Wizards Asks: 11/16/2010

Posted in Feature on November 16, 2010

By Wizards of the Coast

Are you a Timmy, Johnny, or Spike?

Kelly Digges: If you've read Mark Rosewater's Timmy, Johnny, and Spike, you probably have some sliver of self-identity devoted to which "psychographic" you represent. (If you haven't read it, the short version is that Timmies play to experience something, Johnnies play to express something, and Spikes play to prove something.)

As I've mentioned before on the site, I scored as all three. The weird part is that more than being all three psychographics in various proportions, I find myself expressing them in various situations. When I build decks I'm mostly a Johnny, trying to put cards together in crazy combinations. When I'm actually playing, especially one-on-one, I'm a Spike—not always in terms of going for the throat, but always in terms of trying to make the "right" play. When I look back and think about how much fun I had, though, it's my Timmy side that really determines whether I enjoyed myself in the end.

That means that when I build decks, I sometimes leave out cards even if Johnny likes their interactions, because I know that in the heat of the moment, Spike will use them in the optimum way available, and in some cases that play experience will make Timmy miserable. (I do listen to Spike on power level; no matter how clever or endearing Johnny and/or Timmy find a card or a deck, I won't actually enjoy playing it if it's terrible.)

Sundering Titan

For example, I took Sundering Titan out of my Sharuum the Hegemon EDH deck, because I know Spike will milk it for all it's worth, getting it to enter and leave play as many times as possible with Mistmeadow Witch, Master Transmuter, and Sharuum herself. Once I'm in that situation, I'll be unhappy if I hold back—but my Timmy side doesn't actually enjoy blowing up everybody's land, much less blowing up double digits of land in a single game, so I won't be happy if I don't hold back either.

The solution is to keep from getting into those situations as much as I can. To that end, my Johnny side has learned to carefully craft decks that keep my Spike and Timmy sides at peace. In other words, I trick myself into having fun despite my best efforts.

That's not weird or anything ... right?

Are you a Timmy, Johnny, or Spike? Click the Discuss link below to tell us your story and then see what everybody else has to say!

Latest Feature Articles


January 21, 2022

Boseiju Reaches Skyward by, Emily Teng

In the heart of Towashi is Boseiju, the oldest living tree on Kamigawa and the only remnant of Jukai Forest left within city limits. Boseiju Reaches Skyward | Art by: Zezhou Chen At th...

Learn More


January 21, 2022

The Modern Age by, Emily Teng

For much of Kamigawa's history, power was concentrated in the hands of the elite: the Imperials who ran the Plane with Kyodai's blessings, various warlords, and those who could channel th...

Learn More



Feature Archive

Consult the archives for more articles!

See All