Brian Braun-Duin produces strategy articles and video content for StarCityGames.com. He has Top 8'd four Grand Prix and won two: Grand Prix Louisville and Grand Prix New Jersey. Brian lives in Virginia.
Brian loves solving puzzles and Magic feels like a puzzle to him.
What deck should you play at a tournament? What sequence do you need to play to win? These questions fuel Brian's love of Magic.
Tunnel vision. Brian was so focused on card advantage and getting small, incremental advantages that he would miss the big picture.
There is always a card that can unravel your carefully laid plans so keep your eye on the big picture. Winning is better than card advantage.
Winning Grand Prix Louisville
Review the top 3-5 decks using tournament reports and choose a deck that's well positioned against those.
Not having a plan.
Brian is constantly thinking "How do I win from here?" He sequences and makes plays that gives him the best chance to win.
Compare new cards to older similar cards. This will form the base line.
Make three piles per color.
Next look at what your two best colors are. Consider your mana base and whether the format can support splashing of building a three color deck.
Drafting: Take into consideration your first pick, but more importantly track what's being passed to you so you can see what's opened.
Always give yourself a couple of questions to answer during a play test session.
"Is this card good in this match up?"
"Is my side board plan good in a certain match up?"
By answering questions you will get the most out of your play sessions.
Go to your game store and network with the other players.
Ask questions, play, borrow, lend and be a friend. The social side of Magic: The Gathering is great
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