Simple Tips to Follow for the Qualifier Season



The Pro Tour Qualifiers just started, and I wanted to share a few quick tips to keep in mind.

1. Book Your Travel Early

For tournaments in big cities like Las Vegas or Amsterdam, this isn’t as important because there are always a million flights going there every day. Booking late to keep some flexibility isn’t usually that big of a deal. But for places like Sofia, which is the location of the big European PT qualifier, or this one GP that was hosted in the middle of Nebraska, booking early can save you hundreds of dollars.

Talk to your friends and book those flights and a hotel early. It’ll pay off.

2. Practice Makes Perfect

It may sound like a cliche, but it’s the most important thing you can do to help you succeed. Spending a lot of money and time to go to a tournament only to make a crucial mistake in the last round playing for Day 2 hurts more than anything else. Mistakes are a great way to learn, but you want to make all of them in your testing. Play as much as possible, learn all the ins and outs of every matchup and how you want to approach it. Make all those mistakes in your preparation and make a mental note to not repeat them in the tournament.

3. Pick a Deck Early

I remember plenty of tournaments where I was undecided about which deck to play for way too long, picked one at the last minute and then bombed out of the tournament because I had little practice with the deck. Choosing one solid deck early is almost always going to be better than waiting until the last day because it’s extremely unlikely some new metagame-breaking information is going to show up to change things. These days, most decks are within three to five percent in winrate of each other, and you can usually gain more by knowing every matchup and perfecting your sideboarding if you pick one deck early.

4. Learn From Better Players

It’s great for your confidence if you’ve been crushing it in your local game store or in the MTGO leagues, but bigger tournaments will have better players and they will not give you anything for free. Try to play against the best players available in your area, talk to them and learn from them.

If you are mostly an online player, you can always watch streams and read articles. Whenever we stream and someone asks any Magic-related question nicely and we are always happy to answer and discuss. In most cases, this is how we all got better. Hall of Famers like Reid Duke and Gabe Nassif are streaming almost daily, Andrea Mengucci likes to play almost every format and Arne Huschenbeth always has some good tech for Standard. You can almost always get some nice tips and insights from the pros’ content, whether it’s streams or articles.

Author: Martin Juza

Magic the Gathering Hall of Fame, Member of Team CFB UltimateGuard

Martin learned to play Magic at a young age after he saw some of his classmates playing it. Once he learned, he built a beginner deck and ever since then, he’s been hooked. Considered one of the top players in the world, his busy travel schedule made him become a real Magic Globetrotter, representing the game worldwide. Learn more about Martin.