How To Prepare For Team Events

by Yam Wing Chun on 09 March 2018, Friday

Yam Wing Chun

How To Prepare For Team Events

Team events have always been an enjoyable experience for me because I enjoyed playing alongside my friends. With plenty of team GPs in March and April, and also a team RPTQ in June, I will be sharing my experience on what makes a good team and how to be a good teammate. 

 

Better than One

 

Assign each player an archetype and practice on it.

In Team Sealed, the decks look like Booster draft decks. Therefore it is possible to assign each player 1-2 archetype and let them draft that archetype a lot on Magic Online to figure out how to build each archetype and what cards are good.

I learned this method from the team of Lee Shi Tian (focusing on Red-White/Green Dinosaurs), Kelvin Chew (focusing on Blue/Green Merfolks) and Jeremy Dezani (focusing on White/Black Vampires), which made the finals of Grand Prix Shizuoka. 

 

Master Warcraft


In Team Unified Standard (the format of the team RPTQ in June). While the cards of the next set (Dominaria) are not entirely out yet, the most common deck configuration is likely to be Aggro + Midrange + Control (or Combo). Therefore, it is also possible to assign each player one archetype and start playing with Standard decks of that style to get experience. 

I am a somewhat lazy person, and I usually don't practice a lot, but for team events I usually I put a lot more effort because I don't want to let my teammates down. For example, for GP Lyon I was assigned to focus on White/Black Vampires, and I drafted this archetype more than ten times on Magic Online. 

Trust your teammates.

Unlike in an individual event, you are allowed to communicate with your teammates mid-game in a team event. However, being allowed to do so doesn't mean you should always do that. When you ask the pros, they will often tell you to "focus on your own game," instead of trying to be involved in your teammates' game while you are playing. 

 

Split Screen


I still remember in my first Team Sealed event; I was trying to watch and give advice to both of my teammates while playing my own game, which was a huge mistake. I was mentally exhausted just three rounds into the tournament, and I apparently wasn't playing at my best level. 

You could be a "better" player than your teammates in a vacuum, but when you have to pay attention to multiple games at the same time, it is tough to maintain your focus and play at your best level. Also, if you have already assigned each player to work on their archetype, your teammates will have more experience and should be able to make a better decision than you do with your general knowledge. 

 

Test of Faith


Therefore, it is essential to have faith in your teammates' ability to play the game on their own and not to interfere too much. 

Beware of how you communicate.

As someone who can speak multiple languages (Cantonese, Mandarin, and English), it is usually an advantage in team events if your team can communicate in non-local languages. 

However, your opponent doesn't speak your language doesn't mean they can't understand what you are talking about.

For example at GP Costa Rica in 2016, I was on the hotel shuttle bus with a few Magic players. Despite not understanding their language at all, I somehow figured out they were probably talking about card choices of their Bant Company deck because I was able to recognize card names from their conversation (and joke around with them by pretending to understand their conversation). 

 


Quite a lot of Magic cards are pronounced in very similar ways in different languages, especially Planeswalkers. After all, Magic is a universal language!

Just like at an individual event, you have to control your reaction and body languages not to give away information. It is even harder because there are more opponents and it is easy to let your guard down when you are watching the game as a teammate. 

Keep the team morale high.

In team events, the enjoyment and excitement are multiplied, but at the same time, any negativity will increase if not handled properly. 

 

Relief Captain

 

A lot of my friends, including myself, believe a positive mindset is essential for a good team dynamic. Always encourage each other and constructively advise your teammates. Try not to tilt or tell bad beat stories in front of your teammates. 

I've had some great teammates who brought us snacks or an exciting board game for us to play between rounds, which are some examples of how to keep the team morale high. 

Team events are many people's favorite for a reason, and I hope this article can help you to be a better teammate. I hope everyone has fun in the upcoming team events. See you next time!

 

 




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