Hello reader! What We Learned is a weekly feature here at Hipsters of the Coast. The goal is to take some of the events and articles polluting the Magic world, strip out the chaff (tournament reports, game theory, economics) and give you our superior opinion. Complaints are encouraged.

It’s that time of year again. Since it’s January and we have twelve whole months ahead of us its time to make some resolutions for how we’re going to improve our lives. Popular resolutions range from losing weight to improving your career and so on and so forth. Since this is a Magic blog though, we’re going to make 13 Magic resolutions for 2013. Here we go…

  1.  Read More – I’m not just talking about reading more deck tech articles, or draft walkthroughs either. If you want to enrich your life you should read more in general. Find a topic that interests you and read more about it. If the only thing in your life that interests you is Magic then read more peripheral articles that don’t just deal with playing the game itself
  2. Write More – I don’t mean you should go out and write the Great American Novel. Small things like taking notes during the day, or writing down your thoughts, will help you organize things better. Train your brain to do this and your ability to manage board state effects and lines of play in Magic will improve.
  3. Eat More – Stop skipping breakfast before tournaments. Actually, stop skipping beakfast, period. The effects of dehydration and malnurishment on your brain are profound. Good luck doing complex red-zone math in round 7 of that StarCity Open when you’re operating on two Snickers bars and a bottle of Mountain Dew.
  4. Eat Better – Speaking of which, stop ravaging yourself with awful fuel intake. Would you urinate into your car’s gas tank? Not a chance. So why do you fill yourself with the equivalent of excrement? It’s really simple to switch from candy bars and soda to granola bars and beverages with less sugar. If you’re wondering why you start every Grand Prix 6-0 and finish 6-3 you should look up Sugar High on Wikipedia.
  5. Have Fun – Don’t forget that you’re playing a card game. With your friends. Sometimes profitably. That fact is often lost on a lot of people, especially at competitive events. At the end of the night, day, weekend or whatever, if you’re not having fun you’re doing it wrong.
  6. Play More Games – Believe it or not, Magic isn’ t the only game out there. Countless other games are played every day, possibly by your friends when you’re not looking. Get out there and experience them in all their glory. Good games all have aspects of Magic anyways, so it’s almost like practicing playing Magic, without all the table flipping (hopefully).
  7. Shop Local – If you are lucky enough to play regularly at the Twenty Sided Store in Brooklyn then you know the value of a vibrant local community of Magic players. If you’re not part of such a community I highly recommend you either find one, or help your local store build up its own. Every member will be better for it.
  8. Cleanliness is Godliness – Taking care of yourself in the morning before a tournament will put you in the right mindset to be productive. When you roll out of bed, grab a pop-tart and shuffle off to a tournament you’re not going to be running at peak performance. Get up a litle earlier, take a shower, clean yourself up and prepare yourself for the day.
  9. Have some Perspectve – Try to think of your opponent as a human being and not just a target for your derision and judgment. Look at the game from their perspective and maybe you’ll gain some appreciation for things not just in the game but outside of it as well.
  10. Do Unto Others – The Golden Rule has been around for millenia but people still ignore it. Treat people with the same level of respect you excpect to receive from them. This includes people from all walks of life including race, nationality, gender, etc. Be a better person for all of us.
  11. Help Those in Need – While you should definitely do your part to help the homeless, the poor and the elderly, you also need to help out new players to the game. I have seen far too many people put off by the snobbiness of established Magic players. Do your part to grow the game and the community.
  12. Don’t be ‘That Guy’ – Just don’t do it. You know what I’m talking about. Yeah you do. Don’t give me that look. Just don’t do it. Capiche? Moving on…
  13. Support Hipsters of the Coast – Obviously supporting local grassroots gaming blogs is the most successful way to improve your quality as a Magic player. I don’t even know why I need to explain this one. Tell your friends. Tell your opponents. Tell your mom. We’re not above shameless self-promotion. Not one bit.

The Quick Hits

On Goals – Bruce Richard’s resolutions for the year are a little more concrete in their expectations. Pretty good if you like things that are measurable, I suppose. [Gathering Magic]

On Offensive Art – A look at offensive and non-offensive depictions of the female form in Magic art. Maybe safe for work but maybe not safe for work? MSFWBMNSFW? Whatever. [Gathering Magic]

On Poverty – This week Travis Woo took a look at how to get into Magic without breaking your piggy bank, especially if you don’t have a piggy bank. This is important because the cost of the game remains a barrier for growing the game. [Twoo’s Brews]

On Review – Gathering Magic’s content manager, Adam Styborski, shares the things he’s learned from 2012. Shockingly everyone has an opinion on everything. Great stuff. [Gathering Magic]

On Review 2 – Josh Silvestri shares 2012 in list-form. Also he really dislikes Bonfire of the Damned. [Silvestri Says]

On Vorthos – MJ Scott shares her resolutions for the Vorthos in all of us. Personally I think more Magic players should dress up as Liliana. [Gathering Magic]

On Writing – Carrie Oliver has been writing about Magic for about a year and has some great advice to share. I printed it out and might even read it again. [Carrie On]

The Week Ahead

Tonight’s the first of fifty-two Friday Night Magic tournaments for 2013. Better get the year off on the right foot!


Cast off the crutch that kills the pain

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