Evaluating Card Draw

Back in Alpha, there was a well-known cycle of instants with a casting cost of one and they all gave you three point of something. Healing Salve is much derided (rightly so) as being very weak, while Giant Growth still sees some constructed play when legal in Standard, Dark Ritual is now way too powerful to see its way back into Standard (the effect is now in red, pulled back into sorcery territory and the rate you get is much worse), and Lightning Strike is a cornerstone of the format in both Modern and Legacy. These were all common. And then there was Ancestral Recall. One mana, draw three cards. Jury is still out on whether Recall or the iconic Black Lotus is the most powerful card in the game. Recall was also (rightfully) rare.

Since then drawing spells have been nerfed. Recall just went into every deck that could possibly play it. If a deck couldn’t play it, you were probably doing something wrong. Since then things have become more complicated.

Continue reading

Deck Types: Midrange

In order to make their game more approachable to new players and to keep the game fresher, Wizards’ R&D began to emphasize creatures over spells. This has been good for the game, as now those cards that appeal to new players are actually good, and not just heartbreaking as they are easily dispatched or countered as they used to be.

Continue reading

Deck Types: Aggro

There’s an old article from last millenium by Mike Flores called Who’s the Beatdown?, which is still available on SCG.com. Its about assignment of who is the beatdown and who is the control and what can result from not understanding this.

What I’m talking about today, are the decks that want to be the beatdown in most situations.

Continue reading

Very Basics of Deckbuilding

There’s plenty of daily strategy content on the Mothership, Star City Games, Channel Fireball, and other places. However, those are targeted at people, who are generally not that interested in deckbuilding, and who are fairly familiar with the game. Here I’m going for the beginner audience.

Continue reading

Starting MtG

Updated on 2015-11-02
Updated on 2017-05-17 with more names for the psychographics

This question was brought up in our forums recently. It was pretty off-handed and the ensueing discussion wasn’t really indepth, but it made me think. What do I have for the starting player?

First, I’m not going to talk about the rules. I’m sure there’s plenty of places for that. The Mothership (DailyMtG) has its own material. I’m going to emphasize your approach to games in general.

The thing about Magic is that it can be daunting to start. Not only is the game pretty complex (although a lot of work has been done to make it more beginner friendly and your usual games don’t necessarily delve that deeply into the finer points of the rules), but there’s also so many different products and formats, they will discourage many. And then there’s the question of money… Which we’ll get into later.

Continue reading