You Don’t Want to Utter End a Mantis Rider

Before we get started with Mantis Rider and this week’s episode, some general stuff…

Yes! Patrick has made the Top 4 of the World Championship! More on this at the Mother Ship.

Pretty much everything you have asked for is now up and running. So if you want to follow Top Level Podcast on iTunes or another RSS feed… You can!

We’d love if you’d follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube

Okay! Now onto Mantis Rider…

Mantis Rider is a leader in the Standard card pool, not only on “rate” but context.

Magic: The Gathering Pro Tour Hall of Famer Patrick Chapin and Michael J Flores discuss some historical 3/3 creatures with haste for three mana; and contextualize Mantis Rider among this pantheon of performers. What gives Mantis Rider such a good “rate”?

What is rate anyway? Our hosts talk about ROI principles in not just deck design, but game design!

Most players can look at a Mantis Rider and realize that it should be an efficient card for its mana cost… But what makes it such a good option contextually? We’ll give you a hint… You don’t want to Utter End a Mantis Rider! … Not only does Mantis Rider ride its own efficiencies, but it can take advantage of inefficiencies elsewhere in the Standard environment to not just perform, but over-perform.

“There are more good cards than you can play in your deck.”

How can you determine what cards you actually should play? Figure out what cards are good to begin with, contextualize how they are positioned in the metagame, and predict the perceptions of others to improve your skills. [How]

A discussion of “Leveling” in deck design, and leveling in general. How do you get to the fabled next level [let alone our own “top” level]?

“You have to metagame against the winners’ circle”.

Finally, Next Level Magic is back! Check out Patrick’s first book, remastered and back in print (along with all of Patrick and Michael’s Magic: The Gathering books) via the links below:

Patrick’s Magic: The Gathering Books

Michael’s Magic: The Gathering Books

Direct Download

Butcher of the Horde is Overrated! (but still very good)

Butcher of the HordeButcher of the Horde

Pro Tour Champion Patrick Chapin joins Resident Genius Michael J Flores for the second episode of Top Level Podcast!

In this episode the intrepid duo cover a variety of topics, both Butcher of the Horde-related and not-so-Butcher of the Horde-related.

Before you give it a listen, make sure to check out Top Level Podcast on Facebook and Twitter 🙂

In this episode…

  • A style of deck design you might not know about but that has taken down multiple Pro Tours!
  • Why it is important to play your lands in a particular order, and what to do when a card you draw might change your plan
  • The exciting (but ultimately not-ready-for-prime-time) “All-Stars” deck by Tomoharu Saito
  • The realization of Saito’s master plan by former Player of the Year Brad Nelson
  • A discussion of some very good cards that are all relatively similar in power level… How do you pick between Crackling Doom, Hero’s Downfall, Banishing Light, and Utter End?
  • Selecting cards on basis of mana cost versus mana curve
  • The one thing that sets Butcher of the Horde ultimately on top of Sadisi, Brood Tyrant

Top Level Podcast is made possible by standing on the shoulders of giants. Patrick and Michael would like to thank…

  • Kar Yung Tom of ManaDeprived
  • Brian David-Marshall of Top 8 Magic
  • Marshall Sutcliffe of Limited Resources
  • Patrick’s mom (of being Patrick’s mom)

Episode 2: Butcher of the Horde is Overrated! (but still very good)

Direct Download

Three Cards With Siege Rhino


Siege Rhino might be the best card in Standard

Direct Download

Magic: The Gathering Pro Tour Hall of Fame member and Pro Tour Journey Into Nyx champion Patrick Chapin is joined by Resident Genius Michael J Flores for the first Top Level Podcast!

The first of infinite. Der infinite.

In this episode Patrick and Michael touch a little bit on Patrick’s recent play of Abzan on the Pro Tour and a Grand Prix, plus his preparation for the 2014 World Championships. The focus on this podcast is Abzan decks in Standard, and Siege Rhino in particular.

An extra Abzan “Mono-Green Devotion” deck discussed in this episode:

Abzan Whip

4 Whip of Erebos

4 Ashen Rider
4 Siege Rhino

4 Arbor Colossus
4 Courser of Kruphix
4 Elvish Mystic
4 Satyr Wayfinder
4 See the Unwritten
4 Sylvan Caryatid

4 Forest
4 Llanowar Wastes
1 Plains
4 Sandsteppe Citadel
4 Temple of Malady
2 Temple of Plenty
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
4 Windswept Heath

4 Drown in Sorrow
2 Hero’s Downfall
4 Thoughtseize
2 Sorin, Solemn Visitor
3 Reclamation Sage

Want to hear more from these guys?

Patrick’s Magic: The Gathering Books

Michael’s Magic: The Gathering Books