Playing with Fire - May 3rd, 2015

How do I get my fire back?

A month ago, I was basking in the glory of my monumental comeback at the Comic Hunter Store Championship, and here I sit; two packs into the SanSan cycle, trying to get that fire back in time for Regionals in six weeks' time. But where do I start?

We've had a Game Night event, and another this afternoon; both of which I will have missed;  just no time to go out and play every weekend, and I've been really pushing to do well at my local X-Wing regional on June 6th - something has got to give when all your spare time goes in to video and podcast editing. I've been out for one Tuesday night casual play at Unplugged in the past month, and I tried my had at a rebuilt Study Guide Kit deck alongside a Grail RP deck that I wasn't in love with by the end of the night. I've even had a co-worker show some interest in learning the game - and I've been struggling to figure out how to both teach him the game while also putting the fire in him.

What would you do in this situation? I'm really struggling, because I love this game (it is easily in my top 3 favourite customizable card games of all time), but I'm not as "in love" as I was just four weeks ago! This is a common dilemma for me, my motivation comes in waves - there were Magic seasons where I was nearly unstoppable (pretty much all ten years ago), and then there were seasons when I couldn't care enough to build a deck for Friday Nights.

I've been playing Netrunner for just over a year now (my first event was just before Double Time came out at the end of the Spin Cycle), and I've been pretty much 'on' that entire time; so this is my first real ebb in motivation I've gone through. I know that the key is to just keep playing, and something will click and I'll fall back in love - but every time I felt this before, there were 'alternate formats' for me to try out; be it Commander, or Modern/Legacy, or even Draft.

Unfortunately, there isn't a Draft following in my local metagame; and despite the game seemingly growing in the region the cost of Draft has really hindered any interest in the alternative format. So I just live and die by the monthly releases, hoping that something comes out that blows a little oxygen onto the spark - I played against a Hayley deck last night that was very unique, and my Study Guide Kit was a lot of fun, despite the fact that it wound up going 1-2 on the night.

But there is a difference between "I had fun" and "I must play this game every moment of the day", that that is where I find myself struggling. It is like a relationship - there is a difference between being passionately in love with someone you just met, and the cooler form of love that you transition into after the relationship has been going on for a while... I feel the honeymoon is over and I'm waiting for the next bump to fire me up again.

I am here asking for suggestions, I guess. Have any of you ever gone through this with Netrunner? The game is still so young that it feels too soon for the honeymoon to be over - and I'm curious if this is as rare as I fear. If you have; what did you do to come out of it on the other side?

Is it simply a matter of just keep pounding away at games, or is there value in stepping away from the game for a while, in order to miss it?

Let me know what you think - because I want to get the fire back, and the clock is ticking down until Regionals - and Gecon beyond that!