MTG – A Beginner’s Guide To The Competitive Magic: The Gathering Scene

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Are you interested in taking the big step to enter Competitive Magic? Nurturing dreams of one day making the Pro Tour? This video will give you a basic understanding of what it takes to travel the road to becoming a Pro Magic player. Many of the examples and numbers that I’m using mostly pertain to American players, so you may want to double-check with your local tournament organizers to see how this model is different for you.
How and when do I begin?

The first thing you need to do if you’d like to become Competitive is to understand what you’re signing up for. Competitive Magic takes a lot of time and investment, not just on a personal level, but monetary as well.

You’ll usually need to invest in a competitive level deck, or perhaps several decks, which could cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Even if you play limited events, you’ll probably need to spend money on booster packs to help practice your skills. Events will sometimes cost money as well, so you’ll need to budget for that too.

You’ll need to spend a significant amount of your time getting to know, test and understand the meta of whatever format you decide to compete in, Limited, Modern, Standard, Vintage, or Legacy.

You’ll also need to understand the rules of Magic on a deeper level.

You may also need to travel to not just local events, but events across the country – or even the world, on a regular basis.

However, the rewards for competitive play are considerable and worth the effort. The competitive community is amazing, and full of people who share your passion and your drive. There’s also the glory of winning an event: name recognition, a sweet trophy, and accumulating Pro Points to get to the next level. Seeing yourself excel in an activity you love is invigorating, and there isn’t quite anything else like it.

As long as you understand this level of commitment and you’re up for it, then all you really need to do is grab a deck and show up to a competitive event!


MGlBlaze says:

High-level competitive Magic is kind of a joke, as far as I know; apparently lots of cheaters that the DCI and WotC do very little about. There are also “LGS from Hell” type situations where people that go to a specific LGS tend to cheat too, but in that case you may have options as far as avoiding those goes.
I don’t have an LGS sadly, but if I did I doubt I’d be too competitive. For one I don’t want to deal with the above nonsense; for two, competitive environments do very bad things to my mood and mental health. It’s just not something I can deal with, unfortinately.

INKYGO says:

Im a competitive yugioh player and this helped me understand the process and similarities of our beloved games. I hope to go to my first FNM soon 🙂

Itachi21x says:

6:20 We clearly need a quota in our LGS!

SonictheBedHog says:

Duh Pro Points.

James Harris says:

As a guy who has engaged in multiple competitive CCGs, I can only recommend you never go competitive.  It’s a humongous time and money sink that wears away at your spirit and destroys enjoyment of a game.

Auslo says:

The “wanna be pro” culture of magic is by far the worst aspect of the game, and I would argue the biggest factor in turning people off the game entirely. I’m sad you’re perpetuating this sad pathetic lifestyle Prof.

Rich Rodriguez says:

The competitive scene is a joke. A bunch of idiots who think they’re better at you at life because of a deck they copied from online. People try to trick u when trading so they get the better value. Too serious. No fun. Money money money money money. Garbage ass competitive scene

JasonBFleece says:

Just about to head to my first GP on the 15th, wish me luck everyone.

Doddleran says:

Wow it feels like I’ve been watching forever, that was an information dump on a whole new level… Thanks for taking your time doing this it’s truly been educational!

Alex VillaMr says:

Hello Professor, I believe GPs were changing the rounds on Day 1 to 8 instead of 9 from 2018 onwards.
Maybe I’m forgetting another update, but in any case just letting you know. Thank you for making great content as always!

do770 says:

Didn’t the wmc teams used to be 4 players, and one became the coach after day 1, or am I crazy?

Alex Cruz says:

I was literally hoping there was a video about this lol been wanting to get into magic with the long term goal of going to a pro tour thanks for all the info!!

ConsoleCleric says:

Shaun McLaren, famous Canadian magic player, often earns his seat at the pro tour by playing Magic Online.

HelixR says:

I personally think this is your best video capturing the essence of your channel. Being subscribed for around 3 years, I believe this video does the best job of explaining some actual ”complicated” knowledge and bringing it in one easy-to-open package. Cheers Prof!

T A says:

I have always wanted to try to do this. But I have a job, family, and 2 expensive hobbies. Magic and guns

Swimmingchicken says:

fuck jeremy

TheSaintMystic says:

A warning from some pro players. The game is only fun when it’s a game. Once you play it as a job, it becomes that. That standard season you thought sucked? Doesn’t matter, still have to play through it. Do you not like limited? You will have to play it all the time. Make sure you know what you are getting into. And be smart how you get the money to start. Don’t quit your job. You’ll still need it for while when trying to start out.

makaveliq3 says:

The only way I can see being competitive is to quit my job and be a fulll Time magic player. Yea I’d prob just play poker. There is at least a chance of making enough money to live.

Clutch Situation says:

This is a great video to explain the logistics of the process. Now, for all of you who really want to know what competitive gaming is like, run the other way. Competitive gaming brings out the worst in people. It brings out the egos. It brings out the bullies. It brings out a level of High School drama that you maybe didn’t think is still possible in adult humans. It brings out the people for whom this is the only good thing going on in their life, so they don’t care if they ruin your fun to get what they want. Have I made friends from competitive gaming? Yes. But I’ve met far more people who I wish I never would have met. The Professor is an internet personality. That means you really need to ask yourself the following questions: 1) Is he a genuine dude who has been shielded from a lot of the bull crap of competitive gaming because he happens to be YouTube famous? or 2) Is he aware of the bull crap of competitive gaming, but is choosing to sweep it under the rug in this video? I mean, a good axiom is to keep your YouTube videos positive where possible. But, this just isn’t the whole story.

SpencerBelanger says:

now all i need to know is, how do i get into competitive magic WITH Janky Combo Decks? >:)

Steve jenkins says:

One guy at my lgs treats Friday night drafts as flipping Grand Prix, like one time I had 8 cards in my hand, didn’t notice I had 8 cards, and this dude almost got me disqualified, like it’s a flipping draft, the top prize is 6 booster packs, calm down

Passion 4Drawing says:

Thanks for the commercial.

Dylan Stewart says:

awesome video Prof.

tkshillinz says:

Lovely video. I’ve had a lot of questions about all of this for awhile. Excellent video as always professor. Thank you for the great work.

MaroonWarlock Gaming says:

Love the video worth noting though I think others mentioned it. GPs are moving to 8 rounds on day 1 from 9. 6-2 record or better to progress.

Also more for the Opens. For those curious, the GPs wizards run I find are primarily standard and limited save for a couple the entire year. If you want to go with Modern as your format of choice for tourney grinding the SCG Opens are your best bet for paper since they are mostly Modern events. Some standard occasionally and like 2 legacy the entire year and like a team constructed every so often. But that’s my findings when planning events since I prefer modern I wind up at more SCG events than wizard events.

Tolarian Community College says:

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Looking for the best MTG decks for beginners? Check out my Rookie Deck review here:

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and watch 40 Simple Ways To Improve Magic: The Gathering Online:

pops91 says:

Unless edh becomes a competitive format, I will stay far away from this


Unrelated, but could you review The Bag of Holding from ThinkGeek?

Ben Butler says:

I would like to add that starting in 2018, GPs are 8 rounds on Day 1 and 7 rounds on Day 2, as opposed to 9 and 6.

Greg Davis says:

Thanks for this video been looking for something like this for some time

AceMathias says:

Thanks professor

Jamie1111 says:

love this!

agent mlp412 says:

Anyone else here want a reprint of defense of the hearth

Xavi Wise says:

From casual to competitive in just 2 steps

Step 1: get second mortgage
Step 2: spend money recieved on good, competitive cards

Josh Maltby says:

yeeeeeaaah…..think I’ll stick to the Kitchen Table Tour haha

Kelsey Emeigh says:

The Professor was rocking the suit today. Nice combo of lime green tie and suave dark attire!

Bobby Two Shades says:

This video is great and has crushed my dreams.

lemayway says:

The first time I showed up to a tournament everyone stared at me and were looking over my shoulder to see what I was doing. Super creepy. I found a LGS that wasn’t full of troglodytes.

Spencer Jackson says:

This is exactly what I was looking for. Thank you for all of that useful information.

Sage McGinley says:

Thanks Prof! My partner, my friend, and I will be doing Team Trios in the January Grand Prix!

Jeff Munguia says:

These tournaments sound so fun. Is the Magic World Cup televised?

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