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MTG Pro Tutor - Insights, Tips & Advice from Magic: The Gathering Pros

Updated 6 days ago

Rank #49 in Games category

Leisure
Games
Hobbies
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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.

Read more

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.

iTunes Ratings

149 Ratings
Average Ratings
135
5
4
1
4

Level Up!

By DM Todd - May 26 2018
Read more
Great interviews of Magic the Gatherings Top performers. I love when the pro’s share tips and tricks to help us all level up our game. If your looking for insider tips on how to improve your game, look no further.

Super well produced

By Tacereus - Jul 30 2017
Read more
The fact that he does this twice a week and the production quality is so good is amazing. It brings back the good ol days.

iTunes Ratings

149 Ratings
Average Ratings
135
5
4
1
4

Level Up!

By DM Todd - May 26 2018
Read more
Great interviews of Magic the Gatherings Top performers. I love when the pro’s share tips and tricks to help us all level up our game. If your looking for insider tips on how to improve your game, look no further.

Super well produced

By Tacereus - Jul 30 2017
Read more
The fact that he does this twice a week and the production quality is so good is amazing. It brings back the good ol days.
Cover image of MTG Pro Tutor - Insights, Tips & Advice from Magic: The Gathering Pros

MTG Pro Tutor - Insights, Tips & Advice from Magic: The Gathering Pros

Updated 6 days ago

Read more

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.

Rank #1: 256: Analyzing Strategy and Knowing Your Role for the Win with Torsten Anders

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Torsten Anders has been playing Magic since the end of 2002. He started playing competitively in 2004 but without any notable success. His best years started in 2008 when he first qualified for Nationals via a National qualifier which he would repeat for the following 3 years peaking with a win at a PTQ in Philadelphia in 2011. Since then he made Top 8 at GP Liverpool 2017. Torsten lives in Dresden, Germany.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Torsten Anders when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor! Listen here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep256

First Set

Mercadian Masques

Favorite Set

Scars of Mirrodin

Favorite Card

Steel Hellkite

Early Challenge

Playing well at a small event was Torsten's first challenge. Torsten played a lot of Magic Online.

Worst Magic Moment

Losing key matches always stinks. Torsten doesn't dwell on it.

Proudest Magic Moment

Top 8 at GP Liverpool 2017. It was only Torsten's third day 2 at a Grand Prix.

Best Format

Standard

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Players don't think about how the game will progress. You need to think ahead and not just play this turn.

Tournaments Day Tips

Have a good breakfast and stay hydrated.

Parting Guidance

Analyze your strategy. Know your role.

Magic Resource

CFB

Connect With Torsten Anders

Torsten 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

 

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Nov 28 2017

40mins

Play

Rank #2: 21: Wise Words - Tips and Tricks from Gary Wise

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Evaluation Tips

In every Limited format there are archetypes. During spoiler season look for archetypes and keywords that support/synergize with those archetypes. However, nothing beats actually playing with the cards.

Limited Tips

Sealed: Look for creatures, cards that kill creatures and card advantage. Stick with two colors if at all possible for a stable mana base. Avoid more than 4 mana sources in a third color. Power level is slightly more important than mana curve but doing something productive every turn is key.

Draft: Take the best card and then identify what the second best card was so you can ear mark what color the next player is. Then know that the color is probably closed and avoid those colors moving forward.

The more you draft a set the more you will recognize synergies between cards.

Spending fewer resources than your opponent (when it comes to tricks) is to your advantage.

Don't commit fully to colors based on your first few picks. Understand you might be moved off those colors.

Beginner Tip: Draft two colors. Take the best card in two colors and stick with those.

Prepping for a Big Event

Healthy living is important. Getting enough sleep is critical. Loading your body with healthy food and avoiding drinking and drugs before the event gives you the best chance possible. You are playing against the best out there and you have to focused and on your game.

Get a team.

Team Building

Friendship and mutual respect come first and foremost. Then look for people with different strengths. If you are a good deck builder, look for a good sideboarder.

Play Testing

Organization and focus are important. Have a plan of action. Define the environment, build decks that represent the environment and then play against those.

Improvement

Find what color(s) resonate with you and just focus on that deck.

Interview Links

Star City Games Articles

Connect With Gary

@GaryWise1

jgarywise1@hotmail.com - email him article ideas for his Star City Games column

Like What You Hear?

If you like the show, head on over to iTunes and leave an honest Rating & Review.

Let me know what you like and what I can do better so I can make the show the best it can be and continue bringing you valuable content.

I read every single one and look forward to your feedback.

Aug 26 2015

32mins

Play

Rank #3: 162: How to Build Better Decks with Master Deckbuilder and Allied Strategy Co-Host Ben Weitz

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Ben Weitz is a Gold Pro Magic Player and one of the resident deck builders for East West Bowl. He has 4 Grand Prix Top 8s and is working on improving his game to get his first Pro Tour Top 8.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Ben Weitz when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor! Listen here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep162

First Set

Ice Age

Favorite Set

Time Spiral

Favorite Card

Vesuvan Shapeshifter

Early Challenge

Sideboarding. Ben would have sideboard powooos with friends and learn how the built sideboard.

Worst Magic Moment

Ben terribly at a Grand Prix with a deck that he created. His friend (piloting the same deck) did very well. The dichotomy really stung.

Proudest Magic Moment

Hitting Gold after his second year on the Pro Tour.

Level Up Moment

Ben built a deck that Top 8'd in a Grand Prix and he realized "Wow, I'm a good deck builder".

Deepest Thing You've Learned About Yourself

Competitive environments is Ben's preferred way to socialize.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Not sequencing your spells correctly.

How to Build Better Magic Decks

Note whether you are building for a known metagame or an unknown metagame. Identify the strengths and weaknesses of the metagame and either take a deck that has a way to address what's going on or build a deck that does the same.

Improvement Suggestions

Magic is about having fun. If you burnout, take a break or skip a Grand Prix.

Connect With Ben Weitz

Twitter:@bsweitz123

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

 

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Jan 03 2017

47mins

Play

Rank #4: 125: The Playtesting Tip That Made Robert Lombardi a Grand Prix Champion

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Robert Lombardi has a Degree in Mechatronics Engineering, he'’s married and has a 6 month old son. He has been playing Magic since Visions, took a break in Odyssey and got back in during Zendikar. He'’s the Champion of Grand Prix Toronto and made Top 8 of Grand Prix Montreal. He'’s much better at Limited than Constructed and is actively trying to be less hyperbolic.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Robert Lombardi when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor! Listen here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep125

First Set

4th Edition

Favorite Set

Khans of Tarkir

Favorite Card

Lightning Bolt

What makes Magic: The Gathering fun for you?

Deck building

Worst Magic Moment

Losing to an "unplayable" card. Sub per cards when used correctly have a place. Expand your range.

Proudest Magic Moment

Winning GP Toronto.

Conversation with Yourself 10 Years Ago

Don't get out of the game. Go straight to university.

Deepest Thing You've Learned About Yourself

He was a poor looser.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Restricting themselves to archetypes in draft. You need to be able to draft a good deck regardless of what you open.

How to Effectively Prepare for a Big Event

A lot of free time leading up to the Grand Prix. 6 hours a day playing against the best decks (the gauntlet).

Daily Rituals

Draft daily.

Mentors

John Buden, Patrick Chapin

What's in Your Tournament Bag

Binder of Rares, Dragon Shield Sleeves, 10 of each land

Improvement Suggestions

Consume, content; articles, streams/videos; more friends & share cards. Focus on learning instead of winning during play testing. Treat your opponent with more respect.

Magic Resource

LSV, Patrick Chapin, Huey, Owen, Reid Duke

Connect With Robert Lombardi

Twitter: @RobertLombardi0

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

 

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Aug 26 2016

45mins

Play

Rank #5: 212: From Scratch Deck Building Expert Marc Tobiasch Reveals His Secrets

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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

 

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Jun 27 2017

57mins

Play

Rank #6: 257: The Power of Magic Online and Good Math Skills with Estonia World Magic Cup Captain Karl Sarap

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Karl Sarap is the 2017 World Magic Cup team Captain for Estonia and has 1 Grand Prix top 8 from GP Liverpool 2017 and won his first World Magic Cup Qualifier in 2016. Karl lives in Tallinn, Estonia.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Karl Sarap when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor! Listen here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep257

First Set

Saviors of Kamigawa

Favorite Set

Shadows Over Innistrad

Favorite Card

Gonti, Lord of Luxury

Early Challenge

Karl quickly learned to listen to other players and ask questions of the better.

Magic Milestones

First Grand Prix (at age 16) cashing Second Grand Prix, Top 8 at GP Liverpool 2017.

Worst Magic Moment

Right after Karl came back to Magic he made it to top 8 of a WMCQ. He attacked with one creature too many and died on the crack back.

Proudest Magic Moment

GP top 8 in Liverpool 2017.

What Have You Learned From Magic

Things don't come easy. You have to work.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Giving up before the game is over.

How to Effectively Prepare for a Big Event

Karl goes through the spoiler twice and rates the cards himself. Then he needs LSVs Set review. He'll attend the pre-release and play as much as he can online.

Parting Guidance

Play Magic Online as much as you can. If you won't get better play MTGO. 

Magic Resource

Twitch.tv/eheh_dude, Channel Fireball, MTGO BBD, Gabriel Nassif

Connect With Karl Sarap

Karl 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

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Dec 01 2017

43mins

Play

Rank #7: 197: Ben Friedman Made the Pro Tour a Regular Thing By Learning How to Learn Better

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Ben Friedman has four Grand Prix top 8s, two Pro Tour top 16s, 5 SCG invitational top 8s, and does it all while rocking a mean cowboy hat! He is a member of the MetaGameGurus on the SCG Tour and the Captain of Mox Box Bowl on the Pro Tour. Ben lives in Baltimore, MD.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from  Ben Friedman when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor! Listen here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep197

First Set

Odyssey

Favorite Set

Ravnica

Favorite Card

Snapcaster mage

Early Challenge

Understanding how to attack a metagame.

Breakthrough Moment

JSS Nationals - first cashing a tournament.

Worst Magic Moment

After getting crushed at his first Pro Tour, Ben was really down. He learned he wasn't the hot shot he thought.

Proudest Magic Moment

Qualifying for his first Pro Tour. Next was when Ben made it to the Pro Tour off of a special invite due to rule changes. This PT invite got him the Gold status that year.

What Have You Learned From Magic

Delayed gratification.

Tournament Day Tips

Drink a lot of water, Ben knows that for him fasting makes him more focused.

Advice to New Players

Build your network and share cards. Networks help you make friends, save money and play Magic.

Deepest Thing You've Learned About Yourself

Ben learned his play style is very value oriented.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Players don't understand side boarding. They don't consider how their side boarding choices change when they are on the play versus the draw.

Parting Guidance

Think for yourself, learn for yourself and learn how to learn better.

Magic Resource

SCG, CFB, TCG Player

Connect With Ben Friedman

Twitter:@40cardfriedman

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

 

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May 05 2017

1hr 7mins

Play

Rank #8: 122: Andrew Sullano Sets Long Term Goals and Shares How They Help You Be a Better Magic Player

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Andrew Sullano is a Pro Tour veteran who has attended Pro Tour Avacyn Restored, Return to Ravnica, and Oath of the Gatewatch. He made top 4 at Grand Prix Oklahoma City. Andrew lives in Dallas, Texas.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Andrew Sullano when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep122

First Set

Betrayers of Kamigawa

Favorite Set

Shadowmoor

Favorite Card

Wild Nactl

What makes Magic: The Gathering fun for you?

At first, Andrew liked the lore. Then, because when he gets into things he like to do them well, he started getting more competitive. Now, Magic is a social component of his life and he likes the people he can surround himself with when he plays.

Early Challenge

Andrew lost a lot during team drafts when he started and while this was disheartening he learned to ask for help. By getting guidance from better players he slowly improved his win percentage.

Worst Magic Moment

At Grand Prix Pittsburgh Andrew was salty most the day because he needed 2 points to get Silver level as a pro player and even after two byes he found himself 6-3. His core group wasn't with him on this trip so things just seemed bad. Thankfully, another friend scooped to him and he was able to carry on but Andrew learned that the people you surround yourself with are very important.

Proudest Magic Moment

Making top 4 at GP Oklahoma City.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Players are quick to clean up and move to the next game after losing. Andrew takes his time and reviews the entire game in his head (especially if he lost). He will analyze hands, land drops and spell sequencing to see what he could have done better.

Non-Magic Activity

Exercise

What's in Your Tournament Bag

Deck

Clothes

Toiletries

Improvement Suggestions

Draft at least once a week (if you're new to the game).

Set a long-term goal (like making Day 2 or Top 8 of a Grand Prix) and then actively work towards it.

Magic Resource

Star City Games

Channel Fireball

MTG Top 8

Friends

Connect With Andrew Sullano

Twitter: @panicking92

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

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Aug 16 2016

44mins

Play

Rank #9: 200: How To Build a Healthy, Thriving Magic Community with Paragon City Games co-owner Brian Andersen E

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Brian Andersen E is a 25 year old Magic enthusiast from California, but he’s lived everywhere. He’s played magic in both Asia and the USA at the basic LGS level. He’s an investor a partner at Paragon City Games and generally a loud mouth. Brian lives in Draper, Utah.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Brian Andersen E when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor! Listen here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep200

First Set

Tempest

Favorite Set

Odyssey

Favorite Card

Kamahl, Pit fighter

Making a Store Stand Out

Be deliberate about the feel you want players to experience.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Not having enough experience with their deck. Take the time to play and know your deck ahead of time. Ask a lot of questions.

Tournament Day Tips

Control your emotions and look at what you did wrong. Successful players tend to be brewers. Their brains are always churning. Have a good breakfast.

What Have You Learned from Magic

Patience. So many times you want the results now but understand that it will come once your skill is where it needs to be.

Parting Guidance

Have patience with yourself, your community and your store.

Magic Resource

Paragon City Games, twitchtv/paragoncitygames, MTGProtutor.com/giveaway200

Connect With Brian Andersen E

Twitter: @JBrandersen

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

 

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May 16 2017

59mins

Play

Rank #10: 169: Reid Duke on How to Prepare for Success

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Reid Duke has an impressive record of 19 Grand Prix Top Eights with 5 wins and 2 PT Top Eights with 2 additional Top Sixteens. He’s lauded in the Magic community as a boon of positivity and a shining example of kindness. Reid is mentioned by several past guests of the show as a player they look up to. Reid lives in Sugar Loaf New York.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Reid Duke when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor! Listen here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep169

First Set

4th Edition Ice Age

Favorite Set

Shards of Alara / Ice Age

Favorite Card

Green sun's zenith

Early Challenge

Reid did poorly at his first several Pro Tour. He was used to PTQ level players when the Pro Tour had much higher caliber players.

Worst Magic Moment

Placing 2nd at World Championship in 2013. Reid was up 2 games in the finals and then lost 3 games in a row.

Proudest Magic Moment

Doing so well at Worlds 2013 and making it to 2nd place. Also, winning the mocs 2011.

Magic Mentors

LSV

Advice for New Legacy Players

Stick with the same deck.

http://www.channelfireball.com/articles/legacy-guide-part-i-introduction-to-legacy2/ http://www.channelfireball.com/articles/legacy-guide-part-ii-overview-of-legacy/ http://www.channelfireball.com/articles/legacy-guide-part-iii-choosing-your-deck/

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Players try to do too much. The more you get into Magic the more time management becomes important.

How to Effectively Prepare for a Big Event

Reid starts about 3 weeks in advance. Reid will draft as much as possible and play practice games with locals and online

What have You Learned from Magic

Reid has learned, to be honest with himself and these around him. He has learned to not cut corners. 

Shortcomings

Time management and deck building.

Daily Habits

Quality practice over quantity. Reid doesn't 

Improvement Suggestions

Stick with Magic through the good and the bad.multiqueue or listen to music.

Connect With Reid Duke

Twitter:@ReidDuke

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

 

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Jan 27 2017

53mins

Play

Rank #11: 225: Craig Wescoe Reveals Deck Building Secrets, Explores Strategies for White, and Talks Magic Coaching

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Craig Wescoe is the world's foremost expert of everything White in Magic. He’s the Pro Tour Dragon's Maze Champion, has 3 Pro Tour Top 8's + 2 more Top 16s and his Grand Prix record currently stands at 11 top 8s, including 1 win. He’s a weekly columnist for magic.tcgplayer.com. Craig lives in New York.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Craig Wescoe when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor! Listen here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep225

First Set

Ice Age

Favorite Set

Visions

Favorite Card

Swords to Plowshares

Early Challenge

Transportation as a young player was tough. Balancing life and Magic was an early struggle and as Craig got better, he could do more Magic.

Magic Milestone

Winning the first tournament with his own deck. Also, going to his early Pro Tours and seeing the caliber of players from Magic hubs like New York, Los Angeles, and Boston. 

Worst Magic Moment

Pro Tour Amsterdam, Paul Rietzl won with a white-based deck-very Craig Wescoe. Craig could have switched, but didn't. Craig learned he regrets not playing white when he can.

Proudest Magic Moment

Winning Pro Tour Dragon's Maze.

What Have You Learned From Magic

Magic is a microcosm of life.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

People aren't honest with themselves when they make a mistake. They also don't think about mulligans and side boards in advance.

How to Effectively Prepare for a Big Event

Look at decks and their weaknesses, how can you attack it?

Parting Guidance

Even though winning is important, always have fun.

Connect With Craig Wescoe

Twitter:@Brimaz4Life 

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

 

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Aug 11 2017

1hr 1min

Play

Rank #12: 193: Don't Quit and You Will Win with Amir Radmard

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Amir Radmard lives in Oklahoma City, OK. As a daytime job, he is an IT technician for a small company. In regards to Magic, he is a glorified FNM champion and considers himself the most grindiest of grinders. He has 1 Grand Prix top 8 that happened at GP Houston and has competed in several RPTQs. He’s been to the Pro tour once and is looking for more.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Amir Radmard when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor! Listen here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep193

First Set

Tempest

Favorite Set

Return to Ravnica

Favorite Card

Braids, Cabal Minion

Early Challenge

Card Evaluation

Advice That Has Stuck With You

"You have to win here before you can win out there. " The local champs encouraged Amir to step up his game.

Worst Magic Moment

Amir struggles with tilt. He remembers a PTQ where he had a solid sealed deck and one opponent played an unbeatable. Amir tilted so bad he made misplays.

Proudest Magic Moment

Qualifying for his first Pro Tour.

What Have You Learned From Magic

You have to cut a card to add a card. This applies to life because you have to take something out to add in a new thing.

Best Format

Limited

Pre-Release Tips

Sealed is more "bomby". Review all commons and uncommon in the set. Review combat tricks. 

Deepest Thing You've Learned About Yourself

Amir learned how good he can get at something when he really applies himself.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

People think they know more than they know. They don't listen or accept advice.

Ideal Tournament Preparation

Amir spends his time tweaking a deck to make sure it can take down the top strategies.

Tournament Day Tips

Go with friends, have a good breakfast, stay hydrated and sleep.

Parting Guidance

"Speak little, do much." Monastery Mentor

Magic Resource

CFB, SCG (Premium is worth it), Brad Nelson articles, MTG Coverage.com

Connect With Amir Radmard

Amir 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

 

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Apr 21 2017

49mins

Play

Rank #13: 32: Frank Karsten's Sealed Deck Template PLUS His NYC 9/11 Story!

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Frank Karsten was inducted into the Magic: The Gathering Pro Tour Hall of Fame in 2009 after putting up impressive results and contributing greatly to the Magic community. He has 3 Pro Tour top 8s and 6 Grand Prix Top 8s! He is a writer for ChannelFireball, has a PhD in stochastic operations research and game theory and is a member of the EU Grand Prix coverage team. He lives in Eindhoven Netherlands.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Frank Karsten when he shared his story on MTG Pro Tutor today! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep32

First Set

 Tempest

 

Favorite Set

 Kamigawa block

(because the Kamigawa block constructed was great)

Favorite Card

Gifts Ungiven

What makes Magic fun for you?

Frank loves the creative and puzzle solving outlet Magic provides as well the opportunity to travel the world and make wonderful friends.

Early Challenge

Frank had to convince his parents and teachers as a 16 year old that going to his first Pro Tour in New York City was a good idea. He successfully did this.

One year later, as a 17 year old, he was back in New York City on September 11, 2001! Thankfully he had a friend that he made through Magic that he could stay with as he waited for the airports to open again.

Level Up Moment

Grasping the concept of tempo opened Frank's mind to a new way of playing Magic.

Tempo is using less mana than your opponent to affect the board. Killing a creature with a cheaper costing removal spell is a good tempo play.

Damage clocks also plays into tempo.

Proudest Magic Moment

Being inducted into the Magic: The Gathering Hall of Fame

Best Format

Block Constructed is a pet favorite of Frank's but today his best format is Limited.

Current Standard Deck

Aggro decks are Frank's go to as of late, but he started out as a control player.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Too many players blame luck for their losses instead of considering their misplays.

Also, too many players don't have a plan. They just make random plays.

Frank has seen so many players build their deck with terrible mana bases. It's an easy fix. Talk to people better than you and browse the internet for good resources.

Evaluation Tips

Frank evaluates a new set once all of it has been released.

He compares new cards to similar, base line cards from previous sets to see if they are good for Limited.

Baseline: 2/2 creature for 2 mana; 3/2 or 2/3 creature for 3 mana; 4/3 or 3/4 creature for 4 mana. If stats are worse than this you should expect some kind of upside. If they fall short and don't have upside then the card is probably not good.Four mana or less removal spells are really good in Limited.

Cards that cost 3 mana or less and lands see the most play in Constructed.

Limited Tips

Sealed: Two color decks do better in Sealed because you will have a more consistent mana curve. A good rule of thumb is to have four 2 drops, five 3 drops, three 4 drops, three 5 drops, 8 spells and 17 lands.

Look for two colors that will get you close to this mix.

Drafting: Frank developed the first pick order list and still makes one today for each new set. It serves as a starting guide line when he's drafting.

Beginner Draft Tip: Pick you colors early and stick with those throughout the draft.

Play Testing

Communicate with teammates. Build in time for discussion so everyone can benefit and improve.

Improvement

To get better at Magic you should expect to invest some amount of Magic. Like tennis, where you need a racket to play, you have to have cards to play at a tournament.

You can have a friend over and play online and then discuss the game so you can get better.

Active discussion is key no matter what format you are studying.

Interview Links

Channel Fireball

Draft Sim

Magic: The Gathering Online (MTGO)

Connect With Frank

Twitter: @karsten_frank

Like What You Hear?

If you like the show, head on over to iTunes and leave an honest Rating & Review.

Let me know what you like and what I can do better so I can make the show the best it can be and continue bringing you valuable content.

I read every single one and look forward to your feedback.

Oct 06 2015

55mins

Play

Rank #14: 150: The Mitas Touch of Tournament Prep with Alex Mitas

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Alex Mitas is a college student from Albuquerque, NM, and an up-and-coming Magic player with a penchant for playing control decks, experience on the pro tour and, most recently, a grand prix top 8 competitor.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Alex Mitas when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor! Listen here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep150

First Set

Lorwyn

Favorite Set

Lorwyn, Innistrad

Favorite Card

Sphinx's Revelation

What makes Magic: The Gathering fun for you?

Flavor, story, art, but above all - the competition.

Early Challenge

Alex played too impulsively.

Level Up Moment

Discovering Twich.tv and watching videos of other Magic players.

Worst Magic Moment

At Grand Prix San Antonio years ago, Alex went 0-3 and dropped. He felt awful because he had drove a long way, spent money on the event and practiced really hard. He learned to be more open-minded about his mistakes.

Proudest Magic Moment

First time Alex qualified for the Pro Tour. Alex felt like it was all worth it.

Deepest Thing You've Learned About Yourself

Alex has learned he has a capacity for patience.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Mulligan decisions. Newbies don't mulligan enough. More advanced players (on the cusp of being really good) mulligan too much.

How to Effectively Prepare for a Big Event

"Sit down and do the work." Get a team together.

Mentors

Andrew Cuneo

Guidance

Play Magic because it's fun. Not for the sunk costs.

Advice to Yourself 5 Years Ago

"Be more open-minded."

Best Format

Limited

Underplayed Limited Card

Panharmonicon

Beginner Limited Advice

Keep almost every hand with 2-5 lands.

Resources

ChannelFireball

StarCityGames

Twitch.tv

Connect With Alex Mitas

Alex 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

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Nov 22 2016

44mins

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Rank #15: 297: (Best of) Jon Finkel on How You Can Improve as a Magic Player

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Jon Finkel’s prolific talents and sterling resume earned him the nickname “Jonny Magic” long ago. After a substantial hiatus, Jon Finkel returned to the Pro Tour and immediately demonstrated why he’s widely considered the greatest player of all time by winning PT Kuala Lumpur in 2008 and Top 8’ing PT Avacyn Restored and PT Dark Ascension in 2012.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Jon Finkel when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor! Listen here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep297

 

Jon Finkel's Desperate Ravings on Boosting Your Skill as a Magic Player

Jon Finkel's prolific talents and sterling resume earned him the nickname "Jonny Magic" long ago. After a substantial hiatus, Jon Finkel returned to the Pro Tour and immediately demonstrated why he's widely considered the greatest player of all time by winning PT Kuala Lumpur in 2008 and Top 8'ing PT Avacyn Restored and PT Dark Ascension in 2012.

First Set

 Antiquities (1994)

  Favorite Set

 Innistrad (2011) - "Was the pinnacle of Limited set design."

  Favorite Card

Desperate Ravings

What makes Magic fun for you?

The depth of the game and the ability to add on to the basic framework through the expansions is what keeps Jon engaged.

Early Challenge

Not running enough lands in control decks and not playing 60 card decks.

Level Up Moment

Realizing that playing other decks outside your comfort zone can lead to growth and improvement as a player, not to mention better results.

Proudest Magic Moment

Making first Pro Tour Top 8 at Chicago in 1997

Best Format

Draft

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Not being open to playing the best deck. Not playing Magic with the intention to improve. You need to be conscious of what you play and how you play so you can improve.

 

Jon Finkel on How To Build a Team and Pick the Best Card

Jon Finkel's prolific talents and sterling resume earned him the nickname "Jonny Magic" long ago. After a substantial hiatus, Jon Finkel returned to the Pro Tour and immediately demonstrated why he's widely considered the greatest player of all time by winning PT Kuala Lumpur in 2008 and Top 8'ing PT Avacyn Restored and PT Dark Ascension in 2012.

Evaluation Tips

Rather than opening up the spoiler every week to see what's new, Jon gets the best grasp on a new set simple by drafting it.

Limited Tips

In Sealed you'll get powerful bombs that you really want to play but your deck will be less streamlined than in the draft. If there are two good black cards don't take a slightly worse red card because you "don't want to fight for black". Just pick the best card.

Team Building

Having a team is critical to improving. Find the best players you can but make sure you get along with them personally because you'll be spending a lot of time with them.

Improvement

Take advantage of draft simulators. Rebuild packs with friends so you can draft. Beg, borrow and use proxies if you're on a budget and need to test deck ideas. Be critical of your plays so you can improve

Interview Links

MTG Salvation Spoilers

Connect with Jon

Twitter: @Jonnymagic00

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

Aug 10 2018

59mins

Play

Rank #16: 129: What Committing to Magic Taught Robert Santana

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Robert Santana is an up and coming star who made top 16 at the Star City Games Open in Las Vegas in 2014 and is the Grand Prix Portland 2016 Champion.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Robert Santana when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor! Listen here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep129

First Set

Lorwyn

Favorite Set

Worldwake

Favorite Card

Primeval Titan and Ishkanah

Underplayed Card in Standard

Call the Bloodline

What makes Magic: The Gathering fun for you?

The competitive scene drew him in.

Early Challenge

Creature combat. Robert played more control decks to get around not playing creatures.

Worst Magic Moment

SCG Las Vegas 2014. Robert dropped from the Invitational and joined the open. Playing win and in for top 8. Robert played against Steve Robin and got demolished. This led Robert to really doubt his ability to play. He forced himself and asked "is this something I really want to do ?". Once he committed he went all in.

Proudest Magic Moment

Champion of GP Portland 2016.

Level Up Moment

Started attending a competitive FNM. Associating with better players really helped.

Deepest Thing You've Learned About Yourself

Robert felt like he hit a wall. Tournament result were stagnant. Connecting with other players is key to his success.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Players have deck ADD. Stick to a certain deck and get to know it really well.

How to Effectively Prepare for a Big Event

Find a group of like minded individuals. Build the gauntlet and attend PTQs and GPQs together.

What's in Your Tournament Bag

Clothes and Magic Cards

Daily Rituals

Hard work

Improvement Suggestions

Get on MTGO ; Reach out to players, connect and ask for advice.

Mentor

Brian Kibler

Advice to New Players

Go to LGS and get Intro decks, augment those and more up.

Magic Resource

MTGO Cockatrice SCG Premium CFB r/spikes

Connect With Robert Santana

Twitter: @itsRobbSon

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

 

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Sep 09 2016

54mins

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Rank #17: 209: Max McVety Returns! and Uncovers the Factors You Can Control

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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

 

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Jun 16 2017

42mins

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Rank #18: 206: Eli Kassis Returns to the Show and Talks About Being an Ambassador of Magic: The Gathering

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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

 

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Jun 06 2017

1hr 2mins

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Rank #19: 149: Special Guest Jason Preston Helps Us Apply Magic Skills to the Workplace

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Jason Preston is the co-founder of Dent, a conference and a community of entrepreneurially minded creatives who seek to put a dent in the universe through great leadership and personal mastery. He's known as "Spade" in Counter-Strike, and recently picked up Magic. Jason lives in Seattle WA with his wife and two kids.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Jason Preston when he shared his story on MTG Pro Tutor today! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep149

First Set

Revised

Favorite Set

Kaladesh

Favorite Card

Thing In The Ice

Personal Mastery

There is a difference between having a set mindset and having a growth mindset. With a growth mindset you can unlock certain aspects of yourself that were previously thought to be written in the genetic code.

Deliberate Practice

The best way to improve. It most be specific, measurable and real time.

Hiring and Firing

Just like we have to evaluate the value of cards and decide which ones stays in our deck and which ones go, we likewise exercise this skill in the workplace when deciding what aspects of our culture or which team members stay or get cut.

Adaptive Leadership

Diagnose the system, come up with interventions (experiments to try), implement, check results, repeat.

Leadership vs. Authority

There is formal authority and informal authority. Who says what and who jumps because of it.

Resources Books: Connect With Jason Preston

Twitter: @jasonp

Like What You Hear?

If you like the show, head on over to iTunes and leave an honest Rating & Review.

Let me know what you like and what I can do better so I can make the show the best it can be and continue bringing you valuable content.

I read every single one and look forward to your feedback.

Nov 18 2016

1hr 4mins

Play

Rank #20: 201: Control What You CAN Control with Jack Dobbin

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Jack Dobbin is a long-time grinder from the United States Midwest with a couple Pro Tour appearances and one GP top 8. He's living, learning and loving all things Magic: The Gathering.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Jack Dobbin when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor! Listen here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep201

First Set

Legions

Favorite Set

Theros (for the draft environment)

Favorite Card

Cruel ultimatum

Early Challenge

Being stubborn. Jack would draft a good card and then get fixated on it. He would force an archetype and learned not to.

Worst Magic Moment

When Wizards switched off of the ELO system, Jack's qualification chances plummeted  because he doesn't play that often. He learned to enjoy Magic at its roots.

Proudest Magic Moment

Qualifying for the Pro Tour and calling his wife to say they are taking a trip. 

What Have You Learned From Magic

Making decisions with incomplete information.

Magic Mentor Advice

Don't play cards that lead you to being 2 for 1'd. Draft two colors.

How To Go from Day 2 to Top 8

Keep at it. Do what you're doing and take advantage of when variance breaks your way. Keep your emotions in check. Don't tilt.

Deepest Thing You've Learned About Yourself

You can have a good time while losing.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Giving away information and playing slow. Play faster!

Parting Guidance

Remember to have fun.

Connect With Jack Dobbin

Jack 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

 

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May 19 2017

54mins

Play