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By: JXClaytor, Joshua Claytor
May 15 2015 5:50pm
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The 2014 Magic Online Championship begins today!  Held in Seattle, Washington, this event features some of the best players that the game has to offer!  Among the competitors that are participating is a Hall of Famer, a Grand Prix Champion, a Starcitygames Open champion, a few National Champions, a lot of Pro Tour appearances, and a Pro Tour Champion.  There are so many magical accomplishments in this field that I am positive I missed highlighting some!  Today though, we are talking to the most recent Pro Tour Champion, Martin Dang.

Martin Dang may have reached his breakout moment with a win at Pro Tour: Dragons of Tarkir, but before he was running over the elimination rounds, he was crushing opponents on Magic: The Gathering Online.  Playing since the original Beta of the client, Dang has made a name for himself on the client and in the paper world of Magic: The Gathering.

Let's get to know Martin a little bit better! 

General Information

MTGO Screen Name:  StryCe
Age:  33
Hometown:  Born and raised in Aarhus, Denmark

11.  Twitter account?

-  I just created one. I can't remember what it's called, probably Martin Dang or something.

MTGO Clan:  Team Rocket

Team THOMMO THOMMO THOMMO consists of: Lars Dam,

Martin Müller, Immanuel Gerschensen, Nicolai Herzog,  Lukas Tea,
Christian Seibold, Bernhard Lehner, Tamas Nagy, Nico Bohny, Davi Reitbauner,  and Martin Dang.

Accomplishments in Magic:  "I met my lovely girlfriend Tina Dahl through Magic, Won GP Liverpool 2015, National 2010, PT DTK 2015, and qualified for MOCS final 2015. 2015 have been good to me."
All pictures from Wizards of the Coast, Pro Tour Dragons of Tarkir
Martins Magical Trivia!   

Favorite Magic format:   Definitely Limited, especially Draft, because you get to play new decks each time.

Favorite Draft format:  Lorwyn, lots of activated abilities on creatures.

Favorite Magic card:  (Jace the Mind Sculptor), that card is just too good, plus it helped me win Nationals 2010

Favorite Magic Set:  Lorwyn

How long have you played Magic?  Since the end of Revised.

What got you started in the game?  My cousin got me to buy a starter, promising me that I didn't have to spend more money on Magic ever, but could trade myself to what I need.

Notable Decks:  I guess I am mostly known for Atarka Red now, even though I see myself as more of a control player.

Jace, the Mind Sculptor


With the general information out of the way I decided it would be best to ask Martin about the previous Pro Tour.  


You played Atarka Red at Pro Tour Dragons of Tarkir. If you could go back and play anything else, would you, and if so what?

I would play the same deck with a few changes. It was a good metacall for that Pro Tour. 

What about the Atarka Red deck stood out to you and influenced your decision to play it?

We in the team came to the conclusion that Atarka Red had a 50/50 matchup against most of the current decks, and were very favorable against control, which we expected would be heavily represented. 

Could you describe what it was like to play during the elimination rounds of the Top 8?

Amazing feeling. I knew my deck, I knew my matchups. My team and I were well prepared. I was confident throughout all of Top 8. 

Do you have any memorable stories from testing or the Pro Tour?

 You can read (about) it in my article on Magic Madhouse

Winning the Pro Tour was just one subject I had in mind for the interview.  Being a long time Magic Online player I wanted to ask Martin for his thoughts on the client.  I also asked the writers of Puremtgo.com if they have any questions for him as well.  Since PureMTGO is mainly a Magic the Gathering Online site, I thought it would be interesting to see how a recent Pro Tour champion used the client. 

MTGO Questions

How long have you played MTGO?

 I created my account during the beta of MTGO. 

Oliver Law asked:  How did your success from Magic Online events translate into paper events?

(I have) confidence in myself, and knowing the different formats and cards available helped me a lot. 

Joe Fiorini asked:  How important would you say Magic Online has been to your success on the Pro Tour?

Very important. It's clearly the best way to get in a lot of testing and games so you can get familiar with the format. Any format, actually.

Guilherme Alexandrino asked a two part question.

What do you think are the biggest advantages of MTGO?

I get to draft whenever, wherever, and I get to double queue my drafts.

What do you think are the biggest problems of MTGO?

It can't be run on tablets.

If you could add one thing to Magic: the Gathering Online, what would it be and why?

Speed tournaments, where you don't have to wait between rounds but get paired against someone else who just finished.

Do you play in any Player Run Events on MTGO?

No, none, not with all the great events MTGO has to offer!

Following up the Magic: The Gathering Online questions we decided to move on to the MOCS, how Martin qualified, and what he is looking forward to in the event this weekend. 

MOCS Questions

How did you qualify for the MOCS?

I won the qualifier for November, the format was Vintage Masters Sealed.

How was your Vintage Masters deck during the MOCS you qualified?

Amazing Sealed pool with all the right cards for a blink control deck: (Brago, King Eternal); (Man-o'-War); and 2 Flametongue Kavus…just to mention a few.  The draft deck in the Top 8 was a hyper-aggressive white-black deck with 3 (Tyrant's Choice). 

What was your strategy during the Draft portion?

To draft an aggressive deck, which I think was the best archetype in Vintage Master Draft.

What format are you looking forward to playing the most in Seattle?

Modern and Draft both seem really interesting at the moment.

Not all of Magic is about the Pro Tour.  Remember it is just a game after all.  I've seen plenty of casual Magic being played on the sidelines of Grand Prixes and Pro Tours, often times Commander, but there has been plenty of Mental Magic, DC-10 and team drafts as well.  I wanted to see the not so serious side of Martin as well, which is why I asked some questions about casual formats! 

Casual Magic Questions

Do you play any casual formats? If so which ones?

"Du er ude Magic" which other people have been calling Danish Magic, It's kind of a fun drinking game involving Magic cards. 

In Commander, what is your favorite General?

(Karador, Ghost Chieftain). I like Abzan colors in Commander.

In Tribal, what is your favorite tribe?


With those questions out of the way, the staff at PureMTGO.com wanted to know if Martin had any advice for MTGO players.  We'll end the interview with this final question! 

Do you have any advice for MTGO players?

Keep on grinding, you'll only get better in time.

We would like to thank Kayla Tippie for setting up this question and answer session for us.  We would also like to thank Martin Dang for taking the time to speak with us at PureMTGO.com.

While we may be biased towards Martin, we would like to wish all the competitors of this weekend's Magic Online Championship the best of luck!  If you would like to watch coverage of the event, you can do so at the Magic: The Gathering Twitch channel, with coverage starting at 10am PST! 



Nicely done! I'm going to try by Joe Fiorini at Fri, 05/15/2015 - 18:09
Joe Fiorini's picture

Nicely done! I'm going to try to watch some of the MOCS when I get the opportunity.

Freaking awesome! We need by CalmLittleBuddy at Tue, 05/19/2015 - 08:51
CalmLittleBuddy's picture

Freaking awesome! We need more chances to interview top players!

I have perfected the method. by Joe Fiorini at Wed, 05/20/2015 - 00:00
Joe Fiorini's picture

I have perfected the method. Not really. I've been lucky, I suppose.