July 30, 2015

Tips and tricks for tournaments and life

Miguel Gatica

23 Years old from Costa Rica
Lifetime: 66 pro points.
12th Pro Tour Return to Ravnica
9th GP Costa Rica
3 times National Champion

More Posts (5)

Hola amigos!

You can find all my articles in this link (including one with PT secrets in it):

Click Here

I just came back from Detroit, I ended up playing Bogles, and if I had to play the tournament again I would totally play the deck again. I finished in 38th place and one of the matches I lost was against bogles’ “best matchup” (UWR). It was a bittersweet tournament since I thought I could have at least finished in the top 8, but well it is magic…
But Josh Mcclain won!!! Great player. Great guy. CONGRATULATIONS !

Detroit 38th place (1461 players)
Oakland 20th place (1632 players)
Rimini 33rd place (1037 players)
Kansas City 57th place (958 players)

What makes me feel “good” is that I cashed the last 4 Grand Prixes showing consistency.
At first sight it looks good; but good is not enough for me. And any player familiarized with the Pro circuit knows that’s not enough.

So at the moment I’m totally focused on Pro Tour Theros/Dublin.
And since I’m part of a team I’m not allowed to leak information.


So basically in the weeks between the spoiler being fully released and the Pro Tour week almost everything you are going to read in Pro Players articles is pure poop.


Why do you read the most popular pages?

– Pro Players opinion is super important, because they are the best right?
– Pro Players decklists are going to be superior.

But what they don’t tell you is that they are also part of a team, and besides that they don’t want any other pros to know what they really think. For instance the Deathrite Shaman “tech” before Pro Tour Return to Ravnica, or that they are going to play some number of Precint Captain in their Esper Control deck.

So does that mean that everything you read is not worth it?

Well no, what you read about limited is fine, but their opinion about cards in constructed formats is a huge trap. You can consider what they say to apply it to your own ideas. But I would not recommend taking these kind of articles seriously.

Especially when the format just changed a LOT! It just rotated and people are looking to build some new decks, and most of the players only own 1-2 decks, so that means they have to use money in each rotation and are probably going to play the same deck for the next year (obviously with some variations). So if you take this article super seriously you are probably going to have a bad time.

So I would rather not give a superficial opinion that leads towards bad beats.

I recommend waiting, since the best lists are going to come from the Pro Tour. So you can be totally sure that what you are going to build is going to be a strong deck.

Also MTGMADNESS does have sweet prices. Check them out.

(And it is not because they pay me… check them out for yourself)

Evidence: You can search for previous decklists and articles right before the last Pro Tours and check that this is true.

Being Comfortable

– Decks
– Clothing
– Sportsmanship


Playing something you feel comfortable with is super important in these actual days of magic. Especially in formats that are so wide open like Legacy and Modern.
You have more experience with them and besides that you know the exact weaknesses of your deck and what can you do to correct them.
For instance Alex MazelTov (Alex Majalton) that played affinity in Detroit and finished in the top 8.


Magic hasn’t quite got to the point when you can really make profit from it to live like a “super star”. But is at the stage of “Play the Game, See the World”.

But the game is growing each year by a lot. And I think that Pro Players have to set an example on how to dress up for important tournaments. We are playing for a lot of money and thousands of people are looking at us. And dressing up I think would help the game. We are ambassadors of the game and of our countries.

It doesn’t take a lot of time or money. I was using shorts and flip flops at some tournaments (super hot venues). But leaving aside these kind of factors I think just by using a Blazer or Sport Jacket you can look good and leave a good professional image. ($50)

And if you are not that “type” of person at least try to look presentable. Just wear some jeans and a normal shirt. Some deodorant and please take a shower. Seriously, have some love for yourself.

Going to a magic tournament in Europe is so different from going to one in the US. I hope that the tournament scene leans towards more to the European side.
It affects in some aspects of the game. So if your non-magic friends think the game is not serious you should consider taking a shower the next time.

No seriously, if you ever attended a Grand Prix or a big tournament you will notice how the people in other conventions nearby or people from stores look at the players?
Well, if you haven’t, they do in a really weird way. I’m not telling you to change the way you are, it is just that we have to represent the game in a professional way. And showering is not a bad thing. Promise. Then you start asking yourself why there are not many girls playing.

Pull your pants up when you are going to sit down please!

My eyes!!!!!!!


Only say “good luck” if you mean it. A.k.a The Reid Duke shakes.

I personally do not like to say it but if an opponent says that to me I will answer with a “you too” just to be polite.

Also try to be a gentleman with ladies at least.

I’m not talking about flirting.

I’m talking about being a semi-decent human being.

You know what really grinds my gears?
Watching some players treat female players really bad. It is not a matter of “gender equality” it is a matter of players farting and doing really ugly stuff in front of them while playing. Also when they lose they start complaining about how they lose “against a girl” etc… what is this? 1887?
I wish almost every player treated female players like they would probably treat Melissa. Just with normal and simple respect.

I think it is more of a cultural aspect also. I hope one day magic tournaments attendance would be half man and half women.

Troglodyte behavior should be reported. Don’t be afraid to report it. The judge staff (especially the high level judges) are really aware of this problem since in judge conferences they talk about these kind of things.

Also a few weeks ago some friends showed to me an article/jewel Darwin Kastle wrote…


Just Google “Dating and Magic”

And if you don’t like to read it, just read the editor’s note at the beginning of it.

“Editor’s Note:
Responsibility falls on me for the publishing of this article. I apologize to all who this article offends. Due to the personal attacks against the author I have disabled comments. — Trick, Editor-in-Chief“


I don’t even know what to say about this…


Just please try to be a semi-decent human being and you will do well at life.


Well that’s pretty much it for this week; my next article is probably being published after the Pro Tour. And probably is going to be a SPICY! CALIENTE! AY AY AY YAAY!

Hopefully I’ll bring a trophy home.

Feel free to leave your comments in the section below.

And sorry for not being able to give you advice about Theros or some sweet decklists, but at least I hope these advices helped you or your friends.

“Be excellent” (dagger for Darwin Kastle)

Pura vida,

Miguel Gatica

Twitter: @MiguelGatica123
MTGO: MGatica

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