So, I started playing Magic again this year, after a long hiatus from the game that started in 2013, although I’d really dropped out of things towards the end of 2012. Looking back, deciding to go again was probably one of the best things to happen to me all year and I’m quite lucky that in it’s short-lived spell, the local game store managed to get me playing again, with a really cool playgroup full of people I’m glad to call friends. It’s also been nice as most the main issues I was having with the game having seemingly been solved this year.
One of those was a growing insecurity about actually ever being able to achieve anything. After this year, I think that’s largely going away. One of the bizzarest things was winning in the first prerelease weekend I did all year (Fate Reforged) and I was only a single win outside of making Day 2 of a GP for the first time in London, with a deck I’d hardly played beforehand that was outside of my usual comfort zone. I also managed respectable records in Liverpool and Utrecht. Two PPTQ Top 8’s were also nice, especially the one at my home store, partly for being on home ground, partly because it was a deck I’d largely built myself. I often wonder if I should do that more instead of resorting to stock lists.
I also managed to get rid of one of my bugbears from the 2010-2012 time, which was finally cracking 1700 Limited Rating on MTGO during Origins, a set I seemed to have a ton of fortune with. Generally, I feel my play has gotten better too, although I am still prone to a startling amount of basic mistakes I make and a tendency for my mind to just wander off occasionally, including the finals of a GPT where both me and my opponent spent the entire aftermath discussing the utter strangeness of the plays I was making. In hindsight, it’s quite hilarious to me how bad I played.
That said, the best thing about the year was having a game store that was within 15 minutes walk with a cool group of people, where I could go play two or three times a week, but still hang out with afterwards. I think having that community is what I’ve really missed out of MTG before, and one of my fondest memories of the entire year, magic or not, was the end of Day 1 at GP London, where about 10 of us hung out in some random London kebab shop for a couple hours, shooting the breeze. It was the best of times.
Conversely, the worst part of the year was that store closing a couple of months ago. While our group has rallied and has still managed to keep FNMs going locally with decent turnout, there’s certainly something lost and it’s hard not to worry about how things are likely to contract rather than expand from there on. I also miss having regular events that are more competitive than FNM, with no GPTs, PPTQs and what not to look forward to. I’ll have to travel a little further afield, although as it stands, I might end up doing six (!) GPs, so bouncing around the UK shouldn’t be that hard, right?
So, I can now look at 2016 feeling quite hopefully about the game. I’m not going to set myself any specific goals (because that way lies madness), but in general terms, I’m planning to write more about the game and would like to generally, see some progress in my game in some form, reflected by results. Also to resolve more Dragonlord Ojutai’s.
Should be a fun year regardless.