I’ve been playing Magic The Gathering since Dinosaurs walked the Earth…
Not really, but I have been playing MTG for quite some time. During that time, I’ve run into a lot of different player types. Some good, some bad, some asshole, some clueless.. The list could go on all day. For some reason I always get stuck with the douchey asshole at my LGS, even with how hard I try and avoid them. Now I won’t bullshit you and say that I’m a good player so I can’t really give tips on how to be a better player but I can give some advice (Or more like a warning) of what to avoid doing while playing MTG with other people. It’s more like avoid being these types of players when you playing MTG because I’ve played against players like these and it’s usually not a lot of fun.
The Sore Loser
Every game both online and offline has a sore loser at some point, and MTG is no exception. The sore loser is usually the player that will lose and make excuses for his loss. It could be anything from “Oh, If I had 2 more turns, I could’ve won” to “Damnit, If I hadn’t misplayed that thing I would’ve won”. Well dude, you didn’t have 2 more turns and if you misplayed something, that’s a lesson for next game. Have some self-respect and accept your loss.
Every so often you run into someone that can’t seem to play a game without getting pissed off. The Rager is the type of player that will actually get pissed off at his opponents during a game. They will get pissed off for someone attacking them or “teaming up against them”, they will get mad when they get called out on a misplay, or they’ll just get pissed off because whatever happens during the game. The levels of rage vary from just being vocal about their anger to completely scooping up each and every card off the table and leaving. I’ve seen it happen far too many times when someone is mad about a Children’s card game that they grab their shit and leave. Let that sink in for a moment… You get so mad about a friendly, children’s card game that you decide “Fuck it, I’m going to be mad, rude, and leave!” No one wants to play with a rager once they’re identified, unless you take joy in pissing people off. And if you’re that type of person you may have bigger issues that you need to address internally that we cannot provide help with.
The whinier is the person that during a game does everything in their power to make themselves seem like a victim. Just like the rager, they complain when someone attacks them, counters their stuff, or targets anything on their side of the field but unlike the rager, they don’t get vocally angry about it. The whinier just complains with a defeated and defensive “Why are you attacking me? I haven’t done anything to you! So and so had that on the field, why target my stuff?!” Really!? It’s a game and I chose to crack you in the face for X damage, so just take it and stop your whining.
The Johnny / Spike Players
For those that don’t know, Johnny and Spike are terms that have been used in MTG for the longest time and they’re used to describe a variation of players but let me sum it up. The Johnny is the combo player, the guy that loves to see his deck basically play with itself in the sense of combo’ing together (get your mind out of the GUTTER!) in order to either win or to gain field advantage. The Spike is the person that the most important thing is to WIN! Now of course, there are different levels of Spike and Johnny players but right now I’m talking about when you’re playing against a hybrid that we’re going to call, “Spike/Johnny”. The Spike/Johnny is the player that comes into a casual game and decides that by turn 4 he wants to get off his combo and win it. This hybrid doesn’t care about the social interaction with the other players, he just wants to crush his opponents as quickly as possible. It’s especially frustrating when you’re playing in a 4 way match and 3 of your opponents are sitting there, each of them waiting to get their combo off in order to win. (wooo!) I’m sorry but unless we’re at the GP or another competition, most of us play MTG to have a good time, meet new people, and maybe even learn a new strategy. Get that cutthroat attitude back to the Entertainment Industry where it belongs.
The bragger is usually linked with being a Spike player but a high combination of possibly bro’ing out on a major win. Spike players definitely have a bit more class than to brag. The first bragger you may encounter at your LGS is the one who purposely brags about how long they’ve been playing or what amazingly rare and awesome card they have. The second type of bragger you will encounter is the one who can’t shut their trap after a win. Neither are the types of players that are liked.
*Thumbs up* that’s super duper neat that you have that card or that you’ve been playing since Ice Age but shut it! Unless someone asks, no one cares! And to the guy that is bragging about his victory, no one cares on how else you would’ve stomp us in case that your already winning strategy hadn’t worked. Ego boosting is rude and also it is really discouraging for new players to deal with braggers.
Cheetos Finger Smelly Dude…
I don’t even have to go into details about this person. Go take a shower, no one wants to smell you. As for you Cheetos fingers, please go wash your hands immediately because I don’t want you anywhere near my cards with your Cheetos fingers.
The Flicker or Shuffler
*flick flick flick* *shuffle shuffle shuffle* If you’ve ever been to Vegas or played a MTG you should be well familiar with this noise. But have you ever sat across from someone that impulse shuffles or flicks their cards while “thinking” about their next move? It’s annoying, distracting, and kind of rude. I get it, some people do it out of impulse because it’s just an OCD kind of thing or maybe it calms their nerves during the game, but there are some people that just do it because they know it distracts the opponent, which can lead to a misplay. I see what you’re doing and I think that’s messed up.
“Let me take it back!” – The Thinker
The thinker is the guy that takes forever to play out their turn. They’re the type of person that can turn an hour game into a 3 hour game because each of their turns takes like 5 minutes without them actually doing much. The final form of the thinker is what I like to call the takebacker, for lack of better words. Not only does each turn take FOREVER but they’ll sit there and say “Oh I’ll play this.. oh wait, nevermind. Can I take that back?” or will tap and untap their lands over and over again trying to figure out what they want to do. To that, we say JUST PLAY THE GAME GUY!
The Backseat Gamer
Everyone knows one. This person might not even be part of the match but they feel the need to tell you how to play your own deck. You’ll play something and they’ll automatically butt in and question reality with “Are you sure you wanna play that? I mean, you should play that instead!” or you will play something and they’ll automatically make that “oh no face” or make an obnoxiously loud and out of place disapproving sound. It’s really annoying to deal with those types of people because it can be a huge distraction and sometimes they’re so obvious about what you have in your hand that it ends up helping your opponents know what you’re holding.
We’re totally not saying that you shouldn’t think about your plays. I mean, Magic The Gathering is a strategy based card game after all. We’re also not saying that you shouldn’t be excited about that brand new card you just picked up at a great trade or deal online. However, these aren’t things that should be making up your personality.. Looking at you Cheetos dude..
We can only hope that you wish to aspire to be the last type of player there is…
Timmy is a person that plays to have a good time. Sure winning is nice and all, but that isn’t his drive behind sniffing out a tourney or two. The ability to interact with other people, share a few laughs, make a few memories, and just have a good time is what drives Timmy to matches time and time again. By no means does this mean that the Timmy doesn’t want to win but Timmy’s like the experience. It’s okay to be a Spike or Johnny type of player as long as somewhere inside dwells a Timmy in order to keep the experience pure.