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Allied Strategies Magic the Gathering Podcast

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Expert magic players discuss and debate limited and constructed Magic the Gathering.

Expert magic players discuss and debate limited and constructed Magic the Gathering.
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Expert magic players discuss and debate limited and constructed Magic the Gathering.




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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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…”)


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]