How poorly did I do today in the Star Wars card game regional tournament? The only match I won was against a girl who was there with her dad.
I didn’t expect to win the thing and get an invite to the world championships. I don’t sift through every website looking at decks and reading strategies and analyzing the metagame. But I thought I knew enough to put together two competitive decks and make a decent showing. And I did. So long as I was beating on up somebody’s kid.
I could use the excuse that I wasn’t getting the cards I needed when I needed them, or that my opponents were getting precisely what they needed. But a good deck gets the cards it needs, and can handle an opponent’s assets. And while my decks showed brief flashes of what I wanted them to do, for the most part, I was just there ruining the strength of schedule for those who got to play me.
Part of my problem is that I hate following the herd. With any kind of card game where you construct a deck, there are always certain basic decks that do well. You might see some variations on the core idea, but usually the winning decks get copied. And I just don’t like doing that. Anybody can look up a deck and build it — especially in a non-collectible game like Star Wars — and do halfway decently with it. There’s undoubtedly some skill in knowing how to play the deck correctly, but to me, there’s no fun in using someone else’s idea. I’d rather put together something with a cool theme, a deck that stands out from the crown. It’s just that they tend to stand out by getting their asses handed to them.
But I had fun, met some cool people, and testing my decks against good players is always a good way to make them better. And believe me, there’s nothing for them to do but to get better.