Frank Karsten Joins Team CFB-Ultimate Guard!

I’m thrilled to announce that as of today, Frank Karsten will be joining Team CFB-Ultimate Guard!

Frank joins Martin Juza, Andrea Mengucci, Gabriel Nassif, Luis Scott-Vargas and me to form the core of the team. ChannelFireball and Ultimate Guard both have a focus on team-building and community. Through content and competition, our mission is to support the next generation of players and, of course, to represent both brands well. 

Frank is a Hall of Fame competitor and a prolific writer here at ChannelFireball.com. In addition to his tournament credentials, Frank has an impeccable reputation for honesty, sportsmanship, kindness and professionalism. I’ve truly never heard anyone speak a bad word against him, which is impressive given 25 years in the industry. He represents the values of our team, which is why both CFB and Ultimate Guard sought him out. 

Here’s his official bio: 

Frank Karsten has played in nearly 80 Pro Tours, which puts him in the top five most experienced players of all time. After getting inducted into the Pro Tour Hall of Fame in 2009, he finished his PhD in game theory and stochastic processes, then returned to the game of Magic. In the decade since, Frank found competitive success again, mostly with synergy-driven decks like Affinity or aggro cards like Embercleave. He also joined Wizards of the Coast’s event coverage team. But he’s perhaps best known for applying his mathematical background to Magic-related problems, ranging from mana base construction to metagame analysis.

Gifts UngivenGoryo's Vengeance

One highlight of Frank’s competitive career was reaching the finals of the World Championship in 2005. Along the way, he made one of the coolest plays in the history of MTG. As he needed to win the game with Goryo’s Vengeance, he cast Gifts Ungiven and selected only two cards, sending them both to the graveyard. Had he played his spell in the “normal” way, his opponent could’ve kept his graveyard empty of creatures and foiled his plans. 

Check out the highlight here:

Players newer to the game will know Frank more for his writing. He’s an integral part of tournament coverage, providing written content and metagame breakdowns for big events. He’s one of the most prolific writers in the history of the game, and has been producing fairly consistently for two decades. 

On a personal note, Frank is my favorite Magic author. I’ve read his articles since before I ever made it to the Pro Tour. I even modeled one of my columns on his writing back when I worked for Starcitygames.com. He’s probably the only writer for whom I click on every article, regardless of topic. Some of his best ones, about mana bases and deck construction, I still keep bookmarked for easy access. 

Join me in welcoming Frank Karsten to Team CFB-Ultimate Guard!

And keep an eye on Ultimate Guard’s website for new product releases, and fun blog posts from everyone on our team. 

2 thoughts on “Frank Karsten Joins Team CFB-Ultimate Guard!”

  1. Congrats to Team CFB-UG and to Frank. This seems like a perfect fit. Team CFB-UG has even more 1992 Dream Team vibes now.

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