In times like this, one can only look to Frank Costanza to really express how I feel.
So, let’s get started shall we?
1. The “I Don’t Play Tier 1 Decks” Guy
How often do you hear someone say:
“I’m a RG Ponza pilot, I really like its place in the meta-game”
If you haven’t, luckily I possess the specific skills to be able to translate such complete BS. And that, roughly translates to:
“I don’t want to buy Eldrazi-Tron for some unknown reason so I’ll make outlandish claims to make it sound like I haven’t given up hope and decided to play a tier-9 deck”
I understand that some people are on a budget, I get that, and if you want to play little kid abzan until you can afford Tarmogoyfs, sure, by all means. The people I have the issue with are those who act like because they play Skred they are on some moral high ground due to the intentional handicap they have placed on themselves by playing a terrible deck that is “different”.
Every tier 7 deck has a subreddit, 99% of them are dead, so take from that what you will, there is a certain subset of Magic players that have to cling to the fact that they are different or that they are better than other players because they don’t revert to the social norms of the “good” deck.
You don’t get extra Match points because you won with a deck based on a 5 piece combo when you could have played Death’s Shadow. I don’t know if it’s just the culture, but when people have to strive to be different for the sake of being different it really rakes on me. The best part about this is that there is more than likely a Tier 1 deck that is just a better version of the Tier 13 deck they want to build.
This point also happens to transition perfectly to my next point.
2. People who Refuse to “Net Deck”
Des, this one’s for you pal.
Magic players, on the whole are a smart group of people, after all, we play a game with a strong math element. So it completely confounds me that there are players who refuse to “netdeck”.
This is literally the same as a scientist trying to prove the concept of gravity without even reading Isaac Newton’s Wikipedia page. We are a society built on using the empirical data of the people and researchers around us, why some select Magic players view this as dirty or unwholesome is beyond me.
Say you are building a deck in this Standard format. You are just starting and you buy a few Aether Revolt packs to get your creative juices flowing. You open Winding Constrictor and think, hey, this is cool, I’m going to build a deck around this card.
So, in a perfect world, you work and work and test and test and eventually end up with a deck close to the deck Sam Pardee played to 2nd place at Pro Tour Hour of Devastation. What was accomplished by this? You wasted hours upon hours of time trying to create the best GB Counters deck, when it was literally right in front of you.
Why in this facet of society do normal above average intelligence people feel the need to abandon everything they learned in Grade 6 science class? Empirical research fuels almost everything we do, and it really grinds my gears when, frankly, idiots disregard it in an attempt to seem smarter and more civilized than their fellow players.
There is a pretty easy way for you to make me disrespect your Magic opinions and its telling me you don’t like to net deck. Oh yeah? Do you also not believe in Global Warming? Did you vote for Trump? Get out of my life you anti-technology doofus!
3. Standard Hasn’t been Playable Since…
We get it, everything was better back in the day. LMFAO was a sick up and coming band and Blackberry’s were cutting edge. People love to wax nostalgic about things and Magic is no different. You hear it all the time:
“Innistrad-Return to Ravnica Standard was the best, I won’t be playing Type 2 until they bring that back”
People always neglect to mention the fact that 2 weeks into that format, Brad Nelson discovered Abzan Reanimator and the format became more inbred than a Trump rally. I’m not saying the format was terrible because I also loved it, but people act like because the format is 33% Ramunap Red that it’s terrible.
Every Standard format has had a best deck, and every Standard format has had people on the internet complain about how terrible it was. The real answer is, every Standard format is somewhere in the middle, better than you remember but also worse at the same time. That’s life, Magic is great, just be happy and play it.
That’s all for this week, a little short I know but like Mr. Costanza, I’ve got to go meet with my caped real estate agent.
(the opinions expressed in this piece are the opinions of the author and the author alone, they are not opinions held by The Mana Base)