Chester Swords has 1 Grand Prix Top 8 and has been to 4 Pro Tours! In addition to his Grand Prix Sydney Top 8 his notable achievements in Magic are winning a Japanese Pro Tour Qualifier in Chiba while being there on holiday and going 9-1 in constructed at Pro Tour Dragons of Tarkir! He lives in Sydney, Australia.
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The competitive aspect and friends you make along the way.
Limited is Chester's weak point.
Talking to those who are better has been Chester's best way to improve. Other than jamming a bunch of Limited games.
Shifting to Magic Online and primarily playing there. This lead to his first PTQ win in 2011.
Making Top 8 at Grand Prix Sydney 2015.
Constructed. Chester likes seeing your win rate go up as you practice with a certain deck (in Modern or Standard).
When you're first learning a format, pick a deck and stick with it. After you have a feel for the format you can switch decks.
Knowing your own play style is key to picking a deck. By playing Magic with different decks and against different decks you will learn what you like.
Build the popular version of that deck and then tweak it as you continue playing.
Keeping really loose keeps is a big mistake players are making. Especially with the new mulligan rule players should be keeping a lot fewer hands than they are.
You have to be familiar with your deck and the match up to make the optimal keep or mulligan decision.
Don't show up unprepared. Take snacks and water and get sleep.
Compare new cards to similar cards in older formats, then consider how good that card was in the old format and use it as a baseline for how good the new card is.
Sealed: Sort cards by color and then take out the unplayables. Next see which colors are playable by identifying if your pool can support a certain archetype.
In Battle for Zendikar you want a fast or bomb-centric deck.
Removal is key in any Limited format.
Drafting: Look at content online before you dive in to a format. By having an idea of what the archetypes in a format are ahead of time you'll be better prepared to draft than if you just showed up and sat down. Read articles and watch videos.
Drafting two or three times a day is how Chester prepares for a Limited Grand Prix. Then he will talk about his decisions with others.
For a Constructed Grand Prix he will get in reps with his deck so he can identify lines of play and become more familiar with his deck.
The red deck of any given format is usually pretty good. Starting with that deck is a great place to start.
Surround yourself with people who are better than you so you can improve.
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