Essential Magic Articles


How to Stop Losing

by Malvar

Everything is a game. There are rules, winners, losers, choices, penalties, rewards, and there's a certain degree of luck involved.

I'll admit that I like to treat most everything in my life as a game. Not in the sense that I don't take my life seriously, I do in fact take it very seriously, but I'm referring to the different aspects and events of life as games. An example might be, "What should I eat today?" It's mundane, I know, but think of it as a game for just a minute. There are rules as to what you can eat (breaking those rules have consequences). There are obviously choices, penalties and rewards for those choices (how is what you eat going to affect your health). After deciding what to eat, did you win or did you lose? A better way of asking is, did you decide to eat what you want (win), or did you compromise and eat something different (lose)? This sort of thing isn't something we think about; I mean honestly, we make these sorts of life decisions so frequently that our brain does it subconsciously most of the time. Even if we have to eat something different, it's not necessarily losing if it benefits us down the line. It's only a small loss in order to get a bigger win later in life.

Magic is a game.  There are rules, winners, losers, choices, penalties, rewards, and there's a certain degree of luck involved.

I'll admit that I also treat Magic as a game, in much the same was I treat life as a game...I take it very seriously. I'm not a casual player, though I do play casual Magic (ask me about the funky "Highlander" format I like to play), but this isn't an article about decks or drafting...so casual players, please don't turn me off yet. This is also not an article about how to win at Magic, but rather an article about how to stop LOSING at Magic.

Everyone still with me? Okay. There are tons of ways to "lose" at Magic...I say "lose" referring to ways to end the game (life total at 0, getting decked, even my favorite...poison counters). In reality though, and thinking in a much broader scope, there are only 4 ways for losing a game of magic:

1.) Opponent makes him/herself win
2.) Opponent makes you lose
3.) You make the opponent win
4.) You make yourself lose

I hope that that makes some amount of sense, but I think I need to explain these scenarios so we're all a little more clear on what they mean.

1.) Opponent makes him/herself win

This is pretty straightforward. Your opponent plays all the right threats, has all the right answers for your threats, makes all decisions perfectly based on the game state...these are the games where your opponent, and your opponent's deck, just outplay you. These are those losses where you say, "If only he didn't have ... in his hand" or, "All I needed to draw was..." and my favorite, "I just got outplayed."

Last edited 9/17/2007 11:42:56 AM Page 1 of 7  Prev  Next  Go to page:

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