Skip to main content
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.
Listen on
Where to listen
Apple Podcasts Logo

Apple Podcasts

Breaker Logo


Google Podcasts Logo

Google Podcasts

Overcast Logo


Pocket Casts Logo

Pocket Casts

PodBean Logo


RadioPublic Logo


Spotify Logo


Stitcher Logo


Return of the Table
Treat us to cups of coffee ☕ for our next episode - Alex and KYT meet up for the first time since COVID for a socially distanced lobster dinner.
August 14, 2020
Alex top 8s Players Tour Online 4!
Treat us to cups of coffee ☕ for our next episode - (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
June 25, 2020
Reacting to Organized Play with a Mix of Strategy
Treat us to cups of coffee ☕ for our next episode - 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
May 21, 2020
The Companion Mechanic, Chess, Best Move vs. Easier to Play
Treat us to cups of coffee ☕ for our next episode - (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?
April 23, 2020
Organized Play - WWAD
Treat us to cups of coffee ☕ for our next episode - (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
January 15, 2020
MTG Outlook for 2020
Treat us to cups of coffee ☕ for our next episode - (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
December 18, 2019
The Pressure of this Mythic Championship
Treat us to cups of coffee ☕ for our next episode - (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!
December 4, 2019
End of an Era
Treat us to cups of coffee ☕ for our next episode - (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
November 18, 2019
Sergio Ferry, Pioneer, Oko at MC Richmond
Treat us to cups of coffee ☕ for our next episode - (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
November 1, 2019
Hayne Headed to Mythic Championship V
Treat us to cups of coffee ☕ for our next episode - (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
October 16, 2019
MagicFest Montreal Champion, Auto-Pilot, Focus
Treat us to cups of coffee ☕ for our next episode - (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
October 11, 2019
Range, Competence, Jedi Mind Tricks
Treat us to cups of coffee ☕ for our next episode - (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
September 20, 2019
3 Pillars of Magic Strategy, Expanding Your Range
Treat us to cups of coffee ☕ for our next episode - (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
September 6, 2019
Deck Selection, Decision Complexity, Hall of Fame
Treat us to cups of coffee ☕ for our next episode - (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?  
August 30, 2019
Esper in Standard, OP News, Game Design
Treat us to cups of coffee ☕ for our next episode - (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
August 17, 2019
The Value of Being Unpredictable
 Treat us to cups of coffee ☕ for our next episode -  (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?
August 6, 2019
Lions, Sheeps and How to Improve at Limited
Treat us to cups of coffee ☕ for our next episode - (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?
July 19, 2019
MTG Fundamentals, How to Improve and Social Media
 Treat us to cups of coffee ☕ for our next episode -  (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
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?
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
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
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 (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
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?
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?
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
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 & 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?
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
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
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
May 2, 2019