Essential Magic Articles

Instinct vs. Logic

by Grant Champion-Sciuti

Statistics are often something that we rely on in Magic. What are the odds that he drew a Force of Will by now? How should I mulligan this hand knowing that I need a particular card? There are several articles on a slew of other websites that talk about these decisions in depth. However, there are very few articles that talk about the other important factor in Magic, your instincts.
I have been known, especially by those who play a lot with me, to keep shaky hands still, confident that my deck will "give me some goodness." I have kept several one land hands in every format, even though statistically, I should probably mulligan. Some of you may say that I do this because I and am not good at the all important start of the game. I say that I do know how to mulligan, but if there is any doubt in my mulligan, I won’t do it about 90% of the time. I can run some basic calculations in my head, and have memorized a few statistics, but sometimes I just ignore those statistics.
Statistics would be great if the entire game was based on pure concepts, but where would the fun be in that? Sometimes, I think it is best go with my gut, even though it might not be the right idea. Sometimes, I may walk into a counterspell, because I know that I am going to have a rough time if he counters my spell, but an even harder time if I don’t play it all.
How many times would you rather go with your gut, vs. with your head and the facts? We have all seen at least one or two games that seem unwinnable for someone, but they pull the one thing that will save them, and it resolves. The odds of that happening are incredibly slim, usually around 1-2% if you are in the late game and your opponent is playing counters. But those situations are what make Magic fun, and I occasionally do go for those situations over what I know to be the facts, but do you? And, more importantly, is doing things like that EVER the correct decision, or should you always follow the stats?
Now, I am going to leave you with a few situations where you have to decide between making the best play statistically, or what appears to be the best play, if you ignore a few little statistical details…

Last edited 5/4/2006 9:24:44 AM Page 1 of 3  Prev  Next  Go to page:

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