Thursday, November 21, 2013


How to do more with less?

The My Money philosophy has served me well: namely, it's prevented me from spending so much cash on Magic cards that I neglect to do things like purchase food or new underwear. You know how it is.

However: it cannot be denied that a key component to doing well at Magic is about money. The person who can purchase four Wurmcoil Engine, Deathrite Shaman and/or Jace, Architect of Thought has a much better chance of winning the match than someone who has only been able to acquire one or two of those through trade or luck. Hell, even someone who has the money to play draft and sealed often (something that can cost anywhere from $15-30 a pop) is going to have an understandable advantage over other players.

So I've spent a great deal of time trying to get decks to work with the expensive cards I happen to own (usually through random pack openings) or have purchased while they were cheap, because I like to gather up cheap rares and bend them into weird decks.

In the film Moneyball, a fiscally strapped baseball team uses mathematical metrics to get players who in aggregate, will hit the statistics that a team that makes the playoffs or wins the World Series would have. Similarly, I am trying to use cards that are undervalued or overlooked in order to create a deck with synergies that will produce wins. My hope is that with a deep cardpool (from a chronological perspective) and a willingness to experiment, I can pick up things that will pay off later, both in skills and cards. Lately, it hasn't quite been working out.

I don't mind losing but I seem to be doing it an awful lot, which suggests that I am not applying the lessons of my losses very well. I've also been ignoring some of my best (and expensive) cards in order to look at everything else in the name of innovating.

There isn't much point in letting a perfectly good Vraska sit in the binder though, when I have a deck that could use the power. I can still spend my money wisely and use overlooked cards while investing in some of the more expensive ones to help make my weird ideas work. I've been thinking about ways to make this happen, including changing some of my buying habits. Hopefully this will give me opportunities to pick up a few of the more expensive cards, while still absorbing copies of underused or overlooked cards and making them work for me.

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