MTGS Mini #10: Teams and Magic

MTGS Mini is the format that will be going up on Friday night/early Saturday from now on. MTGS Mini is a far more easygoing format. So sit back and relax while we relax... our standards. If this isn't your thing, take a break and we'll see you on Sunday night with Cranial Insertion!

Teams have been around since the beginning of Magic: the Gathering. Some teams, like Your Move Games and Phoenix Foundation, have stood the test of time, while others have vanished due to players losing interest in the game, among many other reasons. But one thing some people don't know is how valuable actually having an active team is.

Reasons for having a team can go on and on because there are so many. I will list a few.

1. Rides
So you're stuck: you have the deck to beat and you just can't conjure up a ride to the nearest PTQ/FNM and you're bummed. Having a person on your team that can legally drive you to tournaments is a big upside to having a team. Also, they can keep you company on longer drives, talk strategy with you before and after the event, and can loan you cards if need be, which is my next point.

2. Having just the right cards
You're missing one Kokusho and one Wildfire from your deck, and you have no way to get them. Looks like you'll be forced to play a worse deck, without them. With a team, you can borrow cards from your teammates as needed, so you won't be missing the cards you need.

Write things down when you borrow or loan out cards, even to teammates and friends. It is in everyone's best interest to write this down, as it can save a lot of trouble and silly arguments.

3. Making good friends
There's nothing like staying at a buddy's house the night before a big tourney, testing until 1:00 AM [Just 1:00 AM? Wimps... -ed.], getting up and driving there, and then doing well. Teammates also give you someone to call or email if you have a deck idea, or need some advice on a deck or a trade.

4. Playtesting
Every good group has good playtesters; the better the people you play against, the better you become in the long-run, even if you lose almost every game. Testing can be very valuable when trying out a new deck: you can just proxy it up and you're good to go. Also, learning how to play the deck correctly is a big part in the game if you're planning to do well in tournaments -- it's better to learn in practice than try and have to learn when the games count.

5. Advice
Like I said before, you should be able to trust the people that are on your team and be able to ask them for advice about anything that is Magic-related, and maybe even about some things that aren't. Advice on trades can always be helpful when making a tough decision. You can also ask about things like sideboard strategies, and what would be the best play at this time in the game.

It will also be good if you're creative with your team. What I mean is come up with T-Shirts with the name of your team, and wear them as a group to big events. If you win, the recognition of your team will skyrocket. List the name of your team as the designers of your deck on your deck registration sheet. Some other helpful hints when creating teams would be: come up with a creative name so people will remember it, and do things that stand out at tournaments (my team wears pink shirts at all the big tourneys we go to.)


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