One of the most common questions about Magic is how do I do the quarter trick? I have a few tips.
1) Don’t be afraid to cut a side.
This is the key thing to understand. Most times when you cut a side it means there is more room to maneuver in the middle of the deck and it is better to cut a side than your opponent will be able to get a clear shot on you. This is why we call the quarter “the middle,” but there are other times that you cut a side and it makes your job a little easier. You cut it in the middle and you are free to cut through the top and play from there. Also, you can see if your opponent cuts a side you can see what you are cutting at the bottom of the card you are looking at. (You can’t say I was lazy in my explanation at these times, it is always hard to keep a straight face.)
The bottom line here is if you are cutting a side by mistake it is usually better to either let your opponent do a little cutting and then you can get a better shot or you can draw your card in the middle and then play from there.
2) Don’t be afraid to change your mind.
I’ve always been good at this when it comes to what cards I like if they were sitting in my hand. If your deck has two or three of these cards at common I would usually choose one of them. Sometimes one of the three is right out the window. With that said, this is a game of intuition. When you are going to change your mind you want to know the situation you are in. Do you need removal on the board, do you need to make an attacker, or if you are at 10 life you have to win the game. As a player you have to know what cards are in your hand (or are they even in your deck because you are not taking anything else off the top) and also know the board state – what is the best path forward. This is where you are going to change your mind.
The reason I give this tip the name of “the quarter trick” is it is also a card shuffle card trick. Basically you shuffle your deck, swap the four cards in it with four cards from your graveyard, then shuffle a bunch of your leftover cards back in. The idea is to get rid of the dead cards and bring more cards in. You play one game against your opponent, and
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