Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Trap Of Rogue Decks

How many of you try to make decks for tournaments? Decks that try to beat the best decks, decks that are innovative, or fun, or cool...and decks that lose. I was That Guy. Now I'm not. Unless you're one of the top players in the world, you probably shouldn't be trying to innovate totally new decks. Play a Tier 1 deck. You'll win more.

And even further! Some people actually COMPLAIN about netdecks! That they're somehow stifling the originality and creativity of the game, that it's less 'skilful' to win with it. If it's not netdecks in general, it's one deck. Affinity, Faeries, Five-Color Control...

"Everyone uses that deck!"
"That manabase in cash could feed a starving child for a year."
"That deck's cheap / broken / not fun."

Well guess what? It wins. And if you want to win, you need to play the best deck or beat the best deck, and if you want to beat the best deck, generally you want another Tier 1 deck (unless you're happy to get beaten by every deck EXCEPT the Tier 1 deck. Then you can make a hate deck just fine.) if you want to win.

How many of you have been in PTQ's? Tournaments are hard enough without self-inflicting rules. Nobody other than you is going to obey your rules unless your rules are "Do whatever you legally can to win."

Note that I'm not saying 'always play the best deck'. You should play the deck you think has the best position and power in the metagame: the deck most likely to make you win. And it's almost certainly not your creation. Warp World is cute, but can it win? Vampires is new and shiny, but will it win?

If you're not doing your best with deck selection, you're not doing your best as a player. And that's the road to losing. Because if you're not doing your best and playing one of the best decks, you'll be competing against someone who is. And in the end, when the dust settles, the only thing that matters is who has won, and who has lost.

N.B: I do not condone cheating. That's not a legal way to win. Anyone who points to this article as justification for cheating is a fool. Play Magic to the best of your ability. A game of Magic where you cheat is not a game of Magic. So play legally: but play the very best you can within the legal limits.

See you next time, when I bring you Time Sieve.


  1. I don't remember who said this, so unfortunately I can't attribute it properly (just that it wasn't me who came up with it):
    Is Tiger Woods 'bad' at golf because he doesn't make his own golf clubs? No. He knows his talent is in *swinging* said club, not building it. This is the same as deckbuilding.

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