Haven't played since Ice Age. Time to get back in?

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So, old  guard player here.  Standard issue cardboard box and 4000 cards with no modern relevance. In a fit of nostalgia, bought some New Phyrexia intro decks and played with an old friend, and even roped my wife in.

Back around Ice Age I was a pretty decent player. Not really because of deck building strategies-- but because I had every single card memorized down to the flavor text. It was pretty easy to see what was coming after a few turns. I'm not sure I can dedicate that kind of time now. Also, I was a lot smarter back then. Now I'm older and dumber.

Of course, it's all different now.  Has anyone got back in after a decade of not playing? Is it mostly teen/early 20s, or is it not unusual to see nostalgic 30 year olds in the games?

Assuming I only had $150 to spend, where should I spend it?

We do see lots of returning players all the time. We even have a dedicated Returning Player Primer to help them!


I can relate, as I've been playing since the Ice Age time.



You could spend this money on a very playable Event Decks. They sell for about $20, so take any two you like, test them, then try to improve them.


If you want more of a modern collection rather than a couple of tourney-level decks, try the Deck Builder's Toolkit.

[<o>]
Haha, I'm going through the exact same thing right now, down to the age and timeframe.

It's been recommended to me that the place to start building a deck is by picking up one or two copies of an Event Deck, which are pre-constructed decks that I'm told are decent enough to get you on your way to some Friday Night Magic games.  I think there are 8 Event Decks that are legal right now, though some of the cards are likely to become obsolete as early as October.  Other good starting tools include the Deck Bulder's Toolbox, which is usually about $20, and has something like 250 cards in it.

Other advice I've received has been to generally avoid booster packs, especially if you're on a budget, and just purchase singles of the cards you want for your deck, which is disappointing from the perspective of the collector, but makes a lot of sense looking at the price of some of the cards these days.

Hope that helps.  I'm sure people who have been playing regularly will have more and better advice, but this is what I've gathered so far from my own experience trying to re-learn how to play.
Many people have come back to the game after many years of hiatus so do not feel alone.  We run tournaments at my shop and I see anywhere from 14 to 50 year olds come in to play.  If you want to come back to the community, you will be welcomed with open arms!  If you want to jump right back in, I would recommend jumping into Friday Night Magic events and playing the standard format because it is the easiest to start with and many people play it.

When it comes to magic, $150 can get you a little of what you want, or a lot of what you don't want.  I would spend the $150 on cards online for a good standard deck that you can use for Friday Night Magic.  Just make sure that you aren't getting cards that will no longer be standard come Oct 5th.

You are Red/Blue!

Yeah, that's a good point.  When I last played, I was in HS, so I bought booster packs only whenever I scraped together $1-3. But now I can make an entire 60 card deck of only twiddle. 

Have to say, the new cards look nice, but I really miss the older art styles.  

Just found out the Inquest shut down. Now I'm sad.

Maybe I should wait for this 13th edition, or 2013 or whatever, and start at that point...  
Yeah, that's a good point.  When I last played, I was in HS, so I bought booster packs only whenever I scraped together $1-3. But now I can make an entire 60 card deck of only twiddle. 

Have to say, the new cards look nice, but I really miss the older art styles.  

Just found out the Inquest shut down. Now I'm sad.

Maybe I should wait for this 13th edition, or 2013 or whatever, and start at that point...  

Oh Magic Core Set 2013?  That was released some time last month so you could get some of that if you wanted.  Core sets are the best place to start getting cards again, they started actually printing new cards in them in 2010 instead of using 100% reprints that everyone and their grandma had 40 copies of.

You are Red/Blue!

I have to agree.  I do miss those old Anson Maddocks and Dan Frazier paintings, among many others.  There was something really unique about the tone and texture of those cards that really sucked me into the game as a kid.
I have to agree.  I do miss those old Anson Maddocks and Dan Frazier paintings, among many others.  There was something really unique about the tone and texture of those cards that really sucked me into the game as a kid.

Boomerang

Need I say more?!

Ooo oo also Word of Undoing

You are Red/Blue!

I always loved this one.  Gaze of Pain

I remember cracking that in my first Ice Age pack and feeling like it really set the tone for the bleak, intense nature of that set.

Anyway, sorry for the derail.  I got nostalgic!
I get it! Love the old cards that look like paintings. Most the stuff now seems very modern/comic book/airbrushed.

Melissa Benson for the win.
 
I get it! Love the old cards that look like paintings. Most the stuff now seems very modern/comic book/airbrushed.

Melissa Benson for the win.
 

I tend to agree bof.  Oh and if no one has said it yet, welcome to the community!!

You are Red/Blue!

Thanks!

Hmmm. I see cards have a life of about a year.  Good, since I wouldn't have to memorize 50 expansion packs... bad, because it looks really expensive to keep up. Hmm Hmm.
 
Thanks!

Hmmm. I see cards have a life of about a year.  Good, since I wouldn't have to memorize 50 expansion packs... bad, because it looks really expensive to keep up. Hmm Hmm.
 


Its only Core Sets that rotate after a year (its actually more like 15 months or something) - Expansion Blocks (Innistrad for example) rotate after 2 years. And its only Standard that rotates so quickly - Extended lasts about 4 years, and Modern, Legacy & Vintage dont rotate at all.

Also note that if a card is reprinted, then older copies are just as legal as new ones. This means that while Core Sets rotate every year, some of the cards are reprinted in the next Core Set (or the expansion in between), so not all of the set rotates (just the cards that havent been reprinted).

I would suggest you start with a bit of M13 to find your feet, and then jump into Return to Ravnica when it comes out (go to the Pre-Release, you wont regret it).

~ Tim   

I am Blue/White Reached DCI Rating 1800 on 28/10/11. :D
Sig
56287226 wrote:
190106923 wrote:
Not bad. But what happens flavor wise when one kamahl kills the other one?
Zis iz a sign uf deep psychological troma, buried in zer subconscious mind. By keelink himzelf, Kamahl iz physically expressink hiz feelinks uf self-disgust ova hiz desire for hiz muzzer. [/GermanPsychologistVoice]
56957928 wrote:
57799958 wrote:
That makes no sense to me. If they spelled the ability out on the card in full then it would not be allowed in a mono-black Commander deck, but because they used a keyword to save space it is allowed? ~ Tim
Yup, just like you can have Birds of paradise in a mono green deck but not Noble Hierarch. YAY COLOR IDENTITY
56287226 wrote:
56888618 wrote:
Is algebra really that difficult?
Survey says yes.
56883218 wrote:
57799958 wrote:
You want to make a milky drink. You squeeze a cow.
I love this description. Like the cows are sponges filled with milk. I can see it all Nick Parks claymation-style with the cow's eyes bugging out momentarily as a giant farmer squeezes it like a squeaky dog toy, and milk shoots out of it.
56287226 wrote:
56735468 wrote:
And no judge will ever give you a game loss for playing snow covered lands.
I now have a new goal in life. ;)
pre-release? Is that some kind of party? I'll look it up.

Man, I never felt so old as when I went to the local shop yesterday and asked what to buy, since I didn't play since Ice Age. She gave me a weird look, like I was from the actual ice age.
 

My wife is going to murder me. 
pre-release? Is that some kind of party? I'll look it up.



We get cards from the block. The rules of limited depend on the prerelease, but it's usually sealed deck, where you get six boosters and have to make a forty-card deck out of them. (No four-card restrictions, no bannings.) Remember to return your lands afterward, though.

Launch parties use draft, where you get three boosters, open one, take a card out, and then pass it down until all the cards are gone, and repeat. Drafts only use eight players, while sealed deck can have any number of players.
139359831 wrote:
Clever deduction Watson! Maybe you can explain why Supergirl is trying to kill me.
---- Autocard is your friend. Lightning Bolt = Lightning Bolt
That's just what I"ll do then. I'll grab the starter 2013 pack, and wait for the expansion.
In the mean time, I'll recruit friends/family so I can get back into the swing of it.

Much appreciation.
 
My wife is going to murder me. 



Well, if you aren't making your wife want to murder you every now and then, you aren't doing it right.  ;)

You are Red/Blue!

Deckbuilders Toolkit is the way to go.  If you remember the basics from the Ice Age days, you probably have a good foundation.  However, you will have to familiarize yourself with the rules changes that have taken place since then.  Get used to discussing "The Stack."  It's important and it's been invaluable in refining the game.

University of Charleston School of Pharmacy, Class of 2016

My Peasant Cube: A Cube for the Commoners

I was reading about "The Stack." I love it. I love it so much.
My games back in '99 were like watching politics... trying to figure out whose interrupt did what before which instant, and who tapped what, jester's cap my twiddle.
 
The Event decks are kind of trash.  Take a look at the Intro decks, they're pretty playable, especially if you pick up 2 of the same and mix and match.  I also just started playing again after getting out during Ice Ages.
The Event decks are kind of trash.  Take a look at the Intro decks, they're pretty playable, especially if you pick up 2 of the same and mix and match.  I also just started playing again after getting out during Ice Ages.



I think either you have those backwards or you are doing something wrong?


Of course, it's all different now.  Has anyone got back in after a decade of not playing? Is it mostly teen/early 20s, or is it not unusual to see nostalgic 30 year olds in the games?



Yep, there abouts mate. I was first introduced to the game in the days of Squirrels and Threshold, played myself and got lightly invested in Myrs back in the first Mirrodin, and dropped it after Ravnica.

Welcome back!

As for the age thing, I can't speak for outside of London, but in Blighty at least we've got loads of older players and dads and stuff =]

I want to be Cultured.
The Event decks are kind of trash.  Take a look at the Intro decks, they're pretty playable, especially if you pick up 2 of the same and mix and match.  I also just started playing again after getting out during Ice Ages.


Don't listen to this. This is exactly wrong. 

I just started playing again and the event decks gave me something cohesive to work with.  
I haven't played since Friday, and I'm jonesing for some MtG action. ;)

Scope my YouTube channel!

Here's a shout out for Scholars' Books & Games in Bridgewater, MA, and for Paladin's Place in Darmstadt, Hessen, Germany where I was stationed for two years. Support your FLGS!

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

The Event decks are kind of trash.  Take a look at the Intro decks, they're pretty playable, especially if you pick up 2 of the same and mix and match.  I also just started playing again after getting out during Ice Ages.


Don't listen to this. This is exactly wrong. 

I just started playing again and the event decks gave me something cohesive to work with.  


Quoted for truth.  The Event Decks are pretty great.  They can help you be competitive at FNM.  Intro decks won't help you at FNM, but the M13 ones are pretty good.  You get a solid assortment of commons and uncommons, two rares and two boosters.  It's worth $15 in my opinion.

I know how it feels to be a returning player.  I started around 4th Edition and Ice Age, left at Stronghold, came back for Mirrodin, left at Darksteel, then made my way back around New Phyrexia.  You've chosen a great time to come back.  Innistrad was one of the best sets ever, and we're about to go back to Ravnica.  These are exciting times.

I always recommend EDH (now officially known as Commander).  It's casual, eternal, and just a crapload of fun.  It gave new life to a lot of my old cards.     

University of Charleston School of Pharmacy, Class of 2016

My Peasant Cube: A Cube for the Commoners

I'm pretty much in the same boat as OP.  Lost interest after Ice Age, got back into it briefly for Urza's Legacy/Invasion.  Downloaded Duel of the Planeswalkers 2013, which re-invigorated my interest in the game.  Just picked up a box booster box of M13, partially to relive the nostalgia of cracking boosters back in the day/partially to get a feel for the modern cards and mechanics.  Pretty happy with the purchase -- 2 full sets common/full set of uncommon and some good planeswalkers/rares, plus the guy at the store threw in some free packs of New Phyrexia, which yielded a Sword of War and Peace.  Doubt I could make a fully functional deck out of it all, but it's a good starting point.  Now it's time to donate money to online singles vendors!
So, I bougt the deck builder and 5 booster packs of M13.

Everythign together, don't really see anything useful I can put together for FNM.  Should I just get more boosters, or go into another expansion since the new one isn't due until October?

But the current expansion is only good till October 2013, yes? 
I can't really offer much advice because I haven't been playing near that long (started somewhere after Fifth Dawn came out), but I will say that at the card shop I go to there's plenty of adults (I'd guess mid to late twenties, early to mid thirties, one REALLY old guy).
Thank you Blitzschnell for the awesome banner!
No, now is not a good time to come back to magic.  Go away.

I'm just kidding

Event decks are pretty sweet, and I personally cannot wait for the next expansion pack coming out in october.

And I agree with RxPhantom.  Look into playing EDH, because it's a great format for older, obscure cards that nobody really loves anymore.  It's a fun way to play the same game completely different.
So, I bougt the deck builder and 5 booster packs of M13.

Everythign together, don't really see anything useful I can put together for FNM.  Should I just get more boosters, or go into another expansion since the new one isn't due until October?

But the current expansion is only good till October 2013, yes? 


If you want to get into FNM, buy an Event Deck (or maybe 2 copies of the same one, and smoosh them together to make a better more consistent version, and trade away the spare cards).

I doubt you would be able to build a cohesive, competitive deck from boosters, unless you bought a whole box of them and traded your backside off.

~ Tim   
I am Blue/White Reached DCI Rating 1800 on 28/10/11. :D
Sig
56287226 wrote:
190106923 wrote:
Not bad. But what happens flavor wise when one kamahl kills the other one?
Zis iz a sign uf deep psychological troma, buried in zer subconscious mind. By keelink himzelf, Kamahl iz physically expressink hiz feelinks uf self-disgust ova hiz desire for hiz muzzer. [/GermanPsychologistVoice]
56957928 wrote:
57799958 wrote:
That makes no sense to me. If they spelled the ability out on the card in full then it would not be allowed in a mono-black Commander deck, but because they used a keyword to save space it is allowed? ~ Tim
Yup, just like you can have Birds of paradise in a mono green deck but not Noble Hierarch. YAY COLOR IDENTITY
56287226 wrote:
56888618 wrote:
Is algebra really that difficult?
Survey says yes.
56883218 wrote:
57799958 wrote:
You want to make a milky drink. You squeeze a cow.
I love this description. Like the cows are sponges filled with milk. I can see it all Nick Parks claymation-style with the cow's eyes bugging out momentarily as a giant farmer squeezes it like a squeaky dog toy, and milk shoots out of it.
56287226 wrote:
56735468 wrote:
And no judge will ever give you a game loss for playing snow covered lands.
I now have a new goal in life. ;)
stupid question. when doing the draft tournament, you KEEP the cards, yeah?
generally yes
some stores do "rare redrafts" instead of actual price support, so in that case you keep all cards except the rares and mythic rares, which will be redistributed according to the tournament result
proud member of the 2011 community team
That was my next question. The local shop here in Folsom does the redraft.
 
That is an entire issue and you could turn this into 3 or 4 more pages just on that.  Some people prefer them and some don't.  I don't like them as my dissapointment in losing a rare I open/drafted that I really wanted would be a lot higher than my enjoyment of picking the best rare at the table from someone else.

Also, as a new player who might go into it knowing you will not win you could also rare draft to stock up on your own personal collection.  If they rare re-draft then you lose out on this avenue for you.

So you just have to ask yourself if you are OK with this, or if you would prefer to keep everything you drafted.  Then find a shop according to how you feel, or if you don't care either way.
The Event decks are kind of trash.  Take a look at the Intro decks, they're pretty playable, especially if you pick up 2 of the same and mix and match.  I also just started playing again after getting out during Ice Ages.



Um this is flat out wrong.  It's the intro decks that are trash.  The event decks are specifically made for a starting (somewhat competitive deck) to bring to FNM. 

It's better to spend the extra 10 dollars for a real deck with value rares in it than one of the garbage intro decks where all of the cards together are only worth about $2-$5.

Example, the Zombie event deck can be made quite competitive for a minimum investment.  Buy the zombie deck at $24.  Add 3X  Gravecrawler 3X Geralf's Messenger 4X Mortarpod and 1X Grave Titan and you have a fairly good deck that can compete.  Total cost less than $50. 

141434757 wrote:
Thread is so legit it's unbelievable, lol. Though I'm interested in knowing what gain there is to fish here. No, foreign prince, I will not invest in your grand profitable banking corporation.
I was reading about "The Stack." I love it. I love it so much.
My games back in '99 were like watching politics... trying to figure out whose interrupt did what before which instant, and who tapped what, jester's cap my twiddle.
 



That's funny. I play an EDH politics deck sometimes. And I play politics like every despot, by intimidating voters, instituting a poll tax, and lots of bribery.

The Event decks are kind of trash.  Take a look at the Intro decks, they're pretty playable, especially if you pick up 2 of the same and mix and match.  I also just started playing again after getting out during Ice Ages.



I think either you have those backwards or you are doing something wrong?



139359831 wrote:
Clever deduction Watson! Maybe you can explain why Supergirl is trying to kill me.
---- Autocard is your friend. Lightning Bolt = Lightning Bolt