In truth, Magic has so much room to grow and change, both as a game and as a community of players. The formats aren't perfect, the community isn't perfect, and that means we can make many resolutions together, and hold each other to them as well-after all, a major part of making a change permanent is having accountability. With this, I present to you: A Magic: the Gathering Player's 2017 Resolutions!
Resolution #1: Be bold in your builds
We all know what works, what's consistent, what's valuable, and what wins. There are staples for each format that make the game run smoother, from fetch lands to Command Tower , and while they don't ruin formats, they do stabilize it-or stagnate it, as some would believe. Think of your local meta-what decks are there to always meet/beat? Do they ever change? Why not take the steps to change yourself? Be bold-build a jank deck, something with budget cards that might never work, but is fun and new and different. Shake up your local meta with something out of nowhere, and inject some new life into it; there are over 16,000 cards in the game-be daring, be different, and be creative!
Resolution #2: Try a new format
This may be the most challenging resolution for some. They have seen and tested a number of formats, but have settled for the one(s) they enjoy the most. Fortunately, most Magic players like to make multiple decks in the formats they love for the very reason this resolution may become the easiest for you to tackle. Ask that one friend who plays Modern, or Standard, or EDH/Commander, Legacy, Vintage, Frontier, etc. to borrow a deck and learn the format. You never know what you'll discover-though your wallet may cry for the results.
Resolution #3: Keep the community diverse
Wizards of the Coast has made great strides in diversifying its cast within the last year or so, and it is a warming sight to see the company power forward in making sure everyone has a character they can identify with, whether it be Saheeli Rai, Narset, Alesha (my favorite EDH/Commander deck!), and others. Yet when we go to card shops to play, trade or...well, talk shop, we find the population far less diverse than our cast of characters. This may not be malicious intent on many of our part, however there are a few quick tips to keep in mind when someone new shows up to the LGS you frequent:
- Invite them over, greet them in a friendly manner, and ask if they want to play a game. They probably do, but are looking for someone to invite them first!
- Remember that people are here to play, and have a good time. Treat your LGS like neutral ground-no trying to hook up with anyone, start an argument , or any other behavior that would drive someone away.
- Treat any/everyone with the level of respect you would want others to treat you with if you were new.
- Understand that people play for different kinds of fun, and that their deck may be set up for just that. Feel free to give advice, but only if you ask permission to give it first.
Magic: the Gathering is a medium between two or more people, a language in as of itself that people can speak and find friendship in. When you speak the language, you represent all those who speak the same lingo, so being a shining role model at all times is critical. Remember that when you go to your LGS, compose yourself in the way you'd like to be seen by others, and that you'll be in close quarters with these people for the majority of the night. Our community has been the target of the internet's unrelenting barrage due to concerns of hygiene and appearance, and while one can argue that they should feel entirely comfortable in their LGS, others would argue the same for everyone. Know that if you come presenting your best self, nobody stands to lose.
This doesn't only apply to appearance, however. Attitude and behavior are just as critical of components to having a fun experience as dress and hygiene. Many players can recall facing someone who was a sore loser-or a sore winner-souring the mood and even at times deterring players from returning, at threat of a repeated incident. Keep in mind that you're playing a game, and that it is only the medium to the person or people across the table; they will remember some plays, for sure, but they will remember more your behavior and actions throughout it. If you see someone who is being subjected to any negative behavior, from attitude to harassment to worse, have someone inform go get a store management and separate the persons involved while bringing a few more level-headed individuals to ease tensions . It takes only one negative experience for a player to give up an otherwise wonderful game, and as Edmund Burke once stated: "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.". This applies to all of us as a community-have fun, and do good by ourselves and others.
And there you have it! Four resolutions to ring in the New Year, making it all the better with your influence. Keep to these resolutions, and hold others to these standards, and watch the community you love grow to something even greater than it is now. Draw well, and Happy New Year everyone!