This past weekend I took part in my first team event at the SCG Worcester Open. I had not intended to go due to work, but I ended up having the weekend off. Late Friday night a post went up on the Leaving a Legacy Facebook page, and I was persuaded by another member of the community to help them out and be their Legacy seat. The rest is history, but let’s delve into my experience playing with a team.

I met up with the team that I had voluntarily joined last minute at around 9:15am for introductions and discussion about what we were playing. The guys I met this weekend were great, but didn’t seem to have much Legacy experience, so it was probably a good thing they got a Legacy expert and punter on their team. I am sure the punting part of my description wasn’t ideal for them, but I know the format well and can identify decks early on and have some idea how to navigate a match up if not for that pesky ADD. But, we were a team.

There’s No I in Team!

Before the tournament began, they mentioned we are able to chat during the matches as a team, which seemed strange to me. During many of my matches my modern teammate would flash his opening hands, sideboard and ask about the board state and how I felt he should proceed. Naturally my opponents were doing the same thing. I was really in shock at this concept having been strictly 1v1 in my paper Magic experience, but not entirely unfamiliar given that I do stream and often get advice and ideas from chat. (If I play slow enough for them to make suggestions.)


1. More eyes on a game can help

When you have multiple eyes checking out what your game looks like, sometimes you need another perspective to truly put your role in a game into focus and this helps a lot. Your teammate might not notice they are about to Brainstorm into a Chalice of the Void or worse yet, Leovold, Emissary of Trest.

2. More help when sideboarding

The same idea goes into sideboarding for a match. Is post-board Blood Moon correct against Tron when you want to be as aggressive as possible? Does play/draw matter for this change? It may not always be clear to you, but your teammate might have some thoughts to clear that up.

3. Your teammates can have more experience than you

This can also help when your teammate has more experience in a match, especially if they usually play the deck you’re against.


1. Unfamiliarity with your teammate’s format

In my experience neither of my teammates had any idea what was happening in my games since they weren’t familiar with Legacy. Naturally with the high entry cost Legacy is unexplored territory for many of the teammates you may join up with. On the flipside, I don’t really play Standard or Modern so I never felt fully confident helping them either. Not to mention the Modern seat was playing a deck I hate: BR Hollow One. The deck has a lot of free wins which is nice, but it also has a lot of free losses, variance being what it is. Regrdless, I have no idea how to play that deck correctly.

2. Random chatting among teammates can be very distracting

When you are engaged with your opponent and they suddenly stop to talk to their teammate about your game or their teammate’s game, you get thrown off. It may just be me since I usually try to plan out a game and figure what could be the next few moves. Once disruption hits I lose my train of thought and have to reset. The same went for when I was trying to play and my teammate would interrupt for advice on what move to make or how to sideboard. While not only I found this very disruptive, it also led to games going longer. That can be a concern with only fifty minutes to complete a match.

3. Your opponent’s teammates might be more experienced, and of more help, than yours

In reference to the first con, this allowance for discussion can put you at a disadvantage just as well as it can be an advantage. Having teammates that weren’t familiar with Legacy meant that if my opponents are all familiar with the format, then I am at a disadvantage in a closer game where tight play is key and it becomes 1v2 or 1v3.

Your Wins and Losses Are Not Your Own

Over the course of the tournament we ended up being 2-4 into no show opponents for a modest 3-4 record. We dropped after that. Much of which was my fault, having dropped my last four matches against decks that aren’t ideal matchups, while my teammates were also struggling.


1. You can lose, while the team wins

If one of the team loses their match, but the others win you still come out on top.

2. You might not have to finish your own match

In a long matchup of trading resources and playing tight, you use a lot more energy thinking things out. But as mentioned in the first point, you can just scoop if your teammates won to save time and energy, giving yourself time to recover for the next round.


1. You can win, while your team loses

As mentioned in the pros, your teammates’ results matter. I started out 2-0 in matches but we were 1-1 due to the team effort. In our third round when the Modern seat and I lost, our Standard player had just picked up his first game win. His opponent scooped the match because it didn’t really matter and he wanted to take the time to relax and get ready for the next round. The point here being that when you have been losing and you finally feel like you played well and your deck delivered, you can sometimes still come out behind. It can be disheartening and affect your future play if you aren’t able to hold off the tilt and resulting frustration. Naturally the same goes for when you have been winning, but your teammates fall short.

2. Dropping isn’t just your decision

When you get to a point where you don’t really want to play anymore, dropping isn’t just your decision. While I had fun overall, I was fairly disheartened dropping my last four matches and started secretly hoping my teammates had had enough as well and would want to drop. They didn’t really show signs of it until round seven when they said, “we would like to drop after this one last round.” This is mostly a matter of communication, but you also don’t want to ruin your teammates day if they came to play magic and were having fun regardless of how bad the last couple of rounds had gone for them.

Overall Thoughts

Honestly I really liked my teammates Bryce and Paul. They were really good guys and overall they didn’t suffer the tilt or disappointment dropping matches like I had. It kept me going in a tournament while still having fun despite my disappointing performance. In my case I wasn’t there with my two friends or my testing partners, I was meeting new people who turned out to be delightful. If asked to join a team event again I think I would do it (despite all the cons, which I feel outweigh the pros) as the community experience was great and I would hate to miss out on it in the future.

Thanks for taking the time to read my rantings. If you like to see spicy decks on stream follow me on Twitch or on Twitter.

Aaron Gazzaniga works part time at a game store and in his off time has been an avid magic player/brewer since 2003. Having begun in Odyssey Standard Block and always favoring control and prison style decks, we come to this moment in time where Aaron finally gets to talk about and share his ideas. If you want to contact Aaron tweet @aarongazzaniga

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