Essential Magic Articles

Two common mistakes: Overextending and “Win more” strategies

by Solpugid

Please do not think that applying extra pressure to your opponent is always bad. You’re still trying to win the game, after all. If they’re out of cards while playing a control deck you may want to kill them as quickly as possible (by adding more creatures to the board) so they don’t even have a chance to draw into mass removal, or anything that will save them. Another case where playing all you’ve got to try and win the game is actually good is against another deck with a similar strategy. If they’re playing out creatures just as quickly as you are you can be pretty sure they’re not going to wipe the board out, and if they do they’re no better off than you are.

The second strategy this article will cover is what is known as “win more” strategies. They are similar to overextending in that they involve unnecessary actions in attempts to win the game faster, or in a more flashy way. The difference is in that “win more” typically refers to cards. The term applies to cards that appear to be extremely powerful, but only reach that power level when you’re already in a good position to win the game. Thus, they allow you to “win more”.

These cards commonly find their ways into newer players’ decks because on the surface they seem devastating. As an example, take Epic Struggle. With this card you win the game if you have 20 or more creatures in play. If you’re playing that same green/white deck from above you may often find yourself getting tons of creatures into play, even twenty at times, so playing epic struggle may seem like a good idea. But when you have twenty or more creatures in play, you’re probably going to win the game already. In this sense the epic struggle isn’t even needed. On the opposite end of the spectrum, if your opponent is playing a control deck and has kept you down all game, then drawing that epic struggle will be entirely pointless. What you would really want is a card to help you gain control of the game again, such as another threat creature.

Playing “win more” cards may seem great when you’re already winning the game, but when you’re losing they are just about the worst things to draw. As more examples of “win more” cards, note the following cards:

-Mindleech Mass: when you have a 6/6 trampler out, your opponent will have a very good chance of already being out of cards. Therefore the mass’s ability is situational at best.
-Brawl: If your creatures are bigger than their creatures…why don’t you just attack with them?
-Thundermare: If you’re playing a red deck and your opponent is at low enough life to be killed by the mare, burn spells will often be better. If the mare doesn’t kill them you’ll be tapped out and susceptible to a brutal counterattack.

Last edited 5/15/2006 3:01:49 PM Page 2 of 3  Prev  Next  Go to page:

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