I really wish we just played with chess clocks.

@topical_island The Magic Online clock is essentially a chess clock, right? What am I missing?

@brass-man Yeah. I love it. I wish there were cardboard equivalents. Folks have told me that they don't think that's wieldy at all. I'd like to see it tried, even as a gimmick. Anyone who's seen much blitz chess... it's possible.

@topical_island I can understand why it isn't used in paper tournaments--having to hit it every time you pass priority is a lot, and it would add a dexterity component to the game that would put Falling Star to shame. But having gotten used to it on MTGO it really is fantastic. Paper tournaments would be much improved if they found a way to make it work, and it boggles my mind that Arena doesn't use it.

Online Magic is not the same game as paper magic, and in online magic, your match clock is a resource just the same as your life total or cards in hand. I don't believe there's any etiquette requirement to scoop a game of MTGO under any circumstance, nor any shame in drawing out a lost position when your opponent's clock is in the red zone (after all, perhaps they're winning because they spent a far larger amount of time than you in the tank optimizing their play earlier in the match?)

However, I will concede games as a courtesy in certain situations:

  • overwhelmingly lost positions in game 3 when the opponent still has copious time remaining on their clock
  • when the opponent has played a lethal Tendrils and just needs to click "same target" a billion times
  • when the opponent is comboing off and (a) I'm confident I have no interaction or counterplay, (b) the opponent is playing quickly and it does not appear clock time will be relevant in the matchup, (c) I'm already familiar with the full contents of the opposing deck, and (d) there is no chance of the opponent fizzling, losing to their own Mana Crypt, etc.

Certain circumstances nearly guarantee I will force the opponent to play the game out:

  • they have been whiny or salty in the game chat
  • they have been showboating with storm count or Mentor triggers instead of finishing games quickly.

@craw_advantage To be fair, it would add some dexterity, albeit small. Again though, if you've ever seen rapid chess, hitting a button over and over isn't that hard. Captain hook could honestly do this. If an octopus were playing vintage, doing the clock would literally be the only component of the game that it could do. It really isn't the brain surgery people make it out to be.

Honestly the thing it would change most is probably encouraging people to shuffle faster. That would be the dexterity component. But honestly I'm ok with that. If I'm in a match that draws on time and I took 14 mins of it shuffling and they took 6, I should probably lose.

You guys forget that Chess only has 1 move and 1 step per turn. It's way easier to deal with punching a button for the clock in Chess than it is in Magic and its 907 priority checks every turn.

@fsecco said in MTGO Clock Etiquette:

You guys forget that Chess only has 1 move and 1 step per turn. It's way easier to deal with punching a button for the clock in Chess than it is in Magic and its 907 priority checks every turn.

QFT, imagine Paradoxical going off and not begin able to F6!

@john-cox said in MTGO Clock Etiquette:

@fsecco said in MTGO Clock Etiquette:

You guys forget that Chess only has 1 move and 1 step per turn. It's way easier to deal with punching a button for the clock in Chess than it is in Magic and its 907 priority checks every turn.

QFT, imagine Paradoxical going off and not begin able to F6!

On Friday, I didn't realize the proper way to stack my Mentor triggers and automatically yield to them and I ended up taking a turn that took several minutes to complete, just from spending dozens of seconds at a time placing triggers onto the stack.

last edited by thecravenone

@Topical_Island People have talked about chess clocks in magic forever ... at least on TMD for at least a decade. I don't hate the idea, but I couldn't imagine it ever catching on in tournament play - it's a huge barrier to a game that already has a lot of barriers ... that said, who's stopping you? If people can get groups of friends together for little tournaments with full proxies, custom banned lists, non-swiss player elimination, or entirely new formats ... if Old School players can hold 50 person tournaments where draws are determined by flipping a Chaos Orb ... surely you can buy a chess clock, play a match, and come back here and tell us how fun it was 🙂 .... I mean look at this https://www.amazon.com/BETTERLINE-Retro-Analog-Chess-Clock/dp/B0738BXLHS/this is a sexy piece of decor right here.

Back on topic for the original post. There is no accepted, consensus etiquette for this kind of thing.

Personally I'll usually concede here, but it's not an ethics thing - I just get bored easily, or if I'm streaming it's just bad television, or I just desperately care about my opponent liking me more than I care about winning.

I don't (personally) think there's any ethical problem with drawing out their clock on MTGO, basically I agree entirely with @evouga

It is worth noting though, that this is not consensus, and if you draw out the clock on MTGO, some number of your opponents will think you're an asshole, and some number of those people will publicly complain about the match online. You have to decide for yourself whether or not that's something you care about.

@brass-man You know what, good call man. I already own one. My wife and I will play a match with a clock.

While I think a chess clock is certainly cumbersome, I personally love the concept of a clock on players. Too many players use a disproportionate amount of clock time in paper matches.

While I think clicking the clock back and forth for every single interaction is tedious, it certainly would be a good technique to move along a slow player.

Positive scenario:
Active player casts a spell.
Other player hems and haws about whether to respond.
[Active player click the clock back to them]
They respond more quickly.

Cons:
The less socially developed Magic players or aggressive angle shooter-types could easily use this type of clock management as a bullying technique or technical advantage. Might make the game technically better, but the gaming experience massively worse.

But definitely worth testing @Topical_Island . Looking forward to your thoughts!

last edited by joshuabrooks

If it's a situation where I would have conceded in RL Magic, I will concede in MTGO as well. While it may be "incorrect"to do so, I'm not interested in using the clock as a resource and don't feel any satisfaction from getting wins through the chess clock.

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