I am something of a podcast junkie. I am lucky enough to have a job where I can listen to podcasts and a commute into Boston that is made shorter listening to these great folks talk Magic. Since I listen to an inordinate number of Magic podcasts, I thought I would use this article to share a few of my favorites in the hopes of guiding you to the various websites hosting the podcasts and convincing a few of you to take a listen. Some podcasts can be difficult to find, but they are worth the effort. These folks are doing great work.
The Deck Tease
What started out as a podcast as a new player talking about new decks and other Magic-related items with her friends has turned into the preeminent Magic interview podcast out there.1 Erin Campbell's interview style can seem like a puff piece; Erin's is not an attack-style interview. Her relaxed style regularly has her guests opening up and telling her things you don't hear on other podcasts. Erin's silky smooth voice makes the usually hour-long podcasts fly by. You can find the Deck Tease every Monday at GatheringMagic.com.
Drive to Work
This is the podcast you most likely already know about. Mark lists the latest episodes at the end of each of his Monday articles right here at DailyMTG (and there's also an archives page). This is Mark Rosewater, talking about Magic design while driving to work. The podcast is the length of Mark's commute to work (usually thirty minutes). He has great pacing and is easy to listen to. Maro's insider knowledge of all things Magic gives the podcast a content edge that other podcasts cannot match. The thirty-minute shows allow you to listen in manageable parts without feeling like you have to dedicate a significant part of your day to just that. The technical side used to be an issue. Mark uses his iPhone to record the podcast while he drives and his voice would come in and out. Mark has become more adept with the technical side, so the production values are much better than the early shows. While this still lags behind other podcasts, it isn't the annoyance it used to be.
Limited Resources is my go-to podcast for Thursdays and one of my overall favorites. Marshall Sutcliffe (writer of DailyMTG's Limited Information) and Brian Wong host the latest iteration of Limited Resources. When discussing the best Magic podcasts out there, Limited Resources has to be considered a frontrunner. The guys talk about all things Limited, with a focus on draft and Magic Online. Every episode has a theme or focal point that teaches the listener something about a variety of Limited formats.
Marshall has had two previous cohosts leave the show to start working at Wizards of the Coast! Both Marshall and Brian are very talented players who give you plenty of information in a comfortable style without wandering off point.
While their target audience is the Limited player who wants to be better, I recommend the podcast to everyone, not just those in that audience. Marshall and Brian are easy to listen to and the knowledge they share often goes beyond just Limited to Magic itself. You should take care to listen all the way through: Brian's outros demands that you listen through right to the end.
You can find Limited Resources at lrcast.com.
BJ Shea's Geek Nation
Once a week, Rev, The Prodigy, and Mono-Nick talk Magic. The discussion is wide-ranging, from From the Vault one week to Commander to the latest tournament they attended. The podcast has great production value (not surprising, as it comes from a radio station) and the guys always have something interesting to say about the topics. On occasion, they bring on guests, often from Wizards of the Coast, who add to the podcast.
When I added this podcast to my iTunes downloads, I ended up getting all the podcasts the Geek Nation puts out. These are usually thirty-minute podcasts every day Monday through Friday. While the other podcasts have nothing to do with Magic, a larger cast of characters covers all sorts of TV, movie, comic, and other geek-related news. I started listening to a few of them and have become an avid fan.
The Magic-related shows come out on Tuesdays and can be found on their website.
The Eh Team
There are several Magic podcasts that revolve around a group of friends who get together to talk about Magic. Most of these podcasts are lousy. There is no focus, no cohesion, no consistency, and no production value. The Eh Team is what those podcasts wish they were. KYT, ScottyMac, Jay Boosh, and Jeremey Scofield have great flow, with each person filling a particular role on the cast. Each week, these guys talk about what is happening in the Magic world that week, focusing on interesting decklists or events they recently attended. They are informative and funny.
With just this, it would be a great Magic podcast, but they also have Kyle. Kyle cleans up the podcast, doing the editing, often adding in humorous sound bites, and just giving a professional feel to the entire podcast. You can find their podcast every Monday morning at Manadeprived.com.
The Mana Pool
This is an old-school favorite podcast for me. These guys are longtime friends who are unabashed casual players. If you are looking for a podcast aimed at casual gamers who like the occasional Friday Night Magic, but play multiplayer as well, you have come to the right place. Chewie2, Brian, Mike, and Dirk have been doing this forever (over 300 episodes!) and have developed a comfortable repartee that lets the show flow. I was lucky enough to be a guest on one of their shows and it was a lot of fun. While some are turned off by the length of the podcast (often over two hours), I tend to listen while working on other projects. I have mowed more lawns and been on more runs while listening to The Mana Pool than any other podcast.
The guys do a podcast almost every week. You can check them out here.
This podcast, hosted by DailyMTG.com writers Mike Flores and Brian David-Marshall, always annoyed me. Both hosts often appear to be a bottomless pits of Magic information. They have more knowledge about decks, deck building, tournaments, and cards than anyone else in podcasting. The podcasts focus on the latest tournament or the coming Pro Tour, looking at the various Constructed formats and the decks that interest them. They intersperse the discussion with stories about old tournaments, NBA basketball discussions, and the best places to eat in New York. An all-round great podcast.
Except for the background noise. They liked to have these interesting and enlightening discussions while walking around the noisiest parts of New York! Many times it became impossible to hear what they were saying. The worst part was that they were aware that this was the case and took glee in it, trying to determine how much the listener would tolerate. After a handful of episodes, I finally gave up.
Since coming to Manadeprived.com, the background noise has become more tolerable. More shows happen indoors and the city noises that used to make the podcast impossible to hear are now just background noises that remind you of where they are.
The podcasts were sporadic, but they are making an effort to get something out every week. I recommend taking a listen.
This is a very new podcast hosted by Tom Gustafsson, with Adam Styborski and Conley Woods as cohosts. This is primarily a news podcast, as they go through the news of the week. Each host has a specialty and adds his distinct perspective to the news stories.
With a podcast this new, the regularity of the releases tends to be difficult, as they struggle to find a schedule that works. With only a few episodes in, this is a promising show with great personalities that I hope will take off. You can find them on GatheringMagic.com.
This is the best podcast in Magic. The Djinn picks a Magic topic or three, then talks about it for about forty-five minutes. The Djinn has THE BEST VOICE IN MAGIC PODCASTING. This guy is silk. 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.
So why did I wait until the end of the article to mention it? He doesn't podcast any more, and this is just a shame. You can hear his old podcasts here.
Some other podcasts I enjoy but just don't have time to go into include:
Brainstorm Brewery: A podcast about card availability. The hosts enjoy tormenting each other and it comes across well
Pauper to the People: A podcast for the Pauper format. These guys have been doing this for quite some time and they have a comfortable pacing in their podcast
Monday Night Magic: Chewie and a rotating cast of cohosts are currently running this weekly Magic news show. Coming up to episode 400, it is the longest-running Magic podcast out there.
Commandercast: A podcast dedicated to all things Commander.
Heavy Meta: A fun podcast. Some of the best moments of the cast happen when the hosts start telling some of their outrageous stories. This is not a podcast for younger listeners.
These are only a handful of podcasts that are out there. I'm sure there are a few that would be well-suited to your interests. While most Magic websites now host some regular podcasts, I should also mention mtgcast.com. The website exists solely to provide a free site for people to post their Magic-related podcasts. Whether you are a casual player, tournament player, Cube enthusiast, deck builder, or Vorthos, mtgcast.com will have something for you.
1: And I'm not just saying that because I made an appearance this week!
2: Chewie helped me get my first preview card from Wizards of the Coast when I was writing at the Muse Vessel. He made suggestions for my articles and encouraged his listeners to check us out. I owe Chewie and all the guys at The Mana Pool for their encouragement.