Originally Posted by *BaseClogger*
Also, what is a "mana curve"?
The "mana curve" is really nothing more than the concept that you want to be able to cast something every single turn or have the ability to cast something on every single turn. So the casting costs of your cards are important. The following link contains a pretty good explanation of the "curve":
And, I read on a site that Blue is considered the strongest color. Is that true?
It's cyclical and it depends on the available card pool. In practice, the best color is the deck that's capable of winning most often versus the rest of the field. But that field is ever-changing and sometimes it can morph overnight into something completely unexpected. That happened in 1998 with the printing of Urza's Saga, when Blue became the best color on the planet because of the printing of the following card:
Tolarian Academy is the best MTG Land ever printed. In fact, outside of Black Lotus and the five Moxen, I consider Tolarian Academy to be the most powerful Magic the Gathering card ever printed as it, in combination with other cards, allowed a first-turn kill by forcing the opponent to draw every card in their deck plus one. If a card is supposed to be drawn and can't be, that's a win. Here's the creatureless decklist drawn from memory:
2x Power Sink
4x Stroke of Genius
4x Time Spiral
3x Mind over Matter
4x Lotus Petal
4x Grim Monolith
3x Scroll Rack
4x Voltaic Key
4x Tolarian Academy
4x Ancient Tomb
A first-turn kill is pretty complicated and invovles a pretty good draw (but nowhere near impossible), and my teammate got it the very first time he playtested the deck. What you want to do is drop a bunch of cheap artifacts and then build huge mana using Mind Over Matter to constantly untap your Tolarian Academy.
At the time, we didn't have the kind of online info or play we have now so the deck was actually created by a good number of folks in isolation. Personally, I feel that my version was the best to ever hit the tournament scene and my work rewarded me with a State Championship after finishing the last game of the finals on my turn two on the play after my opponent cast only a Jackal Pup. It was the last play he got to make. The rest of the time he just sat there watching me tap and untap stuff in order to make him draw his deck plus about 250 cards.
It was fun, but it was also completely unfair. It was so unfair that within a month of States over half of the deck was banned. But those cards weren't banned quickly enough to keep Tomi Hovi from winning Pro Tour: Rome with an optimized "Extended" format deck.
Today, it's a rock/paper/scissors game. Everything good has its foil and as soon as that foil is found, the game shifts. Blue is still good in some ways, but that color's ability to just flat out counter anything for two mana is gone so it relies on the color's ability to cast most stuff (including creatures) on the opponent's turn. Right now, just about every color is good in some combination. It's a healthy format.