37: Pro Tour Champion Joel Larsson Shares Advanced Side Boarding Tips

Joel Larsson keeps busy working as a Pro Magic player, writing articles, streaming and traveling. He has 3 Pro Tour top 16s, 1 Pro Tour win, 1 Pro Tour 2nd, 5 Grand Prix Top 8s, and many Grand Prix Top 16s. Joel has been the Swedish Captain 3 times and was on the Nationals Team under the old system. He is 23 years old and lives in Stockholm with his lady, Sandra. 

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Joel Larsson when he shared his story on MTG Pro Tutor today! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep37

First Set

SaviorsKamigawa

Saviours of Kamigawa

Favorite Set

Time Spiral

Time Spiral

Innistrad

Innistrad

Favorite Card

Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir

What makes Magic: The Gathering fun for you?

The social aspect kept Joel around in the early days but now it’s the thrill of the competition.

Early Challenge

Joel had to get to the point where he could trust his gut about cards. He only got to that point by putting in a lot of time and playing on MTGO, testing decks and honing his skills.

Level Up Moment

Joel’s breakthrough in Paris 2011 took him to the next level

Proudest Magic Moment

Winning Pro Tour Magic Origins

Best Format

Commander (1v1. Not multiplayer.)

Tasigur, the Golden Fang is Joel’s Commander.

Check out Joel’s article, Competitive EDH is Awesome, on MTG Mint Card.

How to Choose a Standard Deck

Joel follows the progression of the meta game and thinks about what will beat what just did well, and then plays a deck that beat that.

Side boarding: Think of your deck as a 75 card deck. Then take out the 15 cards to be your side board.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Grinding just to grind and losing the fun of Magic. Also, playing with the same people and not reaching out to play with people better than you.

Card Evaluation Tips

The first thing Joel does is compare new cards to cards that are already printed. For example, Ruinous Path and Hero’s Downfall.

Joel will also consider older cards that haven’t seen much play and if they are relevant now that a new set is out.

Sealed & Draft Tips

Sealed: Joel looks for removal and what colors give him 14-16 creatures.

Drafting: Draft a lot and form your own ideas about the format. This will help guide your draft. Focus on your curve and prioritize removal.

Tournament Preparation

Look at the last tournament in the format that you will be playing and look online for MTGO results and get a feel for the field. Then build a deck that beats those.

Improvement Suggestions

Proxying cards is a great way to inexpensively practice.

Magic Resource

MTG Mint Card

Twitch.tv/JoelLarsson

Connect With Joel Larsson

Twitter: @JoelLarsson1991

Like What You Hear?

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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.

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