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How to Eviscerate a Magic Player
First, Are You Worthy?
Written by Phylum, Sleeper Agent

"Hey, it's just a game." — The typical Magic player

"Bah. Humbug!" — Ebenezer Scrooge

Before you waste any of my time reading this series of articles, please take the following test, answering yes or no:

1. Do you consider Magic: the Gathering a bridge between people, communities, and cultures?

2. Do you play Magic: the Gathering good-naturedly, with a sincere effort to build friendships?

3. Do you desire to instruct those who are beginners to the game?

4. Do you play all the "cool" cards?

5. Do you continually construct "fun" decks?

6. Do you blame rule changes for taking away your interest in the game?

If you honestly said yes to ANY of the above questions, DO NOT read any further. You will not enjoy anything written here. On the other hand, if you really want to win — that is, become the best competitor - at Magic, you may want to consider the alternative perspective of "The Phyrexian Way."

First, we will answer the test correctly.

1. Magic is not a bridge: it is a game and only a game. People (and people only) are the cause of good and evil, and games are meant to be competitive. Before the contest, take your opponent out to eat. After the tournament, go to see a movie or ballgame together. When he's across the table from you, GUT HIM LIKE THE BLUEGILL YOU CAUGHT AT SUMMER CAMP.

2. Anyone that doesn't care if he wins or loses is — most assuredly — a hypocrite. Modesty and good sportsmanship are necessary of all players, but somehow you MUST crave the feeling of victory. When the dust has settled from any humiliating defeat, you have to pull the pride from within your politically correct carcass and get even! Otherwise, with each loss, you risk losing your love of why you play any game: to GUT YOUR OPPONENT LIKE THE BLUEGILL YOU CAUGHT AT SUMMER CAMP.

3. Have you ever noticed that EVERY Magic player is glad to offer his or her expert advice? Even those whose skills are questionable and whose winning percentages are microscopic will tell you how to "improve" your deck. The first rule of being a true sleeper agent is to never give advice to anyone. Let the self-centered alpha players (the ones who covet your worship) give their wisdom mixed with ulterior motives. Remember, when you let someone know your ways, they will GUT YOU LIKE THE BLUEGILL THEY CAUGHT AT SUMMER CAMP.

4. What is "cooler" than winning? Some cards are so popular that every person has them in most of their decks. What you must find are the anti-cards, the ones that continually crush the latest hot items, the "killer" decks in which they wallow, and the idiots that play them. In other words, GUT THEM LIKE THE. (Well, you get my point).

5. Originality, shmoriginality, even Bare Naked Ladies know "it's all been done before." Isn't it much more fun to win? Your time is better spent constructing decks to defeat everyone that sits down to face you.

6. "The WotC is crazy!" "Why did that card get banned?" "Those DCI judges don't know anything!" Seems like for every loss, players have an excuse; and, with every card banned or rotated out, someone has to bellyache. Tell me, would you like a little cheese and bread to go with that whine? Good players study the changes and adapt their methods to stay competitive. Stop the complaining, grow up, and (yeah, you know it) GUT THEM LIKE THE BLUEGILLS YOU CAUGHT AT SUMMER CAMP.

If you can't identify with my values, then continue your grazing in the valley of death, little ones. Bleating at every whisper of the wind, you will never see the danger until it is too late. The wolves will follow me for a while, and then we will come back for you . . . .

"Your Disembowelment Advocate"


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