Robert Chesley

My Magic self-assessment

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I’ve been playing Magic for a while now. I feel like my game has hit kind of a rut lately. I mean I feel like I’m generally a good player. I’m tired of being just another good player I want to step up my game. So, I’m taking a proactive approach to this problem.

A little background, I started reading a book by Patrick Chaplin called “Next Level Magic.” Chaplin has been a Pro Magic player for a long time, almost as long as there has been Pro Magic. He’s been writing about Magic Theory for almost as long. He’s been a member of many winning teams and I generally value his opinion. One of the first things he talks about in his book is you should make a realistic and fair judgement on aspects of your game that you feel you should work on. Since I thought it would be a neat little exercise and it is probably most effective if I make it as public as possible. Hey, if i’m not accountable for it who else would be?

I attempted this list as honestly as possible and I think it is a neat idea for anyone trying to reach any goal in their life. I’m tired of just being good at Magic and I want to take my game to the next level.

1. I feel like I’m generally overconfident when I’m playing against people I know. I usually make more mistakes because I feel like I’m the best player at the table.

2. I second guess myself at sealed deck choices that I shouldn’t. I don’t question choices enough when I play in constructed tournaments.

3. I still get nervous when playing a deck I know I can pilot against people I know. I get more nervous against players that have given me trouble in the past opposed to new blood.

4. I don’t shuffle my cards as much as I should. I usually only do three or four smash shuffles. When I should be doing at least a few pile shuffles then a few mash shuffles.

5. I don’t practice nearly enough for high level constructed events.

6. When I’m winning I usually rush myself, which usually leads to game-breaking mistakes.

7. When I’m losing, I over analyse the game state.

8. I get sucked into “Jedi Mind Tricks” and it takes me out of my game.

9. When playing online, sometimes I let distractions get to me.

10. I’m a fair weather player. When things are going good, I’m happy. But at the first sign of trouble, it can throw off my entire game.

11. I don’t analyse my drafting enough. I should be watching my draft replays to see if I made the optimal draft choices.

12. I usually overvalue what strategy writers think are “good” opposed to seeing the cards in action.

13. I undervalue the value of taking rares in drafts in my friends.

14. I rarely take risks, even if it means I can win the game or the match.

15. I don’t sideboard properly. I don’t understand what and when I should take things out of my deck.

16. I don’t study the metagame enough before playing in tournaments.

Well, its a start. I really hope to work more on my preparation for tournaments in the future. I know I need to find a really good support group that can help me in monumental ways, but it isn’t the easiest thing in the world to accomplish. But to take the first step into this journey that is becoming a much better Magic player is something that I’ve wanted to prove to myself for a long, long time.

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