If you were just starting Magic again after 15 years.....

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Hi, I was here the other day asking about the state of purchasing super-old sets by the box.

While that is a fantastic pipe dream I think living in reality is a far more realistic approach to playing again.

My question:  If you were just starting to play Magic again after 15 years of being away and had NOTHING but a few hundred bucks, what would you buy?

I realize this is the internet and I'll get a few responses telling me to buy a massive banana split and give away the rest to homeless people, but in all seriousness, I am headed to the local comic store tomorrow (Friday) and I plan on being ready to spend maybe $100-$150.

I have done some research in the FAQ section and a little perusing of what google offered and have come to this conclusion:

-Get a few Core sets or at least one (2012 just came out this month I think)
-Buy a bunch of boosters


I have no idea what cards are worth or the commonality so I'll have to go thru that period of extreme noobishness - basically making crummy elf decks and stuff and playing them against eachother to try find out what cards are good.

Maybe buy a Magic Card list book?  I can't remember the name of the magazine I used to buy (if my memory even serves me correctly) but I recall a magazine that had card lists and approximate values.

I suppose some die, for counters and life (unless Core set(s) come with them).

A binder or two because basically I'm gonna sheet everything until I know what it's worth.(I realize more of the Core sets are filler cards)
Plus I really enjoyed the trading aspect when I used to play.  Binders were the way to go.

Some of those nicer plastic casings for the good cards or my main deck.

A cardboard card-box.  (I used to use this to carry my decks but I'm guessing after 15 years, there are designer cases available for this)

I'll definitely want to pick up many booster packs tomorrow - what boosters I'm not sure.

The way it sounds now, is that there are many booster-types available!  I would appreciate any inside advice on what I should be looking for.

Basically anything I need to get started playing - I'm ready to get and hopefully I can get a good start with the amount of money I mentioned.

I'm guessing $30 Canadian for a Core set, $5-$10 for a booster pack and the rest of the extras probably fairly cheap.

Would it be a waste to buy 2 or 3 Core sets?  Maybe just get one Core set then buy as many boosters as possible?


Thanks so much for your time reading this and your advice.   All humour is welcome =D




I should note too that I pretty much know how to play the game, barring any new rules and obviously new cards from anything after Weatherlight?

I only played for maybe 6 months but it seemed like forever (Ice Age).

Anyways I have an idea of current Magic by playing Magic 2012 on XBOX.  I read it's a bit different from the actual game because of the medium it is played, but to me it is just like I remember.

That is actually why I downloaded it.  I've been waiting for a rendition of MTG on PC/CONSOLE ever since I quit in 96 but nothing came close to capturing that game-like feel of sitting across from somebody playing cards.

2012 that came out this year scratches that itch - of course not being able to build your own decks is lame, but still, good Magic game for a guy who misses playing.


So yea, maybe when I open some packs tomorrow I'll see cards from the decks I've been using online.




Well first off you need to know what type of deck you want to build, Control, Aggro, or Burn. Regardless you should pick up some dual lands for your deck to help the mana fixing. Also if you don't mind dropping 10-17 bucks I would grab a titan for one of your colors, and a Planeswalker. Also if you are not that good with deck building, I would avoid Intro deck and just spend the extra few dollars and grab one of the intro decks, but not the crappy m12 ones pick up one of the ones from New Phyrexian. And just a tip pick up a few m12 packs, but not too many(there are a lot of crappy rare's in it) you should pick up some new phyrexian packs. Oh yah Avoid Zendikar, World Wake, Rise of the Eldrazi, and m11 packs because they are about to rotate out. Good luck.
Rotate out?

I have NO idea what kinda deck I want to build.  I wasn't ever all that good.

A titan and a planeswalker?  Ok I'll look into that.  I noticed the PWs are named after the ones in the video game.  I also hear people complaining that you see one in every deck these days?

You said avoid intros decks but to get intro decks??   Don't get M12 intro, but a NP intro?  Ok.

When you say grab M12 packs you mean boosters?  Ok.

NP boosters are what I want to get more of?  Ok.

Yea, so I'm still confused about the rotation?  Are you referring to certain sets not allowed to be used in certain types of play?
If so, I'm just looking to play locally with whoever I meet at the shop.  I won't be ready for tourneys til much later.

Sorry, I'm just trying to make sure I understand everything you said.

NP boosters looks like what I want to get the most of with a few M12 boosters and a PW and Titan. 

What about the Core 2012 set?   


I see myself sitting in the park tomorrow going through all of the stuff I am going to get.  Hope it's nice out!

Thanks again.
I'd say go with an M12 fat pack first. You'll get a pack of lands, 9 boosters, a 20 sided die, a players guide with pictures and a checklist of all the cards in that set, and it all comes in a nice box. What I'd do, since you don't have anything or an idea of what you want, is open the boosters you get in the fat pack and build off whatever you get that is good/you like.

Theres also the deckbuilders toolkit, which is supposed to be for people just getting into it.
It has(copy and pasted from cardkingdom.com):

  • 125 semi-randomized cards suitable for building several different Magic decks

  • Four 15-card booster packs from a variety of recent Magic: The Gathering sets

  • 100 basic land cards to help you cast your spells

  • Deck builder’s guide with tips about building the best Magic decks

  • Magic "learn to play" guide

  • Full-art reusable card storage box

Well first off you need to know what type of deck you want to build, Control, Aggro, or Burn. Regardless you should pick up some dual lands for your deck to help the mana fixing. Also if you don't mind dropping 10-17 bucks I would grab a titan for one of your colors, and a Planeswalker. Also if you are not that good with deck building, I would avoid Intro deck and just spend the extra few dollars and grab one of the intro decks, but not the crappy m12 ones pick up one of the ones from New Phyrexian. And just a tip pick up a few m12 packs, but not too many(there are a lot of crappy rare's in it) you should pick up some new phyrexian packs. Oh yah Avoid Zendikar, World Wake, Rise of the Eldrazi, and m11 packs because they are about to rotate out. Good luck.





**** i ****ed up typing this didn't I when I said "I would avoid Intro deck and just spend the extra few dollars and grab one of the intro decks, but not the crappy m12 ones pick up one of the ones from New Phyrexian." I meant to say "I would avoid Intro deck and just spend the extra few dollars and grab one of the event decks, but not the crappy m12 ones pick up one of the ones from New Phyrexian." And rotations are for standard and the like, by the way the coreset is m12 Wizards just changed the name of it. Thank you for reading.
May be too late now, since it is already Friday, but why are you rushing in like this?

My advice would be to do some card research, just to familiarize yourself with... everything.  I came back after a similar amount of time away, about six months ago, and the thing I have found most valuable is going through Gatherer and checking out cards, and reading the Discussion.

Of course, a 2012 Core Set or Fat Pack is something you can't go wrong with.  It's relevant, and even has some cards you will recognize - Giant Spider is still going strong!  :D

Buy the 2012 set before you grab a Titan or Planeswalker as a single, because you just might get one or both.  My sister-in-law just started playing, and she bought an M12 Fat Pack, and two of the four booster packs contained a Sun Titan and a Grave Titan.  Lucky b****!  LOL

IMAGE(http://i247.photobucket.com/albums/gg152/jdealer90/RandomAnimal.jpg)

I would start out by buying an event deck that you like and start playing. If you're back new to the game after 15 years, you probably won't get a handle on how the cards will interact just by reading them in Gatherer. You'll learn good cards, combos and strategies by getting whooped by them. You can then spend the rest of your $100-$150 tricking out your event deck with some choice rares/mythics, or maybe you'll play against a deck type that you like better and you can spend your money building that one.

I would advise against buying boosters (or fat packs or booster boxes) since you are on a limited budget. Your $150 can make a solid FNM deck. If you spend it on booster-based products, you'll find you have a lot of cards, but you'll have 8 copies of cards you would never put in any deck, and you'll end up forced into a particular kind of deck based upon what rares/mythics you pull. And of those rares/mythics, you won't have enough copies for your deck, so you'll still have to spend money buying singles. Booster-based products are fun, but not economically efficient. 

So start by spending a little bit, then play and get beat and play and get beat until you get a feel for how the cards interact and what kinds of decks are out there. Then spend more money buying the cards you need to make a deck you'll enjoy playing. 
If you have no idea what you want to do the best thing would be to buy a fatpack (10 booster and other goodies) and a deckbuilders toolkit (a ton of stuff) like someone already suggested. This will cost about $50. Then you can play with those for a bit and see how you like playing again and decide if you want to get into tournaments. The next best thing you could buy is a magic 2012 booster box which wil cost around $100 dollars. The booster boxes contain 36 packs of 15 cards each.
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I should note too that I pretty much know how to play the game, barring any new rules and obviously new cards from anything after Weatherlight?

You last played in Weatherlight? Then yes, there will be new rules, and a lot of changes to the old rules. Almost fifteen years will do that to a game. Luckily, there is help--check out the Returning Player Rules Primer, which will catch you up on all the rules changes and additions since you last played.

Rotate out?

Every tournament has a "format", which basically means a specific group of cards that are legal for play in that tournament. The most common format is "Standard", which only allows cards from the most recent two blocks' worth of expansion sets and the core sets that follow them. Right now, that means Standard consists of the sets known as Zendikar, Worldwake, Rise of the Eldrazi, Magic 2011, Scars of Mirrodin, Mirrodin Beseiged, New Phyrexia, and Magic 2012. However, in just over a month and a half or so the fall expansion set (Innistrad) will be released. This will cause the Standard format to "rotate", meaning that the oldest block in Standard and its associated Core Set will no longer be legal. At that time, Standard will consist of Scars of Mirrodin, Mirrodin Beseiged, New Phyrexia, Magic 2012, and Innistrad. For this reason, it's a poor time to buy cards from M11 or Zendikar block if you have any interest in playing Standard tournaments, because they will shortly rotate out.

(Note that if a card is legal, any printing of that card is legal, no matter its set. So if you have any Forests from Mirage, for example, those are still going to be legal in Standard, because Forest is a legal card in Standard.)

If you just want to play casually, you can acquire other cards, but it's still a good idea to at least be aware of the various tournament formats, because a lot of other people will have built their decks around those formats.

I noticed the PWs are named after the ones in the video game.

The other way around, for the most part. The characters originated in the paper game and were then used in the online game.

NP boosters looks like what I want to get the most of with a few M12 boosters and a PW and Titan. 

What about the Core 2012 set?

M12 is the 2012 Core Set. M12 is short for Magic 2012.

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Thanks for the help everybody!

I picked up an event deck (Blue) although I am perplexed why there isn't any Krovikan Mists but maybe they are from another year.

No doubt I can still pick those up for cheap.

I also bought a New Phyrexia Fat Pack aswell as some plastic binder sheets and a blue card protector deck.

The store I went to has Friday Night Magic (like just about anywhere I guess) so I may go back today and get started!!

Looking back, I wish I kept my DUAL LANDS from 1996.   :\

I'll probably buy a few specific cards for my blue deck tonight.  Any ideas?  Thanks!
Rotate out?



It's been standard (pardon the pun) for a while: When Innistrad comes in, Zendikar, Worldwake, Rise of the Eldrazi, and the 2011 core set will be gone from Standard. Similarly, Lorwyn, Morningtide, Shadowmoor, Eventide, and the 2010 core set will be out of Extended, if anybody played it.

Oh, hey, they finished Ice Age. It involved Cthulhu's little sister and something called snow mana.
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I picked up an event deck (Blue) although I am perplexed why there isn't any Krovikan Mists but maybe they are from another year.

Exactly. Event Decks are designed to contain only Standard-legal cards as of their release, and Krovikan Mist isn't Standard-legal.

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

My question:  If you were just starting to play Magic again after 15 years of being away and had NOTHING but a few hundred bucks, what would you buy?



One card, because that's all I could afford for any sane format except perhaps Pauper.

EDIT: Asd, thought this was about getting back in 15 years, not coming back now and having been away for 15.

If you're coming back now and have nothing, I recommend either starting to buy singles for whatever deck in whatever format catches your fancy (or just drafting a ton), buying Event Decks, Commander boxes (if you're into that kind of madness, I'm not), or perhaps Deckbuilder's Toolkits.

Buying boosters without playing Limited with them is just an insane waste of money, 12/15ths of the pack is unplayable Limited jank anyway, might as well use it the one time it's possible.
Trying to help "I'm original" people build better decks is self-sabotage: Good advice will inevitably be ignored because someone did it before. The gist of Magic is going to MWS/MTGO, playing Island, Ponder and watching the opponent ragequit.
What to buy when getting into to Magic (or back in) probably depends on who you think you'll be playing with. If you'll be playing at a card store for FNM's and such I'd probably go with the previously reccomened Event Deck plan. Then you'll have plenty of cash left to buy upgrades for your deck as singles. If you'll be playing with friends and/or family instead then two starter decks and some boosters would be a good way to start.

EDIT: I see you went with Event Deck. Excellent! Good blue cards? ... Grand Architect + Steel Hellkite is cool. Also.. Mind Control, Azure Mage, Mana Leak, Sphix of Uthuun. None of those should be too expensive.