Lasraik

Top 5 Mistakes New Magic Players Make

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Saw this video on the Channel Fireball YouTube page a week or two ago.  

9-18-2017 4-18-40 PM.png

They listed the top 8 mistakes, but let's limit our lists to top 5 and how to avoid them.  What are your top 5 mistakes new Magic players make and how would you suggest avoiding them?

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5. Not enough land (new players underestimate how much land you really need).

4. Mana curve out of whack (five drops are more exciting right? Except when you die due to no blockers in the early game)

3. Too many colours (especially in sealed, but sometimes in constructed too... consistency is important!)

2. Not attacking (being too scared to attack with 4 2/2s into my 5/5 for many turns - you could be getting damage through! Especially if you already have me down to lower life total).

1. Playing out your hand too quickly (use up your removal or play out your creatures only to be swept away by a board wipe).

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16 hours ago, Aurian said:

5. Not enough land (new players underestimate how much land you really need).

4. Mana curve out of whack (five drops are more exciting right? Except when you die due to no blockers in the early game)

3. Too many colours (especially in sealed, but sometimes in constructed too... consistency is important!)

2. Not attacking (being too scared to attack with 4 2/2s into my 5/5 for many turns - you could be getting damage through! Especially if you already have me down to lower life total).

1. Playing out your hand too quickly (use up your removal or play out your creatures only to be swept away by a board wipe).

This is a good list. I'm still guilty of seeing those awesome five drops and thinking they are worth throwing a play set in :D 

From the CF list, using removal too early depends on your strategy

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Since the beginning of the game, many of these haven't changed.

Lands - Of course, lands aren't sexy, and we play them because we have to. When the game first came out, the typical ratio was 20/40, which is what only very aggro decks use now. Of course, having 4 Sol Rings allowed us to get away with this :)

  1. Protecting your life - Newer players tend to overvalue their life total, and will make chump blocks more than they have to. Sometimes, it's worth taking 2 damage if you expect you need to block 4 later, or develop your board.
  2. Life Gain - El-Hajjaj used to be a rare we all loved.. a 1/1 lifelinker for 1BB :P  That + Unholy Strength was way overvalued when we were kids. Together with the above, newer players value lifegain too often. Incidental life gain is awesome, but cards that do nothing else aren't.
  3. Mulliganing - Hell, even I don't mulligan enough... the new Scry rule really helps this out a LOT... 
  4. Not attacking - Even experienced multi-players, myself included, like to sit back and not poke the hornet's nest... 
  5. Playing instants as sorceries - It's often best to wait until the last minute to play a spell...there are times, however, the newer players learn that it can be best not to wait for the other player to untap (pump spell, counterspell)
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20 minutes ago, JesGolbez said:

Since the beginning of the game, many of these haven't changed.

Lands - Of course, lands aren't sexy, and we play them because we have to. When the game first came out, the typical ratio was 20/40, which is what only very aggro decks use now. Of course, having 4 Sol Rings allowed us to get away with this :)

  1. Protecting your life - Newer players tend to overvalue their life total, and will make chump blocks more than they have to. Sometimes, it's worth taking 2 damage if you expect you need to block 4 later, or develop your board.
  2. Life Gain - El-Hajjaj used to be a rare we all loved.. a 1/1 lifelinker for 1BB :P  That + Unholy Strength was way overvalued when we were kids. Together with the above, newer players value lifegain too often. Incidental life gain is awesome, but cards that do nothing else aren't.
  3. Mulliganing - Hell, even I don't mulligan enough... the new Scry rule really helps this out a LOT... 
  4. Not attacking - Even experienced multi-players, myself included, like to sit back and not poke the hornet's nest... 
  5. Playing instants as sorceries - It's often best to wait until the last minute to play a spell...there are times, however, the newer players learn that it can be best not to wait for the other player to untap (pump spell, counterspell)

I'm still bad at #5, it's something I've been trying to improve on

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Ironically, I've always undervalued life gain but have been liking it more and more lately.  Like most people, I've been a firm believer in the "life gain doesn't win games" motto for years.  Recently I've been re-evaluating that and in fact, the last 2 decks I've play on my channel have been life-gain oriented! (Soul Tremors and Panharmonument.)


Granted, a spell that just gains life is useless, but my new motto is "life gain is like a counterspell, you won't win with it but it'll allow you to stall a game until you can win in the late game."

 

I'm still terrible about playing things in my first main phase, though. I've been playing the game for 15 years and I still tend to not care that much about it, even though I know I should always hold them in case things go poorly during the combat phase.

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8 hours ago, JesGolbez said:

Since the beginning of the game, many of these haven't changed.

Lands - Of course, lands aren't sexy, and we play them because we have to. When the game first came out, the typical ratio was 20/40, which is what only very aggro decks use now. Of course, having 4 Sol Rings allowed us to get away with this :)

  1. Protecting your life - Newer players tend to overvalue their life total, and will make chump blocks more than they have to. Sometimes, it's worth taking 2 damage if you expect you need to block 4 later, or develop your board.
  2. Life Gain - El-Hajjaj used to be a rare we all loved.. a 1/1 lifelinker for 1BB :P  That + Unholy Strength was way overvalued when we were kids. Together with the above, newer players value lifegain too often. Incidental life gain is awesome, but cards that do nothing else aren't.
  3. Mulliganing - Hell, even I don't mulligan enough... the new Scry rule really helps this out a LOT... 
  4. Not attacking - Even experienced multi-players, myself included, like to sit back and not poke the hornet's nest... 
  5. Playing instants as sorceries - It's often best to wait until the last minute to play a spell...there are times, however, the newer players learn that it can be best not to wait for the other player to untap (pump spell, counterspell)

Am I the hornet's nest? 🐝 

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3 hours ago, Affinity for MTG said:

Ironically, I've always undervalued life gain but have been liking it more and more lately.  Like most people, I've been a firm believer in the "life gain doesn't win games" motto for years.  Recently I've been re-evaluating that and in fact, the last 2 decks I've play on my channel have been life-gain oriented! (Soul Tremors and Panharmonument.)


Granted, a spell that just gains life is useless, but my new motto is "life gain is like a counterspell, you won't win with it but it'll allow you to stall a game until you can win in the late game."

 

I'm still terrible about playing things in my first main phase, though. I've been playing the game for 15 years and I still tend to not care that much about it, even though I know I should always hold them in case things go poorly during the combat phase.

Can't tell you how many times I've played spells during my first main phase, went for combat and had something countered or played against my creatures that I could have saved until after blockers were declared and/or second main phase.  A few weeks ago I used another pump spell but had a Vines of Vastwood in my hand before combat and the other player Bolted my creature that could have went in for lethal.  :(

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I have the opposite problem - I'm so used to holding off on casting spells until the last possible second that I forget to cast stuff earlier when it is better. Like dropping a lord before combat. Or casting a spell at my endstep when my opponent is tapped out instead at the end of my opponent's end step when my opponent is not. 

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I think the playing without a plan is the biggest one. People tap out when they shouldn't tap out, or hold back when they have to be aggressive. Newer players tend to autopilot in my experience, picking one strategy for their deck that more or less 'works' and just going with it blindly. Even with a strong deck, they'll still lose frequently if they can't adapt.

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On 9/20/2017 at 3:50 PM, Othesemo said:

I think the playing without a plan is the biggest one. People tap out when they shouldn't tap out, or hold back when they have to be aggressive. Newer players tend to autopilot in my experience, picking one strategy for their deck that more or less 'works' and just going with it blindly. Even with a strong deck, they'll still lose frequently if they can't adapt.

I've never done anything like that :ph34r:

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On 9/20/2017 at 3:50 PM, Othesemo said:

I think the playing without a plan is the biggest one. People tap out when they shouldn't tap out, or hold back when they have to be aggressive. Newer players tend to autopilot in my experience, picking one strategy for their deck that more or less 'works' and just going with it blindly. Even with a strong deck, they'll still lose frequently if they can't adapt.

Learning to adapt is a strategy all it's own, I'm still trying to improve at that.

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My Top 5:

5. Lands... do not underestimate the power of lands. If you are worried about flooding, make sure you have a few mechanics to help you through a flood (card draw, scry, fetch). Also look for unique lands which may help your curve. Nimbus Maze is my example. It is an excellent card that I never knew about. But 1 Nimbus Maze and 1 Hallowed fountain and im set for colored mana in my U/W deck.

4. Commons as powerful as Mythics... When building your deck for whatever format make sure it is not just a pile of good stuff (even though that sometimes works). A common/uncommon can be as powerful as a Mythic Rare in many situations. Look at Lightning bolt or Doom Blade as examples.

3. Triggers.... There are a plethora of triggers. Take a moment to read cards and pay close attention to their triggers and when they happen and when can you respond to them. Many times an upkeep or EoT trigger response can win you a game.

2. SLOW DOWN. I found myself playing so fast most of the time at FNM because I was nervous. Slow down think about the board, the cards in your hand, if you have any outs and how to play to them. I can guarantee you that you wont get a slow play called if you aren't trying to slow play. Take a couple of seconds and think before you end a phase or turn paying attention to upcoming triggers or instants you or your opponent may have. Take your time sideboarding thinking about which cards would be good/bad in the matchup. 

1. Know thy deck... I cannot tell you how many times knowing exactly what cards were in my deck has won me games. This extends to what cards you have already played in the game, what mechanics to get them back from a GY or Exile if possible, what library manipulation or search you have..etc. Of course all of you are saying "we know our deck.." but do you really know every single card and how they interact with every other single card? The Combos, the play X to get Y and find Z combos, each piece of removal and how they are the best out against a pesky permanent?  Just step back and think about how many cards your cards interact with and just keep that information in mind when you play your deck.

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One that I consistantly forget about and that I've seen new players constantly be unaware of is: Stack Blocking.

I don't know why, but it is the one rule my brain can't remember. I consistently find myself in EDH swinging in with a fat creature that immediately gets blocked by many smaller ones and me saying "...Yup...you can do that...".
 

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One thing I haven't seen yet in detail: don't give your opponents too many outs.  When playing against a control deck, don't think "they probably have a counter/removal spell, so I won't bother doing X".  Make them have it, punish them if they don't.  Don't overcommit and get Wrathed out of the game, but know when to use that lethal burn spell or combat trick, learn how to spread your combat damage out over 2-3 turns to create inevitability without opening yourself up to lethal backswings.

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