How To Play With A Family – Josh Gardner

How To Play With A Family

I’ll be honest, originally I was going to write another article about Veritas and how it is a good card, while still being somewhat easy to play around if you plan ahead. However, it just didn’t sound like a whole lot of fun, especially after a few people have videos, and a couple other articles on the matter. Only so many people can tell you to play cards that get value on going to the break zone or use things like Heroic Yuna backup, Fenrir, and the old Bahamut cards. A couple other things like Raiden, Thordan, and Vikings are nice; even mildly played cards like Enuo and Larsa can help too. Anyway, I’m sure people are tired of hearing about those things.  

A little backstory for those who don’t know me, I am kinda old. Like I have a wife, four kids from ages 1 to 10, a dog, own a house I don’t live in that is across the country from me, and work a hectic work schedule while maintaining a life at home with my family. Where do I find time to play games? That is a very interesting question and I would like whoever has the answer to let me know please. I don’t always get to make it out and attend locals, so I have resorted to playing on OCTGN and relying on my teammates for the most part.

First things first. If it comes to cards vs. family things, family always wins. This is the fastest way to cause issues in the home life choosing cards over a school function, or a sick kid, or a possible date night. Even choosing cards instead of sitting at home with everyone watching an old Disney movie is typically the incorrect choice. Locals are locals. There isn’t really much at stake. Maybe some store credit, a promo or two (those Illua look very nice though) but nothing substantial. Locals should be “hang out time” with your nerd friends and they will understand you have to do family life. “But Gardner, seems I should always pick family over cards and just give the hobby up!”, well not so fast. A relationship is supposed to be both partners making compromises. If you have a big event you want to attend that’s when you make it known well in advance and be sure to make it known you also need to practice to ensure you will do well.

This is where OCTGN comes in. I live in a pretty spread out area and my nearest store is 40ish minutes away and that only meets every Saturday and I work half of those days already. However, with testing partners also using OCTGN, it allows you to run games, faster ones at that, at any time of the day or night you are available. It doesn’t matter if you own the physical cards or not on OCTGN which is nice. It has been an invaluable tool for me in my Final Fantasy career. How else could I play games and seek advice from people all over the world and perfect my deck only to lose to EXbursts in top 8 or bubble due to tiebreaks the last 3 big events I have played in?

This brings me to the importance of having good and trustworthy testing partners. A lot of times I wont have adequate time to test a deck and know what's good in the meta. My teammates help me out in this aspect in keeping me up to date on all the “hot tech”. I can’t go into an OCTGN open playing a deck from two sets ago right!?  Without having much time to test I was able to get second place only losing to Jamie Faulkner in the finals in one of the most recent OCTGN opens, only because I have WONDERFUL teammates and I am grateful for them everyday I play this game. I also recently bubbled the first US only OCTGN open only because of my teammates, including new addition JFB hooking me up with his flan deck and how to play it.

If you have the opportunity to play in your locals, by all means get out there and socialize and be merry. Just know that if you can't make it, there is a group of busy parents and people that are using other means to play the game and depending on where your schedule has free time there is always someone ready to play a game or seven if you reach out on the proper channels. Whether that be Facebook groups or friends or just random matches on OCTGN, get in there and get some reps in.

When you are able to attend a big event, be prepared. This is something that you have been planning on going to for literally months. BE PREPARED!!! I can't stress this enough. Get your reps in. Understand the meta. Take extra sleeves in case yours become damaged or just aren’t in good condition. Plan outings with your friends and the community. Remember we are playing games to have fun! Don’t forget to socialize and enjoy yourself while you are there. Be rested and take food and water with you. This also might be the only big event you get to play in and you need to be sure it counts.

I’m well aware that this isn’t the normal article people are looking for. I know it isn’t very long at all. I also know that for the select few this is going to hit home like no other and resonate for awhile. Whoever this is for, know that you are not alone and just because you can't play all the time and test as much as you would like to that doesn’t mean you can’t do well at an event. Get yourself some reliable friends who can play the game without restriction, download OCTGN and get your own reps in. Above all, remember that we play card games to have fun and once they stop being fun what is the point we are trying to accomplish?

Until next time, 

- Josh Gardner

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