Allied Strategies Magic the Gathering Podcast

By Ben Weitz, Sam Pardee, and Tristan Killeen

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Each week, our three expert hosts dive into competitive Magic strategy. We create deck guides, explore theoretical concepts, and examine cards from upcoming sets to predict how they'll affect the metagame.

Episode Date
Episode 211 – A Rose in any other Format
The exact same Magic card can vary wildly in value from format to format. This week we’re examining the factors that cause this fluctuation, as well as some specific card examples that have gone from unplayable to premium between the years. Download this episode here! (right click and “save as…”)
Oct 17, 2019
Episode 210 – Common Mistakes in Limited
This week we’ve identified some of the most insidious types of errors we see people commit in Limited, and we’re unpacking them all! If there’s anything you think we missed, let us know and we’ll mention it next week! Download this episode here! (right click and “save as…”)
Oct 10, 2019
Episode 209 – First Decks of the Format
This week, after a healthy amount of nonsense and Happy Birthday singing, we covered the 8 decklists in the MPL this weekend. Here is a link to those lists if you’d like to follow along: Download this episode here! (right click and “save as…”)
Oct 03, 2019
Episode 208 – Eldraine Limited Primer
This week we’re taking a look at the archetypes in Throne of Eldraine – the payoffs, the enablers, and the color combinations they work best in! Of course we haven’t played any games yet, but hopefully this episode will give you a good starting point for your first few drafts of the format. Be warned, […]
Sep 26, 2019
Episode 207 – Witch Cards are Good?
This week we’re examining more Throne of Eldraine cards – it turns out that the ones we’re most interested in talking about are almost all Black, so if you’re a fan of Swamps, this episode is for you! Download this episode here! (right click and “save as…”)
Sep 19, 2019
Episode 206 – The Tale Begins
This week we’re talking about more Throne of Eldraine cards, while Sam is on a weird thing about “The” correctly being used or omitted in card names. Here are the cards we covered this week: Witch’s Vengeance, Opportunistic Dragon, Epic Downfall, Greedy Impulse, Harmonious Archon, Giant Killer, Charming Prince, Robber of the Rich (with a tangent into Outlaws’ Merriment), and Once Upon a […]
Sep 12, 2019
Episode 205 – Going on an Adventure
This week we’re talking about the new mechanics from Throne of Eldraine and some cards we think are exciting from the spoiler so far. We’ve also got some predictions about future mechanics based on what we’ve seen of this set, and some flavor critiques and other assorted nonsense thrown in for good measure. Download this […]
Sep 05, 2019
Episode 204 – OP n’ BNR
This week we’re covering recent events – the Banned and Restricted list changes as well as the new Organized Play system! Check those out here: and here: Download this episode here! (right click and “save as…”)
Aug 29, 2019
Episode 203 – What’s in their hand?
Figuring out what’s in your opponent’s hand is both vital and difficult. This week we’re sharing some tips and techniques that you can use to help identify what might be in their hand – and what to do about it! Download this episode here! (right click and “save as…”)
Aug 22, 2019
Episode 202 – Sunset over the Horizon
Modern Horizons was an extremely important Magic set for the state of the game, and this week we’re taking a retrospective look at it. Was the idea good? Was the implementation good? How would we like them to proceed with the Modern Masters legacy going forward? Download this episode here! (right click and “save as…”)
Aug 15, 2019
Episode 201 – Board Games with Jon Stern
Jon Stern joins us this week to talk all about a shared passion we share outside of Magic – Board games! Here’s a list of the games we talk about in this episode: Hanabi Biblios Onitama 7 Wonders Duel Puerto Rico Quacks of Quedlinburg Clank! Bridge Spirit Island Agricola Join us again next week for […]
Aug 08, 2019
Episode 200 – The Hogaak Showgaak
Find out the full scoop on the Hogaak deck that Ben and Sam played at the Mythic Championship, as well as the other variants of the deck. We also cover the directions this powerful archetype can be taken in upcoming Modern tournaments – at least until the next Banned & Restricted announcement! Download this episode […]
Aug 01, 2019
Episode 199 – Modern in Barcelona
This week, Sam breaks down the decks he was considering for the Mythic Championship that’s getting underway in Barcelona! This episode was recorded a while in advance for scheduling reasons, so we’ll catch back up with Sam and Ben next week to see how their team’s thinking evolved between the time of the recording and […]
Jul 25, 2019
Episode 198 – M20 Draft with Neal Oliver
Grand Prix Champion Neal Oliver returns to the show to talk about M20 draft – find the lists of cards discussed here: Download this episode here! (right click and “save as…”)
Jul 18, 2019
Episode 197 – Philosophy of the Banlist
This week, Bridge from Below was banned from Modern. We’re using this to lead into a larger discussion of what kind of cards should be banned in which formats and the types of cards we expect to see banned going forward. Download this episode here! (right click and “save as…”)
Jul 11, 2019
Episode 196 – Scapeshift in Standard
This week we’re taking a look at a new strategy that is exciting in Standard – Scapeshift! Enabled by Field of the Dead, Scapeshift can create a horde of Zombies as a one-card win condition. Find out how we think that deck might look in this episode! Here’s a link to the article discussed in […]
Jul 04, 2019
Episode 195 – Our Stories
The Era of Pro Points has ended. This week we’re taking a retrospective look at the time between now and when we began playing Magic competitively. We hope you enjoy our stories. Download this episode here! (right click and “save as…”)
Jun 27, 2019
Episode 194 – Draft Analysis: Modern Horizons
This week we’re reviewing every pick from Shuhei Nakamura’s Top 8 Draft (which Ben was also a participant in!!) from GP Washington DC – follow along here: Download this episode here! (right click and “save as…”)
Jun 20, 2019
Episode 193 – Modern Horizons Limited
This week we’ve been doing some Modern Horizons drafts and we’re sharing our thoughts about which archetypes are strong in the format, and the implications the metagame may have for particular cards in draft. Download this episode here! (right click and “save as…”)
Jun 13, 2019
Episode 192 – New Decks on the Horizon
Modern Horizons might bring new decks to the forefront of Modern, or breathe fresh life into older decks that have stagnated as the format’s power level has creeped upwards. Find out some archetypes we think might be among them, and which cards we’re most interested in building around in these new and existing strategies. Download […]
Jun 06, 2019
Episode 191 – The Mulligan
This week’s episode is all about the Mulligan – largely focused on one controversial mulligan in particular made recently by Ross Merriam. Here’s the post he made about it, which we reference heavily during the show: – huge thanks to him for making this reasoning public, which made this episode possible! Download this episode […]
May 30, 2019
Episode 190 – On the Horizon
This week we’re taking a look at some of the first spoilers from Modern Horizons! We also share our initial thoughts about the overall design and direction of the set. Find out which cards we’re excited in for both existing and new-to-Modern archetypes! Download this episode here! (right click and “save as…”)
May 23, 2019
Episode 189 – The MPL and the MOCS
This week we’re diving into some current events – changes in the structure/composition of the MPL, the Arena Mythic Championships, and our thoughts on the direction of competitive Magic! We also discuss the upcoming MOCS, which is this weekend! Download this episode here! (right click and “save as…”)
May 16, 2019
Episode 188 – Mythic Champion Eli Loveman
We’re excited to have longtime fan of the podcast and winner of Mythic Championship London Eli Loveman on the show this week to talk about his big win, as well as War of the Spark, Modern, and the intersection of the two. Download this episode here! (right click and “save as…”) Download
May 09, 2019
Episode 187 – The Prerelease Pro Tour
This week we dive in to the results from the recent Mythic Championship, and cover the new War of the Spark limited format the debuted there. Learn our hosts’ opinions on the London mulligan going forward, as well as how the tournament went for them! Download this episode here! (right click and “save as…”)
May 02, 2019
Episode 186 – Modern In London
This week we’re preparing you for the upcoming Mythic Championship in London by discussing the Modern format – specifically, how the new London Mulligan and the open decklists of the tournament impact the metagame. Learn which deck Sam expects will skyrocket into the top slot given these new rules! Download this episode here! (right click […]
Apr 25, 2019
Episode 185 – Even More of the Spark
This week we’re back to talk about more War of the Spark cards – again largely aimed at Standard, although we’ve also identified a few cards that we think might see play in Modern and even Legacy! Download this episode here! (right click and “save as…”)
Apr 18, 2019
Episode 184 – More of the Spark
It’s time to take a look at some more new War of the Spark cards! This week we’re focusing primarily on Constructed, especially Standard, and in future weeks we’ll loop back around and cover the limited format as more commons and uncommons get revealed! Download this episode here! (right click and “save as…”)
Apr 11, 2019
Episode 183 – Critical Amass
War of the Spark’s already looking to be one of the most exciting sets in Magic history, and this week we’re starting to think about how the new cards might play! We’re beginning with an analysis of the mechanics of the set: Amass, Proliferate, and Planeswalkers, with both general thoughts and specific examples of cards […]
Apr 04, 2019
Episode 182 – Evaluating Cards and Decks
This week is a theory episode! How do you evaluate cards in a limited environment, and how do you update those evaluations based on new information? What about decks in a constructed environment? We take a crack at these questions and more! Download this episode here! (right click and “save as…”)
Mar 28, 2019
Episode 181 – Attacking Izzet Phoenix
Izzet Phoenix is Modern’s new bogeyman, but does action need to be taken by WOTC or by Modern tournamentgoers? We’re not 100% sure, but this episode is dedicated to figuring out exactly what the latter should look like! Download this episode here! (right click and “save as…”)
Mar 21, 2019
Episode 180 – Orzhov Week!
This week we’re wrapping up our cycle of episodes on the guilds of Ravnica Allegiance! Learn all about the Orzhov, and the impact of the guild in both limited and Standard. Big round of applause to Sam who joins us despite not having power due to a storm – luckily his phone still works! Download […]
Mar 14, 2019
Episode 179 – The Mythic Invitational with Matt Nass
Compatriot of the Podcast Matt Nass joins us again this week, as Sam is away, and we discuss the upcoming Mythic Invitational, as well as the new Modern Horizons set that Matt spoiled last week! Download this episode here! (right click and “save as…”)
Mar 07, 2019
Episode 178 – What Happened in Cleveland
Ben and Sam are back from the first ever Mythic Championship! Find out how their tournaments went, how they landed on the decks they did, and how they felt about the limited format after a few teams dominated the drafts. We also cover the upcoming changes to the mulligan rule which will be tested in […]
Feb 28, 2019
Episode 177 – Mythic Championship Testing!
This weekend is the Mythic Championship – and both Ben and Sam have been hard at work, testing all sorts of different decks to determine the best one to attack the Ravnica Allegiance standard format! We’ll be back next week to discuss the tournament and perhaps Download this episode here! (right click and “save as…”)
Feb 21, 2019
Episode 176 – Azorius Week!
It’s time to discuss the Azorius in both limited and constructed! For the next week or two we’ll be talking about the Mythic Championship, but we’ll finish off this series with Orzhov week sometime in the next month – let us know what you thought about it! Download this episode here! (right click and “save […]
Feb 14, 2019
Episode 175 – Adaptionism vs. Utopianism: Simic Week!
Learn all about the Simic combine: What makes a good Blue/Green draft deck in Ravnica Allegiance? What standard strategies best use the Simic cards, especially powerhouses like Hydroid Krasis? What does it mean to be a member of the Simic? Download this episode here! (right click and “save as…”)
Feb 07, 2019
Episode 174 – Gruul Week with Andrew Baeckstrom
Andrew “BK” Baeckstrom joins us this week to discuss all things Gruul! What does the red-green color combination need to do to succeed in Ravnica Allegiance draft? What is it missing from its constructed deck? What is the philosophy of the guild? Download this episode here! (right click and “save as…”)
Jan 31, 2019
Episode 173 – Rakdos Week!
This week we’re discussing all things Rakdos. How does the guild play in Limited, how does it work in Constructed, and even some bonus Rakdos color philosophy content for true fans of the cult. Please let us know what you think of this episode categorization – if it’s popular, we can think of four other […]
Jan 24, 2019
Episode 172 – RNA Modern Set Review
Which cards from Ravnica Allegiance will break out and make their way into Modern? We’ve picked out some cards that could potentially define or revive entire archetypes, some cards that may fill in as solid roleplayers in existing strategies, and some speculative picks for cards that might see play under the right circumstances. Download this […]
Jan 17, 2019
Episode 171 – RNA and Arena with Neal Oliver
The Prodigal Host returneth! Grand Prix Champion Neal Oliver, former host of this podcast, is back for the first time after his departure as co-host. We talk with him about Ravnica Allegiance, Magic Arena and the Best of One format, and we reprise an old segment to match the old host! Let us know what […]
Jan 10, 2019
Episode 170 – RNA Previews with Matt Nass
We’ve got a host of exciting new Rares and Mythics to talk about this week, and we’re joined by Magic Pro League Competitor Matt Nass to do just that! Which card is his bold prediction for best card in the set? Which co-host is absent this week? Are either of the Planeswalkers playable? Find out […]
Jan 03, 2019
Episode 169 – Addendum to the Previous
We’ve got the full suite of Ravnica Allegiance mechanics now, and our hosts break down their implications for Limited, Standard, and Modern. We’ve also selected a few cards from the new set as we begin the Allied Strategies tradition of picking cards and talking about them. Download this episode here! (right click and “save as…”)
Dec 27, 2018
Episode 168 – Ravnica Allegiance Mechanics
A new set is finally on the way! We’ve taken a thorough look at the mechanics that have been revealed so far, and have analyzed their potential impact in Limited, Standard, and even older formats. Next week, we’ll cover the remaining mechanics and discuss more specific cards that we think are worth mentioning from those […]
Dec 20, 2018
Episode 167 – Best Draft Formats
The History of Magic is littered with excellent draft formats, but today we’ve each identified our favorite three and explained why we love each format so much. We also spend a bit of time discussing a tournament from last weekend where two of our host clashed in an epic undefeated showdown. Allied Strategies is planning […]
Dec 13, 2018
Episode 166 – Modern After Guilds
Few sets have impacted Modern as dramatically as Guilds of Ravnica. Today, we examine the specific cards behind this as well as the design paradigm shifts that they suggest, and the the implications this might have for the future of the format. We also speculate on the potential future playability of some sleeper cards from […]
Dec 06, 2018
Episode 165 – Deckbuilding with Matt Nass
If you’ve watched any Modern GPs this year, chances are you’ve seen Matt Nass in the top 8 with a deck he built or optimized. In both Standard and Modern, he’s been a remarkably successful tuner and crafter of decks, and today he’s a special guest on our show to talk about it! Find out […]
Nov 29, 2018
Episode 164 – Big Red
A few weeks ago, Ben had an idea for a Standard deck. Hear the story of how that idea underwent the rigors of Pro Tour testing and ended up being the deck that both Ben and Sam sleeved up event. You’ll also learn how to adapt the deck to different metagame factors, and predictions for […]
Nov 22, 2018
Episode 163 – Draft Analysis: Guilds of Ravnica
Join us as we spend an entire episode breaking down every single pick of one player’s draft from the Pro Tour. This time, the honor of being that featured drafter goes to our buddy Mark Jacobson, whose stellar performance on the first day of the event earned him a place in the featured pod on […]
Nov 15, 2018
Episode 162 – PT Guilds of Ravnica Prep
Sam and Ben are at the Pro Tour! Hear about their preparation for the Standard format as they reveal the decks they considered, the innovations they came up with, and the secrets of their testing process. We’ll be back next week at our usual time and going forward we may be re-working our Pro Tour […]
Nov 11, 2018
Bonus Episode – Guilds of Ravnica Banter
A full sized episode is airing this Sunday! Our hosts (or at least two of them) are busy getting ready for the Pro Tour, and the episode will contain spoilers for their strategy, so we won’t release it until that’s no longer relevant. To tide you over until then, we’ve collected some of the funniest […]
Nov 08, 2018
Episode 161 – Sideboarding
The best Magic players get much of their edge from games 2 and 3, so this week’s episode is a marathon guide to picking up some equity post-board. You’ll learn about the theory of the sideboard with practical examples from real decks, covering all the major constructed formats and a bit of limited too. We […]
Nov 01, 2018
Episode 160 – Modern Decks to Beat
With a few upcoming Modern tournaments, we’re using this week to identify the best Aggro, Combo, and Midrange decks to beat in the current metagame. We also cover an exciting new fringe deck that we think has some potential, and finally we did a rapid-fire round of opinions on a dozen or so of the […]
Oct 25, 2018
Episode 159 – GRN Draft Guide: Dimir Control
The best deck in Guilds of Ravnica draft is Dimir Control, and this week we’re providing you with a guide to drafting it. We’ve broken the archetype down into the different effects you’re looking for, and which cards do the best job filling each of those roles. You’ll also learn the order that we prioritize […]
Oct 18, 2018
Episode 158 – Bant Spirits Deck Guide
This week we’re going card-by-card to give you a thorough guide to Bant Spirits, a powerful aggro deck that’s dominated recent Modern tournaments including Grand Prix Detroit where Sam’s team used it to make the finals! Here’s a link to the decklist if you’d like to follow along: Download this episode here! (right click and […]
Oct 11, 2018
Episode 157 – What’s my Role?
It’s turn 3. Your 2/2 is staring down your opponent’s 2/2. Should you attack? The answer requires an understanding of your role – are you the aggressor or are you the defender? This episode defines those terms and arms you with the tools you need to answer that question for yourself. We cover how roles […]
Oct 04, 2018
Episode 156 – Guilds Draft Predictions
Multicolored sets tend to create complicated draft environments, and Guilds of Ravnica looks to be no exception. This week, we’ve picked out some cards to discuss that we think might highlight some of the different options available to you at the draft table. We also cover some adjustments we’re making to our baseline evaluation of […]
Sep 27, 2018
Episode 155 – Guilds in Standard
The full spoiler for Guilds of Ravnica is out and there are dozens of cards (and millions of lines of text on them) that are interesting in the context of Standard. Join us this week as we select a few such cards and discuss their potential merits in the post-rotation world. You may also get […]
Sep 20, 2018
Episode 154 – Playing Aggro against Control
Sam Pardee breaks down the nuances of the aggro matchup against control on this week’s episode. You’ll learn how to change your plan of attack against your control opponent based on the specifics of each player’s deck. We’ll also cover the complicated art of playing around sweepers and countermagic, cards that your control opponents are […]
Sep 13, 2018
Episode 153 – Guilds of Ravnica Mechanics
How will the mechanics of Guilds of Ravnica play in the limited environment? We’ve analyzed each of them individually to bring you thorough predictions about how they’ll play, what patterns they’ll incentivize, and how highly you’ll need to prioritize certain effects. We also discussed the tension or accord created by mechanics overlapping in colors, and […]
Sep 06, 2018
Episode 152 – The Flavors of Red
Sam Pardee joins the show this week to dive deep into the nuances of Red decks in Standard. Many guides lump all Red decks together, but you can gain an edge by figuring out what specific plan your opponent is enacting, and by carefully paying attention to which cards they’ve played you can infer much […]
Aug 30, 2018
Banter Compilation 1
We took some of the best Banter/End Story content from the past 20 or so episodes and condensed it into a 20 minute compilation. Don’t worry, our regularly scheduled content is still coming later this week, this is a bonus! Let us know what you think about this sort of content and if it’s something […]
Aug 27, 2018
Episode 151 – Mailbag!
For the past month or so, we’ve been collecting your questions on a variety of Magic and not-so-Magic topics, and today we’re answering them all! Today we’re also saying goodbye to Neal – he’s transitioning from being a co-host to a listener due to Magic becoming a smaller part of his life. We’re so thankful […]
Aug 23, 2018
Episode 150 – Pro Tour Champion Allen Wu
Special guest Pro Tour 25th Anniversary Champion Allen Wu joins us this week to talk about his victory and the legacy deck he played at the tournament. Learn about the technology he likes in the deck, his thoughts on Legacy in general, and his delightful teammates. Next week will be our mailbag episode – send […]
Aug 16, 2018
Episode 149 – Bant Turbofog Deck Guide
It’s a strategy as old as, um, 2007 according to Google Trends, and thanks to the controversial printing of an instant speed time walk at super duper rare, it’s back in Standard: Turbofog! The goal of this strategy is to draw multiple cards each turn, then mitigate any number of opposing threats with one fog […]
Aug 09, 2018
Episode 148 – PT 25A Prep
Neal’s playing a rogue deck this Pro Tour – join us this week to hear about his testing process and how he ended up transforming one of this Standard format’s fringe combo decks into an aggro deck! Next week we’ll be back to regularly scheduled content for episode 149, and then we’ll have episode 150 […]
Aug 05, 2018
Episode 147 – M19 Draft Guide
All three of your podcast hosts have picked up some Professional REL Drafting experience with the new set at GP Sacramento and this week we’re sharing it with you! Learn about our opinions of each two-color combination, their relative power levels, and key commons/uncommons that you may have overlooked but that perform better in this […]
Jul 26, 2018
Episode 146 – Hardened Scales Deck Guide
This episode is an in-depth guide to another great Modern deck powered by Mox Opal and Ancient Stirrings! Hardened Scales is an enchantment that combines with every creature in the deck to generate ridiculous bursts of value that are often immediately lethal through surprising board states and life totals. We went over every card in […]
Jul 19, 2018
Episode 145 – M19 Sealed Primer
With Limited Grands Prix fast approaching, we decided to use this week to talk about our initial thoughts of the M19 Sealed format now that we’ve played some combination of physical and online Prerelease events. We’ve also got a Mailbag episode coming up for Episode #150 (so 5 episodes from now) – if you have […]
Jul 12, 2018
Episode 144 – M19 First Look: Limited
The last three core sets have each featured dramatically different limited formats. Magic Origins was a fast-paced format where being on the play was a big deal and missing your 2-drop was often fatal, whereas M14 was the polar opposite: a format where Divination was a first-pickable card, Opportunity was a bomb, and cards like […]
Jul 05, 2018
Patreon Deck Episode: Nicol Bolas, the Ravager
Nicol Bolas, the Ravager has 4 qualities that make him potentially very powerful in standard. He’s cheap, he’s reasonably sized, he does something immediately when played, and he can take over games. Our wonderful Patrons therefore decided that this episode would involve us building an M19 Standard deck featuring Bolas. A normal edition of Allied […]
Jul 04, 2018
Episode 143 – M19 Second Look: Constructed
Last week’s formula worked so great that we decided to run it back – we’ve picked even more M19 cards that are even equally as exciting as last week and we broke down how they might fit into standard. Don’t worry, we didn’t forget to account for the 1-toughness tax! Next week, on this feed, […]
Jun 29, 2018
Episode 142 – M19 First Look: Constructed
The 2019 Core Set is fast approaching, and in classic Allied Strategies fashion, we’ve picked out a few cards each to talk about in terms of constructed (almost entirely Standard). We also spent a bit of time talking about Grand Prix Vegas, which was the first GP in half a year that all three of […]
Jun 21, 2018
Episode 141 – Choosing a 75 for PT DOM
Nailing down a specific 75 card configuration for any event is a complicated process. It’s the kind of subject that takes much more theory than we can cover in one episode if we wanted to create a general guide, but this week we were able to go deep on a specific example with Ben’s constructed […]
Jun 13, 2018
Episode 140 – In-Depth PT DOM Draft Analysis
This week is an in-depth analysis of a single draft from the recent Pro Tour – we went over every single pick of the draft, an episode archetype that we have really liked doing at least once after each Pro Tour. In the history of the podcast, however, we have never disagreed with each other […]
Jun 07, 2018
Episode 139 – PT Dominaria Prep
Ben joins us from the past this week for a special timeshifted episode to discuss the decks that he tested for Pro Tour Dominaria. This Pro Tour was notably different than most due to the longer time gap between the set’s release and the event – how did this affect testing? This set also brought […]
Jun 02, 2018
Episode 138 – Mana Efficiency
Dive deep into Magic theory with us this week, as we cover the concept of Mana Efficiency. This week, we not only define and explain Mana Efficiency for the beginning or intermediate players, we also cover a number of extrapolations and corollaries that should be interesting for even the most grizzled veteran. What does Mana […]
May 17, 2018
Episode 137 – Dominaria Limited Revisited
This week we return to Dominaria limited to examine the draft format now that we’ve gotten the chance to get a few dozen matches under our belts. What is the general texture of the format? How are our predictions about specific cards holding up? What archetypes are consistently viable draft strategies and what signals should […]
May 10, 2018
Episode 136 – Brewing a Brawl Deck
This week we’re venturing in to a new format on Allied Strategies – Brawl! This 60-card singleton format features a commander but only standard legal cards, and is dominated by Baral and Ghalta on magic online in a way that formats are rarely dominated. We’ve decided to basically ignore that phenomenon, and brew up a […]
May 03, 2018
Episode 135 – Dominaria in Modern
For the millionth week in the row we’re going to talk about Dominaria cards! Theorizing about this set hasn’t gotten old yet – and after prerelease weekend we got together to talk about how some of these cards might impact the Modern metagame, which is famously stable and diverse at the moment. Ben’s already gotten […]
Apr 26, 2018
Episode 134 – Dominaria’s Gold Uncommons
You can learn a lot about a format from its cycle of multicolored uncommons. At the very least, they hint at what sort of archetype each two color pair might default to, but their relative power level can also influence which of those color pairs is strongest to draft. This week on Allied Strategies we’re […]
Apr 19, 2018
Episode 133 – Dominaria Limited Predictions
Everybody’s talking about all the exciting implications of Dominaria for constructed (including us, the past two weeks,) but this week we’re going to look at how the cards might play in limited. There are a few powerful auras that might produce all-in battlecruiser strategies, but there are also some very efficient pieces of removal and […]
Apr 12, 2018
Episode 132 – Dominaria Cards that Might be Great
Last week we were excited by the cards that had been spoiled from Dominaria. This week things have gotten even more promising, with a bunch of spoilers that offer great potential to the deckbuilder willing to build around them. We’ve picked some such cards to talk about to try to determine which might be Standard […]
Apr 06, 2018
Episode 131 – Cool Dominaria Cards and Llanowar Elves
There are so many cool cards in the Dominaria spoiler that it’s a good thing we have a few extra weeks to talk about them! This week we’ve picked out just a few to discuss in the context of Standard (mostly). In addition to the cool cards of Dominaria, somehow Llanowar elves made its way […]
Mar 29, 2018
Episode 130 – Krark-Clan Ironworks
This week, Ben joins us to talk about the Krark-Clan Ironworks combo deck that he and his friends played to exceptional results last weekend at GP Phoenix. If you’ve never played or heard of the deck before, you’ll love hearing about all the crazy stuff that it can do, and you’ll be ready if you […]
Mar 22, 2018
Episode 129 – Masters 25 Limited Predictions
Masters 25 is here and there are a lot of things going on in the limited format. After a very studious half-hour or so, Tristan and Neal have identified a number of potential archetypes, combos, and synergies that are present in the set. Today we share those with you! We also briefly cover the Dominaria […]
Mar 15, 2018
Episode 128 – Modern at the MOCS
Playing a Magic tournament with only a dozen or two other players is a very different experience from the large fields of a Grand Prix or even a Pro Tour. Especially with a format like modern, you can make metagame predictions based off your knowledge of other players’ preferences, such as Reid Duke’s Jund, Craig […]
Mar 08, 2018
Episode 127 – Vintage with Sam Sherman
Magic’s most powerful format isn’t as scary as it seems – this week we break down the defining cards and decks of the format with Sam, a frequent vintage player and all-around highly talented magician. Part of what makes vintage such an exciting format is the modular way that the blue decks are built, so […]
Mar 01, 2018
Episode 126 – A Slice of Standard
Ben’s been trying to make dinosaur decks work in Standard for the past few weeks, and this week he’s sharing that process and the resulting decks with us! We also talk about a few of the other decks Ben’s been working with, as well as Bant Approach, a deck that Tristan has been having success […]
Feb 22, 2018
Episode 125 – Sticks and Seers
Our Podcast’s very own Ben Weitz drafted in a feature pod at the recent Pro Tour – which means the entire draft was recorded for posterity! This week on the show we dive in to that draft and go over every single pick that Ben made. If you want to follow along, here is the […]
Feb 15, 2018
Episode 124 – Decks Ben Almost Played
Dedicated Pro Players like Ben spent months testing Modern, but each could only register one deck for the Pro Tour itself. This week we dive into that testing process with a focus on all of the other decks that Ben tried before ending up on boring old affinity for the tournament itself. Last time there […]
Feb 08, 2018
Episode 123 – Teaming Up
Neal and Ben almost won a GP! They made it to the top 4 of last weekend’s GP Indy on a team with Eric Severson, who joins us this week for his second appearance on Allied Strategies to discuss Team events. This year features a large amount of team tournaments of a variety of formats […]
Jan 25, 2018
Patreon Deck Episode 3 – Merfolk
This special edition of Allied Strategies aired one week early for our supporters over at Patreon! We took a look at Merfolk, the tribe which won the Patreon poll, and built a sleek and aggressive deck that looks capable of coming in way under its opponents, then closing out games with a combination of cheap […]
Jan 24, 2018
Episode 122 – RIX Limited
Ready to get your face smashed in by broken Rares? Well for an hour, we’re gonna pretend that’s not what’s going on in Rivals and instead talk about some of the limited cards we think may be over/underrated in these early days of the format. If you’re a Patron, our RIX edition of the Patreon […]
Jan 18, 2018
Episode 121 – RIX Constructed Part Two
We’re breaking new ground today by giving Rivals of Ixalan a second Constructed preview podcast – we’ve chosen more cards (better ones, this time!) and have a bunch of exciting ideas for how they might fit into Standard. Since the upcoming Pro Tour is Modern rather than Standard, Ben is able to talk about Standard […]
Jan 11, 2018
Episode 120 – RIX Constructed Predictions
As you may be able to guess from the title, this week we make some predictions about how Rivals of Ixalan might impact constructed formats by picking some of the cards that have been spoiled so far and discussing their merits. Neal, the idealistic optimist, believes that basically every card we talk about will have […]
Jan 04, 2018
Episode 119 – VMA Returns!
Vintage Masters is back! According to us, it’s one of the greatest Magic formats to ever exist, and we’re here this week to give you a quick summary of some of the great things you can do to win VMA matches. We’re going to take the next two weeks off for the holidays, so look […]
Dec 14, 2017
Episode 118 – Heuristics
How do you think about Magic? One way to organize thought around this complicated game is the use of heuristics – these are rules of thumb, mental shortcuts, and ways of thinking that can help you save time and more quickly and reliably identify the correct play in a game of Magic. They can also […]
Dec 07, 2017
Episode 117 – The MMM
This week, Ben, Neal, and Tristan take a look at the current state of the Modern Metagame. We talk about many of the biggest decks in the format as well as a few less popular but still known decks. Modern season is ramping up as we approach the Pro Tour, so we may revisit the […]
Nov 30, 2017
Patreon Deck Episode 2 – Saheeli Dinosaurs
Welcome to a special bonus edition of Allied Strategies! This is our second Patreon Deck Episode – it came out a whole week ago for our Patrons over at We took a look at a card that has fallen out of favor in Standard since the banning of Felidar Guardian: Saheeli Rai, and tried […]
Nov 29, 2017
Episode 116 – Fun Iconic Masters Stuff
This week, Tristan talks with Neal and Ben about the Iconic Masters drafts he’s been doing. The set is full of powerful cards and exciting combos, many of which we discuss this episode – but if you play a draft or two of the set you’ll see that we just scratched the surface of the […]
Nov 23, 2017
Episode 115 – Ixalan Sideboarding
This week we talk about sideboarding in Ixalan limited. We came equipped with a ton of specific examples of situations that change the value of cards to an extent that may push them over the line from sideboard to maindeck – or the reverse. We also explore a bit of the theory of sideboarding to […]
Nov 16, 2017
Episode 114 – An Energized Pro Tour
This week, Ben talks with us about his experience at Pro Tour Ixalan. He explains his decision to join with the majority of players at the PT in fielding a Temur Energy variant, and explains his reasoning behind the specific card choices he and his team made. Neal and Tristan, predictably, waylay the episode with a […]
Nov 09, 2017
Episode 113 – Preparing for PT Ixalan
In this episode, which was recorded last week, we lift the veil of until-recently-Gold-Pro Ben Weitz’s testing for Pro Tour Ixalan! This Pro Tour is remarkable in that we’ve had such a long time between the set’s release and the event itself, due to Wizards’ new timing of the World Championships, we talk with Ben […]
Nov 03, 2017
Episode 112 – Ixalan Sealed
As promised last week, here’s an episode in which we discuss Ixalan Sealed! All 3 of us are attending Grand Prix Phoenix in a couple weeks, which will be Ixalan Sealed, so the topic is timely. Learn about how each of the tribes ports over from draft, which strategies are most commonly available, and what […]
Oct 19, 2017
Episode 111 – A Worlds Without Ixalan
This week we talk about the 2017 MTG World Championship and the Standard format that was on display there – we discuss Ixalan’s impact on the format, and talk about some of the many great decisions made by the Peach Garden Oath at the tournament. Near the start of the episode we say we’re also […]
Oct 12, 2017
Episode 110 – A Relationship with Magic
This week we discuss our relationships with Magic in light of Neal’s recent decision to step back from writing weekly articles and doing Magic streams. Be warned, this episode contains very little Magic strategy – but that will return next week! We also reprise a popular (among us at least) segment called Will of the […]
Oct 06, 2017
Episode 109 – Ixalan First Impressions
This week, our three hosts return from prerelease weekend and a few Magic Online drafts to discuss Ixalan limited after their first few forays into the format. This set has already received some negative press from various Magic professionals on twitter – but the Allied Strategies team is optimistic about the format – Tristan discusses […]
Sep 28, 2017
Episode 108 – The Second Sunbird
This week we dive into Ixalan by brewing up a Standard deck around the powerful interaction of Sunbird’s Invocation and Approach of the Second Sun. Here’s the decklist we came up with – though we must warn you that this is certainly one of the clunkier decks we’ve come up with and probably will require […]
Sep 21, 2017
Episode 107 – Ixalan Limited
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Sep 14, 2017
Patreon Deck Episode 1 – Lupine Prototype Aggro
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Sep 08, 2017
Episode 106 – Ixalan Constructed First Look
We are on Patreon at – and our first Patreon Deck Episode goes live for non-Patrons tomorrow! Download this episode here! (right click and “save as…”)
Sep 07, 2017
Episode 105 – The Aftermath of HOU
We are now on Patreon at – that is where you will find our Patreon Deck Episode when it airs tomorrow if you are a Patron – otherwise, it’ll air everywhere else one week thereafter. Download this episode here! (right click and “save as…”)
Aug 31, 2017
Episode 104 – HOU Standard Survey
Our Patreon is live at – Patrons at the Friend of the Podcast tier or higher can go there to vote for which deck we’ll brew on our imminent Patreon Deck Episode! Download this episode here! (right click and “save as…”)
Aug 24, 2017
Episode 103 – Some Micro Topics
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Aug 17, 2017
Episode 102 – One Hour of One Draft
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Aug 10, 2017
Episode 101 – What Colors am I?
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Aug 03, 2017
Episode 100 – A Hundred Cards
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Jun 22, 2017
Episode 99 – Dredging Up Modern
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Jun 15, 2017
Episode 98 – Alternative Formats
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Jun 08, 2017
Episode 97 – Amonkhet Sealed
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Jun 01, 2017
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May 25, 2017
Episode 95 – The Slither Blade Prophecy
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May 19, 2017
Episode 94 – Pre Tour Amonkhet
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May 14, 2017
Episode 93 – Amonkhonstructed
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Apr 27, 2017
Episode 92 – Limited Amonkhet
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Apr 20, 2017
Episode 91 – So It Was Foretold
Download this episode here! (right click and “save as…”) Grixis As Foretold: 3 Creeping Tar Pit 2 Desolate Lighthouse 4 Ancestral Vision 2 Thoughtseize 2 Inquisition of Kozilek 3 Fatal Push 2 Terminate 2 Countersquall 4 Serum Visions 4 Snapcaster 2 Vendilion Clique 3 Kolaghan’s Command 4 As Foretold 4 Cryptic Command 1 Torrential Gearhulk […]
Apr 13, 2017
Episode 90 – We’ll do it live!
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Apr 06, 2017
Episode 89 – Unifying Modern
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Mar 23, 2017
Episode 88 – TILT!
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Mar 16, 2017
Episode 87 – MM17 Predictions
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Mar 09, 2017
Episode 86 – Historical Standards
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Mar 02, 2017
Episode 85 – Planting the Seeds
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Feb 25, 2017
Episode 84 – Alright, I block
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Feb 17, 2017
Episode 83 – AERchievements
Download this episode here! (right click and “save as…”) Here is a list of our AER achievements: [Deja Vu]: Take an extra turn with Gonti’s Aether Heart [Baraly scratching the surface]: Trigger Baral at least three times in one game. [At your servo-ice]: Create 10 servos in one game. [Better Lucky than Good]: Put an […]
Feb 09, 2017
Episode 82 – Ben There, Done That
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Feb 06, 2017
Episode 81 – Improvised Analysis
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Jan 19, 2017
Episode 80 – Nonstandard Bannings
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Jan 14, 2017
Episode 79 – Revolting Combos
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Jan 07, 2017
Episode 78 – Standards for Standard
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Dec 24, 2016
Episode 77 – Mono Red Cube Guide
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Dec 15, 2016
Episode 76 – KLD Sealed
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Dec 08, 2016
Episode 75 – Deep Draft Analysis
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Dec 04, 2016
Episode 74 – KLD Achievements
You can download this episode here (right click and “save as…”)! This episode was released later than it was supposed to due to Tristan’s incompetence.
Dec 03, 2016
Episode 73 – Team Sealed with Sam Pardee
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Nov 17, 2016
Episode 72 – A Magical Glossary
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Nov 06, 2016
Episode 71 – Bant Eldrazi Guide Download this episode here! (right click and “save as…”)
Nov 02, 2016
Episode 70 – A Relaxing Trip
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Oct 25, 2016
Episode 69 – Timeshifted PT KLD Testing
Our schedule should be back to normal now, thanks for bearing with us! Download this episode here! (right click and “save as…”)
Oct 18, 2016
Episode 68 – Built to Blast
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Oct 06, 2016