Sending the Wrong Signals
Now, don't let the title get taken out of context. For those of you looking for dating tips, you've stopped in the wrong place (Unless you are looking for polite gamer chicks attending tournaments).
I have gotten several e-mails from readers that wonder what proper etiquette is in certain situations. Some players seem confused on what to do. Others seem really put off by how their opponents react to certain things. I figured I would once again do the Magic online community a favor and cover a few different situations. After all, we all want to send the best possible signals. Really, who wants to look bad, or seem like an ass to their opponent? Hopefully, I can help you keep from doing just that.
These are not the final word on how to deal with these situations. These are just recommendations of how to handle these problems that I have pieced together from different players and small surveys.
Situation #1: Watching your opponent take a mulligan.
Should you pump the fist or show excitement as your
opponent mulligans? I say it depends. This is a
situation where you can do so playfully and it shouldn't
be too much harm. However, to be honest, any good player
will tell you that it is highly possible to win from a
six card or five card hand. It happens all the time.
When you think about it, it would be more worth it to
pump the fist if your opponent kept the bad hand and
didn't mulligan. I say it isn't really right to get
excited as it does make you look slightly less
experienced. However, if the situation is tight and it's
a must when game, it's ok.
Situation #2: What to do when your opponent is manascrewed.
This is really tough. Some people really get bent out of shape over manasrew. They donít understand thatís itís a part of the game and sometimes its going to happen. The truth of the matter is better players and deck builders don't experience manascrew as often as lower level players and deck builders. However, it happens even to them. I saw just offer some words of encouragement to your opponent. Wish them to draw land. Be encouraging. Also, don't rub it in. Just cast more spells and take advantage so you can end it quickly. No one wants to have their manascrew drawn out, especially when they have no chance of winning. Also, I wouldn't recommend the stating the typical "good game" and extending the hand. I would say to say something more along the lines of, "Man, would have been nice for you to draw land in the deciding game," or " Sucks to lose a match like that." This seems much better than the typical "good game" to me.
Situation #3: Dealing with opponentís topdeck rituals.
I think it's quite ok to have some of your topdeck
rituals. When you need to draw a key card off the top
rope, having a ritual can make the wait a little more
fun. I think antics to entertain the crowd are
"cute." I also think anything that can add to
the overall entertainment value is worth it. However,
there should be some guidelines to follow. If you choose
to thump, knock, or use the ever-popular WWF Elbow on
your deck, do it lightly. I have been witness to two
incidents in recent history that rocked the table and
moved items in three matches being played at a table.
Just for the record, if this ever happens in my store, I
would definitely issue some unsportsmanlike conduct
warnings. However, rubbing the deck, chanting, calling
on the gods, etc, should all be perfectly ok if they are
done in good taste. I also recommend making a happy face
or sad face before revealing your card to your opponent
for added flavor. From the opposite end of the table,
just sit back and enjoy it. Topdecking is a fun aspect
of the game, so enjoy it.
Situation #4: Talking to players in other matches.
This can be VERY annoying. I personally try not to
talk to anyone playing unless I have to. It's great to
talk to your opponent, just keep it friendly. Don't yell
across the room to your teammate asking how they are
doing. You bother other players and re more than likely
destroying the concentration of your friend. Also, if
you are being a spectator of a match, do just that.
Stand there and spectate. Wise men still seem to believe
that silence is golden. There will be plenty of time for
talk and details between rounds and after the
tournament. Plus if you aren't talking during the match
the suspicions of cheating/helping are always reduced.
Situation #5: Griping about cards.
If you lose a match to a "bad" card, how truly bad was it? Many players will walk around stating that certain cards are good or bad, but they are just parroting what they have read or have been told. Ask them why, and they aren't even sure. Then they try to guess and have the most skewed logic ever. The truth is, more players need to be open minded. Also, a lot of players have the idea that they just SHOULDN'T lose to certain other players. This is definitely not the issue. Anyone can beat anyone else on any given day. Just deal with it. If a card beats you, it beats you. Gripe all you want, but the player that won isn't going to hear it, so you are just wasting your breath.
Situation #6: The what if.
This is always one of the most fun things to talk
about. How many of you have beaten a player so bad he
had no possible way to win? Yet, when you went to pack
up your things they stop you and say something along the
lines of, "You know...had I drawn (insert card name
here) I would have won that match." Then you sit
there and try to formulate a way that you would have
lost. Usually they were wrong. More often than not, I
hear this from inexperienced players. I also think that
this makes you look like an inexperienced (read as: bad)
player. That's not to say that sometimes these
situations don't come up. There are many times that you
just miss topdecking the winner. However, when you give
the "what if" after every game or every match,
you lose all your credibility.
Now, let me say here that these are all the possible things that can make some one look bad. I just think that this will help people give of better images by following these guidelines. Also, you have to remember if everyone follows similar rules and etiquette the entire events can become a lot better.
The participants in a tournament play a huge part in the experiences that people draw from an event. It takes more than one group or one person to make an event fun. However, just two or three bad apples might wreck it for everyone.
Remember that no one wants to send bad signals.
No red lights.
Just green lights.
Until next time,
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