Essential Magic Articles

How to Stop Losing

by Malvar

2.) Opponent makes you lose

This is where it starts to get more convoluted. Don't think of it in terms of your opponent beating you, but rather your opponent putting you in a position where you are forced into making an error. These are most often in match-ups where your opponent is playing a Control deck and has somehow managed to stall you out, or put you in a position where you need to do something wild in order to win. This should not be confused with a game where the opponent is gaining a gradual advantage. This is a game where your opponent cannot win unless you make a mistake. Therefore, your opponent’s goal is to MAKE you make that mistake because it is their only way to win. These are those losses where you say, "If I had just waited a few more turns to draw ... I could have broken through" or, "I shouldn't have attacked with ... because I would have won eventually if I didn't."

3.) You make the opponent win

It's difficult to differentiate this with number two, but they are actually two totally different scenarios. In this loss, your opponent can win. They are normally just biding their time and waiting for the right opening to put you away. These are the losses in which you do something to detriment your board position because you believe that:
A.) Your opponent has already won
B.) Your opponent will make a mistake
As soon as you compromise your position in the stalemate, it is the exact opportunity your opponent needs. The opponent has been waiting for this game situation the entire match and, the odds are, they won't make a mistake because they've been anticipating it longer than you have. These are those losses where you say, "I should have waited for him to tap out before I..." or, "I should have known he was waiting for me to do...”

4.) You make yourself lose

All sorts of things contribute to this category. Things like mana flooding or mana screw, not knowing the deck you're playing against, any number of factors that work against you. Lots of things in this category are things that people pass off as totally luck based, but they are only luck to a certain degree. One example that isn't luck based is conceding the match for no reason. There are many good reasons to concede a match, but the two I hate to see is a concession when the opponent may not realize they have the game won, and a concession when the opponent doesn't know you don't have answers. These are those losses where you say, "He already had the game won, so I just scooped," or, "There was nothing in my deck that would stop him."

Now that we have a basic understanding of the ways to lose games, it's time to see how we can avoid them.

Last edited 9/17/2007 11:42:56 AM Page 2 of 7  Prev  Next  Go to page:

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