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Whether you're going to Nationals later this week or just playing in an organized play event at your local store, it's important to remember that timing matters quite a lot.

Sometimes, depending on the available global abilities, a little bit of lazy play happens, and we should avoid that. It tells the other more than we want them to know and it - inadvertently - breaks the rules of the game.

In short, especially when you are the inactive player, make sure that you are playing your abilities at the most advantageous time for you - and at the correct time.

The Big Culprit

The Professor X Global is so well understood and so widely used that I commonly see people, at the beginning of their opponents turn go "Ok, I do the thing twice." and let that be that. No one really says anything about it. It just happens.

However, people have been doing that on the assumption that nothing is going to be able to impact their used pile or perhaps even the existence of that global. Case in point, if I am planning to roll and use my Prismatic Spray to wipe the text off of Professor X, I'm the one who gets the chance to do that before my opponent gets to use PXG.

This is important. Insistence on doing something at the wrong time could get you in some hot water, especially at a WizKids-sanctioned event.


Don't forget - the active player gets to do as much as they can/want to do before the inactive player ever has the chance to respond. This is true during the main step and during the attack step. There are limited windows in which you get to play anything as either player, and they are unique to this game. Don't translate ideas like "at the beginning of your upkeep" or "during your endstep" because they don't exist here.

Wait for the Opportune Moment

However, while those MTG-style turn elements don't exist in our game, MTG-style strategy is certainly applicable. In this case, the needed strategy is that you shouldn't play something until the last possible moment.

If you're the inactive player, why would you let your opponent know, without a doubt, what your energy is earmarked for before you use it? Likely there are other globals on the board. Leave them guessing. Sometimes, depending on what is available, you could even leave PXG as a decoy for something else. Perhaps during your opponent's turn you have some sidekicks in the field and two wilds in reserve with the Iceman and Slifer globals available in addition to PXG. Shift all your sidekicks to bolts, ping something down, and now you have removal that your opponent won't reroll for a little while and that didn't use energy you were planning to use on your own turn.

Now, you can only go so far with this. If you decline to act during the main step, and your opponent foregoes the attack step, you've lost your chance to do anything with those energy dice.

As the active player, that leaves you with the responsibility of giving your opponent the chance to respond before you decide to proceed into or forego the attack step.

Once again, this is vital from an information standpoint. Why would you want to say "Not attacking, go" before you gave your opponent a chance to respond? You're trying to steal priority from them, and now they know that you weren't planning on attacking and they have every right to proceed with what they planned on doing. What could be done with that information?

The active player should do everything they planned on doing, then look at the opponent and tell them that you're passing priority. If they act, you can again and then repeat the above. Once you pass, and they pass, you can now indicate whether or not you're attacking.

The more disciplined you are about game decisions like this, the better you will be able to play.

P-p-p-poker Face

The bottom line - play things when you're supposed to. Playing them out of order telegraphs your intentions to the other player, and that doesn't work in your favor.Make sure that you're clear about when you are done in your main step and be very precise in how you communicate it.

Are there other timing issues that you see players struggling with? Share below. Let's help each other!
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  1. Unknown imported's Avatar
    Thanks for always keeping fresh content for the DM community!

    Another area that I see players "forget" about the order of operations is during the Roll and Reroll step. It's not uncommon for someone to roll, spend energy, play an action or field a character, then reroll. Fielding a character is probably the most common thing I see prior to the reroll.