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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: June, 2016
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

Sponsors

Patreon milestone 2

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

Sponsors

Patreon milestone 2

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

Sponsors

Patreon milestone 2

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

Sponsors

Patreon milestone 2

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

Sponsors

Patreon milestone 2

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

Sponsors

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

Sponsors

Patreon milestone 2

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

Sponsors

Patreon milestone 2

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