It's been a while since we've had something fun and
entertaining to read here in the den. Well, today, I am
going to get a little philosophical. I have noticed
more and more, that people are talking about being part
of a team. That's not a bad thing. But after looking
around the net, I realized that it's been a while since
anyone had discussed the ins and outs of team
I think for a team to work from the beginning, that
everyone involved with the team should know what ti
expect in the beginning. If you are going to do prize
splits and stuff, then make it known up front. There is
nothing worse than a player coming home with $200 and a
bunch of packs and being unprepared to share them. I
know that one groups don't split prizes at all. This
seems silly to me if everyone helped you along the way,
but to each his own. There are still a lot of other
factors to consider.
The size of the group you are working with is a very
important thing to consider. If your group is too
small, then you may not get enough playtesting done.
Also, between a small group, there may not e a high
enough experience level to take advantage of anything.
On the other hand, if you have too many players in one
group, you have to start worrying about "tech leaks."
If your groups comes up with a good deck and you don't
want anyone to find out, then you could have problems
with a large group. Everyone has those friends that
say, "Dude, I haven't told anyone before, right?" Also,
if you have an agreed upon prize split situation having
a lot of players can be a bad thing.
One of the largest benefits to having a team or group to
play with is getting all you playtesting done and
getting it done well. The more players you have, the
more cards you get access too. This means you should
have everything you need to build a couple of copies of
the best decks. You shouldn't miss a beat. It also
means that you can get a person to specialize at a
particular deck or a particular type of deck, so you
have a skilled player piloting each deck in
playtesting. This means your results should be better
and you should all come out better in the end.
You also would like for you team to have some diversity
to it. You need players of various skill levels. This
is important, because even lower level players will see
things from a different perspective and come up with
some good ideas. As a matter of fact, I got a great
deck idea early in the year from one of the local Junior
Super Series players. A good group also has players
that have different play styles. This helps the group
develop the best decks in a format faster. You also end
up with a couple of people within the group that can
teach the others a few things.
Some teams I have talked to even have format
specialists. For instance, some teams have one o two
people that look into extended (1.x) all yea long. That
player's job is to know and understand the format to
save everyone else time when the particular format comes
around to the corresponding season. Some players are
better at constructed. Some are better at extended.
There's nothing wrong with this. It's what makes the
game fun and interesting.
After you look at all of this, you have to consider the
people you are trying to work with. There are a lot of
people that are fun to be around, but not very fun to
work with. Even though you may be friends, you have to
be able to notice these kinds of things. I'm not saying
to just up and abandon you friends. You just have to
make a decision on how serious you want to pursue the
situation with your fiend as a coworker. Even if you
aren't a professional Magic player, you are still
working toward a goal together. That goal and that work
both require some time and effort. A good group has to
have players that admit their weaknesses. You have to
have players that know what they are and aren't good
at. You also have to have players that are willing to
take losses and help the other players get better. You
don't need people that want to be pat of a team as a
status symbol. You don't want players that are part of
the team getting help when they need it and not
contributing someone else's time of need. Within a
team, it shouldn't be a contest.
On more than one occasion, both Jon Finkel and Kai Budde
have admitted to playing a team that one of their fiends
or teammates built. There's nothing wrong with that.
They were willing to accept that the didn't understand
the format as ll so they let someone else do the
footwork and they just leaned the decks. They've done
that multiple times, and have big checks going to the
bank to prove its effectiveness.
Here's my final note here about teams today. A team has
to be full of people willing to make sacrifices for each
other. For instance, if you are having to decide who to
team with for a team trios tournament, and you team
isn't divisible by three, then someone is going to get
left out. No big deal. Just work it out so that person
can play with the team on a late date. No need to get
into arguments. It's the little things that are
important. In some ways Magic is like baseball. There
is so much emphasis put on individual achievement and
accomplishment, but it all starts with the people you
are surrounded by.
Now that we've got the heavy pat of the educational end
out of the way, let's move on t another topic. How
about US Regionals. That's the busiest day of the year
as far as Magic goes. The only days that are bigger
than this are probably worldwide pre-releases. If you a
tying to prepare for Regionals I have a great site for
you to check out.
This site has great Magic forum on there. They are
discussing so many different types f decks for
standard. Also, the site is running a series of
standard format tournaments across the state through the
month of July. The top eight decks from each of the
first three tournaments are up as well. The attendance
at these events has been good thus far, so this site
should be a great resource. Feel free to chat on the
forums and give your input and get questions answered.
The site even has a couple of certified judges lurking
around to answer you questions. Remember again, the
Do we have any spots fans out there today? If you are a
hockey fan the playoff brackets are already set up.
Also, it looks like the Stars are poised to win another
championship if they keep playing the way they have
been. It really upsets Canadians, because Dallas only
sees serious snow once every eight yeas or so.
And as much as I would like to promote Texas all day, I
have to say that I don't have faith in the Mavericks.
They have trouble beating Sacramento and San Antonio.
Also, the Lakers seem to be their kryptonite. They will
most likely have to face at least two of these teams to
get into the championship series. This is not good for
them. That's fine though, because I'm a Lakers fan
anyway. Always have been. I still think that Magic
Johnson was one of the greatest ever to play the game.
For those with a Nintendo Gamecube, I have t recommend
the latest Legend of Zelda game. The graphics are new
and different, but Don't be put off by this The game is
every bit as good, if not better than previous Zelda
games. I give it a 4.4 out of 5.
I have a special request here. For some reason or
another, I have played Metroid Prime on the Gamecube.
Everyone says it might be the best game for GC so far.
If anyone has a copy that they are done with, I will
gladly give you singles or product for it, if the price
I have two recommendations for you couch potatoes right
now. If you want comedy, check out Chapells's Show it
comes on after South Park on Comedy Central on
Wednesdays and sometime later in the week. It's
hilarious. If you want action/drama, then watch 24.
That is easily the most intense show on television.
Right now, we are approaching the final six hours of the
series, so it's all coming together. It's good TV every
Eighth Edition is not far off. It's scheduled for a
July release date and Scourge is out in June. Looks
like we are going to have a fun, Magic filled summer.
There is just so much going on right now. It's great to
see that the game is still going strong in it's tenth
year. It's fun to think about all the naysayers from
past years talk about how the game is dying and fading.
And truth be told, WotC is selling more magic product
now than ever. There has even been a mild Pokemon
resurgence in our neck f the woods. Go figure.
If you're into role playing games and you have played
XCrawl, I recommend you go out and buy the core book for
that game ASAP. That game is just that damn good.
Well, that's about it for me on this installment. As
always, thanks for reading.
Until next time,