So, I decided to take a small break from FF13 to actually post something up for the first time in a week. In actuality, I'm stuck on a boss and decided it was best to step away and do something else for a little while. I swear Pat and I will go back to posting things up regularly soon, I'm on chapter 11 and he's on chapter 12 I think, so we only have about 20 hours of gameplay left.
Anyway, in todays blog post I'm going to talk about something incredibly important, networking. "What is networking?" you might ask. Though there are a lot of definitions for the term, the one that best fits what I'm talking about is this: "The act of meeting new people in a business or social context". Some of you might be thinking "Wait, that sounds simple" well, that's because it is. Just like in businesses, being successful in a card game has a lot to do with who you know.
When I started out playing Naruto back in set one I didn't have local tournaments, so my only knowledge came from what I learned from my three friends playing the game with me. Because no one in my group used Trigram back then, I had no idea how powerful of a card it was, that is until my group began going to actual tournaments. Somewhere between "Coils of the Snake" and "Curse of the Sand" I made a bunch of new friends at tournaments, who showed and played me with different decks they had put together. It's at this point that I ventured to the internet to further expand my knowledge of the game.
On Bandai I met a lot of new players from all over the united states, who I regularly chatted with about different aspects of the game, including previews, local metas, and even deck ideas. One of these players was the infamous Josh Lu, who not only became a close friend, but also helped expand my play network to what it is today. Introducing me to both Dave and Rachel Moll, Josh gave me two new people to bounce ideas off of, and to test out new concoctions with. Through Dave and Rachel I met Ari and Chris, and through them I met several other players, and so on. Soon I had dozens of people to talk about previews, decks, local metas, and even test with.
To this day, all of my success can be attributed with the concepts and ideas i've learned from testing and talking with these players. From the deck I used at this past seasons Mist Kage event, using Substitute (M-443) to increase consistency of hitting Gaara was a concept I got from talking with Travis (Visserac88). The Puppet/Gaara Hybrid build I played at the Sannin event used Arbitration (M-386) and Neji (N -513), which were cards that Josh and the NorCal group had been using to counter puppets. Even our Sexy Gaara builds from way back when were heavily influenced by players we talked to from both the west and east coast.
The point I'm trying to get across with these examples is that even though you may be a solid player and even a great deck builder, by yourself you aren't always going to have all the answers. Be willing to try other decks made by people in other metagames, even if they look janky, and be willing to admit it if your deck isn't as good as you thought it was outside of your meta. I've learned a lot from all the players I've talked to over the years, and I hope that many of you will attempt to expand your networks after reading this, and make some new friends.
Sorry the article is a bit choppy, but I'm going back to playing FF13 now so I'll fix it up later ;)