This article is a follow-up to Mark's previous article, Flesh and Blood is a Team Sport. If you haven't checked it out, follow the link back to that article, then come back here to read more.
Today, we return to our discussion on building competitive teams. While the first piece made the case for why teams are valuable in a TCG and how to go about forming them, this piece seeks to talk about the realities of being on a team. There are many ways to manage a team, and surely many approaches to this subject in particular, but I can only tell it from my perspective. These tips come from my experience of team management, with the hope that you can glean some benefit from them and add them to your tool kit.
What to Expect When You're Expecting... to Join a Team
Being on a team can be very exciting, no matter what the sport is. There's a huge sense of camaraderie that comes with being on a team, no matter where you sit at the round table. But it can be a daunting task too, especially if it's your first time. Taking on an emerging meta is a multi-faceted challenge, which by itself would be enough to occupy all of your time; but as a team, you must also plan for how you'll approach tournaments, scheduling, public and private policies, and more. Although being on a team is, ideally, going to be useful to all of your teammates, it doesn't come without its own stresses and obligations.
What kind of team are you? Do you want your team to regularly 'Top 8' large events? Make day two? Is simply being there enough? What about winning your local events, be they Armory or the elusive 1K?
Not every team must aspire to 'Win the Calling or Bust!' For Team All Carded Out (TACO), we started off as just a group of friends who played the game at the same times in the same places, and we have grown from there. We set out with this general idea in mind: we all wanted to do better at the game. That's it! We had no aspirations for winning every local tournament, or even doing particularly well at any large event; we just wanted to play FaB with each other, and get better. Your expectations can change and evolve- or devolve- as you go. Ours certainly have.
All of this is salt-to-taste, as well. If your team wants to commit and go hard, then you will want to be practicing together multiple times a week. You'll also want to encourage playing with others, and not just always within the team environment. Going out and getting your ideas cross-pollinated before bringing them back to the hive can net absolutely massive gains! There are so many examples of this working out for our team that it would be folly to list them all, but for the sake of illustration, Drawn to the Dark Dimension was totally off of our radar before a local testing friend put our eyes back on it for Viserai; and Lead the Charge was the same way until I was shown the light from an outside perspective.
Our narrator, Mark Chamberlain, is a long-time card game player-- but they're all sitting on the shelf while he practices Guardian in Flesh and Blood. Mark is based out of Colorado Springs, USA.
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