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Found 6 results

  1. Hey folks! Yarium here. I was going to post a giant deck-building guide for new players for Sealed, but it was ginormous. Here's the trimmed down post! #1 - What is Sealed? Magic is a really interesting game because of all the ways you can play it. Sealed is a format that is played at every Prerelease and Release of a new set, and it's a great way to start jumping in. You'll receive 6 packs of cards, plus a foil rare (and in some formats, a unique pack of on-colour cards), and you build a minimum 40 card deck using those contents, plus using any basic lands you want. Your goal is to create a deck that will go through 4 or more rounds of play to win it all! #2 - What makes a good Sealed Deck? A good Sealed deck will consist of between 22-24 of your best cards, plus 16-18 lands. For your first games, stick to this, and don't go over 40 cards. You want your BEST cards all the time, and if you put in more cards, you actually reduce the chances of seeing them. Ideally, you want to be in 2 colours, but there's times when you'll go into three. Finally, you want your deck to have a an overall strategy for winning. #3 - What Strategies Win? There are 3 main kinds of strategy; Aggro, Mid-Range, and Control. Aggro is when you put all the mana-cheap cards in your deck and try to win before your opponent even plays anything of consequence. You must win fast, because it won't take long for your opponent's cards to start dealing with multiples of your cards. Your best cards are cheap creatures with high power, and damage spells that hurt or cause life loss to your opponent (Example: Ahn-Crop Crasher). You'll need some way of getting the last few points of damage in. Control is when you put more mana-costly cards in your deck so that your cards will be very hard to deal with (requiring multiples of your opponent's cards), while having lots of removal spells and creatures with high defence so that you don't die too early. Control decks are some of the hardest to build in Sealed, because they require a specific mix of the right costly cards, and the right removal. Your best cards are hard-to-answer bombs that can win the game on their own late into the game (Example: Scaled Behemoth). You'll probably need some card draw to make sure you have enough "gas" to survive to the end where these cards can shine. Mid-Range is between these two, and is often built by having a mix of cheap cards to come down early and put pressure on your opponent, and some big stuff late to close out the game. Most Sealed decks will be this. You switch between offence and defence as necessary, often dealing big "chunks" of damage at a time before switching gears again. Evasion is great for this, as it helps to put a "clock" on your opponent. Your best cards are ones that are strong by themselves, but reinforce all of your earlier plays (Example: Decimator Beetle). #4 - What are my Best Cards? Your Best Cards are the ones that have the highest impact for the least cost. 1 damage for 10 mana would be too little impact for too much cost, and 10 damage for 1 mana would be an insanely high impact for very little cost. The impact that a card has can be guessed in "floors" and "ceilings". The "floor" is the worst-case scenario for a card, and the "ceiling" is the best case. Cards that have high floors and low ceilings are often way better than cards with high ceilings and low floors. For example, Haze of Pollen is fantastic when it works, but most of the time it's a dead card in your hand. Ornery Kudu is never fantastic when it works, but it works all the time, no matter what. As such, Ornery Kudu tends to be a way better card than Haze of Pollen. Outside of that, your Best Cards are the ones that match your strategy most. Haze of Pollen might work better in a green Aggro deck, where you can make that "ceiling" happen more often against other Aggro decks when in a race, but is a terrible card for Control, where it'll almost always end up as "3 mana, draw 1". #5 - How do I put this all together? Take all your cards, and sort them into piles based on their color. Put aside any cards that are low impact, or that have low floors, into a junk pile. Only touch this junk pile at the end if you're struggling for a few more cards. Don't worry about strategies yet. Then take the two biggest piles and look through them together to see if there's an apparent strategy to them. If there isn't, switch one color for another and look again. If there is, take out cards that don't fit this strategy. Remember that some colorless cards work great in different strategies If you have more than 24 cards at this point, cut again, removing the cards with the lowest "floor". If you're under 22 cards (which often is the case_, start looking at the junk pile to see if any of them match your strategy. Once you have between 22-24 cards, sort these cards by their "expected mana cost". Some cards cost more or less in different situations, and some have alternate costs, like cycling. Aggro decks should have most of its cards in the 1-3 mana range, with only a few 4 or 5 cost cards. Control should have most of its cards in the 3-5 mana range, with only a few 1 or 2 cost cards. Mid-range should have most of its cards in the 2-4 mana range, with only one 1 cost card, and a few 5-7 cost cards. Lastly, add your land. Usually it's a good idea to have the same percentage of lands as you have colors; so if your deck is about 50/50 on colors, it should be about 50/50 on those lands too. If all your cheap stuff is one color, give that color a higher percentage of lands. #6 - Wrapping it all up Q: When do I splash? A: You don't. You're new to the game right now. However, if you really need to, you only "splash" for one or two cards in another color that are just PERFECT for your deck, and they should be good later in the game since you likely won't have both that card and its associated land early on. Aggro decks should avoid splashing like the plague. You want at least 3 sources of mana for that colour, even if that source is a land that "filters" mana for it. Q: Should I go first or second? A: Go first. There honestly are good time to go second, but like splashing, you're not ready for that yet. However, Control decks like going second some of the time because the advantage of the "extra draw" is best for them. But you don't know how to best use that advantage yet, so really, don't do it. Q: What do I sideboard? A: Your sideboard is all the cards that you didn't use when building your deck. You might realize that there was a better card for your deck after your first game, so bring it in by taking another card from your deck out. Always look at the sideboard! Sometimes your opponent's strategy will make one of those cards much better. Q: How do I play? A: Too big. Research more articles online. However, never be afraid to ask for advice after a game! Your win-loss ratio and prizes are based not just on how well you did, but on how well the opponents you faced did. Win or lose, you want your opponents to do really well in all their subsequent games! So ask away.
  2. Hey folks! Just a reminder to any Magic folks hanging around that Great Canadian Cards & Hobbies is hosting a 2-day Prerelease on April 22nd and 23rd. Definitely call in advance, as these events often fill up. If you don't have a DCI number, they'll set you up with one. Not sure about you folks, but this set is all about VALUE, so if you like drawing cards and keeping busy during a game, this set seems to have that in SPADES.
  3. On another forum that I frequent, an issue with the new Masterpiece cards for Amonkhet has been realised. These are, as it turns out, not Tournament Legal. Check this out: So these are, by the current rules, not tournament legal. Comparing side-by-side: The first being the new one, the second being the Kaladesh Invention. Quite clearly, the new ones don't have a white or black border. Note, these are both links direct from Wizard's website, which means they would be showing the border. And they can't just say "you can play these, but only with sleeves" because that opens the doors for other non-black/white bordered cards to be played in sleeves. This is a rather significant mistake that, while it may seem fine on the surface, has some compounding layers of issues as you dig deeper into their tournament system. Well, not that big a deal, they just got to bite the bullet really. But still, it'll be interesting to see how Wizards responds to this.
  4. We got previews a'coming for Amonkhet! First, allow me to introduce you to the set's mechanics. RETURNING MECHANIC: Cycling Yes, Cycling is coming back! Everyone loves cycling. The classic version is to pay 2 generic mana, and toss the card out your hand, and you get a new card! First and foremost, this is a great ability to have on any card. There are many times that you have a card in your hand that you don't need, and some other card in your library that you do need. If you already have the mana available, might as well try toss the one you don't need for a likely better one. The second thing is that Amonkhet is looking to be a heavily graveyard-based set. In this way, cycling helps get cards from your hand into the graveyard without needing to cast them and/or have them die. Chances are that we're going to see some variant cycling too, such as paying life for cycling instead of 2 mana, or getting bonuses whenever you cycle cards. Best thing of all? Cycling goes into almost any deck, so always try to snatch these up in a draft! NEW MECHANIC: Brick Counters Not really that new of a mechanic, even though these are the first brick counters we've ever had. They're just a type of counter that's going to be shared amongst some artifacts. The fun thing is that these brick counters are going to let you "build" some Civilization-type Wonders. Okay, not really. They're artifacts that if they have a certain threshold of brick counters they start doing more powerful things. NEW MECHANIC: Embalm Now THIS is a cool new mechanic. Embalm lets you get a second use out of creatures that have it. Basically, this is "flashback" for creatures. While in your graveyard, you can pay an "embalm" cost. Doing so exiles the creature card from your graveyard, but you get a token copy of the embalmed creature that's a little... undead. Specifically, it becomes a white creature, gains the Zombie creature type, and loses its mana cost. What's not to love? Bringing back creatures is always powerful, and the fact that these stick around is great. I'm personally hoping for a few white-hate cards in the set to punish people that get too many mummies, but I doubt that'll be the case. Watch out if there's a card that gives all your graveyard creatures embalm, since that'll likely be a big card for some kind of combo deck and/or commander. NEW MECHANIC: Exert This is a mechanic that I've seen discuss in design-forums numerous times, and I'm glad to see it come on out into the real world to play. Basically, this mechanic lets you push your creatures a little harder when they attack, and they give a little more, but then they're really tired and stay tapped next turn. You declare if a creature is exerting itself as it attacks (so before you know of any tricks your opponent might have!), and in return the creature will perform a special ability. Guaranteed you'll see creatures getting to attack as if they were worth an extra 1 or 2 mana. I wonder how much we're going to see this though, as staying tapped for a whole second turn is quite a cost. I would doubt that it's correct to exert your creature each time, but we'll probably see it be practically a requirement on a few creatures. RETURNING MECHANIC: -1/-1 counters You like making creatures bigger right? Wrong. You like making your opponent's creatures dead. Dead dead dead. -1/-1 counters help you do this. Shrink those buggers until they die from having 0 toughness. A few -1/-1 counters can make a beefy attacker into something that can be blocked all day long too, reducing the threat that such creatures have. Just be careful when putting those counters on an Embalm creature, because it'll come back at full strength! Otherwise, you can treat these as both damage spells and combat tricks, with either using them at Instant speed to offset a combat in your favour, or used post-combat to destroy a creature that thought it could safely block something smaller. NEW/RETURNING MECHANIC: Aftermath (that's kind of a Split Card and kind of Flashback) I really dislike this mechanic, but whatever. It'll do good stuff, but it looks fugly. This card is cast for one of its halves, then it can be cast again from the graveyard for it's other half, and doing so exiles it. So, yeah, that's it. An Aftermath card is Flashback, but happens to be a split card, sorta. Looks terrible. One half of the card is right-side up, the other is sideways. It does let you bluff easier that you don't have it (since you look at it normally in your hand), and while beside you in the graveyard it's easier to poke its head out and see it as well. Guess that's why. Bleh. Previews of it to come below.
  5. I really enjoy reading Cracked because it's oftentimes both funny and illuminating. Disclaimer though; don't trust the photoplasty's, because often times they're more than a little incorrect. However, their real articles are fact-checked, so tend to be pretty good. Here's a really interesting one where they interviewed a Magic: The Gathering counterfeiter: http://www.cracked.com/personal-experiences-2472-i-made-obscene-money-forging-magic-gathering-cards.html Enjoy the read! Interesting to learn about and some good tips for spotting fakes!
  6. Great article today on Channel Fireball: http://www.channelfireball.com/articles/how-to-fix-standard/ I really like the proposal Brian DeMars makes; that Standard needs some unfun elements in order to be fun. It's a brave stance to take, but I think is honestly the correct one. The core of the game and why it grew so well was that you never knew what people were going to do or how they were going to do it because something scary and unknown might be around the corner! Sure this first guy may aggro you out, but the next one could be going land destruction, or perhaps a [c]Wellwisher[/c] elfball combo. Nowadays, Standard has very much become "play the pushed creatures, add some removal, add the pushed planeswalkers, and go to town". If you keep taking away parts of the game that some people enjoy, you're left with only the thing that appears to the lowest common denominator. Maybe that appeals to the most people (wide), but doesn't appeal very much to them (deep). Magic would do better to go a bit deeper than wider.