The Return of the Toxic Player
Posted on Feb. 5, 2017, 3:32 p.m. by god_dammit_nappa
I don't know where to post this, but I need help.
It has come to my attention recently that an infamous player has recently returned to my LGS after a year or two absence. Nobody likes this guy at all. I've heard several rumors that he stole from a bunch of people, he stole from his roommates, and that he even allegedly stole nearly a grand of merchandise from the shop owner.
I met this guy back in early 2015 when I first started playing Magic.
He was your typical cocky arrogant bastard. He always showed up to my EDH table and beat up on the novice players (like myself) with his mono-blue counterspell.com deck or his Turn 5 win combo deck. He was always rude, and he bragged to everyone about every single win he got in EDH, and literally nobody ever got to play their decks with him at the EDH table. It was miserable. Everyone was miserable. If you played a spell, it was probably gonna get countered or a permanent bounced to your hand.
This guy single-handedly made me regret ever spending money on this game and I seriously considered quitting Magic altogether.
I'm not even kidding.
It was only a few months that I had started playing Magic, but I remember quite vividly looking at my small Magic collection and thought about throwing away all my cards. I was new back then; I had no idea it was customary for players to turn around and give back the cards they collected to the Community. I was angry and miserable.
Now he's back.
I don't know what to do. He's joined my LGS's EDH League and he's ruining the fun again. What do I do? Do I build an "assassin deck" to deal with him? Do I build Stax to strongly discourage him to ever play in my EDH pods? Do I build a hyper aggro deck to collect more points than him?
Preventing this guy from winning the EDH League is my biggest concern. I know that sounds like a total dick move, but you must understand: he will NEVER let anyone forget that he won the EDH tournament and he will brag about it forever if he does win. That's the kind of person he is. "I'm better than you and you should've built a top tier deck if you want to get good at Magic." Blah blah blah blah.
Your advice and suggestions are greatly appreciated.
Confront him about all of this. Discuss whether or not it will be a problem, and if so how to fix the problem.
Do not, and I REPEAT, DO NOT be silent about the situation. You may think someone else may confront him, but guess what? Most of everyone else is thinking the same exact thing or what you just expressed in your OP. Also, be as kind and forgiving as you can be when dealing with this situation. As hard as that may be with your past experiences and his overall behavior, if others around you notice that you are trying to deal with problems that you and possibly many others are facing, and this guy is being rude and noncompliant back, they will most likely back you up.
Lastly and most importantly, talk to the people in charge of the LGS and League setting. Voice your concerns to them first; informing that you intend to confront him about his past transgressions and whether or not he will be willing to alter his behavior for the betterment of everyone else. And if you can, do not push this onto someone else, most especially the people in charge. Others, when exposed to information they are not totally versed in, they may screw it up and an explosion may occur. An explosion that can severely backfire for the owners of a LGS. One person, no matter how awful, can make enough ruckus to severely hurt their economy.
February 5, 2017 3:44 p.m.
It's hard not to think you're just being salty but if the guy really is bringing so much negative vibes to the LGS, you could make your own mono blue control (Talrand, Sky Summoner?) deck with the sole purpose of ruining his life. I've seen some people do this before and even went as far as telling the pod he's there to make sure the guy doesn't win. That would make you every bit the douche that he is but it will get the message across.
And like the other guy said, please do not get the owners of the LGS involved.
February 5, 2017 4:24 p.m.
I take account of what colours other players are playing and find cards that will either shut them down or destroy their lands. YES IT IS A DICK MOVE but it has worked for me. I am now known for this dick move and as an unpredictable player as far as who will I attack or focus on!
February 5, 2017 4:30 p.m.
Is that the only deck he plays? MagicalHacker - List of All Anti-Control Cards and MagicalHacker - List of All Counterspell Cards may help your decks shut him down. And if he uses infinite combos to win, MagicalHacker - List of All Anti-Infinite Cards would be helpful too.
In addition, I like to politically police decks that are doing well in a league. Remind others if he has the most points, and remind others that he's playing mono blue. Can he deal with 3 players at once?
February 5, 2017 4:47 p.m.
I would build an assasin deck just for his decks, make his life as hellish as he makes everyone else's
February 5, 2017 4:49 p.m.
Ruining a douche doesn't keep him from being a douche, it just makes him complain instead of gloat. Guaranteed he'll be aiming to shut you down just as much as you are gunning for him. Douches have a limited memory capacity, losses are quickly forgotten and wins are eternal.
Convince the officials to linger around and catch him in his toxic moments. Kill em with kindness is still the best policy IMO.
February 5, 2017 5:02 p.m.
Also, outside of this tournament setting, you can find ways to de-escalate peacefully. Making a pact with your friends to intentionally play with other people, encouraging newer players who lose to him, leaving your LGS to play at a kitchen table if this guy gets too toxic for one night, and/or asking that player to play only his most casual decks if he wants to play with you (since EDH is casual, after all), are ways to avoid confrontation while still addressing the problem.
February 5, 2017 6:26 p.m.
I have a total arse of a player at my local game shop, and instead of ruining my love for Magic, I decided to just...not play. I love the game, and want to continue to love it. Toxic players sap the will to play, so I just had had enough of the one who ruled the shop where I played. I basically messaged the shop owner, told him the situation, and because I knew it would be an economic decision instead of a political one (and it still might have gone against me anyways, regardless), I just decided that if that player was there, I wouldn't be. Am I happy that it came to that? No, but I am confidant in the knowledge I did what was best for my mental health and my desire to play the game long-term.
Besides, B/G Delirium sucks, and all the people in my shop basically netdeck. Brewing is non-existent.
February 5, 2017 8:38 p.m.
One point of contention. Edh isn't a casual format. Edh is a social format.
The difference is that you sit down and discuss what types of things you play before playing then try to work it out. That's social. Because casual means different things to different people just like fun
Also, I know some people with casual decks that involve 4 lotus and 4 of every Mox then paradoxical outcome and Tendrils. It's not legal in any format so it's casual.
That doesn't mean it doesn't win on T1 nearly 100% of the time.
Point is this: you should talk about deck choices with your toxic player. He's likely a super spike and wants to win because that's what he finds fun. If you aren't playing in a sanctioned event just ask him to conform to your level of play or you won't play with him as a group. Simple as that.
February 5, 2017 11:14 p.m.
You've got two choices here, either you adjust your deck and annihilate him to teach him a lesson, or just refuse to play with him to teach him a lesson.
February 6, 2017 5:17 a.m.
Why not tell him he's being a dick? Maybe not those exact words, but give him feedback on how his behavior makes it unfun to play. I had a guy who was kind of like that in tournament play. All he would do is talk about the pimp additions to his sahruum deck and how many times it won, etc etc. I asked him to chill but it went ignored. I got childish but it worked and every time he opened his mouth to say anything, and I mean like saying as simple as land for turn or pass turn I would say I don't care. Eventually he just shut up and we finished matches in silence.
February 6, 2017 6:45 a.m.
Thank you guys for all of your input. I really appreciate it. Seriously, this community is the best! I feel much more confident about the situation now. I have an idea how to tackle this peacefully.
February 6, 2017 8:41 a.m.
I'm sorry but this was my first thought:
You gotten some good advice already. I am finding it hard to believe that he is actually that bad and nobody else has said anything to him yet. What I've noticed is many Magic players are quiet nonconfrontational in regular life, but when we hit that LGS, we are KING!! Typically people will say something in the LGS.
February 7, 2017 1:39 a.m.
I will say that it is entirely his right to play a mono-U control list whenever he wants to so long as he abides by the banlist. If this is a league with serious prizes on the line, than I can absolutely sympathize with wanting to play the best deck. Secondly, do you hate the person or the way he plays Magic? If it's the former, than it's definitely his problem, and if it's the latter, than I would be careful what you say, as unjust words can hurt people. There is a person at my LGS who plays a deck that is absolutely miserable to play against, but the person is really nice. You can't fault people for how they play MtG, and it shouldn't skew your opinion of them.
That being said, if it's the person that's the problem, and you've already tried the peaceful route, then just tell him that you and your playgroup will not play with him if he'd going to be a jerk, or use mono-U in casual (read- not for prizes) games. I have experience on both ends, and mono-Counterspell is never a fun experience in multiplayer EDH. If you utterly fail to convince him to change, then I'd say just don't play with him. You have the ability to say no, and he can't force you. I know it sucks, but sometimes that's the only thing you can do. In terms of Generals to help you battle I recommend Dragonlord Dromoka or Surrak Dragonclaw, because they shut down Counterspell hard. I'd also advise you to not hold on to your anger, as it is only hurting you in the long run. Finally, make sure you dislike the person, not the deck, and make sure your opinion is justified.
Hope this helps!