Playing The Metaname
It's odd that there seems to be less written about the Team Sealed than any other format. Maybe that's because regular Sealed deck articles cover the cards, and a few articles on the best way to choose teammates and Team Rochester wrap the rest up.
But there's one ignored aspect of the Team Sealed metagame which exists in no other format but which is critical to your success: Your team name.
Your team name sets the tone for your team by establishing the beginning of your mental game. You are missing an opportunity to improve your game by leaving the decision of a team name to a last second brainstorming session.
If you took out Team Illuminati for drinks, even they would admit that their success is due to their inspired choice of the team name. It might take you buying them twelve to fifteen rounds of drinks before they'd admit it, but they would. Maybe twenty rounds.
In any case, there are several strategies you can pursue.
First is the"self-depreciation gambit" - that is, choosing a team name which gives the impression that you don't think much of your chances to win. This gambit gives the other team a false sense of confidence: Knowing they are playing against scrubs, they won't play to their full potential. To enhance this perception, if your opponents ask"What's your rating?", look slowly at one of your teammates, then at the other, then back at your questioner and say"Rating?" In the words of President Bush, you want them to misunderstimate you.
Note: Only use this gambit if you aren't actually scrubs.
Appropriate names for the self-depreciation gambit:
Asleep at the Switch
Bloops and Blunders
Blow Your Stack
Clearly No Present Danger
Deaf, Blind, and Dumb
Draft of Chaos
Tell No Tales
Waste of Words
Wing Shards and a Prayer
The flip side of the self-depreciation gambit is the"false confidence ploy." In this strategy, you are picking a name to project a sense of confidence and that you are personally taking your chances of winning seriously. Remember, this is false confidence. This is not a ploy to use if you actually think you have a chance of winning.
Appropriate names for the false confidence ploy:
Axe to Grind
Clear and Present Danger
Divide and Conquer
Drop the Hammer
Faces of the Present
Fast and Furious
First and Foremost
Go for Broke
Hell on Wheels
In the Groove
Searching for Ed McMahon
Shock and Crown of Awe
Spit into the Wind
Another valid strategy is humor: That might seem strange, since many team names are humorous without it being a strategy. But if your behavior backs up the team name with an attitude of"We're just here to have fun," your opponents may relax and not concentrate on their game.
Another Shot Gourna
Ass... Huh...Astral Steel
Cabal Air Conditioning
Centaur Glade Plug-In
Chain of Smokers
Clutch of the Underoos
Corona, False Beer
Crook, Lyin', and Stinker
Forgotten Something-or-Other (this is my team's name)
Hey! Where's Psychatog?
Hunting Six Pack
Jello, The Other White Meat
Karona's Marching Band
Krosan Land Rover
Master of Beats
One in the Hand, Two in the Bush
One with Call of Nature
Pikachu Demise (why is there a Ghastly Demise but no Pikachu Demise?)
Rock Jockey Shorts
Send in the Clones
Shiver Me Timberwatch Elves
Skirk Bikini Inspector
Unspeakable Symbol (The Players Formerly Known as Prince)
Urza's Bake Sale
Urza's Toenail Clippings
Wipe Clean (always good advice)
3 Guys, No Girl, No Pizza. What's up with that?
For the truly devious players, there is the"metagame ruse." The essence of the ruse is to pick a team name which actually performs a Jedi Mind Trick on your opponents, but will still be allowed by the judge and the tournament organizer. This could be a very powerful effect, but it only works on the weak-minded. (The very weak-minded.) But if it works, you'll have a story to tell for years.
1) Buy This Round: If anyone asks, you picked the name because you always argue over who is going to buy this round of drinks. The Jedi Mind Trick depends on the notoriously poor spelling skills of many Magic players not knowing the difference between"Buy This Round" and"Bye This Round."
2) Featured Match: If anyone asks, you picked the name because you always do well when you get a Featured Match. The Jedi Mind Trick is that hopefully your opponents show up to play at the Featured Match table and aren't in their chairs when the round begins.
3) Table 22: This is the same ruse as the Featured Match name, but more likely to slip by the organizer.
4) Disqualified Without Prize: If anyone asks, you picked the name because that was the result in your last tournament. The Mind Trick is throwing your opponent into a screaming fit at a judge or at least having them unsettled when they sit down to play.
5) Delayed 20 Minutes: If anyone asks, you picked the name because your flight was delayed. The Mind Trick is if someone is stupid enough not to be in their seat when the round begins.
6) Use the first names of three famous teammates who are at the event. For example, if Illuminati were playing, your team name could be"Zvi, Justin, and Alex." With any luck, your opponents will be tracking down Zvi, Justin, and Alex and pestering them all day.
Aside from those options, there are always names to fit your unique situation and give your team a sense of pride in its history. Some examples:
Great Scott: For when Scott finally joins your team Scott Free: For when Scott backs out two days before the tournament Ferrett Out: What happens when you have to choose between a 2100 player or an editor
Hope you enjoyed these names and feel free to use any of them you want. Except for Forgotten Something-or-Other: its mine.