187: How to Prepare Like a True Magic Professional with Jon Stern

Jon Stern has been playing competitive Magic off an on for a long time but started to really take it seriously in 2012. He has 7 Grand Prix Top 8s including wins in Atlantic City 2013 and Atlanta 2014. He hasn’t broken through for a Pro Tour Top 8 yet but has a Top 16 and a couple Top 20 finishes.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Jon Stern when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor! Listen here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep187

First Set


Favorite Set

Invasion block

Favorite Card


What makes Magic: The Gathering fun for you?

You’re rewarded based on the decisions you make.

Early Challenge

Knowing how to prepare for tournaments. Joining a team and preparing in a professional manner.

Worst Magic Moment

Forgetting to write down two cards in deck registry led to a game loss.

Proudest Magic Moment

Qualifying for his first Grand Prix Top 8.
Winning his first Grand Prix.

What Have You Learned From Magic

Planning ahead, making decisions.

Advice from Magic Mentors

Understand there is variance. Magic is a number game. Trust yourself.


Deck building in a new format.

Deepest Thing You’ve Learned About Yourself

You’re not going to win every time but that doesn’t mean you’re on the wrong track.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

Having an unlearning attitude. There is a learning curve in Magic and you can move up by talking, listening, asking and learning.

How to Effectively Prepare for a Big Event

Jon focuses on time management. He looks at how much time he has to prepare and chooses his activities accordingly (Main board, side board, play testing).

Best Format


Beginner Standard Advice

Realize that a lot of people are going to play one of the top 2 decks, card for card. This is exploitable.

Parting Guidance

Test with a purpose. Don’t kill yourself over deck selection.

Magic Resource

MTG Goldfish, MTG Top 8, Magic Online League results

Connect With Jon Stern


Check Out Magic Story

Magic Story brings the lore of the Multiverse to life in an audio presentation never before heard in the Magic community.

Listen to Episode 1 here or on www.magicthestory.com

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