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Upping Your Immersion: Magic Podcasts

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Appetite for Brains
Podcasts are one of the ways I have immersed myself in Magic culture. I commute to a desk job; both activities provide me with a lot of time to listen to podcasts! As a husband and a father, much of my free time at home is spent with family activities, so having the chance to listen to people discuss Magic at work is a great way to stay up to date with everything going on in the Magic world, and it is a great way to feed my ravenous appetite for all things Magic.

For those of you just entering the world of Magic podcasts, I'd like to introduce you to some of the podcasts I enjoy. Yes, it is a long list! I'll give you a little summary of the podcasts I listen to in an effort to help you find the kind of podcast you'll enjoy.

Before starting, let me introduce you to MTGCast.com. Almost every Magic podcast out there is posted on MTGCast eventually. As you discover the podcasts you enjoy, you'll want to go to whatever site is hosting them since they will be posted there first, but for now, know that MTGCast is your go-to source for Magic podcasts.

Limited Resources

Limited Resources
This is the premier podcast out there right now. I understand it is the most-listened-to podcast at MTGCast, and it isn't even close. The hosts Marshall Sutcliffe and Jon Loucks discuss everything Draft-related. Some of the episodes look at Sealed or Cube, but this is primarily a podcast about drafting. Most shows start with a Crack a Pack segment, in which they open a pack of cards and discuss which card they would pick-first in a Draft. The rest of the show goes on to discuss something or some way to improve your drafting skills. Their most popular episodes are their set reviews, when they go through and analyze each common and uncommon from the new set of cards. That podcast comes out days before the prerelease and is invaluable if you are hoping to do well at your local prerelease.

Marshall and Jon have a good banter and are enjoyable just to listen. Both have significant Draft knowledge and will often have guests on the show who are also solid drafters. I draft barely once per set, and I am not really interested in most Limited formats, but I still tune into them every week. They tend to run between one and one and one-and-a-half hours, although the set review is usually about four hours. Their production values are solid, and they are consistent.

Drive to Work

Maro
Wizards of the Coast has recently returned to the land of Magic podcasts, recognizing that more and more players and potential players are listening to these podcasts. This is one of the two podcasts they are currently putting out. This podcast has just started, and as such, it still has some kinks to work out. The production value is limited since this is just the podcaster talking into his iPhone on the way to work. The podcast is consistently thirty minutes, but the hard cutoff leaves some topics just kind of hanging.

The real draw of this podcast is the podcaster: Mark Rosewater. When the lead designer for Magic spends a half an hour talking about Magic, it tends to be interesting. He is telling stories that no one else knows. The content is unique and interesting. I expect the production limitations will fix themselves over the coming weeks.

This is also one of the few podcasts not available at MTGCast.com. Check out Rosewater's weekly article at DailyMTG.com. At the bottom of the article, he has links to each of the podcasts he has done so far.

DailyMTG Podcast

Deadbridge Goliath
This is the other Wizards podcast. They are only two episodes in, so they have some production-value issues right now. The regular podcasters, Trick Jarrett, Tifa Meyen, and Mike Robles have a good chemistry.

So far, the content has felt a little more like advertising than actual content. They all enjoy playing and talking about the newest cards available for sale and their Fantasy Pro Tour rosters. This is all content that I can find from anyone who wants to put together a podcast. If Wizards is going to have a podcast, I would love some behind-the-scenes stories. Discussion with Gavin Verhey was a great start for that. With only two podcasts so far, it is early to be negative about the show, so I am not going to tell you not to listen. I do hope they make improvements as the podcast continues.

The Eh Team

If you are looking for a podcast with a group of guys talking about Magic generally, this is the podcast for you. KYT, Scottie, Jay Boosh, and Medina interact well and will get you a laugh every episode. The production values are great for the show, as Kyle does amazing work every time. Some of the best shows involve a guest who is generally a well-respected pro or Magic celebrity. There is no filter on this podcast, so be prepared for plenty of vulgar language.

Judgecast (and Judgecast North)

These are judge podcasts in which Magic judges discuss everything rules-related. They try to keep it light, but the shows can become bogged down in minutiae. If you want to become better with timing issues, I recommend the podcast. Note that this is not something that you can have running in the background, though; it will require your full attention.

Lightning Bolt
Griselbrand

The Mana Pool

This podcast describes itself as a casual podcast, and that fits them to a tee. Chewie, Mike, Brian, and Dirk are four casual players who have great chemistry. They talk about everything Magic-related, and it's all from a casual player's perspective. They have a style that is all their own. I have been listening to these guys for more than a hundred episodes and really enjoy the podcasts. Almost every podcast is over two hours, so you need some time to listen to it, but they are smooth and great to listen to at work.

CommanderCast

As you can tell by the title, this is a Commander podcast. Andy is the host every week and has a variety of other Commander players who act as cohosts. Each episode has a topic and set parts to the show. It is beautifully laid out and consistently one-and-a-quarter hours. If you have any interest in Commander at all, I recommend listening to CommanderCast and checking out the website CommanderCast.com. This is one of the best Magic podcasts out there, as Andy puts a lot of effort into the production value, so it always sounds polished with great content. This is another favorite.

Giant Shark
Equipoise

Off-Color Cast

This is the crazy younger brother of CommanderCast. The hosts are far more crass and less polished, but they always have a good time. They tend to focus on their decks and don't mind insulting each other about their choices. This is another NSFW podcast.

Monday Night Magic

This is the flagship podcast of the MTGCast Network. Chewie and Jack are the primary hosts, but they always try to have someone else on who is involved in the news from the week. The podcast discusses the Magic news from the week. The show does occasionally go off the rails, but it is generally informative.

In Contention

This podcast has recently shifted to being the official podcast of StarCityGames. If you are looking for an in-depth discussion of all the SCG events from the week before, this is the place to be.

The downside for me is that I listened to the podcast before it was supported by StarCityGames. Then, it was a discussion of Pro Tour Qualifier decks, and it discussed the Pro Tour players; the entire focus of the podcast was on the PTQ grinder. That is still there, after the discussion of SCG events, so for me, the podcast feels like a half an hour of StarCityGames advertising followed up by the regular podcast.

The upside is that the hosts Joey Pasco, Rueben Bressler, and Matt Kranstuber are some of the best voices in podcasting and are knowledgeable about what they are talking about. The podcast has great production values and is fun to listen to.

Pauper to the People

The podcast is all about Pauper. I enjoyed the few episodes I listened to, but this is a format I'm just not interested in. I recommend checking it out if you are.

Crypt Rats
Horde of Notions

Joy of Cubing

Matt Kranstuber is one of the foremost Cubers in the Magic community. This podcast, hosted at GatheringMagic.com, is still in its infancy, but it is a must for anyone interested in Cube.

Horde of Notions

This podcast focuses on deck-building for the Friday Night Magic crowd. Chris Lansdell has struggled to find a niche for this podcast, but he has recently put together a great crew of hosts and a format that seems to work. Their production values are solid, and they have what I think is the best opening and closing music of any Magic podcast out there (although The Mana Pool is very close).

Top8Magic

This podcast features Mike Flores and Brian David Marshall talking about Magic. This content is simply unmatched in any podcast right now and is practically must-listen-to podcasting.

The problem is that they seem to know this and do everything they can to make the podcast intolerable. The podcast is on no set schedule. They talk about basketball and other random topics even more than Magic. They regularly record their podcasts while walking around in New York. I believe they go out of their way to include jackhammers, sirens, homeless people, and random baristas in their recordings. If you can listen past all the problems, I recommend the cast.

Spider Spawning
Rakdos's Return

The Djinn's Playground

I saved this one for last. This podcast is one guy (The Djinn) who picks a Magic topic or three to talk about each podcast. The podcast is tight: It rarely ever going over forty-five minutes. The Djinn has THE BEST VOICE IN MAGIC PODCASTING. This guy is silk. This guy makes silk sound like sandpaper. He could read The Yellow Pages, and I'd listen. He should be doing voiceover for commercials on national TV. The production values of The Djinn's Playground are the best of any podcast, bar none. He has related music playing in the background while he talks. He voices several characters on his show. His rants are great. If you listen to only one podcast, listen to this one.

The downside? He barely ever podcasts! Months go by, and no podcasts. Come on, Djinn! We are waiting!




These are only a sampling of the podcasts that are out there. Try out a few. I'm sure you'll find something you'll love!

Bruce Richard

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