A Fearless Magical Inventory is a list of all those things you secretly know you are doing wrong in Magic but sometimes you fail to admit. The purpose of this kind of list is to identify the areas of your game that you can improve, and start working on them.
The concept was first introduced by Sam Stoddard in an article in Starcitygames years ago. I learned about it recently, while I was reading Patrick Chapin’s Next Level Magic and thought it would be a great idea to do it myself. If you know your weaknesses, it is easier to overcome them.
So here is my list:
- I don’t play enough. I need to dedicate more time to Magic.
- I don’t really know the rules. Yes, I’ve been playing for a long time and I know the basics. But when on an intricated situation, I usually cannot really explain why the rules work the way they work. I often find myself with in game silly doubts that hinder my game decisions. Which leads me to my second point:
- I don’t call judges enough. I don’t know if it is fear of asking silly questions or fear that my opponent sees it as a weakness or even giving him a signal that I think he has done something shady, but I should resolve any doubts during the game and not after, when I can’t do anything about it anymore.
- I choke under high pressure situations. I make plays that are far riskier in order to end the situation as soon as possible.
- I misregister the deck I am playing in sealed tournaments way too often.
- If the board situation is complicated and the game is stale, I avoid trying to look into in board advantages and I wait until I draw into something that gives me an overwhelming advantage. This gives my opponent too much time to draw something too.
- I keep hands that are risky with the sole argument that I won the first game and “I can afford to lose one”.
- I do not playtest enough, or at all, with sideboard, and do not generally know how to sideboard correctly in specific matchups.
- I put my opponent on a specific trick for most of the game, then I tell myself “If he has it, he has it” when I get tired of playing around it.
- When winning in a game, I get over confident and allow myself to play in to my opponent’s.
- If my Plan A for a given game fails, I don’t try hard enough to come up with a different plan to try to win.
- I assume everybody is honest and I don’t pay enough atention to my oponent. If he wants to cheat, I probably wouldn’t notice.
- I assume I know what every card does instead of actually reading the card, which leads to really shameful mistakes.
- I tap my mana wrong far too often, I feel silly about it, and try to justify it with absurd excuses to myself.
- I have low confidence when playing people I don’t know, or people that I believe are better than me.
- I have card/color biases that result in me drafting worst decks and ignoring other good decks that are available at the table but I don’t like.
- I overvalue my first few picks of a draft, even when the signals are clear that the color is not open I will not switch, because I’d “lose” my first picks.
- I avoid playing “the best deck” because I like underplayed neat decks instead, even when I know they are not very good.
- I go to tournaments without enough preparation, testing and/or sleep.
- I play very slowly, leading to more unintentional draws than I should have, even in games that I am in the position to win.
- I tilt when I get “the worst matchup” several rounds in a row instead of concentrating on how to win the next game.
I am pretty sure that now that I am going to play more I will be adding more things to this list, and maybe crossing some. I’ll keep you posted.