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Making Yourself Better
By DeQuan Watson -
Everyone seems to have a lot of
questions to send us writers.
And we love it. It's fun
interacting with the readers.
lets us know what you like. It lets
us know what you don't like. And
sometimes, we are even able to find
out what's useful to you all. The
funny thing is though; we get some
questions that get asked to us a
lot. Over the past couple of
months, I've had a lot of people ask
me one question. And I bet you all
would be interested in what that
How do I get better at Magic?
The tough part is that I don't even
know how to respond to this type of
question. There's no good short
answer. And honestly, there are a
lot of responses that would apply to
almost any game out there. I almost
feel bad when I have to give the
simple quick responses. But this is
good for you all. It means I had to
turn it into a full article o get
the most out of the situation.
I've stated some of the following in
past articles. I do know that we
have a lot of new readers as well.
Some of the following things may
even be new and interesting concepts
to some players.
Listen to the more experienced
This one sounds like it should be
completely obvious, but for some
reason it isn't. There is a reason
that some players consistently get
to play in large events. There is a
reason that the top players (even
locally) dominate the rankings. And
more importantly, there is a reason
the experienced players keep beating
It's likely that they aren't super
human. They just have some simple
thoughts and strategies that work.
They may have a better way to
testing decks. They may have a
better understanding of the combat
phase. They might even just
understand the rules better than
you. Who knows? Whatever it is
works. Listen to them. There's
probably some useful information in
Put your ego in check.
One of the reasons that players fail
to listen to and accept the advice
of the more experienced player is
simply their ego. You have to put
your ego aside sometimes. Maybe
it's not even an ego thing for many
players. For some it's a bit of
pride that gets in their way.
Whether you like the person or not,
you need to be able to acknowledge
the quality of player that person
is. If they are good, you need to
be able to put your differences
aside and listen to them.
Long story short; most of us aren't
as good as we think we are. Yes, I
said 'us.' There are many times
even I have to put myself in check.
I've spoken with many top players
and personalities. I've heard many
of them say that they constantly
keep their eyes and ears open so
they can learn from other players.
If people on the top level are
willing learn from others, you need
to be able to as well.
If you ask for honesty, be prepared
to deal with it.
Again, this falls in the grey area
of the above section. But I
seriously wanted to bring this up
separately. I know that I get
submitted several decks a month, and
I also look at a lot in my store. I
know that other feature writers get
decks sent to them as well. We
don't mind going though the decks.
As a matter of fact, it's fun
sometimes. But, if you are going to
submit something for review and
advice, you need to be willing to
accept the advice.
One of the things that really irk me
is seeing being asked for help, but
then having some one not listen to
the advice I gave them. Think about
this. If you ask some one for help
on a deck (and we'll assume this is
someone reputable), and you don't
use their advice, what are you
saying to them. In some small way,
that's like saying, "It was nice to
hear your opinion, but I like my
idea better." Granted, this may
very well be true. And that's OK.
Just don't be surprised if that
person doesn't offer up help in the
There have been many times that I've
gone through a player's deck and
offered up suggestions to replace
cards and was met with resistance.
It sometimes feels like players
want a better player to validate
them. By that I mean, they want to
hear, "This deck is great," instead
of, "This deck could use some help
in these spots." Don't be one of
Silly as it sounds these are these
seem to be the biggest obstacles on
the road of player development.
Everyone seems to have the basics
down, but it's hard making beyond
that next level. It can feel like
there is an invisible glass ceiling
sometimes. Sometimes it can
honestly be your fault.
I guess the simple statement to sum
things up with would be: Accept more
responsibility for your performance.
You need to know when you've peaked
out and try to learn from others.
Of course I can go on a full rant
about players not accepting
responsibility for their losses or
lack of progress. Players want to
blame everything on luck, their
opponent having a better draw, not
having the right deck, etc.etc. To
get better, sometimes you just need
to start looking at yourself and see
if there is a way that YOU could
have made a mistake. Usually, the
answer is yes. There are sometimes
that you just get outdrawn and
outplayed. And you need to be able
to admit to that as well.
All of these things show signs of
maturity. So these can say a lot
about a person if you learn to
follow all the important aspects of
Until next time,
PowrDragn at Pojo dot com