Lately I have been reading (and listening) about managing your magic online account a lot, and these are six good practices I am starting to do right now and will continue to do to get the most of my mtgo experience. It is not just about going infinite or even making money, I think these are thing you should do to improve your overall experience with the game. These are mostly centered in limited play, as it is what I play the most.
1. Draft only 8-4s and Swiss
I went over this in a previous post, but I think it is important to make the point again: 4-3-2-2 queues are not good EV, it is a waste of your tickets. You either are good enough to play 8-4s and get more return of investment or you should still be playing swiss and improving your limited play (while still getting more value for your tickets).
2. Never use the “14 tickets” option when paying for a draft
When joining a draft, you have three options to enter: pay with three boosters and 2 tickets, pay 14 tickets or buy a draft set from the MTGO store. We all know the third option is garbage, but there are a lot of people that still use the 14 tickets option regularly, and that is also wrong. If you go to the Classifieds section, you will always find easily boosters of the current set for between 3.2 and 3.5 tickets. That means that for the three boosters you will pay, regularly, 10 or 11 tickets. That is one or two tickets that you will save from the 14 tickets option. And there are times, like Dragon’s Maze, that tickets go waaaaay cheaper. If you are like me and draft a lot, that adds up. It is a great way to save some money.
3. During release week, play some sealed events
Is the best way to build up a collection of the current set, as you will get more rares than in two drafts (which would be the equivalent in number of booster packs), for less tickets. And that’s without taken into account prizes. If you manage to do it decently on the event, you will really see why this statement is true. This collection you are building, will either pay for more drafts later on or help you build your standard deck.
4. Rare draft
I know, I know, you are a PTQ grinder and you want to test the format and learn, so rare draft won’t help you. Well, that is only partially true. If that rare will help you pay for another draft, you will get twice the experience, while not loosing that much in terms of game play testing. What you need is set a threshold, the number of tickets worth for a card you will never pass, a threshold you are comfortable with. For M14 for example, my threshold is 5 tickets. And that means there are not many cards I won’t pass.
If you actually start to rare draft, bear in mind that the chase rares of the set will be more valuable early on, so don’t be afraid to sell them in the first weeks. This will allow you to play more and get them again.
5. Record (or stream) your drafts and share them
The best way to improve is to play against better players and learn from them, and from your mistakes. Playing against better players in MTGO is easy. But the most difficult part is to identify your mistakes. You will most times justify them or think that you lost because of mana screwed or other silly reason. That is why having external input is really key to keep improving. If you have a group of friends that you trust, go ahead and record your drafts and share them with them and ask them what they would differently. If you don’t have the luck to have that group of friends, share the videos with the world, or, why not, stream them live. There will always be people willing to help you out and give you feedback. And please, be humble an accept the feedback, don’t disagree with everything and try to think why they are telling you that play or pick was a mistake. Is the best way to learn.
6. Don’t feed the trolls
Unfortunately, MTGO is full of angry and bitter players that will insult, try to bother you with stupid banter or blame everything on luck or the shuffler. Don’t respond, don’t tilt because of them. It is their problem if they want to play the game like that, but don’t let them screw with your head and hinder your experience.