#6. You’ve ever completely misunderstood a card that was quite clear.
Before I go on, let me clarify what I mean by a Magic scrub. Magic: The Gathering is a hard game, no doubt about that. Mistakes will be made, even by the best of players. Some of these mistakes are bound to even be ones we know we shouldn’t have made. If you read this and say “Yeah, I’ve done that once or twice,” then you’re probably fine. You just might be a Magic scrub if you often make these kinds of mistakes. But it’s okay, because a lot of us are Magic scrubs. Some people might take offense to being called that, but I don’t. That’s why in each of these posts, the example of these marker mistakes (as they are markers of possible scrubness if you do them often enough) will always be a personal one.
“Hi, I’m sarroth, and I’m a Magic scrub.” (“Hi, sarroth.”) Here’s why this time…
I’ve done this a few times, almost always in front of other players during games and look really dumb when they have to explain to me that I’m trying to play one of my own cards wrong, and it’s clearly in the text. For example, I once plainscycled Eternal Dragon and then tried bringing it back to my hand with its ability to plainscycle again (I had nothing else to do with my mana at the time). One of my opponents pointed out that the text clearly said “only during your upkeep.” Let’s back that up and pass the turn, shall we?
The worst instance of this, however, was involving Cloudstone Curio. My Kaalia of the Vast Commander deck has a ton of creatures with enters the battlefield triggers and a creatures-matters subtheme to it, so I decided having Cloudstone Curio to reuse cards like Nekrataal or Solemn Simulacrum would be fun. I reminded myself when I added the card to the deck that it can’t be used to bounce opponent’s permanents. Then, the first game I drew and cast the card, I said “Oh, wait, I could target opponent’s stuff…” I’m pretty sure the same person that corrected me on the Eternal Dragon fail corrected me on this one. This is definitely the worst mistake I’ve made in playing a card because I knew about it before and completely forgot in the excitement of actually casting it.
I definitely think I’m a Magic scrub, but these mistakes make me look even worse in the eyes of everyone else. And good thing people called me out on it, as people I play with tend to take your word on what a card does a lot, so if no one had I might have been allowed to play the card wrong those games. Completely misreading a card… I call that a scrub move.