Death by a thousand Goblins

Written by Ron Saikowski, November 25th, 2017

As part of the online tournament I‘m playing in, I had a chance to play another opponent this past week. Another opportunity to pit my wits against a worthy Old School opponent and attempt to emerge victorious on the playmat of battle.
Unfortunately, it didn’t quite work out that way. It was death by a thousand paper cuts, or more accurately… Goblins.

Just like that, it was over before I knew it
I didn’t stand a chance. They (the Goblins) came pouring out from the first turn and never let up. One or two isn’t bad; you can deal with that. Who doesn’t like a good challenge? Sure you take a few hits, but it’s not the end of the world. But when they show up by the truckloads, they’re a bit tougher to get a handle on. Turns out, it’s actually impossible.

My opponent played incredibly well and the match didn’t stretch to three games… there was no need. He made short work of my deck and I’m not sure he even broke a sweat doing so. I can’t say for sure, but I think he may have left for a brief period during the game to go take a nap while his Goblins wrecked everything I managed to get into play.

I thought my sideboard might help
Nope. Not this time. Even though I switched out a handful of cards, I still fell just as quick in the second game. Truth be told, I don’t know how to sideboard all that well. I never really did it back in the day and trying to learn now is like trying to learn how to fly during a hurricane. You definitely learn, but you end up doing it the hard way.

As the saying goes…
“Experience is a hard teacher; she gives the test first, the lesson afterward.”

I’ll get the “art of side boarding” eventually. I’m sure it’s going to take a few lessons (probably learned the hard way) and my win/loss record will favor the loss side until I get my act together, but that’s the fun of it. If it were easy, everyone would do it well.

Looking back, it’s interesting how we decide to play the cards we do. How we choose one card over another when both are viable options. How we choose knowing that either card will work, but not quite sure of the best solution for the situation. I know for a fact I missed more than one key play during this match. No doubt about it. My opponent however did not.

It’s not the best player that wins, it’s the least worst
Think about it for a second… it applies to playing Magic. I would venture to say it applies to most games for that matter. It’s not the best player that wins. We all make mistakes, misjudge situations, overextend ourselves, hold back for one turn too long, play the wrong card at the wrong time… whatever it may be. It’s the player that makes the least number of mistakes that comes out the winner in the end. It’s the player that minimizes these “mistakes” and even better yet, capitalizes on the ones their opponent makes.

If two players were to sit down, both evenly matched in skill and cards… it comes down to who makes the fewest mistakes in play.

And that’s exactly what my opponent did.
The test turned out to be tougher than I imagined, but it was a good lesson for me nonetheless.
I only have one thing to say to all those Goblins…“We’ll meet again one day and next time I won’t make as many mistakes.”

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IMAGE: Wizards of the Coast. More Goblins than I could handle.
KEYWORDS: Old School Magic, goblin, red