Being a pro at Magic: The Gathering isn't simply about enjoying a card game with your friends. Like most professional sports, it involves practice, dedicated study, and participation in what many professionals describe as a "grueling" tournament schedule. However, if you feel like the professional circuit of the Magic playing card game is the place for you, by improving through playing, research, and mental discipline, you could rise through the ranks of players.
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Engage in regular play. Playing frequently against other players will not only expose you to different play-styles, it will also familiarize you with the thousands of unique cards that have been printed and could potentially be used against you. Regular play will teach you how to best respond to in-game developments with your tournament deck(s) and common scenarios that occur in the various styles of tournament play.
When practicing, focus on the quality of your play over mere quantity. If you are distracted, it's not likely you'll play your best game or take away as much as you would if you were rested, focused, and in a good mental state.
Make mental notes of your game as you play. Turning points are especially important, as these will help you evaluate things like the timing of your plays, the best instances to use certain strategies, and more.
Online play has created an invaluable resource to serious Magic players. Even if you live in an area where local, regional, national, or international tournaments aren't accessible, with an Internet connection you can easily practice against other players.
Speaking of local, regional, national, and international tournaments, these are vital events where you can test your skill as a planeswalker. You'll also be able to watch games between other pros during your free moments, which will give you a chance to scope out their cards and strategies.
Make every play to your own advantage. Each of your tournament decks should have a goal that actively works against your opponent. Every play you make should be a step towards achieving that goal. Even if you feel out of your depth or hopelessly at a disadvantage, a lucky draw could keep you in the game or poorly timed execution by your opponent could return the advantage to you.
The goal of your deck shouldn't be too narrow or broad. For example, simply removing an opponent's creature from play could blind you to the larger strategic goals of your opponent, while "playing to win" doesn't give you a firm plan with which you can undo your enemy.
Having a goal for you deck and knowing it well will also make your deck more versatile. There may be slight modifications you can make to your normal play-style that throws a wrench into the machinations of the opposition. Try to keep an open mind to every way possible you might achieve the goal of your deck.
Target technical errors. In the heat of the moment, even veteran players can make poor judgement calls. A minor oversight can lose you in-game tempo or allow your adversary the wiggle room he needs to execute his own strategy. Mistakes can lead you to being overly hard on yourself, but each of these is an opportunity for you to learn more.
Take special note of instances where you notice you could have done something better. Analyze these to learn the signs and indicators that might tip you off next time you are in a similar situation. Predictive play can undo an opponent before he even gets a chance to make his move.
Technical errors will also help you learn the most optimal order in which you should execute your strategy. Different situations may require you to alter your order of play. By recognizing enemy moves before they happen and adjusting your own strategy to compensate, you'll stand the best chance of winning possible.
Identify areas of weakness in your deck. Consistent losses in the same fashion might indicate a flaw in the build of your deck. An improper distribution of card types could make your chances of drawing the cards you need for victory unlikely. You might also notice that you're always regretting a certain card in your deck; these cards can often be exchanged for ones that are more helpful.
Some of your tournament decks might simply be ill-equipped to handle certain strategies. If you find your deck has an Achilles heel, consider ways you might protect yourself from this disadvantage. If you find this is impossible, you should evaluate whether or not that particular deck is worth taking to tournament.
Your in-game experiences can reveal unexpected flaws in your deck. Some cards and strategies work well on paper, but that doesn't always mean these work the best in real life.
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This store is amazing! We just dropped by out of curiosity - and stayed for over an hour. Nick is probably the coolest human being on earth, never felt so entertained and informed in a store before. Came without big shopping intents, but spent around 170$ on several smaller tricks. Regrets? Hell no. 10/10, will visit again
I finally had a chance to visit Fantasma Magic today while in NYC. If you are any kind of magic or Houdini enthusiast, I can't recommend this place highly enough. I met John and Jack - both very nice guys and amazing magicians. Definitely a bright spot in the Big Apple.
When you go, ask for Nick...He's got you for all your Magic needs! Greatest magic store in NYC, heck even USA.
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The coolest place to hang out and buy amazing magic at great prices! Nick is one of the coolest, friendliest and amazing dudes I've ever had the pleasure of meeting!
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