For all of you who decided to watch the Pro Tour this weekend, you may have noticed they they did a segment highlighting Channel Fireball’s Team Pantheon and their playtesting before PT Oath of the Gatewatch. Most of us normal folk, myself included, don’t really have the opportunity to go live in a house with twelve people and playtest for two weeks before your big event. So, today, I want to talk about different things you can do to prepare for an upcoming Pro Tour, Grand Prix, World Magic Cup Qualifier, or any other event.

Tools to Use

Magic Online

Magic Online is a great resource people can use for playtesting, especially if you live in a remote location or have no one to playtest with. The resources online can help with all sorts of different formats including: constructed, draft, and sealed. Magic Online is one of the best ways to prepare for these events.


But what if you don’t know what deck to play? What if you want to try out many different decks before you settle on one? Well, lets talk about the next type of playtesting.


The gauntlet is the tool I use to play test before any event. What is a gauntlet you ask? Well, a gauntlet is a collection of decks you have, usually proxied, to test against each other or against a deck you know you want to play but want to test it against the meta.

The way I make a gauntlet is by utilizing a tool someone already else made, This is a great service available to use for free! You list all of the decks you want to use and then you have all of those decks in one deck!

Once you have a gauntlet made, you can just grab a friend, playtest partner, roommate, or anyone else and start jamming games! The only way to get better is by playing more.

Playtest Parties

Playtest parties are what I consider the best way to test for any sort of limited event: draft, sealed, or team sealed. You take a night to gather all of your friends and do a draft or two—kind of like how Channel Fireball did it except you aren’t there for two weeks. A lot of the time, I tend to do this after FNM or some other local gathering.

Other Things to do Before an Event

Playtesting isn’t the only way to get ready for a big event! There are many other things to do to prepare yourself to do the best you can. There are a couple of things I recommend if you really want to be the best you can be for an upcoming event.

Reading Articles

Reading articles is something I do before any big event. It is great to get to know other peoples’ opinions and thought processes. Being able to see what other people think of you deck or your deck’s matchups give you an idea of how to improve your game against those decks from different angles.

Watching Videos and Streams

Another great thing to do, along with writing articles, is watching people play Magic. Sometimes, you don’t have time to play or you don’t have access to the tools to playtest—so you can just have someone do it for you! While it isn’t as good as playing yourself, you get to see how someone else plays the deck, what lines they take, etc. A lot of streamers do a great job explaining what they are doing during a game and why they are doing it.


So, as you can see, there are a lot of different things you can do to get ready for a big tournament. Each way has pros and cons for themselves, but all of them do something to help you become a better Magic player.

Before your next event, I recommend taking time to prepare by using some of the tools and techniques I brought to you this week in this article. I look forward to seeing how every does at their upcoming events!

Thanks for reading!

Lexie Mettler is a Level 2 judge from Fort Wayne, Indiana. By day she is a student, by night she streams MTGO and practices for tournaments all over the Midwest.

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