Essential Magic Articles

The Remedy For Those Nasty Play Mistakes

by D

Making play mistakes is something thats undoubtedly happened to us all. We hastily block that Boggart Ram-Gang with our Murderous Redcap and persist it back in for the final point of damage on the 3/3 coming our way, when our opponent tells us to wait: Wither gives it -1/-1 counters. Persist doesn't trigger when there's at least 1 -1/-1 counter on Murderous Redcap and you say “oh yeah, I forgot....”.

If you're one of the many Magic players who isn't 100% perfect 100% of the time (Which statistically includes all of us) you'll want to know about a pretty helpful practice that saved me and a few friends a literal booster-box full of play mistakes.

I play test against myself once in a while, I have a deck I use to test all my creations against, and as much as I think it helps pass the time, it isn't really making me any better, or for that matter, giving me an accurate reading of my new deck. So I found a few people who play Magic through playing in FNM and going to draft and do some of the other sanctioned events. Eventually I started to play test pretty regularly against one of the guys there. I would still make play mistakes, and he would capitalize on them, and when he would do it, I would capitalize on his as well, then we realized that we could make it more of a challenge.

We decided that whenever we play tested, we'd point out the other's mistake if he made one, and the player wouldn't correct it (you'd have to live with the mistake) and then if you were the one who made said play mistake, you'd put a dollar in a jar. If he made a play error, even if it was something as tiny as  accidentally sending that Zombie Outlander to the graveyard after I play a Firespout, or as big as playing that Howl of the Night Pack before his attack phase, not thinking that i might have that Volcanic Fallout in my hand, I'd make him know what was wrong about it, and why. He'd do the same for me. Either way, we'd mark it in a notebook we had by the jar, then put a dollar in the jar, it's as simple as that. At the end of the month, whoever had less play mistakes got to use the money for FNM and cards. This got expensive because we both made a lot of play mistakes in the beginning, so we switched it over from cash to type-2 rares that were worth about a buck.

Granted, it slowed down our games because we were doing a lot of thinking, but I can safely say I've made at least 90% less play mistakes. After a few months of this, the jar would have maybe 4 rares in it (usually a Manaplasm and/or Immortal Coil), so it wasn't as exciting, so we switched it back to dollars.

We dramatically lowered our play errors and we're better players for it. If you're hard on cash, using  cards is a good substitute, and if you cherish your type-2 rares, use vintage or extended rares, uncommons, or quarters/dimes/etc.

Last edited 9/1/2009 4:01:02 PM Page 1 of 1  Prev  Next  Go to page:

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