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  • posted a message on How do you deal with long losing streaks?
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on How do you deal with long losing streaks?
    Quote from DirkGently »
    My understanding is that, when doing specific tournament prep, pro teams will commonly play most meta decks against each other so they can decide for themselves where they think the meta is going to get an edge, but I'm sure that varies from team to team. At any rate, those players have almost certainly put in tons of hours playing some form of every archetype. Perhaps one is mastered more than the others, but they're going to be able to play every archetype at a much higher level than most players.


    I don't really feel like having a back and forth on this, but I do feel like sharing my experience working on teams with pro tour players on multiple occasions. Generally, we would hunker down for a few days and people would be assigned decks that fit within their spectrum of proficiency. There was no value to be gained if someone like me was running a Zoo deck if I am not an aggro player. Each of us would have a couple of decks and variants. For Grand Prix LA, someone was assigned Abzan Aggro and a variation of it, and another was assigned Abzan Midrange and a variant of it. Some people would run duplicate lists, but all decks were appropriately allocated to players who were proficient with them. Discussions were had between players in huddle sessions where lessons would be shared and information exchanged, and ultimately players would decide to run whatever they would run during the event based on the feedback session. Sometimes, players would play something they are less familiar with, but that decision was based on the information exchanged between them and those more proficient with the archetype or deck. Other times, people stuck with what they knew. In the end, testing was not done in a matter in which people wasted time playing decks they were not familiar or proficient with because it muddies feedback.

    I cannot say this is applicable to every prep team at higher levels of play, but it is something that has been consistent in my personal experience. My experience is not to puff my chest or suggest that I am ultimately right in this situation, but to merely support my approach to improving at the game and ultimately, why I stand by lesson 3.

    Can't speak for other pros, but I watch Kibler stream (hearthstone) all the time, and he switches from deck to deck and even format to format all the time. When he wants to hit legend, sure, he decides on the deck he wants to do it with - but he makes that decision based on having played many different decks so that he knows them all quite well and understands the meta inside and out. Sure, at a very high level it pays to be dedicated to a certain deck for a given constructed season, but that's so far above where most EDH players are at that it's hardly worth thinking about imo.


    I am not sure about your experience in Hearthstone, but content creation is its own animal which I won't really get into here. However I will say that in Hearthstone, once you are in Legend, you have a lot more ability to explore other decks. The ladder climb itself, is much less forgiving if you are swapping between 5 different decks and unable to keep above a 50% win rate with them. You are better off mastering 1 or 2 to climb and when you peak, work on learning other things.

    The ten thousand hour remark is really just a life lesson overall - but to suggest something takes "ten thousand hours" to learn, and trying to learn 5 different things at once, means you are going to take 5 times as long to reach those ten thousand hours in any 1 of them, to ultimately master them.

    If your goal is to get out of a losing streak sooner rather than later:
    • Keep consistent
    • Do you due diligence
    • Reach your 10,000 hours
    • Set your next goal
    • Rinse and repeat

    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on [ZNR] [Cube] Jace, Mirror Mage
    Quote from wtwlf123 »
    So far, good but not great. It might get removed in my CMR update.


    Do you think you will move Jace Beleren back in, or no?
    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
  • posted a message on How do you deal with long losing streaks?
    Quote from DirkGently »
    I think we still disagree.


    I think you think I disagree with you, but really I am adding depth to what your argument (at least to me) appears to be, which is that "a player should work to round out their skills in order to grow."

    Lesson 3 is about: if you are weak at aggro, find something else. When you find what you are not as weak at, mold it and fine tune it before moving on to the next thing. I am not saying a new player should jam something until they are good at it or understand it.

    My opinion is that, ultimately, your goal should be to not have any "strengths". Not just to not focus on reanimator specifically, but not to focus on toolboxing more generally, or any other thing you might imagine. You should strive to do do EVERYTHING. There's no reason you can't be good at everything magic has to offer, and knowing more about every piece of it will make you a better overall player because you'll be able to apply lessons from one area to another, and to see enemy lines better and play around them.


    Players like Reid Duke, Patrick Chapin, Mike Flores, Raphael Levy, Craig Wesoe, etc, are not where they are because the worked on learning everything and mastering nothing. Having worked with large tournament prep teams for constructed events, myself, it has never been because I am good at a vast amount of things - it has been because I excel in one or two things. Your goal should be to find what you are good at, and work with it until you are ready to move on to the next thing. If you are not good at something but want to be good at it, then work on it more than you work on something else.

    ...insert some motivational statement about ten thousand hours...

    Whenever someone asks me "what colors do you play?" or "what kinds of decks do you play?", that's a hint to me that they're either new or a weak player. Magic is not a game about finding your niche and burrowing in, that's how you stagnate. It's about constantly finding new territory to conquer.

    I don't know what those questions have to do with growth. Sure, Reid Duke plays a lot of different things, but if you ask anyone what colors he plays or what kind of decks he plays, they will have an answer for you - and for good reason.

    You don't need to play an aggro deck to understand why your control deck is losing to aggro. You merely need to have an honest conversation with yourself. No, playing only control decks will not help you learn to play an aggro deck, but that isn't the point of lesson 3. The point of lesson 3 is that you need to put in the effort, and being the jack of all trades and master of none... isn't going to help you secure more wins or quash a losing streak. Good examples of this lesson, are actually in games that use a ladder system. You don't climb a ladder by swapping out into a bunch of different decks you have not mastered and are pulling off sub 50% win rates, you climb the ladder by mastering a deck one at a time and keeping them above 50% win rates.

    Anyways, I think I know where any conversation with you is going to lead, so I am just gonna duck out now. I said my peace, imparted wisdom, and will leave it at that.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on How do you deal with long losing streaks?
    My third point wasn’t to never branch out. It is to master one thing, then move on to the next. If you are having trouble mastering it, consider it that is actually where your strengths are.

    The Reanimator deck was an example because I originally thought that was what I was good at and it was what I wanted to play. When I realized that really, it wasn’t the reanimator aspect, but the tool boxing aspect, I improved faster and more significantly. Because I could take toolboxing fundamentals and apply them to decks like Gifts, Pod, Reanimator, Lands, etc. Rule #3 isn’t about sticking with the same deck, but rather with what elements of the game you are strong at. This leads back to the “have an honest conversation with yourself” statement.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on How do you deal with long losing streaks?
    I will preface this with: I don't often go on losing streaks. Typically, I am the player who manages to weasel my way out of scenarios where I am almost certain to lose. Having lost count of how many games I have won at 1 life against better and worse decks, I have learned a few things along the way:

    1. Remember that Commander is best enjoyed when you keep in mind that it is about the journey, not the destination.
    2. Losing is going to improve your game more than winning.
    3. Sometimes, it is better to stick with what you know, leverage your strengths rather than explore something new.

    The final point is particularly important. Having spent a lot of my time in MTG over the last 24 years playing toolbox decks, I typically try to work that angle with whatever Commander I play. I love Graveyard strategies because they play into this somewhat, but when I initially picked up The Mimeoplasm in 2013, it was a pretty basic reanimator deck. In fact, most of the lists I see run it as such. I really leaned into the toolboxing aspect of the game and turned what was a pretty poor Sultai deck into something I can win games that are generally unwinnable, simply because I have leveraged my strengths - oddly enough in a format where I don't get to use Gifts Ungiven, the most played card in my MTG career.

    I don't mean to sound like I am puffing my chest or anything, but I had to slog through an unfathomable amount of losses in my life in order to come out ahead more often than not. Try not to let the losses get to you, and make sure that you are trying to make each game as enjoyable as possible in ways that you can control.

    Finally, level with yourself more, and have honest conversations about where you may be coming up short. Are you letting others talk you into things that maybe are not the best for you? Are you not trying to metagame the table enough on your own to mitigate heat on yourself? Are you perhaps playing a Commander that simply appeals to you that you might not really understand in a way that plays to your own strengths as a player?
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on [CUBE][CMR] Includes & Testing Thread
    Personally, I am not that big on the Court cards. Cool, and powerful, just not in the way I want cool and powerful cards to be :shrug:. Wheel of Misfortune and Fall from Favor also don't really tug on my sleeve enough.

    For my Core Cube
    Hullbreacher
    Emberwilde Captain

    For my Commander Module
    Opposition Agent
    Tevesh Szat, Doom of Fools
    Rootweaver Druid
    Archelos, Lagoon Mystic
    Jeweled Lotus
    Phyrexian Triniform
    Rejuvenating Springs
    Spectator Seating
    Undergrowth Stadium
    Vault of Champions
    Training Center
    Posted in: Cube New Card Discussion
  • posted a message on Updating Commander Cubes
    Seems like an odd place for Commander Cube discussion. The Cube section is for the limited format, which should/does include variants. The Cube Reddit is probably the most ideal place to talk about Commander Cube though, but I personally like using MTGSalvation to discuss MTG over Reddit, so I understand if that isn't your cup of tea either.

    Commander Legends is a pretty awesome set. I personally won't be using a whole lot from it in my Cube though - even my Commander Module. I think the powerlevel of my Cube is probably just too high to really support a lot of the stuff in Commander Legends. That being said, there are lots of things I like and I may need to reevaluate my Commander Module a bit, or finally commit to making a second module.


    Rootweaver Druid
    Really big fan of this card, I don't play my Commander Cube 1v1, it is always played Multiplayer, and this card seems fun for the lands decks

    Archelos, Lagoon Mystic
    I support UBG stax archetype with Leovold, Emissary of Trest. I like having another option for this archetype that is more obvious for drafters who are new or might not want Leovold as their commander

    Jeweled Lotus
    A nice little bit of support for mono-colored commanders to get things out a bit faster, occasionally helpful for other decks as well. Not super big on this card as I think it is fairly underwhelming, but definitely want to see how it goes

    Tevesh Szat, Doom of Fools
    Planeswalkers that work well in Stax are always cards that tickle my fancy. I think on early casting, this card can get some good mileage in

    Opposition Agent
    I know people are hyped on this for normal Cube, but I think there just isn't enough critical mass for me to be as excited about it, hopefully in a multiplayer setting those odds of getting it off are something that I am happy with

    Phyrexian Triniform
    Interesting cheaty target that makes me a little happy.

    Vault of Champions
    Training Center
    Undergrowth Stadium
    Spectator Seating
    Rejuvenated Springs
    Nice way to round out the cycle


    Akroma, Vision of Ixidor
    This card seems awesome! Need to crunch some numbers or decide if it is something I want to design around in a second module

    Sakashima of a Thousand Faces
    I kind of want to add this to my primary Commander Module for some sweet play with Vial Smasher the Fierce, but not feeling like there is much else to partner with atm, I think if I can find a few more options, it will be added to the primary module

    Averna, the Chaos Bloom
    Not sure I have enough support for this to be able to keep up with most of the Commanders in a higher power module, but something I want to design around a bit

    Liesa, Shroud of Dusk
    Not much initial support, may try in a lower power module where I can shape her to be solid with plenty of support

    Nymris, Oona's Trickster[/card]
    Seems fun, but ultimately not all that powerful for the main module

    Ghen, Arcum Weaver
    Like the ida of some enchantment focused play, maybe curses

    Obeka, Brute Chronologist
    I REALLY like this card, would love to find a way to get some Grixis hug and slug into a Cube

    Hans Eriksson
    Fun little Commander with some Sneak Attack goodness. Unsure if it can be done or not, but would like to try
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on [CMR] Obeka, Brute Chronologist, Wrong Turn, Blasphemous Act, and Cuombajj Witches— Pinnoel previews
    Really big fan of Grixis having Obeka as a political kind of Commander. These decks can be quite fun and Grixis is something nice to spice up the selection.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on [CMR] Opposition Agent
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on [CMR] Mothership 10/30— Archelos, Lagoon Mystic... and lore for everyone previewed so far
    Really excited to get a copy of Archelos, my favorite colors and my favorite archetype!
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on [CMR] Jeweled Lotus
    Yes, lion's eye diamond does amazing things if you want it to. Same for mana crypt. Those are both $100+ cards. How does the format benefit from printing a new one of these things?


    I think ultimately, Commander is going to benefit from this card.

    My initial thoughts were that this card was largely an unnecessary printing that nobody really asked for or needed, but as I sat on it for a bit, I think that mindset comes from a player who plays 3+ colors in the format. Mono colored decks have a lot more explosive potential with this card around, and even dual-color decks. Decks that are, at somewhat of a disadvantage in the format at large.

    I still don't think this is really a card that anyone asked for or wanted, but I have come around to starting to think about what decks gain the biggest advantage from it - and those decks are decks that need more help to shine in a format that is getting more and more complex and powerful.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on [CUBE] [CMR] Magus of the Order
    Quote from wtwlf123 »
    Another one I'm on the fence about. I like having the redundancy at the Natural Order slot, but I'm not sold on the card itself being great. We'll see I guess.


    Pretty much this.

    I love that this is a lower power option for Cube owners that are looking to keep their Cube loose and not jam it full of high power cards. Seems like a good card for Cube as a format, but not particularly exciting for most veterans of the format that have higher-end Cubes.
    Posted in: Cube New Card Discussion
  • posted a message on Making our own RC?
    Quote from Narvuntien »
    Juice:
    They are unlikely to "ruin" your commander experience in any meaningful way, both for lack of visibility or just people like me that has never seen the show.


    Just going to throw this out there, for clarity's sake.

    I have been reading the comics for a long time, and have also been a pretty big fan of the show. I still think this product is pretty disgusting and unappealing.

    Not realyl a significant talking point or really one of any contention. But thought I should clarify for those reading my responses.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Making our own RC?
    Quote from Cranky »
    Juice, you're just banging your head against a wall there. I blocked and reported that dude a while ago, either he's completely unhinged or a dedicated troll, and your efforts to apply logic to the situation are just going to wear you out while he simply finds another way to weasel around what you say to support his own points.

    Trust me, I know from experience, you're better off not interacting with people like that. For your own sanity.


    Yeah, his doubling down tends to lead to longer and longer posts trying to defend his lack of substance and relevancy as he starts scraping the bottom of the barrel trying not to sound daft.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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