MTG · Story

I Applied Real Men, Real Style’s ‘Weird Ways To BOOST Self-Confidence’ to a Magic Game

Screen Cap of a Real Man with Real Style

For starters, I am not a man.  Nor do I wish to be. However, after having my ass royally handed to me in my last game at our home LGS, I decided that I was in desperate need of assistance.  Or at least an added bit of self-entertainment.  Being a sucker for instant gratification, I looked up the quickest ways that I can boost my confidence and thus secure my next win in Commander.

Enter Real Men, Real Style.  This is a website dedicated to mastering “your personal presentation so that you command instant respect when you walk into a room”.  Their video provides ten ways to instantly boost your confidence and achieve your goals – mine being winning a game of MTG, of course.

To be clear, this video was not intended to be used by … well, me – a lady.  It was also not intended to be used in a nerdy game of Commander.  Minutes after I took notes on all of the points that were made, the video was taken down.  Too late, Real Men.  I already know your secrets.

Below are the notes that I took on my first watch through of their dearly departed video.*

To prepare for my EDH game, I first decided to focus on three points: Go for a walk, take a cold shower, and duct tape my back.  Problem being, there was a bear sighting in my area so I decided to skip the walk and do a Youtube fitness video instead.  My pets looked on in horror as I crunched, lunged, and stretched my way into being a confident EDH player. I could see the Akroma’s Will coming into my hand with every squat I conducted. Every lunge brought me one step closer to drawing that Beast Within. I could feel the burn… of the Fiery Emancipation. My opponents wouldn’t know what hit them.

This is what confidence looks like

The shower was next. I set the temperature to just above freezing and wished I had thought to turn the AC down in advance. However, this was part of my Karate Kid journey and I knew that I had to continue.

I threw myself into the frozen hailstorm of a shower and struggled to breathe. However, Real Men was expecting me to overcome any obstacles in my journey to achieving my final form.  I couldn’t let them down. 

I came out of the shower as an ice cube.  A confident, fresh smelling ice cube.

Perhaps I had transformed into Thing in the Ice and once my final ice counter was removed, I would become a Kraken Horror and wreak devastation upon my LGS.  I hastily applied my makeup and layered a pink v-neck over my white daisy print shirt in order to continue with the rest of the list. My metamorphosis was almost complete.

Well, we didn’t have duct tape so that one was out the window.  Real Men instructed it’s viewers to put a piece of duct tape on their lower back to encourage them to have better body posture.  (Yeah, I’m as baffled as you are, trust me.)  I put on a tight pair of jeans and hoped that it would have the same effect. I would just have to continuously remind myself not to sit like a literal shrimp/Jin-Gitaxius.

Building a personal fragrance to instill fear in my enemies

Next, I was to get rid of body odor.  Real Men were very insistent on this point: “Don’t stink.” In fact, they turned this into two separate points.  While #5 urged us all not to stink, #6 suggested applying a personal fragrance.  These two points were in addition to the stern direction to shower. That’s thirty percent of their list dedicated to what is essentially the same point! Perhaps they had an inkling that a Magic the Gathering player might be tempted to put their video to use.  Touché, Real Men.  Touché.

Bath and Body Works’ strawberry scented lotion, Guilty by Gucci, and Secret’s Shower Fresh deodorant should all do the trick. After-all, what’s more fearsome than smelling like fruit and flowers?  Nothing.  The answer is absolutely nothing.

Right before leaving, I followed Real Men’s instruction to look at myself in the mirror and tell myself, “YOU ARE GREAT.”  My shivering, icy cold reflection looked back at me and told myself to go put on a sweater.  That shower had really done a number on me.

There were only four directions left.  Focus on my breathing, tunnel vision to my destination by walking right to my spot, do the Superman pose to impart confidence, and take my clothes off.  I wasn’t sure how I was going to work that last one in, but I figured I’d know what to do when the time came.

The LGS was absolutely packed save for a small amount of table space that was covered in board games bound for the shelves. It was time to “walk right to my spot”. I was born to do this. Tom and I walked confidently to the end of the table and shimmied ourselves and our belongings into the remaining two seats. As the store owner removed the wayward board games, we marked our territory with our game accessories. Mission accomplished.

Problem being that everyone else was already in a game so we would have to wait a while. It was positively steamy with sweaty Magic players so I knew what to do. It was time to remove some clothing. The list was almost complete. I peeled off my sweater. I could feel the confidence oozing from within.

Yes, I absolutely forgot my playmat.

Two people soon joined us for a game. I decided to play a deck that I’m in the middle of upgrading – Aesi, Tyrant of Gyre Strait. Tom chose his Osgir artifact deck.

I only had two steps left to go. Concentrate on my breathing and do the Superman pose. In and out. Inhale, exhale, inhale. I slapped down my Ghost Town and attempted to do my best Superman pose that I could while still being seated. Either nobody noticed or they attributed it to my natural weirdness.  It was time to show everyone the very definition of a confident, cool, and collected Magic player. The process was complete. In just a few moments the world would know my-

“Wow, that’s a nice card,” the man playing Geth commented. “Who made your deck for you?” He gave a knowing glance in my husband’s direction as if already awaiting my answer.

“I did. I made my deck. Who else would have made it?” The outrage! And the fact that this wasn’t my first time receiving this remark.

“Well, I just meant it was a really good card.”

“I know. That’s why I put it in there. Who made your deck?” Confidence radiated from my solar plexus.

“Well,  I did. I just assumed…”

I gazed on in a radiant fire of self-worth as Geth stumbled for words and avoided having to outright tell me that he assumed a woman wouldn’t have made her own deck without assistance. I could feel Tom silently cheering me on while the Nekusar player found something very interesting to scrutinize in his card text while slumping in his chair Grixis-ly.

We moved on from the conversation and had a lovely game afterwards with minimal comments or suggestions on my deck or game-play. It was a welcome departure from how my usual experience at this particular LGS goes.

I might not have taken the win, but I felt like this was still definitely a huge victory for Team Real Men & Nichole.

Before hitting up your LGS this Friday, consider empowering yourself with the 10 Magical “Ways to BOOST Self-Confidence”. You won’t regret it.

* It appears that Real Men’s instructional video is in fact back online and has made a glorious resurrection for all of our viewing pleasure! Hooray.

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