The Perils of Success

There can be drawbacks to being successful in a competitive game such as Shadespire. Read on dear viewer where I’ll be talking about the downsides, the upsides and a few things inbetween.

Back on Sunday after the tournament local to me in London to which I won, I began to think about a few things I noticed and didn’t realise up until after reviewing everything in my mind.

While I reflected upon the minor errors I made in-game, I noticed that I had glossed over the reputation I had garnered in Shadespire thanks to my tournament success and this very website. I now had people trying to actively counter my plays/playstyle before the game began instead of just during. Now while this is to be expected thanks to the previously mentioned factors, I really shouldn’t have forgotten about it.

This may seem like a minor issue and you’re probably thinking “You’re doing well and now worrying about people actively making strategies against you personally??” and that’s a fair statement. The reason I bring it up today is that I feel it is an important area of the game that applies to me as well as other successful players, including those just dominating their local group.

You’ve painted a target on yourself. You’re the biggest, baddest dude (or dudette) around and may have an addiction to Shadeglass trophies. What do you do? My advice? Keep on playing. Sure the pressures from doing so well and having players trying to ‘get’ you can be great but it’s something to expect and also enjoy. It reflects that you’re doing very well in the game and also that you’re making people step-up their game to improve which also helps you advance your skills at the same time.

Now one thing to consider is do you help fellow players? Do you let them look at your deck? Tell them what they did wrong? How to improve? This is something I thought a bit for myself but the answer is you absolutely do. While yes it will make it harder for you to maintain your wins, you’ll be helping everyone to improve. It also steps up your game by adapting to their adaptations, a very beneficial cycle.

However, despite this I have something to share of my own. I won’t be sharing the deck(s) I currently play until after major events. You may have noticed me not posting them up for a while now and would be right in saying that I’m being very hypocritical but just hold your horses before you set me alight. A big thing about Shadespire is trying to figure out your opponent’s gameplan before they reveal it to you and then adapting to that. Knowing even 1 or 2 cards in advance can change how you approach the game. In a local scene this isn’t too bad but as someone playing around the country at tournaments big and small, it can be quite damaging to me. I myself try not to look at people posting up their decks before tournaments as I like to keep things fair.

Now I’ll still be sharing my decks in person at events and with people I’ve played, it will just be different for the blog. After Grand Clashes I will post up my decks with in-depth rundowns. In fact, this April I’ll be starting that very series with a breakdown of my competitive Steelheart’s Champions.

Part of the reason I made this website is to help Shadespire players and help grow the scene so is something I won’t stop doing. When writing up this article I was brought back to one of my great inspirations; Daigo Umehara. For those not in the know, he’s the most famous fighting game (think Street Fighter, etc) players in the world and one of the best competitive players out there. About 2 years ago he started doing regular internet streams with his own Twitch channel where he goes into how he plays, his training, how to help players improve and to get new players into the scene. He openly admitted that it would give his opponents an edge over him in relation to adapting and countering how he plays but he said the main goals mentioned earlier far outweigh what his opponents gain, which is how I view my Shadespire exploits here.

So after all that rambling just keep inmind that doing well in Shadespire can make the game more difficult for you. Don’t be thrown off by that though and instead embrace it to help improve how others play the game as well as yourself.

Just remember nothing counters crits except crits and that I’m the King of Crits.

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