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Magic: The Gathering?


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#1 superman3275   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2061

Posted 10 February 2013 - 10:28 AM

Does anyone here play Magic: The Gathering? I've been looking for a hobby, and this fits the bill :)! I've already made a few Standard decks and am having lots of fun. Do you have any tips for deck-building and strategy? What kind of deck do you play?

 

Cheers :)!


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#2 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 5071

Posted 10 February 2013 - 12:19 PM

I have played that on and off since like 1996 lol.  It is sure an easy way to spend hundreds of dollars, but the strategy is fascinating.  I play legacy, so the deck-building options are different.  Like, I have a big blue deck that's one of my simpler decks, but good luck making that work if you can't use High Tide because it's not in standard.  (A Big _color_ deck means a one-color or mostly one-color deck which has mainly large creatures, large meaning 4/4 or bigger, and usually some kind of mana acceleration to get them out.  I use sphinxes and Stormtide Leviathan.  The mana acceleration is mana Myr and High Tide, and some card drawing cards, blue's specialty.)  I'm out of time so I'll chatter more here later.

 

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#3 tstrimple   Prime Members   -  Reputation: 1736

Posted 10 February 2013 - 12:54 PM

I recently got back into Magic. I do love all of the ways decks can come together, but Standard has a LOT less variety than Modern or Legacy. At Friday Night Magic at my local gaming store, there are about 3 decks which are competitive, and the rest do pretty poorly. That being said, the first few weeks after release are always interesting as you have people trying all sorts of stuff with the new cards, so now is a good time to be playing.



#4 slicer4ever   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3988

Posted 10 February 2013 - 01:21 PM

i played for a good bit with several friends, was fun, we had plenty of good nights of playing 6 person ffa, or 3v3 teams, and a couple other variants that i can't remember the name to.

 

magic is great if you have at least 2-3 other friends to play with consistently, playing the same couple people over and over can get boring.  keeping up with standard can get pretty expensive pretty fast(well, magic in general tends to drain the bank account anyway).

 

unfortunately we all kindof just got bored of it, or got busy, and now we don't ever really play.


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#5 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 5071

Posted 10 February 2013 - 05:16 PM

Finally got back to my computer. biggrin.png  Okay, in addition to the Big Blue deck, my other simple deck is a Pure Burn (all red, no creatures, only direct damage and some Howling Mines and Browbeats).  Then I've got a green Elf deck (that's a classic archetype because it's the single best way to produce the most mana the fastest, aside from infinite combos; the same infrastructure can be used for either an Elf deck or a Eldrazi deck).  My fastest but more fragile deck is blue/green Unblockable Poison.  I've got a white healing deck which isn't very effective, though it can win certain matchups.  And the last functional deck is Black Annoyance (small creatures, removal, and enchantments that all damage the opponent for one or two points each).  Then in a currenly nonfunctional state I have a Sacred Mesa pegasus token deck, a landless Dingus deck aka Eight Armageddons, and a white/artifact Kemba deck.

 

Among my friends some different deck archetypes can be seen: a Mill deck, a Discard deck, a Sligh/Red Deck Wins, a White Weenie, a green token deck (squirrels and wolves), a Relentless Rats deck, a Sliver deck (the most popular tribe other than elves and maybe vampires), a black poison deck (slower and sturdier than my poison deck), a Big Red (dragons), a classic blue/white Control (counterspells plus removal and board-sweepers).

 

If you want to read about MTG strategy, try this article, it talks about clock position which is a really important concept in MTG strategy. http://www.mtgfanatic.com/Articles/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=168632


Edited by sunandshadow, 10 February 2013 - 05:18 PM.

Phone game idea available free to someone who will develop it (Alphadoku game - the only existing phone game of this type is both for windows phone only and awful. PM for details.)


I want to help design a "sandpark" MMO. Optional interactive story with quests and deeply characterized NPCs, plus sandbox elements like player-craftable housing and lots of other crafting. If you are starting a design of this type, please PM me. I also love pet-breeding games.


#6 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 22787

Posted 10 February 2013 - 07:13 PM

I'm the same as SunAndShadow. I've got decks ranging back to Antiquities in '94.

I've probably got 12 or 15 card boxes (each box holds about 800 cards) full.

We play a work almost every day, there are about 10 of us in the studio who play regularly, more who play irregularly. We very rarely play Standard because it is expensive. The studio is friends with Hasbro/Wizards so we'll occasionally get promotions and boxes, then we'll run a free tournament for those who are interested.

For deck strategies there are many websites dedicated to that, far more than what gd.net could focus on.

As for my favorites, I've had decks of all types. Some of my favorites are token explosions (Attacking with a thousand 2/2 tokens is fun), and blatant "You Win!" cards like Biorhythm. Then there are thematic fun decks where you can get everything out for free or do something just for the joy of watching a combo go off.

Currently at work I've got about six decks that I am rotating through. They include a mono-green ramp deck, a blue-white flyer stalling deck, a green-white token deck, a blue-black control deck, and a black-red direct damage deck. We also sometimes play EDH format, where I currently am reliving pure artifact decks. Of course, they're all fun depending on my mood. Also they give very different results based on who is playing; we may have a bunch of 1:1 games, or 3-player, 4-player, or rarely 5-player free-for-all games. They all play very differently in various scenarios.

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#7 superman3275   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2061

Posted 10 February 2013 - 09:06 PM

I have a Standard Populate deck (Token Explosion: Return to Ravnica Style!), which creates a bunch of tokens, doubles them, and buffs them. It has three parallel lives (I'm getting a fourth, they're great cards. If I play intangible virtue, I get thirty 1/1 spirit tokens) and eight cards which give those spirit tokens +1/+1 (and sometimes vigilance). What can happen is that by turn 8 I have out 60+ 4/4 creatures. Normally I use the many game-stalling instants (Cards which destroy creatures, stop creatures from attacking, prevent spells, etc.) in the deck to draw out the game, because Populate decks normally take some time to get going, and then, on the turn I finally attack, I'll have 20+ Centaurs, 5+ 8/8 Creatures, an insane amount of 1/1's, etc. Unless they have a Gideon, Champion of Justice out (He has an ability which destroys all permanents on the field. Unless I have a card to kill him, stop his ability, or get cards from the graveyard, he essentially starts the game over), the game's won. It's fun to play, however with the new (extremely powerful) Boros and Gruul decks, people can get out very powerful cards very soon, while I'm still preparing for my game winning blow, and destroy me.


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#8 JDX_John   Members   -  Reputation: 284

Posted 11 February 2013 - 06:17 AM

I played as a teenager back in the 90s. I got into it when it was 3rd (revised) edition, and was playing when 4th Ed and Ice Age came out. I gather it's a totally different game these days but I still have a ring binder full of old my old collection.


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#9 wintertime   Members   -  Reputation: 1882

Posted 11 February 2013 - 07:28 AM

We used to play that in school. As long as we just used one stack of cards from starting decks it was fun. When some people got into 2 or even 1 colored special tiny decks it got into a weird arms race.

I pretty much regret now having taken a good amount of money to that shop to buy all those silly random extra cards that are just laying around for years, since I realized long time ago the moneymaking scheme behind it, where they put 1 good card every x packages you buy and make so many different cards that noone can ever collect all from random packages which often contain cards you already have many times. You are then seeing price lists from addicted collectors with ridiculous numbers for single cards floating around where it probably just costs a few cents to print one, which imho makes buying those card packages for any of those many trading card games nearly equivalent to a loophole to providing gambling to kids who feel the need to have more and better cards then their friends.



#10 MJP   Moderators   -  Reputation: 11790

Posted 11 February 2013 - 10:49 PM

I played as a teenager back in the 90s. I got into it when it was 3rd (revised) edition, and was playing when 4th Ed and Ice Age came out. I gather it's a totally different game these days but I still have a ring binder full of old my old collection.


Same here. Every time I find I think "I should sell this", but I never have have the heart to to do it.



#11 ranakor   Members   -  Reputation: 439

Posted 12 February 2013 - 09:06 AM

It's not such a different games, mostly old creatures are outdated (creature power to mana cost ratio got boosted insanely, back then juzamdjinn 5/5 for 4 with a defect was godly, now it's more like 6/6 for 4 with a bonus, so every old power creature is pretty much Junk, but most of the badass spells still hold very well).

 

I have a very large collection wich i may end up parting with soon (well, not the whole thing, likely just sell my half of P9 for cash, kinda sucks :( )



#12 Dan Violet Sagmiller   Members   -  Reputation: 897

Posted 12 February 2013 - 11:13 AM

I used to work at Wizards of the Coast, and got free magic cards all the time, and the online account.  After I moved back out to the Midwest, I sold my cards for a little over 2000.  Before I started to get out, here are the basic keys to success I was using.  

 

1) Build 2 decks, each comprised of 2 colors.  This way, you can change out the nature of your attacks/strategy.

 

2) 60 cards a deck, try not to go over.  The chances of pulling up any strategy are better with fewer cards.  The rest of my numbers are based on the 60 deck.

 

3) Fill your deck with low power cards/creatures first.  Then replace a FEW of them with larger ones.  

 

4) Mana count is important.  About 22 land does a pretty good job in general for most decks, and then consider if your cards are mana rich or cheap and modify the land count.

 

5) I recommend about 20x 1~2 cost cards, about 10x3-4, and about 8x5+ cost cards.  MTG makes it really tempting to overload your deck with cards of really awesome power, but if you have more of those cards prior to getting the mana out to use them, then you'll most likely take a lot of damage early.  Keep a strong practice on not going over the numbers for expensive stuff.  I'd be sooner to reduce the %+ cost cards than increase them.  

 

6) STRATEGY!!!!  to do well, you really need a solid strategy.  Typically a singly deck will have 2 colors, and with that 2 focused strategies that 80% of the cards support (mana excluded typically)  You also need defenses against a variety of strategies.  

 - Example, Having a pair of artifacts to prevent flying, and atleast a pair of instants to cancel an artifact destruction card.  Or you need cards for flying defense.

 - Example, Increasing your mana, and having artifacts that allow mana to be spent directly/repetatively on attacks or defenses.

 - Reducing your mana, and 5+ cost cards, while increaseing the 1-2 cost cards, giving more upfront effect in the game, I.e. your deck could focus on early damage, in a game, and cheap defenses.

 - You could focus on summoning, and then most of your cards should enable, enhance or protect this abilitiy.

 - Ideally, you would watch games in action, and see strategies.  Get MTG online and watch games in play from high ranked players.  Look for strategies that appear to work.

 

7) Keep your expensive cards low.  I know I said this already, but I can't (I'm sure I actually can) express this enough.  Unless you have a rock solid Mana delivery system in play, focusing on the creative and powerful will usually leave you too vulnerable at the beginning.

 

8) Strategy Count should be low.  As I said before, you'll want 2 for offence and 3+ for defense.  If you go over these numbers, chances are you'll not pull cards that support each other in your hand, and the cards will have far less impact.  Imagine that every card that matches the same strategy as not having a cumulative effect, but a multiplying.  1 card to summon, vs 1 card to summon and one card to enhance that are significantly different.

 

 

my best deck had 6 cards costing more than 6, and 25 cards costing between 1 and 3.

 

My favorite deck was all white, with only 12 mana, and all the cards cost 2 or less.  Only won about a third the time, but put up an amazing fight, thwarting nearly every action from these powerful decks.  Repetatively shutting down their amazing efforts with incredibly low powered cards.  Eventually I added 2 of the Angel cards, I can't recall the name, but I believe it cost 7 white, and when cast, you could pick one color, and no spells of that color could be cast.

 

Any way, good luck.  


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#13 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 12 February 2013 - 11:59 AM

Does anyone here sell excess cards? I'm looking to start up again, but I'm only really concerned with having 1-2 decks and I don't want a surplus of cards/wasted money. How much money do you save reselling the cards you don't want?

 

edit: ^^^^ that's an awesome post.


Edited by way2lazy2care, 12 February 2013 - 12:03 PM.


#14 swiftcoder   Senior Moderators   -  Reputation: 10440

Posted 12 February 2013 - 12:13 PM

I'm looking to start up again, but I'm only really concerned with having 1-2 decks and I don't want a surplus of cards/wasted money.

One alternative is not to buy excess cards in the first place.

 

You can build, price and to a certain extent balance a deck entirely online (with a tool like http://deckstats.net/deckbuilder/en), and then order your complete deck from one of the big suppliers.

 

You get a deck for market value, considerably less than if you were to buy enough boosters to assemble your dream deck by chance, at the cost of losing the chance to randomly find incredible cards in said boosters...


Edited by swiftcoder, 12 February 2013 - 12:13 PM.

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#15 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 22787

Posted 12 February 2013 - 12:23 PM

Occasionally we will have challenges in my group. For example, we've had junk common only (must cost $0.05 on CardShark), or $5.00 maximum deck cost, and so on.

Most of the time people will already have the cards available, and if they aren't it is cheap enough and common enough that they can be picked up at the local card shop.

It doesn't need to be an expensive hobby. It is certainly far cheaper than my photography hobby.

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#16 Ravyne   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 8193

Posted 12 February 2013 - 12:45 PM

I'll play casually, usually with pre-constructed decks, or decks borrowed from whoever I'm playing with. I like playing, but frankly I don't have time, money, or even level of interest to invest in Magic over all my other hobbies and projects. So for me, I kind of treat it like any other card or boardgame, but nearly all of my friends play and collect seriously.



#17 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 12 February 2013 - 01:26 PM

I'm looking to start up again, but I'm only really concerned with having 1-2 decks and I don't want a surplus of cards/wasted money.

One alternative is not to buy excess cards in the first place.

 

You can build, price and to a certain extent balance a deck entirely online (with a tool like http://deckstats.net/deckbuilder/en), and then order your complete deck from one of the big suppliers.

 

You get a deck for market value, considerably less than if you were to buy enough boosters to assemble your dream deck by chance, at the cost of losing the chance to randomly find incredible cards in said boosters...

Well I will add this disclaimer. I am planning on doing Magic drafts at a local place, and will probably be doing that in lieu of buying any boosters. Part of the problem is that I don't know enough cards to make my dream deck, or I'd probably use something like that.



#18 swiftcoder   Senior Moderators   -  Reputation: 10440

Posted 12 February 2013 - 01:45 PM

Well I will add this disclaimer. I am planning on doing Magic drafts at a local place, and will probably be doing that in lieu of buying any boosters.

Fair enough. Cost usually comes out about the same as buying boosters, although the local draft may have a line on discounted booster boxes.

 

Part of the problem is that I don't know enough cards to make my dream deck, or I'd probably use something like that.

That's what one uses Gatherer's advanced search for.


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#19 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 5071

Posted 12 February 2013 - 05:15 PM

Around here, we don't buy boxes or boosters, we let the stores do that for us.  We buy single cards, either locally or online through troolandtoad or starcitygames.  For casual play we allow proxies of pricey cards (typically those that cost $5 or more a card).  And everyone uses sleeves to protect the resale value of our cards.  Proxies are really easy to make - print out a color copy of the card face, stick it in front of a land card in a sleeve.  These are great for testing a deck before putting money into cards too.


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I want to help design a "sandpark" MMO. Optional interactive story with quests and deeply characterized NPCs, plus sandbox elements like player-craftable housing and lots of other crafting. If you are starting a design of this type, please PM me. I also love pet-breeding games.


#20 swiftcoder   Senior Moderators   -  Reputation: 10440

Posted 12 February 2013 - 06:44 PM

For casual play we allow proxies of pricey cards (typically those that cost $5 or more a card)... Proxies are really easy to make - print out a color copy of the card face, stick it in front of a land card in a sleeve.

We play casually here too, but I'm torn on the subject of proxies.

 

On the one hand, it's a cheap and easy way to play-test a deck before you shell out hard earned dollars. On the other, I'm starting to see a lot of decks that would cost > $200 to actually purchase...


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