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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, 2017
Jun 30, 2017

Kevin Jones has been playing magic since Urza's Saga and has been playing competitively since Onslaught. He has 10 Star City Games Open top 8s, 1 Grand Prix top 8, is a 3 time SCG Player's Championship Competitor, has 2 Pro Tour Appearances AND is the Co-host of The Weekly Ward Wednesdays on Twitch.tv/kirwansgamestore. He is also a writer for MTGCardmarket.com. Kevin lives in Kingston, NY

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Kevin Jones when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor! Listen here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep213

First Set

Urza's Saga

Favorite Set

Innistrad

Favorite Card

Snapcaster Mage

Early Challenge

Kevin has always been competitive and his play group was too. He watched his younger friends get really good he wondered why he wasn't improving. Kevin expanded himself by playing new decks and learning different archetypes. 

Magic Milestones

Kevin made top 8 at States in 2004.

Worst Magic Moment

At his first Pro Tour, Kevin built his deck the night before the event. He failed to make day 2 and was really taken aback by it.

Proudest Magic Moment

Winning a Grand Prix.

What Have You Learned From Magic

Math :). Magic also changes the way you think as far as values and risk.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Caring so much that it pains you to lose. Young players tend to lose sight of the big picture and get torn up when they lose. To overcome this, your mindset / approach to Magic needs to evolve to where you enjoy the game and understand that it is a game and how lucky you are to fuel your competitive drive through a complex hobby.

Parting Guidance

Don't lose sight of yourself and don't let loses define who you are.

Connect With Kevin Jones

Twitter:@kjvsthehighway

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 27, 2017

Marc Tobiasch used to exclusively play Vintage and Legacy and claims he got onto the Pro Tour “pretty much by accident”. He has 1 Grand Prix top 8 and 1 Pro Tour top 8. Marc lives in Bonn, Germany.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Marc Tobiasch when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor! Listen here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep212

First Set

Ice Age

Favorite Set

Onslaught

Favorite Card

Null Rod

Early Challenge

Figuring out which events to go to and who to travel with are huge when you're climbing.

Worst Magic Moment

Marc used to let loses get from bad to worse. When he played around the "right" card and lost anyway he struggled with accepting it until he learned to control tilt. He overcome tilt by focusing on what he can control.

Proudest Magic Moment

Pro Tour top 8 / Finding friends at events.

Career Highlights

At his first Pro Tour, Marc learned there was a whole other level of Magic you can aspire to play at.

Building a Deck from a Scratch

Marc is a renowned deck builder and shares his process.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Players try to think about everything every turn. You can shortcut this by weighting your focus towards what has changed. Also, players do things because they can and don't think whether they should. "Helping a little right now is not as good as helping a lot later."

How to Effectively Prepare for a Big Event

Marc meets with his team a week or so before the Pro Tour. For Grand Prix, he observes the format and for Legacy or Modern, chooses his deck fairly close to the event.

Parting Guidance

Before playing a card, think "should I play this card now?"

Connect With Marc Tobiasch

Twitter:@MarcTobiasch

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 23, 2017

Martin Juza has a record that speaks for itself with an impressive 25 Grand Prix top 8s including 4 wins and 3 Pro Tour top 8s with an additional 3 top 16 finishes! He’s well known in the Magic community as a pillar of good sportsmanship. Martin lives in the Czech Republic.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Martin Juza when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor! Listen here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep211

First Set

Urza's Destiny

Favorite Set

Time Spiral

Favorite Card

Counterspell

Early Challenge

Every aspect of Magic was new but events, articles  and other people helped fill in the gap.

Worst Magic Moment

There was a year where Martin didn't make Platinum. He missed one European Grand Prix and it cost him $1,000 bucks.

Proudest Magic Moment

There was a year where he always made top 8 or top 16. Also, his first Pro Tour top 8 felt really great.

What Have You Learned From Magic

Travel the world and experience  different culture.

Magic Shortcomings

Martin is working on preparing better for Magic event.

Drafting Tips

If you're choosing between two cards that are of similar power levels, always pick the cheaper card.

Tournament Day Tips

Don't be like Martin ;)

Biggest Mistake Players Make

The most important thing in constructed is good side boarding. Having a plan and knowing what to take out and put in is key to success.

How to Effectively Prepare for a Big Event

Martin practices with Channel Fireball team and they constantly discuss the best deck and evaluate the meta-game.

Daily Habits

Martin has experience with other games (Hearthstone and poker) and brings that to Magic.

Parting Guidance

Read a lot of article, watch games and learn all you can.

Connect With Martin Juza

Twitter:@Juzam_

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 20, 2017

Javier Luna is a veteran player who has played in several Pro Tours and Worlds. He runs a website at magiclair.com.ar that provides free articles in Spanish. The site covers all the formats and focuses on growing the Latin American Magic community. He has 1 Grand Prix Top 8 and 1 Super Sunday Series Final Top 8. Javier lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Javier Luna when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor! Listen here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep210

First Set

Mirage

Favorite Set

Legends / Urza's Saga

Favorite Card

Mana Drain

Early Challenge

Drafting has always been a challenge for Javier. He focuses on this by drafting online. Screenshots are a lifesaver.

Worst Magic Moment

At a GP in Santiago, Javier went 9-0 in day1 but went 0-5-1 on day 2. He felt so bad and struggled mentally, but came to realize that everyone has good and bad days.

Proudest Magic Moment

First Grand Prix top 8 / Seeing countrymen do great.

Shortcomings

Javier is working on his draft skills and is focusing on controlling his emotional responses to losing.

Best Format

Legacy

Daily Habits

Reading everything he can. Javier keeps tabs through CFB and SC. He also plays every day even if it's just one or two matches.

Deepest Thing You've Learned About Yourself

Javier learned about leadership and friendship.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Players complain about luck all the time when they have no control over it. Improve yourself and understand that luck is part of the game.

Preparation for  Tournaments

Javier followed the metagame closely and chose a Blue / Red deck. However, one week before the Grand Prix, he started losing a lot. So Javier talked with the best player in the country and switched to a Mardu deck.

Parting Guidance

Enjoy the game. Magic is great. Play with friends and meet new people. Travel all you can.

Magic Resource

magiclair.com.ar, CFB, SCG

Connect With Javier Luna

Twitter:@MagicLair

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 16, 2017

Max McVety is a mechanical engineer from Ann Arbor who has 2 Grand Prix top 8 finishes, an SCG Invitational win, and a couple of Pro Tour cashes. He recently picked up RIW Hobbies as his first sponsor.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Max McVety when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor! Listen here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep209

How To Choose A Deck

Know the balance between pushing your range and sticking with what you know.

What Are The Key Relationship in Your Career

Andrew Elenbogen, Kyle Boggemes

Where Do You Fit in a Team

Max is the side board expert. He nails down the exact cards to take out and put in.

Color Philosophy

Max aligns with blue. He likes to think deeply about a topic.

Level Up Moment

Dealing with variance.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Players know what the best deck is and try not to play it.

Parting Guidance

Prepare for the event by focussing on what you can control:
-Deck choice
-Side board
-In-game decisions

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 13, 2017

Ethan Gaieski started to play seriously when he moved to Japan in 2015. He came back to the States and did decently well on the SCG Tour but didn’t get any big results. Just a lot of cash. He finally made his first GP top 8 at Grand Prix Montreal 2017.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Ethan Gaieski when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor! Listen here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep208

First Set

Innistrad

Favorite Set

Return to Ravnica

Favorite Card

Sigarda, Host of Herons

Early Challenge

Financially keeping up with Magic was really rough. Also, the mental challenge of thinking everyone is better than him.

Worst Magic Moment

GP Orlando 2017, Ethan did poorly and because he prepared a lot and this was the third bad Gran Prix in a row, he was crushed. Embracing the variance is a lesson Ethan learned.

Proudest Magic Moment

Top 8 Grand Prix Montreal 2017.

What Have You Learned From Magic

Quantitative Reasoning. (Recognizing patterns and Math)

Deepest Thing You've Learned About Yourself

Ethan knows he can become as good as he can if he doesn't crumple under people's expectations.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

When players got unlucky, they think they couldn't have won. Don't offload the responsibility. Own it and ask what you could have done. Talk to people.

How to Effectively Prepare for a Tournament

Ethan watched the Pro Tour closely and strove to understood best decks. He practiced by playing 10 Leagues on MTGO.

Parting Guidance

Always be looking for ways to improve. There's always something you can do.

Magic Resource

Twitch.tv/alexjchen, MTG Coverage, Ari Lax, Garry Thompson

Connect With Ethan Gaieski

Ethan can be found in the MTG Pro Tutor Facebook group.

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 9, 2017

Charly Traarbach is 30 years old and just made his first Grand Prix Top 8 in Utrecht 2017. He will be playing in Pro Tour Kyoto (2017) as his very first Pro Tour appearance!

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Charly Traarbach when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor! Listen here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep207

First Set

Revised

Favorite Set

Innistrad

Favorite Card

[draft]Emrakul, The Aeons Torn[/draft]

Early Challenge

Charly was terrible at losing. He's very competitive and processed losses poorly.

Worst Magic Moment

In the GP Top 8 in Utrecht, Charly had forgotten to take out his side board from round 15! He got a game loss and ended up losing the match.
Lesson:  Always check your side board. 

Proudest Magic Moment

Making top 8 at Grand Prix Utrecht.

What Have You Learned From Magic

A better understanding of English language. Interpersonal skill. Making friends.

Daily Rituals

Workout (run,  sports). When your body is strong and active, your mind will be sharper.

Deepest Thing You've Learned About Yourself

You're never too old to learn.

What's in Your Tournament Bag

Score pad, Playmat, Extra Sleeves, Snacks, Water

Parting Guidance

To become better at Magic, play a lot of Magic. Surround yourself with people who invest a lot of time in Magic.

Magic Resource

CFB, SCG, TCG Player

Connect With Charly Traarbach

Twitter:@CharlyTraarbach

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 6, 2017

Eli Kassis is a past guest of the show and now has 3 Grand Prix Top 8’s (2 back to back top 4 or better finishes), 7 Pro Tour cashes, 13 SCG’s Open Top 8’s, and 17 Old school PTQ Wins.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Eli Kassis when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor! Listen here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep206

Team Events

Team events are catching on. In a team event, Eli made top 4 with his team.

GP Secrets

X-2 still get invited to the Pro Tour, so don't draw.

Evaluating The Metagame

Eli and his team looked at the popular Modern decks and determined, there wouldn't be a lot of control. Eli picked his deck because he knew it inside and out and it had a good match up against the rest of the field.

Future of Pro Magic

Eli sees the Pro circuit growing.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

When stress and pressure are on players, abandon the decisions that got them there and hope luck gets them there.

Parting Guidance

You are an ambassador to the game. Be proud of it and treat others with respect so when anyone says "I play Magic" it means something.

References

Team NFGBot.com

Connect With 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

Jun 2, 2017

Simon Nielsen is a 22 year old linguistics student from Denmark who tries to play Magic for a living. He is currently testing with the team Mint card, and writes articles for mtgmintcard.com. He was part of the Danish national team that won the World Magic Cup in 2014 (the Daneblast guy), got 2nd at GP Brussels 2015, 8th at GP Bologna 2017 and 10th at the Pro Tour Eldritch Moon.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Simon Nielsen when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor! Listen here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep205

First Set

Mirrodin besieged

Favorite Set

New Phyrexia

Favorite Card

Liliana of the veil

Early Challenge

Brewing decks were a struggle because Simon told himself he wasn't good enough to play tier 1 decks. He finally overcomes this by understanding that playing the best deck is his edge.

Worst Magic Moment

At Simon's 2nd World Magic Cup, his team was knocked out early. This felt bad because they had won the year before. Simon stayed and cheered on other countries and made friends.

Proudest Magic Moment

Winning World Magic Cup in 2014.

What Have You Learned From Magic

Risk management. What's the expected value of your decisions. Compare the best thing you could get to the chance of getting that outcome.

Magic Breakthrough Moment

Simon went from being terrible at Limited tot a year later top 8'ing a Limited Grand Prix. It took a while, but he started trusting his teammates and adopting their strategy.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Player's don't have plan. Look far down the line. How are you going to win. Work on the sideboard and play more side board games.

Parting Guidance

Read Simon's articles "How to become the worlds luckiest Magic Player" and "All your invalid excuses for not playing the best decks."

Magic Resource

mtgmintcard.com -Simon's articles

Connect With Simon Nielsen

Twitter:@MrChecklistcard

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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