Mental Missteps of Magic. Part 1, Overview of Emotions.

“Oh come on! You top decked that Lightning Bolt!”

” Stuck on 1 land!”

“Flooded again!”

“Bad matchup!”

“Omg I screwed up!”

These sentences can be fairly common to a Magic-player. Maybe some of these happened to you, or your opponent. Whichever the case maybe, or whatever tournament, big or small it is, it sucks.

We all know Magic has variance, it is a known fact and we have to live with it. Those unfortunate moments where you just lose to mere luck create….

DingDingDing! Anger, Frustration, Annoyance and Tilt.

Now you sit there, at the table after losing that win and in round for Top8 knowing that luck favored your opponent. All you feel is anger and frustration, maybe you shout few curse words and walk out of the venue/store. At worst you don’t even shake your opponents hand.

Now there was a brief story of how I (Unfortunately) behaved when I was younger and still getting into the game. I’m not proud of those countless times when I:

– Haven’t shaken my opponent’s hand after game.

– Didn’t greet my opponent.

– Have Been disrespectful.

So yes, in a nutshell I’ve been a huge jerk to my opponents. And I’m man enough to admit that. Regret and Embarrassment have always flashed in my head few hours after the games.

I acknowledge that these things have happened and even though I’m a grinder, I try my best to turn those negative emotions away, enjoy this game and have fun! (Insert a good smile here). And I dare to say that thankfully I’ve done a decent job on improving with these aspects. I’ve played Magic for a long time and have grown and evolved not only as a player but human being at the same time. And I will keep investing my mental energy to keep these kind of bad sportsmanship things away from the game.

Now then, what are those emotions and how do they affect us? Let’s have a closer look.


Anger is a negative emotion, it involves a strong response to perceived provocation, threat or hurt. It also affects our body, increased heart rate and facial expressions to name a few.

Now in Magic, Anger pops up mostly after bad luck. I know I still feel a bit of anger when I lose to bad luck or even bad play. But what I like to do is go outside, have a deep breath and get my head back focused for the next round. If you lose and know there was nothing you could do about it, forget it and move on. If YOU made a mistake, well there is your reason already.


Frustration is a quite common emotion. It shows when you face difficult tasks and when things don’t go the way you have planned.

In Magic Frustration is very close to Anger. They face very similar abilities, and go side by side. I can say for sure that when I feel Angry, I also feel Frustrated.


Annoyance is an unpleasant mental state that is characterized by irritation and distraction. Many times Annoyance leads to Anger and Frustration. Now, Annoyance is fairly small and should be handled like that. Don’t let the little things get in your head.


Ah Tilt, the enemy of every single gamer for sure. Tilt is the tip of the iceberg, and the combination of all the emotions above. It has taken down more players than anything else. It can be seen via body-language, someone might get flustered, someone will put hands on their head, and the list just goes on. This varies from person to person obviously.

Now then, Tilt usually happens when you realize that you’ve made an error that costed you the game. That precious win which would have gotten you to the finnish-line is gone since you made a critical error. For me personally I feel it in my head when I make a mistake, instantly regret but can’t take it back.

Annoyance leads to Frustration, Frustration leads to Anger, and Anger leads to Tilt which leads to Lose.

Well, this was simply an overview of what’s to come! There will be many more parts for this series so don’t go anywhere! Join me for next time when we take a look at why you just might be losing in Magic and how to improve your game and each aspect.

Until next time everyone!



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