playing creatures after combat vs before

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I have been playing the digital duel of the planeswalkers 2012, and I noticed a lot of times the AI will play their creatures after their combat round. I was wondering if there is any strategic advantage to doing so.

Thanks in advance  
Keeping your lands untapped when going into combat lets you bluff a combat trick (or use one if you actually have it) or theaten to activate an ability that can influence the opponent's decisions. Unless there is a compelling reason to cast something before combat (i.e. anything that can influence combat, like the Captains), the post-combat main phase is the time to cast spells. Against heavy blue control it might be better to cast a spell before combat, so that depending on it resolving or not, you can sent in the troops or hold them back.
In general, it's strategically correct to play cards after combat. Unless the card is actually going to have an effect on the combat (Especially a lord like Drogskol Captain, who can make your team bigger), it's almost always better to wait. It gives your opponent less information when they're making their blocks, leading to potentially worse blocks for them, (imagine if your opponents decide to chump your Festerhide Boar with their Typhoid Rats, only for you to play a Kindercatch later in the turn). Additionally, sometimes things like Morbid will be more likely "turned on" post combat.

Furthermore, you get to bluff a combat trick, making your opponent warier about blocking. If you tap out for a fatty before combat, your opponent will never be worried about that Giant Growth effect. Additionally, if you actually HAVE a combat trick, you'll be in a better position to know when to use it.

All in all, it gives your opponents more chances to make sub-optimal plays while giving yourself more time to make the "right" plays. It's only occasionally correct to play things in the precombat main phase.
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I have a bad habit of casting creatures in my pre-combat main phase. I shouldn't, but I frequently do. In fact, when I don't drop something during the pre-combat main I'm practically telegraphing the presence of a combat trick in hand. It's a bad habit that I picked up when I started playing in '94, and I've been doing it for almost 18 years now. It's hard to un-learn a habit that you've had so long. Kind of makes me envy the folk learning to play right now, what with Morbid and Bloodthirst both in print to encourage doing things the better way.

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Attacking the darkness since 1987, turning creatures sideways since 1994.

I've been playing since 94 too, not counting a layoff of several years.  And I have to think pretty hard to cast after combat.  It is a better way, but as you say, old habits die hard.
Playing casually online, I'm more inclined to cast my spell for the turn before combat, if I don't have any kind of combat trick.  But I've also been known to be so focused on the "right" strategy, that I miss playing a creature that should be cast before combat.

In general, it's a good idea to cast the following creatures/spells before combat:

1. Creatures with haste (Erdwal Ripper)
2. Creatures/equipment/auras that pump your team or one creature (Diregraf Captain, Silver-Inlaid Dagger)
3. Creatures or spells that remove creatures, tap creatures, or prevent blocking (Niblis of the Mist)
4. Creatures with abilities that are likely to be triggered in combat (Falkenrath Noble)

Those are all fairly obvious.

There are rare occasions where you want to cast a creature before combat because what happens to it is relevant to how you attack.  Say you're playing a Limited game.  You're at 4 life, with two 2/2 fliers, and your hand is one 1/2 creature.  Your opponent is at 6 life, has a 4/4 groundpounder, and has a card in hand he didn't cast last turn and plenty of untapped mana.  In that case, you might want to cast your creature before combat.  You know that if you attack this turn, block his attack on his next turn, and can get one creature through on your next turn, you're going to win.  What if your opponent's one card is Dissipate?  If you just attack, then cast your creature after combat, you lose when it's countered.  If you cast your creature before combat, and it's countered, you can leave one of your fliers behind to block, which at least gives you another turn to draw a card that will win you the game.  In most cases, your play doesn't matter.  You lose if the unknown card is any form of removal.  You win if the unknown cars is a land.  But in this late game situation, you don't really gain anything by bluffing.

ahhh okay, it is now clear  Thanks guys!
Broadly speaking, you should try to maximize your information while minimizing your opponents' information when making decisions.  This lets you react to your opponents' decisions while reducing their opportunity to react to yours.  So when in doubt, it's usually best to act at the latest possible time you can without affecting your strategy. 

For creatures, this normally means casting on 2nd main phase.

For pump spells, this normally means casting them as a "combat trick" during combat (usually between blockers and damage) rather than during a main phase.

For other instants, this usually means casting them during the beginning of your opponent's end step.

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule (why play a haste creature after combat?), and understanding these nuances will grow with experience.  But this is usually a good place to start.

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule (why play a haste creature after combat?)

If you absolutely need to block with a flameborn hellion next turn?

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Funny story: InQuest Magazine (I think it was InQuest) had an oversized Chaos Orb which I totally rooked someone into allowing into a (non-sanctioned) game. I had a proxy card that was a Mountain with "Chaos Orb" written on it. When I played it, my opponent cried foul: Him: "WTF? a Proxy? no-one said anything about Proxies. Do you even own an actual Chaos Orb?" Me: "Yes, but I thought it would be better to use a Proxy." Him: "No way. If you're going to put a Chaos Orb in your deck you have to use your actual Chaos Orb." Me: "*Sigh*. Okay." I pulled out this huge Chaos Orb and placed it on the table. He tried to cry foul again but everyone else said he insisted I use my actual Chaos Orb and that was my actual Chaos Orb. I used it, flipped it and wiped most of his board. Unsurprisingly, that only worked once and only because everyone present thought it was hilarious.
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195392035 wrote:
Hi guys! So, I'm a sort of returning player to Magic. I say sort of because as a child I had two main TCG's I liked. Yu-Gi-Oh, and Pokemon. Some of my friends branched off in to Magic, and I bought two pre-made decks just to kind of fit in. Like I said, Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon were what I really knew how to play. I have a extensive knowledge of deck building in those two TCG's. However, as far as Magic is concerned, I only ever used those two pre made decks. I know how the game is played, and I know general things, but now I want to get in the game for real. I want to begin playing it as a regular. My question is, are all cards ever released from the time of the inception of this game until present day fair game in a deck? Or are there special rules? Are some cards forbidden or restricted? Thanks guys, and I will gladly accept ANY help lol.
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Oh I have a standing rule. If someone plays a Planeswalker I concede the game. I refuse to play with or against people who play Planeswalkers. They really did ruin the game.
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And that's why you should never, ever call RP Jesus on being a troll, because then everyone else playing along gets outed, too, and the thread goes back to being boring.
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See, this is why RPJesus should be in charge of the storyline. The novel line would never have been cancelled if he had been running the show. Specifically the Slobad and Geth's Head talkshow he just described.
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Not only was that an obligatory joke, it was an on-topic post that still managed to be off-topic due to thread derailment. RP Jesus does it again folks.
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I think I'm gonna' start praying to Jesus... That's right, RPJesus, I'm gonna' be praying to you, right now. O' Jesus Please continue to make my time here on the forums fun and cause me to chuckle. Amen.
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It was wonderful. Us Johnnies had a field day. That Timmy with the Grizzly bears would actually have to think about swinging into your Mogg Fanatic, giving you time to set up your silly combo. Nowadays it's all DERPSWING! with thier blue jeans and their MP3 players and their EM EM OH AR PEE JEES and their "Dewmocracy" and their children's card games and their Jersey Shores and their Tattooed Tenaged Vampire Hunters from Beverly Hills
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.....would it be a bit blasphemous if I said, "PRAYSE RPJAYSUS!" like an Evangelical preacher?
Perhaps, but who doesn't like to blaspheme every now and again? Especially when Mr. RPJesus is completely right.
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I don't say this often, but ... LOL
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You... You... Evil something... I actualy made the damn char once I saw the poster... Now you made me see it again and I gained resolve to put it into my campaign. Shell be high standing oficial of Cyrix order. Uterly mad and only slightly evil. And it'll be bad. Evil even. And ill blame you and Lizard for it :P.
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I'm trying to work out if you're being sarcastic here. ...
Am going to stop you right there... it's RPJesus... he's always sarcastic
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112114441 wrote:
we can only hope it gets the jace could have at least been legendary
So that even the decks that don't run it run it to deal with it? Isn't that like the definition of format warping?
I lol'd.
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Uktabi Orangutan What the heck's going on with those monkeys?
The most common answer is that they are what RPJesus would call "[Debutantes avert your eyes]ing."
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...Am I the only one that thinks this is reaching the point of downright Kafkaesque insanity?
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Save or die. If you disagree with this, you're wrong (Not because of any points or arguements that have been made, but I just rolled a d20 for you and got a 1, so you lose).
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This just won the argument, AFAIC.
That's just awesome.
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That's what RPJesus tends to do. That's why I don't think he's a real person, but some Magic Card Archive Server sort of machine, that is programmed to react to other posters' comments with obscure cards that do in fact exist, but somehow missed by even the most experienced Magic players. And then come up with strange combos with said cards. All of that is impossible for a normal human to do given the amount of time he does it and how often he does it. He/It got me with Light of Sanction, which prompted me to go to RQ&A to try and find if it was even possible to do combat damage to a creature I control (in light that Mark of Asylum exists).
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heaven or hell.
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GG quotes! RPJesus just made this thread win!
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Blue players get all the overpowerered cards like JTMS. I think it's time that wizards gave something to people who remember what magic is really about: creatures.
Initially yes, Wizards was married to blue. However, about a decade ago they had a nasty divorce, and a few years after that they began courting the attention of Green. Then in Worldwake they had a nasty affair with their ex, but as of Innistrad, things seem to have gotten back on track, and Wizards has even proposed.
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Surely RPJesus gets Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius?
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First: I STILL can't take you seriously with that avatar. And I can take RPJesus seriously, so that's saying something.
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I'd offer you a cookie for making me laugh but it has an Upkeep Cost that has been known to cause people to quit eating.
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56957928 wrote:
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If you play guys before combat you can f6!
Usually, after is better. Before applies to haste and "When ~ enters the battlefield..." abilities relevant to this turn's combat. (Things like Skinrender and Manic Vandal in Standard right now.) This also applies to using Auramancer to retrieve an Honor of the Pure and then casting it.

This actually applies to any spell.

There's also the information war. If my opponent thinks I have a Titanic Growth and I don't, so much the better for me.
139359831 wrote:
Clever deduction Watson! Maybe you can explain why Supergirl is trying to kill me.
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i find when i play control decks i will often cast before combat and after in attempt to draw out counterspells and romoval/bounce.

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Two main reasons:

1) Play instants/activate abilities during combat.

2) Not give you any information on the best way to block or not block their attacking creatures. 
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Two main reasons:

1) Play instants/activate abilities during combat.

2) Not give you any information on the best way to block or not block their attacking creatures. 

3) Actually give bloodthirst a chance to work.
139359831 wrote:
Clever deduction Watson! Maybe you can explain why Supergirl is trying to kill me.
---- Autocard is your friend. Lightning Bolt = Lightning Bolt
If you cast burn spells before combat (when targeting a player) they are more likely to block. So if you attack first you make your burn spells a suprise.
There's a bit of a logic gate to teach yourself with this one...

Q (Input): Does casting this creature card affect the battle phase (y/n)
Input(y): Is it worth the risk of losing the creature (will the creature make a game-swinging impact if it influences the board)
Output(y/y): Cast it
Output(y/n): Consider casting it post-combat or during a later turn
Output(n): Do not cast it
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Instants and flash are a notable exception. You might want to play those either between declaring attackers and declaring blockers (such as Mighty Leap) or between declaring blockers and damage (such as Titanic Growth). There are no hard, fast rules to those, though.
139359831 wrote:
Clever deduction Watson! Maybe you can explain why Supergirl is trying to kill me.
---- Autocard is your friend. Lightning Bolt = Lightning Bolt
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