My MtG New Years Resolutions For 2018

January 6, 2018

2017 has been a really great year for me when it comes to Magic. Working at Board Game Barrister has given me the chance to meet a ton of fellow players; some of which have become good friends, and even teammates for future Grand Prixs! (I know you’re reading this Zak.) This has led to me playing a bunch more, and and I’ve become a much better player because of it.

Although I feel like I’ve made great strides when it comes to my play, I think it’s time to set some loftier goals for 2018. Here’s what I want to accomplish in the coming year regarding Magic: the Gathering.

#1: Improve Limited Play Through Study
By no means am I a slouch when it comes to limited. I take pride in my ability to draft;  I’ve gotten plenty of good practice this year in multiple formats, against what I believe are some of the best drafters in Milwaukee. That being said, I need to be a better student of the game.

Just like every other player who adores spoiler season, I drool over all the new previews as they roll out in the weeks prior to the set release. But in my excitement, I’ve repeatedly failed to think about how good each card is in the upcoming limited format. Here are a few questions I’m going to ask myself about each card in Rivals of Ixalan limited, and beyond:

  • Is this card good in a vacuum?
  • Does this card fit into an existing archetype? Which one?
  • Does this card make an existing archetype better? Or is it just another playable?
  • Is this card still good outside of its intended archetype?
  • How many answers are there to this card in the current format?

I will be sitting down with my Grand Prix Indianapolis teammates in the coming weeks to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the new cards, as well as which archetypes emerge as winners and losers after the entire set has been previewed. Luckily we also have a pre-release the weekend beforehand to help familiarize ourselves with the format. All in all, I’m very excited to get a good start on one of my resolutions over the next few weeks.

#2: Become More Familiar with Modern (Play More Modern)
I’ll be completely honest here — I have very little grasp on what’s hot and what’s not in Modern as of today. I’ve never been much of a Modern player because budget was always a concern, and I don’t have the computer set-up at home to play MTGO. A few weeks ago, with a little help from some friends (shoutout to Devin and others for helping me get the cards I needed), I have finally finished a fun — albeit janky — Esper Solemnity deck that I really enjoy playing.

In the few matches I played with it, I found myself losing matchups that I felt should have been favorable, especially after sideboarding. Each and every match was followed by a five-to-ten minute discussion with my opponents about what they would have done differently if they had been in my seat. It brought me to two conclusions:

  1. My decision making in Modern is flawed, and needs correcting.
  2. I need to further familiarize myself with Modern archetypes so I can make more informed decisions during matches.
  3. I need to learn how to sideboard more efficiently.

All these reasons and more lead into my final resolution for 2018…

#3: Make Day 2 of a Grand Prix (and make the Pro Tour)

Grand Prixs are a wonderful time. In the three times I’ve gone, I’ve managed to run into some friendly faces I haven’t seen in a while, and make fast friends with some of the folks seated around me. They are truly awesome events, with tons of great side events for those who aren’t participating in the main.

That being said, I never really set goals for myself when going into a Grand Prix other than, “have fun.” Which is probably why I performed so badly in them. In retrospect, if I was looking to just have fun, I should have stuck to all the side events rather than the main event.

As 2017 was winding down, my friend Zak and I started playing a lot more Magic with each other. We both kicked around the idea of wanting to make the Pro Tour in 2018. So, after very little deliberation, we made the commitment to playing in the Team Limited Grand Prix in Indianapolis. We’re being joined by our friend Jacob, and I’m honestly super excited to play with two guys that I can call friends because of Magic.

I’ll probably write another article chronicling our preparation for/experience at GP Indy, so keep an eye out for updates on the progress of the Firefly Floopers!

Thanks for reading, and maybe I’ll see some of you at GP Indy!

Jordan W

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