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Other Gaming => Family & All Other Gaming => Topic started by: bob48 on January 25, 2019, 05:10:20 PM

Title: MtG
Post by: bob48 on January 25, 2019, 05:10:20 PM
Anyone still play MtG at all?
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: BanzaiCat on January 25, 2019, 07:53:38 PM
Oh, Bawb. Bawb, Bawb, Bawb.

Please don't tell us you have been sucked into the never-ending black hole of MtG... ;D
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: bayonetbrant on January 25, 2019, 08:17:11 PM
Bison was a regular player
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: bob48 on January 26, 2019, 06:23:16 AM
Bison was a regular player

Yes he was indeed.

We (me and the missus)  played a lot, years ago, and still have maybe 1000 cards up to 8th edition, but we haven't played it for a long time. I would be quite happy to play it again to be honest, as the 'base game is really not that bad.

I did play the online game a bit but found that to be a lot less enjoyable.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: bob48 on January 26, 2019, 06:34:06 AM
Oh, Bawb. Bawb, Bawb, Bawb.

Please don't tell us you have been sucked into the never-ending black hole of MtG... ;D

Cough cough (Axis and Allies Zombies) cough! cough!
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: mirth on January 26, 2019, 09:27:40 AM
 I have a good friend who is a hard core MTG player, but I have managed to avoid it.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: bob48 on January 26, 2019, 09:58:09 AM
MD is (or was) a player and has (or had)  a large collection of cards.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: BanzaiCat on January 26, 2019, 07:29:53 PM
I played it quite a bit when I was a paramedic. One of my partners got me hooked on it. He knew a little card shop that sold them cheap so I bought quite a few over about a year. I then went to San Antonio for a convention and saw a buddy of mine that worked at the mall attached to my hotel (he worked at the IMAX theater in the projection booth). I brought my deck because he had one too, and he utterly and thoroughly destroyed me. That's when I learned you could spend serious $$$ on that damn game. He had a LOT of expensive cards in a huge book. I washed my hands of the game at that point...no way I was going to spend tons of dough on it.

Gee, good thing I learned to not spend a lot of money on games.  ;)
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: bob48 on January 27, 2019, 05:46:07 AM
I agree that it would be easy to get carried away by it from a collecting point of view, but that applies to lots of hobbies, including board games!
However, its also possible to to enjoy the game without buying every new addition and trying to complete collection unless that is what a person likes to do. The point is that since the core rules are pretty stable, you can play it without needing all the new stuff and with 'old' edition cards.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Metaldog on February 17, 2019, 06:16:23 PM
I got in at the beginning.  Around '93.  It was a review by Rick Swan in Dragon Magazine that did it.  There was a minis shop that sold some RPG stuff in town.  I went down there looking for MtG cards.  He said he'd never heard of them.  I gave him the Wizards of the Coast order information.  Couple weeks later, he had them in and I bought my first two decks and 10 boosters.  I was hooked!!  Actively collected through Ice Ages and lost interest after that.  I've picked up a few boxes over the years since and inherited a couple thousand from a friend, but, I don't play.  My regular playing partner left the house when my daughter moved in with her boyfriend.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: bayonetbrant on February 17, 2019, 07:17:46 PM
I started with 3rd Ed (revised) and gave up around Mirage.  I was an active member of the MtG-L listserv run by WotC in the mid-90s, and showed up in the occasional Duelist magazine being quoted in an article here or there.

After Mirage, I just lost interest in collecting, and my playing community had dwindled.

I played a LOT of different CCGs, though.  I had a bunch of ME:tW, Echelons, Guardians, and others.  LOVED the Mechwarrior CCG.  Somewhere around the late-90s I pivoted back to reading a lot of RPG stuff and stopped with the card games, and never really missed them until my son showed some interest.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Metaldog on February 17, 2019, 09:02:19 PM
I have a couple thousand Battletech CCG cards.  I was developing some campaign rules for it, but, I didn't have enough Clan cards to draw from.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: bbmike on February 17, 2019, 09:18:31 PM
Never played it. I have the Steam version though.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: JasonPratt on February 18, 2019, 01:31:42 PM
The current Steam Magic Duels system is pretty handy. It arbitrates the rules, looks sharp, tutorials are helpful (except when they temporarily break ;) ), cost-efficient for the return -- you can get a lot of stuff for free if you play competently, and the full tutorial system gives LOTS of credit for new players to spend on booster packs. I think by now a new player could get all the cards of one set for free by completing all the tutorial campaigns.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Bison on March 01, 2019, 09:16:56 PM
Bison was a regular player

I still do indeed but I really only play two ways these days. Commander with several pre-constructed decks. Well balanced against each other and an economical way to play.

Mostly I mess around with my pauper cube. Here’s a link to my current cube list. http://www.cubetutor.com/viewcube/87746
It’s all common cards so outside of a dozen cards over $1 most cards are 10 cents or less. The 800 sleeves cost more than the cards. Anyway cube is great because you can just use the cards you have to play draft or a “sealed” constructed game. Look up Winston draft. It is a Richard Garfield designed draft for two players. Works really well and is a ton of fun. A thousand cards is 100s of hours of drafting  and sealed fun.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Metaldog on March 02, 2019, 10:20:45 AM
Bison, my man!  Good to see you, brother!!
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Bison on March 02, 2019, 12:16:58 PM
Bison, my man!  Good to see you, brother!!
Thanks MD.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: bob48 on April 24, 2019, 08:58:34 AM
MtG Collection

I also resurrected by collection details on 'Deckbox', and found that I have 4 cards worth over $16 each!
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Bison on April 24, 2019, 07:21:54 PM
IIRC the battle royale set included a reprint of Land Tax. It is desired for several formats but especially nice in commander. 

I always enjoying discovering a lost treasure like that even if I have no real need for a deck.

My favorite art ever is Illusory Angel. Pretty meh card but I love it and forced it into several decks just because. It’s the joy of being a lover of janky cards. Put stuff in a deck and spend the night answering “why?”
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: bob48 on April 25, 2019, 06:00:39 AM
IIRC the battle royale set included a reprint of Land Tax. It is desired for several formats but especially nice in commander. 

I always enjoying discovering a lost treasure like that even if I have no real need for a deck.

My favorite art ever is Illusory Angel. Pretty meh card but I love it and forced it into several decks just because. It’s the joy of being a lover of janky cards. Put stuff in a deck and spend the night answering “why?”

Yep, I do have Land Tax, which, according to Deckbox, is currently worth $27.51!
Deckbox is a really useful (free) utility. It says that I currently have 977 cards (although I suspect there may be a few I missed when cataloguing the collection).and has a average current value of $505 if all cards are in 'near mint' condition, which they are.

Not included in that picture, I also have the Sixth Edition Core Set.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Bison on April 25, 2019, 07:26:54 PM
Six Edition is a really good set. Lots of value in the mythic and rares. The problem of course is unless you directly sell on eBay, you won’t get the actual value. In the states you’re lucky to get about 40% value. Everyone uses tcgplayer as the buy-sell price guide. Most common and uncommon are treated as bulk so pennies for a trade. One store I talked to paid 25 cents per inch. So a five inch stack of cards would net you a whopping $1.25. Maybe a little more if you take store credit.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: bob48 on April 26, 2019, 04:59:34 AM
 Interesting, although to be candid, I only checked values out of curiosity since I really do not intend to sell them. Now if I could just stumble on a Black Lotus..........
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Bison on April 26, 2019, 08:29:09 AM
I don’t sell cards either. I just slowly acquire them and futilely try to keep them organized. I have one smaller box of cards l want to pass along.  When I was drafting regularly, I tended to pick and play the same cards because I found winning builds at FLGS. Now it’s just too many duplicates. So I’m  just going to give them to a friends boys. They will think they are cool because they are from sets they haven’t played.

Title: Re: MtG
Post by: bob48 on April 26, 2019, 08:36:41 AM
The cost of older sets, if you can find them, are prohibitive - I may have to start buying newer ones!

Also, I just made a few card boxes out of thin card - very easy to do although they do look a bit...baroque.......:-)

......yes I know: cheapskate.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Bison on April 26, 2019, 02:09:25 PM
The new core set should be out end of the summer. I really like core sets. Mechanics tend to be the streamlined evergreen types like trample, flying, reach, +1 counters etc...as a result the cards tend to play better with a mix of more previous sets. Sometimes you get mechanics that don't transfer well outside of their specific blocks. For example, the new energy mechanic is really only in two sets Kaladesh and Aether Revolt.

 I'm on the hook for some of the next set pre-releasing this weekend. Planeswalkers are expanding to uncommon cards, so more choices and easier to get. The kids love planeswalkers so we will be buying some product. Just not sure what or how much just yet. 
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: bob48 on April 26, 2019, 02:47:54 PM
Yup - I've been looking at the new core set. Tempting!
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Bison on April 26, 2019, 09:38:50 PM
I like Core 2019. It’s the set I’m using to teach the second oldest how to build decks. We bought a booster box and still have over half of it sealed. It seems expensive at first but compared to other hobbies or outings it’s actually pretty reasonable. We each start with six packs to build our decks and add a new pack to our pool every week or two. So we will get many evenings of gaming over the course of several months from one box.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: bob48 on April 27, 2019, 04:46:28 AM
I recently came across the notes for a campaign system that I had worked out several years ago. It's actually quite good although we didn't get to play test it fully.

I may resorect this project.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Bison on April 29, 2019, 10:10:43 AM
We upgraded our decks a little bit this weekend with some War of the Spark cards. I'm not a huge fan of planeswalkers but there's no going back now. It'll be interesting to see whether they come to dominate standard and have more impact on modern.

What WotC got correct is the appeal of opening planeswalkers to many players especially the younger crowd. 
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: bob48 on April 29, 2019, 10:25:14 AM
I'm actually quite interested in the Ravnica  Deck Builders Toolkit. Seems to offer a lot at a decent price. We have to go into Newcastle tomorrow so, time permitting, we'll nip into Forbidden Planet and see if they have it in stock.

https://forbiddenplanet.com/posts/pictures-video-our-newcastle-megastore-opening-day/
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Bison on April 29, 2019, 10:33:24 AM
Ravnica is a good block. They may also have the core 2019 or Ixalan deck builders.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: bob48 on April 29, 2019, 10:55:37 AM
I'll let you know what I come back with :-)
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Bison on April 29, 2019, 11:02:42 PM
I'm excited for you and Mrs. Bob. Ignore the naysayers and sling some new spells brother!
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: bob48 on May 01, 2019, 06:24:09 AM
So, we visited the three shops that sell Mtg and they had all sold out of the set I had decided on; M19 Deck Builder Toolkit. It seems that there has been a run on a lot of sets before 'Spark' arrives. Nice to know that the MtG gaming scene is so healthy.

Therefore, I ordered it on amazon (at a slightly cheaper price, I may add) and it arrives on Friday.  :bigthumb:
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Bison on May 01, 2019, 08:20:42 PM
I like the choice. Core sets are a great way to get back into the game. You should easily be able to build two decks to play against each other with the deck builders box. Good mix of colors and spells plus a 100 land pack.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Bison on May 16, 2019, 09:33:47 PM
How are the new cards Bob?

I’ve build a few different decks this week.

A green white knight deck. Basically spam board with 2/2 knights play some enchantments or combat tricks to add a +2/+2 or +3/+3 with trample. Have some Pegasus to give the knights flying and a hand full of control cards to manage the board state.

The other deck is a blue black. Basic concept is to take life from the opponent when I gain life or cause my opponent to discard a card. Through in some remove for good measure and it’s an annoying control deck. In concept it works but it’s been pretty inconsistent in its first few plays.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Metaldog on May 20, 2019, 11:51:32 PM
I don't think I've bought any cards since Ice Ages.  Since my daughter moved in with her bf and my son moved away, i don't have anyone to play with.  It's a great game.  Amazing to think the 30th anniversary isn't but a few years away.  As soon as I read Rick Swan's review in Dragon Magazine in '93, I knew I had to play this game.  And I was right.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Bison on May 26, 2019, 06:53:32 AM
I don't think I've bought any cards since Ice Ages.  Since my daughter moved in with her bf and my son moved away, i don't have anyone to play with.  It's a great game.  Amazing to think the 30th anniversary isn't but a few years away.  As soon as I read Rick Swan's review in Dragon Magazine in '93, I knew I had to play this game.  And I was right.

The best low cost way to play is Commander (don't get me wrong people buy and play expensive cards). However, a pre-constructed deck with $20 in upgrades can make it reasonably competitive and fun. Most game stores have people casually playing commander nightly. The players are also usually accommodating to new/returning players. MtG really can be a low cost hobby. A $40 pre-con deck plus low cost upgrades when you can afford to or want to make them is literally 100s of hours of game play at the table.

A few years ago I bought a bundle deal with five pre-con commander decks for Christmas and sleeved them up. The family and I have played those decks unmodified at the table for about 4 or 5 years now. There are very few hobbies that a single purchase produces years of enjoyment. The only other non-RPG game to produce the same replayability at my table has been Dominion with a couple of expansions.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Bison on May 26, 2019, 07:46:43 AM
A couple of really good online resources for MtG.

https://scryfall.com/ - A great site to follow set releases or look up cards. The best part is every card has a rulings section.
https://edhrec.com/ - THE site for all things commander, aka elder dragon highlander (EDH) the original name.
https://www.mtgassist.com/index.php - Do not have the funds or desire to spend $$$$ on a card. This site helps you find cheap alternatives or similar cards in other colors.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: bob48 on May 26, 2019, 11:19:04 AM
How are the new cards Bob?

I’ve build a few different decks this week.

A green white knight deck. Basically spam board with 2/2 knights play some enchantments or combat tricks to add a +2/+2 or +3/+3 with trample. Have some Pegasus to give the knights flying and a hand full of control cards to manage the board state.

The other deck is a blue black. Basic concept is to take life from the opponent when I gain life or cause my opponent to discard a card. Through in some remove for good measure and it’s an annoying control deck. In concept it works but it’s been pretty inconsistent in its first few plays.

Some good cards in the M19 core set, Bison. I'm experimenting with 'weenie' decks right now.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Bison on May 27, 2019, 11:37:05 AM
Very cool. I just realized they do not randomize the deck builders toolkits anymore beyond the four sealed packs. I guess I understand the logic. It lets them give a better "how to build" template if everyone has the same card pool. The only downside is not too many multiples so lots of variance in the decks. They really could have provided two or three copies of a few more cards. Personally I like singleton formats which is how I built my cube and of course commander is a singleton format too. There is only one solution Bob. BUILD A CUBE!  :D
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: bob48 on May 27, 2019, 12:24:15 PM
A CUBE, you say?...........................mwhahahaha.............

I also tend to build singleton decks, but my current weenie (white + blue) deck does include a few copies of recruitment cards. One of the downsides I find with weenie decks is that you can quickly deplete your hand, so recruitment cards are a must.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Bison on May 29, 2019, 11:16:54 AM
Absolutely build a cube and play Winston draft. It’s great way expand the life of a collection with many single cards. Just make sure your colors are generally balanced by having the same number of cards. There’s more tricks to balancing but just doing that makes any cube playable.

Lots of time building a cube so if your interested I can give you some tips. Also https://www.cubetutor.com is a great site to see how others build cubes. I look at not the specific cards (because I don’t have them or want to spend $$$$ on power cards) but how people typically balance creatures and non-creature spells between the colors.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: bob48 on May 29, 2019, 11:32:35 AM
Good stuff! Thank's Bison.

MtG activity temporarily suspended, as GBACW 'Twin Peaks - The Battles of Cedar Mountain and South Mountain'' arrived today :-)
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: mirth on May 29, 2019, 11:41:01 AM
GBACW 'Twin Peaks - The Battles of Cedar Mountain and South Mountain'' arrived today :-)

A proper game.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Bison on May 29, 2019, 11:58:09 AM
I weep for you.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: BanzaiCat on May 29, 2019, 12:16:31 PM
How many meeples in that one?  :hehe:
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: mirth on May 29, 2019, 12:41:35 PM
How many meeples in that one?  :hehe:

Zombie Meeples, you'll love it.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: BanzaiCat on May 29, 2019, 01:41:07 PM
What a rotten thing to say.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Bison on July 07, 2019, 07:27:36 PM
Well the two oldest and I attended the Magic 2020 core set pre-release today. I really, really like the set especially in a limited format where auras and equipment matter. The oldest placed fourth 2-1-1. I placed sixth 1-1-2. And the second oldest placed eighth 1-2-1. Not too shabby but I spent 25 minutes of my 30 minutes deck construction time helping the youngest. What do you do to build a deck in 5 minutes? Slam two colors together count out 24 cards add 16 lands evenly divided and then play and pray. Great time with the kids.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: bayonetbrant on July 07, 2019, 07:37:40 PM
how long 'til the twins are old enough for you guys to just hold your own tournaments?
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Bison on July 07, 2019, 07:39:44 PM
About four years.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Bison on July 07, 2019, 07:42:01 PM
My goal is to take all top eight places at a tournament.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: bob48 on July 08, 2019, 06:55:24 AM
Just been looking at the M2020 core set. There is some interesting stuff in there.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: mirth on July 08, 2019, 08:53:59 AM
My goal is to take all top eight places at a tournament.

The Bison Bunch. Fear them.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Bison on July 18, 2019, 07:17:05 PM
Currently designing cubes 3 and 4. It’s an addiction really.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: bob48 on July 19, 2019, 06:39:03 AM
And, when you start doing stuff like, the hours just evaporate.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Bison on July 19, 2019, 08:24:06 AM
And my wallet cries out in agony and the wife mutters something...most likely words of love...in my general direction.

Me: I need a Kitchen Finks....

Wife: I don’t like the faucet fixture either

Me: I know the balance is all off...I need to fix this

Wife: Want to go to the hardware store?

Me: sure, why?

Wife: To fix the sink...

Me: I didn’t know Home Depot sold Magic cards...

Wife: .......

Title: Re: MtG
Post by: bob48 on July 19, 2019, 11:08:17 AM
^ROFL  ;D
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Bison on July 30, 2019, 08:15:41 PM
The peasant cube is complete for now. Still need to do a little more testing but I’ve basically exhausted the sets I limited the cards to. So I’ll need to slowly add cards from other sets. It can be a hassle to balance the colors. Right now I need to give green a little more love and consider dropping a control card or three from white, blue, and black. The challenge is replacing them with combat tricks that will not always being last pick side board cards.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: bob48 on July 31, 2019, 07:39:20 AM
I suspect that have ignored sideboards too much. I need to think about being more constructive in that respect.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Bison on August 01, 2019, 04:10:17 AM
Side boarding is interesting but really only comes into play in best of three games where there is a degree of uncertainty about your opponents deck.

In limited, your side board is the cards you drafted or opened but did not select to be the 22-24 playable in your forty card deck. So in draft, which is how I usually play my cube, you have around 21-23 “side board cards” not all of which are in the colors you are playing. So even fewer cards. Designing a cube, what I don’t want is a handful of cards always taken last and put in the side board. They are situational good sometimes, but usually never played. Ideally every card is desirable but that is hard to achieve if not impossible. For example I’d try to never make a cube slot for a 2/2 for 2 mana creature. It’s filler and unplayable. Anyway, it’s hard to know the dead cards because different people and groups prefer different things. I love counter and bounce spells. But in my 540 card peasant (commons and uncommon only) cube, of the 38 or so blue non-creature spells I want a mix to include combat tricks like cannot be blocked or +1/+1 and flying. So control spells like counter or bounce might be 1/2 or a little more. The reason is to try and ensure some are pulled in every pack but not every spell is counter spells.. Variance a jerk however. It’s tricky.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Metaldog on May 15, 2020, 09:11:22 PM
Necro Resurrecto!

Any Arena players here?  A few months back, I taught my D&D group Magic.  Two of them jumped in with both feet and in looking for all things Magic, they stumbled across a free browser based game called Arena.  I was skeptical about downloading it, but,  once I did, holy smokes was I glad!  It's just fantastic!!  You start with several tutorials, all mono decks versus the AI.  As you progress, you open more decks.  I forget how many, but, after you get six or so, the tutorial is over.  Then, it's time to jump in to live duels.

The options to play are varied.  You can enter draft tournaments, play one offs or best of threes, ranked matches or just for fun.  The card selection is outstanding.  The current sets that are legal, War of the Spark, Ravnica, Ixalan, Core 2019, the new set, Ixoria, and maybe a few more as well as Historical sets can be collected and played.  You can spend real money to seed your collection or power up and (try to) dominate.  You can also go the free route and grind.  Every day you have a task, cast 20 Black or Green spells, Destroy 25 of your opponents creatures, etc.  You get coins and XP for completing the day's task.  Coins can be used to purchase Boosters and entry into tournaments and XP unlocks a new prize for every 1000 earned.  The prizes range from more coins to single cards to whole Boosters.  Plus, there are daily rewards for wins as well as bigger bonuses for winning 15 matches in a week.

The three things that make this truly great are

1) All the cards you collect, you keep.  Yes, it's digital.  And I get the tactile pleasure of shuffling and playing cards.  But, the pure joy of having a bunch of cards to choose from to build any kind of deck you want is still there.

2) You can build any kind of deck you have the cards for.  That's right, full control of how your deck is built.  White or red weenie, blue/black denial, green Trample deck.  Whatever your collection can bear.

3) The community is super active.  I rarely have to wait more than 15 seconds to find a match.  The ranking system has 6 Levels (Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, and Mythic) and four Tiers in each level.  You are matched within the same Level, so, if you are a Tier 3 Gold, you will be matched with another Gold player regardless of Tier.

There is so much more I could go on about.  The duels allow you to Mulligan your starting hand if you choose to.  Once you start, it plays out exactly how you would play if you were face to face.  Cards go into the field of play and are resolved as they should be.  It's great to have someone else keep track of your +1/+1 counters or damage taken during Upkeep or whatever mechanic is in force.  The duel plays out until there is a winner and then you can go find a new match!

A really neat thing about this is, opening Boosters gains you 'Wild Cards.'  Six Boosters opened gets you a Common Wild Card.  12, an Uncommon.  18 is a Rare and 24 is a Mythic.  A Common Wild Card can be traded for ANY Common card in ANY set in the Arena game.  Same for Uncommon and so on up the line.  Plus, opening Boosters may net you a Wild Card, too.

I can't stress enough how awesome this game is.  All the cards and opponents you could ever want.  Play any type of Deck you can construct.  And yes, Bison, they have Commander cards.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: bob48 on May 16, 2020, 06:46:24 AM
I may need to look at this again  :bigthumb:
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: bbmike on May 16, 2020, 08:32:18 AM
Interesting. The wife and I received started sets for Christmas. Might be a good way to start learning.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Metaldog on May 16, 2020, 10:33:51 AM
^If you have a FLGS, I would just about bet they have a Magic presence there.  You can go down and watch matches being played and ask questions.  It's a great game.  The strategy of putting together a winning deck and the tactics used to play it out make it hard to beat.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: bob48 on May 16, 2020, 02:46:40 PM
MtG is still an excellent game and a lot of fun, despite the kicks it gets on occasions.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Metaldog on May 16, 2020, 03:08:17 PM
I have quite literally played 100s of duels in the last two months.  The things I have come away with are:

1) Deck design is critical.  There should never be a time where you draw a card and you simply can't use it in the current game situation.  It's ok if you can't play it until you get enough mana to cast it, but, you should still be able to find it useful.

2) Overly fidgety combos should be avoided.  Unless you have a way to get to the cards needed for the combo in a quick, direct, manner.  Otherwise, combos that need a chain of cards to operate well should be avoided.

3)  You are always at the mercy of the draw.  I can't tell you how many promising opening hands I have seen go in the tank from too much or not enough of the right cards.  A perfect example from last night, I had four mana and three creatures.  The creatures would have built up, when played, into several more token creatures and bonuses to power and toughness.  I played the first card and my opponent killed it.  I put out the second card, my opponent killed that, too.  Still, all was not lost.  The creature that created more creatures was third and it didn't die.  Then, I drew nine mana in a row.  Nothing wrong with the deck design, just a run of bad luck.

4)  There are few things as satisfying as watching the core design of your deck run smoothly.  Again from last night, I am playing a Red/White token Weenie deck.  There is a White spell that makes all new token creatures into 4/4 Serra Angels.  There is another card that creates a number of token creatures equal to your White mana in the field of play.  I put that combo into play, along with the large number of creatures I already had, and it was glorious!  My opponent quickly conceded and I took the battlefield!  So, yeah, it's pretty neat when that shit happens.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: bob48 on May 16, 2020, 03:14:24 PM
Some great advice there, MD. Weenie decks can be really effective because you almost always have enough mana to play at least one card, and chipping away at your opponent is a lot of fun :-)
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Metaldog on May 29, 2020, 07:29:41 PM
The Cube is coming!  The Cube is coming!  Starting June 12, MtG:Arena is offering a Cube Draft.  The first entry is free, then it looks like a 4000 Gold or 600 Gem entry.  The bad news is, it's a "phantom," draft.  Which means that the cards will not be added to your collection.  The good news is (looking at you, Bison), IT'S A CUBE DRAFT!  I've never done a Cube.  And I suck at drafting.  But I will give it a go.  More info at the link:

https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/magic-digital/mtg-arena-state-game-may-2020-05-19
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: bbmike on May 29, 2020, 07:36:46 PM
There was one?
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: bob48 on May 30, 2020, 06:53:27 AM
I'd actually never heard of it before Bison mentioned it a while back. I've not tried it, but I did read up on it.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Metaldog on May 30, 2020, 09:48:24 AM
I hadn't either until Bison mentioned it.  I was trying to catch his attention.  Or yours.  Get you excited about Arena.  It really is just about anything you could want in a digital Magic game.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: bob48 on May 30, 2020, 11:02:21 AM
Yeah, I'm going to have another look at it.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Bison on May 30, 2020, 09:02:29 PM
I played Arena when it first came out but current circumstances prevented me from continuing to play. My thoughts on Arena are generally positive.  It provides means for isolated players (I'm not talking about the currently forced isolation but those who lack a regular playgroup) and those constrained by finances to play and enjoy the game.

Adding a cube format to Arena is very cool. It's a popular format on MTG online too. My favorite in paper MTG as I've said previously. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes drafting or constructed.

The issue I have with the draft and I suspect cube in Arena is you do not draft against human opponents in your draft pod but an AI system. The cards in your packs are not selected by other players but are done independently of other humans. Each player has their own "pool" of cards which are reduced by an algorithm, which does not evaluate cards as a human player does.  So you'll see cards come back that never would have cycled through in a real draft format. This is really unfortunate. It artificially increases the occurrence of deck consistency and the likelihood of card combinations in a draft environment. However, it's understandable because it removes a lot of restrictions and downtime waiting for a draft cue to fill with players. Despite this, I'm sure it'll be a lot of fun to play. I enjoyed a couple of drafts in the past.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Metaldog on May 30, 2020, 10:05:52 PM
More good news, Bison!  While you can draft against the AI for a lower entry fee, the big drafts are all live and filled with real, live, actual, people!  Three boosters, everyone picks in order, same cards until the pack is gone. 
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Bison on May 30, 2020, 10:24:59 PM
Very cool. It'll be a much better draft experience.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Metaldog on May 30, 2020, 10:55:08 PM
There is a free entry to the Cube Draft so you should check it out.  Limited time offer if I remember arightly.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Metaldog on May 31, 2020, 01:47:25 AM
When you sit down to build a deck do you have something in mind at the start, like a theme or combination that jumps out at you?  Do you seem to go back to a few colors over and over?  If you do, are you constantly using the same core cards or do you look for fresh combos of different cards?
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Bison on May 31, 2020, 03:59:49 AM
If you are referring to drafting whether it's a set or cube, I'd look for a decklist of the cube. There most certainly archetypes for the colors built-in by Wizards. White/Red aggro, Blue Fliers/Control, Green ramp...the archetypes will guidepost the more viable options available. There will also be specific cards that are appealing either due to the power of the card or possible combos for example. I'd look to see if there is an area cube list published on cubecobra.com or cubetutor.com. If there is, you can draft the cube. Not play games but draft packs to build practice decks.

Personally, I often don't do a lot of research pre-draft. I draft the table and go into the open colors. I'm not a professional but I hold my own. Most people you will play are going to net deck the cube and try and force the "best" archetype or combos. It'll happen. Sometimes they get lucky but often that particular archetype will be heavily drafted leaving the "lesser" archetypes open with a better chance of consistency. I also like to experiment and draft cards I find interesting and just try to build a viable deck while experimenting with new cards or trying different combos. Remember. Unlike constructed, odds are you will have a single copy of any one card in your deck. The consistancy is not from playing fewer sets of cards with multiple copies but playing cards with similar effects but less consistancy.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: bob48 on May 31, 2020, 07:51:03 AM
I'm in no way a 'scientific'drafter, but I do like to used cards that I think are interesting or may form a good combo. I still quite favour weenie decks to be honest.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Metaldog on May 31, 2020, 04:31:24 PM
What colors do you like to play?  Which ones do you detest seeing against you?  I favor Red, White, and Black.  Green is ok, Blue is a mystery and a pain in the ass simultaneously.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: bob48 on May 31, 2020, 04:34:35 PM
I can't say I really have any likes or dislikes that I can think of.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Metaldog on May 31, 2020, 04:35:58 PM
You're making it difficult to have a conversation here, bob  :P
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: bob48 on May 31, 2020, 04:39:24 PM
No, seriously. You have got me thinking about it now. On reflection, I think I tend to favour white/green decks with a bit of blue thrown in. I should sir down with my cards again and have another look through. I brought the 2019 deck builders set and really haven't done anything with them much.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Metaldog on May 31, 2020, 06:30:51 PM
I find the more cards I have the more I want to make new decks.  The mechanics that are generally in place for the colors lead me to White/Red/Black pairings far more often.  Lifelink, good bumps and Enchantments, weenie, direct damage, tokens, area control.  Just a lot of synergy there.  But I see the allure of Blue/Green.  The things that burn me up to see when it's played against me: total resource denial, fliers, Trample, +1/+1 counters, powerful Planeswalkers.  I'm just a mess at playing Blue.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: bob48 on May 31, 2020, 06:34:30 PM
lets face it, the combinations you can put together, especially when you have a fairly large collection is, for all intents and purposes, endless. I only have around 1250 cards but even so, I've only scratched the surface of what combinations are possible.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Metaldog on May 31, 2020, 07:39:25 PM
Arena will set you to thinking.  And being able to sort them digitally is a blessing.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: bob48 on June 01, 2020, 08:48:18 AM
I take it then that Arena is nothing like MtG Duels which I have on Steam, or the ordinary MtG on-line?
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: bob48 on June 01, 2020, 02:46:17 PM
I've now downloaded and installed Arena.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Metaldog on June 01, 2020, 02:48:35 PM
I haven't played Duels so I couldn't say.  I know Arena is just like real collecting and dueling with the exception that you don't get to keep your cards in the real world.  But it's just as fun as the real thing.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: bob48 on June 01, 2020, 02:52:24 PM
I'll give it a try and see.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Metaldog on June 01, 2020, 06:12:58 PM
So?  What do you think?
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: bob48 on June 02, 2020, 06:56:05 AM
Not much at present as it keeps locking up - I'll delete it and reinstall it.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Metaldog on June 02, 2020, 07:46:39 PM
Well damn.  I so wanted you to see it and just go head over teakettle for it.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: bob48 on June 03, 2020, 05:57:41 AM
I'll try again later. If I still have a problem, I'll see if they have an help desk.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Metaldog on June 13, 2020, 10:51:45 AM
The Cube Draft is here!  You can log in and look at the cards that will be available to draft.  Just a reminder that you don't get to keep any of them in your collection.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: bob48 on June 13, 2020, 10:52:49 AM
Oh bugger! I'd forgotten about that - I need to reinstall it and see if I can get it running.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Metaldog on June 13, 2020, 02:05:52 PM
I really hope you can, bob.  It's the closest to having a collection of real cards and the ability to construct any deck your cards will allow and a host of opponents at your beck and call that you can get in a game.  And I have played at least three iterations of Magic in a digital format.  Including, incidentally, Duels.  Which I didn't even know I owned until I was in my Steam library and saw that not only did I own it, but, I have played four hours of it.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: bob48 on June 13, 2020, 02:16:15 PM
I think that Duels is a free download anyway. I do seem to remember that you and I played it at least once, quite a while ago though.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Metaldog on June 13, 2020, 02:18:00 PM
That sounds like something we would do  :bigthumb:
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Metaldog on June 17, 2020, 08:55:13 PM
You give it a try yet, bob?  I'd pester Bison, but, he's an infrequent contributor.  Goes with creating your own baseball team. 
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: bob48 on June 18, 2020, 05:40:35 AM
lol - I've had a few issues with Windows 10 since the last up-date, but now there is another one, presubably to fix the one that caused the problem in the first place! I'll try it again though.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Metaldog on June 20, 2020, 10:00:42 PM
Bison, next time you roll through here, I could use some tips on booster draft deckbuilding.  bob, if you've got any, I am all ears.  Anyone else?  Speak up.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Metaldog on June 25, 2020, 11:10:06 PM
Today was the release of the new Core 2021 set on Arena and in stores.  I've had a look at it and it seems good, but, there are a few overpowered cards from the get go.  I turned in a couple of Mythic Rare wild cards in Arena to land two incarnations of the same White Planeswalker, Basri.  He puts a lot of +1/+1 counters on creatures with the more powerful incarnation being able to give all your creatures +2/+2 and Flying for the Turn.  Already won a duel like that this evening.  I suspect the new low cost bot Draft will be 2021.  Or at least I hope it is.  I'll know tomorrow when I log back in.  G'night, folks!
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Bison on June 26, 2020, 09:56:53 AM
Bison, next time you roll through here, I could use some tips on booster draft deckbuilding.  bob, if you've got any, I am all ears.  Anyone else?  Speak up.

Sure. What’s challenging you?
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Metaldog on June 26, 2020, 10:59:19 AM
I suck at it.  I see all the cards and start grabbing ones that look useful and when I get to the end of the third booster, I look at what I picked and there is no symmetry.  The individual cards look good, but, there is nothing that binds them.  So, I guess what I am looking for is, what do you look for when drafting?  Are you looking for combinations?  Do you concentrate on one or two colors from the beginning, or just gather as many good cards as you can and make something work from there?  What is going through your mind when you start the draft and then as you go through it?
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Bison on June 28, 2020, 05:24:05 AM
A couple of quick tips. I have not drafted the current set so I cannot speak to the best cards or archetypes.

1. Do not get anchored to the first pick pack one. Generally, people pick the mythic/rare and try to force the deck to fit it. Be prepared to change your plan if your colors are not coming around with cards to support your plan.

2. If you are not sure what to pick, I tend to pick mana fixing (rare dual lands or artifacts) or colorless (Skyscanner is a good example. 3 Colorless for a 1/1 flier that draws you a card. It can go into every deck). It'll help keep your options open as the first pack plays out. You have two more packs to get playable cards.

3. Until you learn the set and are comfortable drafting, stick with two colors. However, I tend to look at three colors as I'm going because inevitably one color is going to clearly be open. Good cards keeping going around the table. Gauge it by remembering the cards in the first couple of packs you pick from and you pick up the signals from other players.

4. 23 playable cards (13-15 creatures and 8-10 non-creature spells). You can play 22 or 24 and be fine but 23 is what I have found to be the sweet spot. So you need 23 playable cards from the 45 your draft. If you keep it to 2 colors, you should have a nice sideboard. As you get better having one primary color and two other colors to choose from will open up sideboard options. I will routinely totally change my deck if the matchup is bad. Meaning swap out an entire color or add in a splash of a third color if I have the mana fixing to support it.

5. Watch your curve and card advantage. Too many expensive cards (4+) is not good without mana fixing to ramp up to big creatures. The curve should only have  3-4 CMC 1 (always exceptions like shock) and 2-3 CMC 5+ for early game and late game finishers. The bulk should be CMC 2-4. And you want ways to filter through your deck if possible. Blue and black are the norm for draw cards but scry and other effects can help filter your deck too. Be wary of too many aura/enchantments placed on creature cards. I love them but they tend to be bad because it's often a 2-1 card trade to your opponent's advantage. I.e. Turn 3 Cast creature for 3. Turn 4 cast aura to buff for an attack. Opponent counters with a destroy or bounce effect. You spent two turns and two cards for nothing. Now I personally play them because I love me some combat tricks but the instant speed and one turn effects generally payoff better to surprise defend or deal extra damage.

6. Figure out what your win condition is or how you would like to win. This is where set familiarity comes into the strategy. But ultimately if you just have a bunch of cards with no plan of how you are going to win, you most likely will not win.

7. Watch some drafts on youtube. It's a free, easy, and entertaining way to study the format.

I have played one seal constructed on Arena. I went 6-3 but should have gone 7-2. I had my opponent down to 2 life and then drew 7 lands in a row and could not draw any creatures to preserve my health or one of my three shocks to end the game. He was playing a +1/+1 counters deck and was able to buildup four creatures with counters to finish me off. But that is how it goes some times. I really like the set a lot and plan on drafting it at some point in the next couple of days.

Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Metaldog on June 28, 2020, 10:34:45 AM
Thank you, sir, for those valuable insights.  The last two drafts I went Green/White and won twice in each tourney.  Which is good for me. 
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Bison on June 28, 2020, 12:22:27 PM
Green-White is +1/+1 counters, I think, so should be looking for creatures and spells that benefit the archetype.

Scavenging ooze is nice card. The last game I lost last night my opponent had two plus a hydra and the planeswalker Basri Ket. He rolled me once my defenders were gone.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: bob48 on June 28, 2020, 12:30:03 PM
I cant get Arena working for me at all :-(
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Bison on June 28, 2020, 12:38:22 PM
Weird.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: bob48 on June 28, 2020, 12:41:05 PM
Very - it just hangs up on me. I dare say it'll be something simple that I either have done or haven't done.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Bison on June 28, 2020, 12:49:58 PM
Did you do a clean re-install? I had to do a .net install and get a new client due to the latest update.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: bob48 on June 28, 2020, 12:51:52 PM
Good point - and no, I didn't. I'll try that though and see what happens.  :bigthumb:
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Metaldog on June 28, 2020, 03:56:49 PM
Hope it works for you, bob!  It's been a lot of fun these last few months.  Love to have you aboard.

Green-White is +1/+1 counters, I think, so should be looking for creatures and spells that benefit the archetype.

Scavenging ooze is nice card. The last game I lost last night my opponent had two plus a hydra and the planeswalker Basri Ket. He rolled me once my defenders were gone.

It was Vigilance for me.  I had Kaheera Orphanguard as my deck Companion.  Certain types of creatures gain Vigilance and add, "Tap 1 and Tap another creature."  There is a White Enchant Aura that has Flash and gives enchanted creature +1/+1.  But if the creature has Vigilance, then you also get to use your Toughness as your Power when you attack or block.  Most of the time that is a huge advantage.  For instance, you turn a 1/4 White Vigilance creature into a 5/5 with one card.  Pretty sweet, no?
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Bison on June 28, 2020, 07:03:24 PM
This is a really good site to do card research. https://scryfall.com/

I actually pulled both Liliana, Waker of the Dead, and Teferi, Master of Time planeswalkers. But I had no blue cards to really support Teferi, so I played Liliana and red which was the best color in my sealed 6 packs. Turned out well and I made a couple of bonehead decisions in my last game that cost me the 7 victories. I cannot complain because with 6 victories I played the pre-release for free and earned several packs.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Metaldog on June 28, 2020, 07:20:52 PM
That's excellent.  I played the free Cube entry I had.  It was interesting.  I'd do it again.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Bison on July 01, 2020, 05:10:54 PM
Wrapped up the Bison family MTG Core 2021 limited sealed tournament last night. The wife won this years sealed event. We still have a draft tournament to play maybe this weekend.

Pulling cards and organizing a core set only cube to play over the next few months.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Metaldog on July 01, 2020, 06:24:44 PM
Congrats to Mrs. Bison! 

The season ended in Arena yesterday.  I gained a thousand coins and five packs of Core 2021.  I've perused the entire set and I like the direction they are going.  I look forward to the upcoming expansions.  More Mutate!  More +1/+1!!  And how about some damn multicolor!!
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Bison on July 04, 2020, 10:26:39 AM
I have played any Ikora yet but I’m not sure I’m sold on mutate. The overall power creep is getting a bit concerning.

Anyway I like core sets because they are most like the original design. Plus the use evergreen keywords only makes it easy to teach and understand.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Metaldog on July 04, 2020, 11:52:11 AM
For something to have been around for almost thirty years and still be this popular, and remain fresh, is remarkable.  Richard Garfield did an excellent design job.

As for Ikoria, I have played it A LOT!  I didn't cotton to Motivate initially, but, I like it more now.  You can tailor the effect it has on your deck to a high degree.  And yes, there are times it feels overpowered, but, I remind you that the overall theme is taken from Kaiju.  And honestly, who is more powerful than Godzilla?

The other mechanic, Cycling, I have much less experience of.  I don't like the concept of throwing cards away to no effect.  If I put it in my deck, I expect to need it when I draw it, not mill it to look at another card.  Having said that, I got smoked by a Cycling deck the other night.  So, when it works, it works.

Having played hundreds of matches with Ikoria in play, I can say two things: 1) Not a lot of people play it for its major mechanics, Mutate and Cycling and 2) The vast majority who do will play Mutate.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: Bison on July 05, 2020, 08:24:50 AM
I find cycling to be a situational mechanic. I put cycling lands in my cube because it provides a land (with a down side enters tapped) with the option to replace itself if you are flooded and draw a new card.
Title: Re: MtG
Post by: bob48 on July 06, 2020, 11:17:30 AM
Wrapped up the Bison family MTG Core 2021 limited sealed tournament last night. The wife won this years sealed event. We still have a draft tournament to play maybe this weekend.

Pulling cards and organizing a core set only cube to play over the next few months.

Awesome - that'll be you doing the dishes for the next few days :-)