Has learning more about the game make me a worse player?

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About 10 days ago I decided to travel to UK Games Expo to participate in the Brimingham Vault tour. As a direct result of that, I decided I needed to up my game.
I started by reading up Jake Frydman’s blog, and then listening to the Bouncing Deathquark podcast. I started learning some more advanced game terms, and learned about some ideas and terminology, which I have quickly adapted.

I also started to pay more attention to my plays, and think through what I’m doing. I’ve joined a few discord channels and taken part in some conversations. I’ve watched previous Vault Tours and taken notes. I’ve started recording my own games and finding misplays.

And my win rates have dropped. Wait what? how?

Before this journey of self improvement, I had 4 decks I’ve run on the crucible with a solid 70%+ win rate. Those same 4 decks now boast win rates between 57% and 63%. Why did my win rate plummet a good 7-15%?

The clue might be in the one deck that has risen above those and sits at 67% win, Jason, Graveyard Duchess. This deck, which is not mine but my SO’s, clicked with everything I have learned. It has aember control, it has racing opportunities and it has skill intensive cards like Control the Weak, Tolas and Soul Snatcher. Correctly evaluating when and if to play those cards decides games. Along with the 2 Miasmas, this deck can timewalk several times a game. While my other decks, such as Qat-Sha of Goldenmoon Keep Plain, just don’t allow me to make the aember plays without considering board control.

Bouncing Dwathquark talk a lot about racing decks, and by listening to them, I sort of tried to look at all decks as racing decks and naturally failing. Jason is the only deck that is even remotely capable of racing, and even that is not a very good racing deck.

So in conclusion, I do not think I have gotten worse at the game, I think I have just changed my playstyle to a style that does not fit the majority of the decks I own. I need to make sure I either play a deck that fits my style of play, or adjust my style according to the deck I’m playing. A good example of this isĀ Spontaneously Thinking Wolf, a deck that lives and dies based on attaining board control and keeping it. It has some clever stall tactics, but at the end of the day, if it does not control the board and clears the opponent’s board, it’s not going to win.

I’m going to try and be more mindful of what style of play I’m using, and see if that bumps me back up.


Aurore is a competitive KeyForge player and the founder of Timeshapers. She's a content writer by trade and aspiring game designer. Follow @Timeshapers1