04/12/2011 Wizards Asks

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Wizards Asks, which goes live Tuesday morning on magicthegathering.com.

A simple ratio of the number of colored mana symbols of each color, fudged by how quickly I need two mana of any given color.
I find a ratio is my starting point, and I will adjust that by how many double mana symbols I have and how early I need to play them to be effective.
I used to calculate ratios of mana symbols, but lately I've just been going with my gut. I've played a lot of Limited, and have gotten a pretty good "feel" for how many lands I'll need in a deck. Some of it comes from mana symbols, some of it comes from curve, and some of it even comes from pure superstition. (I typically play 2-color decks for this same reason; almost always with a splash in Sealed)

Most of the time, I'll play 16-18 lands, depending on how many bombs I've got, and usually split the lands pretty evenly.
Most of my decks get 20 or 21 lands. I look at the ratio for a general idea of where I want the lands at. I then look to see if I can get any or all of the colorless lands I want in while still meeting the needs of the deck.

MaRo: One of the classic R&D stories happened during a Scars of Mirrodin draft. Erik Lauer was sitting to my right (meaning that he passed to me in the first and third packs). At the end of the draft, Erik was upset because I was in his colors (black-green). He said, "Didn't you see the signals? I went into black-green in pack one." I replied, "Didn't you see my signals? I started drafting infect six drafts ago." ******************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************** MaRo: During a playtest, I played a Reaper from the Abyss. I attacked each turn, while my opponent would chump block (he had a lot of fliers), and then I killed a second creature. This happened until he had only one creature left. I attack, he blocked, and then the following dialogue occurred: Him: Kill your demon. Me: What? Him: My guy died so you have to kill a creature. Me: Yeah, but why would a demon kill himself? Him: I don't know. He's depressed there's no one left to kill. Me: That doesn't make any sense. Him: I don't care. It's what the card says. I then take out my pen, and wrote "non-Demon" on it. Him: You can't do that. Me: I redesigned him while the effect was on the stack.

I look at all the colored cards I am planning on using and divide them into piles based on color.  I make a rough estimate on how many lands I need by how many are in each pile.  I then take into account all the double mana cards.
IMAGE(http://pwp.wizards.com/1205820039/Scorecards/Landscape.png)
pull out all the cards that require multiple coloured mana, then the early drops and work from there. starting with 18 lands, removing a land for every 2 non-land mana source down to 15 lands. kind of comes with playing plenty of sealed..
Most of my decks get 20 or 21 lands. I look at the ratio for a general idea of where I want the lands at. I then look to see if I can get any or all of the colorless lands I want in while still meeting the needs of the deck.


Half your deck? Isn't that a bit extreme?
Usually, I'd look at the set's cards in advance, figure out which colors to go with, and then work out a land ratio after I get the cards.
My initial build of a deck always starts out with 40% land (or, 24 lands in a 60 card deck). I then playtest the deck a few times and add/remove as needed. In one deck, for instance, I started out with 12 Swamps and 12 Forest. After tests, I had it down to 10 Swamps, and 8 Forest and was getting pretty decent draws.
Most of my decks get 20 or 21 lands. I look at the ratio for a general idea of where I want the lands at. I then look to see if I can get any or all of the colorless lands I want in while still meeting the needs of the deck.


Half your deck? Isn't that a bit extreme?



I was refering to my normal decks. Sealed decks top out at 15. I missed adding that.

MaRo: One of the classic R&D stories happened during a Scars of Mirrodin draft. Erik Lauer was sitting to my right (meaning that he passed to me in the first and third packs). At the end of the draft, Erik was upset because I was in his colors (black-green). He said, "Didn't you see the signals? I went into black-green in pack one." I replied, "Didn't you see my signals? I started drafting infect six drafts ago." ******************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************** MaRo: During a playtest, I played a Reaper from the Abyss. I attacked each turn, while my opponent would chump block (he had a lot of fliers), and then I killed a second creature. This happened until he had only one creature left. I attack, he blocked, and then the following dialogue occurred: Him: Kill your demon. Me: What? Him: My guy died so you have to kill a creature. Me: Yeah, but why would a demon kill himself? Him: I don't know. He's depressed there's no one left to kill. Me: That doesn't make any sense. Him: I don't care. It's what the card says. I then take out my pen, and wrote "non-Demon" on it. Him: You can't do that. Me: I redesigned him while the effect was on the stack.

I'm convinced I put too little land in my decks. I'm usually around 20 in constructed and 14 in limited.
18 Islands.
If I'm in two colors, I start at a 50/50 split and adjust that by analyzing my early and late drops and determine what colors I need when. That usually works out well for me.