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Arena Craft Podcast

A Magic: The Gathering Podcast focused excusively on MTG Arena

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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Ep. 2 – #1 Mythic Playing Temur Clover Adventures with Aaron Gertler

This week, we bring you an interview with a guy who's no stranger to Mythic #1 – Aaron Gertler. He jumped into the spotlight earlier this year by spending 4 days at #1 on the Arena ranked ladder playing an innovative brew, Simic Mass Manipulation. This deck used ramp to get mid-to-late-game value out of casting big X spells like Entrancing Melody and Mass Manipulation. It was perhaps the first major archetype to feature Mass Manipulation in the maindeck, and turned askew the concept of what a successful deck on the ladder could be.Now Aaron is back at #1, but this time he's been playing Temur Clover (Adventures), a deck featuring Lucky Clover, Escape To The Wilds, and a full compliment of Adventure creatures. We discuss how Aaron discovered the deck, the process he went through to tweak it to his own ends, and some of the strategies for playing this powerful deck against various metagame staples. Tune in to hear thoughts on current Standard, a rumination on what's good in the metagame right now, and to hear how to attack from a different angle with Temur Clover!Click here for a current Temur Clover decklistClick here to read Aaron's article on the deck on RedditClick here for one of Aaron's Simic Manipulation posts on RedditFind Aaron on Twitter, Reddit, and YouTube.Find Arena Craft on:DiscordTwitterTwitchYouTubeFacebookEmail UsThis show features the track 'Real Virtuality' from Eero Johannes released on the Sound Pellegrino label and is used with permission.

1hr 7mins

5 Dec 2019

Rank #1

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Ep. 9 - Winning THB Draft with Card Clusters

This week, we'll be exploring how to navigate Theros Beyond Death draft by looking out for "card clusters," key sets of cards that synergize well and which can be dropped into many different successful decks in the format. Recognizing and memorizing card clusters can help take some of the work out of building optimal limited decks, letting you put more of your focus into the key picks that really matter. This episode shows you some of the key heuristics for recognizing card clusters, and then outlines some of the most prominent examples I've identified in the format. We'll also go over how to build around some of the most powerful rares in the format, as well as identifying a card draw combo only limited by the size of your graveyard!Find Arena Craft on:DiscordTwitterTwitchYouTubeFacebookEmail UsThis show features the track 'Real Virtuality' from Eero Johannes released on the Sound Pellegrino label and is used with permission.

57mins

11 Feb 2020

Rank #2

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Ep. 5 - The Quickest Set Completion F2P Method with Marcus Tomaino

This week we cover a topic near and dear to many players' hearts – what is the quickest and most efficient way to grow your collection and maximize the use of your wildcards? My guest, economics Ph.D student Marcus Tomaino, takes us through a systematic approach, centered around BO3 drafting, that provides a solid foundation for getting rare-complete, or even mythic-complete if you so desire! This is likely the quickest route to accumulating a complete collection of any set on Magic Arena. We'll also go into other tips to help you get maximum gold on Arena and increase your win percentage in draft. This interview opened my eyes and taught me several tricks (such as waiting to open your packs until after you've done your drafts...) that I have since implemented in my own approach. If you're wanting more wildcards, or if you want your wildcards to go further, this is for you.Find Marcus at u/20mb_romano and at twitch.tv/20mb_romano/Find his article on reddit here.Timestamps:  0:00 - Intro  1:16 - Intro to Marcus  5:19 - Set completion via B03 draft  11:11 - Quick overview of earning Gold on Arena  14:57 - Accumulating Gems on Arena  19:46 - Cracking packs vs. drafting  29:24 - Maximizing your vault on Arena  40:00 - Rare drafting is ok  47:06 - When to open my packs?Find Arena Craft on:DiscordTwitterTwitchYouTubeFacebookEmail UsThis show features the track 'Real Virtuality' from Eero Johannes released on the Sound Pellegrino label and is used with permission.

1hr 8mins

30 Dec 2019

Rank #3

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Ep. 8 - Theros Draft: Hidden Gems and Lipsticked Pigs

I've been fixated on one thing this past week, and that's Theros Beyond Death draft! This format is fantastic, an instant favorite of mine, and in this episode I bring you my thoughts on what's working and what's not. Instead of discussing each individual card or touching upon cards that have already been well-covered, I focus on the cards that I think people are sleeping on, or which I've found to be overrated. I'm looking for cards where I think my evaluation might be different from the average, and using that as a basis for discussion. You'll get to hear about the card I think is the most underrated card selection engine in Theros draft, my power ranking of the 5 Omens, my color preferences (hint: I like red a lot!) and lots more...Find Arena Craft on:DiscordTwitterTwitchYouTubeFacebookEmail UsThis show features the track 'Real Virtuality' from Eero Johannes released on the Sound Pellegrino label and is used with permission.

2hr

4 Feb 2020

Rank #4

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Ep. 7 - Theros Beyond Death (THB) Standard Week 1 with Covertgoblue

We've had Theros Beyond Death in Standard now for just over a week, and the format has been cooking! Today, I'm joined by special guest YouTuber and streamer Covertgoblue as we examine what's been good so far, and what looks like it still needs more work. Some of the deck archetypes we touch on are Mono Black, Blue White Control, Esper Hero, Blue Green Ramp, Temur Elementals, and then we do a deep dive on my personal favorite, Mono Blue Devotion. We share thoughts on the new planeswalkers and a handful of other impactful cards, and then dip into where we think the meta is headed.Find Covertgoblue on YouTube, Twitter, Twitch, and probably anywhere else you search for his name.Covertgoblue's Blue Devo videoArjuna's current Blue Devo list (B03)Find Arena Craft on:DiscordTwitterTwitchYouTubeFacebookEmail UsThis show features the track 'Real Virtuality' from Eero Johannes released on the Sound Pellegrino label and is used with permission.

1hr 29mins

27 Jan 2020

Rank #5

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Ep. 6 - Safe buys in Pioneer with Jonathan Medina

This week, we dive deep into the new world of Pioneer to discuss which cards are safe to buy into, and which cards are still on code yellow for possible future bannings. Coolstuffinc writer and eternal format veteran Jonathan Medina joins us to shed a reassuring light on a format that has been, up until recently, tempestuous and ban-prone. Jonathan makes a case for why you should be buying into Pioneer NOW, and why it's likely to be a safe investment in the longterm scope of the format.Jonathan's Article on CoolstuffincJonathan's Twitter - @medina_mtgJonathan's DiscordFind Arena Craft on:DiscordTwitterTwitchYouTubeFacebookEmail UsThis show features the track 'Real Virtuality' from Eero Johannes released on the Sound Pellegrino label and is used with permission.

1hr 3mins

14 Jan 2020

Rank #6

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Ep. 4 - Live from the floor at Magicfest Portland

This week's episode was so much fun to bring to you — I spent the weekend at Magicfest Portland! The show is my reflections on the experience of attending (it was my first), followed by a series of interviews I did on the floor with attendees, competitors, artists and cosplayers from the event! If you've never been to one of these events before, I would A. recommend you go, and B. encourage you to get a taste of it via this episode! Enjoy.Timestamps:0:00 - Intro, my experience at the Magicfest16:19 - Interviews waiting in line for Mystery Draft21:40 - Interview with PTW competitor Kory29:39 - Interview with Mark Poole34:47 - Interview with Chuck Lukacs42:13 - Interview with Ken Meyer Jr.52:33 - Interview with Zenaide Beckham58:53 - Interview with ArielleThis episode features the words and experiences of a lot of wonderful people from the world of Magic. In order of appearance, here's how to contact and experience the work of:Mark Poole – http://markpoole.net/Chuck Lukacs – http://chucklukacs.com/ @LightPusherKen Meyer Jr. – http://www.kenmeyerjr.com/ @kenmeyerjrZenaide Beckham – @ZBexx EVERYWHEREArielle – @air_bubbles @air_bubbles_cosplayFind Arena Craft on:DiscordTwitterTwitchYouTubeFacebookEmail UsThis show features the track 'Real Virtuality' from Eero Johannes released on the Sound Pellegrino label and is used with permission.

1hr 6mins

24 Dec 2019

Rank #7

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Ep. 3 - Jund Fires with ChannelFireball's Josh Silvestri

Another fantastic interview with another fantastic guest this week— this time it's ChannelFireball writer and r/spikes mod Josh Silvestri / jsilv! Josh is a veteran of the game and a fantastic conversationalist who can talk at length on any Magic topic you care to throw at him. We discuss a little Magic history (including the founding of the original ChannelFireball LGS in the California Bay Area, and his experience hacking it up with LSV, Paul Cheon and friends). Then we shift into talking about the results of Mythic Championship VII and the post-Oko Standard meta. Next we cover a topic near to jsilv's heart, namely the different iterations of Fires of Invention you can play in Standard (the Jund Food version is his current fav). Finally, we chat about Pioneer and what we've been both playing and thinking about.Timestamps:0:00 - Intro3:44 - Jsilv welcome / Jsilv's history with Magic18:40 - Mythic Championship VII takeaways30:58 - Standard / Jund Fires45:36 - Pioneer thoughts1:05:57 - Iteration, Magic Arena vs. MTGOFind Josh on:ChannelFireballr/spikesJosh's Jund Fires post on r/spikesJosh's articles on 3 Fires variants on ChannelFireballFind Arena Craft on:DiscordTwitterTwitchYouTubeFacebookEmail UsThis show features the track 'Real Virtuality' from Eero Johannes released on the Sound Pellegrino label and is used with permission.

1hr 18mins

17 Dec 2019

Rank #8

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RIP Agent, Companions – Our Hot Takes on the Ban Announcement!

They done did it. They banned Agent. They banned Fires. They banned Winota in Histor... oh wait. And ya boi T3feri lives to slow down Standard another day. We talk about what this means for the Standard and Historic metagames, and what we expect to see being playable and unplayable moving forward.Find the complete B&R announcement here.Covertgoblue's Jeskai Mutate listFind Covertgoblue on his YouTube channel and at his personal site.Find Arena Craft on:DiscordTwitterTwitchYouTubeFacebookEmail UsThis show features the track 'Real Virtuality' from Eero Johannes released on the Sound Pellegrino label and is used with permission.

1hr 16mins

1 Jun 2020

Rank #9

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Ep. 21 - More Standard + Arena Craft welcomes a cohost!

Big news this week... I'm excited to announce that Covertgoblue has come on as the official cohost of the Arena Craft Podcast! I'm stoked to be working with him, and we have a lot planned content-wise. This marks a shift away from the interview-focused format (though we will still have interviews) towards a more episodic-driven format. Tell us what you think!This week, we discuss some MTG news including the announcement of Historic Anthology 3. Big nasties Phyrexian Obliterator and Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger return to plague the battlefields of Arena. DCI numbers are being phased out. Then, we pivot to talking about the Standard metagame. Aaron Barich's monoblack Obosh list took her all the way to #1 on the ranked ladder. Covertgoblue reached #120 playing Keruga Fires. We discuss an update to the Yorion decks, and cover one of the new kids on the block, Jeskai Cycling. Finally, we introduce a new segment to the show – Gas, or Ass?! Let us know what you think ;)Find Covertgoblue on his YouTube channel and at his personal site.Find Arena Craft on:DiscordTwitterTwitchYouTubeFacebookEmail UsThis show features the track 'Real Virtuality' from Eero Johannes released on the Sound Pellegrino label and is used with permission.

1hr 17mins

5 May 2020

Rank #10

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Ep. 20 - Ikoria Standard Week 1 with Covertgoblue

Everyone's favorite wisecrackin' YouTuber returns this week to discuss the week 1 Standard metagame. There's a lot to dig into here: Companions at 60-70% of the meta. Many different builds of Yorion and Lurrus. People going bigger with Obosh. Fires continues to dominate, picking up some truly gas cards from the new set. We discuss Jeskai control and Temur Reclamation as non-Companion options to consider. And CGB gets perhaps the most epic introduction of his entire career...Find Covertgoblue on his YouTube channel and at his personal site.Find Arena Craft on:DiscordTwitterTwitchYouTubeFacebookEmail UsThis show features the track 'Real Virtuality' from Eero Johannes released on the Sound Pellegrino label and is used with permission.

1hr 29mins

28 Apr 2020

Rank #11

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Ep. 19 - Ikoria Standard Archetypes with Danny West

Returning guest Danny West helps us to work through the monstrosity that is Ikoria! We kick off with a broad discussion of Ikoria and its implications for magic as a whole (are companions the new Oko?), as well as our thoughts on the incorporation of Kaiju into the MTG universe. Next, we go over some of the important interaction and answers in the meta, and finally, we discuss some of the most prominent new archetypes in Standard and our assessment of their viability moving forward. New sets are the best time in Magic!Danny West stays away from social media for the most part, but you can find him and his unique articles at coolstuffinc.com and also sometimes on Twitch.Link to Covertgoblue's article about Standard archetypes on Coolstuffinc.Find Arena Craft on:DiscordTwitterTwitchYouTubeFacebookEmail UsThis show features the track 'Real Virtuality' from Eero Johannes released on the Sound Pellegrino label and is used with permission.

1hr 27mins

23 Apr 2020

Rank #12

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Ep. 18 - Ikoria Complete Spoiler with Skybilz

This week, we're joined by streamer, speedrunner extraordinaire and Genji teammate Skybilz! We're taking a look at the Ikoria complete spoiler and diving into our thoughts on how the set will impact Standard. We go through our power rankings of the Legendary Elemental mutating creature cycle, discuss all the Ultimatums, consider the impact of the Companions on the format, and cover various other cards and their implications. This set will be wild, y'all -- it's just up to us to bust it wide open before anyone else!Find Skybilz on Twitch and Twitter.Watch her compete against Shahar Shenhar at the Mythic Invitational.Find Arena Craft on:DiscordTwitterTwitchYouTubeFacebookEmail UsThis show features the track 'Real Virtuality' from Eero Johannes released on the Sound Pellegrino label and is used with permission.

1hr 49mins

14 Apr 2020

Rank #13

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BONUS EPISODE: THB Limited retrospective with Rich G

I loved the Theros Beyond Death draft format so much that I wanted to do a little retrospective on it. So I invited my friend Rich G, co-host of the Mythic Legendaries podcast, to come on and chat THB limited with me. This is a super informal, unstructured and mostly unedited conversation, so take that into consideration and enjoy! Regular episode will be released on the usual schedule.You can find Rich G at Mythic Legendaries on Twitter and listen to their show here.Find Arena Craft on:DiscordTwitterTwitchYouTubeFacebookEmail UsThis show features the track 'Real Virtuality' from Eero Johannes released on the Sound Pellegrino label and is used with permission.

1hr 13mins

12 Apr 2020

Rank #14

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Ep. 17 - Why Standard sucks and what to do about it with Danny West

If you're like many lately, you're pretty tired of Standard. The ladder has been a brutal grind, with the challenge of finding a deck that consistently goes above 50% feeling nigh impossible outside of the most streamlined meta decks. Most of us are probably ready to see Ikoria shake up Standard... but before we get there, we have to play for another few weeks at least. Here's where Danny West comes in to help us make sense of the meta and what to do about it. We go into what we're seeing in the meta, reflect on the design trends in Magic of late, discuss specific archetypes we're seeing in the format, and give our takes on what we think is competitive right now.As a jumping-off point for this episode, we refer to the Top 8 Decklists from the MagicFest Online weekly championship. Click here to check out those lists.Danny West stays away from social media for the most part, but you can find him and his unique articles at coolstuffinc.com and also sometimes on Twitch.Find Arena Craft on:DiscordTwitterTwitchYouTubeFacebookEmail UsThis show features the track 'Real Virtuality' from Eero Johannes released on the Sound Pellegrino label and is used with permission.

1hr 34mins

6 Apr 2020

Rank #15

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Ep. 16 - From FNM to Tournament Results with Bryan Gottlieb

This week, we are joined by Arena Decklists co-host and SCG writer / commentator Bryan Gottlieb to discuss broad strategies for leveling up in MTG. If you've ever wondered how to get from being a "good at FNM" player to a "doing well at tournaments" player, that is precisely what we get into on this episode. Bryan takes us through his approach to metagaming and card evaluation, highlighting the importance of having a deck with a plan tailored to what you expect to see in a format.Find Bryan on Twitter, tweet decklists @ArenaDecklists, and listen to the Arena Decklists Podcast.Find Absurd Heroine's video of our Deathmatch games on her channel. Should be releasing this week!Find Arena Craft on:DiscordTwitterTwitchYouTubeFacebookEmail UsThis show features the track 'Real Virtuality' from Eero Johannes released on the Sound Pellegrino label and is used with permission.

1hr 8mins

30 Mar 2020

Rank #16

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Ep. 15 - Brawl Primer and Staying Sane with John Peterson

This week we're joined by personal friend John Peterson to help us get into the Brawl format. Brawl is free for the next month, so let's dive in and see what we can learn. John takes us through the basics of the format, tells us which interaction and removal you should be running, the threats to watch out for, and the commanders you can expect to run into on the ladder. In addition, we talk about manabases and the speed of the format. Try it out – I've been playing it a lot recently, and the format is GAS.ALSO, please tune in this week on Thursday, March 26 at 5pm Pacific / 8pm Eastern for my livestream on Twitch. I'll be facing off against friend of the show Absurd Heroine in the new Deathmatch format, where it's a race to be the first person to die! Come check it out – it should be a good time. Tune in here.Find Arena Craft on:DiscordTwitterTwitchYouTubeFacebookEmail UsThis show features the track 'Real Virtuality' from Eero Johannes released on the Sound Pellegrino label and is used with permission.

1hr 11mins

23 Mar 2020

Rank #17

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Ep. 14 - The Top 10 Underrated Rares in THB Draft

This week, we join with Jeff and Sean of the Magic Arena Drafting Club to discuss our picks for the the top 10 underrated rares in THB draft. Too many powerful rares are getting passed in this format, and we hone in on the ones you need to be considering to up the power of your decks. Sleeping on these cards can leave a lot of equity on the table and have you ending up with decks that never really push it over the top. Find out which rares are worth picking over Pharika's Spawn...It was a pleasure collaborating with Magic Arena Drafting Club this week. They run an awesome show that you should check out at https://www.magicarenadraftingclub.com/ .Find Arena Craft on:DiscordTwitterTwitchYouTubeFacebookEmail UsThis show features the track 'Real Virtuality' from Eero Johannes released on the Sound Pellegrino label and is used with permission.

1hr 36mins

16 Mar 2020

Rank #18

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Ep. 13 - Absurd Brews with Absurd Heroine!

This week, we have an interview with one of my favorite recent content creator discoveries – Absurd Heroine. She's been making fantastic Arena content on YouTube for the last year, and she's blowing up right now, so we get to join her community right at the beginning of a meteoric rise! She's known for her entertaining videos and her absurd brews, so we dive into the life of a regular brewer and discuss what her process is for coming up with original decks. We also revisit deckbuilding basics such as making sure your curve matches the plan of your deck, and filling out the extra slots in your deck with the cards that will be support your core strategy.Find Absurd Heroine on her YouTube channel and on Twitter.Watch her Enigmatic Etrata brew and her Atemsis, All-Seeing brew referenced on the show.Go show her some love!Find Arena Craft on:DiscordTwitterTwitchYouTubeFacebookEmail UsThis show features the track 'Real Virtuality' from Eero Johannes released on the Sound Pellegrino label and is used with permission.

58mins

9 Mar 2020

Rank #19

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Ep. 12 - Interview with Aaron Gertler, Dreamhack Champion!

This week we bring you another interview with friend of the podcast and returning guest, Aaron Gertler. Unless you've been living under a rock for the past few weeks, you'll probably recognize him and Temur Clover deck from taking down Dreamhack Anaheim. He's been consistently #1 Mythic with this deck, and now he's proven it can go all the way in a high-stakes tournament.More and more pro players, as well as the larger Magic community, are starting to take notice of Temur Clover as a serious contender for best deck in Standard right now. On this episode, we discuss the deck, the most common matchups, reflect on Aaron's performance at Dreamhack, and get into some of the subtler interactions in the deck. We also cover sideboarding and get some thoughts from Aaron on the shape of the meta at the moment.Find Aaron Gertler on YouTube, Twitter and Twitch.See the latest decklist for Temur Clover on Scryfall.Read Aaron's Dreamhack tournament report on reddit.Find Arena Craft on:DiscordTwitterTwitchYouTubeFacebookEmail UsThis show features the track 'Real Virtuality' from Eero Johannes released on the Sound Pellegrino label and is used with permission.

1hr 7mins

2 Mar 2020

Rank #20