My Kids Are Butchering Me--Frustrated

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I am a 44-year old father of three boys. Two in high school and one in middle school. I am new to Magic, so I am at a significant disadvantage when I play against them.

I bought the Wild Rush (2013 Core Set) theme deck to get started, but I'm struggling. I played six times against my oldest son yesterday, for example, and I won twice, just barely. The other times, however, I just got smoked. My son used a mono white deck for three matches and a red burn deck for the other three. The frustrating part though is that he just threw his decks together and was able to easily win, while I had to really struggle and hope that he didn't draw what he needed.

Against the red deck, I found that I was in single digit life points (on the wrong end of Lava Axe) before I could even get my deck going and I could never recover. Against the white deck, my son would play things like Pacifism and my big green creatures would just sit there on the battlefield looking dumb until I eventually lost to a whole bunch of little 1/1 white creature tokens.

I could really use some help because I love learning to play MTG with my kids, but I would like to be a little more competitive than I am now. I like the black cards in the Wild Rush deck, so I am toying with more black/less green or mono-black and more creature removal potential.

Help. 
Precons are hardly ever a match against a deck in the hands of an experienced player, even if the experienced player just threw the deck together. Have them play with your precon, and you play with one of his decks. You will probably still lose more often than not. 

It takes experience, time, and patience to get better at Magic. There is not much we can do to help you. You have to want to help yourself. Ask your sons, "Why am I losing? What am I doing wrong?" Soon enough, you will be making better in-game decisions, and eventually you will be making better card choices. It takes time, and it has to be something that you want to do. 

Getting better takes time and a little effort. If you are new, you have quite a few things to learn. But it will come in due time. 

Have fun with it, first and foremost. And welcome to the game. 

Orzhova Witness

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97820278 wrote:
144532521 wrote:
How;s a 2 drop 1/2, Flying broken? What am I missing?
You're missing it because *turns Storm Crows sideways* all your base are belong to Chuck Norris and every other overused meme ever.
Starting decks are horrible, if your sons have been playing for a while, they probably have superior decks of their own and you probably never stood a chance.

There's also a lot about new player vs older player. Give me any deck and I'll play it better than a new players because I know what to do and when, while you might make "play mistakes"

My suggestion to you is to alternate who plays what. Have them play your deck and you play their decks and you'll start to understand how to play their decks and you'll start to understand why you want to get them to cast a flame slash on your centaur courser with a rancor on him because the next turn you'll have garruk's packleader on the field. Since your opponent dont know what you have in your hands, having a 5/3 trample bash them every turn might be lightning rod enough for their burn spells (like flame slash or lightning bolt) to be used to stop your threat, just so that next turn you bring up an even bigger threat and they dont have anything else to deal with it.

Another quick tip that's usually useful in most games, if you have the advantage sit on it. If you have a 3-3 creature and they have a 2-2 creature, dont bring out your 4-4 creature in your hands, they might have nasty spells like wrath of god. Continue bashing with the 3/3 and once they've dealt with it, bring on the 4-4.

A 5-3 rancor courser with 4 cards left in your hands is much more annoying (decision making wise) for the opponent than a 5-3 rancor courser with 2 extra 3-3 coursers and 2 extra land on the battlefield and 0 cards in your hands. He has to ask himself if he can actually do his lightning bolt on your courser or if you will have a giant growth to use. If he doesnt cast is lightning bolt when you attack, he takes 5 dmg, if he does cast it when you attack and you use giant growth your creature does (not exactly, but for the sake of learning the basics) this

5-3 original courser with rancor
to
8-6 (because of the stack, giant growth was cast second, so it resolves first, upgrading your creature for the rest of the turn)
to
8-3 (since he "lost" 3 toughness to the lightning bolt)

So he wasted his lighting bolt and he got hit for 8! You couldnt have done that with 0 cards in your hands.
I love trolls Dont hate me because I'm blunt and you cannot handle it

You could play cards like Earthquake, Slagstorm, or Pyroclasm to deal with creaturebased strategies.


To help against aggressive strategies and burn strategies, try buffing your deck with some incidental lifegain like Golgari Brownscale, Obstinate Baloth, Hollowhenge Scavenger, Jaddi Lifestrider, Thragtusk, or my favorite of the bunch Pelakka Wurm.


And since you're playing a green deck you have some pretty easy answers to cards like Pacifism. Most midrangy green decks should probably be playing a card like Acidic Slime, Wickerbough Elder, Indrik Stomphowler, or Beast Within (which can also be used on your own lands to give you a creature when you need one).


Another answer to removal like Pacifism is shroud or hexproof cards, Blastoderm can be a real battlecruiser, and Silhana Ledgewalker is amazing if you got some equipment or a Rancor to throw on it.


And another good way to work around removal is to play cards that give you a nice effect when they enter the battlefield, so even if your opponent removes them you've gotten something and they've lost a card. I'm talking about cards like Elvish Visionary which draws you a card or Borderland Ranger which fetches you a land.

What restrictions do you generally play under? Are the matches mostly standard legal? If not then I would suggest buying singles of some of the cards that sleeping is talking about. silhana ledgewalker is a common so will be like a quarter per card. rancor and other uncommons might be a little more expensive but there are so many good options out there. kitchen finks is a card that I would suggest against a red burn deck.

When deckbuilding remember the mana curve. It's usually better that most of your spells cost less than 6 mana. Reserve like 6 or fewer spots in the decks for those high cost spells.

A good product to try would be the duel decks. They include 2 decklists of (usually) some pretty good cards and the two decks are balanced against each other so each has a 50/50 chance of winning against the other. Another thing to try would be multiplayer. If you can get the brothers to fight against each other in a 3 player match then it will be an easy victory. Multiplayer is self policing in that when one player starts to win a little too much then that player gets put down quickly so in the end everyone will (generally speaking) have a somewhat equal chance of winning.

It takes time. In my opinion winning 2 of 6 is an extremely good start. It's better than most beginners start out with.
Don't be too smart to have fun
If you're not interested in spending the time to build an effetive deck, you could get a small upgrade by getting an event deck (MSRP $35, but some searching should find them for $20). They're somewhat more effective.

Buying 3 or 4 of the same deck can make building a better deck easy and quick.

Your kids might enjoy building you a more effective deck.
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56333196 wrote:
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Hell, if they steal from us, we'd be honored.
oh my god, AWESOME! Then changing the Slivers was your idea! haha lol
56734518 wrote:
Occassionally when catering, I've been put the task of arranging Fruit and Cheese or Grilled Vegetable platters. More than once a high class buffet has started with the mark of Phyrexia upon it. Since i've got a good eye for color so it looks great to people who don't get the "joke" (it's a niceley divided circle after all: the outline gives you 4-6 "regions" to work with), this has actually got me put on platter design more often, resulting in Phyrexia's presence at more private and industry events.
I have 6917 Planeswalker points, that's probably more than you. [c=Hero's Resolve]"Destiny, chance, fate, fortune, mana screw; they're all just ways of claiming your successes without claiming your failures." Gerrard of the Weatherlight[/c]
Oh yeah, I completely missed Finks because of the hybrid cost. That is a fantastic creature with a side effect of lifegain.
finks is broken
I love trolls Dont hate me because I'm blunt and you cannot handle it
If you play one of these decks I made (they're not all polished off), most anyone would have a hard time beating you.

Altered-Prismatic Treefolk

Holy Vengance

Holy War

Knights of Valor

Those are mostly beta-builds. I never got around to finishing them, but they don't take much work to bring them up to specs. The only thing in Prismatic Treefolk that I recall is out of place is Cloudcrown Oak.

New Wave Steel

New Wave Oath

New Wave Angels

Now these decks are some very new stuff I've tinkered around with very recently. It all started with my helping this girl Mizuika with her angel deck. For best results, I had to revamp the entire deck she had, but what it ended up with was legendary. It's a very solid deck. Steel came about the same way only I went off the deep end messing with someone's splicer deck, it ended up a totally different machine. New Wave Oath was one I came up with after they got my deck-building skills running. These are mostly polished off.

IMAGE(http://cdn.bulbagarden.net/upload/1/1c/Spr_4p_389.png)

If you play one of these decks I made (they're not all polished off), most anyone would have a hard time beating you.

Altered-Prismatic Treefolk

Holy Vengance

Holy War

Knights of Valor

Those are mostly beta-builds. I never got around to finishing them, but they don't take much work to bring them up to specs. The only thing in Prismatic Treefolk that I recall is out of place is Cloudcrown Oak.

New Wave Steel

New Wave Oath

New Wave Angels

Now these decks are some very new stuff I've tinkered around with very recently. It all started with my helping this girl Mizuika with her angel deck. For best results, I had to revamp the entire deck she had, but what it ended up with was legendary. It's a very solid deck. Steel came about the same way only I went off the deep end messing with someone's splicer deck, it ended up a totally different machine. New Wave Oath was one I came up with after they got my deck-building skills running. These are mostly polished off.



Some of those links don't work properly. Also telling people to play with one of your decks isn't exactly advice.
IMAGE(http://images.community.wizards.com/community.wizards.com/user/blitzschnell/c1b8574f03c7cff35d72311f1208599a.jpg?v=90000)
Would you mind taking down your quote then? I fixed the link, it wasn't broken it just directed to the analysis page instead of the overview. By the way, what it was meant to do was enable him to gain some experience with how the cards flow. By gaining experience, he'll naturally catch on and it will sharpen his deck-building skills.

IMAGE(http://cdn.bulbagarden.net/upload/1/1c/Spr_4p_389.png)

New Wave Steel still links to the New Wave Oath decklist.
IMAGE(http://images.community.wizards.com/community.wizards.com/user/blitzschnell/c1b8574f03c7cff35d72311f1208599a.jpg?v=90000)
Sorry about that. I was only checking for broken links. I fixed it, do you think you could delete that post now so there is no confusion? I'd like to delete the one's I made in response to you.

IMAGE(http://cdn.bulbagarden.net/upload/1/1c/Spr_4p_389.png)

I would recommend asking your son if you can borrow one of his decks. odds are they're decently balanced against each other, so it'll give you a good chance to play on a decently even level instead of struggling with an inferior deck. (precons are generally pretty terrible.) odds are you'll still lose a lot, since your son is more experienced, but it'll let you examine the mistakes you're making as opposed to just losing because your deck is bad.

 
120.6. Some effects replace card draws.
I'm just the opposite... 32 father of 5... my oldest wont play with me. Not since she realized she couldn't beat me.

3DH4LIF3

I'm just the opposite... 32 father of 5... my oldest wont play with me. Not since she realized she couldn't beat me.



Can you play against her with New Wave Angels? (let her use that deck) Tell me if she beats you.

IMAGE(http://cdn.bulbagarden.net/upload/1/1c/Spr_4p_389.png)

I'm just the opposite... 32 father of 5... my oldest wont play with me. Not since she realized she couldn't beat me.


Wow. You and the Missus been busy, eh? You ever consider going easy on her (Not your wife. Your daughter)? Not sayin' you should - because people who give parental advice with out any knowledge of the situation are the worst - just a thought.

And, since everyone else is talking about their kids now. I'm 22 and I gots myself a 3 year-old daughter. She likes Magic, but not as much as Pokemon - I give her commons with cool art. She is super excited whenever she recieves one.

139359831 wrote:
That is a lovely painting of Richard Garfield. It really brings out his feminine side.
Everyone here seemed to agree that Jund and Valakut ramp pretty much played themselves. Magiccards.info can print out pages of proxies for you. I would imagine there are some nice videos on youtube about learning magic, but couldn't say for sure.

The most important things to transition from basic level play to intermediate level I think are knowing your resources: what you currently have, what you can do with it, and what you need.

Know when to play your spells. if you have 2 creatures and they have nothing on their side then playing a 3rd probably isn't wise, you are looking to overextend your position into something like Day of Judgment or Chain Reaction.

Run value creatures, creatures that don't just do something when you attack or block with them, or are difficult to deal with, like; Invisible stalker (hexproof means he can't be targetted, by say Doom blade), Kitchen Finks or Flametongue Kavu where you get value as soon as they come into play, or something like Watchwolf who is both cheap and strong so losing him to a Doom Blade isn't a big loss, whereas losing a Balefire Dragon is.

Run removal, cards like Doom blade, Pacifism, and Shock may not be too exciting, but being able to respond to your opponents threats instead of just hoping to have the better threat, or ignoring it is definately important to winning. At the lower levels this is mostly creatures, as you get into more advanced decks you may need to be able to deal with different threats and Naturalize, Shatter, and Dispel will become useful too.

Card advantage, and tempo. Knowing who is going to be the aggressor, and who is going to rely on winning later into the game, and maximizing card value is also important (losing 3 creature cards to 1 Mutilate is hard to recover from, you are down 3 cards, he is down 1). Now typically decks will fall into a criteria, you can build a blue control deck and against most anything else you will be the control, but in a control vs control matchup that isn't necessarily the case. Great article about that here. Tempo involves playing to game speed. A fast sligh deck might not care about losing a Signal Pest, Menmite, and Three goblin tokens to a Whipflare if it has put 16 damage on the opponent by the time that happens, because then they are just a Lightning Bolt and a Searing Blaze from victory, and the opponent won't live long enough to win with that card advantage.

Instant speed and the stack. It's a lot to go into so I'll just link you to this.

Deck composition. Knowing how many threats, how much removal, and how much utility and lands
you need to be competitive. Nothing is really set in stone here, different decks have different requirements, but if you are looking to drop something like Mossbridge Troll and you aren't using cards like Llanowar elves and Harrow to get there faster you are going to be a control deck, you will need to last until the late game, that means being able to survive early with things like Fog or Plummet early, maybe Obstinate Baloth or Grazing Gladehart mid game, or even use both ramp and defense with cards like Vine trellis who can block if you need it, and can provide additional mana if there aren't sufficient threats on the board, and then you should survive to drop your troll lategame. Knowing what decks you will be against is important for what removal you will need, but if you are playing casual try to make your decks well rounded and not to hate out a certain deck, running a bunch of Pyroblasts and Boils against a blue deck isn't fun for anyone. Also most decks will run 40% mana, typically 24 lands in a 60 card deck. You can deviate from this if your deck is faster or slower, but generally 40% is sufficient.

Hope this helps.
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Borrowing the East Wind (P3) - Haha, it's like Hurricane but for horsemanship? That makes hilariously little sense. "Oh man, the wind is so much worse up on this horse."
57044478 wrote:
Jon Finkel can win a Magic tournament with a ham sandwich. That doesn't mean ham sandwiches are now the metagame breaker.
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To the OP:

You should try a strategy that they won't be able to mimic: spend a couple hundred dollars to build a tier1 standard deck. Since they're in high school they won't have the money to put together a similar deck. And then tell them that you'll ground them if they touch your cards.

Problem solved.

@kahtfish


If your sole purpose was to win you could just build the Pauper deck UR Storm, Grixis Storm, or RG Storm, which are all faster than any deck in Standard and probably cost like $20 at the most (unless Manamorphose and Lotus Petal cost more than I think they do).


@kahtfish


If your sole purpose was to win you could just build the Pauper deck UR Storm, Grixis Storm, or RG Storm, which are all faster than any deck in Standard and probably cost like $20 at the most (unless Manamorphose and Lotus Petal cost more than I think they do).



$2.30 and $3.00 respectively. 

@kahtfish


If your sole purpose was to win you could just build the Pauper deck UR Storm, Grixis Storm, or RG Storm, which are all faster than any deck in Standard and probably cost like $20 at the most (unless Manamorphose and Lotus Petal cost more than I think they do).




Somehow I don't think running a storm deck is what a new player should go with right away.
Somehow I don't think any of this advice has been helpful.

What's more important for new players is teaching proper philosophy of game play and deck construction. Saying "here's a good deck, play it and win" isn't really helpful for a new player.  
Not to derail the thread, but GM, if you want some testing done, mozy on over to the casual decks "text duel" thread, and I'd be happy to play some games.
Woot! Go RED! I love red! Red is awesome! Did I mention I love red?
those personality things
Suprisingly enough, in that test, I'm not red I am White/Black
I am White/Black
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56778328 wrote:
Why did you post it here? "Hey, all you guys who play this game! I'm not gonna play it!" "Umm... Ok, dude."
Thank you for all the responses. Obviously, going out and spending $300 on a deck to defeat my kids is not exactly what I had in mind.

Believe me, I do recognize that it will take time to learn the mechanics and become proficient with the game. I would say that I was proud of myself to be able to win the games I did, but I felt that I wasn't incredibly competitive overall.

Last night I did play with one of my youngest son's decks. I used it to beat one of his brothers (I was lucky), but my kids would prefer that I get my own cards and I understand that.

Right now I am going through the few cards I have trying to figure out what I want to do with my deck. I need to get some more cards, but I am not sure what products would be best. All I know is that I am quite limited in what I can do at the moment because I do not have access to many cards of my own. Unfortunately, I don't think one or two blister packs is going to save the day. It will take time.

Thank you, again, everyone. I really appreciate the feedback.
magiccards.info  can find any card, and be used to order them
Woot! Go RED! I love red! Red is awesome! Did I mention I love red?
those personality things
Suprisingly enough, in that test, I'm not red I am White/Black
I am White/Black
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.

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quotes
56778328 wrote:
Why did you post it here? "Hey, all you guys who play this game! I'm not gonna play it!" "Umm... Ok, dude."
Thank you for all the responses. Obviously, going out and spending $300 on a deck to defeat my kids is not exactly what I had in mind.

Believe me, I do recognize that it will take time to learn the mechanics and become proficient with the game. I would say that I was proud of myself to be able to win the games I did, but I felt that I wasn't incredibly competitive overall.

Last night I did play with one of my youngest son's decks. I used it to beat one of his brothers (I was lucky), but my kids would prefer that I get my own cards and I understand that.

Right now I am going through the few cards I have trying to figure out what I want to do with my deck. I need to get some more cards, but I am not sure what products would be best. All I know is that I am quite limited in what I can do at the moment because I do not have access to many cards of my own. Unfortunately, I don't think one or two blister packs is going to save the day. It will take time.

Thank you, again, everyone. I really appreciate the feedback.


Magic is all about getting the most effect from something for the most effecient cost. Doing a cost-benefit analysis of your cards is actually a great thing to do. It'll really help you figure out what is working in your deck and what isn't. Knowledge of the card pool is obviously really important to for deck construction because there are some cards that functionally are the same thing but one will be more efficient that the other. There are a ton of cards that exist in magic so maybe use some kind of search features to get a feel for what exists out there. 
Precons usually don't even match against what you'll get in limited, JTI. Seriously.

Anyway, run creatures that are hard to deal with. Don't run auras unless they grant you a card (or take a card from an opponent) on the turn they're played; auras have what is called "card disadvantage", wherein you lose two cards when they Doom Blade your guy, so you'll need to have some way to make up for it. (Rancor is a notable exception. It was part of a cycle, but only it got reprinted in M13.) Remember to play with removal cards, such as Doom Blade, Shock, and Naturalize. (Not all at once. You want to keep the colors in your deck to about two.)
139359831 wrote:
Clever deduction Watson! Maybe you can explain why Supergirl is trying to kill me.
---- Autocard is your friend. Lightning Bolt = Lightning Bolt
Thank you for all the responses. Obviously, going out and spending $300 on a deck to defeat my kids is not exactly what I had in mind.


I really like this. If I had a signature, I might put this in it. You should stop in sometimes - you're funny.

139359831 wrote:
That is a lovely painting of Richard Garfield. It really brings out his feminine side.

@kahtfish


If your sole purpose was to win you could just build the Pauper deck UR Storm, Grixis Storm, or RG Storm, which are all faster than any deck in Standard and probably cost like $20 at the most (unless Manamorphose and Lotus Petal cost more than I think they do).




Somehow I don't think running a storm deck is what a new player should go with right away.



The whole idea of shoving decks in a new Magic player's face and telling them to play them to win is absurd, that was the point of my response. Also Storm is easy to play once you've taken it around the block a couple times.


@evenintheshower
I suggest posting your deck in the Casual Play forum and asking for suggestions on how to improve it. The people there can sometimes be pretty helpful, many have an extensive knowledge of Magic's cardpool.

Thank you for all the responses. Obviously, going out and spending $300 on a deck to defeat my kids is not exactly what I had in mind.

Believe me, I do recognize that it will take time to learn the mechanics and become proficient with the game. I would say that I was proud of myself to be able to win the games I did, but I felt that I wasn't incredibly competitive overall.

Last night I did play with one of my youngest son's decks. I used it to beat one of his brothers (I was lucky), but my kids would prefer that I get my own cards and I understand that.

Right now I am going through the few cards I have trying to figure out what I want to do with my deck. I need to get some more cards, but I am not sure what products would be best. All I know is that I am quite limited in what I can do at the moment because I do not have access to many cards of my own. Unfortunately, I don't think one or two blister packs is going to save the day. It will take time.

Thank you, again, everyone. I really appreciate the feedback.




Almost all the common cards are less than a quarter apiece. If you have an idea for which cards you want to get then you can make some really good 60 card decks for 10 dollars or less. I agree with sleeping's suggestion to post your decklist in casual play and mention that you're looking for improvements to the deck but sticking to a strict budget. You can greatly improve your chances of winning without very much investment.

Someone else mentioned this but I thought it was worth mentioning again. One of the best ways to improve an intro deck is to use two of the exact same intro decks. I hate it but for whatever reason they feel the need to line the intro decks with some useless cards. So by having two intro packs you can get rid of the most worthless spells and still maintain a decent curve and deck balance (if you combine them well).
Don't be too smart to have fun
Those prices are only an estimation. For example, you should be able to put the Knights of Valor deck together from scratch for 15 bucks, even though it says 60. All the rares in that deck are $1 to 0.50¢. Kinsbale might be like 2 bucks though. Even so, most of those decks are lot cheaper than what it says.

IMAGE(http://cdn.bulbagarden.net/upload/1/1c/Spr_4p_389.png)

Have you considered going to a tournament with your kids? This weekend is the prerelease, a great place to start.
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My sig was so awesome it broke Browsers, [url= http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29455423/For_some_reason...]I had to remove it.[/url] Support Magic Fiction! Or Bolas will eat you
57193048 wrote:
You should never explain layers to people unless one of the following is true: they're studying for a judge exam, you're both in a Ben Affleck movie and it's the only way to save the world, or you hate them.
56663526 wrote:
We try to maintain the illusion that Magic cards are written in English.
56333196 wrote:
69511863 wrote:
Hell, if they steal from us, we'd be honored.
oh my god, AWESOME! Then changing the Slivers was your idea! haha lol
56734518 wrote:
Occassionally when catering, I've been put the task of arranging Fruit and Cheese or Grilled Vegetable platters. More than once a high class buffet has started with the mark of Phyrexia upon it. Since i've got a good eye for color so it looks great to people who don't get the "joke" (it's a niceley divided circle after all: the outline gives you 4-6 "regions" to work with), this has actually got me put on platter design more often, resulting in Phyrexia's presence at more private and industry events.
I have 6917 Planeswalker points, that's probably more than you. [c=Hero's Resolve]"Destiny, chance, fate, fortune, mana screw; they're all just ways of claiming your successes without claiming your failures." Gerrard of the Weatherlight[/c]
Have you considered going to a tournament with your kids? This weekend is the prerelease, a great place to start.


Just wanted to jump in to second this advice.  Prereleases are a blast to play in, and card pool doesn't matter as everyone builds a deck out of 6 boosters they just opened.