5, Apr, 22

So You Want to Make It to the Pro Tour? - Tips and Tricks For Competitive Hopefuls

Article at a Glance

With the reviving of the Magic: the Gathering Pro Tour, a lot of excitement and anticipation has spread throughout the community. Prices on Pioneer staples are rising in preparation for the first Pro Tour event, and it’s expected that with the Digital Organized Play Announcement coming this month, we may see a lot of new faces try to make a run at the big leagues.

While the new system to qualify may be simplified, the task is still daunting. Some players may not know exactly how to go about preparing for a run at the Tour. Well today, we have some helpful tips and tricks for players who are looking to do just that.

Pre-Tournament Tips

While some people may be able to pick up a deck and take it to a local FNM on a whim, the Paper Regional Qualifier events and whatever Digital events that WotC announces will take a little more preparation. There’s a few things that you can do to help your practice and preparation for these majors.

I am one of the many who has been reinvigorated by the announcement, and so these are some of the things that I’m doing to prepare for my runs into the pro scene.

1. Keep up with the Metagame of your format


First off, you’ll definitely need to keep up with the formats of the events that you’ll be playing in. At times, the metagame can shift rapidly when new sets come out, or new tech has proven itself to break a metagame. There are various resources out there for this sort of information, such as the MTGO 5-0 lists.

At this point, there’s only 4 formats that you really need to think about, Standard, Pioneer, Modern and Limited. Regional Qualifiers can be any of these 4, and WotC determines each Pro Tour format. Alchemy and Historic may be editions to this list with the Digital announcement, but we’ll have to wait and see.

2. Find a Testing Group And Test A Lot

Magic is about playing with friends, and if you find a group of people to playtest with you’ll have better results. With a group, you have the benefit of being able to target test specific match ups, and you have the knowledge that those players also possess. It’s also a great feeling going into an event series with a group and competing alongside your team.

You’ll also want to set up times to practice and test decks against each other, and do it early and often. Jamming games on the Ladder on Arena, in a League on Magic Online, or at your local game store is fine, but setting aside designated time to practice and learn the decks and metagame is very important.

READ MORE: Where to Find Streets of New Capenna MTG Previews

3. Play Within the Meta

When you’re considering these high level events, one thing to consider is to play within the meta. Sure, everyone has their pet brews, and fun decks, but this isn’t just for fun anymore. There’s an entire community of players who are looking at the metagame and working out decks, so the likelihood of finding that next “Meta Breaking” deck is pretty rare.

The only instance of where a “brew” could be viable is when there’s no real clear direction in a metagame, especially if it’s a new one. This mostly applies to Standard, for when new sets come out or a rotation happens, the metagame is often thrown into chaos. People are testing unoptimized lists, and if your brew has a plan and is consistent, you can often win out against those decks. Again, this is rare but it can happen.

READ MORE: WOTC Spoils Insane New Mechanic on New Capenna Commander

Tournament Day

Wizards of the Coast

When it comes to tournament day, there’s a few good habits to get into. Some of these involve the game, and some are outside of the game.

  • Get a Good Night’s Sleep: If you’re travelling, make sure that you get a good amount of sleep each night before each day.
  • Make Sure You Eat Breakfast: Eat a solid breakfast each morning. Hotel breakfasts are often free, so definitely take advantage of that.
  • Pack Accordingly and Light for the Event: Bring a small drawstring bag with your essentials. Deck box, play mat, dice, and life pad. If you intend on trading, small trade binders are recommended. Ultimately, carrying a heavy backpack around will fatigue you over the course of the day.
  • Stay Hydrated: Bring a secure water bottle to keep yourself hydrated. You’ll be walking around and talking all day, so it’s definitely worth doing.
  • Print Your Deck Registration List Ahead of Time: You’ll need to have a deck registration list for any Competitive REL level event, so having your list printed out ahead of time will save you time on day 1 before the event starts.
  • JUDGE!: If you’re unsure about something, call a judge and ask. As nice as your opponent’s can seem to be, they’re there to try and win. Not saying that every opponent will try to scum you out of a game, but players make mistakes, and so if you’re not 100% certain about something, Judges are there to help.

Obviously, these tips are all fine and good, but it doesn’t supplement for getting in a bunch of good practice. Knowing the game and your deck in and out, and becoming a better and better player will ultimately help you the most when making a run at the Pro Tour. But these are just a few things that you’ll want to think about if you want to try your hand at it as well.

READ MORE: New MTG Judge Promos Revealed for Fantastic Commander Reprints

*MTG Rocks is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more