The Unwritten Rules of Winning

Over the last couple of weeks, Chris Vincent and myself have had a look at what it means to lose in Magic. How it affects you, how you should react, and how to improve your game. It’s a fascinating topic, and we could continue to cover it for the foreseeable future from a variety of angles. But we can’t forget that there is another side to this entire conversion. You see, where ever there is a loser there is usually a winner. That topic is going to be the focus of today’s article. Not on how to win presa. But how to be a good sport when you are winning. After all there is only this worst than a sore loser, and that is a terrible winner.

Now don’t get me wrong, winning is awesome. The thrill of besting an opponent after spending weeks, maybe months honing your skills and perfecting your deck is very satisfying experience. It is especially great if you manage to top a big tournament or other large scale event, and can be very validating to know all your hard work has paid off. But in the rush of adrenaline and excitement it is important to remember that when you win, someone else has just lost. Now I’m going to assume you aren’t intentional trying to upset your opponent, as most players don’t go out of their way to gloat. At least I hope you all try to act like decent people.

Your first reaction after winning maybe to celebrate, throwing your arms up in the air and screaming in excitement. It may be that you are complied to do a happy dance or even have a good hearty laugh. But you sudden realise that that goes against everything your parents told you about been a ‘good sport’, and you quick think back to what you’re suppose to do in this situation. You remember that you were told once that you are to shake hands after a game, and you hold out your hand in a gesture of sportsmanship.

Suddenly, everyone in the room looks at you like you like you just shot a unicorn. You can hear people whispering, ‘well that was rude’ and you suddenly realise that you made some kind of social faux pas. Congratulations. You have just entered the metaphorical minefield that is Magic etiquette.

Now whether you are a new initiate to the game or a seasoned veteran, you can find yourself in these situations. It can be difficult to do the right thing, even when you have the best of intention. The fact is that there are many social rules that govern what we do in every aspect of our daily lives. The difficultly of this is that most of these ‘rules’ are unwritten, and you are just expected to know them.

Now I’m not going to say I know all of them, but today I’m going to do my best to write down some of these unwritten rules in order to help you avoid these social pitfalls. Hopefully you can use these hints and tips to improve you’re your sportsmanship. And if you are one of these few people who are genuinely a sore winner, then maybe they will help you be a better one.

Be happy, but don’t get cocky.

No-one is telling you that you can’t be happy when you win. On the contrary, it is completely natural to be overjoyed when you are victorious. But there is a different between been happy and rubbing it in. This can be a find line to walk, but a good rule of thumb is to be understated. Smiling is fine, but getting up on the table and doing the shuffle might be a bit much. Try to remember less in more in this regard.

Wait for your opponent to make the first move.

As I have stated in my previous article, losing can be a hard pill to swallow. Your first impulse might be to say good game or extend your arm for a hand shake. Don’t. While you might mean well, your actions could come across as over confident and mocking. Remember your opponent might be dealing with disappointment, and they will need time to process what has just happened. It might not have been a good game from there point of view, especially if they got mana flooded or had bad draws. Give them a moment to process what has happened. Wait for them to offer you their hand and say good game. You won the match, they get to decide how to handle the aftermath.

You won, but it doesn’t make you the expert.

This is a tricky one to follow, but it’s an important one to remember. Sometimes you might have spotted that your opponent missed a trigger or made another such mistake that has cost them the match. Maybe they are new to the game and their deck is less than optimal. You might be tempted to offer friendly advice, or if you are less than cordial tell them what they did wrong. As with the above rule, this is not the best course of action. Sure, it is great if you want to help someone out. But is after they have lost the best time to do so? Again, just give them a chance to get their head around what has just happened.

Well that should do for today. As I have stated before, navigating the do’s and don’ts of Magic etiquette can be difficult. But if you show some compassion and a little bit of common sense you should be ok. We hope you have enjoyed todays article. If you have any advice on how to be a good winner, we would love to here about it in the comments down below. And while you are there please take a moment to like and subscribe to the site to keep up to date with all we do here at Master of Magics. But until next time remember, Good Luck and Have Fun.

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