Pairings, Round #7 – Ari Lax

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Chris sits down with the newest Pro Tour champion Ari Lax to talk about his deck, his draft strategy, [card]Loathsome Catoblepas[/card], [card]Paralyzing Grasp[/card] and more!

Topics Discussed:

  • Did you sleep with the trophy?
  • You’ve had so many near misses with a PT top 8. When did you know you were in, and what was the feeling like?
  • How did the top 8 feel compared with winning your first GP?
  • When did you realise you had won a Pro Tour?
  • Once you left the venue on Sunday, talk us through what you did. How does a Pro Tour champion celebrate?
  • A lot of people had a lot to say about your excitement and demonstrative nature at certain top decks, notably against Yuuya and Thiago. How do you respond to the criticism?
  • Was the criticism at all to blame for your somewhat muted reaction to winning the final?
  • In general you are talkative and jovial during matches, especially when crushing people with [card]Loathsome Catoblepas[/card]es. How much of that is a mind game and how much is Ari Lax?
  • Your PT team is quite the assortment. How did you come up with the group you have? Do you feel it’s optimal right now?
  • Do you think the tide is turning away from CFB and The Pantheon and to teams like yourselves and Face to Face?
  • You’ve spoken many times about how you came to choose your Standard deck. How hard was Conley lobbying for a brew? What about Wescoe and white weenie?
  • Your draft strategy was pretty spectacular and mirrors my own right now. What do you think is the best archetype and why is it 5c [card]Secret Plans[/card]?
  • What memorable stories do you have from the Pro Tour? Any special plays or games you can share with us?
  • Now you are a Platinum Pro for basically two years, you have a seat at the Players’ Championship, you get a Hall of Fame vote…quite the weekend! Have you thought about what this will mean for you going forward? More GPs, fewer GPs? Full-time Magician?
  • What will you do with all the groupies?
  • Were you really 5 when you started playing Magic? How did you get into it at such an early age?
  • When did competitive Magic start for you?
  • Talk to us about Team Unknown Stars. Who was involved, and have you been tempted to team with them again? What brought you together?
  • Do you think current Magic would benefit from a JSS?
  • Who did you look up to when coming up through the ranks?
  • How’s testing going for PT Fate Reforged?

Special Guest: Ari Lax (@armlx)
Interviewer: Chris Lansdell (@lansdellicious)

Pairings, Round #6 – Jon Loucks

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Chris is paired up with former WotC employee Jon Loucks this round, and he gets the lowdown on Jon’s decision to leave the company and what was his dream job. They discuss returning to competitive play and content production, Magic Online, and the Great Designer Search. Also find out why [card]Lose Hope[/card] has special meaning for Jon, why pigs and bonobo apes make him laugh and, of course, a classic Jon Loucks sign off!

Special Guest: Jon Loucks (@JonLoucks)
Interviewer: Chris Lansdell (@lansdellicious)

Pairings, Round #5 – Worth Wollpert

As Magic Online prepares to transition from V3 to the new client, players and streamers are concerned about the stability and quality of the platform. Director for Magic Online Worth Wollpert talks about all that and more in an in-depth and revealing look at his job, his projects and exactly how hard they are working to make the user experience all it can be.

Topics discussed:

– Pre-Wizards, you were a pro player. How did you get into the game, what sort of success have you had, what led to you moving behind the wall?

– What’s your official job title now? What does your day typically look like?

– When you moved over to MTGO, what was the current project? Are you happy with where you are?

– What were the main things in V3 that you wanted the new version of MTGO to fix?

– As one of the public-facing members of the MTGO team, you are the subject of an awful lot of flak. Some is jokingly blaming you for mana screw, but a lot is more vitriolic. Does it bother you?


– There’s a lot of criticism pointed at “the Beta.” I know you read and hear it all. Is most of it fair, in your mind?

– What do you guys have left to fix with new MTGO (I know there’s a lot you can’t say here)?

– MTGO has had more than a few problems with premier play on the client, but can your talk us through your feelings on that infamous weekend when MOCS and a PTQ both crashed?

– Do you still believe taking all the major events down until MTGO was more stable was the right move?

– Despite all the criticism and complaining, legitimate and otherwise, MTGO is bigger than ever to all exterior appearances. That has to feel good.

– Is there any desire within WotC to do something about the intimidating size of online PTQs?

– Is “Grand Prix: Magic Online” even remotely possible?

– You’re known to drop in to people’s streams and troll them with card “donations” when they need a top deck. That’s the best part of your job, right?

Pairings, Round #4 – Patrick Chapin

For this round Chris is paired with Hall of Famer and Pro Tour Champion Patrick “The Innovator” Chapin for an amazing hour of conversation.

Topics covered include:

Does champagne taste better out of a big silver trophy?
When did you know you had finally won a Pro Tour?
Can you talk to us about the testing process that lead to your 75?
When can we expect the remix: Elspeth Sun’s Champion, Better Than All?
You’ve had quite the journey, ascent to a rapid fall to big return. What kept you focused?
Last time we spoke you had just missed out on the Hall of Fame. You’d be elected the next year. Is this better?
Next Level Deckbuilding is quite the effort. Would you consider this your magnum opus?
One of the things you are a big proponent of is building Magic culture into more than a game. Where are we on that front, and what else needs to happen?
Will there be another Tha Gatherin album?
How do you feel about the Pro Player Club now? What would you like to change?
Now that you’re Platinum, will we see more of you at GPs?
Are you interested in chasing down Reid for the World Magic Cup captain’s spot?
When will we get to see some of your game design handiwork?

Pairings, Round #3 – Cedric Phillips

Chris’s opponent this round is SCG Online Content Coordinator and professional content provider Cedric Phillips. They talk about everything from Fogo to Esper Charms, including how he got into Magic, the Stream Team, coverage, his play style, being a black Magic player, whether he’s done with competitive Magic and Adrian Sullivan’s lands.

Pairings, Round #2 – Kenji Egashira

Chris Lansdell sits down for round 2 opposite noted MTGO streamer Kenji “NumotTheNummy” Egashira to talk about his nickname, how and why he got into Magic and streaming, the 365-day challenge, his success, the heartache of GP Montreal, heater hats, podcasting and of course, new subSCRIBAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

Check out Kenji’s stream at!