Sunday, October 7, 2012

Frustrated only in Losing (Part 2 of 2)

Last time I told a story where I attended a Magic event where I ran into a local Magic player who playing in the PTQ that weekend.   He has a reputation of being a pretty good player locally but while observing his play for a couple of rounds, I could see where the problem is: the problem is he uses foils.  Let me explain.

Looking at his decks, both at this tournament and at local shops, almost every card is a foil.  He once told me that he prefers foils over regular cards.  While he does occasionally purchases a few, most of the cards he receives are from trades with other players. 

This has a surprisingly interesting effect on players.  They tend to play more conservatively.  By my very rough estimations, about a turn slower.  Against decks of roughly equal strength, that turn is enough to shift the scales of wins towards the player playing foils.

However, this will have no effect on the professional level.  Players who spend the requisite time study and play testing their decks are not going to intimidated by shiny pieces of paper or shiny effects on a monitor.

So how does it affect us?  What is your foil strategy?  Are they just an after-thought?  Are they bonus material?  For those with bot chains; do you have a dedicated bot for foils?  Foils represent approximately 1.5% of all Magic Online cards.  What’s your strategy for this minority market?

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