I’m a big fan of the television show Parks and Recreation, which just ended its seventh and final season. One of the last episodes featured a TV show within the TV show: The Johnny Karate Super Awesome Musical Explosion Show!
It’s a kids’ show, and that means there’s inspirational content. The best part, to me, were the Five Karate Moves to Success:
The reason why I’m bringing this up here is because of how well these concepts apply so neatly to MTG. You don’t have to do these things every single day, but doing them on a regular basis will help improve your enjoyment with MTG and the community itself. Check it out:
1. Make Something
Do something constructive with your MTG time. Make a trade. Make a deck. Make some changes to your cube. Reorganize your trade binder.
You can get more creative, too: make a cosplay outfit or a craft project out of Magic cards. Write a blog post or an MTG-related song. Contribute something.
Or, short of all that, you could just make a top eight!
2. Learn Something
Even the smartest person in the world, whoever he or she may be, still learns things daily. When it comes to MTG, you can always learn something new: the history an old Standard format, the best line to win a tough matchup, another trade strategy.
You can take a little bit more of a passive approach and just watch MTG videos or read articles. I learn something from everything I take in—even if sometimes the thing I learn is what not to do.
3. Karate Chop Something
Win a game of Magic every once in a while. It’s good for the soul.
4. Try Something New
Magic is such a huge game, and there’s always something new to try. Never drafted a cube before? Find a group or jump on MTGO! Always play aggro in Standard? Borrow a control deck. Never attended a PPTQ? Check the schedule and try out the one at your LGS this season. You can try a new format, a new line of play, or even a new brand of sleeves.
Like I said, there’s always something new to try. What if you find something you didn’t know you couldn’t live without?
5. Be Nice to Someone
You should always do this, because being nice to people is… nice. Seriously, it makes you and the other person feel good, and who doesn’t like to feel good?
Next time you’re at your LGS, pick out the lonely looking guy in the corner and strike up a conversation. Give up a little value in a trade to a kid without much of a collection. Let your brand-new opponent take back a misplay. It doesn’t take a major effort to brighten someone’s day: sometimes just saying hi in a genuinely friendly way will do the trick.
Parks and Rec may be over, but that doesn’t mean Johnny Karate’s philosophy can’t live on. Use these concepts to improve you Magic community, starting today!