45: Be Willing to Blame Yourself with Chester Swords

Chester Swords has 1 Grand Prix Top 8 and has been to 4 Pro Tours! In addition to his Grand Prix Sydney Top 8 his notable achievements in Magic are winning a Japanese Pro Tour Qualifier in Chiba while being there on holiday and going 9-1 in constructed at Pro Tour Dragons of Tarkir! He lives in Sydney, Australia.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Chester Swords when he shared his story on MTG Pro Tutor today! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep45

First Set

Lorwyn

Lorwyn

Favorite Set

Innistrad

Innistrad

Favorite Card

Cryptic Command

What makes Magic: The Gathering fun for you?

The competitive aspect and friends you make along the way.

Early Challenge

Limited is Chester’s weak point.

Talking to those who are better has been Chester’s best way to improve. Other than jamming a bunch of Limited games.

Level Up Moment

Shifting to Magic Online and primarily playing there. This lead to his first PTQ win in 2011.

Proudest Magic Moment

Making Top 8 at Grand Prix Sydney 2015.

Best Format

Constructed. Chester likes seeing your win rate go up as you practice with a certain deck (in Modern or Standard).

When you’re first learning a format, pick a deck and stick with it. After you have a feel for the format you can switch decks.

How to Choose a Standard Deck

Knowing your own play style is key to picking a deck. By playing Magic with different decks and against different decks you will learn what you like.

Build the popular version of that deck and then tweak it as you continue playing.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Keeping really loose keeps is a big mistake players are making. Especially with the new mulligan rule players should be keeping a lot fewer hands than they are.

You have to be familiar with your deck and the match up to make the optimal keep or mulligan decision.

Don’t show up unprepared. Take snacks and water and get sleep.

Card Evaluation Tips

Compare new cards to similar cards in older formats, then consider how good that card was in the old format and use it as a baseline for how good the new card is.

Sealed & Draft Tips

Sealed: Sort cards by color and then take out the unplayables. Next see which colors are playable by identifying if your pool can support a certain archetype.

In Battle for Zendikar you want a fast or bomb-centric deck.

Removal is key in any Limited format.

Drafting: Look at content online before you dive in to a format. By having an idea of what the archetypes in a format are ahead of time you’ll be better prepared to draft than if you just showed up and sat down. Read articles and watch videos.

How to Effectively Play Test

Drafting two or three times a day is how Chester prepares for a Limited Grand Prix. Then he will talk about his decisions with others.

For a Constructed Grand Prix he will get in reps with his deck so he can identify lines of play and become more familiar with his deck.

Improvement Suggestions

The red deck of any given format is usually pretty good. Starting with that deck is a great place to start.

Magic Resource

Surround yourself with people who are better than you so you can improve.

Channel Fireball

Star City Games

TCG Player

Connect With Chester

Twitter: @2Plowshares

Facebook: Chester Swords

Like What You Hear?

If you like the show, head on over to iTunes and leave an honest Rating & Review.

Let me know what you like and what I can do better so I can make the show the best it can be and continue bringing you valuable content.

I read every single one and look forward to your feedback.

5 Star Rating

<script src="https://app.convertkit.com/assets/CKJS4.js?v=21"></script> <div class="ck_form ck_vertical_subscription_form"> <div class="ck_form_content"> <h3 class="ck_form_title">DOMINATE FNM Email Mini Course</h3> <div class="ck_description"> <span class="ck_image"> </span> <p><p>Subscribe to receive the email mini course, my weekly newsletter and instant access to a free resource guide!</p></p> </div> </div> <div class="ck_form_fields"> <div id='ck_success_msg' style='display:none;'> <p>Success! Now check your email to confirm your subscription.</p> </div> <!-- Form starts here --> <form id="ck_subscribe_form" class="ck_subscribe_form" action="https://app.convertkit.com/landing_pages/6568/subscribe" data-remote="true"> <input type="hidden" value="{"form_style":"full","embed_style":"inline","embed_trigger":"scroll_percentage","scroll_percentage":"70","delay_seconds":"10","display_position":"br","display_devices":"all","days_no_show":"15","converted_behavior":"hide"}" id="ck_form_options"></input> <input type="hidden" name="id" value="6568" id="landing_page_id"></input> <div class="ck_errorArea"> <div id="ck_error_msg" style="display:none"> <p>There was an error submitting your subscription. Please try again.</p> </div> </div> <div class="ck_control_group ck_first_name_field_group"> <label class="ck_label" for="ck_firstNameField">First Name</label> <input type="text" name="first_name" class="ck_first_name" id="ck_firstNameField"></input> </div> <div class="ck_control_group ck_email_field_group"> <label class="ck_label" for="ck_emailField">Email Address</label> <input type="email" name="email" class="ck_email_address" id="ck_emailField" required></input> </div> <label class='ck_checkbox' style='display:none;'> <input class="optIn ck_course_opted" name='course_opted' type="checkbox" id="optIn" checked /> <span class='ck_opt_in_prompt'>I'd like to receive the free email course.</span> </label> <button class="subscribe_button ck_subscribe_button btn fields" id='ck_subscribe_button'> Join the Course </button> <span class="ck_guarantee"> We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. <a class="ck_powered_by" href="http://convertkit.com/?utm_campaign=poweredby">Powered by ConvertKit</a> </span> </form> </div> </div> <style type="text/css">/* Layout */ .ck_form { /* divider image */ background: #fff url(data:image/gif;base64,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) repeat-y center top; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; line-height: 1.5em; overflow: hidden; color: #666; font-size: 16px; border-top: solid 20px #3071b0; border-top-color: #3071b0; border-bottom: solid 10px #3d3d3d; border-bottom-color: #1d446a; -webkit-box-shadow: 0px 0px 5px rgba(0,0,0,.3); -moz-box-shadow: 0px 0px 5px rgba(0,0,0,.3); box-shadow: 0px 0px 5px rgba(0,0,0,.3); clear: both; margin: 20px 0px; } .ck_form, .ck_form * { -webkit-box-sizing: border-box; -moz-box-sizing: border-box; box-sizing: border-box; } #ck_subscribe_form { clear: both; } /* Element Queries — uses JS */ .ck_form_content, .ck_form_fields { width: 50%; float: left; padding: 5%; } .ck_form.ck_horizontal { } .ck_form_content { border-bottom: none; } .ck_form.ck_vertical { background: #fff; } .ck_vertical .ck_form_content, .ck_vertical .ck_form_fields { padding: 10%; width: 100%; float: none; } .ck_vertical .ck_form_content { border-bottom: 1px dotted #aaa; overflow: hidden; } /* Trigger the vertical layout with media queries as well */ @media all and (max-width: 499px) { .ck_form { background: #fff; } .ck_form_content, .ck_form_fields { padding: 10%; width: 100%; float: none; } .ck_form_content { border-bottom: 1px dotted #aaa; } } /* Content */ .ck_form_content h3 { margin: 0px 0px 15px; font-size: 24px; padding: 0px; } .ck_form_content p { font-size: 14px; } .ck_image { float: left; margin-right: 5px; } /* Form fields */ .ck_errorArea { display: none; } #ck_success_msg { padding: 10px 10px 0px; border: solid 1px #ddd; background: #eee; } .ck_label { font-size: 14px; font-weight: bold; } .ck_form input[type="text"], .ck_form input[type="email"] { font-size: 14px; padding: 10px 8px; width: 100%; border: 1px solid #d6d6d6; /* stroke */ -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 4px; /* border radius */ background-color: #f8f7f7; /* layer fill content */ margin-bottom: 5px; height: auto; } .ck_form input[type="text"]:focus, .ck_form input[type="email"]:focus { outline: none; border-color: #aaa; } .ck_checkbox { padding: 10px 0px 10px 20px; display: block; clear: both; } .ck_checkbox input.optIn { margin-left: -20px; margin-top: 0; } .ck_form .ck_opt_in_prompt { margin-left: 4px; } .ck_form .ck_opt_in_prompt p { display: inline; } .ck_form .ck_subscribe_button { width: 100%; color: #fff; margin: 10px 0px 0px; padding: 10px 0px; font-size: 18px; background: #0d6db8; -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 4px; /* border radius */ cursor: pointer; border: none; text-shadow: none; } .ck_form .ck_guarantee { color: #626262; font-size: 12px; text-align: center; padding: 5px 0px; display: block; } .ck_form .ck_powered_by { display: block; color: #aaa; } .ck_form .ck_powered_by:hover { display: block; color: #444; } .ck_converted_content { display: none; padding: 5%; background: #fff; } </style>