"Experienced" Player Tips

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So we have a section for "Newbie Tips" but I was wondering if anyone had any tips they would maybe considered advanced they wanted to share. Whether it be card combo, mechanic, mind game, etc.

Pay Attention to Deck and "Timer Stops"
The timer stopping a player at each main phase (aka not just flowing through it) can be your greatest advantage:

For example the other day I was playing against Mono Red Burn, he had 1 card in his hand and I wasn't sure whether to hold for a counter or blow my mana on creatures...UNTIL he had 1 land left untapped and the timer stopped at his second main phase, waiting for him to play the card. I know there is no 1 mana burn in that deck so he was either bluffing with a 1 mana creature or a land. This allows me to (confidently) tap out and what do you know, he drops the land next turn. 
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Very true but that may not always be the case, I have my hold priorites on, meaning even if I'm tapped out with no cards in my hand it wont go the next phase until I continue in my case press Y cause I'm on the 360.

Against "Newbies" it's a good idea but not against people who knows how to play. Heck I actually had an oppenant not play anything cause they we're scared I was going to burn it. Guess what? I had no burn spells in my hand, just lands from being mana flooded. Just a heads up ^_^ 
I'm not exactly sure what would be "advanced" that couldn't go into the newbie thread (probably because I'm not an advanced player Innocent). Anyways, I'd figure this thread will mainly be reserved for "tactics" as opposed to the common "misplays" seen in the other thread.

I'm not sure if this was mentioned in the other thread, but I usually hold back lands once I hit a certain point. This is typically at whatever my deck tops out at. If 6 converted mana cost is my most expensive payment, I'll start holding land when I have around 6 and 7 on the battlefield. Sometimes I'll dump a land after every third turn that passes so that it's not blantantly obvious I'm holding lands back. I found this method works best for me.

Obviously this rule can be broken depending on a card on the battlefield. Dungrove Elder and Grazing Gladehart spring to mind. But you don't have to drop every land if you're in a winning position. Just enough to stay ahead.

PS. Does anyone get "chewed out" because they have hold priority on? I've played against some people who hate that I use it because I tend to "take my time" during my turns. It's like people are in a rush to finish the game. That's how misplays happen people! I'm not really a slow player, I just typically like to make a check of the board state before I pass my turn to the other player. A couple of times I've missed a card at a glance because I rushed my playstyle.
I use hold option set, I hate it ending my phase for me because it thinks I've no cards.

As for tips... If you take Argentenum Armour in Weilding Steel and an opponent gains control of the equipped creature. Let them attack. You're still tge controller of the armour, so you choose the target it removes still.

Don't know if that's 'advanced' enough, but it's good to know if you don't have the mana to re-equip the card.
I use hold option set, I hate it ending my phase for me because it thinks I've no cards.

As for tips... If you take Argentenum Armour in Weilding Steel and an opponent gains control of the equipped creature. Let them attack. You're still tge controller of the armour, so you choose the target it removes still. Don't know if that's 'advanced' enough, but it's good to know if you don't have the mana to re-equip the card.



You also don't want your opponent to know you have nothing playable in your hands.

In regards to the tip: good call, that should be good fun to use...

Some other tips (maybe advanced, maybe not...).
- Vampire Aristocrat ability can be used as a "Giant Growth" surprise when you have a 1/1 on the field and the opponent attacks with a 2/2, 3/3 or 4/4, or blocks you with one you want to get rid of badly. Yesterday I used it to sac a Vampire Nocturnus under the influence of Arrest to beat an equiped Kor Duelist by luring it into blocking me.

-When you get a Stoneforge Mystic in your opening hand but not a Kor outfitter, get Sword of War and Peace as it's EtB effect. It's much better opening game then the Argentum Armor I see most people grab due to it's very low equip cost AND the "cards in hand" effect.

-brave the elements sounds defensive, and been using it as such for a while, untill something clicked and made me win a few games with it yesterday: as an offensive spell it is a great way to finish the job with an Alpha Strike

And a less advanced tip but more of er  "well duh" tip:
-Don't put down your last card in hand when you have Psychosis Crawler x2 on the field thanks to Mirrorworks....much less when that last card is a land (happened twice sofar to me now).
not sure about everyone else, but i see a lot of U/G, and it often crushes me, but i learnt a handy little trick helps give me an edge

:if you are playing a deck with counters in it, and you are playing against the mighty U/G, when U/G has 6 mana down = Watch Out! because with 7 mana they can summon simic sky swallower which is just awful imo - so save your counter and enough mana to use it for when they put down land no. 7 - this tac has worked for me very well

the magic number of lands to look out for varies for the different decks, the elves for example have 'game winners' that only cost 3 mana! -vamps start at 4, koth is mostly at 5, and so on and so forth... only if you are running counters tho
This ones pretty obvious but i see people doing it wrong all the time. When playing Apex Predators and you have a creature you want to cast that will make you tap out but you also have a Cudgel Troll and/or Thrun, the Last Troll on the battlefield and want to attack with them but need the mana for regeneration, don't cast your creature in the first main phase and attack as normal with the mana open, your opponent may chump block with a 1/1 but they won't block with multiples blockers to take it down as they know you will just regenerate (you obviously don't attack them if they have a 5/5+ unless you've got a Giant Growth or are planning on bluffing one but thats a different tip altogether). If they only chump block or let the attack get through them there's no need to regenerate and you score some nice damage or kill off a little blocker, and you've still got all your mana available to cast your creature or whatever on your second main phase. If for some reason they decide to block with multiples to take it down you can regenerate as normal. The main point is CAST MOST OF YOUR SPELLS DURING YOUR SECOND MAIN PHASE, this applies to all decks. Like i said this is pretty blatant but i see lots of people not leaving mana open for their combat phase and missing out on an attack.

Another example is say you are the burn deck and again you need to tap out to play something. You have a 2/2 (not the hellhound, maybe the phoenix or something) and your opponent has a 5/5 that is quite precious to him, you should attack, he probably won't block as he will be scared of you finishing the creature off with a burn spell like Incinerate or Volcanic Hammer, but the point is you should attack even if you don't have one, as long as you have the mana open he will be scared to block. Then you are free to tap out if you want to in your second main phase. Obviously if he does call your bluff and block and you don't have the burn spell you'll look quite stupid, but it all comes down to knowing your opponent, like poker, are they a competent enough player to think about whats in your hand aswell as their own?

When I play with decks that have counters, if I have mana free, even if I don't have a counter in my hand, I always pause the action for a second when my opponent plays a non threatening card (as if I'm contemplating a counter).  Sometimes when you're in a bad situation this can scare them from playing their big cards and buy you a little more time to pull it together.

It's pretty situational, but I have also shown my opponent Giant Growths or similar instants to scare them into not blocking or attacking while giving me right of passage and not having to actually play my card until I really wanted to.

NOTE: I just noticed this post paraphrases what Midguy already posted above in this thread. Legitimacy!


While I don't claim to be an experienced player (all of my Magic training comes from casually playing as a kid in '95-'97 and the DotP games), there is one advanced strategy that I think occasionally proves effective in 1v1 online games - bluffing.


Bluffing probably isn't going to work if your opponent isn't very good (they're unlikely to care or notice how much mana you have open). There are certain tell-tale signs that you're playing a crafty planeswalker - a 60 card deck, no lifegain artifacts or questionable unlocks, playing their turns quickly and assertively). An experienced Magic player is more apt to notice and be influenced by open mana on the other side of the table. In this format where every playable deck is a known commodity, bluffing that you have one of the "gotcha" cards can change the dynamic and give you more turns to draw a game-winner. Purposefully leaving 2 or 3 mana open with Realm of Illusion or Machinations may buy you some turns if your skilled opponent is scared of you countering his Flameblast Dragon or Vampire Nocturnus. Likewise, while playing Guardians of the Wood or Apex Predators leaving just one forest untapped may make your opponent wary of a Might of the Masses or Giant Growth, convincing them not to attack when they have a creature advantage. You can even stop the timer to mimic a player mulling over whether to counter or not, giving even more authenticity to your charade. The problem with bluffing like this is that oftentimes your opponent will (correctly) value speed and efficiency over the danger of having you spoil their immediate plans. Sometimes it really is the best move to tap completely out to play your best card, because your opponent is going to play their best card regardless, sort of a, "Show me the counterspell and let's move on" decision.


This strategy goes hand in hand with another savvy move - in the lategame when both players are topdecking to break a stalemate and turn the tide, sometimes it's best not to play that 7th or 8th land you just drew. If the highest cost card in the deck is 6, and you only have 1 card in your hand, is that 7th land really going to make a difference? That land card may be more valuable hidden in your hand. You may catch your opponent thinking along the lines of, "What did he just draw? If it was a creature or land he would have played it, right? It MUST be a counter!" Obviously leaving mana open to bluff is less effective the fewer cards you have in your hand. Of course, in certain decks that run stuff like Blaze and Corrupt, having that extra land already out may be beneficial in some situations, but it's not like stockpiling 1 land in your hand prevents you from playing it right before doing X damage to the face for the win.

If you take Argentenum Armour in Weilding Steel and an opponent gains control of the equipped creature. Let them attack. You're still tge controller of the armour, so you choose the target it removes still.



And this is why, as per MtG rules, you should actually be able to take that Argentum Armor off the creature your opponent controls and attach it to one of yours. I know that this was not possible in DotP2009, but I did not have an opportunity to check it in 2012 yet. Anyone know if they fixed that?
yes you can reequip it
...The main point is CAST MOST OF YOUR SPELLS DURING YOUR SECOND MAIN PHASE, this applies to all decks.



This is an effective strategy 95% of the time, but I have made slight mistakes and left a point of damage undealt by getting in the habit of always playing creatures after my attack phase. For example, in Realm of Illusion you're leaving damage out if you don't put down Lord of Illusion before attacking, or any illusion before attacking with Krovikan Mist. Other 'best to play before attacking' creatures include Captivating Vampire, Master of Etherium, Imperious Perfect, Edric, Spymaster of Trest, etc. This is probably obvious to skilled players, but in trying to be a more skillful player I have made this beginner mistake.

The best reason for playing your creatures after attacking is because it gives your opponent less information to base their decision on. If you attack with a Snapsail Glider there's a chance he/she may make the poor decision to 'control the board' by using their Disfigure or Burst Lightning to prevent 2 damage and kill your only creature, but if you play your Steel Overseer before attacking virtually all players will realize what the true threat is.
...The main point is CAST MOST OF YOUR SPELLS DURING YOUR SECOND MAIN PHASE, this applies to all decks.



This is an effective strategy 95% of the time, but I have made slight mistakes and left a point of damage undealt by getting in the habit of always playing creatures after my attack phase. For example, in Realm of Illusion you're leaving damage out if you don't put down Lord of Illusion before attacking, or any illusion before attacking with Krovikan Mist. Other 'best to play before attacking' creatures include Captivating Vampire, Master of Etherium, Imperious Perfect, Edric, Spymaster of Trest, etc. This is probably obvious to skilled players, but in trying to be a more skillful player I have made this beginner mistake.

The best reason for playing your creatures after attacking is because it gives your opponent less information to base their decision on. If you attack with a Snapsail Glider there's a chance he/she may make the poor decision to 'control the board' by using their Disfigure or Burst Lightning to prevent 2 damage and kill your only creature, but if you play your Steel Overseer before attacking virtually all players will realize what the true threat is.



You'll notice thats why i said most of your spells not all.
...The main point is CAST MOST OF YOUR SPELLS DURING YOUR SECOND MAIN PHASE, this applies to all decks.


...


You'll notice thats why i said most of your spells not all.


Did I notice the all-caps bolded sentence that I selectively quoted? Yes, I did, but please realize I wasn't accusing you of making this gaffe. I was admitting to it myself and advising whatever advice-seeking experienced players happens to read this to consider the exceptions to the rule before skipping that first main phase.
I like to cast my creatures during the first main phase, at least early in the game, because it creates an expectation that I can exploit later if I need to bluff a Giant Growth or something.

I am in your head.
In the AD deck, you can use that elf creature that summons any monster to the table in your opponents turn, their combat phase even.

Speculation anyways, I havent had experience doing this as I dont play AD much. But karn has a similar card and it works this way.
...The main point is CAST MOST OF YOUR SPELLS DURING YOUR SECOND MAIN PHASE, this applies to all decks.


...


You'll notice thats why i said most of your spells not all.


Did I notice the all-caps bolded sentence that I selectively quoted? Yes, I did, but please realize I wasn't accusing you of making this gaffe. I was admitting to it myself and advising whatever advice-seeking experienced players happens to read this to consider the exceptions to the rule before skipping that first main phase.



This wasn't a dig, i was just reiterating that it was a general rule, of course there are exceptions to the rule, like you have pointed out.
In the AD deck, you can use that elf creature that summons any monster to the table in your opponents turn, their combat phase even.

Speculation anyways, I havent had experience doing this as I dont play AD much. But karn has a similar card and it works this way.



It does, I use it that way all the time. And if they don't attack for fear of running into any of the 6/6+ threats, you can always use it during the second main phase or when they target Elvish Piper for destruction.

Though on that note..."when you cast" =/= "enters the battlefield." If you cheat Primeval Titan into play, you'll get your lands, but if you cheat Kozilek, Butcher of Truth into play, you don't get the four-card draw.
Though on that note..."when you cast" =/= "enters the battlefield." If you cheat Primeval Titan into play, you'll get your lands, but if you cheat Kozilek, Butcher of Truth into play, you don't get the four-card draw.


Indeed.  It is because of the difference between "Whenever Primeval Titan enters the battlefield...." and "When you cast Kozilek....".
Peace through Superior Firepower.
1) I never thought this might be an "experienced player tip", but I keep seeing people playing life-gaining cards all the time, and claim to be experienced.

The tip is: DON'T PLAY THIS CRAP. Lifegain is a noob bait, it does nothing for you to win the game, because it does not improve your board position. There are some rare exceptions, like that "show creature from your hand, gain life equal to it's CMC" card being a sideboard option for Chandra matchup. Probably certain 2HG situations may justify the use of lifegain, but I still would not run them maindeck.
Even if you're bad enough to run those Demon's Horn or Wurm's Tooth in 1vs1 - at least don't use them versus Chandra when you draw them. I saw numerous situations like this (somehow it's always the vampires, lol):

turn 1
me: mountain
vampires: swamp, 1 guy
turn 2
me: mountain, Punishing Fire
vampires: swamp, Demon's Horn
/facepalm

2) don't be greedy.

I see a lot of people keeping 1-landers, some wierd hands like 2 Islands for AD, and so on. The better the rest of your cards are - the more painful it gets to discard them.

3) evaluate your starting hand properly

This might be one of the most important skills in DotP, since the decks are full of random situational singletons. And it gets even more important for AD - this deck is basically all about proper mulligans.

I already posted those links somewhere, they cover pretty much everything you need to know about mulligans in great detail
www.starcitygames.com/magic/fundamentals...
www.starcitygames.com/magic/misc/17420_P...
TL;DR version: your opening hand must have some action and a valid gameplan (not something like "uuugh ok I'm gonna keep these 6 Swamps and Vampire Nocturnus against red burn deck, because, you know, Nocturnus is so cool").
The game is so random with mulligan...
Sometimes I start with 2 lands because I have a good hand and hope to draw some lands... but fail to draw even one and lose the game with 2 lands while the opponent has 6-7 lands...
And sometimes I start with 3-4 lands, and I keep on drawing lands...  

Also, it happens twice... first draw, no land. second draw 6 lands... third draw, no land... ok...  :-(

They didn't improved this part from the first game. 
They didn't improved this part from the first game. 





There is nothing to improve, that is MTG and randomness.
They didn't improved this part from the first game. 



There is nothing to improve, that is MTG and randomness.



I would consider the opportunity to edit lands types and amounts as an improvement.
Snip


Hilariously, you would likely concede if someone were flying over your Wielding Steel's defenses to take away your last 4 or so life, while I could play Congregate and gain 10-20+ life.

Lifegain has a place. Especially with cards like Congregate and Living Destiny. You can afford to give your opponent "freebies" and make them think they're beating you down, then *oops*, back up to 20+ life.

It might not improve "board position", but it can set your opponent's progress back several turns while doing little to impede your own. 
Snip


Hilariously, you would likely concede if someone were flying over your Wielding Steel's defenses to take away your last 4 or so life, while I could play Congregate and gain 10-20+ life.

Lifegain has a place. Especially with cards like Congregate and Living Destiny. You can afford to give your opponent "freebies" and make them think they're beating you down, then *oops*, back up to 20+ life.

It might not improve "board position", but it can set your opponent's progress back several turns while doing little to impede your own. 



As I wrote before, Living Destiny in AD is the only... well, not exactly justifiable, but at least somewhat reasonable card in certain matchups, given the nature of DotP and limited options for deck construction (I mean, I would definitely prefer some counterspell or bounce or some defensive creature, but since there are none - Destiny might as well do. Although I still don't run it maindeck and do absolutely fine without it).

As for Congregate... taking the situation you described, what would you prefer to draw: Congregate or something like Kitesail or Angel or Arrest to get rid of the flyer? Also keep in mind, that, when your board position is poor and you draw and cast Congregate, your opponent draws and casts something relevant and your position gets even worse, forcing you to chump-block or making unfavorable trades, leading eventually to your loss.
Seriously, I never saw Congregate to be the spell that saves the game. I suppose it can be used as some sort of combat trick, turning opponent's lethal attack into not-so-lethal, giving you the opportunity to make some favorable trades or counterattack, but this is SO situational that I wouldn't consider this as a reason to play this card.
Lifegain is so inferior to board position that there's no such amount of life that can make up for it. Lifegain spells that don't improve your board (like Obstinate Baloth or Fangren Marauder do, for example) actually even make it WORSE, because your opponent plays something unanswered next turn. The only exception is when you literally have NO board presense, like in AD, and even then, some extra ramp spell or blocker can do just as fine.
I have to agree that the lifegain is so situational that i would almost ALWAYS prefer it to be out. I mean even with it in, imagine you draw something that can actually turn the game around as opposed to stalling?
I use the lifegain in AD and Stone.
They didn't improved this part from the first game. 



There is nothing to improve, that is MTG and randomness.



There is a huge difference between random and what Magic 2009/20012 does.  I have had many consecutive draws that would require an astronomical amount of hands played to duplicate in real life.  The fact that these draws are not uncommon leads me to believe that the engine that runs 2009/2012 is the only problem.  You can argue statistics all you want but playing ~20 hands per day and getting only islands when playing U/G or only seeing Mountains when playing R/B for three consecutive games is a bit extreme.  The chances of such events happening with any frequency would probably get me into the ****ss Book of World Records (why this is filtered I'll never know) yet they are all too common in Magic 2009/2012.  The fact that these issues also plague my friends regularly means that they are no longer random.
I use the lifegain in AD and Stone.



Golden Urn?
Am I missing something? I thought it's just plain awful.

Play it first turn, 10 turns later gain 10 life for free. You might not like it, but ostensibly starting the game with 30 life is better than starting with 20.


Play it first turn, 10 turns later gain 10 life for free. You might not like it, but ostensibly starting the game with 30 life is better than starting with 20.




I'd rather play a card that helps me win, instead of just staving off a loss.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.

Play it first turn, 10 turns later gain 10 life for free. You might not like it, but ostensibly starting the game with 30 life is better than starting with 20.




I'd rather play a card that helps me win, instead of just staving off a loss.



Ah yes, I forgot,  EVERY one-drop you put in the deck is an "I Win" button. 



Play it first turn, 10 turns later gain 10 life for free. You might not like it, but ostensibly starting the game with 30 life is better than starting with 20.



Even if it was worth it to wait 10 turns for 10 life (It isn't), you still run the risk of drawing one of the other three copies late game where it's next to useless. Golden Urn is a lot worse than the other life gain artifacts and they shouldn't be played either.
Hoard of Notions: Cards and general design musings from yours truly.

Play it first turn, 10 turns later gain 10 life for free. You might not like it, but ostensibly starting the game with 30 life is better than starting with 20.



Even if it was worth it to wait 10 turns for 10 life (It isn't), you still run the risk of drawing one of the other three copies late game where it's next to useless.



You're assuming because the game makes three available that everyone who uses them puts all three in.


EDIT: 
Golden Urn is a lot worse than the other life gain artifacts and they shouldn't be played either.


The other artifacts cost 2 and require you to play spells for them to work. If you're mana screwed they don't. They also tempt you to drop them before you drop anything else (so they are actually useful) which slows your deck down a turn. Golden Urn doesn't slow your down all that much and in as many cases as it does, it doesn't. 

 

Play it first turn, 10 turns later gain 10 life for free. You might not like it, but ostensibly starting the game with 30 life is better than starting with 20.



Even if it was worth it to wait 10 turns for 10 life (It isn't), you still run the risk of drawing one of the other three copies late game where it's next to useless.



You're assuming because the game makes three available that everyone who uses them puts all three in. 


If the card is go good on the first turn, wouldn't you want to maximize your chances of drawing it in your opening hand by playing all 3?

Even with only one copy, you still might draw it turn seven while your opponent is topdecking something relevant.
Hoard of Notions: Cards and general design musings from yours truly.

Play it first turn, 10 turns later gain 10 life for free. You might not like it, but ostensibly starting the game with 30 life is better than starting with 20.




I'm sorry, but this is the most lame reasoning I ever saw. What if it's not in your opening hand (and there's like 70% chance even if you play all three of them)? What if you draw this on turn 5-6? Instead of something that might actually save your ass?

Play it first turn, 10 turns later gain 10 life for free. You might not like it, but ostensibly starting the game with 30 life is better than starting with 20.




I'm sorry, but this is the most lame reasoning I ever saw. What if it's not in your opening hand (and there's like 70% chance even if you play all three of them)? What if you draw this on turn 5-6? Instead of something that might actually save your ass?



You're saying in every game you play you're dying on turn 5-6.

Play it first turn, 10 turns later gain 10 life for free. You might not like it, but ostensibly starting the game with 30 life is better than starting with 20.




I'm sorry, but this is the most lame reasoning I ever saw. What if it's not in your opening hand (and there's like 70% chance even if you play all three of them)? What if you draw this on turn 5-6? Instead of something that might actually save your ass?



You're saying in every game you play you're dying on turn 5-6.



I probably would, if I draw those cards every time instead of something relevant. Seriously, it's the completely blank draw any time except probably an opening hand or a first couple of turns, and even then it seems pretty bad, especially in the deck like this. Not to mention the fact that you have to cut something to fit those in the deck. I have to assume you're just trolling.

Would like to see Syl42's arguments though.
The argument isn't that lifegain can't be useful in certain scenarios, but rather that it's not worth the risk of drawing it when it's not useful.
I use the lifegain in AD and Stone.



Golden Urn?
Am I missing something? I thought it's just plain awful.



Strength of Stone starts off really slow and some people seem to like to include it just so that they have cards to play in the first 2 turns.  There aren't too many 1 mana drops and there aren't any 2 mana permanants.  It's not uncommon to not play a card until turn 3 with that deck.
The argument isn't that lifegain can't be useful in certain scenarios, but rather that it's not worth the risk of drawing it when it's not useful.



Wrong. The "argument" is that Lifegain makes you a bad player.

I have to assume you're just trolling.


Yeah, get over yourself. Just because I disagree with you doesn't mean I'm trolling.