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Written by John Cuvelier on . Posted in Competitive Magic, Magic Culture

It’s 2016? Where did my 2015 go? I want it back. Can we go back? No? Fine, I suppose I can make this 2016 year work for me.

A new year can bring change to some or a fresh start to others. It can leave you in a rut or it can be the inspiration you need to get yourself going to do something new. There were a couple of directions I could take my 2016 and I had until late 2015 to make that decision. The biggest potential change would be to begin grinding the SCG Circuit. I opted away from this even though there may not be a better time to do that than this year, with the point system being reset. I have a very solid open top 8 conversion rate and have won and almost repeated that success the very next year SCG came to town.

Liberty and Jundstice for All

Running with Wolves

I decided that I have very different plans for my 2016 and by doing that grind that would heavily interfere with said plans.

The first resolution I’m working towards is streaming and video content. Christmas brought me a lot of things. Most notable of which was a new custom built computer and the accessories necessary to begin bringing you both streaming and video content. My resolution here is to begin doing both by months end. I also have a side goal of obtaining 1000 subscribers by the end of the year. I’m honestly not sure if that is a lot or a little, but I figure putting a number out there gives me something to strive towards. I also need to make a schedule for streaming to get a consistent audience. I can’t exactly expect to get many repeat viewers if I’m just coming and going as I please. I’ll probably start with two or three days a week and then go from there. Right now I’m thinking Monday, Wednesday and maybe Sunday when I’m not going to a PPTQ/GP. I’ll obviously have something more concrete before I begin my streaming.

My next resolution will be to qualify for every RPTQ. This one is probably the easiest of my resolutions but is still not exactly a shoo in. I’ve qualified for every RPTQ so far but I’ve cut it close on one occasion by making it in on the last day of the season. In order to give myself the best chance to do so all I need to do is show up to everyone I can until I win one. My strategy for these is to prioritize limited events over the constructed ones as I believe my limited knowledge and intuition can take me further than my constructed knowledge. This is especially true when a new set just gets released and you don’t get to spend the time figuring out what the best deck is. These are the times when a player of my experience can rely heavily on intuition and general knowledge of the game to take them far.

To go along with my last resolution I need to top 4 at least one of these RPTQ’s this year. I made top 8 of one of the three I did last year but was unable to make it to that important top 4. Obtaining this goal is something that is well within my range and to make sure I do so I simply need to apply myself. That one top 8 I had last year had been from me spending a near endless amount of time practicing that sealed format until I knew it inside and out. In the Modern and Standard portions I haphazardly just picked a deck and spent no time at all testing and figuring out what I should play and why I should play it. I don’t think it’s a coincidence I didn’t make top 8 of either of those events.

My next resolution can be a bit daunting but I believe I am overdue for. I’m getting a Grand Prix top 8 this year. I’ve had too many close calls. I’ve had too many 12-3 and 11-4 weekends. This year I get my 13-2. I believe this is more obtainable this year than others because I’ll be spending more time playing magic. If I spend more time streaming I’ll be playing more magic. I’ll be holding myself more accountable if people are watching my plays. All of this will lead to better play and most likely more success on every level.

They’re called resolutions for a reason. My next resolution is to qualify for at least 3 pro tours. That’s one more than I’ve ever qualified for in one year. Obtaining this goal is actually easier than it sounds when you look at my other goals. If I qualify via RPTQ just one time that’s one invite. If I make top 8 of a Grand Prix that will be my second invite. The third would come hopefully by placing in the top 25 of one of those PT’s. There is another way to get to a third PT if my prior PT events don’t go as well as I hope.

My final resolution is to obtain Silver level status. I feel this comes with the results of playing in multiple PT’s and GP’s with having mid-level success. I think this is a very obtainable goal even if I don’t qualify for more than just a single Pro Tour. Also being able to achieve Silver would mean another PT invite which could get me enough points to get to Gold. Certainly the back bone of such a daunting thing is to simply keep practicing. The more you play the better you get. It’s a pretty simple equation.

You’ve seen my resolutions now but what about yours? I think it’s important to give yourself goals to reach. Try to make them hard but obtainable if you commit. This doesn’t necessarily have to apply to a New Year’s Resolution but rather your everyday life. Set yourself goals for the week and try to meet or exceed those goals. Hold yourself accountable to make sure you meet these goals. Your goal might be something simple as to win FNM two times a in a month. If you win those two times or more great, you did it! If you don’t reach that goal then maybe figure out a way to spend more time trying to improve than you normally would. Watch that extra deck tech video. Read that extra article on a deck you normally would have no interest in doing. You have to dig deep to reach your goals in life. Magic is no different than anything else in life. If you want to success you have to put the time in. Nothing in life is free.

To wrap up my resolutions I need to begin streaming ASAP. It honestly is the backbone for the rest of my resolutions. Steaming on a schedule will force me to play even when I don’t always feel inclined to. Streaming will make me more analytical which will help in game play going forward. Doing so will provide me the confidence and knowledge to succeed in PPTQ’s, RPTQ’s, Grand Prix’s and eventually Pro Tour’s. There’s no one holding me back but me. It’s time to get to work. I’ll see be seeing you soon.

John Cuvelier
@JCuvelier on Twitter
Gosu. on MTGO

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