towards it.

Magic Resource

Star City Games

Channel Fireball

MTG Top 8

Friends

Connect With Andrew Sullano

Twitter: @panicking92

Check Out Magic Story

Magic Story brings the lore of the Multiverse to life in an audio presentation never before heard in the Magic community.

Listen to Episode 1 here or on www.magicthestory.com

Sponsors

Patreon milestone 2

Aug 12, 2016

Matteo Moure has been playing Magic since he was 12 and has only been playing competitively for about one year. He made the finals at both Grand Prix London 2015 and Grand Prix Stockholm 2016. In addition to a few other minor Grand Prix placings he placed in the money at Pro Tour Milwaukee. Matteo lives in Rome, Italy.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Matteo Moure when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep121

First Set

Odyssey

Favorite Set

Onslaught

Favorite Card

Jace, The Mind Sculptor

What makes Magic: The Gathering fun for you?

A lot of friends play and Matteo gets to travel.

Worst Magic Moment

Matteo had to stop playing Magic for a while due to work and this was his worst moment with the game.

Proudest Magic Moment

Top 8 at Grand Prix London

Best Format

Limited

Deepest Thing You've Learned About Yourself

Matteo learned how much of a social animal he is. He loves having fun with friends and Magic gives him that opportunity. (Futbol does as well.)

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Players underestimate their opponent too often.

Players also play their resources too early in the game and don't have answers to real problems later on.

Improvement Suggestions

Draft when you can and trade your cards for what you need.

Connect With Matteo Moure

FB: Matteo Moure

Check Out Magic Story

Magic Story brings the lore of the Multiverse to life in an audio presentation never before heard in the Magic community.

Listen to Episode 1 here or on www.magicthestory.com

 

Sponsors

Patreon milestone 2

Aug 9, 2016

Matt Tumavitch recently graduated college with a degree in sports and recreation management. He’s a front end leader at a grocery store during weekdays and a ski instructor in the winter. He’s an aspiring Magic pro with one Grand Prix Top 8 and 2 Star City Games Open Top 8s. Matt lives just outside Scranton, PA.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Matt Tumavitch when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep#120

First Set

Return to Ravnica

(Matt would be in the Gruul Guild)

Favorite Set

Gatecrash / Khans of Tarkir

Favorite Card

Domri Rade

Worst Magic Moment

Matt's first Standard Grand Prix was tough because he started out 10-0 and then bombed. He felt like he was coming up short of his potential.

If you feel the same way Matt says: "You're good enough. Don't give up."

Best Format

Standard

Deepest Thing You've Learned About Yourself

Matt learned he can achieve his goals and succeed if he applies himself. He always tried hard in sports but was never a starter or varsity member. Through Magic Matt know he can get the results he desires.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Showing too much emotions.

Players let it show when they draw a bad card and it gives a lot of information away.

Control your emotions.

How to Effectively Prepare for a Big Event

Play 10 games of each match up.

Improvement Suggestions

Borrow cards and build budget decks.

Always ask for advice.

Non Magic Activity

Sports help build drive.

Being a skiing instructor taught Matt to ask for advice.

Magic Resource

Star City Games

Channel Fireball

TCG Player

MTGO Decklists

Seth Manfield videos and articles

Connect With Matt Tumavitch

Twitter: @MattTumavitch13

Check Out Magic Story

Magic Story brings the lore of the Multiverse to life in an audio presentation never before heard in the Magic community.

Listen to Episode 1 here or on www.magicthestory.com

Become a Prodigy Sign Up

Sponsors

Patreon milestone 2

Aug 5, 2016

 

Luis Salvatto has 1 Super Sunday Series win, 1 Grand Prix top 8 and 1 Pro tour top 8.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Luis Salvatto when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep119

First Set

Invasion

Favorite Set

Morningtide

Favorite Card

Reveillark

What makes Magic: The Gathering fun for you?

Luis played all kinds of games and saw that Magic had infinite possibilities. Now he loves to draft and play constructed. Just trying all the formats is exciting to him.

Early Challenge

Losing a lot of win-and-ins to the top 8 was hard early in Luis' career. To overcome that and finally make it into the top 8 he focused on minimizing mistakes. Don't justify mistakes, address them head on and admit that you are the problem.

Luis was motivated by seeing a team he wanted to join and learn from.

Pro Player Model

Thiago Saporito

Willy Edel

Worst Magic Moment

Under the old PTQ system, Luis reached the finals and lost. Then he reached another final and lost again by making a huge mistake.

He learned that he is a good player and you have to stay prepared so when luck strikes you can seize it.

Proudest Magic Moment

Making top 32 of his first Grand Prix.

Winning a Super Sunday Series.

Making it to the Super Sunday Series final.

Making Top 8 of a Pro Tour.

Best Format

Draft

Deepest Thing You've Learned About Yourself

Luis learned how to lose. When you lose to someone you think is worse than you, you learn a lot about yourself.

"If you play angry or you play sad, you don't play your best game."

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Not seeing the game unfolding. Not having a plan. You should always be able to answer, "How are you going to win this game?"

How to Effectively Prepare for a Big Event

Find a good deck and play it a bunch.

Improvement Suggestions

Start with a cheap deck and make friends.

Magic Resource

Channel Fireball

Star City Games

Connect With Luis Salvatto

Twitter: @LUISLUJAN77

Check Out Magic Story

Magic Story brings the lore of the Multiverse to life in an audio presentation never before heard in the Magic community.

Listen to Episode 1 here or on www.magicthestory.com

 

Sponsors

Patreon milestone 2

Aug 2, 2016

Julien Henry started playing Magic in Shards of Alara but has been playing competitively for only 2 years. He made it to the Finals of Grand Prix Manchester and qualified for Sydney which is going to be his 2nd Pro Tour. He’s a member of MTG Mintcard and he lives in Paris.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Julien Henry when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep118

First Set

Shards of Alara

Favorite Set

Shards of Alara

Favorite Card

Nissa, Vastwood Seer

What makes Magic: The Gathering fun for you?

Trying to find interactions between cards.

Winning is also very fun and keeps Julien going.

How to have Fun and be Competitive

Focusing on improving keeps Magic fun.

Level Up

Won a RPTQ for Pro Tour Atlanta. Julien played a lot with the same deck in preparation for the event and it paid off.

Worst Magic Moment

Modern Grand Prix in Madrid. Julien played a TON and fine-tuned his deck. He even gave his list to friends who also tweaked it slightly and took it to the GP. His friends did really well but he didn't make day 2. To practice so hard and then fall short is very frustrating.

You have to practice so when luck hits you can grab it.

Proudest Magic Moment

Grand Prix Manchester 2016. Julien had a huge win streak and made Silver pro when he made Top 8.

Best Format

Standard

Players You Respect

Pierre Dagen

Louis DelTour

How to Effectively Prepare for a Big Event

What's in Your Tournament Bag

Deck

Spare cards

Improvement Suggestions

Wait until the Pro Tour to invest in a Standard deck (if you're new). They'll do all the heavy lifting for you.

Magic Resource

Star City Games

ChannelFireball

MTG Goldfish

MTG Top 8

Connect With Julien Henry

Twitter: @Lyserg42

Check Out Magic Story

Magic Story brings the lore of the Multiverse to life in an audio presentation never before heard in the Magic community.

Listen to Episode 1 here or on www.magicthestory.com

 

Sponsors

Patreon milestone 2

Jul 29, 2016

 

Nathan Smith started playing magic in 2013, he played his first Grand Prix in 2014, and his first Pro Tour in 2015! He competed in the 2015 MOCS and in the last 6 Pro Tours, reaching the top 50 twice. He also has 2 Grand Prixs Top 8s. Last season he was a Silver Pro and has built off that to lock up Gold Pro status this season!

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Nathan Smith when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep117

First Set

Innistrad pre release

Favorite Set

Theros

Favorite Card

Gideon, Ally of Zendikar

What makes Magic: The Gathering fun for you?

Nathan loves challenging himself and constantly seeking to improve by that next 1%.

Level Up

Having players he respects say “you’re not likely to make it” lit a fire in Nathan.
Players Nathan looks up to are Magnus Lantto (Ep. 57) and Oliver Tiu (Ep. 78).

Deepest Thing You've Learned About Yourself

Even though I try not to care it’s hard to remove yourself completely. Nathan learned he's not a complete emotional robot. He has the dedication needed to succeed.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Players miss sideboard.

Ask what does my deck struggle with? How do I board against that? What are they going to board me? Are they on the Play or Draw?

How to Effectively Prepare for a Big Event

Put in the right amount of effort when you have pressure. Care about how you prepare and how you play.

Improvement Suggestions

“Never give up, never surrender” Look for what you’re doing right.

Don't be "crippled by the fear of failure".

Sideboard Tips

Single copies of cards in your deck or sideboard are justified when you have a way to filter your deck and you'll see a lot of your cards throughout the game.

Also, when you want a package of cards with similar effects but want to break them up for different matchups.

Magic Resource

Brad Nelson articles on sideboards.

SCG

CFB

Reid Duke.

Paul Cheon (stream)

LSV (stream)

Oliver Tiu (stream)

Connect With Nathan Smith

Twitter: @Pandabeast24

Check Out Magic Story

Magic Story brings the lore of the Multiverse to life in an audio presentation never before heard in the Magic community.

Listen to Episode 1 here or on www.magicthestory.com

 

Sponsors

Patreon milestone 2

Jul 26, 2016

Niels Molle is the frontrunner to be the Irish National Champion, he has made multiple cash finishes and has 1 Grand Prix Top 8.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Niels Molle when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep116

First Set

Portal / Stronghold

Favorite Set

Urza’s Saga

Favorite Card

Tarmogoyf

What makes Magic: The Gathering fun for you?

Fantasy setting, build your own decks.

Competitive outlet.

“How good can I become?” Get to see friends

Play a variety of formats to keep it fun.

Worst Magic Moment

Lost Irish National Champion at last moment. Played a little less Magic.

Played a little less Magic afterwards to cool off.

Proudest Magic Moment

Won first PTQ (Pro Tour RTR)

Biggest Mistake Players Make

In Limited: mistapping mana and not representing combat tricks.

Change One Thing About Magic

Mana issues. Sometimes you get ... screwed at a tournament.

Sometimes you get mana screwed at a tournament.

What’s the Difference between Them and Us?

Experience. They play Magic with players on their same level.

Stepping Up

Find the best player at your LGS. Ask to play and get advice.

Play Magic online. Skill level is high and you can play against the best.

Pro Player You Look Up To

Paul Rietzl, PVDDR, Frank Karsten

Effectively Playtesting

Play a lot and focus on the game

Non-Magic Activity

Time management skills really helps Niels.

Self Improvement

Niels is an emotional player, meaning he plays intuitively, he makes plays that feel right. He’s trying to slow down and think.

Magic Resource

Podcasts – Limited Resources

Articles –

SCG

CFB (deck breakdowns)

Videos

Guidance

Set a long term goal and make it your focus.

Connect With Niels Molle

Twitter: @nielsmolle

Check Out Magic Story

Magic Story brings the lore of the Multiverse to life in an audio presentation never before heard in the Magic community.

Listen to Episode 1 here or on www.magicthestory.com

 

Sponsors

Patreon milestone 2

Jul 22, 2016

Clay Spicklemire is an Indianapolis area Magic player who has been playing competitively since INN/RTR Standard and on and off since M10. He generally plays on the Star City Games circuit, and has had reasonable success there. He has 1 Grand Prix Top 8 where he was the Champion of GP Colombus.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Clay Spicklemire when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep115

First Set

10 Ed.

Favorite Set

Innistrad

Favorite Card

Electrolyze

What makes Magic: The Gathering fun for you?

Deep interactions, competitive outlet.

Made friends through Magic.

How Do You Keep It Fun

Just cause you lose doesn’t mean you’re a bad player.

Early Challenge

Play super fast without thinking.

Slowing down

Worst Magic Moment

PPTQ, game 3, full board state, Displacement Wave from opponent

Clay didn't read the card and scooped. His opponent needed to return creatures too.

Proudest Magic Moment

Win Grand Prix Columbus.

Best Format

Legacy - Watch a lot of coverage, start playing

Deepest Thing You've Learned About Yourself

Most fun when working with others.

Shortcoming

Manage resources sloppily when he's ahead. This gives opponents extra draw steps.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Players sideboard poorly. Talk to better players about your sideboard. Lay it out and take pictures.

Talk to better players about your sideboard. Lay it out and discuss it.

Playtest

Play the match ups you’re unsure of and tweak your sideboard strategy.

Have a friend watch you play.

Get a good group

Tournament Bag

Dice, Playmat, Deck, and Water

Magic Resource

SCG

CFB

MTG coverage

The Source

MTG Salvation

New to Magic

Don’t buy packs.

Connect With Clay Speklemire

Clay is on Facebook

Check Out Magic Story

Magic Story brings the lore of the Multiverse to life in an audio presentation never before heard in the Magic community.

Listen to Episode 1 here or on www.magicthestory.com

 

Sponsors

Patreon milestone 2

Jul 19, 2016

Christoffer Larsen is from Denmark and has 4 Grand Prix Top 8’s and has competed in at least 10 Pro Tours. He was on the Danish World Magic Cup team in 2015. Currently locked in as a Silver level pro.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Christoffer Larsen when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep114

First Set

Apocalypse

Favorite Set

Ravnica: City of Guilds – Selesnya

Favorite Card

Sulfuric Vortex

What makes Magic: The Gathering fun for you?

Travel a lot. Likes going to Grand Prixs with friends.

Early Challenge

Damage on the stack.

Worst Magic Moment

SCG team event. Had a really bad UR deck.

Proudest Magic Moment

Top 8 of World Magic Cup with team (back-to-back 2HG wins.)

Deepest Thing You've Learned About Yourself

Christoffer hates losing.

Take some time to move past it. Don’t whine.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Know your opponent’s deck. So many players don't think of their opponent.

How to Effectively Prepare for a Big Event

Watch videos!

CFB

SCG

Playtest

Ask other for input and adjust

What's in Your Tournament Bag

Decks, clothes, code names

Improvement Suggestions

Talk to tournament players, ask for help, borrow decks.

Be kind and helpful to new players.

Work out, get byes (they allow you to sleep in), eat breakfast.

Magic Resource

MTG Pulse

Don’t take it too seriously and have fun.

Connect With Christoffer Larson

Christoffer is on Facebook

Check Out Magic Story

Magic Story brings the lore of the Multiverse to life in an audio presentation never before heard in the Magic community.

Listen to Episode 1 here or on www.magicthestory.com

 

Sponsors

Patreon milestone 2

Jul 15, 2016

Edward Eng is from Chicago and lived in Taiwan for 10 years but lives in Houston now. He started playing Magic in 1994. Stopped in 2000. Came back in 2010. He’s the creator of galactictreasures.com. He’s played in 2 Nationals and has top 16ed a Star City Games invitational.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Edward Eng when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep113

First Set

Revised

Favorite Set

Tempest, Stronghold, Urza's Legacy (first foils)

Favorite Card

Psionic Blast

What makes Magic: The Gathering fun for you?

Magic is a tool to help you build relationships.

Worst Magic Moment

Losing a key match to qualify for nationals.

Proudest Magic Moment

Won an annual tournament at LGS.

Best Format

Standard

Tools to get into Standard: Trading (PucaTrade), MTG Price, Quiet speculationSpare deck

Deepest Thing You've Learned About Yourself

Still tilts.

To combat this, be cognizant of the fact that it’s a game.

People give up too early. Stay in it. Stay focused.

Shortcoming

"I'm a perfectionist."

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Sideboarding – players over sideboard

How to Effectively Prepare for a Big Event

Play to your strengths.

Regular Activites

Read a lot

Goldfish - When you goldfish think of a specific deck

Improvement Suggestions

See the game grow. Reach out to others.

“Play the game from your own perspective.”

Magic Resource

Channel Fireball

TCG Player

Star City Games

Connect With Edward Eng

Twitter: @edwardeng

Check Out Magic Story

Magic Story brings the lore of the Multiverse to life in an audio presentation never before heard in the Magic community.

Listen to Episode 1 here or on www.magicthestory.com

 

Sponsors

Patreon milestone 2

Jul 12, 2016

Christopher Walton is well known in the Michigan legacy community, he piloted U/W Miracles to a top 4 finish at Grand Prix Columbus 2016.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Christopher Walton when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep112

First Set

Revised / Unlimited

Favorite Set

Tempest

Favorite Card

Land Tax

What makes Magic: The Gathering fun for you?

Interaction with friends.

Worst Magic Moment

Tried to quit Magic in 2008-9. His shop was closing and his friends were getting out.

Early 2016 was also tough.

But the worst was using outside information to determine a game and getting DQ’d.

He learned how to move past it by sharing with others.

Proudest Magic Moment

Top 4 GP Columbus 2016.

Cultivating Legacy scene in MT.

Deepest Thing You've Learned About Yourself

Taken losing a lot worse.

Need to enjoy the game more.

Empathy is the key to enjoying magic when you lose.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Casting spells before attacking.

What's in Your Tournament Bag

Legacy Swag, MTG The Source Playmat“Barn” the person who

Christopher is his groups “Barn”. (The person who lends out cards.)

Improvement Suggestions

Enjoy the game as much as possible. Be sure you want to step up. To step up: Try everything.

Be sure you want to step up. To step up: Try everything.

To step up: Try everything.

Magic Resource

Borrow and proxy to break into Magic.

Connect With Christopher Walton

Christopher is on Facebook

Check Out Magic Story

Magic Story brings the lore of the Multiverse to life in an audio presentation never before heard in the Magic community.

Listen to Episode 1 here or on www.magicthestory.com

 

Sponsors

Patreon milestone 2

Jul 8, 2016

Jonas Friberg is a Swedish Magic: The Gathering player who played his first Grand Prix in 2014 and since then has played in 8 others including GP Barcelona and GP Manchester where he top 8:ed in both!

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Jonas Friberg when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep111

First Set

Coldsnap

Favorite Set

Innistrad

Favorite Card

Electrolyze

What makes Magic: The Gathering fun for you?

Jonas is very creative with his hands and mind. MTG creative in another way. He gets to think and make plays 2 turns ahead

Worst Magic Moment

GP Krakow 2005 – Jonas traveled out of country and it was very expensive.

He went 0-3 drop. Outside of comfort zone.

He learned to practice more and learned to balance playing the best deck vs. one you know better.

Proudest Magic Moment

Won first Game Day. Born of the Gods. Hadn’t been playing long.

Best Format

Standard – Look at the best deck and play a deck that beats them.

GW Tokens – Bad removal, can’t handle PW

Deepest Thing You've Learned About Yourself

Full of myself. Think I’m better than I am. Over confidence is your worst enemy. Respect your opponent. Beware always. Think about his outs, what you can do to stop it.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Play cards, not opponent. You should play your opponent. Don’t over extend into effects that wreck you.

How to Effectively Prepare for a Big Event

Theorize about decks and match ups.

What's in Your Tournament Bag

Deck, Playmat, Dice, Pen, Life Pod, Clothes, Water bottle

New to Magic?

Look for Tier I budget decks. Play on Cockatrice, use proxies, and borrow the cards you need.

Magic Resource

MTG Top 8

SCG

Connect With Jonas Friberg

Jonas is on Facebook

Check Out Magic Story

Magic Story brings the lore of the Multiverse to life in an audio presentation never before heard in the Magic community.

Listen to Episode 1 here or on www.magicthestory.com

 

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Jul 5, 2016

Arne Huschenbeth started playing in Khans of Tarkir. He Top 8’d ten out of 12 PPTQs last season, and won 2 of them!! He Top 8’d his fourth Grand Prix in Paris. And made Top 64 at GP Manchester.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Arne Huschenbeth when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep110

First Set

8th Edition

Favorite Set

Khans of Tarkir

Favorite Card

Dragonlord Ojutai

What makes Magic: The Gathering fun for you?

It's so fascinating. You can get better at it every day. Magic is the first time Arne really loved doing something.

Worst Magic Moment

Pro Tour Shadows over Innistrad. Arne was crushed in the draft and didn’t make day 2. Sleep well.

He learned you should sleep well before events. He stayed up until 2 am the night before.

Proudest Magic Moment

Top 8 @ GP Paris - He felt a feeling of freedom  He was screaming “You did it!” in his head.

Deepest Thing You've Learned About Yourself

Arne loves to travel and be with friends.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Tapping mana wrong. Untapped mana represents something. Sending messages is part of Magic, make sure you're sending the right messages all the time.

Also, players often think they are the aggressor when they’re not.

How to Effectively Prepare for a Big Event

Arne traveled every weekend to a tournament somewhere. He consumed Magic content (articles + videos) and played a lot on XMage. This helped him make his GP top 8.

What's in Your Tournament Bag

Apples, Bananas, Water, Deck, Back Pack

Activities to Improve

Arne uses visualization techniques to envision winning and what that feels like.

he also draws on his strategy and management skills.

Magic Resource

ChannelFireball

StarCityGames

TCG Player

Twitch

Wizards Coverage

Guidance

Be confident and keep going.

Connect With Arne Huschenbeth

You can find Arne on Facebook

Check Out Magic Story

Magic Story brings the lore of the Multiverse to life in an audio presentation never before heard in the Magic community.

Listen to Episode 1 here or on www.magicthestory.com

 

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Jul 1, 2016

Pascal Maynard was on the Canadian National Team in 2010 and Top 50’d his first PT (which was Worlds Chiba 2010) by making it to 5th place in the team portion. He’s played in over 15 Pro Tours and has 10 Grand Prix Top 8s (including 2 wins!) in his record. He currently has 1 Pro Tour Top 8 and is gunning for more.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Pascal Maynard when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep109

First Set

5th Dawn

Favorite Set

Time Spiral (Block)

Favorite Card

Tooth and Nail

What makes Magic: The Gathering fun for you?

The competitiveness.

Early Challenge

Pascal never wanted to play the best deck but he still remembers the first time he swapped decks with a body who ran an aggressive deck and the eye opening experience that was.

Worst Magic Moment

All of 2014.

Pascal could not win that year. He considered leaving the game until he top 8'd a Grand Prix on his way to go visit a friend.

If you are going through a slump, consider what you are doing wrong. Always turn the lens inward. Ask friends to watch you play.

Proudest Magic Moment

Making top 8 of a Pro Tour.

Deepest Thing You've Learned About Yourself

Pascal likes being competitive and doesn't like not learning.

Magic has made Pascal a more organized person.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

People care too much about what's around them and how others think of them.

Players who are good at ABC Magic play too fast because they don't want others to think they don't know. Great players slow down, think, and don't care what others are doing or thinking.

Limited

Evaluate whether you are the aggressor or on defense often. Make a note, especially when you sideboard.

Improvement Suggestions

Go to Wizards Coverage site and do a search for a specific deck or a specific player and you can watch all the coverage of that deck or player. It's all right there! No digging through hours of YouTube to find the right one. It's all right there. :)

Magic Resource

Neil Oliver articles on ChannelFireball

Connect With Pascal Maynard

Twitter: @PascalMaynard

Check Out Magic Story

Magic Story brings the lore of the Multiverse to life in an audio presentation never before heard in the Magic community.

Listen to Episode 1 here or on www.magicthestory.com

 

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Jun 28, 2016

Andrew Elenbogen is the captain of team Ann Arbor. He has two Grand Prix T8’s (Minneapolis and Omaha) the latter was with his favorite deck of all, Magic: RG Tron. He also finished 13-2 at GP Boston 2015 and cashed several other GPs and SCGs with that same deck.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Andrew Elenbogen when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep108

First Set

7th Edition

Favorite Set

Innistrad

Favorite Card

Karn Liberated

What makes Magic: The Gathering fun for you?

Andrew is super competitive and Magic is his competitive outlet. Magic is not set in stone, it is super fluid.

Level Up

At a random PTQ in Minnesota, Andrew played against Mathias Hunt. His opponent was very pleasant and despite his loss Andrew was able to make friends with Mathias. They found they had a lot in common and Andrew was invited to join an elite test group.

Worst Magic Moment

Grand Prix Dallas 2015. Andrew lost a win-and-in to go to the Pro Tour. He learned that no one deserves to win. Magic is up for anyone.

Proudest Magic Moment

Grand Prix Minneapolis 2016 Top 8. A friend conceded to get him in and Andrew loved doing so well alongside his teammate Max McVety.

Best Format

Modern

Don't switch every week. Know your deck.

Deepest Thing You've Learned About Yourself

Andrew learned how to self evaluate so he can recognize his own strengths and weaknesses.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Players are unwilling to acknowledge they lack the skill to play the best deck. Sometimes you need more practice.

What's in Your Tournament Bag

Boogie board

Deck

Playmat

Dice

Tokens

Magic Resource

Don't be afraid to change your deck last minute if you think it's right.

Connect With Andrew Elenbogen

Twitter: @aje8888

Check Out Magic Story

Magic Story brings the lore of the Multiverse to life in an audio presentation never before heard in the Magic community.

Listen to Episode 1 here or on www.magicthestory.com

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Jun 24, 2016

Max McVety is a Magic player from Ann Arbor, MI who has been playing competitively since New Phyrexia. He’s played in 3 Pro tours, two of which he top 50’d. He made his first Grand Prix top 8 at GP Minneapolis 2016.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Max McVety when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep107

First Set

Urza's Saga

Favorite Set

Innistrad

Favorite Card

Gryff's Boon
Lightning Bolt

What makes Magic: The Gathering fun for you?

Deck building and playing Magic is a puzzle to be sold.

Level Up

When Max started playing MTGO more and when he started asking for help he noticed his game step up.

Worst Magic Moment

At his first Pro Tour Max lost his day 2 win and in. To be so close and fall short was disappointing.

Proudest Magic Moment

Winning a StarCityGames Invitational was amazing.

Deepest Thing You've Learned About Yourself

Max learned that he can handle a full schedule and thrive.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

People don't think about the cards they are going to take out when they sideboard.

Lay out your deck post sideboard and line it up with the deck you want to play against.

What's in Your Tournament Bag

Back pack

Relevant cards (for the format)

Apple

Water

Clothes

Limited Tips

Play two colors. Play cards that affect the board. (Creatures, removal, combat.)

Draft: Synergy - picks are contextual

Sealed: Play your best 23 cards

Magic Resource

ChannelFireball

StarCityGames Premium

Limited Resources

Connect With Max McVety

Twitter: @m_mcvety

Check Out Magic Story

Magic Story brings the lore of the Multiverse to life in an audio presentation never before heard in the Magic community.

Listen to Episode 1 here or on www.magicthestory.com

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Jun 21, 2016

Lauri Vuorela is an up and coming Magic star from Stockholm Sweden who had his first big finish by making Top 8 at Grand Prix Manchester 2016.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Lauri Vuorela when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep106

First Set

Mirage

Favorite Set

Khans of Tarkir (Limited) / Theros

Favorite Card

Mind Twist

What makes Magic: The Gathering fun for you?

The friends he's made and the fact that there are so many possibilities.

Early Challenge

Lauri struggled with playing spells at the right time. Like dropping a creature during the second main so he could represent a spell during combat.

Worst Magic Moment

Long bad streak. Lauri took a 1 month break to clear his head.

Proudest Magic Moment

Top 8 at Grand Prix Manchester

Best Format

Modern

Play one deck for awhile so you know all the match ups.

Deepest Thing You've Learned About Yourself

Lauri tends to downplay his own skill. But the more you play the more you believe in yourself.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Players use the same life pad from the previous game and can give away information. Not facing the timer.

What's in Your Tournament Bag

Life pad

Deck

Extra sideboard cards

Dice

Playmat

Water

Snacks

Magic Resource

MTG Mint Card

Modern Nexus

ChannelFireball

StarCityGames

Connect With Lauri Vuorela

Twitter: @lauriv_

Check Out Magic Story

Magic Story brings the lore of the Multiverse to life in an audio presentation never before heard in the Magic community.

Listen to Episode 1 here or on www.magicthestory.com

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Jun 17, 2016

Patrick Chapin, "The Innovator," is a Hall of Famer, Pro Tour Champion, and 5-time Pro Tour Top 8 competitor. Author of Next Level Magic and Next Level Deckbuilding, his articles can be found on StarCityGames.com and podcast at TopLevelPodcast.com.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Patrick Chapin when he answered questions on #MTGProTutor! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep105

Sideboarding

Sideboards are there to tweak and tune your strategy. Know what your strategy is. Look at similar strategies and make your sideboard similar.

Right now, sweepers are very popular - Languish and Planar Outburst.

Building Local Interest

If you have casual players that you would like to take to the next level, organize regular draft nights. Break off into teams after the draft portion so people can help each other build decks.

If you have new players who don't know the rules, introduce them to a Duels of the Planeswalkers and see if they stick around and want more after a few weeks.

Missing Triggers

Create a shortcut system for your brain. Also, when playtesting, NO TAKE BACKS!!

Practice how you want to play at events. Track your mistakes and do a push up for each one you do.

Going to Grand Prixs and Other Big Events

Grand Prixs are like gaming conventions. JUST GO and enjoy it!

You will never feel ready if you don't go. If you are nervous about the main event then just show up and walk around, play in some side events, visit artists and vendors and soak it all in.

When you participate in the main event, play all the rounds. You paid to play Magic and get experience. Utilize all the time you have. Play all the rounds even if you're knocked out early.

Playing against different decks and opponents you don't know is invaluable.

Home Brew vs. Net Deck

By playing your own brew all the time you are missing out on learning what's working now and why it's working.

By net decking all the time you will always be a week or so behind.

Mix it up. Net deck 25% of the time and build your own deck 25% of the time. The other 50% is up to you to go where the wind blows.

See what's working at large but try out your own ideas too.

Read: Information Cascades in Magic on StarCityGames

Make Sure It's Fun

Don't force yourself to play Magic (or play more Magic) just because you feel like that's waht you SHOULD be doing, Make sure it stays fun.

Pay Attention to Opponent

Everytime your opponent makes a play, especially if it's not obvious why, ask yourself "Why did they do that?"

Have a notebook and write down, after the match, what your opponent did so you can talk about it with others later.

BONUS: Write down all the mistakes you made (win or lose) and what you learned and SHARE THAT LIST!

Don't let your brain hide your errors from you. Get used to facing them and talking about them.

The MTG Pro Tutor Facebook group is the perfect place to post your list because of the healthy, uplifting community there who is ready to help.

Mulligan Decisions

Now days you can keep slightly lighter mana hands because you can scry.

Consider what your opponent is playing and have a plan based on the cards in your hand. If there is no viable plan, then mulligan.

If you don't know what your opponent is playing, assume they are on an aggressive strategy. How does your hand line up in that match?

Coping with Counterspells

If you tilt when playing a control mage then watch someone play a control deck and ask questions. Learn when they are vulnerable so you know when to strike.

Dealing With Ulamog

Hand disruption is the best way to deal with Ulamog. Infinite Obliteration is the prime answer.

Biggest Mistake

Players lie to themselves.

You can only control what you can control. People shift the blame to things they can't control and then use that to hide from the real problem.

Which is that they are making mistakes and need to address it.

Improvement Suggestions

Focus on what really matters right now.

Magic Resource

Information Cascades in Magic on StarCityGames

Eternal

Patrick is working alongside other great Magic players at Direwolf Digital to release a new game called Eternal.

Check it out when it goes into open Beta soon.

Connect With Patrick Chapin

Twitter: @thepchapin

Check Out Magic Story

Magic Story brings the lore of the Multiverse to life in an audio presentation never before heard in the Magic community.

Listen to Episode 1 here or on www.magicthestory.com

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Jun 14, 2016

Eugene Hwang lives a double life of a mild-mannered data analyst during the week but from Friday to Sunday, he is a Grand Prix grinder and Silver level pro from Los Angeles. He has 2 Grand Prix top 8s, including a win in GP Orlando 2014.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Eugene Hwang when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor today! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep104

First Set

Revised

Favorite Set

Khans of Tarkir (Limited)

Favorite Card

Survival of the Fitest

Favorite Art

Terese Nielsen
Rebecca Guay

What makes Magic: The Gathering fun for you?

Drafting Magic is the most fun game Eugene has played. The community keeps him coming back for more.

Early Challenge

Started drafting and learned the BREAD shortcut but then took this too far. Eugene drafted pretty bad decks until he read an article about mana curve that changed how he drafted. Results quickly followed.

Worst Magic Moment

Day 2 of Grand Prix Providence. Eugene and his team went 10-0 in day one but then got steamed rolled in day 2 by Ari Lax's team. It was here that they realized there was a huge gap between their level and the next level.

They came home, hit it hard, and all three team members (Andrew Brown, Jiachen Tao, Eugene Hwang) have gone on to win Grand Prix's and Pro Tours.

Proudest Magic Moment

Watching 

Best Format

Sealed

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Players are afraid to step out of their comfort zone.

While only playing one deck is a good way to start, if ALL you do is play aggro then when the meta shifts you will be out of luck.

Play lots of decks so you can easily pick up different styles based on the meta.

Build two decks that attack on opposing axis so 

Card Evaluation Tips

Compare cards to older versions.

By playing Limited consistently you build mental shortcuts.

Sealed & Draft Tips

Look at rares first. Grab cards that pull you into their colors, cards that you would definitely play in those cards, and cards you will likely play in those colors.

Find the highest quality creatures and removal and make a two color deck around those cards. 

How to Effectively Prepare for a Big Event

Play sessions are key. Either online or in person. Talk to each other player. 

Early on you want to identify powerful card interactions. After that you want to play the gauntlet of most likely decks.

Improvement Suggestions

Make friends with players you respect.

Use Cockatrice and proxies.

Playing Magic is the best way to get better at Magic. But playing other strategy games is good as well.

Stay positive.

Magic Resource

Channel Fireball

Star City Games

Allied Strategy podcast

GAM podcast

Connect With Eugene Hwang

Twitter: @deadseashoals

Check Out Magic Story

Magic Story brings the lore of the Multiverse to life in an audio presentation never before heard in the Magic community.

Listen to Episode 1 here or on www.magicthestory.com

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Jun 10, 2016

Adonnys Medrano has made the first major breakthrough of his Magic career by placing in the top 8 of Grand Prix Charlotte. He’s competed in the semi-finals of a Pro Tour Qualifier and placed 9th at the Richmond Open in 2015. He’s been playing Magic for about 3.5 years and has been competitive for about 1.5 years. He enjoys all things gaming and Magic related. Adonnys lives in Virginia.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Adonnys Medrano when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor today! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep103

First Set

Return to Ravnica

Favorite Set

Innistrad

Favorite Card

Siege Rhino

Worst Magic Moment

Scrubbed out of Regional Pro Tour Qualifier. Then went to Grand Prix Pittsburg and didn't make day 2.

Main take-away: You can't always expect to do well in Magic.

Proudest Magic Moment

Grand Prix Charlotte

Deepest Thing You've Learned About Yourself

Adonnys enjoys traveling with friends.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Not understanding interactions and not learning the format.

Watch coverage and read Star City Games, Channel Fireball and TCG Player

Improvement Suggestions

Take it slow. If you can't have the best versions of the cards it's okay.

Buy singles, not packs!

Always be open to learn.

Playing is a big part BUT understanding is even bigger.

Magic Resource

Articles

Star City Games,

Channel Fireball and

TCG Player

Connect With Adonnys Medrano

Facebook: Adonnys Medrano (BEST)

Twitter: @AbrAdonnys

Check Out Magic Story

Magic Story brings the lore of the Multiverse to life in an audio presentation never before heard in the Magic community.

Listen to Episode 1 here or on www.magicthestory.com

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Patreon milestone 2

Jun 7, 2016

Corey Burkhart has 3 Grand Prix top 8s this season alone, is a Gold Level Pro and a proud member of team Ultra Pro.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Corey Burkhart when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor today! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep102

First Set

Zendikar

Favorite Set

Battle for Zendikar

Favorite Card

Tidehollow Sculler

What makes Magic: The Gathering fun for you?

Being with friends.

Worst Magic Moment

Finals of a Magic Online Championship Series (MOCS), Corey mulled to 3, and then loses in a two-turn play. A friend told Corey what was at stake if he won and this might have thrown off his focus a bit.

Then, at Grand Prix Albequerque 2013 Corey choked in a late round by firing off a Sphinx's Revelation too early.

Proudest Magic Moment

Grand Prix Oakland 2016 where Corey locked in Gold Level Pro status was huge but the sportsmanship of his opponent is what stands out to him the most.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Not thinking about the outcome of a play or turn ahead of time. HAVE A PLAN!

Consider how your spells line up with your opponents'.

What Are You Working On?

Limited; adapting to signals and predicting the meta game

Improvement Suggestions

Play all kinds of games and puzzles.

Remember, it's a game. HAVE FUN! Relationships are more important.

Connect With Corey Burkhart

Twitter: @Corey_Burkhart

Check Out Magic Story

Magic Story brings the lore of the Multiverse to life in an audio presentation never before heard in the Magic community.

Listen to Episode 1 here or on www.magicthestory.com

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Jun 3, 2016

Eli Kassis has 1 Grand Prix top 8, another X-2 finish and has 6 Grand Prix top 16's in his record. He has cashed at 6 Pro Tours and has 18 PTQ wins and 15 Star City Games top 8's.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Eli Kassis when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor today! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep101

First Set

Unlimited

Favorite Set

Revised

Favorite Card

Lightning Bolt
Young Pyromancer

What makes Magic: The Gathering fun for you?

Buying, trading and the competition.

Worst Magic Moment

Star City Games Open in Syracuse. Eli wasn't allowed to have a big bag on the floor of the tournament. This shifted his mindset towards Magic. Now, he doesn't let his competitiveness affect his enjoyment.

Then he had his cards stolen out of his car.

These were really low points.

Proudest Magic Moment

Top 8 of Grand Prix Charlotte.

Best Format

Vintage & Limited

Deepest Thing You've Learned About Yourself

Eli faced his insecurity which manifested itself as poor sportsmanship.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Giving away information. Practice having a stone face constantly.

Improvement Suggestions

Treat other players with respect. Especially women.

Connect With Eli Kassis

Facebook: Eli Kassis

Twitter: @lifer2121

Check Out Magic Story

Magic Story brings the lore of the Multiverse to life in an audio presentation never before heard in the Magic community.

Listen to Episode 1 here or on www.magicthestory.com

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May 31, 2016

Shaun Penrod is the host of the top rated Magic: The Gathering podcast, MTG Pro Tutor. The Professor runs the #1 MTG related YouTube channel, Tolarian Community College, and is the first repeat guest on MTG Pro Tutor. (Even though technically he's the host of this episode.) ;)

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Shaun Penrod when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor today! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep100

100 GIVE AWAY!!

Visit www.mtgprotutor.com/episode100

First Set

Tempest block

Favorite Set

Future Sight / Innistrad

Favorite Card

Akroma's Memorial
Avacyn, Angel of Hope

Level Up Moment

Reading an article by Michael J. Flores about casting instants on your own turn.

Best Format

Standard

Connect With Shaun Penrod

Twitter: @ShaunPenrod

Check Out Magic Story

Magic Story brings the lore of the Multiverse to life in an audio presentation never before heard in the Magic community.

Listen to Episode 1 here or on www.magicthestory.com

100 GIVE AWAY!!

Visit www.mtgprotutor.com/episode100

May 27, 2016

Michael Majors is a Professional Magic player who lives in Roanoke VA and works at StarCityGames. He has 3 Grand Prix Top 8’s, including a win at GP San Diego in 2015, and has 2 Pro Tour Top 16s. He’s part of the Vintage Super Series duo Merriam and Majors.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Michael Majors when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor today! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep99

First Set

Mercadian Masques

Favorite Set

Time Spiral

Favorite Card

Eight-and-a-Half-Tails

What makes Magic: The Gathering fun for you?

Winning is always nice but the friends he's made has kept Michael around.

Early Challenge

Identifying what in each game is important.

Worst Magic Moment

2015 was a rough year for Michael. He missed Platinum by a few points in 2014 and this affected Michael for most of the next season. Finally, at GP San Diego, he let go of caring and got first place. This reinvigorated him and he's done great since.

Proudest Magic Moment

When Michael finally made Platinum Pro.

Best Format

Standard

If you're new to Standard make one deck and stick with it to get it down, making adjustments as you go to meet your meta.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Not using time wisely.

While your opponent is taking their turn, you can be thinking and planning.

Also, map your turn all the through. Don't just make the very next play, think of the full sequence.

Card Evaluation Tips

Compare new cards to older, similar cards to start determining how good they are.

How to Effectively Prepare for a Big Event

Play a lot on Magic Online.

Play in person twice a week for several hours each session.

What's in Your Tournament Bag

Deck

Pen

Paper

Water

Snacks

Improvement Suggestions

If you are loving an aspect of Magic then don't change that. If you want to become more competitive then build one deck and practice.

Magic Resource

Star City Games

Connect With Michael Majors

Twitter: @MichaelJMajors

Check Out Magic Story

Magic Story brings the lore of the Multiverse to life in an audio presentation never before heard in the Magic community.

Listen to Episode 1 here or on www.magicthestory.com

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May 24, 2016

Scott Lipp has 2 Grand Prix top 8's, and came in 16th at Grand Prix Vegas (BIGGEST GP EVER), He made top 4 at the Junior Super Series Worlds in 1999. He’s a father, a store owner, and lives in Kansas City.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Scott Lipp when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor today! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep98

First Set

Arabian Nights

Favorite Set

8th Ed. / Invasion block

Favorite Card

Chaos Orb

What makes Magic: The Gathering fun for you?

Loves seeing new players come into his store and fall in love with Magic.

Early Challenge

Scott played too quickly. He had to learn patience.

Level Up Moment

When Scott started playing cards that he enjoyed instead of the cards/decks that were simply "the best".

Worst Moment

Having a really bum birthday weekend at GP Atlantic City

Proudest Magic Moment

Getting back on the Pro Tour train.

Deepest Thing You've Learned About Yourself

Learning how to manage friendships.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Making the most obvious play.

Tapping mana wrong.

Not sequencing lands and cards correctly.

KNOW your deck, know your match up and use this knowledge to manage your plays and play around the right cards.

Improvement Suggestions

Go watch Twitch and read articles.

Treat opponents with respect.

Magic Resource

Twitch.tv

Connect With Scott Lipp

Twitter: @Spanky_KC

Check Out Magic Story

Magic Story brings the lore of the Multiverse to life in an audio presentation never before heard in the Magic community.

Listen to Episode 1 here or on www.magicthestory.com

Sponsors

Patreon milestone 2

May 20, 2016

Louis Deltour is a 24 year old, French, Silver Pro, who started playing Magic in Odyssey and got competitive in Future Sight. He’s played in 10 Pro Tours and has 4 Grand Prix top 8's as well as a French Nationals top 8 in his record.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Louis Deltour when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor today! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep97

First Set

Odyssey

Favorite Set

Future Sight

Favorite Card

Mistbind Clique

Early Challenge

Showing up late, registering the wrong deck, miscounting combat math.

Louis struggled with really basic aspects in the beginning. You don't have to show up at a tournament with the wrong deck to learn like he did. Decide now to prepare ahead of time and show up with the right gear at the right time.

Lowest Magic Moment

Louis got really angry at a World Magic Cup Qualifier when he got beat by 2 cards.

After he cleared his head he realized that you can't get too emotional.

Proudest Magic Moment

Grand Prix London 2011

Deepest Thing You've Learned About Yourself

Louis loves being around people.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Playing bad decks.

Too many people resist following the way of Siege Rhino.

If it's the best card or the best deck, you should probably play it.

He also sees a lot of mistakes around mulligans.

If your hand needs more than one thing, you should mulligan.

What's in Your Tournament Bag

Deck box

paper

pen

dice

sunglasses

Tylenol

Improvement Suggestions

Get friends and borrow cards. :)

Connect With Louis Deltour

Twitter: @LWIDELTOUW

Check Out Magic Story

Magic Story brings the lore of the Multiverse to life in an audio presentation never before heard in the Magic community.

Listen to Episode 1 here or on www.magicthestory.com

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May 17, 2016

Michael Simon is a longtime Grand Prix grinder who went 8-1 in his first Grand Prix. He then played 15 Grand Prix in a single year. Michael has two Grand Prix Top 8s - Modern (Chicago 2012) and Limited (Albuquerque 2016) - but first Qualified for the Pro Tour with a 10th place at Pittsburgh 2015. Micahel always wears an Izzet shirt.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Michael Simon when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor today! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep96

First Set

Revised

Favorite Set

Time Spiral

Favorite Card

Words of Wind

What makes Magic: The Gathering fun for you?

Magic is never solved. This keeps Michael coming back for more.

Lowest Magic Moment

There was a period of 3 years when Michael didn't qualify for the Pro Tour and made him doubt his ability.

Proudest Magic Moment

Michael kept a one-land hand on a low mull and won. His opponent was very salty. Later, he went to the store owned by his opponent and then man came out and apologized for how he behaved and gave Michael credit for a good game.

Being accepted by his opponent was very validating for Michael.

Best Format

Modern

If you're new, find a deck with a sideboard that does not require you to know the match up.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Just "playing" your cards without thinking. Think "why do I want to play this card right now?"

Think "why do I want to play this card right now?"

What's in Your Tournament Bag

Pad

Pen

Water

KMC Hyper Matte

Cards

Dice

Improvement Suggestions

What happened in the past is mostly irrelevant; so is the future. Focus on the now.

Don't tell yourself unrealistic advice.

Connect With Michael Simon

Twitter: @mechalink

Check Out Magic Story

Magic Story brings the lore of the Multiverse to life in an audio presentation never before heard in the Magic community.

Listen to Episode 1 here or on www.magicthestory.com

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May 13, 2016

Doug Potter has been playing competitive Magic for more than half his life. He’s from Edmonton, Alberta, home of Shaun McLaren and other sick MTG players. After making 9th place on tie breakers at his first GP in 2005 he’s gone on to play in 6 Pro Tours and has 1 Grand Prix T8 at GP Toronto 2016.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Doug Potter when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor today! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep95

First Set

4th Edition

Favorite Set

Judgment

Favorite Card

Psychatog

Early Challenge

Elitism - thinking he was better than other players.

Doug had to learn how to respect his opponent's and even lost a few friends before this lesson sunk in.

Proudest Magic Moment

Being there for Alexander Hayne when he won his Pro Tour.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Not enough players analyze the mistakes they made in games they won.

By doing this you don't have the negative emotions associated with a loss.

This helps you decompress wins in a healthy way.

Improvement Suggestions

Some players "get it" and others need to "find it" and grind. Where ever you fall in the Magic spectrum you can achieve your goals.

Healthy body, healthy mind. Hydration is important.

Connect With Doug Potter

Twitter: @DougPkr

Check Out Magic Story

Magic Story brings the lore of the Multiverse to life in an audio presentation never before heard in the Magic community.

Listen to Episode 1 here or on www.magicthestory.com

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May 10, 2016

 

Ari Lax is a Member of Team Ultra PRO, writes Premium articles for StarCityGames.com, has 8 Grand Prix Top 8s with 1 Win and is the Pro Tour Khans of Tarkir Champion.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Ari Lax when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor today! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep94

First Set

Ice Age Arctic Fox

Favorite Set

M13

Favorite Card

Vendilion Clique
Mind's Desire

What makes Magic: The Gathering fun for you?

Magic is a constant puzzle.

Early Challenge

Not playing the best deck. If it's the best deck and nothing else is beating it then there is nothing wrong with playing it.

Worst Magic Moment

Ari was the "better-than-you" grinder for a while. This led to game losses and frustration that could have been a avoided. He learned that getting upset never helps.

Proudest Magic Moment

Seeing a close friend qualify for the Pro Tour.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Logicking from the end. Players work backward and look for flawed interactions and then match results to those instances when in reality you could have been making the best play with the info you had at the time.

What's in Your Tournament Bag

Deck

Mat

Dice

Water

Complaining

Magic Resource

Star City Games

Connect With Ari Lax

Twitter: @armlx

Check Out Magic Story

Magic Story brings the lore of the Multiverse to life in an audio presentation never before heard in the Magic community.

Listen to Episode 1 here or on www.magicthestory.com

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May 6, 2016

Stephen Murray is a three-time Scottish National Champion, two-time World Magic Cup Top 8'r, has a couple of Pro Tour top 50's, and is a 2HG Draft and other weird format enthusiast. Stephen lives in Scotland.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Stephen Murray when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor today! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep93

First Set

Invasion / Mercadian Masques

Favorite Set

Ravnica: City of Guilds

Favorite Card

Armadillo Cloak

What makes Magic: The Gathering fun for you?

Easy to get lost in the game if you just picture what's actually happening. And it has a great competitive scene.

Worst Moment

Having his Magic bag stolen.

Proudest Magic Moment

First time becoming National Champion in 2006.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Not knowing how to sideboard in advance.

What's in Your Tournament Bag

Water

Light snack

dice

pens

Improvement Suggestions

Play lots of games, even if it's not competitive.

Magic Resource

Channel Fireball

MTG Top 8

Connect With Stephen Murray

Twitter: @JechtMurray

Check Out Magic Story

Magic Story brings the lore of the Multiverse to life in an audio presentation never before heard in the Magic community.

Listen to Episode 1 here or on www.magicthestory.com

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May 3, 2016

Autumn Burchett broke onto the Magic scene with an 11th place finish at her first ever Pro Tour, Pro Tour Battle For Zendikar. Now a silver level pro player she is looking to follow up this early achievement with more top finishes. Autumn lives in Bristol.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Autumn Burchett when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor today! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep92

First Set

Return to Ravnica

Favorite Set

Shadows Over Innistrad

Favorite Card

Pack Rat

What makes Magic: The Gathering fun for you?

It's always changing.

Early Challenge

Tilting.

You have to be actively aware of tilting in order to combat it and not let it affect your game-play.

Level Up Moment

Borrowed an Affinity deck and won a win-a-Goyf event.

What Autumn learned was when to play around cards and when not play around them. It's a fine line but sometimes you need to commit and force your opponent to have the answer and sometimes you need to play around the answer. 

Autumn played very well at this event and really feel she leveled up her understanding of playing around cards.

Worst Moment

Pro Tour Atlanta.

Autumn neglected basic self-care and it manifested in her results.

She learned that sleep, food, hydration and adequate breaks between rounds are crucial to keeping your mind sharp for a long day of Magic.

Proudest Magic Moment

Pro Tour Battle For Zendikar.

Autumn made 11th place at her first ever Pro Tour!

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Not knowing your role.

Identifying whether you are the beatdown player or not is crucial.

This section is a must listen!

Improvement Suggestions

If you are just getting into Magic, watch streams.

That's the cheapest way to improve.

Ozman, Darkest Mage and LSV are all great streamers who explain what they do so you can understand.

Magic Resource

Who's the beatdown? by Michael J. Flores

Eight core principles of "Who's the beatdown?" by Michael J. Flores

Limited Resources 239

Twitch

Ozman

Darkest Mage

LSV

Connect With Autumn Burchett

Twitter: @autumnoftheveil

Check Out Magic Story

Magic Story brings the lore of the Multiverse to life in an audio presentation never before heard in the Magic community.

Listen to Episode 1 here or on www.magicthestory.com

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Apr 29, 2016

Arnaud Soumet is a French Magic player who has played in several Pro Tours and was on the French World Magic Cup team in 2015 when they took 3rd place. He is a business consultant who lives in Paris.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Arnaud Soumet when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor today! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep91

 

First Set

Onslaught

 

Favorite Set

Origins

 

Favorite Card

Westvale Abbey

Ormendahl, Profane Prince

 

What makes Magic: The Gathering fun for you?

Arnaud likes to win and loves the friends he has made.

 

Level Up Moment

Joined a team and started practicing regularly.

 

Worst Magic Moment

Losing early at a Grand Prix and not flying out until the next day is the worst. In the moment, Arnaud feels bad but eventually he'll tour the city or hang out with friends and do side events.

 

Proudest Magic Moment

Making it to 3rd place with the French team at the World Magic Cup 2015.

 

Best Format

Constructed

 

Deepest Thing You've Learned About Yourself

Arnaud has recognized that he needs to practice a lot to do things that seem to come naturally to others. He's clever but needs to practice a lot.

 

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Sideboarding too reactively against scary cards. You don't want to put yourself on the back foot. Sideboard cards that address your opponent AND advance your game plan.

 

Gaddock Teeg is a good example. It turns off your opponent's spells and is a body that can attack as well. Try to apply more pressure instead of focusing on dealing with a specific threat.

 

How To Choose a Deck

Look at deck win percentages from the Pro Tour, read articles about those decks, pick one, and jam sessions until you know the deck inside and out.

As you play, take a few minutes after each game to record the key cards in the match up.

 

What's in Your Tournament Bag

Deck

Water

Paper

Pen

Food

 

Improvement Suggestions

new to Magic? Grab a friend, make som proxies, and play play play.

 

Magic Resource

MTG Coverage - Compiles footage from all major events regardless of what channel they were on.

As you go through games stop and think what you would do.

 

Connect With Arnaud Soumet

Twitter: @ArnaudSoumet

 

Check Out Magic Story

Magic Story brings the lore of the Multiverse to life in an audio presentation never before heard in the Magic community.

 

Listen to Episode 1 here or on www.magicthestory.com

 

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Apr 26, 2016

Jared Sylva is a Level 3 judge with the Grand Prix Head Judge role and is the Organized Play Department Manager for StarCityGames.com. Jared lives in Roanoke VA.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Jared Sylva when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor today! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep90

 

First Set

Revised

 

Favorite Set

Onslaught (because of Morph)

 

Favorite Card

Wirewood Savage

 

What makes Magic: The Gathering fun for you?

The mental challenge and the game of optimizing resources.

 

Early Challenge

Jared got too fixated on an idea and tried to build decks around mechanics or specific cards, even if it wasn't good.

 

Most Negative Moment

Having to Disqualify someone for offering to roll a die for the win when the player had NO idea that was illegal. The rules are very clear and have to be enforced and it was hard to DQ this player.

 

Proudest Magic Moment

Seeing many friends advance in the judge community, specifically Jason Reedy when he was recognized for being on his way to becoming a Level 3 judge after running side events like a boss.

 

Deepest Thing You've Learned About Yourself

Knowing that he has a reputation for arrogance, Jared recognizes that some people like him as a leader and others don't. He's learned how to be a leader to those assigned to follow him, as supposed to those who choose to follow him.

 

Improvement Suggestions

Making Magic: The Gathering accessible to all kinds of people is a huge focus and Jared puts out a call to the whole community to make it an equally enjoyable experience for all ages, races, genders and sexual orientations. It's up to all of us.

 

Magic Resource

Magic: The Gathering website - list of Regional Coordinators who can put you in touch with someone local to you if you want to become a judge.

Judge.Wizards.com - Judge practice exams

 

Connect With Jared Sylva

Twitter: @JaredSylva

 

Check Out Magic Story

Magic Story brings the lore of the Multiverse to life in an audio presentation never before heard in the Magic community.

 

Listen to Episode 1 here or on www.magicthestory.com

 

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Apr 22, 2016

 

Erin Campbell is the creator of two successful Magic: The Gathering podcasts, The Deck Tease and The Girlfriend Bracket, and is currently a co host of the Magic Mics Podcast. She was a 2014 Community Cup team member and day 2’d her first Grand Prix in March 2016. She has her sights set on Wisconsin State Champion. Erin lives in Milwaukee, WI.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Erin Campbell when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor today! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep89

First Set

Ice Age

Favorite Set

Tempest

Favorite Card

Ad Nauseam

What makes Magic: The Gathering fun for you?

The human interaction. She didn't get as much of this playing video games and appreciated the Magic community for its human interactions.

Level Up Moment

Erin used to play decks she hated because they were "good decks". Now she understands that she can play decks she likes. She knows now she doesn't have to go to every event. She can play the decks she likes at the events she wants and that's okay.

Worst Magic Moment

An AMA on Reddit.

Take away: The less you say after "I'm sorry" the better.

Proudest Magic Moment

Representing the community at the 2014 Community Cup.

Best Format

Modern

Deepest Thing You've Learned About Yourself

"I am not my results." 

Erin learned to separate her match results from her self-worth. You can lose at Magic and that doesn't mean you are a terrible person.

Also, learning when good enough is good enough.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Buying into the white noise.

There is SO much content out there that people sometimes forget to form their own opinions about cards and decks. Take in the content you want but don't get lost in the white noise.

Improvement Suggestions

Don't play Rest in Peace.  ;)

Magic Resource

Magic Mics Podcast - Current news in the Magic world

Connect With Erin Campbell

Twitter: @OriginalOestrus

Check Out Magic Story

Magic Story brings the lore of the Multiverse to life in an audio presentation never before heard in the Magic community.

Listen to Episode 1 here or on www.magicthestory.com

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Apr 20, 2016

Under The Silver Moon

Magic Story is the audio presentation of Uncharted Realms, the weekly Daily MTG column that tells the lore behind Magic: The Gathering.

Please visit www.magicthestory.com to learn how you can support the show.

Apr 19, 2016

 

Maitland Cameron came 3rd at Australian nationals in 2011, a year after he started playing Magic! Since then he’s come in 4th at Grand Prix Sydney 2014, 2nd at Grand Prix Auckland 2015 and 2nd at Grand Prix Melbourne in 2016. Maitland lives in Melbourne Australia.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Maitland Cameron when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor today! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep88

First Set

Rise of Eldrazi

Favorite Set

Innistrad

Favorite Card

The Gitrog Monster

What makes Magic: The Gathering fun for you?

The community.

Early Challenge

Maitland resigned himself to the outcome of a game before it was even done.

To overcome that he started recognizing when he would have those thoughts, acknowledge them, and then actively push those thoughts out and focus on winning the game.

Level Up Moment

When Maitland was shown how to play around cards he experienced a level up moment.

Deepest Thing About Yourself

People are the most important aspect of Magic.

Best Format

Limited (Draft)

Advice For New Drafters

Ask opponents what they drafted and show them what you drafted. Ask questions. Make sure you are asking people who it isn't their first time.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Feeling pressure. This blinds some players. Put yourself in situations as often as you can so you aren't pressured when at big events.

What's in Your Tournament Bag

Water

Banana

Life Pad

Pen

Resources

GasMTG - Maitland Cameron's blog and podcast

Improvement Suggestions

Embrace new players. Be a nice person and a beacon to the community.

Enjoy the game.

Connect With Maitland Cameron

Twitter: @Maitlandcameron

Like What You Hear?

If you like the show, head on over to iTunes and leave an honest Rating & Review.

Let me know what you like and what I can do better so I can make the show the best it can be and continue bringing you valuable content.

I read every single one and look forward to your feedback.

5 Star Rating

 

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Apr 15, 2016

 

Eduardo Sajgalik is a multinational traveler based in the UK, though he started playing in France. He got his first Pro Point in 2006. He made Top 8 at Pro Tour Return to Ravnica in 2012, has 4 Grand Prix Top 8s under his belt, and has made Top 8 at 4 Nationals. A fun fact about our guest, he has played on 3 National teams: Canada (2008), UK (2011), England (2013).

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Eduardo Sajgalik when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor today! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep87

First Set

Judgment

Favorite Set

Time Spiral

Favorite Card

Riftwing Cloudskate

Early Challenge

Deck Construction

Level Up Moment

His first two Pro Tours really taught Eduardo that there IS "another level", and he dedicated himself to reach it.

How to Choose a Standard Deck

Look at the top 32 decks of recent events.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

People are stuck up in their own ideas. If you are not open to new ideas then it stops your improvement. If 20 people are giving you similar feedback, you should probably listen.

Deepest Thing You've Learned About Yourself

Eduardo wants to be social. Magic lets you make long lasting friendships.

What's in Your Tournament Bag

Deck

Deck Box

Dice

Pad

Pen

Water

Cereal Bar

Banana

Trail Mix

Improvement Suggestions

FNM is a perfect experimental format. Try stuff out and have fun.

Look at the top 32 decks of a tournament. Those decks were 1 win away from the top 8. This will give you a better idea of which decks are doing well than just looking at the Top 8 list.

Watch high-level Magic match ups. This will help you internalize the lines of play so they aren't new when they happen to you.

Connect With Eduardo Sajgalik

Twitter: @Walaoumpa

Like What You Hear?

If you like the show, head on over to iTunes and leave an honest Rating & Review.

Let me know what you like and what I can do better so I can make the show the best it can be and continue bringing you valuable content.

I read every single one and look forward to your feedback.

5 Star Rating

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Apr 12, 2016

Matt Severa is a software developer from Madison, WI. He is also a silver level pro and a member of Team Ultra Pro. His magic accomplishments include top 8 at GP Detroit in 2003, top 4 at GP Nashville in 2014, and a GP win at Washington D.C. in 2016.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Matt Severa when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor today! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep86

First Set

Revised

Favorite Set

Innistrad set

Favorite Card

Vendilion Clique

What makes Magic: The Gathering fun for you?

Social aspect.

Early Challenge

Constructed

Deepest Thing About Yourself

Matt can go all in and sometimes lets his emotions carry over from game to game. He reminds himself why he's playing. He's there to have fun and regardless of his results he got to hang out with some great people.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

People don't step back and look at the bigger picture.  Have an overall plan. If you don't know what your deck is trying to do you will lose more often than you should.

Sealed & Draft Tips

Matt attends a draft camp to learn what the limits of the format is. This is how he familiarizes himself with the archetypes in Limited.

What's in Your Tournament Bag

Dice

Notepad

Pen

Water

Playmat

Improvement Suggestions

Eat right, sleep well, and stay fit.

Magic Resource

MTG Goldfish

Connect With Matt Severa

Twitter: @MattSevera

Like What You Hear?

If you like the show, head on over to iTunes and leave an honest Rating & Review.

Let me know what you like and what I can do better so I can make the show the best it can be and continue bringing you valuable content.

I read every single one and look forward to your feedback.

5 Star Rating 

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Apr 8, 2016

Chapman Sim's been playing Magic for over 20 years and is one of the most dedicated players in Asia. Living by the motto of "Play the Game, See the World", he is a travel enthusiast known for his escapades all around the globe. Chapman has 4 Grand Prix top 8s, has 3 World Magic Cup appearances, 2 Nationals Top 8s, and is the 2015 Singapore National Champion.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Chapman Sim when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor today! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep85

First Set

Revised

Favorite Set

Mirrodin

Favorite Card

Force of Will

What makes Magic: The Gathering fun for you?

Really good organized play. Plenty of events to meet up with friends and play.

Level Up Moment

When he was invited to play with team MTG Mint Card.

Hardest Magic Moment

Chapman's sliver deck was stolen. He was determined to not let the loss get him down and he bounced back and started grinding really hard.

Proudest Magic Moment

Playing so many Pro Tours in a row without being a Gold Level Pro.

Deepest Thing About Yourself

He's learned he's very independent. He schedules all his travel himself and is always where he needs to be when he needs to be there.

Favorite Format

Limited

Limited tips: Go to the pre-release of every set. It's a lot of fun and you can prepare by reading the set primer.

Sealed & Draft Tips

Drafting is the hardest format. Manage your curve. Do a draft once or twice a week. Stay consistent and you'll get better.

How to Effectively Prepare for a Big Event

Meet up with a team a week before and practice.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Playing removal spells too early, especially in Limited. At the GP level, Chapman sees people throwing away their removal when they should wait for something bigger

What's in Your Tournament Bag

Pen

Pad

Dice

Deck

Magic Resource

MTG Mint Card

Channel Fireball

Star City Games

Connect With Chapman Sim

Twitter: @chapmansim

Like What You Hear?

If you like the show, head on over to iTunes and leave an honest Rating & Review.

Let me know what you like and what I can do better so I can make the show the best it can be and continue bringing you valuable content.

I read every single one and look forward to your feedback.

5 Star Rating

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Apr 5, 2016

 

Alex Bastecki spent years helping run premier level tournaments as a judge, then in 2015 he decided to focus more on playing, resulting in his first Pro Tour appearance at Pro Tour Magic Origins and a Star City Games Invitational win in Season 3 in New Jersey. Alex lives in Pittsburg.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Alex Bastecki when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor today! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep84

First Set

Tempest

Favorite Set

Time Spiral

Favorite Card

Basking Rootwalla

What makes Magic: The Gathering fun for you?

How everything ties together.

Don't look five matches into the future. Keep you mind centered on the present match at hand.

Early Challenge

Letting emotions carry over into the next game.

Level Up Moment

Winning a Regional Pro Tour Qualifier.

Worst Moment

Alex was playing with a Japanese card and didn't tell his opponent the full text. His opponent tried to blow it up all over the internet and this almost made Alex leave the game.

Proudest Magic Moment

Winning the Star City Games Invitational

Alex Bastecki Token

Best Format

Legacy

Deepest Thing You've Learned About Yourself

Turning on the intensity needed to win and turning off the stress.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Letting emotions get the best of them. Just because you've mulled down to 5 doesn't mean you've lost. Stay in the moment, don't check out, and play your best.

Improvement Suggestions

Strive to become better with every game you play, either casual or competitive.

Magic Resource

Article about sharing information mentioned by Alex.

Connect With Alex Bastecki

Twitter: @rootwallapunk

Like What You Hear?

If you like the show, head on over to iTunes and leave an honest Rating & Review.

Let me know what you like and what I can do better so I can make the show the best it can be and continue bringing you valuable content.

I read every single one and look forward to your feedback.

5 Star Rating

 

 

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Apr 1, 2016

 

Ralph Betesh has two Grand Prix top 8s, one in Miami 2015 and the second when he slogged through the insiduous Eldrazi menace and emerged as champion of Grand Prix Detroit in March of 2016. Ralph lives in Philidelphia. 

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Ralph Betesh when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor today! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep83

First Set

M11

Favorite Card

Delver of Secrets

Early Challenge

Combat math.

Deepest Thing You've Learned About Yourself

"I'm super competitive."

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Not seeking feedback. Talk to your opponent and others after each game.

What's in Your Tournament Bag

Decks

Box

Sleeves

Improvement Suggestions

Go to FNM. Network at your local store.

Magic Resource

Magic Online

Watching streams (Twitch)

Connect With Ralph Betesh

Twitter: @amthebroseph01

Like What You Hear?

If you like the show, head on over to iTunes and leave an honest Rating & Review.

Let me know what you like and what I can do better so I can make the show the best it can be and continue bringing you valuable content.

I read every single one and look forward to your feedback.

5 Star Rating

 

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Mar 29, 2016

 

Gabe Carleton-Barnes has played in 13 Pro Tours, with 12 day twos. He has 9 PTQ wins and 1 RPTQ top 4. He just got his first Grand Prix Top 8 in Vancouver 2016. His claims to fame in our Magic: The Gathering Community include founding Draft-PDX, hosting Card Talk: The World’s Greatest MTG Podcast, and Storytelling. Gabe lives in Portland, Oregon.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Gabe Carleton-Barnes when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor today! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep82

First Set

Revised Revised

Favorite Set

Odyssey Odyssey

Favorite Card

Psychatog

What makes Magic: The Gathering fun for you?

Despite taking multiple breaks Gabe has stuck with Magic because he loves games and competition. He feels that playing Magic never gets old because it keeps changing and forces you to continue to learn.

Gabe started going to tournaments early in his career and found that he was making friends with adults who treated him as a peer, not as a kid. He now befriends players of all ages and understands that there is always something to be learned from every player he meets.

Pro Tour & Grand Prix Experience

Gabe made it his goal to qualify for the Pro Tour, so he familiarized himself with the PTQ format. He stayed focused, refined his decks, and was able to regularly get the top spot in PTQs so he could attend the Pro Tour.

However, when the Pro Tour came around he struggled to quickly innovate and craft a deck that would work well at the tournament. He didn’t have a lot of help at first, and the time crunch put a lot of pressure on him to familiarize himself with new cards for the format.

In terms of GPs, Gabe would attend them intermittently and usually make Day 2, but never quite make it into the Top 8. Changing up his sleeping habits and altering his routine helped him follow through on a good start in order to finally make it to the Top 8 at Grand Prix Vancouver.

Heaviest Magic Moment

Gabe’s heaviest Magic moment came after he had played about 10 GPs and made Day 2 at all of them. He hit a Limited match at Grand Prix Boston and had a clever plan for how he was going to beat his opponent. With the game pretty much wrapped up, Gabe tried for a play to finish the match, but his opponent had the perfect counter and won on the next turn.

After the match a friend of Gabe’s who was less experienced pointed out that Gabe had a card in his hand that would have won the game instantly. This led Gabe to realize that even though he thought he was a really good player, he still made mistakes in how he approached the game. He started to keep an open ear when listening to players of various skill levels so that he could learn from as many players as possible.

Proudest Magic Moment

While Top 8ing his first Grand Prix is wonderful, the win that stands out to Gabe is making Top 8 at a specific PTQ held by Card Kingdom in Seattle. He made it into the Top 8 without a rare in his deck, and played against Jiachen Tao, who he beat with a subtle side board card choice. He faced off against Brian Wong for the final, and after an epic first match Gabe went on to win the tournament (and a trophy).

Draft PDX

Gabe founded Draft PDX based on similar groups in New York which were organized by Jon Finkel and other great players. In Portland they’ve formed a group that wants to be competitive, make it to the Pro Tour, and have fun with the game while fostering a healthy community spirit. They travel to events together and look out for one another by buying snacks or coffee for a busy teammate, or even giving them rides home if they miss their flight.

Best Format

Limited

How To Turn Limited From A Weakness To A Strength

Diving headfirst into Limited and playing it as much as possible with good players is one of the keys to mastering Limited.

When Draft PDX meets they start by drafting the best decks that they can, and then they split into two random teams before they build their decks. They discuss with each other what cards they might use and how to play them before coming together to play the other team.

The team that wins the Draft is the team that wins the most matches—this way players get to really learn how their deck performed instead of getting benched after their first loss. With the team setting players are encouraged to play their hardest even after a loss, as their next match matters just as much for the team.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

One of the biggest mistakes Gabe sees players make is when they let their emotions determine the value of their play. He knows that not blaming losses on luck and variance is great advice, but what he finds more valuable is looking back at matches he won to find the mistakes he made. If you only set out to learn from losses then you are missing out on a lot of opportunities to learn, especially since most wins aren’t achieved in the most optimal fashion.

To internalize mistakes you’ve made, realize that you most likely will make the same mistake again. What you can do to prevent that is to care about making the mistake, actively seek to recognize it, and find what mode of thinking led you to that mistake.

What Is The Deepest Thing Magic Has Taught You?

While Gabe sees himself as a competitive, achievement focused individual, Magic has taught him that he is more of a community focused player. His personal goals are important to him, but they aren’t as important as being good to people and his interactions with a healthy, thriving community of players.

What's in Your Tournament Bag

Dark Chocolate (for himself and distressed teammates)

Deck Box

Pens

Paper

Dice

Non-Magic Activities That Make You Better At Magic

Gabe plays basketball and finds that aerobic activity measurably affects his mental state and thought processes. Maintaining his physical health helps him from getting exhausted in long tournaments, and he finds that when he feels good he usually plays better. The brain is connected to the body and keeping both in shape is important to performing well in anything.

Final Wisdom

Gabe’s final advice is to make sure you’re always trying to learn. Magic has taught him that he doesn’t know everything, and it has helped him connect and learn from many different people and situations. Never think you have it all figured out. When you win a big tournament use it as an opportunity to say, “This is a big milestone for me and I have a lot more left to learn.”

Magic Resource

Card Talk: The World's Greatest Magic: The Gathering Podcast

Gabe Carleton-Barnes at Back Fence PDX

MTGGOLDFISH

Decision Fatigue (New York Times)

Decision Fatigue (James Clear)

Connect With Gabe Carleton-Barnes

Twitter: @uncle_gcb

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Mar 25, 2016

Brock Mosley is 22 years old and has been playing Magic for about three years. He’s a member of team The Pizza Leagues and made his first ever Grand Prix day two AND top eight at Grand Prix Houston 2016.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Brock Mosley when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor today! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep81

First Set

Ravnica: City of Guilds Ravnica

Favorite Set

Innistrad Innistrad

Favorite Card

Stormbreath Dragon

What makes Magic: The Gathering fun for you?

Brock started his Magic journey while playing other board games like Diplomacy with his friends. His competitive nature drove him to take the plunge into Magic, where he could exercise his critical thinking and problem solving skills in the fun and competitive framework Magic creates.

Early Challenge

When Brock first started playing he was afraid of the mulligan process. He would just hold onto terrible cards and end up losing games that he could have potentially won.

Brock feels that he improved tremendously when he finally got over the fear of taking a mulligan, which he did by recognizing that the cards he drew simply weren’t working. He made a rule for himself that he would never keep a 1 land hand or a 6 land hand.

Level Up Moment

Brock’s greatest period of growth came when he and his friends founded their team, The Pizza Leagues. He started playing casually with his friends in college, but eventually Brock migrated towards playing with more advanced and competitively driven players.

In founding The Pizza Leagues Brock surrounded himself with other Magic players with similar goals to his, and he started to buckle down, play a lot, and improve as much as possible.

Proudest Magic Moment

Making his first Day 2 and his first Top 8 at Grand Prix Houston 2016 still has Brock in a little shock. For the last year his goal has been to try and make it to the Pro Tour, and he’s excited to get to play against the best players Magic has to offer.

Best Format

Standard

What Would You Say To A New Standard Player?

Brock believes one of the best things a new Standard player can do is find out what sort of strategy works for them. When starting out linear decks make a good entry point, and will help a player determine if they like that kind of play style.

Sometimes it takes playing a Mono-Red Aggro deck to realize you actually want to play a Control deck instead. Finding out what you like to play is crucial, because you need to like your deck enough to spend hours and hours practicing with it.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Misattributing the reason why they won or lost a game is one of the most common mistakes Brock sees players making.

He finds that people are more comfortable with losing if they can assign the reason for it to something beyond their control. Some players don’t realize that their decisions in the game, and outside of it, have much bigger effects on the game than they think.

Brock combats this by looking specifically at what decisions he made, and not focusing on what cards his opponent drew. He is honed in on the aspects of the game that he can control, and doesn't let variance frustrate him and affect his play decisions.

How To Play Magic For Little Money

Brock was in college when he started and bought the pieces for a Red-Green Aggro deck online for about $30.

He played it for as long as he possibly could, and even went to his first Star City tournament with what he calls “The Jankiest Red Green Deck” that has ever been played.

He didn’t wait to have an incredibly optimized deck before pushing his Magic skills as far as he could. He believes that as you feel more comfortable playing Magic you can start to slowly build your deck and work on it over a longer period of time.

Improvement Suggestions

Brock uses Xmage if he can’t find other people to play with, as it is free and easy to use. When he plays a certain deck he will try swapping certain cards out to see how that affects his play. He essentially plays different versions of his deck to see how they hold up against certain matchups.

What's in Your Tournament Bag

Deck

Deck Box

Tokens

Playmat: The Pizza Leagues

Dice

Water

Pretzels

Binder

Pen & Paper

Dragon Shield Copper Sleeves

Final Wisdom

Brock knows that Magic is a game and is meant to be fun. However, he sees a lot of players not having fun with it at all. He would urge you to find a way to have fun with Magic, or find something else to take its place.

Magic Resource

Xmage

r/spikes

Star City Games

Channel Fireball

MTGGoldfish

Connect With Brock Mosley

Facebook: Brock Mosley

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Mar 22, 2016

Cody Lingelbach is making 2016 his year as he’s already made Top 8 at 2 Standard Grand Prix’s. The first was GP Oakland in Jan. 2016 and the second was the following month in GP Houston.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Cody Lingelbach when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor today! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep80

First Set

 7th Edition

Favorite Set

Return to Ravnica Return to Ravnica

Favorite Card

Lingering Souls

What makes Magic: The Gathering fun for you?

Cody recognizes that he's a very competitive person and the thrill of competing at the highest level is a major component of why he plays Magic.

He finds that he likes complicated things, and the depth and complexity inherent in Magic fits perfectly into his competitive drive. While he loves playing Poker as well, he has shifted his attention to focus more on Magic because of its added layers of strategy.

Early Challenge

When Cody was first getting into Magic he found it difficult to figure out what cards his opponent had. He would play matches solely based on what was in his hand and hope for the best. Playing Poker made it easier for Cody to decipher what cards a player was holding based on their behavior and board decisions.

Cody also started testing with a local group called Draft PDX which was started by Gabe Carleton-Barnes. He’s discovered that there are some things in Magic you can’t do by yourself, and talking to other players about the game has helped him develop the skills needed to take on tougher tournaments.

Level Up Moment

Cody feels that his greatest period of growth manifested in making Top 8 at his first Legacy Open event.

Heaviest Magic Moment

At a SCG Invitational in L.A. Cody lost 3 Win and Ins in a row.

The event was a split format with Legacy and Standard. He went undefeated in Legacy on Day 1, but when he came back to the Legacy portion his Angel Reanimator deck was crushed by the Soul Tithe decks all of the pros were playing.

He learned that the tournament itself exhausted him, and that playing a Magic tournament takes more than just playing the game. Preparing mentally and physically for the event wasn’t something he had considered before and playing match after match all day long wore him down.

Now he tries to stay even keeled during tournaments by hydrating and eating properly to maintain his energy and focus for the duration of an event.

Proudest Magic Moment

Cody made the Top 8 of Grand Prix Oakland, and then just one month later made the Top 8 again at Grand Prix Houston.

He found it difficult to do well in the old PTQ system, and while he had success at various Invitationals and Opens he still had trouble breaking through in the Grand Prix circuit. Theory crafting and discussing his ideas with friends and the players in Draft PDX has helped prepare him to tackle bigger tournaments.

Cody sticks to playing paper Magic, Drafting once a week with PDX while trying to squeeze in another day or two of play during any given week.

Best Format

Legacy

What Would You Tell A New Legacy Player?

Cody’s advice for players trying to break into Legacy is to learn your deck and how it plays. He sees some Legacy players that simply look at what decks are cool and have a good win percentage in the meta game.

However, Cody finds that if a deck doesn’t fit your play style then it can be much more difficult to learn, and he guarantees that your opponent in Legacy will know their deck extremely well.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Chump blocking, especially in Limited, is a mistake Cody finds a lot of players making.

He feels early blocking comes from overvaluing life. Using life as a resource can lead to gameplay mistakes and prevent you from drawing other cards, like kill spells or a better creature, that could give you a much better advantage than blocking would have.

While you have to be careful about taking direct damage, you’re not in huge trouble even at 9 or 10 life.

How To Play Magic For Little Money

Cody would point players that are low on cash towards Magic Online. MTGO can be much cheaper than paper Magic, and you can play games no matter what your weekly schedule is like.

MTGO WikiPrice is great for Magic Online, as it allows you to search for cards and find what bots you can buy them from along with their cost.

A strategy that works for Cody is to find 5 bots that he regularly buys from, which makes it easier to check prices and also allows him to accrue some credit for future purchases.

Improvement Suggestions

Talking to other players is one of the major practices that helps Cody succeed in Magic. He can’t play every day of the week, so he will send messages to friends and groups to help keep him mentally engaged with the game. Constantly following all the changes in Magic from week to week is exhausting, so having friends to talk to makes monitoring the meta game more fruitful and enjoyable.

Magic Resource

Time Vault Games

MTGO WikiPrice

Star City Games

Channel Fireball

Connect With Cody Lingelbach

Twitter: @LingelingSouls

Facebook: Cody Lingelbach

Like What You Hear?

If you like the show, head on over to iTunes and leave an honest Rating & Review.

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I read every single one and look forward to your feedback.

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Mar 18, 2016

Martin Dang is a Platinum Pro Level Magic player, who lives in Aarhus, Denmark with his lovely girlfriend Tina Dahl. He makes his living by playing every Pro Tour and every Grand Prix in Europe. Martin has 1 Pro Tour Top 8 where he won at Pro Tour Dragons of Tarkir in Brussels 2015! He also has 2 Grand Prix top 8s - including a win at Grand Prix Liverpool in 2015, a top 8 finish in the World Magic Cup and is a proud member of Team EUreka.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Martin Dang when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor today! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep78

First Set

Revised Revised

Favorite Set

Revised Revised

Favorite Card

Jace, the Mind Sculptor

What makes Magic: The Gathering fun for you?

Martin finds Magic to be a good way to relax while also exercising his competitive urges, but like most long time players, he still had to take a break from the game. He wasn’t getting to where he wanted to be with the game, but after a while he started working at a game store. Working in an environment surrounded by Magic had him Drafting twice a week and rekindled his desire to enter tournament Magic again.

Early Challenge

The biggest enemy Martin faced in his early days of Magic was himself.

At tournaments he would be nervous in every match he played, as his opponents appeared to be better, older, or just different. This led him to play the game by their principles instead of his own, and he felt as though he was just losing to himself in these matches.

In order to become comfortable playing Magic, Martin continued to play more and against different people and eventually eased into the competitive scene. He found that playing more helped him meet more friends, and that if he stuck to playing by his own principles things went pretty well for him in matches.

Level Up Moment

Martin’s biggest period of growth came when he started working at his local game store. Before that he was playing Magic less frequently, but after working at the game store he was playing almost every day. He believes the key to getting better is playing as much as you can against as many different types of people as you can. Playing more pushed him into formats he wasn’t comfortable playing, and that helped him become a well-rounded player.

Proudest Magic Moment

Martin cites winning the Pro Tour as his proudest moment in competitive Magic. It was his first Pro Tour in over 5 years, so he didn’t have high expectations for his performance. After winning it took months for him to fully grasp the reality of winning the tournament. He started to receive a large amount of recognition from the community and other players.

This acted as a confidence boost that has helped him power through other tournaments as well. His Pro Tour win helped establish team Eureka, as before they were just a bunch of loosely affiliated guys who tested for that one event. Now they get together and test for all of the Pro Tours.

Heaviest Magic Moment

After winning Nationals in 2010 he got to go to the World Championships, but didn’t do as well as he liked. He placed in the 40’s, and felt that he had made a lot of errors in his matches. This led Martin into a down period where he felt as though he couldn’t focus on the game enough, so he distanced himself from tournament play for a while.

After reflecting he started to see that he hadn’t prepared adequately for the tournament. This has pushed him to prepare more going forward, and has helped him form a team which was something he didn’t have before.

Best Format

Limited

What Would You Tell Someone New To Drafting?

Martin has noticed that players will show up to their first Draft not understanding anything about the format. Even if you’ve played a lot of formats, you can’t expect to sit down for a Draft and end up doing well. Learning the cards and their synergies is one of the first steps to understanding the format.

You want to go into the draft with a plan, ideally three strategies that you can be flexible with. Try and stay open minded, and look at spoilers to see what certain colors and cards actually do. After the match ask the other players what went wrong with your deck and why it didn’t work like you had hoped.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Players can often be too settled in the way they play Magic, and this is an attribute that Martin thinks gets a lot of players stuck early on. They will come to the game store for the first time, not having played much, and are thrown off by other’s play styles and the faster tempo of play. Having a mindset that lets you absorb these new experiences will help you adapt to game store play, and eventually tournament Magic.

Deepest Thing Magic Has Taught You

Martin really loves to win in Magic, but he doesn’t take losses so heavily anymore. Losses used to haunt him for days, if not months afterwards. While he still thinks about his losses now, it’s in terms of what could he have done better instead of beating himself up over them.

How to Effectively Prepare for a Big Event

Training for Grand Prix’s differs from event to event, but he doesn’t practice so much for the Limited portions, as he has a good grasp of the format and plays a lot at his store.

Pro Tours are different.

Team Eureka will set up a forum and Facebook group 3 months ahead of the Pro Tour, and anytime one of them has an idea of something to test they will post it there. They basically prepare for the full gap between Pro Tours. Two weeks in advance of the tournament they meet up and grind out games all day long.

The preparation is grueling; they pair decks against one another and will play ten games pre sideboard, and then twenty games post sideboard. They will discuss the games, add new sideboard cards, tweak decks, and start all over again.

They hold daily meetings where they discuss the matchups, what cards were good, but they also talk about how they felt about their decks, not just the results.

What's in Your Tournament Bag

Pen

Paper

Deck

Snacks

Water

Dragon Shield Sleeves 

Final Wisdom

Martin wants to emphasize that there are no shortcuts in Magic.

You have to practice a lot if you want to improve, so get out into the world and play, and don’t be afraid to seek advice from everyone else out there.

Magic Resource

MTGMintCard

Connect With Martin Dang

Facebook: Martin Dang

Twitter: @MagicMartinDang

Like What You Hear?

If you like the show, head on over to iTunes and leave an honest Rating & Review.

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I read every single one and look forward to your feedback.

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Mar 15, 2016

Oliver Tiu has 1 Grand Prix top 8 and 1 Pro Tour top 16 on his record. He’s also won a MOCs final, and cashed both of the PTs he’s played in. He loves Magic and plays as much as he can - mostly on Magic Online. Oliver is 18 years old and is always striving to become a better player and staying open to learning more.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Oliver Tiu when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor today! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep78

First Set

Time Spiral Time Spiral

Favorite Set

Innistrad Innistrad

Favorite Card

Jace, the Mind Sculptor

What makes Magic: The Gathering fun for you?

Oliver finds it difficult to pinpoint a specific aspect of Magic that has him hooked. He loves how no two Magic matches are the same, and when he plays he is on full competitive burn aiming to win.

Early Challenge

While he feels he always had a good grasp on Constructed, Limited was challenging for him to dive into. Oliver improved mostly through playing Magic Online, since the wealth of great players helped him learn quickly from his mistakes.

He also watches streamers, like NumotTheNummy, which helps him see other player’s choices and thought processes. Talking to other players about the format is good help, but he has realized that while talking about rares is fun, it is usually more fruitful to have conversations about commons.

Level Up Moment

Oliver found his Magic skills vastly improved when he qualified for his first Pro Tour after making Top 8 at Grand Prix Providence. He found a deck that was played in a Japanese Grand Prix that was an excellent match up for the Abzan deck, which was the most popular deck in the format at the time.

He refined the deck by playtesting and analyzing which cards over performed or underperformed; his philosophy on playtesting is not to necessarily focus on winning, but finding out what cards in his deck are doing what they should, and which ones aren’t.

Heaviest Magic Moment

A few years ago Oliver felt as though he couldn’t win anything. He was losing multiple PTQs and tournaments, and decided to take a break. This helped him shake off some of his frustration with the game, and gave him the space and perspective to learn from his old mistakes. He learned that while he was playing a lot of Magic, he wasn’t actually learning from his matches.

Proudest Magic Moment

For Oliver, making top 16 at his last Pro Tour stands as his crowning achievement in competitive Magic at this point in his career. He played against Sam Pardee, and managed to beat him due to a weak hand in their third match. Oliver made Silver level pro, which has qualified him for the next 3 Pro Tours: Pro Tour Madrid, Pro Tour Sydney, and then Pro Tour Honolulu.

Best Format

Standard

What Should A New Standard Player Focus On?

Oliver's advice for a new Standard player is to adapt to the metagame. If you want to perform well at tournaments your deck needs to be able to adapt to the most popular decks being played. Keeping an eye on Magic Online is a good way to see what's being played leading up to any major tournament, and Oliver generally tweaks his decks as opposed to outright brewing them.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Before Oliver took a break from Magic he was blaming all his losses on luck. This is one of the biggest pitfalls he finds players, including himself, trapped in. He was unable to see that he was making mistakes in his play or deck building. In terms of actionable advice, Oliver found that ignoring the luck aspect all together helped him focus on the things he could control such as his play style, sideboard and deck building.

Sealed & Draft Tips

Sealed : Oliver separates his cards by color and which cards are unplayable. It takes a while to know what’s unplayable, but it can come from experience playing previous formats and what types of cards worked well in them. Watching other players helps give you an idea of what is playable and what isn’t as well. It’s important to know what type of deck you are trying to build as well. In Control Decks it is generally less important to have two drops, but you will still want defensive creatures to play early on, however in Aggro decks you will want a lot of two drops.

Draft : Focusing on learning what cards are good and what cards aren’t are what Oliver finds a new player should focus on. He sees many new Drafters put un-impactful cards in their decks. While there are other things you could focus on, like pinpointing when you should change colors and how to balance removal spells in your deck, for a brand new drafter the first step is card evaluation.

How to Effectively Prepare for a Big Event

In preparing for larger events, Oliver identifies which decks are popular and then meets up with a bunch of friends to assign decks and playtest. They will stop and identify what is working best, what sideboard cards are functioning well, and investing time to understand the metagame.

He prepared with a team for the last Pro Tour, but he found that it wasn’t as helpful as it should have been. While they played a lot of games, he felt the team's effectiveness was hindered since they didn’t take time to reflect and discuss their matches.

What's in Your Tournament Bag

Dice

Notepad

Pen

Deck

Playmat (if you think the tables will be dirty)

Final Wisdom

While it may be tempting to go beat up on new players, Oliver understands the best way to improve is to learn from better players. Ask them if there were any obvious mistakes you made in the match after the fact, and don’t be afraid to ask them for advice and their thoughts about your game.

Magic Resource

MTGGoldfish

MTGO WikiPrice

Sam Pardee MTG Pro Tutor episode

Kenji "Numot the Nummy" Egashira MTG Pro Tutor episode

Connect With Oliver Tiu

Twitter: @TiuChainz

Like What You Hear?

If you like the show, head on over to iTunes and leave an honest Rating & Review.

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Mar 11, 2016

Mike Turian has participated in a staggering 32 Pro Tours, 5 World Championships, 6 National Championships and numerous Grand Prixs. He is the Champion of Pro Tour New York in 2000 and Grand Prix Montreal in 2002. He has a top 8 finish at Worlds Toronto in 2001 and Pro Tour Amsterdam 2004. Mike also finished in the top 4 of Pro Tour Boston in 2003 and Pro Tour San Diego in 2004. Mike has amassed 234 Pro Points over his career and currently the Digital Business Manager at Wizards of the Coast in charge of Magic Duels.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Mike Turian when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor today! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep77

First Set

Revised Revised

Favorite Set Played

The Dark The Dark

Favorite Set Worked On

common expansion symbol Scars of Mirrodin

Philosophy On Making Planeswalker Points

Mike was one of the Wizards who helped make the competitive score tracking transition to Planeswalker Points. He saw how the old system made players hostile when they sat across from one another at competitions, dreading losing the match and losing points.

Making the shift to a system where playing Magic was good, and winning at Magic was better, was Mike’s goal in fostering a healthier competitive scene. He wanted the community to be more inclusive, less hostile, all while recognizing the achievements of players who strived to be the best. At the end of a match Mike wants you to shake your opponent’s hand and say good game, not run off deducting points from your score.

Heaviest Magic Moment

Losing in the Top 8 of the World Championships in Toronto stands out as a sore moment in Mike’s career. At the time there was no Hall of Fame and taking the crown at the World Championship had been his dream since his early days playing.

Unfortunately, Mike got out played and out sideboarded, and ended up walking away from the match feeling like he could have done much more. While it remains a high point to even make the Top 8 at Worlds, he still feels as though he lost an opportunity he can’t get back. Being even keeled is a character trait has helped Mike appreciate the loss and push him to practice more.

Level Up Moment

For Mike, getting a car led to a long period of growth in Magic. Being able to travel and extend his Magic intake beyond local tournaments helped open up the world for Mike.

He made an 8 hour drive to a New York Pro Tour and got to play against, and defeat, Mike Long in a side event. This confidence booster helped Mike take steps to push himself further into Magic’s competitive realms.

Proudest Magic Moment

Mike points to winning his first team Pro Tour as one of his most memorable moments playing Magic. Playing as part of a team made for a communal experience that helped Mike feel as though he was part of something greater than just his one-on-one matches, even though he wasn’t the hero that outright clinched the win for his team.

Mike had a conversation with Jon Finkel on the topic of teammates, and what Finkel said is that it’s hard to see your true self when looking in the mirror. What great friends and teammates do is help you look and see who you are.

Best Format

Draft

Tips For New Draft Players

Mike’s tip to new Drafters is establish your colors clearly. He doesn’t like to focus so much on reading other player’s signals, but rather approach it from an angle of “What am I going to accomplish in this draft that will give me flexibility and a line of play towards winning?”

He has noticed many new players don’t understand their play style well enough to bring it into their drafts. Getting consciously comfortable with your style is a great area to focus on, as it’s a tough concept to grasp since it isn’t something totally tangible.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Mike has noticed that some players simply don’t play enough magic. If you want to succeed and get better, you really have to put in the time to do extra drafts and put in your reps.

Players actively striving to rise to the top tier of Magic players often put in 35 to 40 hours a week. While that’s clearly not an option for many players, what you can do is actively incorporate Magic into your life more fully.

Go play Magic, and afterwards go somewhere and hang out while talking about your matches. Think about the game in your day to day life until you get to the point Mike was at when he was muttering “Ancestral Recall” in his sleep.

Deepest Thing Magic Has Taught You

One of the things Mike learned about himself through Magic was that he cares deeply about winning. He doesn’t outwardly express his craving for victory like some other players; his demeanor conceals that desire.

Mike generally views himself as laid back and easy going, but Magic has shown him that version of himself only applies in some scenarios. When he becomes engrossed in a competition he can focus on winning 100%.

Reader Question: How Do You Tell When A Card Is Good Or Bad?

A big area of focus for Mike is understanding the casting cost to power ratio. Look at the cards and see what their drawbacks are, and even more importantly, see how or if those drawbacks can be turned into an advantage. Removal spells are always going to be excellent in Limited.

One of the most important lessons Mike has learned is not to get trapped holding onto an awesome card when your opponent plays a bad or low level card, especially early on. Having the mindset that you don’t want to drop an amazing card on something weak can come back to destroy you later on in the match.

Final Wisdom

Mike believes the key to getting better on your Magic journey is to make sure you are having fun every step of the way.

Magic is a game, after all. It’s supposed to be fun. Enjoying the game is the only way you are going to be able to play over and over again in the years to come and stay engaged with the game.

There are thousands of other players pouring their whole lives and hearts into the game, so don’t go approaching Magic halfheartedly and expect to rise.

Connect With Mike Turian

Twitter: @mturian

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