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January 1, 2004  Where are we headed?

Well, I feel a tad bit odd here.  We invited a lot of new people to write for us this week here on Pojo.  Everyone else gets to do introductions this week.  I've been with the site for a while, so lots of people know who I am now.  If you don't...well, now would be a good time to go through and read a lot of my old stuff. 
 
Let me say that I'm glad that you guys have stuck it out this far if you are a loyal reader.  We have put together a very respectable staff and you guys should get some new, interesting, and informative content every day.  For those of you that are new readers, well, let me say welcome.  I hope this isn't your last visit hear. 
 
Our content is going to try and focus on a lot of different things.  We are trying to offer you guys some stuff on the casual level.  We want to offer you guys some stuff on the serious level.  We want to give you some content that covers a large number of ideas from a lot of different angles. 
 
In the end, we hope that everything is good for you.
 
That's enough self promotion.
 
Now that our public service announcements are out of the way, I want to dive right in and get to it.  For now, until we figure out what subjects you guys want to hear from me, I'm going to cover a lot of different things.  I'm going to bounce around from subject to subject.  It's a bit of a style that I jumped into a while back that people seem to like.
 
I major topic with me is shopping local.  I own a game store, so it may sound a little biased.  However, our Tuesday writer, Ray Powers, also owns a store.  It's a big deal to shop local.  Let me give you an example.  A few months ago, I decided I wanted a Roy Williams jersey (he's the pro bowl safety for the Dallas Cowboys-more on them later).  I could have easily jumped online and bought a jersey, but honestly, why?  I would save like $5-10 depending on where I got it from, but after shipping, the prices are similar anyway.  Plus I wouldn't get to try it on to see the fit.  I wouldn't get to see if it was the exact quality of the jersey that I wanted.  So I scoured town.  After several weeks of looking, I finally found a place that sold them.  And that's exactly why I bought it locally.  It's already hard to find the jersey I wanted, because no one else could support the sales of them enough to merit having them.  Well, at least not a large enough variety.  By me shopping with them, I was doing my part to support the product and the store.  AS a matter of fact, I'm going to pick up a different Roy Williams jersey in the near future at the same place.
 
OK, so how does that relate to us here in the Magic world.  It's simple...how many decent stores in your area sell Magic.  Notice, I didn't say how many store sold Magic.  There are several.  I also found a lot of places that sold jerseys.  But non that had the variety I wanted that catered to the true Dallas Cowboys fan.  The same goes here.  If you have a place near you that holds tournaments, sells singles, gives you a place to play, sells supplies, and gives you a place to meet people...please support them.  They can use your dollars.  In the past four years, I've watched a lot of stores close up shop.  Many of them will even tell you that they couldn't price match the internet or that people would buy on the internet and want to play in their stores. 
 
That makes me sad.  Not only for the store owners, but for their customers and players.  You know how rude that is?!  I find that mildly offensive.  I know that my customers get a few things on the internet.  I also know that what I'm about to say might shock you.  But if I had a customers rarely making purchases in my store, but he kept showing up with new product, I'm pretty sur that I would ask them to start shopping at my store or to not come back.  I wouldn't do it out of rudeness, but how can you shop at a competitor and then expect the store to be open for your use.  If the store that provides you special services and items is where you want to play, but not want to buy, you might want to check yourself.
 
Well, while we are on the topic, what's up with people alienating new players lately.  Don't do that.  That's a big no no.  The little guys are the ones that help a store survive.  The little guys are the reason that games survive.  Don't lie to yourself.  Tournament players help keep a game interesting, but the real sales come from the non-tournament players.  If you think otherwise, ask any store owner that does decent sales.  Why not help bolster your local tournament scene.  Make all the new players happy that you can.  That's just more people you have that you can trade with int he future.  Those are more people to fill your tournaments and help you get larger prizes.  Those are more people to help spread the excitement of the game.
 
OK, I said that I'd mention the Dallas Cowboys.  I don't think this is a Super Bowl year or anything.  However, with the Rams faltering here at the end of the season, the light is still faintly shining at the end of the tunnel.  Let's be honest though, this is largely due to Bill Parcells being a coaching genius and a football god. 
 
On a side note...GO LAKERS!
 
In other news, I have a great suggestion for a new game to try.  It's a non-collectible card game.  It's a near perfect cross between card games and board games and can be played with up to eight people I think.  It's call Killer Bunnies and the Quest for the Magic Carrot.  Don't ask, just go buy it and thank me later.
 
I'm also going to make a prediction that NFL Street is going to be one of the best multiplayer games of the coming year.  Look for it in January.
 
Don't forget that Junior Super Series events should be happening in your area sometime soon.  It's an awesome chance to win some good scholarship money. 
 
I've noticed lately that a lot of people seem to be frustrated with deck building.  This isn't an easy thing obviously.  I would recommend that you check out Jason Matthews over in the Deck Garage every week.  That's a good place to get some basis for deck ideas.  Also, look at what are in the good decks you see winning.  More importantly though, understand why they do what they do.  Understand the strategies that help them win.  The true keys to good decks are the deck builders knowing what the metagame is and the deck builders knowing what is needed to beat the metagame.  That's not an easy task.  All you can do is research a lot and hang out at your local store.
 
My card of the week this week is Royal Assassin.  People made such a fuss about this card when they found out it was going to be reprinted.  However, it's not showing up anywhere.  This card is great and kills LOTS of stuff.  It's especially great in multiplayer games.  If you think about playing anything black that will have creatures in it, give this guy a look.  Reusable removal doesn't suck by any means.
 
Also, my advise tip of the week. If you want to get better, play, play, and play some more.  I don't mean eat, drink, and sleep Magic.  What I am saying is stay active.  Build decks for fun.  Read about the latest formats.  Help someone else learn the game.  Stay active.  I've watched people get frustrated with the game, because they couldn't keep up the learning/technology curve of the game.  Their frustration came from them falling behind and not keeping up with the latest ideas, rules, and cards.  Big problem...simple solution.
 
And I'll close with this.  Don't take the random guy for granted.  If you have a random guy at your store that keeps making the Top 8 and Top 4 of your local tournaments take another look.  If he keeps consistently doing that well, how random is he?  Really.  Think about it.  You can say what you want about them, but maybe you can learn something from them.  Consider them something of a drunken master.  They can be pretty harmless looking, but they are obviously doing something right.  It's hard to listen to people put down someone that has done well in the tournament scene for the past three weeks.  Honestly, even if this 'random' player is playing the same deck every week, there are some things to look at.  They have either figured out the metagame well and have a great deck choice or they simply or playing the deck to its fullest.
 
I'm not sure which, but there has got to be something interesting to observe in there somewhere.
 
I almost forgot.  I need to wish you all a Happy New Year.  May the rest of this year bring you lots of Magic happiness and success.
 
Until next time.
 
DeQuan
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