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Table for 2 - An MTG Arena Podcast

Table for 2 - An MTG Arena Podcast

By Alexander Hayne & Kar Yung Tom
Pro Tour champion and MPL member Alexander Hayne chats Magic: The Gathering with KYT over food/coffee.
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Return of the Table
Treat us to cups of coffee ☕ for our next episode - https://ko-fi.com/tablefor2 Alex and KYT meet up for the first time since COVID for a socially distanced lobster dinner.
01:23:50
August 14, 2020
Alex top 8s Players Tour Online 4!
Treat us to cups of coffee ☕ for our next episode - https://ko-fi.com/tablefor2 (1:45) Alex talks about playing Temur Reclamation to a PT Online 4 top 8 finish (4:00) KYT asks Alex to clarify the differences between all the tournaments that have been running (18:55) KYT gets Alex to go more in-depth on his tourney prep, how'd he know how to adjust (28:00) Is the format skill intenstive or skill rewarding? (31:45) KYT comments how well the game is doing - Ikoria & Core Set 2021 doing great (39:30) What can we learn from the recent chess hype? (57:45) Alex asks KYT how chess has been going for him, KYT obsessed with exploitative chess
01:20:56
June 25, 2020
Reacting to Organized Play with a Mix of Strategy
Treat us to cups of coffee ☕ for our next episode - https://ko-fi.com/tablefor2 Apologies on minor mic friction noise (1:55) Alex details the recent Organized Play announcements and gives his reaction. Is this the death of competitive Magic? (16:05) Reacting to Matt Sperling's glass-half-full tweet (31:00) KYT has gotten Alex hooked on two chess streams: GMHikaru & BotezLive (48:00) Tactics in chess and how it can relate to MTG (1:01:00) Chess coaches often recommend playing slow games (1:14:30) Answer a Q by Nikachu on Twitter: why don't MTG players review their games? KYT suggests an improvement routine. (1:18:00) KYT has identified auto-pilot leaks by recording his poker play
01:28:45
May 21, 2020
The Companion Mechanic, Chess, Best Move vs. Easier to Play
Treat us to cups of coffee ☕ for our next episode - https://ko-fi.com/tablefor2 (0:00) What we've been up to and which games we've been playing (3:45) Is Alex still a Rival and for how long? (29:15) What does Alex think of Ikoria and the Companion mechanic? (57:00) In chess, even the very elite might not play the best move and opt for an easier to play line. Does this happen in MTG? (1:12:24) KYT links the discussion to poker: some players trying to copy solvers, GTO vs. exploitative (1:18:00) KYT is happy to see people tweet about being proud to hit 2000+ ratings on MTGO. Can there actually be a mix of ELO in the ladder?
01:40:56
April 23, 2020
Organized Play - WWAD
Treat us to cups of coffee ☕ for our next episode - https://ko-fi.com/tablefor2 (0:00) Thoughts on Play Design (11:45) Reaction to Organized Play announcements - what would Alex do? First 2 vs. best 5? (29:30) Alex thinks people who were able to mix a job and MTG as a hobby did it right (31:30) Alex reveals roughly how much he earned as an MPL player in 2019 (1:01:00) London mulligan strategy (1:11:00) Helping finalnub win a Realease Weekend Limited Grand Prix
01:18:15
January 15, 2020
MTG Outlook for 2020
Treat us to cups of coffee ☕ for our next episode - https://ko-fi.com/tablefor2 (2:00) How does Alex feel post-Arena Mythic Championship? How hard will he work to get back in the MPL? (24:00) Success stories vs. survivorship bias. The dark side of MTG addiction. (38:00) Javier Dominguez - best in the world? (42:20) Reacting to some OP changes
01:16:59
December 18, 2019
The Pressure of this Mythic Championship
Treat us to cups of coffee ☕ for our next episode - https://ko-fi.com/tablefor2 (1:45) Reacting to the current landscape of MTG content (13:10) Tyler Nightingale asks us how we'd get people more invested in the MPL (21:40) The pressure of the upcoming Arena Mythic Championship, how did Alex prepare (34:20) Good Game culture, turning emotions on/off (41:45) Alex is asked what's the difference between him and the average grinder (53:00) Tactics vs. strategy in Magic (57:20) Analyzing the Pinnacle odds for the Arena MC. The level of disrepect!
01:10:23
December 4, 2019
End of an Era
Treat us to cups of coffee ☕ for our next episode - https://ko-fi.com/tablefor2 (2:10) Talking Paul Cheon, he says TF2 photos make him hungry (5:50) Discussing Strasky (8:20) Proclaiming retirement and crushing (17:00) End of an era, emotional feelings at the last MC of its kind (22:25) What did Alex play at the MC and why (33:45) Alex says they shouldn't push mechanics that only work with themselves (40:00) "I think the London Mulligan is a mistake" - Alex (49:40) Playing the best deck, avoiding testing/data traps
01:10:09
November 18, 2019
Sergio Ferry, Pioneer, Oko at MC Richmond
Treat us to cups of coffee ☕ for our next episode - https://ko-fi.com/tablefor2 (2:00) Sergio Ferry wants to know what's the optimal strategy with fractional invites (15:35) What does Alex think of Pioneer? (30:20) Alex doesn't sound that enthusiastic about Standard, explains why Oko is not an enjoyable card (1:00:00) Listener wanted Arena draft advice
01:06:02
November 1, 2019
Hayne Headed to Mythic Championship V
Treat us to cups of coffee ☕ for our next episode - https://ko-fi.com/tablefor2 (0:00) Alex is headed to Long Beach, California for MCV! Some Standard talk. (2:30) Listener Q: how does field size change Alex's deck selection (6:25) Do pros hate this Standard format? How skill intensive is it? (10:00) Tips for people fantasy drafting MC5 (15:15) Alex & KYT react to all the news from Riot Games' 10th Year Anniversary Celebration
35:13
October 16, 2019
MagicFest Montreal Champion, Auto-Pilot, Focus
Treat us to cups of coffee ☕ for our next episode - https://ko-fi.com/tablefor2 (6:00) Old school players crushed Grand Prix Montreal, where's the new wave? (17:00) How to keep in mind unorthodox usage of cards during a game (28:30) A popular listener question: how to stay focused for an entire tournament (43:00) Unconventional card choices in Limited (47:00) Throne of Eldraine Limited takeaways (1:00:00) Game theory in drafting
01:18:05
October 11, 2019
Range, Competence, Jedi Mind Tricks
Treat us to cups of coffee ☕ for our next episode - https://ko-fi.com/tablefor2 (10:25) KYT is reading Range by David Epstein and trying to extrapolate concepts to apply to MTG (21:35) Widening range within a team (33:20) Conscious and unconscious competence, listening to your inner voice (53:20) KYT asks Alex what he thinks about Jedi Mind Tricks (1:04:50) Reid Duke (1:16:00) Going over ESPN article - The grandmaster diet
01:23:01
September 20, 2019
3 Pillars of Magic Strategy, Expanding Your Range
Treat us to cups of coffee ☕ for our next episode - https://ko-fi.com/tablefor2 (2:57) Alex asks KYT which concepts he would teach first to a new player (18:41) Game theory and sideboarding (23:45) Card advantage, tempo, mana usage - people tend to be mainly good at one of them (28:25) KYT takes a shot at finalnub, urging him to expand his deck selection range (41:05) Generalist vs. Specialist, brand value, team value, is Alex Majlaton the best Affinity player in the world? (52:40) KYT on adjusting how opponents will sideboard
01:08:15
September 6, 2019
Deck Selection, Decision Complexity, Hall of Fame
Treat us to cups of coffee ☕ for our next episode - https://ko-fi.com/tablefor2 (0:00) Complete nonsense, PARKOUR!!! (7:35) Playing "real" decks, how to dismiss new deck ideas efficiently (18:20) Debating 70/30 vs. 55/45 decks. Alex's success with Sphinx's Revelation. (23:20) "You want to maximize decision difficulty when you're the better player" (38:25) Is it better to play a higher variance deck if the goal is to spike a tournament? (50:45) Discussing decks with high fail rates. How expected player strength can affect optimal deck choice. (1:04:00) Alex & KYT both likely to vote for Pikula for HOF. Is Javier Dominguez still Alex's pick for best active player?  
01:18:53
August 30, 2019
Esper in Standard, OP News, Game Design
Treat us to cups of coffee ☕ for our next episode - https://ko-fi.com/tablefor2 (0:00) How did Alex do with Esper in the MPL? (6:15) KYT is qualified for the MTG Arena MCQ. What should he play? (9:15) When to play surprise cards? (20:20) What does Alex think of the Organized Play news? (33:50) Will the MPL gauntlet be compelling viewing? (43:55) Instead of trying to build stars with a system, Alex says he would try to reduce the variance of the game itself (47:45) KYT wants a world where the game is marketed so fans can relate to players and not just decks (51:50) KYT asks Alex how exactly he would make the game more skill-intensive
01:04:53
August 17, 2019
The Value of Being Unpredictable
 Treat us to cups of coffee ☕ for our next episode - https://ko-fi.com/tablefor2  (00:45) Alex is back from Mythic Championship Barcelona. How'd he do? (02:25) Was Alex any less inspired to play this Mythic Championship? (10:45) Did people actually come up to Alex in Barcelona to talk about this podcast? (16:50) Power level of cards in Modern & Limited (23:35) Quick thoughts on what makes Limited enjoyable to Alex (31:55) Reading questions from our "listeners" (34:55) HIGH LEVEL: The value of having 1-ofs and being unpredictable (47:00) finalnub's idea of playing 1 copy of Leyline of the Void in the main. Is it good?
52:05
August 6, 2019
Lions, Sheeps and How to Improve at Limited
Treat us to cups of coffee ☕ for our next episode - https://ko-fi.com/tablefor2 (3:45) How was casting Fandom legends with Semulin and TheAsianAvenger? (6:30) Why Alex stopped splitting finals? (16:30) Q: How to not feel too high/too low? How to avoid autopilot? (20:15) Alex's mentality walking into a Magic tournament, how he tried to trashtalk Jon Finkel (24:15) Is it actually beneficial to play all the rounds ala Franky Richard? (33:45) Q: How do you deal with nerves and letting people down? (41:20) Q: How would you approach improving at a Limited format?
01:05:37
July 19, 2019
MTG Fundamentals, How to Improve and Social Media
 Treat us to cups of coffee ☕ for our next episode - https://ko-fi.com/tablefor2  (4:55) Answering Medina's question - How should one work on their MTG fundamentals? (15:45) A huge sideboarding mistake a lot people make in Constructed (31:15) I don't think anyone became a great Magic player by themselves - Alex (45:35) When to trust yourself in Magic, why the Miracle deck posted a low win rate (48:20) Lessons KYT has learned about posting on social media (54:10) Reality vs. perception, is there a gap between the top MODO players/top live players? (1:13:30) Quick answer to how Alex would approach improving at Limited (1:18:00) That one time KYT was an MTG Insider, marketing vs. content
01:29:03
July 11, 2019
Timing, Sequencing and Mental Game
(0:00) KYT finishes the month at Mythic #115 (4:50) Alex played Mono Blue in recent Fandom Legends event and finished 4th (7:40) What's the deal with all these small esports organizations? (14:55) "Most people don't actually know what good Magic is." - Alex (18:25) HIGH-LEVEL: Timing/sequencing subtleties (31:00) Thanking listeners and how to pronounce gif (33:05) Grand Prix Atlanta story - Booze Cube with Pascal Maynard & Dave Mantel (36:25) HIGH-LEVEL: Mental game / answering @jamietopples's question / how we deal with tilt (57:30) Is pattern recognition from chess applicable to Magic?
01:14:54
July 4, 2019
Esper at Mythic Championship III, More Sideboarding Advice
(3:20) Alex goes over his Mythic Championship III (10:55) KYT gets Alex to talk about specific card choices of his Esper deck (14:20) Why having even just 1-2 cards different can make a huge difference (16:00) Why Alex didn't think Mono Red was that good heading into MC3 (17:40) HIGH-LEVEL: Why it can make sense to side out a land in a low curve deck (24:00) How Alex trolled BBD by pretending to stream at MC3 --- GRANDMASTER SESSION --- (30:00) KYT & Alex go over a Brad Nelson decision in the Grand Finals: when to wait (41:00) How to sideboard in Limited ----------- END ----------- (50:55) Food for thought for the next episode, nature vs. nurture, chess parallels (54:00) KYT goes over the deck he has used to grind up to #50 on Arena - Bant Manipulation (59:00) KYT wants to shed "just a content producer" tag (1:05:20) Did people think Alex was a good player after he won a Pro Tour? (1:12:00) Why brand value can be important, Lords of Limited shoutout
01:17:45
June 26, 2019
Why It's Hard to Improve at Magic
(0:00) Alex is headed to Mythic Championship III in Vegas (3:50) Alex thinks with the way Magic is now designed, there's rarely a 65%+ deck (4:30) How much better is a 65% win player vs. a 50% win player? (7:35) Why KYT thinks it's hard to improve at Magic and why he thinks most people stay in the same tier (18:30) Why KYT doesn't like Gruul in Standard and what he'd play to grind the Arena ladder (21:50) KYT reflects on what Alex said on the show on his own
24:55
June 19, 2019
The Future of Competitive Magic, Approach to Sideboarding
(0:00) Support the show by gifting the guys a cup of coffee via ko-fi.com/tablefor2 (2:30) KYT called his shot and won the Arena Super Cup with White Weenie (5:05) How KYT arrived at his deck choice (8:25) The difference between round 1 and the finals, how Alex deals with nerves (16:15) Chatting about the upcoming RedBull tournament, how the game is now favouring popularity, esports vs. isports (33:50) How chess is now getting into the streaming space (39:10) Smaller skill gap is why top Magic players are more replaceable (49:30) Why there's nothing wrong with using a sideboard guide (52:20) GRANDMASTER AUDIO CLASS: Approach to sideboarding // A little bit bigger/slower (1:04:00) Where KYT wants to see the content world move towards
01:27:06
June 14, 2019
Health, the Mental Game, Live Arena Tournaments
 THIS IS PART 2 OF A CONVERSATION.  (0:00) MTG fitness, nutrition, sleep, drugs, do they affect performance? (7:00) Tzu-Ching Kuo doesn't eat or drink water at events (10:55) Discussion on sports psychology / therapy, Alex started to stop splitting finals (21:00) Alex & KYT's experience with different diets, trying paleo/keto, settling on CICO (34:55) Alex & KYT went to the brand new esports place that opened in downtown Montreal (39:20) KYT says he's going to win the Arena Super Cup (41:10) Alex & KYT discuss the viability of hosting local MTG Arena tournaments, reminisce about chess days (51:15) Power of networking, bringing people together with ManaDeprived (54:25) Alex asks KYT if he thinks he deserves to be invited to one of the Arena Mythic Championships?
59:24
June 10, 2019
GoFundMes, Ramp in Standard and High-Level Strategy
THIS IS PART 1 OF A CONVERSATION. (3:25) Tackling the GoFundMe topic (10:50) KYT thinking back to Jay Boosh getting funded to go to GP Toronto (15:15) Should people have more foresight before they play an MCQ? (26:05) KYT needs to figure out what Standard deck to play at the Arena Super Cup (30:20) KYT tried tangrams' Simic Ramp list. tangrams first to 2 trophies in the current MTGO League. (41:50) KYT loving River's Rebuke, but maybe Karn's Temporal Sundering is better. (43:20) HIGH-LEVEL STRATEGY: Identifying what matters (45:45) Thoughts on UR Phoenix, Alex doesn't understand how it wins (47:20) Which decks Alex is down on?
54:25
June 7, 2019
Vietnamese Food, Standard, WAR Limited
(0:00) Vietnamese food go-tos (5:55) Alex's GP Providence weekend (8:55) Alex explains to KYT what "bang bang" means (10:15) More value in today's GPs? (16:50) Being a tourist in your own city, visiting Saint Joseph's Oratory (27:50) Standard talk, mentally taxing decks| (53:30) Do 70% decks still exist? (56:30) GOING DEEP: Has podcasting made KYT less shy? (1:07:00) KYT's one interaction with LSV (1:11:00) WAR Limited, why KYT loves Ari Lax's content, going over Ari's blog post on WAR
01:22:38
May 31, 2019
Community Contributions, High-Level Strategy & Standard
(1:34) Hayne heading down to GP Providence, teaming with Sigrist and Martell (5:05) Winning a team GP with Hoaen and Hron (6:20) KYT asks if Martell is content with his almost-HOF career (8:25) General Hall of Fame talk (19:05) Hayne's frustration with the current state of Magic content (22:14) GOING DEEP: Is writing paid articles community contribution? (27:15) KYT's motivation for starting ManaDeprived.com & where he is at now (29:55) Hayne gives an example of bad Magic content he has read (41:05) KYT thinks back on a strategic error he'd mindlessly make (46:15) HIGH LEVEL STRATEGY: Abandoning preconceived notions (52:55) Standard talk, more Command the Dreadhorde (1:00:55) UG Incubation/Nissa (1:15:24) Who is the best player in Kingston? (1:16:00) Who is the best player in Ottawa?
01:24:35
May 22, 2019
MPL Reaction, Gerry Thompson Resigning, Standard Talk
(0:00) Is Detective Dhaliwal actually a detective? (3:15) Hayne's reaction to Gerry's MPL resignation (6:00) Reaction to the 2 new MPL additions (19:19) Response to "entitled players complaining" comments (29:40) Reaction to SaffronOlive/Simon Görtzen Twitter thread, thoughts on making MPL more interesting (41:45) How can you tell a deck is bad right away? (49:20) Command the Dreadhorde talk, how to tell when mana dorks are good, what Alex would play
01:00:38
May 17, 2019
WAR Standard, Top 5 All-Time, Rating MPL
(2:30) Reminiscing about old style PTQs (3:25) Alex's first PTQ win (5:00) WAR Standard talk (7:50) Nexus (10:20) Izzet Phoenix (13:25) Mono Red winning the SCG (19:55) 17 lands in BO1 Mono Red (21:25) Mono Red choices, Frenzy vs. Chandra, Patrick Sullivan's thoughts (26:15) Alex hates Risk Factor (27:40) Lava Coil in the mirror (29:30) Putting pros on a pedestal (30:20) Alex getting on KYT for calling Edgar the hottest Canadian player (34:45) New Karn in Tron (37:05) MPL breakdown (38:50) Rating Emerald group (41:20) Rating Pearl group, Javier best active player? (45:50) Rating Ruby group, Huey nigh-unbeatable when he's on (49:05) Alex's top 5 all-time (52:45) Rating Sapphire group (01:01:10) Reacting to Yuuya being out of the Hall of Fame
01:06:23
May 10, 2019
The Pilot Episode
(01:52) Alex health update (03:15) Playing Tron at the Mythic Championship (06:50) Brian Ziemba losing Alex's decklist at GP Vancouver (14:25) Derek Pite sitting at the wrong table in round 4 (17:45) Progression of Alex's Limited skills, Sigrist's approach to Limited (25:18) Ben Stark, overrated/underrated (29:05) War of the Spark, fast /slow? (31:05) Yuuya Watanabe DQ reaction
49:33
May 2, 2019