Mind Games: Tricking your opponent and tricking yourself – Part 1
My name is Colin. I’m 10 years old. You may be familiar with me from Caster’s Cup 2022. Shorty after I was invited to be a youth member on the Caster Society sponsored team. One of my team members recommended a book that’s helped me understand some general tricks to improve my game and I wanted to share some of them with y’all.
The book, Next Level Magic, talks extensively about mind tricks that you can use as a part of your gameplay. This was very exciting to me because this was something many people had talked to me about but that I was struggling to apply.
I’ll use the card New Years New Beginnings as an example. This is considered to be one of the most important cards in the Meta right now because it both gives you options and takes options away from your opponent. This is a really scary card to potentially go up against because it causes you to play more cautiously when drawing cards, returning beasties to your chapter, and whatnot. For the same reasons, it’s a very powerful card to have. But what if it isn’t in your chapter when you need it? Well, why can’t it be?
I was playing in a fundraising tournament and I was piloting a Gaasyendietha /Torrential River OTK deck with a twist. I had included Morpheus and spirit aura to deal with big beasties that I didn’t want to/couldn’t deal with otherwise. My opponent was playing Napa Rebobs OTK and had fatigued an aura and seemed about to play New Years New Beginnings but thought better of it and passed to me. At the beginning of my turn I bookmarked a growth and had everything I needed to play it, but felt that if I did, I would draw into cards that would just be discarded by his NYNB. Instead, I tried to stall for a bit longer by destroying a few of his beasties and then passed to him. I never did get to realize if he had NYNB in his hand because the game ended shortly after when Napa did what it does best and One Turn Killed me.
Now let’s assume my opponent didn’t actually have his NYNB in hand. What made me think that he did, resulting in my less effective play and ultimately, his win? My opponent fatigued his aura as if he were going to play the card, he asked to count the number of cards in my hand (I had only three – he’d be discarding more than I would have been), and then he said, “I don’t think I’ll play this right now. I’ll keep it for later” and played a different card.
Was I a victim of his mind game? Only my opponent knows, but I did learn a valuable lesson that my studies really brought home: Mind games can be just as important as technical skills when playing MetaZoo. This NYNBs example just scratches the surface of all of the possibilities of mind games in MetaZoo. What’s more, you can use them on yourself. Make sure to read part 2 to learn how.