With the announced return of the Pro Tour, Magic players everywhere are trying to level up. Some who’ve only ever played casually are trying their hand at tournaments for the first time. Those who’ve never quite broken through are trying to win a Qualifier, and those who’ve always dreamed of playing the Pro Tour are looking eagerly towards the Regional Championship. People like me are working towards a lifelong dream of winning a Pro Tour.
Newer players might see a Magic Hall of Famer and think that everything’s always come easy for them. But let me assure you that my MTG career has followed a bumpy road. There have been times when I’ve gotten stuck, where progress has been slow or nonexistent. To illustrate, let me share my timeline of events as it concerns competitive Magic.
- Age five I learned the game
- Age 19 I made my first Pro Tour Qualifier Top 8
- Age 21 I played my first Pro Tour, where I started out 0-6
- On my 7th try, I finally finished in the money in a Pro Tour
- On my 14th try, I finally made the top 8 of a Pro Tour
As you can see, these “level up” moments don’t come quickly. In fact, you shouldn’t take it for granted that they’ll come at all. Sometimes it’s just a matter of putting in the time and the reps. But other times it might require dramatic changes of scenery, work ethic, or mental state.
Regardless of your level, my goal with this Deep Dive is to help you push past your current plateau, and find success at a level that’s outside your comfort zone. I’ll include plenty of links to supplemental reading throughout. No need to take everything in at once, but please do pursue the topics you find interesting or challenging.
When I work with someone as a teacher or a coach, the first question I always ask regards goals. Anyone can benefit from honing their craft and learning MTG on a deeper level, but not everyone is aiming for the same target.
Some are content to stick to the kitchen table or local store play, while some want to compete on the big stage. Some view creative deckbuilding as a goal in itself, while others are willing to play whatever gives them the best chance of doing well.
If you’ve signed up for CFB Pro and clicked on this article, then you’ve already taken a big step. You’ve set the intention of improving, and found resources to help you. Now all that’s left is putting in the time, hard work, and honest evaluation!