Most of my New Year’s Resolutions end in mid-February with a spiral of heartbreak and disappointment. A while back, I swore off of them. But this time around, I decided to make a few exceptions for Magic.

This game has been a pretty big part of life, and my play has improved a great deal over the past months. Considering the extraordinarily low point at which I started, that’s not really saying much. Hey, I take what little victories I can.

In no particular order, my MTG resolutions for 2014 are:

1. Learn to shuffle cards properly

Sometimes, my opponents look at me like I’m a wounded sheep when I ask them to shuffle my deck for me. I mean, its either that or watch me pick up cards from the floor for five minutes. I like to think I possess the hand dexterity to riffle a few pieces of cardboard around. Apparently, that’s not the case.

2. Play slower

When you’re a new player, there’s this tendency to get psyched out by the dour, chain-smoking pro that snaps his cards onto the table and sighs when you ask for clarification (again) on how Heroic triggers work. But I’m convinced that a lot of my silly mistakes could be avoided if I took my time. Read your cards. Mentally go through the stages of your turn. It took me a while to develop the confidence to play at my own pace. But I think I’m getting there.

3. More face time

The Internet is a pretty good substitute for social interaction. And throughout the early chill of winter, MTGO proved to be a decent replacement for actually making the trek over to the local game store for draft nights. I love to sing the praises of 24/7 Limited play. And the decidedly utilitarian graphics and UI don’t really bother me.

But a virtual event can’t really compare to the sheer joy of cracking open a pack one and seeing a bomb mythic rare. Or grinding out a match-deciding game and winning with zero cards in library. Win or lose, playing versus a human is (usually) more satisfying than forfeiting another game to Scrubslayer69.

4. Keep having fun

Oh look, Tony’s ending his post with another vague, feel-good platitude. But hear me out: as a new player, it’s easy to get confused, lost, and frustrated by the infinite Maze of Ith that is Magic: the Gathering. Writing Scrub Report helped me keep my challenges and struggles in perspective. And learning Magic granted me access into a deliciously complex world and a lot of really cool opportunities. It makes losing to mana flood for the forth time in a row almost worth it.

With that, my 2013 with Hipsters’ comes to the end. A huge thanks to the team and all of our awesome readers (you guys!) that helped me make the transition from scrub to a scrub with a fancy weekly column.

So here’s to an awesome 2014! Until then, I’ll be coolly shedding my savings on Holiday Cube. May all your P1P1 be Black Lotus‘s. And may all of your hilarious turn two losses be swift and merciful.


The Hipsters’ resident scrub, Tony enjoys making bad plays and writing about them. He studies at the University of Pennsylvania and calls Philadelphia home. Find him at @holophr.



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