How to play team Magic
Face To Face Games Toronto is hosting a Team Trios Showdown this weekend, and that means we all get to participate in one of the most fun experiences on the planet — team Magic.
Now, I understand that outside the StarCityGames Tour and Grand Prix circuit many of you may have never had the chance of competing with a team. Well, fear-not I’m here with the scoop on everything different about team Magic and what you’ve got to know before Sunday.
Don’t underestimate the importance of teamwork
This may seem obvious but for me it was not at first. The bottom-line about team Magic is that it is the least variance-affected way to play the game and is hyper-competitive. You reduce so much of your likelihood to just get unlucky and lose, or play a bad matchup and get rolled by adding two players (who are assumingely of similar skill-level) to your team. With such an equal playing-field your individual decision making is obvious highly important. But, teams can get a huge edge who communicate well, help each other out and maximize the benefit of having three minds making individual decisions rather than one.
With this key factor in mind, here are some points of advice:
- Don’t choose to team with your friends who are “best” at Magic, choose those who you believe you can work with and compete with best.
- Choose roles before the event. Who’s going to be the talker? Who’s going to play quietly? This is much more important than you’d think.
- Make deck choices based on the team format. Modern for example has very polarizing matchups, so because you have to win 2/3 matches instead of 1/1 then you can afford to play the matchup lottery to your favour.
Do not overuse the privilege to communicate
You can help your teammates make the correct plays, but that’s not always so helpful. Make sure to use this privilege as just that, be selective about the times you should intervene in other games. It is an advantage, but arguing over your Turn 1 land-drop is just going to foster resentment and produce more harm than help. Pick your spots friends.
A lot of this is just about know each other’s play-style. That’s what’s made the Peach Garden Oath trio of Huey Jensen, Owen Turtenwald and Reid Duke so great. They’re all great players but when you watch them play together they achieve another level of success. Owen and Huey are boisterous and communicative while Reid plays his game on his own, only asking for help when absolutely necessary. It’s mastering the conditions under-which each player succeeds that has lead to their success.
A super good and funny prediction
As of now I know of only three teams competing based solely on word of mouth (there will be more teams, these are just the ones I’ve been trash-talked by). Myself, wonder-boy Chris Ha and local 12-year-old sweet tooth Ryan Sandrin will be playing together, Tyler Nightingale, his brother Ryan and the invisible man Nathan Stark are a team and finally Brad Burden, Face to Face prodigy Liam Kane and Jason Drossis have joined forces.
Brad, Liam and Jason will defeat my team in the finals because Liam is, in fact, the best of all-time and cannot be defeated at Face to Face Games Toronto. Nathan Stark will leave the tournament before it is over and before his team is mathematically eliminated and it will be Tyler’s fault. I will yell at Chris Ha a minimum of three times.
See you Sunday!