Magic : The Gathering : The Thread : The Rename

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Re: Magic : The Gathering : The Thread : The Rename

Postby phlip » Fri Aug 23, 2013 12:24 am UTC

Telchar wrote:In other news, it's rather disheartening to think that both Gatecrash and Dragonmaze have a super low ROR per pack. At this point you should not buy a pack of either of them for any reason.

GTC and DGM aren't that bad... if you want low ROR in Standard right now, you want to be looking at Dark Ascension... only a couple of money cards, and even those aren't worth that much, the EV of a booster of DKA is about 2/3 of that of a pack of GTC or DGM.

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Re: Magic : The Gathering : The Thread : The Rename

Postby Telchar » Fri Aug 23, 2013 10:20 am UTC

I guess I was looking at packs that one might actually but because they aren't rotating in a month. And yes, both Gatecrash and Dragonmaze are awful. The only thing propping the value of Gatecrash packs up are the shocklands, Reckoner, and Domri Rade. Nothing else is above 10 and some of the shocks aren't (BUY SHOCKS NOW!).

Dragonmaze is worse. It's EV is only being held up by the super small chance at getting a shockland and Voice. Blood Baron is the only other card in the set worth more than 4 dollars. At least Dark Ascension was worth something 2 months after it's release. DMZ is a stinker.

Edit: My bad, Ral Zarek is, for some reason, still 10 dollars. So...yay...
Zamfir wrote:Yeah, that's a good point. Everyone is all about presumption of innocence in rape threads. But when Mexican drug lords build APCs to carry their henchmen around, we immediately jump to criminal conclusions without hard evidence.

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Re: Magic : The Gathering : The Thread : The Rename

Postby Azrael001 » Fri Aug 23, 2013 10:42 pm UTC

Ral is the shit. He kills things and ramps in colours that are bad at ramping and shuts down blockers, and sometimes wins you the game.
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Re: Magic : The Gathering : The Thread : The Rename

Postby Telchar » Sat Aug 24, 2013 11:22 pm UTC

Azrael001 wrote:Ral is the shit. He kills things and ramps in colours that are bad at ramping and shuts down blockers, and sometimes wins you the game.


But mostly he's a four drop at sorcery speed in colors that don't want to play anything at sorcery speed and isn't particularly good in any match up. He's awful against agro, okay against control, and mediocre against midrange.
Zamfir wrote:Yeah, that's a good point. Everyone is all about presumption of innocence in rape threads. But when Mexican drug lords build APCs to carry their henchmen around, we immediately jump to criminal conclusions without hard evidence.

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Re: Magic : The Gathering : The Thread : The Rename

Postby Azrael001 » Sun Aug 25, 2013 3:29 pm UTC

Against Aggro he's removal that buys eats an attack, assuming that you haven't used him to untap one of your own creatures as a blocker. Against midrange, he opens the door to slip an attacker through, and against control, he can often steal control of the board, and live long enough to ult.
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Re: Magic : The Gathering : The Thread : The Rename

Postby Telchar » Sun Aug 25, 2013 10:40 pm UTC

Agro isn't attacking your planeswalker. At turn 4 you are probably near death and they attack you to finish you off. And it's 4 mana removal. Searing spear, pillar of flame, and even magmaquake are better options against agro that are cheaper.

Against midrange they either have options to kill it, especially Jund, or they wolf-run overtop of the small creatures you have because you spent turn 4 playing RZ and kill it.

It's at it's best in the control matchup but it's only a little better than Gideon, and maybe not that much better. Control is really bad right now, so maybe he lives long enough assuming they aren't playing something like cyclonic rift or any of those burn spells I mentioned. Or he doesn't get countered.

He's not good. He doesn't do enough to see play on your curve at 4. That's why he doesn't see play except in commander.
Zamfir wrote:Yeah, that's a good point. Everyone is all about presumption of innocence in rape threads. But when Mexican drug lords build APCs to carry their henchmen around, we immediately jump to criminal conclusions without hard evidence.

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Re: Magic : The Gathering : The Thread : The Rename

Postby Azrael001 » Mon Aug 26, 2013 1:42 am UTC

I play UWR midrange with hella removal, young pyromancer and Staticaster. Unless I get a bad hand, I have answers to nearly every early play that aggro can throw at me. Sublime, and Aurelia are my finishers. Sublime, Helix and Ral are the things that I run in the four slot at 4,3,2 of each respectively. Sure sometimes he's just a bolt, but my removal suite keeps him alive, and the potential for multiple bolts is nice, even when I'm not trying to Ult him.
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Re: Magic : The Gathering : The Thread : The Rename

Postby Telchar » Mon Aug 26, 2013 3:03 am UTC

Yeah, I mean why not run a thing that lets you untap a land when you can play one of the best creatures in standard (restoration angel) or something that gives you huge card advantage (supreme verdict). Why wouldn't you run more cheap spells to get spirits instead of trying to tap their guys?

The only thing Ral Zarek does that's good is untap cards like Gilded Lotus on Turn 5 or Thran Dynamo in Commander on turn 4. If you play him and shock then why not just play shock? I you play him to untap stuff then he's super overcosted because Hidden Strings does that for 2 mana.

On top of that, you could ult him and have nothing happen.

And you have to cast him at sorcery speed, so instead of countering their thragtusk or obzedat you spent your turn untapping a land you control instead of saving that mana for a counter and then, if it wasn't needed, flashing in a resto targeting snap to recast a spell and get more pyromancer value.
Zamfir wrote:Yeah, that's a good point. Everyone is all about presumption of innocence in rape threads. But when Mexican drug lords build APCs to carry their henchmen around, we immediately jump to criminal conclusions without hard evidence.

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Re: Magic : The Gathering : The Thread : The Rename

Postby Azrael001 » Mon Aug 26, 2013 5:01 am UTC

Untapping land is for turns that aren't the one he came into play (unless you happen to already have an extra land, and you're holding one of the billion 2 mana spells that shut down attackers in one way or another), untapping a creature that you just attacked with is handy, as is tapping their open land to prevent combat tricks. He has the advantage that every planeswalker has in that he gets to keep doing things, even after you've untapped next turn. A turn five Aurelia in UWR is good. Even if you just use him for 6 damage, in a deck with even a bit of burn that's not insignificant.
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Re: Magic : The Gathering : The Thread : The Rename

Postby Telchar » Mon Aug 26, 2013 6:26 am UTC

Azrael001 wrote:Untapping land is for turns that aren't the one he came into play (unless you happen to already have an extra land, and you're holding one of the billion 2 mana spells that shut down attackers in one way or another), untapping a creature that you just attacked with is handy, as is tapping their open land to prevent combat trickses. He has the advantage that every planeswalker has in that he gets to keep doing things, even after you've untapped next turn. A turn five Aurelia in UWR is good. Even if you just use him for 6 damage, in a deck with even a bit of burn that's not insignificant.


I guess we are going to agree to disagree. Doing 6 damage over 2 turns for 4 mana isn't what I find good. 2 boros charms are better. 2 searing spears are better. With the good instant speed removal printed (putrefy and doom blade) I'm not sure aurelia is good.

Even if you think he's good, though, he's certaintly not worth 10 dollars. Advent of the Wurm is a much better card and is 2.50. Aetherling is a better card at 3.50. He's way overcosted because he's a planeswalker and a mythic.
Zamfir wrote:Yeah, that's a good point. Everyone is all about presumption of innocence in rape threads. But when Mexican drug lords build APCs to carry their henchmen around, we immediately jump to criminal conclusions without hard evidence.

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Re: Magic : The Gathering : The Thread : The Rename

Postby Azrael001 » Mon Aug 26, 2013 3:52 pm UTC

Creatures dying to removal doesn't make them bad. Besides, in the cases where that becomes an issue, I can board them out for Assemble the Legion.
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Re: Magic : The Gathering : The Thread : The Rename

Postby mosc » Mon Aug 26, 2013 7:33 pm UTC

I'm still pissed thundermaw hellkite won't be getting cheaper anytime soon. My modern deck needs 2 of em badly...
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Re: Magic : The Gathering : The Thread : The Rename

Postby EdgarJPublius » Mon Aug 26, 2013 8:53 pm UTC

It's rotating with the rest of M13 in a month isn't it? That'll drop the price a bit.
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Re: Magic : The Gathering : The Thread : The Rename

Postby Telchar » Mon Aug 26, 2013 9:22 pm UTC

Yeah, even cards like Snapcaster and Liliana will experience a small drop.
Zamfir wrote:Yeah, that's a good point. Everyone is all about presumption of innocence in rape threads. But when Mexican drug lords build APCs to carry their henchmen around, we immediately jump to criminal conclusions without hard evidence.

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Re: Magic : The Gathering : The Thread : The Rename

Postby rmsgrey » Wed Aug 28, 2013 1:11 pm UTC

Telchar wrote:
Azrael001 wrote:Untapping land is for turns that aren't the one he came into play (unless you happen to already have an extra land, and you're holding one of the billion 2 mana spells that shut down attackers in one way or another), untapping a creature that you just attacked with is handy, as is tapping their open land to prevent combat trickses. He has the advantage that every planeswalker has in that he gets to keep doing things, even after you've untapped next turn. A turn five Aurelia in UWR is good. Even if you just use him for 6 damage, in a deck with even a bit of burn that's not insignificant.


I guess we are going to agree to disagree. Doing 6 damage over 2 turns for 4 mana isn't what I find good. 2 boros charms are better. 2 searing spears are better. With the good instant speed removal printed (putrefy and doom blade) I'm not sure aurelia is good.


6 damage over 2 turns for 4 mana and 1 card rather than 2 cards. I don't know about how good he actually is, but I know better than to ignore the card advantage angle.

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Re: Magic : The Gathering : The Thread : The Rename

Postby Telchar » Wed Aug 28, 2013 8:05 pm UTC

And at sorcery speed. And you lose flexibility. You can't double bolt if you need to. Even if he's worth playing in very niche decks, he isn't a 10 dollar value.
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Re: Magic : The Gathering : The Thread : The Rename

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Aug 28, 2013 8:24 pm UTC

Well, on the flip side, his +1 ability ain't too shabby, and two solid, playable abilities out of the box isn't too bad for versatility at all.

Of course, his ultimate is a game winner, but in practice, that isn't going to go off too often, I'd image. Still, it can constrain opponent choices. He's solid in UR, but I think the color combo was a touch weak in this past block overall.

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Re: Magic : The Gathering : The Thread : The Rename

Postby Telchar » Thu Aug 29, 2013 8:23 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Well, on the flip side, his +1 ability ain't too shabby, and two solid, playable abilities out of the box isn't too bad for versatility at all.

Of course, his ultimate is a game winner, but in practice, that isn't going to go off too often, I'd image. Still, it can constrain opponent choices. He's solid in UR, but I think the color combo was a touch weak in this past block overall.


There are so many better 4 drops. Even Jace, Architect of Thought is better. Resto Angel (down to 4 dollars btw), Supreme Verdict (way better card advantage) and all of these things are better when played on turn 4. Ral doesn't protect himself, doesn't save you in the agro match. He's just in a really awkward spot in weird colors and is a horrible top deck late in comparison to the other cards I listed.

His +1 is best with another bad card (Gilded Lotus) that you won't be able to play in 2 weeks except in commander.

The only place he's ever seen competitive play is in some kikki-pod Modern decks as a 2 of.
Zamfir wrote:Yeah, that's a good point. Everyone is all about presumption of innocence in rape threads. But when Mexican drug lords build APCs to carry their henchmen around, we immediately jump to criminal conclusions without hard evidence.

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Re: Magic : The Gathering : The Thread : The Rename

Postby EdgarJPublius » Sun Sep 01, 2013 6:53 am UTC

I'm so happy. One of the local gamestores just started running Modern FNMs plus modern tournaments on saturday. It's only pulling in 6 or seven people so far, but the organizer runs them anyway (just no planeswalker points) and gives out pretty good prize support.

In other news. Thoughtseize has been confirmed in Theros, preorders are already down to ~$20

Scry is another welcome sight, hopefully it'll increase the pool of modern playable deck manipulation enough to make modern Delver a thing again (but not so much that Delver/Miracles dominates the format).

The other spoilers coming out of PAX are pretty nice too, I love the way devotion/chroma is being used, especially on the Gods.
I'm particularly interested in the potentia for commander decks based around the gods

Bestow is an interesting and potentially very powerful mechanic, but so far seems to be suffering the Cipher problem (overcosted)
though without the other Cipher problem (2-for-1s) so I dunno, I'll wait to see what other Bestow cards look like and think about what sort of Bestow creature might be playable in my Infect deck
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Re: Magic : The Gathering : The Thread : The Rename

Postby JudeMorrigan » Tue Sep 03, 2013 4:34 pm UTC

I was super-excited to get to play a draft at DragonCon this weekend. I haven't played anything beyond Duels of the Planeswalkers since Urza's Saga or so, and that was around-the-dorm-room sort of stuff rather than anything truly impressive. I was pretty happy with the red-green deck that I put together, although I was somewhat sad when my third pack had a Liliana. I hadn't drafted a single black card up until that point. I wound up grabbing it anyways since, seriously, how could I pass that to someone else. But she sat in my sideboard.

I wound up making it to second place, although I'm not too sure how competent everyone else was. The guy who beat me knew what he was doing though, and had stupid cards. After we finished up, the judge commented that when he had wandered by our table at one point, he'd thought we were playing standard since my opponent had both a thragtusk and a thundermaw hellkite out. It was still fun though.

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Re: Magic : The Gathering : The Thread : The Rename

Postby EdgarJPublius » Thu Sep 05, 2013 6:33 am UTC

Erebos seems nice, not quite Thassa or Purphoros good, but I'm a big fan of anything that hates on lifegain, and instant speed repeatable card-draw is rarely a bad thing.

I'm more excited about Ashiok though. probably a worse card over-all, but I've been wanting another U/B planeswalker for a while now and this one is pretty relevant to my interests (other than giving people poison counters, milling them and stealing their creatures are my two favorite things)
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Re: Magic : The Gathering : The Thread : The Rename

Postby Snark » Thu Sep 05, 2013 11:41 pm UTC

Been wanting to learn to play. Started teaching myself, and Magic 2013 is randomly the free Xbox game of the month this month. And my friend has been playing and is going to walk me through it. So pumped!

If y'all have any tips as I start out, lemme have 'em.
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Re: Magic : The Gathering : The Thread : The Rename

Postby Telchar » Fri Sep 06, 2013 5:22 am UTC

Card advantage wins games. Don't use 2 cards where 1 would do, and always look for ways to 2 for 1 your opponent. This also means don't commit too many creatures to the board only to have them all killed. Keeping some back is usually a good strategy.

Play things at the end of your opponents turn if possible.
Zamfir wrote:Yeah, that's a good point. Everyone is all about presumption of innocence in rape threads. But when Mexican drug lords build APCs to carry their henchmen around, we immediately jump to criminal conclusions without hard evidence.

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Re: Magic : The Gathering : The Thread : The Rename

Postby mosc » Fri Sep 06, 2013 2:38 pm UTC

I'd give 5 basic tips

1) Kill your opponent. Don't be distracted by goals of developing your side of the board. Especially when you are not very experienced, aggressive strategy and deck construction help level the playing field. It's simpler to play optimally, to understand strategically, and to build a more focused deck.
2) Understand the 2 for 1 card advantage on creature removals. For example, you have a lightning bolt you can play and your opponent has a 3/3 creature he's going to attack with and you suspect he has a Giant Growth in his hand. If you bolt the creature, he can respond with the giant growth to save him and have a 6/3 for a turn. If you can get him to use the giant growth some other way, you can respond to his giant growth and not only kill the creature but take away his giant growth as well. If it's your 3/3 creature and your giant growth, be equally careful in playing around the lightning bolt.
3) Cards targeting your opponent's side of the board are typically very flexible and very powerful yet are often passed over by newer players. Doom Blade can kill an awfully big creature with buffs and enchantments, equipment, whatever. You can also cast it whenever you want at instant speed waiting until your opponent has foolishly focused his resources on the vulnerable target. Most novice players think about their side of the board and what they want to do. Most advanced players think much more about their opponents side of the board. Many tournament decks have very few threats or "win conditions" at all being definitively reactionary in nature. Magic is often about being able to threaten the win with the least amount of resources possible so you can devote the most amount of resources to stopping your opponents threats.
4) Separate the three areas of magic. Deck construction, understanding your opponent's deck and strategies, and playing optimally. Each is it's own skill. Deck construction is about focusing your ideas into as potent and flexible a form as you can make. If you come to the table with a pile of random garbage, it's hard to work on the other two real skills of magic. You can borrow decks, look up existing decks, or ask others to help you build a deck given limited resources. Just know as a new player that deck construction is not intuitive in many ways. You may not want to take it on until you are more comfortable with the other areas of magic.
5) Play with people you enjoy playing. There are different types of players who enjoy different aspects of the game. Personally, I like to analyze the game as it played out. With a close friend, I'll even do it while the game is still going on. Other players are not interested in the subtleties and instead just want to get as many cards on the table as possible. Some folks will hold to the correct sequencing of actions, others will more loosely interpret the orders of operations.
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Re: Magic : The Gathering : The Thread : The Rename

Postby EdgarJPublius » Fri Sep 06, 2013 7:42 pm UTC

One piece of advice that I like is that in Magic, you always want to be either a lot faster than your opponent, or just a little bit slower.

If you are a lot faster than your opponent, then you're committing creatures and/or other threats faster than they can be dealt with. This is what your typical aggro (creature-heavy) deck is trying to accomplish, overwhelm the opponent with efficient attacking creatures.

Being just a little bit slower than your opponent is harder to grasp though. Fundamentally, the advantage of being slower comes from the drawing a card every turn, playing a land if you have one and creatures not being able to attack the turn they come into play (summoning sickness). A slightly-slower deck therefore should always have more cards and more lands available. Once you have those, you can beat your opponent by always having the answer for whatever threat they played the turn before, or being able to play bigger threats on your turn than your opponent can on theirs.
Often, slightly-slower decks will try to gain additional advantage through card draw or mana ramp (spells/creatures that generate mana or put lands into play, giving them access to more mana than just playing one land per turn).


It's also really important to understand that having your plan disrupted is part of the game.
The trap most new players fall into that eventually drives them away from the game is having a 'Voltron' mentality. That is, they try to assemble some perfect board state (the 'Voltron') and crush their opponent with it. From that view of the game, it follows that your opponent should try to do the same thing and that you should only lose if your opponent assembles Voltron first, or assembles a better Voltron.
But in addition to kill-spells like Doom Blade and Lightning Bolt, there are also counterspells and wrath/board-wipes that can very efficiently crush a Voltron. but are still vulnerable if you avoid Voltron-like behaviors. (back when I first was playing magic, the one card most responsible for people leaving Magic was Wrath of God, the iconic board-wipe. All it did was 'Bury all creatures.' but to people playing Voltron instead of Magic, it might as well have said 'You don't really understand this game, maybe go play Pokemon or Yugioh instead')

The Four basic rules to not playing like Voltron:
1. Don't play out your whole hand., you should pretty much always keep something in reserve. Keeping cards in your hand not only hedges you against board-wipes, it also keeps your opponent guessing as to what you can do this turn and next turn, maybe you have a really powerful creature in there so they better save this doom blade for it instead of the creature beating their face in right now, or maybe you have an answer for their really powerful spell so they better not play it just yet.

2. If your opponent has mana available for a counter-spell or a kill-spell with cards in hand (this is often called 'representing' or 'leaving up') , don't play your most powerful spells first in a turn. Bait out answers by attacking first, then playing out one or two other spells. If your opponent is representing an answer and you are unable to bait it out of them, don't worry about it too much. A well tuned deck shouldn't have any spells that don't contribute to winning, so you should be comfortable holding back your more powerful spells until it's safe to play them, either because your opponent tapped out (left no mana open to play a counter or kill spell) used up their answer on something else, or revealed that they didn't have one somehow (cards that let you look at your opponent's hand can be extremely valuable for this reason).

3. Don't set yourself up to be 2-for-1ed. This takes many forms but can be generalized as not letting your opponent get rid of or cancel out two of your cards using only one of theirs. For example, don't play Auras on creatures your opponent can kill (even if the aura would protect the creature, since your opponent can kill the creature in response to the aura). Likewise, don't use buffs or protective spells (such as Giant Growth) on your creatures except to save them.

Finally
4. Break the rules! Magic is a very complex games with gazillions of cards that all interact in complex ways, no set of immutable rules can capture every possible game-state and give you the correct play. Sometimes, breaking the above rules will win you the game, or prevent you from losing on the spot, and in those cases don't worry about how Voltron-like your play is, just do it and win. Some highly competitive decks are even designed around breaking the rules (there's a deck actually called 'tron as a reference to voltron, but that's different) such as Ghost Pants/Bant Auras/Bogles which are all decks based around suiting up creatures with auras like mini-voltrons (although they use difficult to kill hexproof creatures) or Naya Blitz in the recent standard which is a deck built around spewing its whole hand onto the battlefield by turn two or three and trying to do massive damage before getting wiped (although it also runs cards like Boros Charm that both protect against a board wipe or close out a game with direct damage).

Just make sure that when you do break the rules, it's for a well considered reason that advances you closer to winning (or just further from losing, some decks win just by not losing for extended periods of time) and not just to blindly advance your board state or assemble your Voltron.
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Re: Magic : The Gathering : The Thread : The Rename

Postby Snark » Fri Sep 06, 2013 8:09 pm UTC

Thanks all. Super helpful stuff.
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Re: Magic : The Gathering : The Thread : The Rename

Postby EdgarJPublius » Mon Sep 09, 2013 6:17 am UTC

In further Theros news, Murder now hits planeswalkers, but it's been bumped to rare.
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Re: Magic : The Gathering : The Thread : The Rename

Postby EdgarJPublius » Fri Sep 20, 2013 3:36 am UTC

Pre-release weekend is upon us!

This is the first prerelease since gatecrash that I'm interested in participating in, and the first since all the way back in Dark Ascension that I'm actually excited about (although Dark Ascension was only because it was my first pre-release since getting back into magic).
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Re: Magic : The Gathering : The Thread : The Rename

Postby Azrael001 » Fri Sep 20, 2013 6:46 am UTC

I am unable to go to the prerelease this weekend because I will be out hitting people with foam swords, but I have been brewing and testing on Cockatrice. I've hammered out my post rotation plan which is Boros Humans. Losing Silverblade Paladin and Champion of the Parish hurts a lot, as I no longer have nearly so explosive a start, and getting 20 damage by turn four is much more of a house of cards then turn 2 Wojek, turn 3 Paladin, swing six, turn four swing ten, finish with Boros Charm or Helix (pairing with Champion works too, assuming you play more humans). I'm actually really impressed with how well the Akroan Hoplite has been performing, I almost didn't include them.
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Re: Magic : The Gathering : The Thread : The Rename

Postby mosc » Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:55 pm UTC

cockatrice is back!??
Title: It was given by the XKCD moderators to me because they didn't care what I thought (I made some rantings, etc). I care what YOU think, the joke is forums.xkcd doesn't care what I think.

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Re: Magic : The Gathering : The Thread : The Rename

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Sep 20, 2013 2:29 pm UTC

3. Don't set yourself up to be 2-for-1ed. This takes many forms but can be generalized as not letting your opponent get rid of or cancel out two of your cards using only one of theirs. For example, don't play Auras on creatures your opponent can kill (even if the aura would protect the creature, since your opponent can kill the creature in response to the aura). Likewise, don't use buffs or protective spells (such as Giant Growth) on your creatures except to save them.


Except... when you have to. Red Deck Wins for example typically barfs their entire hand before turn 4. They often can win before the opponent can get a board wipe out... or at least brings the opponent down to ~5 or so, so that a top-deck Thundermaw kills them. Also, "Combo" decks essentially "assemble the voltron". The difference is, a Combo deck can do it with maybe 3 cards or so. Human Reanimator for instance only relies on having a few cards in the graveyard. Learning what an ACTUAL combo-deck looks like is a big part of growing up in MtG. Real combo decks are hard to take down.

But I'm being pedantic. EdgarJPublius's advice is right on the money. Aggro-decks (fastest) tend to lose to Midrange decks. Midrange decks tend to lose to Control decks (slowest decks). Control decks tend to lose against Aggro decks. You want to be just a little bit slower than the opponent, or a lot faster than them.

Just know that there will be counter-examples to _any_ advice that is ever given to you. But that is part of what makes MtG such a fun game. If there were set rules on "how to win", then it wouldn't be a fun game. MtG is an exercise in your creativity, statistics, and ability to read the opponent. (A friend of mine leans back in his chair when he has a combat trick :wink: :wink: )

---------------------------

I know you're playing on a video game... but are there any "Event Decks"? Generally, you can find a pretty well put-together deck from a store, and they're called Event Decks. Beginner decks are trashy, designed for beginners to have fun with the game. Event Decks tend to be nearly competition worthy, and are a great way to learn how to play optimally. As mosc pointed out, there are multiple parts to the game. The best player with the worst deck is probably going to lose... and the worst player... even when equipped with the best deck is also probably going to lose.
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Re: Magic : The Gathering : The Thread : The Rename

Postby EdgarJPublius » Fri Sep 20, 2013 5:47 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:
3. Don't set yourself up to be 2-for-1ed. This takes many forms but can be generalized as not letting your opponent get rid of or cancel out two of your cards using only one of theirs. For example, don't play Auras on creatures your opponent can kill (even if the aura would protect the creature, since your opponent can kill the creature in response to the aura). Likewise, don't use buffs or protective spells (such as Giant Growth) on your creatures except to save them.


Except... when you have to. Red Deck Wins for example typically barfs their entire hand before turn 4. They often can win before the opponent can get a board wipe out... or at least brings the opponent down to ~5 or so, so that a top-deck Thundermaw kills them. Also, "Combo" decks essentially "assemble the voltron". The difference is, a Combo deck can do it with maybe 3 cards or so. Human Reanimator for instance only relies on having a few cards in the graveyard. Learning what an ACTUAL combo-deck looks like is a big part of growing up in MtG. Real combo decks are hard to take down.

But I'm being pedantic. EdgarJPublius's advice is right on the money. Aggro-decks (fastest) tend to lose to Midrange decks. Midrange decks tend to lose to Control decks (slowest decks). Control decks tend to lose against Aggro decks. You want to be just a little bit slower than the opponent, or a lot faster than them.

Just know that there will be counter-examples to _any_ advice that is ever given to you. But that is part of what makes MtG such a fun game. If there were set rules on "how to win", then it wouldn't be a fun game. MtG is an exercise in your creativity, statistics, and ability to read the opponent. (A friend of mine leans back in his chair when he has a combat trick :wink: :wink: )

---------------------------

I know you're playing on a video game... but are there any "Event Decks"? Generally, you can find a pretty well put-together deck from a store, and they're called Event Decks. Beginner decks are trashy, designed for beginners to have fun with the game. Event Decks tend to be nearly competition worthy, and are a great way to learn how to play optimally. As mosc pointed out, there are multiple parts to the game. The best player with the worst deck is probably going to lose... and the worst player... even when equipped with the best deck is also probably going to lose.


Yea, remember Rule 4: Break the rules.


Agreed on the Event Decks, that's how I got back into magic after a long absence and it was a great starting point. (heck, I still regularly x-1 and x-0 modern events with that thing, albeit heavily modified at this point)
Event decks can also be a good source for playsets of playable commons and uncommons that a lot of people don't normally carry around extras of for trade. I picked up a few of the post M13 event decks for that reason and made my money back trading the Thragtusks and Buddy Lands they all came with.
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Yes.

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Re: Magic : The Gathering : The Thread : The Rename

Postby Plasma Man » Sat Sep 21, 2013 9:06 pm UTC

I did a midnight prerelease for Theros last night, then another prerelease at midday. Apart from screwing up my body clock, it was pretty good. My first impression is that heroic and bestow are the more effective mechanics in limited play at least. Monstrous is fun, but seems to have a high cost - by the time you can activate it, it probably won't make too much difference. Devotion can be effective, I lost a couple of games to Grey Merchant of Asphodel, but it seemed hard to build a deck around and you really need to keep your permanents in play - trading creatures in combat isn't just a 1-for-1, it knocks your devotion down.
I think putting any of the ordeal cards on a heroic creature works really well, especially if it has an evasion ability. Sticking one on Wingsteed Rider can get the +1/+1 counters up quickly, and leave you with a 5/5 flyer as well as whatever the ordeal gives you.
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Re: Magic : The Gathering : The Thread : The Rename

Postby rmsgrey » Sat Sep 21, 2013 11:04 pm UTC

Plasma Man wrote:I did a midnight prerelease for Theros last night, then another prerelease at midday. Apart from screwing up my body clock, it was pretty good. My first impression is that heroic and bestow are the more effective mechanics in limited play at least. Monstrous is fun, but seems to have a high cost - by the time you can activate it, it probably won't make too much difference. Devotion can be effective, I lost a couple of games to Grey Merchant of Asphodel, but it seemed hard to build a deck around and you really need to keep your permanents in play - trading creatures in combat isn't just a 1-for-1, it knocks your devotion down.
I think putting any of the ordeal cards on a heroic creature works really well, especially if it has an evasion ability. Sticking one on Wingsteed Rider can get the +1/+1 counters up quickly, and leave you with a 5/5 flyer as well as whatever the ordeal gives you.


Not having played it at all, Monstrous looks like icing for limited - if the creature is tasty cake without it, then it's worth running; hulking out is there as a mana-sink if the game runs long. Bestow is, mechanically, crazy - an aura that turns into a creature instead of fizzling, can be cast as a creature if you have no targets or not enough mana, and leaves you with a creature after a board sweeper or targeted kill. Pretty cool, but demands that you relearn everything you thought you knew about auras...

My first question about ordeals is whether it's better to put them on something that already has (or can easily get) counters to get the spell effect, or on something without and let your opponent have longer to find an answer. I suspect you're usually better off getting full value out of them by casting them on naked creatures, but it's worth keeping an eye on combos with Monstrous or other ordeals.

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Re: Magic : The Gathering : The Thread : The Rename

Postby phlip » Sun Sep 22, 2013 2:50 am UTC

Yeah, Bestow is pretty much amazing. I've cast my share of Bestow guys as Creatures, and as Auras, and not been disappointed by either. Also, you can put 3 Bestow Auras on the same creature, and turn the game into Asteroids, which is neat.

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Re: Magic : The Gathering : The Thread : The Rename

Postby Xeio » Sun Sep 22, 2013 6:59 am UTC

Plasma Man wrote:I did a midnight prerelease for Theros last night, then another prerelease at midday. Apart from screwing up my body clock, it was pretty good. My first impression is that heroic and bestow are the more effective mechanics in limited play at least. Monstrous is fun, but seems to have a high cost - by the time you can activate it, it probably won't make too much difference. Devotion can be effective, I lost a couple of games to Grey Merchant of Asphodel, but it seemed hard to build a deck around and you really need to keep your permanents in play - trading creatures in combat isn't just a 1-for-1, it knocks your devotion down.
I think putting any of the ordeal cards on a heroic creature works really well, especially if it has an evasion ability. Sticking one on Wingsteed Rider can get the +1/+1 counters up quickly, and leave you with a 5/5 flyer as well as whatever the ordeal gives you.
I didn't notice bestow to be any cheaper than monstrous in most cases. Though the inherent card advantage is nice, and monstrous creatures tend to prime targets for creature removal if you're getting close to their cost.

I had a hell of a time getting my Heliod to stay a creature with two colors in limited. I think I only managed it once... and then the next turn the other guy activated the monstrous gorgon and destroyed all my other creatures turning him back...

Still, I liked the mechanics. Scry feels a little out of place though for some reason. But maybe that's just me.
phlip wrote:Yeah, Bestow is pretty much amazing. I've cast my share of Bestow guys as Creatures, and as Auras, and not been disappointed by either. Also, you can put 3 Bestow Auras on the same creature, and turn the game into Asteroids, which is neat.
I didn't actually see it used very much. Celestial Archon certainly swung a few games for me though.

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Re: Magic : The Gathering : The Thread : The Rename

Postby EdgarJPublius » Sun Sep 22, 2013 7:12 am UTC

Yea, heroic and Bestow were pretty nuts, They seemed especially good together. Unfortunately, I didn't really pull much in the way of Heroes. Between two pre-releases I saw maybe one or two out of each color, and they always seemed to be the weaker heroes in their respective colors. The ones that get +1/+1 counters seemed pretty nuts though, especially the green ones that get multiple counters and the white flyer. A great way to boost decent creatures into the later phases of the game and turn combat-trick into permanent bonuses

Monstrous on the other hand seemed pretty irrelevant. The only creature I ever even saw go Monstrous was a Nemesis of Mortals with a bunch of creatures in the 'yard. Although really, the monstrous creatures are aggressively costed enough that monstrous is pure gravy.

Speaking of creatures being in the yard, Nighthowler was pretty slick, especially in multiples, it wasn't rare to see one come down in the mid-game as a 6/6 or bigger, a great way to boost valuable early-game creatures without putting too many eggs in one basket.


Devotion is a really cool mechanic and I love the the cards that have it. Gray Merchant of Asphodel was a very strong common that only got better in multiples. My favorite play between the two prereleases was with a Merchant in the 'yard and one in play, cast Rescue from the Underworld and drain for 8 in my next upkeep.

Abhorrent Overlord seemed to be the best promo, I never lost a game where it resolved. I usually won a within a few turns. With just a Merchant or two in play, the Harpy's could stall the board or add a good bit of attacking power. With a Reaper of the Wilds in play, the upkeep trigger could even be a bit of an upside, letting you scry before you draw.

The Blue Promo also seemed pretty powerful, though mainly just for being an aggressively costed fatty in a color that normally doesn't get those.

The Red and White Promos seemed ok, with the green clearly being the worst.


Saw a lot people pulling Gods, but only a few ever showed up in my matches (I didn't get any). The devotion requirement actually ended up relegating them to non-creature enchantments most of the time and made it somewhat possible to mitigate them with removal. I imagine it might be easier to get high Devotions in draft though.
I saw the most of Erebos. Outside of his creature form, not much impact. Seemed alright as a card advantage engine, but not amazing.

Heliod and Purphorus were pretty strong though. Nylea seemed like it was good when the deck supports it well with big creatures, but weak otherwise. Never saw Thassa in any of my games or those around me, though it's the God I was most interested in seeing in action.

The only weapons I saw in action were the Spear of Heliod and the Hammer of Purphoros. Both were quite powerful, I personally won a few games by turning late-game land drops into hasty Golems.


Anyway, that's pretty much all I got for a pre-release report, I pulled a Hero's Downfall and Psychic Intrusion from prize packs that went into my EDH deck.

Speaking of EDH, I played an extremely silly game against a Mimeoplasm deck during the Prerelease between matches. Managed to stick an early Liliana of the Dark Realms and get her emblem so I had tons of mana early on.

Anyway, the Mimeoplasm deck edicts my Lazav but leaves a Sepulchral Primordial on the field and get's ready to 'go off' with Entomb, Buried Alive and etc. but doesn't have the mana to do it all in one turn so they pass to me with a graveyard full of goodies.
This isn't the silly part yet:
I cast Rite of Replication kicked targeting my Primordial and gobble up most of their graveyard, including an Eternal Witness I use to get my Rite back, as well as a Consecrated Sphinx, so I cast a Howling Mine and decide to pass the turn with enough mana up for a stupidly massive Syncopate and a few other answers, even though I'm pretty sure the Mimeoplasm can't go off with their graveyard on my side of the battlefield.
I draw an ass-ton of cards and Syncopate some basically irrelevant thing and get the turn back.

Now it gets silly:
I start by casting Consuming Aberration. Then, Rite of Replication, kicked and targeting the Aberration. Then, I reanimate a Snapcaster, flashing back Rite of Replication, kicked, targeting Consuming Aberration again. Then I cast a few cheap spells and Grind out the Mimeoplasm for the win.
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Re: Magic : The Gathering : The Thread : The Rename

Postby Tyndmyr » Sun Sep 22, 2013 10:38 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:I know you're playing on a video game... but are there any "Event Decks"? Generally, you can find a pretty well put-together deck from a store, and they're called Event Decks. Beginner decks are trashy, designed for beginners to have fun with the game. Event Decks tend to be nearly competition worthy, and are a great way to learn how to play optimally. As mosc pointed out, there are multiple parts to the game. The best player with the worst deck is probably going to lose... and the worst player... even when equipped with the best deck is also probably going to lose.


Starter decks are a lot better than they used to be, though. Now, they're generally a decent but fairly clear and obvious theme that you can improve upon by adding singles. They used to be utter drek.

Knowing which decks have which money cards can be pretty nice, too. Sometimes singles will climb to the point where it's easier to just buy decks.

Haven't played Theros yet, as my store is too new to be registered with WoTC. Gonna get some for release from Alliance though, and should be registered for all the perks by next release.

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Re: Magic : The Gathering : The Thread : The Rename

Postby Snark » Sun Sep 22, 2013 10:52 pm UTC

There are no Event decks in the Xbox version unfortunately. Each of the decks you're allowed to use are customizable but still pretty one-dimensional.
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Re: Magic : The Gathering : The Thread : The Rename

Postby phlip » Wed Sep 25, 2013 3:20 pm UTC

So, I'm thinking I'll do things a little different this set, and actually get a Standard deck ready at the start of the format, rather than several months in... Trying to build a green splash-white aggroish facepunchy deck... mainly because I want to build around a God, and I think Nylea will be the easiest to encreature, what with Kalonian Tusker, and green's general happiness with putting a billion creatures on the board.

So... this is what I have so far. I've got to make some cuts, though, and I've probably forgotten some obvious invaluable card... I'm no good at constructed deckbuilding...

Does anyone have any suggestions?

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