152: Why Playing the Best Deck is Right with Zachary Kiihne

Zachary Kiihne is a 19 year old Computer Science major at Umass Amherst. Grand Prix Providence 2016 was his first Grand Prix Top 8. Previously he had top 64ed two GPs and top 8ed the last RPTQ. This is his first time breaking through to the Pro Tour. Zachary lives in Amherst MA.

Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Zachary Kiihne when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor! Listen here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep152

First Set


Favorite Set

Khans of Tarkir

Favorite Card

Archangel AvacynPyromancer Ascension

What makes Magic: The Gathering fun for you?

The challenge of staying focused and then the reward of winning.

Early Challenge

Side boarding and multi-gaming in constructed.

Level Up Moment

It was the summer before college when Zach top 8’d a limited PPTQ. In the semi-finals, he lost due to getting warnings. He learned that cold streaks end.

Worst Magic Moment

Shuffled in a card to his deck and lost because of game rule violations. Zach learned to slow down and clean up his play.

Proudest Magic Moment

Grand Prix Providence, 5TH  place

Underplayed Card in Standard

Westvale Abbey in W/U Flash



Noah Walker

Deepest Thing You’ve Learned About Yourself

Zach has learned that he likes to focus and he likes to compete.

Biggest Mistake Players Make

People don’t break down why they lose. Think about what you could have done differently whether or not your opponent got lucky.

How to Effectively Prepare for a Big Event

Zach made the decision to play whatever deck went 9-1 at the Pro Tour.

What’s in Your Tournament Bag

Deck box, Paper, Pencil, Water

Improvement Suggestions

Look back and evaluate each match and each game.

Magic Resource

CFB, SCG, SCG Premium

Connect With Zachary Kiihne


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

Become a Prodigy Sign Up


Patreon milestone 2