Darwin Kastle Played in every Pro Tour for almost nine years, with Top 8 appearances every step along the way...Won the second Duelist Invitational, creating Avalanche Riders...Early reputation as a Limited specialist with two Top 8s...Later posted multiple Top 8s at Constructed events...Formed Your Move Games with Rob Dougherty and Dave Humpherys, a powerful and long-standing team.
Class of: 2005
Hometown: Killingworth, CT, USA
Debut: Pro Tour-New York 1996
Career winnings: $147,897
Lifetime Pro Points: 320


Of the three Your Move Games stalwarts on the first ballot, Darwin Kastle was the only one to get elected by the Selection Committee. When you look at the resume Darwin has amassed, it is painfully obvious why he is the first member of YMG to stride into the Hall. Darwin is third on the all-time list with eight Pro Tour Top 8s, has achieved double-digit Grand Prix Top 8s (including nine in North America at a time when many of the other players in that class were doing so against an at-the-time weaker Asian Grand Prix field), won the second Invitational, and was one of the first players to put forth the notion of playing Magic professionally.

Darwin was a veteran player of the Northeastern U.S. tournament scene long before the Pro Tour came to New York. He played in that first event courtesy of a nimble dialing finger but finished a mere 65th. He found his way to Sunday in the very next stop, making his first of eight Top 8s at Pro Tour-Los Angeles. That event's top three players all hailed from New England, and Kastle lost to local nemesis Shawn "Hammer" Regnier in the semifinals.

Darwin Kastle was one of the first players to earn a living by playing Magic.

The next trip to the Sunday stage brought Darwin to the finals of Pro Tour-Atlanta where he fell to Frank Adler. His success in back-to-back Limited Pro Tours handed him the label as the game's first Limited specialist – something that never seems to sit well with anyone who wears that title. Darwin quickly put an end to the idea that he could not do well at Constructed events with a Top 4 finish at Paris in 1997, the first Pro Tour held outside of the United States – recognition that could have come sooner, if not for a misstep in Texas.

"I became labeled as a 'Limited' specialist after finishing second at the one and only Sealed tour in Atlanta," explained Kastle. "Pro Tour-Paris was one of my more successful attempts at a rogue deck as I dismissed doubts that I could succeed at Constructed with a third-place finish. Frankly, in the Northeast I was known as a Type 1 player and only a foolish intentional draw with Mark Justice (whom I was in undue awe of) kept me out of the Top 8 of the Type 1 Pro Tour in Dallas."

After three Pro Tour Top 8s over the first two seasons, Darwin hit a mini-slump without any more appearances over the next two seasons. He did win a Magic Invitational – then known as The Duelist Invitational – and as his reward he created the always popular Avalanche Riders.

Darwin returned to the Sunday stage during the first event of the 1999-00 season as a member of Team Your Move Games. After defeating Jon Finkel and his Antarctica teammates in the semifinals, Darwin would go onto square off with Kurt Burgner of Game Empire (which also included fellow Hall of Famer Alan Comer) in the finals. YMG's victory in Washington marked Darwin's best finish on the Pro Tour and marked one of the most satisfying moments in his career, after three second- and third-place finishes kept him from glory.

"The three biggest highlights of my career were winning PT-DC, winning the Invitational in Rio, and winning GP-Manchester," he said. "This is because as awesome as a Top 3 in a PT is, you can only feel the purity of victory by finishing in first place. It was important to prove that I didn't have any psychological barriers to finishing first."

While Darwin won a Limited Pro Tour and started his career with back-to-back Limited Top 8s, he would close it with a display of Constructed prowess. After D.C., he reached the Top 8 of one more Limited Pro Tour – the following Pro Tour stop in London – before rattling off three more Top 8s in Constructed formats.

After an Extended Top 8 in New Orleans the season previous, Darwin was part of the YMG juggernaut that took down the top three spots at Pro Tour-Houston with three different Extended decks. Two events later, Darwin appeared in the Top 8 of Venice piloting dragons in the tribal-themed Onslaught Block Constructed Pro Tour.

Darwin has been working as game designer since he stopped playing on the Pro Tour. His induction has special meaning for him, as he has found himself looking back at his career and trying to put it into the context of his life.

Darwin Kastle, circa 2005,

"I look around me at other people my age with families, houses, and advanced careers," he said. "Then I wonder if I wasted prime years of my life pursuing a passion that was ultimately a distraction? This gives me something more tangible to show that my efforts over many years had meaning and are remembered. With the way things are going for me, perhaps I have been advancing my career all these years."

The induction and attendant Level 3 benefits will likely inspire Darwin to pursue high-level Magic once again, and don't be surprised if Venice is the not the last entry on Kastle's resume.

"Count on it," was Darwin's response when asked if he would indulge in his lifetime invitations. "It may take awhile before I have another impressive finish, but if you are patient, you can count on that too."

It should come as no surprise that Darwin took an opportunity to single out several players from various points in Your Move Games history when asked about who he would like to thank for his Pro Tour career. "Dave Humpherys, Rob Dougherty, Michelle Bush, Danny Mandel, and Brad Mennell. Especially Dave," he said.

The consistency that marked Darwin's career is an impressive sight, recording an amazing 48 consecutive Pro Tours and Worlds attended – from the very first to Pro Tour-Kobe 2004. With those appearances came results that put him in rare territory among Magic players, cementing Darwin Kastle's place in Magic history.

By Format

Format W L D BYE Matches Win %
Limited 200 142 29 55 426 53.91%
Constructed 249 155 47 36 487 55.21%
Total 449 297 76 91 913 54.62%

By Event Type

Event W L D BYE Matches Win %
Worlds 78 58 9 0 145 53.79%
Pro Tour 198 129 32 0 359 55.15%
Nationals 37 23 0 0 60 61.67%
Grand Prix 136 87 35 91 349 52.71%
Total 449 297 76 91 913 54.62%

By Event

Event Date Finish W L D BYE Matches Win %
Pro Tour-New York 2/16/1996 65 4 3 0 -    
Pro Tour-Los Angeles 5/5/1996 3 9 3 0 -    
Pro Tour-Columbus 7/6/1996 65 3 2 1 -    
1996 World Championships 8/18/1996 30 6 7 0 -    
1995-96 Season     22 15 1 0 38 57.89%
Pro Tour-Atlanta 9/13/1996 2 7 1 1 -    
Pro Tour-Dallas-Type I 11/22/1996 192 4 1 2 -    
Pro Tour-Dallas-Type II Masters 11/23/1996 n/a 2 5 0 -    
Pro Tour-Los Angeles 2/28/1997 81 3 2 1 -    
Pro Tour-Paris 4/11/1997 3 9 2 3 -    
Pro Tour-New York 5/30/1997 88 3 2 1 -    
1997 World Championships 8/15/1997 82 9 9 3 -    
1996-97 Season     37 22 11 0 70 52.86%
Pro Tour-Chicago 10/10/1997 113 4 3 0 -    
Pro Tour-Mainz 12/5/1997 192 2 3 1 -    
Pro Tour-Los Angeles 3/6/1998 25 9 4 1 -    
Grand Prix-Atlanta 3/28/1998 n/a 0 3 0 3    
Pro Tour-New York 4/17/1998 228 2 4 1 -    
Grand Prix-Indianapolis 6/27/1998 6 7 3 1 3    
1998 World Championships 8/15/1998 17 13 6 2 -    
1997-98 Season     37 26 6 6 75 53.62%
Grand Prix-Boston 9/5/1998 5 7 3 1 3    
Pro Tour-Chicago 9/25/1998 9 10 3 1 -    
Grand Prix-Texas 10/11/1998 2 8 1 4 3    
GP Birmingham 10/17/1998 n/a 7 1 2 3    
Pro Tour-Rome 11/13/1998 15 9 2 3 -    
Grand Prix-San Francisco 1/23/1999 24 5 4 0 4    
Pro Tour-Los Angeles 2/26/1999 316 1 5 0 -    
Grand Prix-Kansas City 3/27/1999 n/a 4 3 2 -    
Pro Tour-New York 4/30/1999 198 3 4 0 -    
Grand Prix-Washington D.C. 6/18/1999 16 6 2 2 3    
1999 U.S. Nationals 7/3/1999 19 8 4 0 -    
1999 World Championships 8/13/1999 58 10 8 0 -    
1998-99 Season     78 40 15 16 149 58.65%
Pro Tour-Washington D.C. (Team) 9/5/1999 1       -    
Pro Tour-London 10/15/1999 8 10 3 2 -    
Grand Prix-San Diego 11/20/1999 5 7 3 1 3    
Pro Tour-Chicago 12/3/1999 42 8 4 2 -    
Grand Prix-Seattle 1/15/2000 15 6 3 1 3    
Pro Tour-Los Angeles 2/4/2000 10 10 3 1 -    
Grand Prix-Philadelphia 2/19/2000 14 7 3 1 3    
Pro Tour-New York 4/14/2000 121 4 3 0 -    
2000 U.S. Nationals 6/10/2000 29 7 5 0 -    
2000 World Championships 8/4/2000 29 11 5 2 -    
1999-2000 Season     70 32 10 9 121 62.50%
Pro Tour-New York (Team) 10/1/2000 11       -    
Grand Prix-Manchester 10/7/2000 1 10 2 1 3    
Grand Prix-Dallas 10/28/2000 69 2 2 0 3    
Pro Tour-Chicago 12/1/2000 81 6 6 2 -    
Grand Prix-New Orleans 1/6/2001 52 3 5 1 4    
Grand Prix-Amsterdam 1/13/2001 112 2 2 1 3    
Pro Tour-Los Angeles 2/2/2001 250 2 4 0 -    
Grand Prix-Valencia 2/10/2001 22 6 4 0 3    
Grand Prix-Boston 2/24/2001 15 7 3 1 3    
Pro Tour-Tokyo 3/16/2001 109 6 8 0 -    
Grand Prix-Detroit 3/31/2001 125 2 3 0 3    
Pro Tour-Barcelona 5/4/2001 28 9 3 2 -    
2001 U.S. Nationals 6/2/2001 24 8 4 0 -    
2001 World Championships 8/10/2001 71 10 7 1 -    
2000-01 Season     73 53 9 22 157 54.07%
Grand Prix-Denver 8/18/2001 3 7 1 4 3    
Pro Tour-New York (Team) 9/9/2001 125       -    
Grand Prix-Minneapolis 9/29/2001 26 5 2 3 3    
Grand Prix-Montreal 10/13/2001 135 0 3 0 3    
Pro Tour-New Orleans 11/2/2001 7 10 3 2 -    
Grand Prix-Las Vegas 12/8/2001 144 1 2 0 3    
Pro Tour-San Diego 1/11/2002 174 3 3 1 -    
Grand Prix-Tampa 2/23/2002 38 5 4 1 3    
Pro Tour-Osaka 3/15/2002 51 8 6 0 -    
Pro Tour-Nice 5/3/2002 210 3 4 0 -    
2002 U.S. Nationals 6/1/2002 22 8 4 0 -    
2002 World Championships 8/16/2002 93 9 8 1 -    
2001-02 Season     59 40 12 15 126 53.15%
Grand Prix-Cleveland 9/7/2002 26 6 3 2 3    
Pro Tour-Boston (Team) 9/29/2002 84       -    
Grand Prix-Philadelphia 10/26/2002 119 2 3 0 3    
Pro Tour-Houston 11/8/2002 3 12 4 0 -    
Grand Prix-New Orleans 1/4/2003 74 2 2 1 3    
Pro Tour-Chicago 1/17/2003 334 1 4 0 -    
Grand Prix-Boston 2/22/2003 188 1 2 1 3    
Pro Tour-Venice 3/21/2003 6 10 2 3 -    
Pro Tour-Yokohama 5/9/2003 76 6 7 1 -    
2003 U.S. Nationals 6/29/2003 77 6 6 0 -    
2003 World Championships 8/8/2003 91 10 8 0 -    
2002-03 Season     56 41 8 12 117 53.33%
Pro Tour-Boston (Team) 9/14/2003 53       -    
Grand Prix-Kansas City 10/18/2003 222 0 1 2 3    
Pro Tour-New Orleans 10/31/2003 210 3 5 0 -    
Grand Prix-Anaheim 12/13/2003 146 0 3 1 3    
Pro Tour-Amsterdam 1/16/2004 306 1 4 0 -    
Pro Tour-Kobe 2/27/2004 183 2 4 0 -    
Grand Prix-Columbus 3/27/2004 106 6 5 1 2    
Pro Tour-Seattle (Team) 7/11/2004 52       -    
Grand Prix-New Jersey 8/14/2004 161 4 3 0 2    
Grand Prix-Boston 2/5/2005 500 1 3 0 1    
2003-04 Season     17 28 4 11 60 34.69%

  • After kicking off his career with a 65th-place finish at the very first Pro Tour, Darwin went on to play in 48 consecutive Pro Tour events.
  • Pro Tour Los Angeles 1996 was the first Limited Pro Tour event. Darwin reached the semifinals against eventual winner Shawn "Hammer" Regnier and began earning his reputation as the game's first Limited specialist.
  • RECORD VS. CLASS OF 2005 W L D
    vs. Jon Finkel 1 3 0
    vs. Tommi Hovi 4 0 0
    vs. Alan Comer 1 1 1
    vs. Olle Råde 0 0 0
    Total 6 4 1

  • Darwin reached the finals in the very next Limited Pro Tour. Pro Tour Atlanta was a singularly unique event in Pro Tour history as it was the Mirage Prerelease tournament. None of the players had ever seen a Mirage card before round one of the tournament.
  • Darwin was long considered one of the top Vintage players on the East Coast prior to the Pro Tour. He finished 10th at the only Vintage Pro Tour event in Dallas 1997.
  • Darwin finally posted a Constructed Top 8 in Paris 1997 when he finished third with his red-blue beatdown deck in a field full of Cadaverous Bloom combo players.
  • Darwin finished 25th at Pro Tour Los Angeles 1998 with his Living Death deck. Darwin's build also propelled Adam Katz into the Top 8 of that event and was likely the best deck in that tournament.
  • Avalanche Riders was the result of Darwin's Duelist Invitational win in 1998.
    Darwin returned to his Limited ways during the 99-00 season. He kicked off the year with a win alongside Dave Humpherys and Rob Dougherty as team YMG at the first team Pro Tour in Washington, D.C. Darwin had to beat Jon Finkel heads up in the semifinals for his team to advance and for his first and only Pro Tour title.
  • Darwin avoided drafting green all weekend long at Pro Tour London 1099-00 and it carried him through to the Top 8 of that Urza's Saga Block Limited Pro Tour.
  • Darwin returned to the Top 8 stage in New Orleans 2001 when he finished seventh with YMG Constructed staple Reanimator deck which featured Zombie Infestation and could lock out a non-black opponent with Contamination.
  • Darwin Rocked his way into the Top 4 of Pro Tour New Orleans 2002 with the popular green-black deck. Your Move Games dominated that tournament with three players and three decks in the Top 8 – the only players YMG lost to were wearing also wearing YMG shirts in that Extended Top 8.
  • Darwin had one more Pro Tour Top 8 in him and in true YMG spirit unleashed Dragons on Venice 2003. His Onslaught Block Constructed deck featured Kilnmouth Dragon, Rorix Bladewing, and Imperial Hellkite.
  • Darwin's eight Pro Tour Top 8s place him third in that category behind only Jon Finkel and Kai Budde. As of 2005, the next closest player in the standings needs two more Top 8s just to tie him.
  • Darwin has double-digit totals for Grand Prix Top 8s with 11 such finishes. He has one individual and one team trophy on his mantle. He drafted an ideal Crosis-colored Invasion deck at a star-studded table in Manchester to pick up his individual honor. It was the first event after Darwin finally resolved to take the plunge and become a professional Magic player.
  • Listed below are the decklists from each of Kastle's Pro Tour Top 8 appearances.

    Darwin Kastle – The Rock
    Pro Tour-Houston 2002, Extended


    Darwin Kastle - The Claw
    Pro Tour-Venice 2003, Onslaught Block Constructed


    Darwin Kastle - Reanimator
    Pro Tour-New Orleans 2001, Extended


    Darwin Kastle – Your Move Games
    Pro Tour-Washington D.C. 1999, Team - Semifinals



    Darwin Kastle
    Pro Tour-London 1999-00, Urza's Saga Booster Draft


    Darwin Kastle – Darwin's "Kastle"
    Pro Tour-Paris 1997, Mirage/Visions Block Constructed


    For Pro Tour-Atlanta 1997, Kastle changed out his deck for each game of the finals. This is the published version from The Duelist Sideboard, Dec. 1996.

    Darwin Kastle (Version 1)
    Pro Tour-Atlanta 1997, Mirage Sealed Deck



    Video

    All files are Windows Media Player format.

  • Hall of Fame Highlight Reel (53 MB)
  • 2005 Worlds: Darwin Kastle Interview (8.2 MB)
  • Pro Tour-Atlanta 1996 Finals, Darwin Kastle vs. Frank Adler (28 MB)

  • Pro Tour-Atlanta 1996 Interview (7.2 MB)

  • 1997 U.S. Nationals Interview (9.5 MB)

  • Pro Tour-Paris 1997 Awards Ceremony (17 MB)

  • Pro Tour-Washington, D.C. 1999 Semifinal Team Draft, Part I: Your Move Games vs. Antarctica (31 MB)

  • Pro Tour-Washington, D.C. 1999 Semifinal Team Draft, Part II: Your Move Games vs. Antarctica (27 MB)

  • Pro Tour-Washington, D.C. 1999 Semifinals: Darwin Kastle (Your Move Games) vs. Jon Finkel (Antarctica) (29 MB)

  • Pro Tour-Venice 2003 Quarterfinals, Darwin Kastle vs. Adam Berkowitz (20 MB)

  • Pro Tour-Venice 2003 Awards Ceremony (11 MB)

  • Photo Gallery

    Darwin Kastle played in every Pro Tour from 1996 until Kobe in 2004, a remarkable stretch of activity.


    Darwin Kastle at Pro Tour-Venice 2003, the last of his Top 8 appearances stretching over an eight-year span.


    Darwin Kastle finished 7th at Pro Tour-New Orleans 2001, one of his eight Top 8 appearances.


    Darwin Kastle, with fellow YMG team members Rob Dougherty and Dave Humpherys. YMG remains one of the dominant forces in team play


    Darwin Kastle at the 2001 Magic Invitational in Sydney, Australia. Darwin won the second Invitational and gave the world Avalanche Riders.

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