7/19/2011 SF: "Get Tied Up With Our Core Set"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Serious Fun, which goes live Tuesday morning on magicthegathering.com.
Does this poll not work for anyone else? Yes, for every other color
I build a few beginner decks, but I would love to see what they come up with using M12 cards. 
I have a really smart friend who wasn't the type of person to play magic. But during school, sometimes my math teacher would let me and some other people play magic in the back of the classroom if we finished our work early. My friend would watch us play from that he would got the gist of the game. Eventually I was able to convince him to attend a local draft with me and from then on he was hooked. Currently I think he goes through dailymtg.com and starcitygames.com daily. He now knows more about the game than I do. He is really into it. 
I've been playing magic for ~16 years off and on and I've taught a veriety of different people how to play; from fraternity brothers,  room mates, my little brother, and even my mom. Over the past year or two I constructed a single colored deck for each color, similar to your black deck featured in this article, in order to teach people how to play. Breaking down the different colors made it easier to explain the different strengths and weaknesses of each, plus it allowed new players to get a different feel for each and see what strategy they enjoy.

I do wish that more of my immediate friends played the game so it was easier to get in a quick match on a random Tuesday night when I was feeling the itch to play, but I feel like things like Duel of the Planeswalkers can scratch that itch until FNM or a Pre Release rolls around. I could try and get my current room mates to try, but I almost feel like the "social acceptability" factor of the game could play a part in them not being interested.
The way I like to teach beginners is to ask my store for the intro magic packs they have left over from last years M11 release.  They are 40 card decks with some pretty basic stuff in them and it makes it very easy to play.  Otherwise sealed always works.

Here is what I always say "Magic has a core set of rules.  Your turn has Phases that you use to cast spells and attack other players with your creatures to decrease their points total from 20 to 0.  The best part of Magic is that most cards break the rules with unique rules text, giving you and your creatures mini advantages to win faster."  

Hey i like that.. bringing older decks and making them playable in standard.
much of the players often forgets that newer metagames are often existing because of older decks.
The Rock, RG Beats, WU Control are great examples of that.

i had friends telling me control didn't care about discard. while it is totally wrong to think so. discard has always and will always be the rival of control. same with mill decks. but it seems the players at my locaL store forgot that. i often remember them when i make them discard their hands and they they are like if only i had that card on top of my deck.

back to your article, i truly want more decks of old being re-tryed in this new metagames.
starting with your "still in the black"" deck, it could be a great deck in itself. but i think it still is missing key cards that would be better. mainly "Entomber exarch" which is strickly a better card then gravedigger is. it both cost 4, both can bring back a creature, and both are 2/2, but the exarch gives you another option which could be right for the deck. and it is the ability to remove a card from your opponents hand.

another card i would get in, would "cadaver imp". but thats if the curve actually warrants it. its a 2/1 that brings a card from the grave. i would replace the sorcery that brings creatures from the grave  to replace but as i said it all depends on the curve which i haven't really checked.

that said i like this deck, recursive and cool to play. and its fun killing all of a sudden with sorins vengeance. 8)


What to say...what to say.

The article series is called serious fun. It's not a whole lot of fun. Spikes go elsewhere for information and this is a little tame for the wacky casual crowd. I feel like this articles series is in limbo and not what sure to do with itself. It saddens me because this series has so much potential and should be the star of the week... and its not.

This article reminds me of one of the original dance shows on MTV. One of the crews dominated the competition until the end. When ever they were given a challenge, they did amazing things. At the finals, they got to do whatever they wanted and stunk up the joint.


Where's the beef? Seriously. How about making up fun challenges for your group? Articles about visiting other stores, meeting players, pranking R&D, sell Kell Nagles stuff for charity, and anything wacky you can think about.


This article series is like watching trainwrecks on amateur night. I don't blame the author or article series, I blame the direction.


Come on Wizards and friends. You guys and gals can do better.



What to say...what to say.

The article series is called serious fun. It's not a whole lot of fun. Spikes go elsewhere for information and this is a little tame for the wacky casual crowd. I feel like this articles series is in limbo and not what sure to do with itself. It saddens me because this series has so much potential and should be the star of the week... and its not.

This article reminds me of one of the original dance shows on MTV. One of the crews dominated the competition until the end. When ever they were given a challenge, they did amazing things. At the finals, they got to do whatever they wanted and stunk up the joint.


Where's the beef? Seriously. How about making up fun challenges for your group? Articles about visiting other stores, meeting players, pranking R&D, sell Kell Nagles stuff for charity, and anything wacky you can think about.


This article series is like watching trainwrecks on amateur night. I don't blame the author or article series, I blame the direction.


Come on Wizards and friends. You guys and gals can do better.




Agreed, serious fun has become the article I check if I'm trying to kill time at work, rather than something I rush to read each time it's up like some of the other articles here. I also absolutely agree that it's a lack of direction. One week I'll get a savor the flavor article, another day it'll be 'from the lab' except not quite as solid as the actual ones.

That said, that critique isn't necessarily aimed at this article in particular, it makes some sense to have a 'how do I teach magic' article in this column. Mostly my complaint is about previous articles that sort of meander around both individually and collectively.
Poll 1: something else. I've been getting common/uncommon x 4 playsets and buying whatever rares that I can afford of late rather than booster packs. For me the $30-40 investment to get a lot of cards is just better. I tend to buy very few rares and mystic rares just seem unreachable now. The rares I got for M2012 are Chandra's Phoenix x3 (For my Chandra/elemental burn deck+ 1 copy goes in my Chandra duel deck), Jace's Apprentice playset (For my Jace/mill deck +1 copy goes in my Jace duel deck), Garruk's Horde playset (For my Garruk beast deck+1 copy goes in my Garruk deck deck), Lord of Unreal Playset and Phantasmal Image playset (These are for the blue beatdown illusion deck that got me excited for M2012 by playing Duels of the Planeswalkers on my neighbor's X-box 360). I wish I had the money for Jace the Mind Sculptor or the new Jace, Garruk, or Chandra to put in the two decks as singletons but I don't, not when they are all $25+. Overall I've spent about $60.00 on the new set after the rares (Chandra's Phoenix was expensive, I was lucky to get 3 for $10.00, but Phantasmal Image actually went cheap IMO for $5.00 for the playset. The Lord of the Unreal playset was $10.00)  So my strategy is to get a lot of cards for cheap rather than paying a lot for single cards.

You guys should make a Sorin versus Gideon duel deck and include the new cards in it, I was playing their match up on Duel of the Planeswalkers. With Gideons love of tapping things down and Sorin's vampires' need to swing with bloodthirst it makes things interesting.  Having duel decks actually have sorin's cards would make it better, and both need an uncommon creature or spell.

Gideon's Taunt W Uncommon Instant:


Cast Gideon's Taunt only during an opponent's turn, before attackers are declared.

Creatures the active player controls must attack this turn if able.

At the beginning of the next end step, destroy all creatures that player controls that didn't attack this turn except for walls, creatures with defender, and creatures that cannot attack. Ignore this effect for each creature the player didn't control continuously since the beginning of the turn.

Sorin's Bloodhounds 1BB Uncommon Creature--Vampire Hound 2/1
Bloodthirst 1
If an opponent lost 2 or more life this turn (Damage causes loss of life) Sorin's Bloodhounds gets +1/+1 until the end of the turn.



Poll 2: Update them for all the colors. Then get a star game going and show what happens.
I've been playing magic for ~16 years off and on and I've taught a veriety of different people how to play; from fraternity brothers,  room mates, my little brother, and even my mom. Over the past year or two I constructed a single colored deck for each color, similar to your black deck featured in this article, in order to teach people how to play. Breaking down the different colors made it easier to explain the different strengths and weaknesses of each, plus it allowed new players to get a different feel for each and see what strategy they enjoy.


Well, I've stopped counting the years, but I guess I've been playing magic for quite the same period and I've also taught the game to friends.

The difference however, I've NEVER and to repeat it: NEVER designed a deck for beginners.

Whenever I read about stuff like this, I can't hold back. I've never ever seen a person who is able to read, but is overextended by a Galvanic Blast. That's so ridiculous that if I would write it the way I think of it, you wouldn't be able to read anything but ****** or %$&#+ letters.

I simply take two decks that aren't build around strange combos or extreme control and start with an open hand game. As I play my cards, I explain my thoughts and the options / chances I see. That's it! In the next games, I ask him why he does it and I still explain my steps more clearly, avoiding hasty abbreviations. If I notice mistakes, I correct him and the usual things are timing problems (instants) or a too hasty gameplay, since new players often overreact on difficulties. They block too early or trying to avoid losses, they "waste" their disenchants on annoying, but non-lethal enchantments, etc. Their life total seems to have the highest priority.

So even if a card doesn't explains what vigilance means, each of my decks only runs a few unknown abilities and it's like learning <10 vocabulary words.

The black deck is a joke, as it doesn't even get close to what black is really about. And since MaRo and the R&D team has decided to allocate abilites randomly among creatures, putting a high focus on limited tournaments, you can throw most of the cards away. Even the cards that are reprinted, often only fulfill the plan of "keep on" with Pacifism and co., but don't really add any value to a specific color.

So let's take a look at the cards:

Drifting Shade - This is a typical "reprint it somehow new" card that has ZERO flavor. Due to the timing and meassure difficulties, this card is the hell for beginners.

Gravedigger - Another useless limited tool. To make my feelings clear. This card is total crap! I know the "2 for 1" sillyness, but even for flavor reasons, a Sengir Autocrat or a simple sorcery would have been MUCH better.

Mortis Dogs - If you want to show anyone that for some reasons, black gets weaker creatures than any other color, this is quite a good choice. If you want to show the true nature of black, Skinrender or Smoldering Butcher would have been a much better choice. The dogs only show the inability of the R&D team to design black creatures that doesn't feel like some half-baked tests to get some silly combat-avoiding crap-abilities. For cmc 4, I want some powerhouse creatures with an ability that makes the creature superiour - even at a common rarity - and not some, trickster, cheater or & "not all too bad" stuff.

Nightmare</a> - one of the 3 rare cards and one of the worst choices possible. Why should black be focused on their own basic land type more than any other color? Does this card feels like a Nightmare? - Not at all.
Chainer, Dementia Master would symbol the black reanimator theme much better and a returning 4/4 Skinrender could truly become a Nightmare. A returning Vampire Nighthawk would be another easy choice to show the true love of black. Anowon, the Ruin Sage would be a simple creature in a vampire theme deck and MUCH cooler.

Tormented Soul - not a bad card and an easy choice for bloodthirst, but a lousy card in a black deck. A Vampire Lacerator would threaten an opponent who doesn't play creatures early and therefore trigger bloodthirst, but is much more viable later on. A 1/1 with deathtouch would even add much more flavor and result in something similar to "unblockable". The difficulties when to attack also generates a much higher learning curve. Therefore, anything similar to an Onyx Mage for cmc 1 and limited to itself would have been MUCH more flavorful. (also if R&D would have had the slightest sense for coolness, the mage would have been a Vampire).

Diabolic Tutor - wrong slot with cmc4. As I've always said, is the only true choice. With cmc4, it fills up the slot of the powerhouse card that wins you 1/2 of the games. It's too late to fix a bad start and not specific enough to truly shine. A Blood Speaker would be a much, much cooler card at this point. Same is true for Eradicate, a Nocturnal Raid within a Vampire deck, an uncommon Ashen Powder (to avoid the Makeshift Mannequin) or an uncommon Persecute.
In my opinion, blue should be the color of tutoring spells (instead of pure draw), whereas black has a few copies with alternative casting cost, options to return any type of card from the graveyard, or "steal spells" similar to Desertion.

Disentomb - it's not the best card for beginners, as they usually look for cards they are able to cast for their current mana. And more expensive spells seem to be more attractive. That's why I would choose Zombify over this card.

Sorin's Vengeance - a total failure in any 1:1 deck, as the lifegain is completely irrelevant when your opponent has <11 life. However, the lifegain increases the cost of such a spell. And if your opponent has more than 10 life by the time you are able to cast it, you deserve to lose. (This could have been a Halo Hunter, which should prove more lethal (as would have Malakir Bloodwitch)).

Another point that bothers me comes from the fact, that your deck neither runs any enchantment, nor any artifact. Enchantments are the most flavorful way to design a magical effect that defines a color. Like the old Death Pits of Rath, it defines the always present "scent" or fingerprint of magic around you... but wait... for the R&D team, it's more important to continue their stupid quest of not printing any disenchant in black than using the design options of this card type.

So you might guess it already, I've answered "No" at the poll about any further stupid beginner decks. Rather use this time and design a better M13.

Dude, you are so out of your mind here... you dont even have seemed to have read anything he said at all.


 


the first thing you should of understood was that the black deck was made in current standard. half the card you suggested aren't even in standard.


example :
you suggested Zombify instead of disentomb... zombify = not even Type2.
you suggested nightmare be replaced by dementia master, again he's not even near extended let alone type2.

so go ahead dude, read more, QQ less !


i'm going to show you why mortis dog is better then your skinrender or smoldering butcher.
first the skin render, yes it kills a creature, great point for it... then again your skin render is not common, its uncommon. thus cannot even be valued against mortis dog whos is a common. actually a bomb in limited to be honest. but even there, skin render does 3 only and if its gets killed during its attack it does 0.

Smoldering butcher, bad choice, between mortis dog and smoldering butcher, smoldering butcher is strickly stupid... it attack, gets killed, 0 damage. thats it. the only thing it is better at is killing a creature by blocking it.

mortis dog, power house common... why ?
simply said, it attacks, it is 4/2, the opponent kills it, it does 4 to the opponent anyway.
end of the turn, the opponent got hit by 4 while every other creature ended up doing nothing of the sort.

in the cmc4 slot, i would pick something else... but if i had to choose in the commons, mortis dog is actually a pretty good choice when you want to push damage thru whatever your opponent does.



when it comes to disentomb, people often don't see the power of such a card.
yes it doesn't bring it back to the board. but have you noticed its mana cost ?
yes it cost only 1... so say you need that skinrender or that nightmare on the table.
it basically costed you the creature casting cost + 1 to have it back from your graveyard to the board. nightmare costing 5 to get back on board. skinrender for a second creature kill for only 5.
thats really not a bad deal there and definitely a card that gives an advantage.

now zombify is great with real big creatures, only 4 to bring whatever to the board. yes its cool... but it often doesn't help in a deck that has barely anything else then 4 or 5 cmc. it is only great when you cast real big guys with it. like akroma or angel of despair.

I actually used Still in the Black deck at FNM, but I made a couple of changes to make it standard.

I exchanged Nightmare with a Rune-Scarred Demon for it's 'tutor' effect and exchanged the 2 Tendrils of Corruption for 2 Consume Spirits because of their similar effects.

I actually managed to beat 2 Valakut decks with it! Needless to say, I was excited about how well it ran.

And I completly agree with ArthurianKnight's assesment of Mortis Dogs. Whenever you attack with it, no matter if your opponent decides to block it or not, they are still going to loose 4 life (if it's blocked and killed that is). And if they bolt it or 'burn' it on their turn, then they're loosing 2. It's a creature that makes your opponent debate how they are going to get rid of it without hurting themselves. And imagine their suffering when you Disentomb it back to your hand and they realize they'll have to face it again. That alone has won me a few games.

My point is, dispite how much it felt like a beginners deck, it actually worked well against some of the more competitive decks.
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