Grinding It Out—What Are The Most Annoying Magic Habits?

Greetings readers! For the past week I’ve been out on the mean streets of New York asking MTG-ers a very simple question: What ticks you off? Here’s a list of some of the more common annoying habits.



“Lands in front of creatures. People who take it too seriously. Tilted people.”

“Anytime someone talks in a condescending way during a draft. Loud or soft, saying things like, ‘Can’t believe this is still here,’ ‘Don’t know whats going on at this table,’ etc. Anything that attempts to hint to the rest of the table that they aren’t drafting properly I generally find quite annoying.”

“I hate when my opponent says OK reactively and then stops me with a response.”

“I don’t like when people are really aggressive with their language.”

“Opponents having really messy board states; lands all in a weird pile, stuff half-hidden, etc. I think we all know someone who fits that bill.”




“I flick my cards a fair amount, but most players do that.” 

“I hate hate hate it when the winning player grabs my hand when I haven’t extended it.”

“Opponents who give you the silent treatment.”

“When my opponent untaps before I pass the turn.”

“What about a friendly ‘good luck’ after the dice roll at the start? I always say it, seldom hear it. Sure, luck isn’t real, but I think it’s nice to say.”

“People riffle-shuffling your cards without asking if it’s okay! It happens rarely, but it makes me cringe every single time it does.” 





“Rogue decks, JK. Folks who talk about Magic circa 1996, 2002, or 2005, like magic now isn’t a better more balanced game. People who name drop as if someone like Finkel would remember that one time they played. I know I’m guilty of all these.” 

“I don’t like it when opponents can’t let go of flood/screw or a misplay and act as if it’s the only reason they lost the match.”

“When a player repeats things unnecessarily multiple times. If I give you life totals, there’s no need to repeat the same thing.”




“Players that play slow and then won’t concede when we go to time and are clearly clearly losing.” 

“Tapping permanents 45° instead of 90°, asking ‘play or draw?’ immediately after your opponent scoops their cards, not verbally or physically indicating passing of the turn.” 

“When my opponent conducts trades prior to the game ending.” 

“People who say winning sealed is all about variance.” 

Have another one to add? Comment below!


Monique Garraud is a Brooklyn native who started playing Magic in 2011. “Grinding It Out” is her weekly take on the trials, tribulations, and joys of being a competitive tournament player. You can follow her on Twitter @MoniqueGarraud.


Archived Comments

27 Archived Responses to “Grinding It Out—What Are The Most Annoying Magic Habits?”
  1. loll says:

    People who complain about small annoying things.

  2. Sam Miller says:

    Flicking through your cards is cool. I do that too. But some people violently flick their cards non stop and bounce their knees and sway back and forth, etc. Show me your poker face. Please…

    I agree with other comments about drafters making snide remarks. Keep it to yourself if you feel like you are getting passed great picks. That way you don’t look like an idiot when I beat you in round 4. Even worse I had an opponent grab a pick and look at it when drafting. “Nope!!!” That’s a judge call for sure. Too bad the judge just gave him a warning.

    Sometimes newer players still pass turn without a gesture or a single word. I hate that. They sit there silent for a while, I ask if they are going to pass turn, they have no idea whats going on. One time the player tried taking their turn after I asked. “Wait!!! No you don’t get to draw now, I was asking if you were done with your turn because you didn’t do or say anything”. They sometimes do this with responses too. I will cast something, they will say “hmmmm…” and then silence… I ask if they are going to respond and they are all confused saying they were just waiting for me to finish my turn… “next time you feel like that, look up at me, if I’m staring at you, it might be because I’m waiting for you”.

    Players that may have done well at one point or another and feel like bragging about it forever. “Oh cool you won states 3 years ago? That’s neat! I heard you tell me that story 5 times now. And I just beat you again. Cool man, you are so cool!”

    There are a lot more but those are the biggest ones I guess.

    • Tim Akpinar says:

      You play four rounds in your drafts? 😛

    • David says:

      what do you mean by ‘grab a pick and look at it while drafting’ do you mean that you aren’t allowed to look at cards you’ve previously drafted to look at creature counts, etc. ? If it’s not this, could you explain what error he/she made? I’m new to drafting and I guess I don’t know all the competitive rules yet.

    • Connor says:

      You’re lucky that your LGS even has judges.

  3. Matt Jones says:

    “When my opponent conducts trades prior to the game ending.” — Rob, Manhattan

    That’s my favorite.

  4. Brendan McNamara says:

    This is mostly an online thing, but people who insult your deck building or play skill after you beat them.

    • ryan dunaway says:

      friend of mine got told by his opponent “I hope you get cancer” we have a friend with lung cancer and he’s got cerebral palsy, we couldn’t stop laughing

  5. Connor says:

    Whenever someone draws for their turn, and then proceed to say something along the lines of “Tons of happiness right now.” or “Oh my god that is so good!” or anything along those lines. I’m not good enough for that to translate into what I’m doing, but it can get really irritating at times.

  6. Steve Lawson says:

    “Nice topdeck.” Hate that.

  7. Dylan Melanson says:

    It always annoys me when people swing in and say GG before i even get a chance to declare blocks, it doesnt matter that you have lethal, you should wait until damage resolves and the other player to concede, otherwise you look like an asshat

    • vando88 says:

      i think thats the point of saying GG prematurely. I know im guilty of this online. If im feeling cheeky, and i know im gonna win, ill say it up to 3 turns away. sometimes you can rule out every possibility of losing even in a close game.

  8. Glitch says:

    People who complain about other player’s habits.

  9. Tyler says:

    When my opponents feel the need to repeatedly tap my cards with their fingernails, leaving lovely crescent shaped dents in my usually pristine cards.

  10. Tarqin says:

    When your opponent nags and complains about his bad luck when losing and how much he would have won under normal circumstances.

    This was rubbed in my face through the entire recent m14 prerelease – I met people playing badly built 4 and 5 color decks who bragged about their deck powerhouses before we began and then were manascrewed both games.

  11. Richard says:

    good luck, have fun. is probably my biggest pet peeve.

    1. Luck isn’t real
    2. I am going to have fun regardless if I win or lose.

  12. Beuford says:

    The most annoying Magic habits?

    A douchebag that is probably better.. but surely wants to make sure he/she also saw the mistakes you made.
    An opponent which is playing as if he/she is held there against his/her will.
    A mumbling opponent. “You want to do what?”
    An opponent that is just not sure if he wants to allow you to cast a card. After he/she lets it resolve he/she actually wants to counter it.
    People that want to convince you no matter what.. that they really… REALLY need that win more than you do.

  13. Brian says:

    people who don’t take the phase order seriously. it’s UNTAP, upkeep if it applies, THEN YOU DRAW.

    and sore losers, sweet lord yevon. i don’t care if all your lands were at the bottom of your library, you lost and didn’t mulligan prior to the game’s start. get over it.

  14. ghettsmart says:

    when a spell gets cast during combat more than once or stack gets more than 2 layers deep and my opponent gets confused and asks if its their turn afterwards.

    when an opponent shakes my hand after game 1

    bad beat stories

    good beat stories

    boring recollection of board states (any complexity) which isn’t asking ‘what would you do here?’

    issuing opinions without being asked

    being hyperbolic but serious.

  15. ghettsmart says:

    to clarify, good beat stories are where you tell me about how you beat a guy in a game or match that was not close for even a minute. what is worth recounting about this non-event?

  16. FuryofFrog says:

    When you do something in your favor on your turn and after every counter spell or creature kill or mill or anything you could possibly do they always have to reply with, “Thats fine”


    • Monique Garraud says:

      Oh nooo! I’m so guilty of this. I usually do it as part of my whole “poker face” demeanor during a match. If I show that I’m upset, it may give my opponent extra info, but if I act nonchalant then maybe they’ll have no idea what to think.

    • Tim Akpinar says:

      I’m a bit confused by this one. You are required by the rules of the game to communicate after every action by your opponent whether or not you have any responses. Saying, “That’s fine,” is basically the signal to you that you can proceed to your next action.

  17. Mr. Chips says:

    When my opponent asks if it’s their turn while I’m thinking during my turn.

  18. Chris Kohler says:

    “People riffle-shuffling your cards without asking if it’s okay! It happens rarely, but it makes me cringe every single time it does.”

    THIS. I had this happen to me the other night and I looked at the dude like he had 7 heads. Seriously?? For like 2 minutes re-shuffled my deck. AFTER I sat there and shuffled it. I even called a judge over I was so mad at that point.

    I have one to add. Not everyone has all the time in the world to play magic. So if someone asks a question in a match. Explain it. It takes 4 seconds to answer. We all know your sideboard is worth more than your car, but you can’t answer my question? Really?