Thursday, March 10, 2011

How not to lose at Magic the Gathering

Play better.  

It is really that simple.  I made a series of mistakes last night at my local Wednesday night standard tournament that I would like to share with you today in the hopes that you might not make the same mistakes.

I've been playing RUG for the last two or three standard tournaments I've gone too.  This deck is a load of fun because it powers out powerful effects and takes the game over in a punch.  It doesn't seem to have many week match ups minus Kudultha Red game 1 and many of the outcomes are strictly determined on the choices you make with the deck.  This is my type of deck. 

Games 1 and 2 I won, thus no discussion is really needed.  What is there to learn from stomping your opponents?  Not a ton.  Game 3, I should have have won, or at least had a high chance of winning.

My opponent is a decent player that can slam cards with the best of them.  He's playing Valukut Ramp and is on the play.  I accelerate turn two, he accelerates turn 3.  I miss a few drops, he doesn't and gets there with a primeval titan.  Happens right?  Yea, but you got 2 more games to shore this up because the match up isn't typically bad.  I side in some more counters, side out some bolts.  We both get rocked by some sore draws off our starting hand.  He's attempting to accelerate with 2 land and a bunch of Overgrown Battlements and a viridian emissary, then am able to resolve a Jace.  From here I just bounce the Overgrown Battlement and viridian emissary to prevent him from ever getting up to 6 mana.  We are tit for tat for drops, I get him down to 11 and I am at 14.  With Jace, I smooth out my draws to get 7 land and this is where I fail. I slam down a Avenger of Zendikar and play a fetch and pass the turn.  His response?  Slagstorm + Lightning bolt on the Avenger of Zendikar.  Now what did I do wrong?

Pay Attention to the Board state:
I could have gotten in for 4 additional damage.  Instead of resolving a Avenger of Zendikar, I could have just attacked in for 4 damage with my Raging Ravine.  I already had a Baloth in play, thus swinging in for 8 would have been great.  It'd bring him down to 3 with his only out being to Slagstorm + Lightning bolt my baloth.  A resolved titan would do nothing to that state.  Would I have won that round?  Maybe.  Atleast I would be able to play game 3 and have the chance to get there.

Round 4
Another person I know was playing his version of "Big Red",  Now I am not a fan of his deck, but he only needed to resolve one card against me both games. 

Don't Stick with Plan A if it's going to lose:
Kargon Dragonlord.  That's it.  Loosing to this guy is like a swift kick in the pants.  Unanswered, he will kill you in 2 turns. 

Both games what did I do?  Turn 2 accelerate.  Did I need to?  No, but rather than sit back and play the "Control" RUG, I fliped cards over like a noob and attempted to be flashy.    What I should I have done? Sat back with my mana leaks and Flashfreezes to win the game like a pro. 

What does last night teach me?  I need to be more focused on my game and take a bit more time with my decisions.

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