The Dive Down

A Magic: The Gathering podcast for the casual spike, focused on Modern, Pioneer, Explorer, and more!

About the show

The Dive Down is a Magic: The Gathering podcast focused on the latest decks, trends, and strategies for the casual spikes in Modern, Pioneer, Explorer, and more!

Each week your hosts Dave, Shane, and Stanislav discuss the latest innovations, competitive events, and level-up topics for paper and online players.

Support us on Patreon:

Proudly sponsored by ManaTraders, the best Magic card rental service for both Magic Online and paper! Get 15% off your first 2 months of ManaTraders! and use Manatraders code "thedivedown15"

Also sponsored by Barrister & Mann — shaving supplies, bath and body products, and fragrances for people with uncompromising taste. Get 15% off your first order at with the code "thedivedown2022"

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Episodes and Blog Entries

  • Episode 161: Sleeve/Believe/Heave: Fun With Artifacts ed.

    Episode  |  February 17th, 2022  |  1 hr 44 mins

    Turns out that Neon Dynasty may have had a little more impact on our formats than we originally anticipated. The reason why? Why, it's (mostly) thanks to Magic's favorite no-downside card type: Artifacts. Tune in as we try out builds of Urzaful/Urzaless Affinity and UW Hammer in Modern, Vehicle Tribal in Historic, and a whole new Ensoul Artifact build in Pioneer. But first, we take a look across 3 high level Modern MTGO events from the weekend. Dave asks for forgiveness. Shane withholds a harsh judgement. Stan gets chipped.
    The Break Down: Not many NEO cards in the Challenges
    The Dive Down: NEO cards in Leagues: Vehicles, Affinity, and Ensoul
    The Dive Down, cont: Stan's New Love: 4-0in' Prelims

  • Episode 160: A Dynasty of Neon Spoilers, Vol. 2

    Episode  |  February 10th, 2022  |  1 hr 48 mins

    In the epic conclusion of our Neon Dynasty picks to click, we scan the complete set spoiler and shout out our favorite dragon, counterspell, samurai, and skyturtle. Before that, we kick off the show with break down of January's Modern MTGO metagame with another installment of the monthly report, and wrap up with a brief love letter to Legacy.
    The Break Down: Monthly Modern Metagame: January
    The Dive Down: Mode Cards Than You Could Ever Reconfigure
    The Wind Down: Stan's New Love: Legacy

  • Episode 159: A Dynasty of Neon Spoilers, Vol. 1

    Episode  |  February 3rd, 2022  |  1 hr 38 mins

    It's time to head back to Kamigawa in the latest set... our Neon Destiny. I mean Density. I mean Dynasty. We take a look at cards from the first batch of spoilers we think are good in Modern, Historic, Pioneer, or just plain good! Before that, we break down the ManaTraders January Pioneer tournament.

  • Episode 158: We Thought There Would Be Bans, ft. SpiderSpace

    Episode  |  January 27th, 2022  |  1 hr 49 mins

    With Dave off this week, we are joined by streamer, former guest, and co-host of Mishra's Babble, Gabe Maxson, aka SpiderSpace! In the Break Down we talk about the (lack of) bans in Modern, then dive deep into the Modern Super Qualifier and SpiderSpace's second place finish. We then head into the Dive Down to discuss our recent play experiences, and in the Wind Down talk about the somber announcement from SCG of their ceasing their competitive content coverage.
    The Break Down: Companions Live On
    The Dive Down: And Spider Made the Finals!
    The Wind Down: But Star City Though...

  • Bonus 17: The VML, Sloths, Moose(s), and Linguine ft Carolyn Kavanagh

    Episode  |  January 25th, 2022  |  1 hr 6 mins

    Stan and Dave sit down with the wonderful Carolyn Kavanagh to talk about the latest season of the VML, how we make new friends as adults, and which tree-dwelling mammal is the best animal of all. We also check in on Carolyn's current relationship with Modern and Mono-Green Tron.

  • Episode 157: Understanding the Pioneer Metagame ft. Dom Harvey

    Episode  |  January 20th, 2022  |  1 hr 54 mins

    The heat is on in Pioneer town. Is the format back from the dead? Seems like everyone is talking about it, and it’s this month’s format for the Manatraders monthly tournament series. So we’ve invited the incredibly wise and skilled Dom Harvey to share his insights and analysis of Pioneer’s most popular decks, including Jeskai Ascendancy, Izzet Phoenix, Boros Heroic, Lotus Field, and more.
    The Dive Down, pt1: No Break Down This Week!
    The Dive Down, pt2: Because the Whole Ep is Just Decks!
    The Dive Down, pt3: Phoenix, Ascendancy, Heroic, Chonks, and More!

  • Episode 156: Yawgmoth: We Persisted

    Episode  |  January 13th, 2022  |  1 hr 47 mins
  • Episode 155: 2022 Goals: The Nation Speaks

    Episode  |  January 6th, 2022  |  1 hr 50 mins

    It's 2022, and we're back with an episode that looks forward to the new year. We asked for listeners to submit their 2022 goals via audio and text, and everyone delivered! We give our thoughts and feedback on the goals of The Nation, and also discuss our own. Before that, we go over Stan's December 2021 Modern summary and the latest Modern Challenges. Here's to 2022!
    The Break Down: December Modern Check-In
    The Dive Down: Your Goals are Our Goals

  • Episode 154: Our Year End Extravaganza, ft. Aspiringspike

    Episode  |  December 22nd, 2021  |  1 hr 50 mins

    The end of 2021 is upon us, which means it's time for our annual year in review episode! And this time, we've brought a friend, our reliable unofficial fourth co-host, Aspiringspike. We first talk about the biggest releases, bannings, and changes in 2021 for Modern and Historic, then head into the awards show to hand out this year's Diveys. We talk about our favorite cards, decks, and events of the year, then discuss our goals for 2022. Thanks to all of you for another great year of The Dive Down!

  • Episode 153: We Did It For Science: Amulet Titan

    Episode  |  December 15th, 2021  |  1 hr 46 mins

    In the second installment of We Did It For Science, we explore... gulp... Amulet Titan. Yes, our most hated card goes through our rigorous experimental testing regimen. We go over what these decks are about, gameplans, threats, tips & tricks, and, most importantly, just how much we still hate Primeval Titan. Prior to that, we dive into the metagame of the latest Modern Showcase Challenge.
    The Break Down: A Showcase Challenge
    The Dive Down: No Idea How to Play This Deck
    The Dive Down, cont: Look at This Cool Screenshot

  • Episode 152: Is Historic History?

    Episode  |  December 8th, 2021  |  1 hr 54 mins

    It's another in our awesome series of top-tier Patreon request episodes, as we take on Mickey S's (no, the other Mickey S) challenge to explore the decks and metagame of best-of-one Historic on Arena. We played a bunch of fun decks and faced off against even more, and have a lot of thoughts on the format. Prior to that, we break down the Innistrad Set Championship and go over the announcement of Alchemy and its impact on Historic, and perhaps all of Magic. Thanks again, Mickey!
    The Break Down: Top 8s All Around
    The Dive Down: Alchemical Explanations
    The Dive Down, cont: Best of One, Best of All

  • Bonus 16: Magic, Games, and Culture (ft. the hosts of BAD END Podcast)

    Episode  |  December 5th, 2021  |  1 hr 21 mins

    In this latest installment in our series of bonus eps, Shane is joined by the hosts of the videogame and culture podcast BAD END, Josh Calixto and Kyle Kukshtel. They talk about BAD END and the Superculture network, their thoughts on what makes games and Magic work, and, most importantly, what their least favorite video games are. It's a great conversation, and we hope you like it!

  • Episode 151: TDD Live in Vegas, ft. Reid, Evart, Joe, Gal, Tannon, Sam, Eli, Michael, Joel, Levi, & Steven

    Episode  |  November 24th, 2021  |  2 hrs 1 min

    We come to you LIVE (well, sorta) from the recent MTG Las Vegas event, where we tapped some cards, hung out with friends, and talked to some big name players! We talked to some current and future household names about Modern, the decks they brought, and their tournament experiences. Thanks to our old and new friends Joe Lossett, Tannon Grace, Yamakiller, Aspiringspike, Sam Pardee, Reid Duke, Eli Loveman, Michael Rapp, and top 8 finishers Joel Lapray, Levi Sprung, and Steve Pearlman for the fun and insightful conversations!
    The Dive Down: Shane & Stan went to Vegas!
    The Dive Down, cont: For some reason Dave is here too!
    The Dive Down, cont again: More interviews than you can shake your deck at!

  • Episode 150: The Road to Las Vegas IV: Preparing to Win, ft. Zach Allen

    Episode  |  November 17th, 2021  |  1 hr 55 mins

    It's episode 150!! In our final Road to Las Vegas segment, we are joined by SCG grinder, former host of Turn One Thoughtseize, and all around great guy Zach Allen. We first talk over the weekend's Challenges, then head into The Dive Down to talk about the decks of Modern, leveling up as a player, playing in a big tournament, why Aether Gust is the best card in Modern, and more. It's a can't-miss episode!
    The Break Down: A Huge Challenge
    The Dive Down: Preparation Makes Perfect
    The Dive Down, cont: The End of the Road

  • Episode 149: ManaCymbal Crashes & Crimson Vow Spoilers, II

    Episode  |  November 11th, 2021  |  1 hr 52 mins

    This week the three friends go through the second half of spoilers from Crimson Vow and consider which ones they'd marry for Modern (and other formats). But first, friend of the pod Zach Ryl (aka Manacymbal) stops by to talk us through his Modern Challenge Victory on Saturday, November 6.

  • Episode 148: Events, Reanimator, and Crimson Vow Spoilers

    Episode  |  November 3rd, 2021  |  1 hr 44 mins

    The title says it all! We first talk the MOCS, the SCG Invitational, and some Modern Challenges to try to wrap our head around the Modern meta. Then Shane makes up for being off last week with a discussion of Esper Reanimator. Then we go over the first batch of Crimson Vow spoilers and talk about some Cool Cards, Inc.
    The Break Down: Several Events
    The Dive Down: Esper Reanimator
    The Dive Down, cont: Crimson Vow Spoilers