I am a firm believer that a player can only improve his or her skills when regularly challenged by other players of similar skill level. If you want to become a better player, find players as close as possible to your skill level and play against them as often as you can. Not only are those close games more interesting and fun to play no matter if you win or lose, but you are likely to learn much more if you are challenged as a player. Do not get discouraged by the games you lose. There is nothing wrong with losing unless you do not learn something from the loss. The most important thing is that you must divorce yourself from the emotions of the lost game and consider what happened objectively. Emotional responses to a loss (or win for that matter) will seriously hinder your growth as a player because it obscures the reasons for your loss. You are more likely to learn something new and grow as a player from a loss than you are from a win, but you must be able to identify what went wrong so you can attempt to correct it in future games. Here are some simple things I do after losing a game which I find help me to improve my game.
- Never write a loss off to cards you did or did not draw, good or bad luck, or any other outside influence beyond your control. Certainly these factor into a game’s outcome, but never think of them as the sole reason for your loss. Own your loss and take it as an opportunity to learn something new. Think back on the game you just played while it is fresh in your mind and try to objectively consider what caused the loss. Believing it was luck or any other outside factor that caused your loss will not help you to win your next game if there is something fundamentally wrong with your deck or the decisions you make in the course of a game.
- Use your opponent as a resource for instant feedback about your deck and the decisions you made. Ask your opponent about key points in the game when you played a card, performed an action, or made any decision you were not sure about, especially any action you may have identified as a possible cause for your loss. If it was a good decision, knowing you made the right decision will give you confidence for the next time a similar decision is required. If you did not make the best decision getting advice from your opponent may help you to make a better decision next time you find yourself in a similar situation.
- Isolate the decisions you made, the cards you did or did not draw, the strategies your opponent used against you, and any feedback you may have received from your opponent and make notes (mental or written) about these things to review later. One game is not enough to make an immediate decision to change your deck or your strategy, so collecting information to be used later is of vital importance. After several games you will be in a better place to make good decisions about changes to the deck or the decisions you make as a player. This is when the notes you have made will play an important role in improving your deck and your strategy. Look for things in your list which occur repeatedly such as defending against the wrong attack, not having enough battle actions, or having too much or too little gold. When you see the same cause for a loss in multiple games, it is a good indication of that particular aspect of your deck or strategy needing a little more attention. Adjust accordingly and repeat the process.
Always strive to improve your deck and your play even if it is by the slightest of margins and you will find those close games you lose start getting a lot closer, you may even win a few. Just remember, in many ways games that you lose are more valuable than games that you win, so revel in those defeats and cherish them for the gift that they are!