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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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Now displaying: December, 2015
Dec 29, 2015

Alejandro is starting to make a name for himself in the Magic community of South America by making it to the Top 4 of one Grand Prix.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Alejandro Cesa when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor today! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep56

First Set

Mercadian Masques

Mercadian Masques

Favorite Set

Invasion

Invasion

Favorite Card

Oath of Druids

Early Challenge

Learning the phases of each turn. Magic Online has helped Alejandro get a good understanding of each turn and when he can do what.

Proudest Magic Moment

Top 4 of Grand Prix Porto Alegre

Best Format

Modern

Modern Advice

Focus on one deck. Learn it in side and out and then learn what the other decks are trying to do so you know how they work and how to beat them.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Sequencing fetch lands and shock lands incorrectly against a burn deck. Too many players don't understand that every point of damage matters and they are careless when shocking themselves. Burn will punish you for that.

How to Effectively Prepare for a Big Event

Practice on Magic Online, be part of several groups and borrow cards you don't have.

What's in Your Tournament Bag

Deck

Pen

Improvement Suggestions

Start playing with friends and if you like Magic you can move up to a new group if your friends only want to play for fun.

Magic Resource

La Banda del Monored

MTG Gold Fish

Connect With Alejandro Cesa

Facebook: Alejandro Cesa

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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Patreon milestone 2

Dec 25, 2015

Marcos Paulo de Jesus Freitas is a Brazilian player with 2 Grand Prix Top 8s; one in Buenos Aires 2015 as a Finalist and the other in Porto Alegre 2015 as the Champion.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Marcos Paulo when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor today! Listen here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep55

First Set

Onslaught

Onslaught

Favorite Set

Onslaught

 Onslaught (Constructed)

Innistrad
 Innistrad (Limited)

Favorite Card

Jareth, Leonine Titan

What makes Magic: The Gathering fun for you?

The art is amazing, the card design is well done, the story is so great.

Marcos also loves how he's met great people and made amazing friends through travel. He also loves traveling because he didn't do much before.

Early Challenge

Marcos didn't know how to mulligan at all. In fact, at his first Grand Prix, he was in a feature match and realized that he had to apply aggressive pressure on his opponent to win. However, he still kept the hand and then lost miserably. He learned from this and made learning how to mulligan better a priority.

Casual Formats

Marcos LOVES Conspiracy draft.

Level Up Moment

At his first Pro Tour, Marcos recognized he knew nothing about the format. So he attached himself to a player who was much better and soaked every lesson up like a sponge. 

Marcos has a lot of cool growth stories from his first Pro Tour. He was able to beat one of the best Limited and one of the best Constructed players in the world at the time.

Proudest Magic Moment

Winning Grand Prix Porto Alegre!

GP Porto Alegre

 

Best Format

Standard - It's not that big and you can prepare for it.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Not taking into account the things you did wrong in a match. Marcos hears people complain about being mana flooded or mana screwed when in reality they could identify turns where they messed up. 

Card Evaluation Tips

By play testing with a team Marcos hones his evaluation skills.

How to Effectively Prepare for a Big Event

Reading articles and relying on his team is Marcos' go-to method.

Magic Resource

Channel Fireball

Star City Games

TCG Player

Connect With Marcos Paulo de Jesus Freitas

Marcos on Facebook

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 feedback5 Star Rating

Sponsors

Patreon milestone 2

 

Dec 22, 2015

Chris VanMeter (CVM) provides content for Star City Games in the form of articles and videos and also Streams. Chris has had great success on the Star City Games Open Series with 14 Open Top 8's and an Invitational Finals. Having played Magic for almost 20 years, CVM enjoys his role in helping the game grow by bringing content to everyone. Chris VanMeter lives in Seattle WA.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Chris VanMeter when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor today! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep54

First Set

Tempest set symbol

Tempest

Favorite Set

Innistrad

Innistrad

Favorite Card

Tradewind Rider

Level Up Moment

During the Zendikar Standard period Chris grew a lot. He put up some great results and got on the map as a high level player.

Proudest Magic Moment

Top 8 of Star City Games Season Two Open Invitational.

Best Format

Legacy (favorite)

How to Choose a Standard Deck

Identify what decks you will see at the next Standard event by reviewing the top decks from the last tournament. All the decks will have a slight edge over the others that you can pick any of those big decks and do well. With practice and solid side boarding you can do very well.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Mulligans!

Most players are afraid to mulligan. With the new mulligan rule the mental barrier against tossing a hand should be much lower.

Especially in games 2 and 3, after you've seen your opponent's deck, mulliganing to a better hand is a tactic that many can improve on.

Card Evaluation Tips

Are there cards that fit in an existing archetype or "build around me" cards? A good example of a "build around me" card is [card]Bring to Light[/card]. It did not fit in any existing decks but obviously has some power so it's a "build around me".

How to Effectively Prepare for a Big Event

Play a bunch of games with the deck you are going to take. Pay special attention to the side board.

What's in Your Tournament Bag

Deck

Playmat

Dice Brick

Pad

Pen

Water

Snacks

Improvement Suggestions

Consume as much Magic content as you can. (Streams, articles, podcasts.)

Ask questions. Don't think that the big names are unapproachable. Reach out to them on social media and ask questions.

Magic Resource

Star City Games

Channel Fireball

TCG Player

Twitch

Connect With Chris VanMeter

Twitter: @Chris_VanMeter

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

Sponsors

Patreon milestone 2

Dec 18, 2015

Patrick Dickmann is a 25 year old student at Cologne University in Germany studying Economics. His Magic record includes being the Champion of Grand Prix Antwerp in 2013 and making the Top 4 of Pro Tour Valencia in 2014. He is heralded as the best Modern Splinter Twin player in the world.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Patrick Dickmann when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor today! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep53

First Set

Stronghold

Stronghold

Favorite Set

Innistrad

Innistrad (story)

New Mirrodin block because of his drafting success.

Favorite Card

Dark Confidant
Snapcaster Mage

Human Wizards and cards with options.

What makes Magic: The Gathering fun for you?

Off and on, Patrick has enjoyed attacking the competitive scene.

Early Challenge

Dealing with loses.

Loses used to upset Patrick a lot. To combat this he became more analytical and would review his matches to see what he could have done better.

Proudest Magic Moment

Winning GP Antwerp

GP Antwerp Patrick Dickmann

Best Format

Modern - It gives you the most options without being too powerful.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Being star struck.

Players sometimes let the fact that they are playing a "big name" get in their head.

Also, people tilt and give up early. Stay focused and stay in the game. You can sometimes come back if you don't give up before the game is over. (See GP Richmond Round 9 specifically Game 2.)

Sealed & Draft Tips

Sealed: People tend to over value the rares that were hyped up during the spoiler. Don't feel like you have to play your spoiler rare if the rest of that color stinks.

How to Effectively Prepare for a Big Event

Look at deck lists that did well at the last big event. Get some testing in but most importantly test your side board

What's in Your Tournament Bag

Water

Deck box

Platinum Promos

Money

Improvement Suggestions

You don't have to play exclusively on MTGO. Test out Cockatrice to cheaply test and play Magic.

Magic Resource

MTG Mint Card

Connect With Patrick Dickmann

Twitter: @0fe1ia

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

Sponsors

Patreon milestone 2

Dec 15, 2015

 

Will Erker started playing magic when New Phyrexia came out after a few friends taught him how to draft and play. His first Pro Tour was Pro Tour Origins and then he made it to the Top 16 at Pro Tour Battle for Zendikar playing Abzan Midrange. Will lives in St. Louis Missouri.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Will Erker when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor today! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep52

First Set

New Phyrexia

New Phyrexia

Favorite Set

Innistrad

Innistrad

M14

M14

Favorite Card

Read the Bones
Sign In Blood

Resource management / grindy cards.

Also...

Brago King Eternal

What makes Magic: The Gathering fun for you?

The variance.

While it can be stressful, variance is what makes the game great. We aren't playing chess.

Early Challenge

Building Constructed decks, specifically aggressive decks.

Reading articles and watching coverage and deck techs has helped Will improve his deck building skills.

Proudest Magic Moment

Top 16 at Pro Tour Battle for Zendikar

Best Format

Standard

How to Choose a Standard Deck

Identify the style of deck you like (control, aggro, mid-range, etc...) borrow or proxy that deck and practice with. If you really do like it then roll with it.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Not being realistic when you lose. People need to pay attention to the mistakes they make and learn from them.

People blame mana flood, mana screw or variance instead of identifying what was in their control to change.

Sealed & Draft Tips

Draft: Look at your cards between packs, put your creatures in front and sorted by mana cost so you know where your holes are.

How to Prepare for a Big Event

Will uses Magic Online to grind out reps and then plays with friends to round out the experience.

What's in Your Bag?

Water

Trail Mix

Deck

Improvement Suggestions

There are several sites that post "budget" decks that players can build for cheap.

Magic Resource

Yeti Gaming is Will Erker's local store

Channel Fireball

Star City Games

Twitch.tv

Connect With Will Erker

Twitter: @WillErker

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 

Sponsors

Patreon milestone 2

Dec 11, 2015

Scott Kirkwood broke on to the upper levels of competitive Magic by making the Top 4 at Grad Prix Indianapolis in 2015 with RG Landfall. He lives in Illinois.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Scott Kirkwood when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor today! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep51

First Set

Return to Ravnica

Return to Ravnica

Favorite Set

Khans of Tarkir

Khans of Tarkir

Favorite Card

Gifts Ungiven
Jeskai Ascendancy

What makes Magic: The Gathering fun for you?

Playing casually and having fun doing silly stuff.

Scott's EDH deck is Zedruu the Greathearted, which is one of those goof off and have fun commanders. 

He also enjoys competitive constructed formats. Scott loves that there are so many options and you can do whatever you want in Magic.

Scott really likes when two people are trying their best to improve and face off.

Early Challenge

Taking the time to think if he should do something as supposed to just doing it because he could.

He learned to slow down and assess the situation every time.

Level Up Moment

Making it to the Pro Tour has really validated Scott's efforts and shown him that he has grown and has what it takes.

Brad Nelson's article on how to approach Magic really helped Scott improve.

Proudest Magic Moment

Making Top 4 at Grand Prix Indianapolis. (It's still sinking in how big of a deal this is.)

Best Format

Modern

Vintage (Favorite)

How to Choose a Standard Deck

Scott likes to play the decks that people say "I can beat anything except that deck". So he'll roll in to a Modern or Standard event with a red deck because so many decks have bad match up against red.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Approach the game as just a game. Don't over stress it and psyche yourself out.

Assess every situation. Don't make snap decisions without thinking through various lines. "What's the Play?" articles are great practice for this.

Card Evaluation Tips

Scott admits that he is not the best at evaluating cards. It's fun to speculate but when it comes down to it he relies on the opinions of others via set reviews.

Sealed & Draft Tips

Pre release: Scott approaches a pre release with the intent to have fun. Try new cards and weird combos just to see how it works. Have fun! Pre releases are great places to play just for FUN!

How to Effectively Prepare for a Big Event

Play a real deck.

A lot of people love to brew (Scott is the same way) but if you are trying to win, play a proven deck.

Jam games with friends so you know the interactions and lines of play.

What's in Your Tournament Bag?

Pen 

Pad

Playmat

Deck

Dice

Extra cards

Improvement Suggestions

Proxy cards before you invest in a deck.

Magic Resource

r/spikes

Channel Fireball

Star City Games

TCG Player

Connect With Scott Kirkwood

Facebook: Scott Kirkwood

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

Sponsors

Patreon milestone 2

Dec 8, 2015

Ashraf Abou Omar is 26 years old and is lives in Kiel, Germany. He started playing competitive Magic at Grand Prix Strasbourg in 2007. Once he qualified for Pro Tour Kuala Lumpur in 2008, he started traveling a lot in Germany and UK to compete in PTQ. He has one GP Top 8 in Madrid 2015.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Ashraf Omar when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor today! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep50

First Set

portal set symbol

Portal

Favorite Set

return to ravnica

Return to Ravnica

Favorite Card

Martyr of Sands

What makes Magic: The Gathering fun for you?

The community. Traveling, playing and partying with friends.

Early Challenge

Understanding the rules is a great way to improve. If you understand the rules better you can win more games.

Magic Online really helps you understand the phases and when you can respond and when you have to announce triggers. Understanding this will level up your skill.

Level Up Moment

By spending a lot of time playing Ash has noticed a big improvement. There is no substitute for practice.

Proudest Magic Moment

Qualifying for his first Pro Tour is Ash's proudest moment.

Best Format

Limited

Watch streams and draft with others to get better.

Ash drafts every Friday at his flat after Friday Night Magic.

They always analyze their picks and think critically about the draft to help them improve.

How to Choose a Standard Deck

Ash likes to take under the radar decks to Standard tournaments so he brews with friends to try and beat the big decks. Then he play tests on Magic Online.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Not managing their life total and not understanding combat math. You can win on 1 life.

Card Evaluation Tips

Don't draw any conclusion until the entire set is released.

Sealed & Draft Tips

Draft: Identify a strategy early on and stick to it. Ash even forces colors a bit as he tries to construct a 3-0 deck.

How to Effectively Prepare for Big Events

Magic Online is a great way to prepare for big events. However, it's much better to play in real life so you can talk about mulligans and card decisions

What's in Your Tournament Bag?

GP Deck Box

Sleeves

Pen

Paper

Improvement Suggestions

Watching others play and interacting with them is a great way to improve on the cheap. There are many great streams to learn from.

Magic Resource

NummotTheNummy Twitch stream

Connect With Ashraf Abou Omar

Twitter: @Ashraf_HH

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

Sponsors

Patreon milestone 2

Dec 4, 2015

Mark Litvak has just broken into the upper Magic scene by making his first Grand Prix Top 8 at GP Lyon October 2015. He is constantly seeking to improve himself and is looking forward to his first Pro Tour. He lives among the beautiful hills of Austria.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Mark Litvak when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor today! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep49

First Set

Onslaught

Onslaught

Favorite Set

dragons

Dragons of Tarkir

Favorite Card

Meddling Mage

Early Challenge

Giving up too soon. Mark learned to stay mentally in the game and play to his outs.

Don't give up the fight.

Proudest Magic Moment

Top 8 of GP Lyon 2015.

Best Format

Limited

Modern (Splinter Twin)

How to Choose a Standard Deck

Look at popular decks and look at the mirror matches and choose a deck that is well positioned against them.

Observe matches using the deck you are considering and monitor how it plays out. This will help you decide if it's the deck you want to play.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

People underestimate the combat. It is very complicated if you want to do it well.

Many people sit back to see "what happens" in combat. You need to put the brain power behind combat and figure it out ahead of time.

Expect your opponent to play well and don't be worried about showing them something you don't think they've seen.

Card Evaluation Tips

Mark doesn't like how the spoiler is released but understands it from a marketing perspective.

Sealed & Draft Tips

Sealed: Separate each color into three piles; cards you want to play, cards you don't want to play, and on the fence cards. Next sort each pile by converted mana cost. Determine your colors by identifying which colors have a clear plan to success.

Draft: Learn something from every game. Make it count by writing down results, talking to opponents, whatever you need to do to get that extra information you need to improve.

Improvement Suggestions

"Don't tilt and always strive for better." ~Mark Litvak

Magic Resource

Follow players you respect and read their articles. (Players usually post when they have an article go live.)

Channel Fireball

Connect With Mark Litvak

Twitter: @LorwyMtG

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

Sponsors

Patreon milestone 2

Dec 1, 2015

Fabrizio Anteri has 7 Grand Prix Top 8s with 3 Wins!! He is one of 31 players in the history of Magic: The Gathering to have 3 Grand Prix wins. Fabrizio lives in London and has been the captain of the English Magic Team for two years in a row.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Fabrizio Anteri when he shared his story on MTG Pro Tutor today! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep48

First Set

MIrrodin

Odyssey

Favorite Card

Eight-and-a-Half-Tails

What makes Magic: The Gathering fun for you?

Fabrizio loves that Magic is so complicated and that you never get good enough before it changes.

Early Challenge

Tuning a deck for the meta is not Fabrizio's strong suit but playing 10-20 games against a certain match up sheds light on how to tweak.

Proudest Magic Moment

Fabrizio is really proud of his solid run in the 2015 season that gives him a chance to go to the Magic World Championship.

His run includes a Grand Prix win, a Pro Tour top 16 and a Grand Prix second place... all within three weekends.

Best Format

Limited

How to Choose a Standard Deck

Play a lessor known, under the radar deck.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

When you're winning think "How could I possibly lose this game?" and hedge against it.

Think the flipside when you're losing.

Always consider your plays and be mindful of your outs and your opponent's outs.

Card Evaluation Tips

Fabrizio waits for the whole set to be released before evaluating new cards.

Sealed & Draft Tips

Sealed: Lay out the cards so you can see them all. Separate them into "bomb", "playable" and "unplayable" piles. Then look for synergies within your pool.

Draft: A good memory is an advantage when drafting.
Make sure you consider mana curve, removal and creature count. This will lead to better picks for you even if the card isn't the most powerful in the pack.

Improvement Suggestions

Be willing to invest time and money if you are serious about Magic.

However, to start out, build a deck and play with friends and start playing so you can understand the basics.

Magic Resource

Channel Fireball

Star City Games Premium articles

Magic Online results

Connect With Fabrizio

Twitter: @Anteri_F

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

Sponsors

Patreon milestone 2

1