Articles Beginner

How can I improve my game? Be smart and SMART

What’s up, y’all?

This is AggressivePotato, and in my first article for FoW Library I would like to discuss a feeling that we, TCG players, will end up sharing throughout our playing careers: Am I testing correctly? Do I have the best testing partners? Am I assessing correctly the metagame? Am I doing everything I can to thrive? An answer for these questions may be achieved with some notions imported from education and management. This is a different type of TCG-related article, so bear with me.

Let’s be real: there is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Whether we like it or not, individual differences must be considered in the equation as an integral part of the process. Some people outline strategies faster, others  become good by means of repetition, and others are way better pilots than builders. I get it, it is hard to admit one’s limitations. We all strive for greatness, but one will only get so far without setting high stakes and acknowledging what can and cannot be done.

There is one common aspect that we all eventually share, whether it is in TCG competitions or in other moments of life:


Let that sink in. You are enough, you have the capacities of doing it. Aristotle, the great Greek philosopher, established a great distinction that comes handy for the purpose of this article: the opposition between potentiality and actuality.

Potentiality stands for what could end up being achieved, while actuality refers to what one is currently. You may have what it takes to be a champion, or the potentiality, but your current stage, or actuality, might not accompany it just yet. In order to achieve your goals you need to be smart and SMART (no, it’s not a typo).

Now you might be wondering what smart and SMART stand for, right? Smart, at least in this article, refers to the necessity of self-awareness, of coming to terms with your capacities and with what you want to achieve. On the other hand, SMART (Drucker, 1955) is an acronym of specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound.

SMART is a concept imported from management, and it is directly related to how much we demand from ourselves as well as how we plan to reach our objectives. Setting relevant and achievable objectives is not only necessary to improve, but it also prevents loss of motivation. You do not want to burnout from cultivating your hobby, right?

 How can we translate SMART to FoW? This is my very own take on it, although it can be brought to other domains:

  • Specific: Choose one concrete, feasible goal. Perhaps aiming to be the king of games is too broad to actually be doable.
  • Measurable: Delimit stages. Even though these might end up being re-defined, you need some form of compass to measure your progress. One step at a time.
  • Achievable: Set yourself a goal that you feel comfortable reaching. It should not be so hard that you will quit before doing it, nor so easy that it hardly takes any effort at all.
  • Realistic: Do not be too ambitious. Remember, it is a marathon rather than a sprint. Set yourself a goal that you can picture yourself reaching, rather than over-demanding and not doing it at all.
  • Time-bound: Assign a reasonable amount of time to this task. Set yourself a time window that permits both an efficient and deep look. You do not want to get stuck in your first task forever, only to find out that you are way too close to the start with plenty to do yet.

This is it for today. If you have enjoyed this article, please leave a comment so we can write more in the future. Any CONSTRUCTIVE feedback is very much appreciated.

Stay safe, play hard.


User Review
5 (1 vote)

About the author


once a very active player and twice WGP attendee, I have now stepped down as a competitive player to enjoy FoW more casually. Wether you want to discuss FoW, literature or other subjects, I am always open to an enriching conversation


Click here to post a comment

    • Hey! Sorry for the delay.

      Regarding the SPECIFIC category, I agree that it is hard to delimit. In my opinion, something specific would be “which is the best deck in a given metagame?” Whether you are right or not, how you face this choice will affect your subsequent playtesting. Sticking to one deck as the boogeyman will dictate how you approach that strategy, how you first draft a SB plan, etc.

      I hope this makes it clearer. Thanks for your comment!