Well, it’s been a salty couple of weeks. A lot of you disagreed with a few of my points from last week so this week I hope that I can get all of you disagree with me. We can make it happen people, with a little elbow grease and a can do attitude, all of you will be calling me an idiot in the comments!
GP’s, an experience like no other. I’m sure a lot of you have been to a GP or a GP like event (SCG Open, TCG Invitational, etc) and even though I love attending them, there a few people and things that always occur that always make my blood boil. What are these things? Will I talk about them in a rational and coherent manner? If I would, would any of you even be here?
1. Trade Grinders
If you sit down in a group, or God help you, by yourself at a GP, chances are you will be approached by, “The Grinder”. Some, Jonathan Medina type character looking to see if you’ve “got trades?”
And you, a happy go lucky first time GP goer thinks, sure why not, I trade at my local store, why not interact with someone, after all, isn’t that what GPs are about? Interacting with your fellow Magic player, making trades, seeing all there is to see.
No, not for this guy. He smelt blood in the water, he sensed this was your first time, and he sensed you were looking for a fun time at your first GP and he’s going to make it his mission to ensure your binder looks like a Wal-Mart after Black Friday, and he’s looking to pay prices the Waltons would blush at.
He’s never looking for anything in particular, but he’s always looking. He’ll take those Tasigur‘s off your hands for a reasonable price, after all Wally’s Magic World isn’t even buying them, so him valuing them at $.25 is a steal.
Value to the community? What’s that? Ruin a kids weekend because they didn’t know Living End spiked 2 Hours ago? So what?
It’s people like this that make me tell most newer players going to GPs to not even bring their binders.
I’ve even seen guys mercifully take a Mox Pearl off of a poor kid who couldn’t find a buyer, he gave him a really good deal too, the kid needed a bunch of Standard staples and tribal cat cards with the new Commander deck coming out. At the end of the exchange, the kid was even up a dollar!
What a gentleman!
Trade sharks are the worst, and they don’t even get me salty, I just perpetually hate them, if you could bottle my anger towards them and turn it into a fuel, it could power the Las Vegas strip for the next 50 years.
If you are one of them, please defend yourself in the comments, or on Reddit, I look forward to it!
2. Commander “Pros” Ruining a Casual Game
I’ve seen this just as often as I’ve seen trade sharks. It isn’t quite as egregious as ripping a kid off, but it might be more cowardly. At least a trade shark is wrecking you face to face, casual Commander groups almost never see this guy coming.
This doesn’t necessarily happen just at GPs, I’ve seen it happen in LGS’ just as often, but allow me to set the scene.
3 friends sit down to play a game of Commander, with there casual decks built for their own meta. As they take their die-rolls a tiger shark, waiting in the weeds, pounces.
“He guys, mind if I join?”
Sure! They proclaim, the more the merrier. So he sits down, shuffles up quickly and everyone rolls. It just so happens that the new guy ends up going last, awe shucks he says, everyone laughs. What a great start to what was supposed to be a great game of Commander.
- Player 1 plays a Temple of Triumph, decent first turn play for this aggressive Anax and Cymede soldier deck.
- Player 2 lays a swamp and pass, pretty typical for this casual Gonti player.
- Player 3, before playing a land, casually asks what the new guys Commander does before playing an Izzet Guildgate and passing the turn.
- Player 4 (the new guy) says, “Oh?, you don’t know what Azusa does?” he questions condescendingly. His foil Russian Azusa barely readable across the table. He then confidently casts a Mana Crypt and before anyone has a chance to ask what it does taps it to cast a Grim Monolith, followed by a Crucible of Worlds, Forest, Fastbond, Strip Mine all 3 of his opponents lands. Go ahead he says!
All 3 players look at each other, not wanting to be salty, they play on, never allowed to play a 2nd land, and the new guy eventually wins after a mind numbing 45 minutes.
“Why not savour this clubbing?”
So, what’s my point? Why tell this terrible short story? Because, it’s these people who are terrible. There is a certain sub-set of Magic players who always have to be the “Big Fish”. Normally they are the guys who have never done anything in any real tournament. But, wow, do they crush EDH night at the strictly casual store.
I’m not sure what it is about this section of Magic players but they always need to feel like they are the best, and more often than not that means finding smaller, weaker prey rather than actually working and becoming a better player. I failed to leave out the sub-optimal lines and missed triggers from the above game, but be sure, they were there.
These players also normally gravitate towards Commander, again, most likely due to the abundance of weaker more casual prey, why play Modern against filthy net-deckers he says, as he plays T2 Static Orb with 6 available mana and Derevi in play vs his 2 opponents who are playing unsleeved out of the box pre-cons.
The Big-Fish syndrome is something I may cover a little more in a future article, as I wanted really to zone in on this specific type of Big Fish for this point, as it’s the one you see most at GPs and LGS’.
Do you have an experience with one of these guys? Are you one of these guys? Let’s hear it down below!
3. The Guy Who Can’t Take a Loss Like a Human
Again, like my last 2 points, these exist beyond the spectrum of the GP but they are so centralized at them that I had to add it to this point.
It’s round 7, you’re 3-3, basically playing for fun at this point, and in G3, your opponent mulls to 5 and complains about how unlucky he was.
Not taking into account you mulled to 5 in G2 and also not taking into account that he missed lethal in G1 if he made the correct attack.
That doesn’t matter, he’ll refuse to shake your hand and say, no, it wasn’t a good game.
Okay, pal, we’re 3-3, you weren’t winning this GP let alone qualifying for the PT, it isn’t my fault you sideboarded incorrectly because when you play against the “stiff” competition at your 12 person FNM it’s the equivalent of Tribal Cats and you’ve never actually side-boarded vs anything that isn’t a home brew.
This also is a symptom of the “Big Fish” syndrome. A guy, who crushes FNM against the same 6 Home-brews every week loses against the first actual deck he’s played against and complains about not “pulling the right cards”.
“My buddy Morty has a Zombie deck and I’ve never lost against him with my UB Control deck, it isn’t my fault he can’t afford Cryptbreakers“
That’s all for this week, Points 1 and 2 ran a a bit long but as you can tell, they hold a dear dear place in my heart.
I’ll see you next week, be sure to comment on what an idiot I am, I’m waiting!