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The Experience of Losing

We’ve all been there, we’ve all been on that losing streak before. It’s never fun, especially in a higher stakes tournament where each loss keeps you away from that 1st place prize. Everyone likes to win, no one likes losing, so what can you take away when you go on a terrible run in a tournament?

This past Saturday I attended my first Modern IQ and while my expectations were not overly high of myself, I did hope to do slightly better and possibly make better plays than I actually did. This will not be a tournament report going over each round and what I did wrong but let me tell you, I was ready to quit after round three but kept on going.

I am still fairly new to the Modern format so I had that going against me walking into this tournament. I’m still learning the meta game and what all the popular decks can and can’t do. The decks I faced up against were ones that I never tested against and my sideboard was ill prepared. I’m currently playing Elves and while most rounds I could take a game off of someone it was still not good enough. It was five rounds before it cut to Top 8 and at the end I managed to go 1-4.

So what can I take away from all this?


Definitely practice and more playtesting. Having only done one paper modern event before this IQ, I definitely was not familiar enough with the meta as my only other means to practice are on Cockatrice and that program sometimes isn’t sufficient enough.

Not only will it help decide whether or not I should keep the hand I have, it will also help knowing when to mulligan down. There were definitely some opening hands I thought were good enough until it ran out of steam quickly or were answered sufficiently.

The old adage, practice makes perfect is one to follow.

Study the Format

Not only does practice help you out a lot, studying the format you are playing helps just as much. Knowing the deck archetypes and possible sideboards you will face helps tremendously. I was ill prepared with my sideboard as well as opponent’s sideboards as well. Reading articles and watching videos will aid in your studying.

Don’t Give Up

When I was 0-3 I wanted to quit the whole tournament and just go home. It is never fun to be that low on the scoreboard and know there is no chance of winning or making a top 8. When I hit 0-4 the feeling intensified. I didn’t quit though, I was determined to keep going just to get more experience. I didn’t come to this IQ with expectations of winning the whole thing but I did expect better of myself to not misplay as badly as I did or keep bad hands that I shouldn’t have.

Just like anything in life, knowing you will eventually fail is an important lesson. Pushing through and persevering is what divides you and everyone else who doesn’t. My intentions with Magic are not to become to best and beat everyone but to become better than I was yesterday.

So where do I go from here? I’m going to keep trucking along and grinding the format at my local game store as well as try to go to any IQ’s, PPTQ’s I can. The best thing I can do is learn from my mistakes and push forward.

Thanks for reading.

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