The information previously found on this page has been moved to our new article site.
You will be automatically redirected to the Hareruya event schedule site in 10 seconds.
To access the website you can also click the link found below.

Article Top > Column > Player Focus -Steve Rubin-

Player Focus -Steve Rubin-

2018/05/19 00:00 

    • Hareruya Media Team
    • Column

By Jeremy Dezani

Welcome to "Player Focus"!

"Player Focus" is a short interview with one of the greatest MTG players in the world. The goal is to present the player and his MTG profile to Japanese and international communities. "Player Focus" will feature a different player each time.


This Time we have Steve Rubin (@RubinZoo)

Steve Rubin is a Pro Player from USA. He is mainly known for his victory in Pro Tour Shadows over Innistrad . Since this moment, he has been one of the top MTG players in the world.



  • First Name: Steve
  • Last Name: Rubin
  • Age: 26
  • Nationality: USA
  • Sponsor: TCGPLAYER.com, Ultra-Pro
  • Lifetime Pro Points: 257
  • Pro Level 2017/2018: Platinum

Occupation / Hobbies outside MTG:

Game Designer at Riot Games, Writer at TCGPLAYER.com

When did you start MTG? Which set? How did you first meet the game?


Image Copyright : Wizards of the Coast

I started playing Magic during Urza’s Saga block at age 6. My brother taught me how to play, but we didn’t really know the entirety of the rules, my dad saw us bringing Magic cards home in our backpacks and researched and learned the actual rules and taught us how to play.

What famous player influenced you the most to become a professional player?

No famous player for me, but my friends in my draft group at Carnegie Mellon University (Zohar Bhagat, Bill Senneway, Harry Corvese, Ron Kotwica, and Jason Martel) were my greatest influence to pursue competitive MTG. We did almost exclusively team drafts. This drove me to improve my game; I wanted to become the player people wanted to be on their team and feared to go up against. I love playing, sharpening my game, and the competition. However, I’ve always and still consider playing Magic a hobby. Any extra I get out of Magic will always be a bonus to me.

Previous Achievements

PT TOP 8: 1

GP TOP 8: 10

Others: Finalist 2017 MOCS; 2 SCG Standard Open Wins

If you have one, who is your favorite Japanese Player and why:


Ken Yukuhiro
Image Copyright : Wizards of the Coast

Ken Yukuhiro.

I respect Ken’s ability to consistently perform with his own takes on decks. I love that he was the only player to play 《Bone Picker》 in the constructed portion of Pro Tour Amonkhet and managed to top 8. He can expect my vote for this year MTG Hall of Fame!

Favorite MTG Format and why:

My favorite format is Draft, Limited is the most interesting to me since games don’t play out in the same way.

Do you prefer to play aggressive, control, midrange or combo deck? Why?

In constructed, I prefer Midrange and most of my success has come through playing it. I like having the ability for my deck to be flexible. Midrange can play as both the aggressor or the control deck depending on the situation.

Favorite MTG Decks:

Standard: Black Red Vehicles

Modern: 《Living End》

Legacy: Delver

Heart of KiranLiving EndDelver of Secrets

What is your favorite deck to play at the moment? Choose one from Any format:

I love Humans in Modern. It’s quite strong against 《Hollow One》 and Jund which seem to be the most popular decks. It’s super aggressive and capable of unbeatable explosive hands while also being quite disruptive. Normally, you don’t get both of these in one deck. I’ve adapted the list to play more expensive threats like 《Restoration Angel》 and 《Whirler Rogue》, which helps you compete in a fair metagame and prevents you from losing to mana flood.

Cavern of SoulsMeddling MageNoble HierarchMantis Rider

What is your First Pick, from this pack as the First Pack draft in this booster and why?

Urza's Ruinous BlastElfhame DruidMerfolk TricksterGarna, the BloodflameKeldon Warcaller
UnwindGuardians of KoilosInvoke the DivineWindgrace AcolytePegasus Courser
Skittering SurveyorVicious OfferingRadiating LightningSaproling MigrationForest

My pick is 《Urza's Ruinous Blast》.

Urza's Ruinous Blast

I would take 《Urza's Ruinous Blast》. Sweepers that have the potential to leave you with your own creatures behind are super powerful in limited. Sure, there is some awkwardness against opposing Legendaries but you have the entirety of the rest of the draft to make this card work. While not on the same level, this card has the potential to operate in similar ways to 《Duneblast》 or 《Mass Calcify》 which are huge bombs in limited.

You recently finished second at the 2017 Magic Online Championship. It was a pretty stacked event with a lot of great players. Which player impressed you the most? What does it mean to you to finish with a great result at this event?

Guillaume Matignon

Guillaume Matignon
Image Copyright : Channel Fireball

Guillaume Matignon. He was my only loss in Draft, and he played quite well and although my deck was very strong, it was outmatched by his. Any player who goes 6-0 on Booster Draft during small field tournaments will impress me. While I was happy to finish second, I was rather disappointed overall. Winning the MOCS is automatic Platinum Status and a requalification for next years MOCS. Being so close only made it feel worse when I didn’t get there.

Winning a Pro Tour is the dream of every MTG player. You already reached this goal in Pro Tour Shadows over Innistrad. What were the key points to get this trophy? What advice would you give to players who are dreaming to win a Pro Tour?

The key for me is winning through preparation. I’m not the most technical player, and the PT I won I had a great deck and had significant reps against the entire format. I think the biggest key for me wasn’t found in the top 8, but the moment where I misequenced my turn to prevent myself from flipping my game winning 《Archangel Avacyn》 against Luis Scott-Vargas(LSV). I was rattled and convinced I had given up my shot at a first Pro tour top 8, but I was able to stay level headed and win out. The best advice I can give to pro tour hopefuls is to stay hungry, and don’t blame anything but yourself when you lose.

You are now a Platinum professional player. What did you do before being a professional MTG Player? When did you realize you could become a pro?

I was working as a receptionist at a doctors office. I was tired of it after a while and decided that my best course of action was to go back to school to finish my bachelors degree in Business. While going back to school, I started doing really well at Magic until I reached a point in time where I couldn’t do both well. I had to pick one, and eventually I became a professional Magic Player.

Players each have different opinions about the new pro point system. What are your thoughts on this?

I really like the new system. Many players are confused or upset because the convergence to this new system is has some pains. After we get passed this year, moving forward having your best 12 finishes over the course of the last year count towards your current status will much more consistently award you with a status that reflects your performance.


Image Copyright : Wizards of the Coast

Also, this new system is going to terminate the ugliness of concessions on the Pro Tour, as achieving additional points will always be worthwhile. Unfortunately, last year I was on the bubble and missed worlds on tiebreakers while a few players that made it were conceded to in the last round in the last pro tour of the season. This new system provides a healthier and fairer playing field for everyone.

Recommended Items

Related Articles