It’s me again, this time bringing a rather strong point to your attention. Usually I’d be speaking about game mechanics, card interactions and analysis, or even a deck recipe and explanation; however there is one thing that is just as important as all of those that doesn’t always get too much attention as it should: Proper Play-testing.
Players at Carta Magica Ottawa UNDOUBTABLY understand due to the frequency of the playtest sessions that are hosted in the store, and would mostly know how to playtest well, although there is a fair amount of points that should be brought up.
It is absolutely the most important aspect when it comes to play-testing. The reason for this being is more often than not, one player will have an advantage over the other be it the deck’s favorable match-up, the player’s skill, or more importantly; luck. Each player must communicate each move with their reasoning behind the move, as if to spark a debate. The game itself is full of answers, counters, and tactics of skill. This does not, however, discourage the strongest aspect to the game, as mentioned before – LUCK.
2) Admit to Your Luck
It MAY have been the only reason you won. I mentioned that you need to openly speak and debate about your moves, analyze what is the best move in each situation and learn from what you are doing in the present moment. I have seen players with an incredible amount of skill lose to one simple combination of cards that if one card were different, they would have won. Acknowledge that this is a card game, and as such, the greatest part of who wins and loses a game is LUCK. That doesn’t mean you cannot increase your odds with cards that either thin our your deck (cards that search, draw, or replace themselves), such as Upstart Goblin, Pot of Duality, or Reckless Greed. It just means that sometimes, as it has been mentioned to even myself “sometimes, it is just your day”.
3) Share Your Knowledge
It is the greatest thing you can do with it. Players can very easily be set in their ways, and when a new player comes in, and learns how to play; usually they learn from playing more and more until they gain their experience. When using the communication required in play-testing outside of actual theory (otherwise known as talking “Theory”), it welcomes the idea of not only teaching someone else and having another person in your community (which is always a PLUS) , but eventually while investing your time and efforts in helping to improve someone else’s game, it allows for a lot more knowledge, even if the basis came from your “teachings”. For example, if a very strict player teaches another member of a community how to play, that newer player could go on and be very much more welcoming to other ideas; therefore creating a broader viewpoint that later could benefit the community as a whole, and even make the elder player to the game open their eyes to card interactions they couldn’t think of themselves. “The Student has Become the Teacher”.
The WHOLE idea of play-testing COULD be used specifically to test out your deck against other people and other decks to prepare yourself for a bigger event, absolutely. However, play-testing also brings up a very strong ability to strengthen the minds of people within your gaming community while also teaching younger/newer players to improve their game. This brings the last point.
4)Improve Your Community
Use Play-testing as more than just personal aspirations; but rather a strong mechanic to improve the players in your community.
There is not too much else to elaborate on here; it takes two to play-test, one usually has the advantage in some way. If a very experienced player decides to help someone else play-test, there are a large number of tools at their disposal to use to improve the other player’s game; everyone has something to share when it comes to strengthening your community.
So use Play-testing to the advantage of all that enjoy the game; it will make it a whole lot more fun for everyone.
Whether you Win Gracefully, or Lose Honorably,
Good Luck and Have Fun !