Editor’s Note: This piece was originally published on January 5, 2015. We’re flashing back to some of our best from the past several years every Friday, because what’s old is new again. It’s always worth thinking about how to “play your opponents,” even if you happen to believe that “all politics is really just managing and distorting threat assessment.” So what do you think?
Have you ever met a person who wins most of their Commander games? And by ‘most’, I mean they win more than 50% of their games, despite playing at four-person tables, where, given a roughly even distribution of wins among participants they should only win around 25% of the time. Some people chalk this kind of win ratio up to having a more complete collection or having built technically superior decks with stronger win mechanisms. Or, more likely, they’re actually just a blowhard and don’t really win 50% of their games. Perhaps they count “wins” in terms of their personal body count instead of as “technical victories” (which is being the last player standing). Some people even count kingmaking as winning, but there’s no accounting for another’s ambitions.
But, okay, some people DO win most of their games, and they don’t necessarily have superior collections or unflinchingly use ungentlemanly tactics and stratagems. Rather, these players not only know how to play Magic, but also know how to play their opponents.