There's gold in the Rift - a veritable mountain of the stuff. Silver, too. But, that's not what draws people here. No. People want diamonds. And so they set out, with a bounce in their step and a song in their hearts, on this quest for getting Diamonds from the Rift. I am Brother Null, and I am a Diamond 3 player. Have been for some time now. Never dropped below D4 since Rift Battles started in December. You can say I know a thing or two about Rift Battles. And, if you are interested, I might be able to teach you a thing or two about winning. Rifts, if you will excuse the metaphor, is a lot like a gas. It is a container of gas, kept at a particular temperature and pressure. (If you were hoping to avoid a physics lecture, I do apologize, but bear with me a minute.) Every molecule of this gas is at a particular state of *excitement* that could be described as velocity, and each molecule is racing around and colliding with other molecules and the boundaries of the pressurized container. This particular container (our Rift Battle container) happens to be so shaped that the highest velocity molecules ascend upwards, and the lowest velocity molecules descend to the bottom. Now it makes a little more sense, yes? The bigger your Rift score, the higher your velocity, ok? And, since you generally only fight players with a similar velocity, you ascend or descend based on your performance in the battle. Now, battles are just a snapshot of the action: your particular speed and trajectory, in a direct collision with another players speed and trajectory. Upon colliding, we learn something about you both. Winner gets to ascend to a higher point total, loser descends to a lower point total. The comparison battle serves to alter your trajectory in one direction or the other. I use the gas metaphor because winning in Rifts is not about a particular fight, and it isn't even about a particular battle. Your success in Rifts is about keeping your team in a state of high energy, high excitement. Losing a Rift Battle can be just as useful as winning, because it can tell you something about how you measure up with the other player. You might draw a really tough competitor, several tiers above you. Well, of course they should win. But here you get a free opportunity to see how you measure up to a better team. You are guaranteed the loss, so why not try a different combo, a different carry, or a brand new fighter? Once you know that you have no chance, you are free to *experiment* a bit. It also serves to remind us of this fact: no one wins every fight. No one. Most players are likely to split their weekly allotment of fights at an even rate: seven wins, seven losses. That is the average Rift experience. I am not here to tell you how to go without a loss in your Rift season, because that simply doesn't happen. I am not here to tell you how to defeat the obviously superior opponent, because that is also highly unlikely. Instead I can tell you this: you are losing fights for the wrong reasons. There. Your interactions in the Rifts are not wholly in your control, but you have a direct impact on the outcome of that single collision event. And what you do, how you prepare, how you compose yourself, all of this feeds into your team velocity. You can rise in Rifts, and in time, you can make Diamond. I'm gonna try to make this a weekly thing, if it proves popular. You are welcome to click on the "like" button if you are interested in hearing more.