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Pojo's Book Reviews




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 situations.

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 site is:


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 is right!

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 Tuesdaynight.

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,

DeQuan Watson
a.k.a. PowrDragn




Copyright 2001 Pojo.com


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