Hey everyone! This is my first time writing for Kirwan’s Game Store! I am very honored to have the opportunity to share with everyone on this site. Some of you who read this will probably know who I am and I invite you to say hi but I consider myself to be relatively unknown to the magic community. As much fun as we all believe it would be to go to a tournament site and have everyone know who you are I believe it to be somewhat of a blessing for me to be under the radar. You sit across the table from opponent after opponent and they never consider you anything other than a fellow player. But when you sit across from Jon Finkel, LSV, Bob Maher, or even a well known local player like Kevin Jones or Max Brown. You know that you are in for a bumpy ride for the next two to three games.
You draw your opening seven cards and are sitting there wondering how you can beat these players. They are proven pro players and travel the world playing more Magic than you can think about. You think that they have an advantage against you naturally because they are “pro” but that is not 100% true.
I am sitting down behind this computer screen (Yes, I know I can talk all kinds of nonsense from this position) to tell you that you can win. Each player opens with seven cards and each player gets to draw a card per turn. The other thing that both players share during a game of magic is that they are both human. These players aren’t superman. This is not a physical sport where you are 100% outclassed by skill or talent. Sure, they are great magic players, but the only advantage that they are granted is that they will make less mistakes and have great deck choices. But, if you come with the exact same 75 and play some tight magic you can win just as easily as they can.
I myself have recorded wins vs Todd Anderson, Jim Davis, Dan Jordan, and Kevin Jones. But on the flip side I have lost to players who had just picked up a deck and were learning as they went. Magic is a beautiful game anyone can play and have a good time and do well. The pros do better because in any game that they play they will make less mistakes than their opponents and that will lead to more victories.
They are not unbeatable.
Being the player that just won the last SCG Open is great. People will want to come up to you and talk to you about your deck and ask you to help them with theirs. This is a great feeling, having a completely random person come up to you and congratulate you on your victory, card choice, or play you made on camera is great, but be cautious how those feelings lead you. Having pride in your work and what you have accomplished is natural. It is an encouraged action. The problem is when that pride starts affecting you in negative ways. When you start feeling entitled, when you start tilting after losing to the “kitchen table top magic players” of the world.
Yes, we know that you are great because you are a pro or you just won the last open but that doesn’t give you the right to win every match after that. I am pretty guilty of this myself so I am reading along just as much as I am writing it. I have been on both sides of the ‘Get Wrecked Express’ next stop ‘Saltyville’. It’s not a great place to be and I can’t try to sit here and tell you to not be frustrated after a round. This is a competition. There can only be one winner and one loser. What I can ask of the Magic community as a whole is to enter every tournament as the player with no name, the unknown, ready to take down a tournament. If you lose then that’s that. You lost, nothing changes that now. Accept it and strive harder for the next win. Learn from your mistakes and understand why you didn’t pull a victory. Sometimes the card’s aren’t dealt in the correct order you need them, it happens! Odd’s are there was a critical moment when you could have changed a block or removed a spell that would have altered the rest of the game. At the next game, sit across from your opponent, Greet them, shake hands, wish them luck, and play some magic.
Stay hungry and focused, but most of all stay humble.
On to some more magic focused subjects!
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I would like to highlight some cards that have really caught my eye and that I really love.
First off is the king of the ring himself, Stormbreath Dragon It really baffles me how this card is so criminally underplayed. This card is amazing right now and people really need to get back on the pain train. Dragonlord Ojutai? No problem. Cutting Hero’s Downfall for more Abzan Charm? Take two and you will regret that in the morning. If you try to play some of the two mana removal spells for it then you’re going to have a bad time versus the rest of the field. Ultimate price? What is dead cards vs. Esper Dragons and Abzan Aggro, Alex? I’ll take another narrow removal spells for 400.
The other card I would like to talk about is Kolaghan’s Command.
People this card is amazing. It has applications versus aggro, (Shock, discard) Midrange/Control (Return a creature, make them discard or Blow up Whip of Erebos, return a creature or Blow up Perilous Vault make them discard)
In modern, legacy, and even vintage! Everything relevant outside of standard is either a Tarmogoyf, Siege Rhino, or has two toughness. Vintage everything is practically an artifact! Destroy your mox and shock your Bob or Stoneforge or Deathrite or Delver. (I don’t know vintage that well) Or if you get Thoughtseized. Shock your Bob return mine untap and cast it again.
If you find extra copies of this card floating around please pick some up. They are under $2 and a great buy.
I will be drafting Tempest Remastered for as long as I can (hoping to open some Wastelands and other goodies). My MTGO name is CaptainSarang if you want to shoot me a friend request and I will gladly add you and chat!
Thanks everyone for reading and have a fantastic day!
Stay Humble -JP-