Saturday, June 2, 2012

RIP T&M Cards + Helping the Players

While I was working on homework yesterday, I received a text from Lewis saying that apparently T&M's (one of our local shops) grabbed all their shit and left. I was very confused, as I was just in there last week and have never gotten the vibe that the store was struggling or anything like that. They are quite notorious for giving out ridiculous amounts of prize support and ordering pizza for players for FNM, but since they had the highest numbers in attendance for Magic in the area, I figured they were making enough to stay afloat. I think Magic players tend to buy boxes of product moreso than Yugioh, but I don't blame them as buying a box of Magic isn't necessarily the worst investment one can make. Like I've posted on Facebook before, I think it's fairly easy to break even on a box of Magic, but you have to be lucky just to break 75% on a box of YGO. After getting a few more texts and reading FB messages, my mind was blown when it came to the background circumstances for why they closed up shop. Apparently the store has moved to a new location, a basement of a church, but I haven't seen it with my own two eyes. Earlier today Danny and I drove by the old store, and sure enough everything was emptied out, even though their signs and stuff were still on the windows.

Usually I feel bad when learning about the closure of a hobby shop, but overall I feel that this will help the local YGO community grow and become better. I feel that to some people, T&M represented a "safety net" where they didn't have to learn the game represented by the Advanced format, and could "hide behind" the banned cards in their own pseudo-Traditional format to make their fun-decks more viable to play with. It's like if you had the option to stay in Never-never Land and could always stay young vs growing up and facing the real-world. Sure, you can stay in Never-never Land, but you will never learn the skills needed to survive in the real-world. Learning how to survive can be a tough lesson for some people though, so I can understand why the thought of T&M going away can be disheartening to people that don't want to play Advanced. In any form of Traditional, an all-Spellcaster deck with Chaos Command Magician and other garbo can be viable if you throw in broke cards like Scientist, Brain, Snatch, Painful, Pre, CCV, etc especially if all the other players are playing fun-decks like that too. In Advanced, there's just no room for that kind of stuff since you don't have nearly as many power cards to rely on getting you out of a jam.

To help players adapt to Never-never Land T&M going away (and it will, since who the hell wants to play in a church basement), I will open myself up to help those that genuinely want help to get better. Whether it's just general advice, deck advice, or what have you, I'll do my best to give it and explain my rationale for why I'm giving you that particular suggestion. I'll most likely steer you away from your "situational funsy tech" stuff and more toward what meta decks look like, but if you genuinely want deck improvement and to see better results, in most cases that's what it'll have to be. If you hand me your "Gemini Neo-Spacian Cloudian" deck (you know what I mean) and ask me to help it out, well I'm probably not gonna be able to do jack shit. My blunt advice would be to "play a real deck." I have also asked the team to help players out as well. The majority of the team has played the game at a pretty high level for several years now, and every person on the team that has gone to a regional this year has received their Nationals invite, so it's not like we don't know how to play the game. In fact the only people in the area that have received invites at all are our team members.

I'm also willing to take on one pupil/"apprentice" for direct testing, advice, sharing of theory-oh/game concepts, and the general perks of being associated with me (ie having access to virtually any card(s) you need/want). I know it may sound silly, and I don't mean to "toot my own horn" in any of this, but my latest pupil from Texas, Mikey, went from playing his funsy Necroface-Soul Absorption-DD Survivor deck (and always losing) to topping both a Magic and YGO regional and winning his locals on a weekly basis. This has spread on, after I had left the area, to one of his teammates getting top 10 at a San Antonio regional, and another player from that local making top 8 at a later San Anton regional. Before I had come along regionals wasn't even in the vocabulary of most players in that area, now 3 of them have gotten top 10 or better.

My pupil before that, Zach Elton, went from playing his janky E-Heroes (you know how that goes) to Tele-DAD and doing very well. He's been done with the game for several years now, and many will say that he was only good with Tele-DAD, but going from bad to good in any scenario is better than just always being bad. When people look back on Tele-DAD format these days, many say it was one of the most skillful. When he was little he was annoying as fuck, but I took Elton on because I felt that he had that inherent skill and I knew if he was able to move away from his E-Hero shit and played good decks he'd do well, which he did. I have at least somewhat of a track record of helping people improve in the game drastically.

Usually I am extremely picky with who I take on as an apprentice because I have to be able to see the underlying potential there and know that my time will be worth it, but I'll be a little less picky nowadays. If all you want to do is do better at locals, well I'm fine with that. I have a few people in mind who I'd love to coach if they wanted me, but I'm not going to say who and it's up to people in general to come to me for this help. Most people know I generally don't say no :)

1 comment:

  1. Are there any general comments/suggestions you provide to people you help out? I'm always trying to find ways to improve and I'm very curious as to what things you suggest to people on improvement.