Andrea Mengucci is a cultured Italian man who has made it to the Top 16 in one Grand Prix as well as the Top 16 and Top 8 in two Pro Tours. We will definitely see more of him in the years to come.
Champions of Kamigawa
You always have changing formats. From tournament to tournament the decks change drastically even though the cards in the set are the same.
Keeping bad hands was Andrea's early challenge. Just because you have a good spell, if you have one land you can't keep the hand.
Learn how to mulligan to overcome this. In Limited your hand is the main concern in whether you mulligan or not. In Constructed, the match up is the main factor in your mulligan decision.
Finding someone who was at the next level and playing with him constantly helped Andrea improve.
He also watched tons of videos and learned from the pros and won a PTQ because of it.
Making it to the Top 8 of Pro Tour Atlanta.
Andrea took control of the situation and asked Mike Sigrist if he could room with and practice with him for the Pro Tour. This friendship has helped Andrea grow.
The best results go to the player who practices the most. Follow the decks every week to stay ahead of what's going on.
Look at the decks that performed well recently and brainstorm their weaknesses. Consider what deck is best positioned to exploit those weekends.
Not knowing when to mulligan.
Showing up with the wrong deck.
Watch your opponent. Do they think a lot during combat? That could mean a combat trick. Likewise, even if you don't have a trick you should take a few seconds before passing priority so your opponent thinks you have a trick.
First, lay out your decks and identify which cards can be strictly replaced by new cards. (This applies to all formats; Standard, Modern etc...)
Then identify powerful cards in the new set that are build arounds and build every Standard deck around that card that you can.
Pre-release: At a pre-release play your rares, even if they aren't that amazing, so you can try them out and see what they do. The pre-release is not a big tournament that Andrea says "I need to win". He just wants to test new cards.
Draft: Don't pass a great card just because there are other good cards in that color. In fact, if you do that and that color doesn't come back that means that you know how many other players at the table are in that color.
Take the best card regardless of color but lean more towards the color of your first pick.
Know your opponent's deck list and play around what they have. Track deck lists and identify the cards that always appear in a certain archetype and know them cold.
Playing with people in real life is better than playing online. When possible, go to your local game store and draft with real people.
When you're first getting in, pick a deck and stick with it. As new sets come out just get the pieces you need in your colors.
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