Road to the MTG Pro Tour – The Beginning, by Mark Howell [Blog Post]

Road to the MTG Pro Tour - The Beginning, by Mark Howell

Road to the Magic Pro Tour – The Beginning

My road to the Pro Tour all started about a year ago when I walked into my local game store in search of Warhammer Fantasy.

I played Warhammer Fantasy for about 4 months 10 year prior. Then I went on the road to work and did not have time for table top games. My work schedule was 6 weeks out working and 6 days at home. The heavy work load did not allow for game time much less family time.

Fast forward 10 years and I found a job where I could be home every night and weekends off. This was time to get back to what I loved as a child table games. I do not specifically say table to games because I was not introduced to them until adulthood. Regardless, it was time to play. Being in a new area I set out to find a local game store. Luckily I found Teje’s CCG and I went to check it out. Unfortunately in my 10 year lull from Warhammer Fantasy the game ceased to exist. So I decided to pick up some Orks and play Warhammer  40k. I played for about  about 6 months when I could find someone else to play but I soon realised that there was not allot of interest in table top games in my local community.

When I was in the store I would see other people play card games and it started to peak my interest. One day I brought my daughter to the shop with me and she really showed interest in what the other people were playing. No one showed up for Warhammer that day do I decided to try out this card game. Turns out it was Magic: the Gathering. I have heard of the game before but I never knew anyone that played it. So I went to Teje (the owner of the shop) and told him that my daughter and I were interested in trying Magic because it always filled his store with players. Teje sat us down and handed us some starter decks letting my daughter choose first and then me. He played my daughter for a couple of rounds and taught her the basics. Then he released her on me. She taught me everything she knew and proceeded to beat me for the next month (I still cant consistently beat her).

Warhammer at this point was dead in the store so I dove into this new to me game Magic: the Gathering head first. I fell in love with the game over the next couple of months. Then came Eldritch Moon Prerelease everyone was hyped up for it and the buzz was real. I had to check it out. We played the Prerelease and had a blast.

Going to Friday Night Magic (FNM) over the next 8 months I have gained valuable experience and advice. Having fun and looking forward to Fridays is a way of life for me now. FNM has gone good for me sometimes but more often than not I have been at the bottom of barrel.

So here we are about a year after discovering Magic: the Gathering and I feel like its time to step my game up. Four of my friends including Teje went to my first Preliminary Pro Tour Qualifier (PPTQ) last weekend and I placed 17th out of 21. Maybe not a very good, but I had a blast and I learned a lot. I do not think my performance was strictly a bad showing considering this was the most I have played out of my local game store and beyond Friday Night Magic.

This is where my introductory article will end and my Road to the Pro Tour will start. Follow my story here at and look for me to be on stream soon. I will write this blog monthly with updates on my progress, goals, and all of the hills and valleys that we will encounter on this journey. This will be a fun ride and I look forward to sharing it with all of you.

Mark Howell

Road to the MTG Pro Tour - The Beginning, by Mark Howell [Blog Post]
This is where it all started for me. How I discovered Magic: The Gathering. The beginning of My Road to the Pro Tour.

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