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Thread: Magic: The Gathering

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    Start the Reactor! *BaseClogger*'s Avatar
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    Magic: The Gathering

    I bought a bunch of these cards when I was younger but I never learned how to play the game. A friend and I were going through my card collection, and he recognized them. Turned out, he also had some from his earlier days. Anyways, after learning how to play I have realized this is a really fun game, but I am just at the cusp of understanding it. Is there anybody else who has played Magic? What would you suggest to better understand the game? If it helps, I'm 17 and I think I got these cards when I was about 11, so they are from around... 2001?
    "On-base percentage is great if you can score runs and do something with that on-base percentage," Baker said. "Clogging up the bases isn't that great to me."

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    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Magic: The Gathering

    I played in middle school for two years or so, so that was about 11-12 years ago (man I am getting old fast). Honestly, with the internet at your fingertips I would suggest finding some websites and do some reading. Play a bunch and I am sure you will learn more as you go along.

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    Re: Magic: The Gathering

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    I played in middle school for two years or so, so that was about 11-12 years ago (man I am getting old fast). Honestly, with the internet at your fingertips I would suggest finding some websites and do some reading. Play a bunch and I am sure you will learn more as you go along.
    I have tried this, but man its really hard to follow what they are saying because there are so many cards and it is so complex...
    "On-base percentage is great if you can score runs and do something with that on-base percentage," Baker said. "Clogging up the bases isn't that great to me."

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    Re: Magic: The Gathering

    Have any friends who are a bit more experienced than you?

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    Re: Magic: The Gathering

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Have any friends who are a bit more experienced than you?
    nah... we all just collected the cards for the pictures... kinda like pokemon
    "On-base percentage is great if you can score runs and do something with that on-base percentage," Baker said. "Clogging up the bases isn't that great to me."

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    Re: Magic: The Gathering

    I don't know what pokemon was all about.... that was well past my age group when it came out. I know that there was a MTG video game at one time. Maybe tracking it down would help you understand the game a little more. I haven't played the game in probably 8 years, so I don't really have much to offer in terms of what things mean/do or even where the game has gone since then.

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    GR8NESS WMR's Avatar
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    Re: Magic: The Gathering

    Wikipedia it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Irony View Post
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    Re: Magic: The Gathering

    I'm 17, you can have all of my Magic cards, I ran into them the other day..
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    Titanic Struggles Caveat Emperor's Avatar
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    Re: Magic: The Gathering

    Wow... I had a ton of Magic cards when I was in junior high. I guess that would've been about the same time as you, doug -- 11 or 12 years ago.

    I think they're all in a box somewhere in my basement. Probably next to the POGs and the Hootie & The Blowfish CDs.
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    Re: Magic: The Gathering

    Well I've got the basics of gameplay down, but whats the proper way to make a deck? It seems like some of my cards are really basic (apparently from a base set) with a white background and then some have a black background...
    "On-base percentage is great if you can score runs and do something with that on-base percentage," Baker said. "Clogging up the bases isn't that great to me."

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    Churlish Johnny Footstool's Avatar
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    Re: Magic: The Gathering

    You want to design your deck so that you can play a card on each turn, including the first. You want a lot of small creatures, a few big ones, and two or three ways to keep your opponent from attacking you (artifacts, counterspells, etc.). It's a good idea to make a 50 card deck with 18 lands, 10 small creatures, 7 big creatures, 5 artifacts, 5 protection/dispell cards, and 5 offensive spells. Always use 2 different colors in your deck. And remember not to include more than 4 of any one card -- it's against the rules.

    BTW - Yes, I've played before.
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    Re: Magic: The Gathering

    Quote Originally Posted by *BaseClogger* View Post
    Well I've got the basics of gameplay down, but whats the proper way to make a deck? It seems like some of my cards are really basic (apparently from a base set) with a white background and then some have a black background...
    Just from different sets thats all. It all depends on what kind of deck you want to build. I know there are websites out there that will tell you what cards to use to build your decks and what kind of things they can accomplish with the deck itself. I used to use some of the websites around to help me build specific decks, I assume there has to be sites out there still just like it.

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    Re: Magic: The Gathering

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Footstool View Post
    You want to design your deck so that you can play a card on each turn, including the first. You want a lot of small creatures, a few big ones, and two or three ways to keep your opponent from attacking you (artifacts, counterspells, etc.). It's a good idea to make a 50 card deck with 18 lands, 10 small creatures, 7 big creatures, 5 artifacts, 5 protection/dispell cards, and 5 offensive spells. Always use 2 different colors in your deck. And remember not to include more than 4 of any one card -- it's against the rules.

    BTW - Yes, I've played before.
    This was very helpful--thank you. Always 2 colors? Which colors do you suggest?
    "On-base percentage is great if you can score runs and do something with that on-base percentage," Baker said. "Clogging up the bases isn't that great to me."

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    Churlish Johnny Footstool's Avatar
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    Re: Magic: The Gathering

    Quote Originally Posted by *BaseClogger* View Post
    This was very helpful--thank you. Always 2 colors? Which colors do you suggest?
    Yes, always 2 colors. One-color decks can be negated with just a few cards. Three-color decks are too unwieldy -- you never seem to get the right colors in your hand.

    As for which combinations work best, it depends on the cards you own. I haven't played in 10 years, but I remember having good luck with red and green decks. I'd use a bunch of red attack spells like lightning bolt and fireball, plus some small red creatures to use as cannon fodder. On the green side, I'd use a bunch of those elves that give you an extra land, plus a handful of the larger green creatures.
    "I prefer books and movies where the conflict isn't of the extreme cannibal apocalypse variety I guess." Redsfaithful

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    Member SteelSD's Avatar
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    Re: Magic: The Gathering

    Quote Originally Posted by *BaseClogger* View Post
    I bought a bunch of these cards when I was younger but I never learned how to play the game. A friend and I were going through my card collection, and he recognized them. Turned out, he also had some from his earlier days. Anyways, after learning how to play I have realized this is a really fun game, but I am just at the cusp of understanding it. Is there anybody else who has played Magic? What would you suggest to better understand the game? If it helps, I'm 17 and I think I got these cards when I was about 11, so they are from around... 2001?
    Heh.

    I hold two Magic the Gathering State Championships and multiple top 8 and top 4 finishes. I've played in a ton of Pro Tour qualifiers and have played against pro players in Minneapolis during the last Grand Prix held there. I'll also be competing in MTG Regionals again later this spring. That tourney allows for Nationals slots for the top players so I'll be playtesting hard with my team over the next couple of months. I've spent thousands of dollars on this game, but I've won thousands of dollars as well by playing it. Just depends on how serious you are about winning.

    So I'm your huckleberry.

    Here's the best Magic the Gathering website out there:

    http://magic.tcgplayer.com/

    Here's another website where you can download a program called Apprentice and add every MTG virtual card ever created (it's free) for online play against real live opponents:

    http://magic-league.com/

    Johnny is giving you good feedback, except that a tourney-legal deck is a minumum of 60 cards. His four of any one card maximum is in effect for current standard play. He's right in that you want enough low-cost cards that you can play something on every turn, but the power of each card comes into play as well.

    Just because a card costs less mana than another, that doesn't mean it's a better option for your deck. If you want a fast and consistent deck you want is a collection of 60 cards that can inflict maxim damage within the first five turns of the game. If you're looking for a deck that denies resources (cards, creatures, etc.) then you'll need cheap early-turn kill and/or counter spells followed by medium-to-large creatures your opponent can't easily remove.

    In short, you need to figure our your plan, find the best cards for their mana cost, and then commit to a strategy that maximizes deck efficiency. And considering that you'll be shuffling, you'll also want to keep only the good starting hands that fit your strategy and throw the rest back to a mulligan. Each mulligan you take means you draw one less card. The major issue I see with mulligans is too few land. If you're playing a 60-card deck and have a ton of low-mana spells, you should be playing at least 23 land. If your mana curve is a bit higher or if you really want a chance at casting spells that are five mana or higher, you need 24 or even 25 land. That's easy to do considering the amount of potentially dangerous land (stuff that can turn into creatures) in this cycle.

    The best advice I can give you at this point is to find your play style. There are the following card colors:

    White (small creatures, some creature control, enchantment kill, and some lifegain)

    Blue (counterspells, bounce, card drawing, playing things on your opponent's turn)

    Black (opponent discard, life loss for effect, creature control)

    Red (direct damage, fast small creatures, some artifact kill, more direct damage)

    Green (big creatures for good costs, mana development, some lifegain, enchantment and artifact kill)

    Multi-color (some fatties and under-costed stuff but for different and sometimes off-color mana)

    Artifacts (generally crap except for Pithing Needle and Loxodon Warhammer)

    Land (Basics that you'll need to cast stuff, and some lands you can turn into creatures in every color)

    Right now the standard format is up in the air. There are a lot of viable competitive decks. Go to the second link I gave you and click on "Decks" on the left. Right now, Blue/White, Green/White/Black, and mono-Red seem to be the decks to beat given the right cards, but that can change on a moment's notice given the environment.

    If you just want to play for fun, then remember- 60 cards, maximum two colors, and make sure you have at least 23 land. And don't get all giddy about huge creatures because they always cost more.

    Good luck and have fun!
    Last edited by SteelSD; 03-05-2008 at 12:15 AM.
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