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"Scrubs Corner": Viewpoints-What is the right play
By Shawn J. Houtsinger
Hello everyone,

Whenever I go searching for MTG articles, I notice there is one type of article that is lacking on our endless amount of articles.


More specifically- What is the right play?

Oscar Tan has done it in his articles, but that is Type 1, and there are more Type 2 players out there. I feel there are questions by players who want to become better and don't know what they should be thinking when they cast a certain creature, or try to bluff their opponent. Sometimes when I watch a game and ask them why made a certain move, their response is usually, "I don't know,...", or "I thought this would...". You should be able to justify your plays in you head before you make it. And I think before you get into the tournament. Knowing what you need to do to beat that certain deck, and how you should go about it during the match.

For the next couple of articles I want to look through the thought process that should/does go through your head while taking each turn, or each play.

When I got my first Top 8 at a PTQ, I asked my friend to rush over and watch me. I wanted him to watch all my plays and mark what my misplays were and any other mistakes I might make.
I mean, it's important to know what you did wrong, or get an outside view of how you can do things better.

Now there are a few things about submitting an opinion on what you should do on each play, without having several opinions. One person might say play x, the other play y, and the last play r. There are too many variables to figure in on one specific play but I think being able to have the right thought process down is important.

So I have decided to simplify the basics and be a generalized guideline.


Examples: You know your Untap,Upkeep, Drawn, Main, Attack Phase, Damage dealing, Second Phase, Discard Phase.

[Strictly speaking, there's the Beginning Phase, which consists of the Untap Step, Upkeep Step, and Draw Step; Main Phase, of which there are two: Precombat and Postcombat; Combat Phase, of which Combat Damage Step is one of a few Steps; and End Phase, which consists of the End Of Turn Step and Cleanup Step. There isn't a Discard Phase anymore. - Spidey]

I am presuming most know the phases. And as you progress as a Magic player you learn the 'tricks' during each phase.
1. Always attack before you cast another creature unless you want to get a reaction or add to the situation before you attack phase.
2. Announce your upkeep if there is a permanent in play that has to be addressed and ask your opponent if he has any effects, etc. Let me do the work first and then respond.
3. Casting spells end of your opponents turn than during main phase is vital for tempo.
4. Casting a creature after announcing attack phase to get around any effects ('Tappers') and get a haste creature through.

Now, these are just basics. If you understand these, we can move on.
I want to start with basic decks in Type 2 as examples for certain plays, moves, thought process, or anything on that subject.
Everyone should know what a Wild Mongrel, Arrgant Wurm, etc for this to work. If so, good.

From here, I will start the topic. However, I have to save the good stuff for the next article since I need the time to work everything through.

If you have any comments to add to this, or suggestions, feel free to email me at


Shawn J. Houtsinger
The one and only,

Read More Articles by Shawn J. Houtsinger!

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 - Thursday (Jan 25, 2018)

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