Sunday, March 06, 2005

If You Know These Three Steps, Then You Too Can Be ‘Psychic’ In Magic…

This is the very first entry for the new MTGInsider.com Blog. Check back often for new entries and expect to read all kinds of random Magic thoughts that come spilling out of my wacky brain. :-)

The first entry I want to make is a very important one. It's about something that I think is a critical element of Magic success. It's a three step process you can use to constantly improve in Magic and to have more fun doing it.

I really started to see my own success really prosper and grow when I finally got something through my thick skull...

There IS a way to see into the future!

If there was a way to pretty much know what decks you’d be facing whenever you went to a tournament do you think that would be useful? What about if you knew what colors you SHOULD draft to produce easy win after easy win? How nice would it be to know what is in your opponent’s hand? What if you could do all of this without ever having to resort to underhanded tactics or cheating the rules?

Do you think you would win more games of Magic if you could do all of that? Would you like to tell you how?

I thought so…

Let me tell you three simple things that I do that give me a MAJOR advantage whenever I go to a tournament. And believe it or not these are things that will probably take you much less time that you are probably spending now to get ready for a given event.

Let’s face it: so much of Magic seems to come down to dumb luck. Sometimes you feel like you’re playing a fancy game of Rock Scissors Paper—with mulligans!!! In order to have and edge you need to be able to see into the future. Let me explain…

Step 1: Know ALL the cards!

Knowing all of the cards makes it possible for you to be predictive. If you don’t know the cards how in the world are you going to guess what decks people are playing, much less what cards are in people’s hands? And get that I mean ALL the cards.

But how can your easily remember all of the cards?

I remember when I was 14 I could tell you every single stat for every single starter in the NFL. Want to know how many yards John Elway passed for? You could come to me. What about how many yards per carry Barry Sanders had his rookie year? I was your man.

Why? Football cards. I had ‘em all and I read ‘em all. It was easy! Why? Because I loved football. I stared at those cards all the time! Oh, and because Magic hadn’t been invented yet!

I don’t know about you but I looooove looking at Magic cards. Let’s face it, you probably do too if you’re reading this blog!

So how much harder is it to make sure you read the RIGHT cards? Not hard if you know:

1. Where to find all the card lists. Here you go!

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=magic/products/cardsets

2. You only need to know all the cards that can be played in the tournament you’re playing in. Are you in a Champions of Kamigawa/Betrayers of Kamigawa sealed deck? Then you only need to read those two sets! Playing Type II? Add on Mirrodin, Darksteel, Fifth Dawn and 8th Edition.

Here’s a list of all of the card sets for every constructed format INCLUDING a list of all restricted and banned cards.

3. How to remember all of them (and this one’s your SPECIAL CLUE!). Every time you read a card ask yourself these questions: ‘When is this card good?’ and ‘What cards is this card especially good with?’—this will ENERGIZE your mind and put it to work for you—even when you’re NOT thinking about Magic at all!

Step 2: Walk the floor…

The next thing I like to do, and remember this is all still before the event has even begun, is to spend some time with some of the people who will be playing at the tournament. There’s a secret key that will help you figure out what everyone will be playing…

Let start with how to find people who will be playing at the event. This is easy to do if you go to a local Magic store then night before the event.

For instance, if I’m going to play at a Saturday morning Pro Tour Qualifier in Atlanta, I’ll go to the local phone book and find out who’s got Friday Night Magic the night before the tournament. Even if FNM isn’t in the same format as the PTQ there will be people there who are playtesting for the PTQ!

Talk to those guys. You don’t even have to ask them what they plan to play, just ask them what they expect to see. They will probably name a couple of decks that they are afraid of facing. Talk to another couple of guys, see what they think will be played.

Chances are, these guys are motivated and they have figured out what the ‘better players’ in the area are playing. And remember, Magic is a social game, and players LOVE to talk about decks. That’s why they play Magic:-)

If you do this two or three times the night before the event, then arrive at the PTQ the next day you’ll get a pretty darn good perspective on what you’re likely to see.

But what if it’s not even a constructed event? What if it’s sealed deck?

Well people are still playing DECKS aren’t they!?! They aren’t playing with Transformers! Decks are decks, whether they are Extended or Sealed decks.

Find out what colors people like, and why. This will give you ‘psychic’ insight into what decks you can play to maximize your chances…

And your final clue…

Step 3: Count and Ask!

Once the game has begun, what you need to do to be ‘predictive’ and know what your opponent ‘might have’ is simply take the time during each of your opponent’s end of turns to ask yourself these questions:

  1. How much mana do they have untapped?
  2. What spells can be cast for that much mana?
  3. Are they playing ‘like’ they have some certain card? (I know when I have a ‘Wrath of God’ in sealed deck, I don’t go playing all of my creatures!)
  4. What’s the worst thing they can do to me next turn?

If you do this each and every turn, these four simple steps, you’ll soon start ‘looking into

future’ and seeing what cards your opponent has.

So please take these three simple steps, KNOW THE CARDS, WALK THE FLOOR, AND COUNT AND ASK and apply them to build your Magic game!

Regards,

Mike Long

3 Comments:

Blogger Ironman said...

Some of your HTML markup isn't working.

Good start, though!

12:42 PM  
Blogger Ziggy_ZigZag_Train said...

Good work.

6:29 AM  
Blogger Spazmadic1 said...

cool

5:39 PM  

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