Revised: Advice for new posters

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In response to a recent thread of advice for new players and posters, I decided to collect some of the core ideas that were discussed, revise and expand upon them, and present them in a form that will, hopefully, be friendlier and more accessible to the target audience.  Credit goes to Burning_Forest for creating the original thread.

If you are reading this as a newcomer to the forums, or the game in general, I’d like to welcome you, and wish you well. I hope you find the advice in this thread helpful.

First off, look before posting. Many forums have specialized sub-forums that should be used when appropriate. For instance, the Standard General forum is geared towards discussion of overall strategy, the state of the current metagame, and so forth, while the Standard Deck Help sub-forum is for the discussion and critique of personal decklists. Posting your thread or comment in the appropriate forum or sub-forum helps keep everything well organized, and ensures that you’ll avoid any negative reaction from a misplaced thread. Additionally, you should be sure to read the forum rules, and try your best to follow them at all times. 

Second, be willing to learn, adopt new strategies, and change your deck in response to constructive criticism. Many people will post their decklist for critique, and then ignore any and all advice they receive. Don’t do this!
A lot of people fall into this trap, I think, because they ‘identify‘ too strongly with their decks. Whether the deck is a zero-to-sixty homebrew, a tweak of a top-tier list, or their first deck ever, the deck is ‘theirs‘, and any criticism of the deck is taken as an insult to their skill/ingenuity/intelligence/self-expression. In a way, this is only natural, as we tend to develop an attachment to the things we invest our time, resources, effort and creativity in. Receiving criticism on a deck is kind of like getting a rejection letter from a publisher; when our creation is criticized, we feel hurt.  
However, unless you are willing to swallow your pride and listen to good advice, your deck will never improve. As in any creative pursuit, you have to be willing to allow your bad ideas to die in order for your good ideas to shine. It may be a bit hard to let go of those bad ideas, especially if you have devoted time and energy to them, but the payoff in the end is worth it.
On a related note, you do have to be willing to invest your time and resources in a deck to make it good. Don’t expect others to do all your work for you!  

Third, be civil. This is the internet, and you should expect to catch some heat at some point. Don’t respond in kind; this will only make a bad situation worse and cause your thread to degrade into a free-for-all verbal slugfest. When someone is being nasty, just resolve to be the better person and let it go. Above all, don’t ever intentionally try to pick a fight or argue for the sake of it. It will never be worth it.
As a general guideline, don’t use the forums to try and prove how smart you are. Instead, try and focus on learning, improving your skills, and discussing this great game!
(Admittedly, I had to learn these lessons the hard way. We’re all human, I guess.)

Fourth, as a corollary to the previous suggestion, be willing to set aside your ego. There are some people who, while skilled deck builders and players, also seem to take pride on snubbing other posters and presenting their advice in sarcastic or demeaning ways. While it is never fun to be on the receiving end of such a post, the personal attitude of the poster does not necessarily determine the quality of the advice related in the post. Don‘t ignore good advice because of bad behavior. Who knows? Maybe that piece of advice is just what your deck needs.                   

Fifth, and most importantly; remember that this is just a game, and there is no reason to get worked up over it. Have fun and relax!

Cheers!

P.S. To autocard, type {c}Cardname{/c} with square brackets. (Use [ instead of {.) For example, typing {c}Serra Angel{/c} with square brackets gives you Serra Angel. This helps make your decklists and posts easier to follow.
P.P.S. To apply autocard tags to an entire deck, use {deck} Decklist {/deck}, again with square brackets. For example:
{deck}
4 Serra Angel
4 Oblivion Ring
4 Plains
{/deck}
Type the above with square brackets and you get:


"I will diminish, and go into the west, and there remain SgtPepperjack. Y'know, you really ought to come along with me."

www.nogoblinsallowed.com

While the effort is appreciated, I'm still going to link to B_F's post, and not yours.

But to provide something that is actually worthwhile to this thread, you can put an entire decklist in [deck[ [/deck[ and it'll get all the cards, so you don't have to /card each one. 

(at)MrEnglish22

Honestly, I typed this up because the tone of the original thread was very condescending and judgemental, even though the advice it contained was pretty good. While I can understand the frustration B_F feels, his thread seemed like a reactionary rant, and there are better ways to get the point across. I'd rather a new player get this advice in a friendly, straightforward manner than to have to dig it out of a thread that was pretty much solely designed to blow off steam.

Also, OP edited to include decklist tagging.

"I will diminish, and go into the west, and there remain SgtPepperjack. Y'know, you really ought to come along with me."

www.nogoblinsallowed.com

There's enough new players imo. There's definitely way too many that aren't available for me to scam blind

(at)MrEnglish22

I've removed content from this thread. Trolling/baiting is a violation of the Code of Conduct

You can review the Code of Conduct here: company.wizards.com/conduct

Please remember to keep your posts polite, on topic and refrain from personal attacks. You are free to disagree with one another as long as it is done in a respectful manner. 
I feel like I missed something once again. And I think I got Orc'd too.

But I did notice house cat was banned.

Also, I've realized the REAL issue: there isn't a sub-forum where players can post to get help on competetive decks. Deck Help is listed as the "casual, budget, or noncompetetive" decks, but it is generally frowned upon to create new threads in the Tier subforums.

Clearly, this isn't an issue that can be solved by ANYBODY around here (not even the Orcs, which is why there has been little moderation in the forums until recently, and why many of the Orcs who have made changes were accounts made in the past year or so) and will likely never BE changed, because addressing little things like forums isn't something WotC cares to do right now, as little of a change as it would be. 

(at)MrEnglish22

I feel like I missed something once again. And I think I got Orc'd too.

But I did notice house cat was banned.

Also, I've realized the REAL issue: there isn't a sub-forum where players can post to get help on competetive decks. Deck Help is listed as the "casual, budget, or noncompetetive" decks, but it is generally frowned upon to create new threads in the Tier subforums.

Clearly, this isn't an issue that can be solved by ANYBODY around here (not even the Orcs, which is why there has been little moderation in the forums until recently, and why many of the Orcs who have made changes were accounts made in the past year or so) and will likely never BE changed, because addressing little things like forums isn't something WotC cares to do right now, as little of a change as it would be. 


I solicited suggestions when I reorganized the forums a few months ago and I was begging for someone from the constructed area to speak up and provide advice, since I have no experience down here. This certainly seems like just a mislabeling of Standard Deck Help, which is easy to correct. I'm still open to suggestions on reorganizing these forums; just leave them in the thread above.

As far as moderation, posters are going to need to take a little responsibility here, especially until we get a VCL specifically for the constructed area. Orcs generally do not "patrol" looking for CoC violations, so if you see any (usually trolling/baiting), please use the "Report Post" button. And if there is a thread that needs to be moved or locked as a duplicate, please let me know using the VCL request thread linked in my signature. I generally take care of requests as soon as I can, which is almost always within a day and often just a few hours.

Magic and Magic Online Volunteer Community Lead. On Strike

I'm trying to make my official VCL posts in purple.

You posted saying my thread was moved/locked but nothing happened.


Show
Unfortunately, VCLs do not currently have the tools necessary to take moderation actions directly. VCLs submit their actions to ORCs, who then actually perform the action. This processing can take between a few minutes and several hours, depending on how busy/attentive the ORCs are.

If you see something that needs VCL attention, please use this thread to make a request and a VCL will look at it as soon as possible. CoC violations should be reported to Customer Service using the "report post" button. Please do not disrupt the thread by making requests of either kind in-thread.

General MTGO FAQ

Yes, the Shuffler is Random!
The definitive thread on the Magic Online shuffler.

Magic Math Made Easy
Draw probabilities, Swiss results, Elo ratings and booster EV

Event EV Calculator
Calculate the EV for any event with a fixed number of rounds and prizes based on record

Dual means two. A duel is a battle between two people. Lands that make two colors of mana are dual lands. A normal Magic battle is a duel.
Thanks to PhoenixLAU for the [thread=1097559]awesome avatar[/thread]!
Quotables

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"While a picture is worth a thousand words, each lolcat actually produces a negative wordcount." -Ith "I think "Highly Informed Sarcasm" should be our Magic Online General motto." -Ith "Sorry, but this thread seems just like spam. TT is for off-topic discussion, not no-topic discussion." -WizO_Kwai_Chang "Stop that! If you're not careful, rational thinking may catch on!" -Sax "... the only word i see that fits is incompitant." -Mr44 (sic) "You know a thread is gonna be locked when it gets to the hexadecimal stage." -Gathion "It's a good gig" - Gleemax "I tell people often, if you guys want to rant, you've certainly got the right to (provided you obey CoC/ToS stuff), and I don't even really blame you. But if you see something you think needs changing a well thought-out, constructive post does more to make that happen." - Worth Wollpert
I posted about organization in constructed magic play in the TCG Boards Business forum some time ago. Search it up. I'll try add a link here today if I can find some time.

bubba, here you go:

community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...

As tedious as it is to say it, MTGSalvation has the best structure for organized play and we should mimic it now. We'll get mocked for it... for a while... but in the end its best for the community. 

IMAGE(http://i1101.photobucket.com/albums/g424/syreal94/SIGNichecopy.png)

Fix your Forum Experience here: http://community.wizards.com/forum/new-site-feedback/threads/3925861

Boasts?

2011 States Top 4
Multiple 2013 IQ Top 4/8 Finishes
Designer of Top 8 States finishing MBC decks in 2011, 2010, and 2009 
Standard Forum - Iron Deck Builder Season One Champ

Favorite Quotes

"Against logic there is no armor like ignorance." - Laurence J. Peter 
"It is the province of knowledge to speak, and it is the privilege of wisdom to listen.” - Oliver Wendell Holmes

I generally don't move away from the deckbuilding sections from the forums, or else I would have posted in that thread.

(at)MrEnglish22

Thanks for that Niche. I'll take a look at it when I get a chance.

Jman: still looking for advice, so feel free to chime in. Maybe we can get this done sometime early in the new year.

Magic and Magic Online Volunteer Community Lead. On Strike

I'm trying to make my official VCL posts in purple.

You posted saying my thread was moved/locked but nothing happened.


Show
Unfortunately, VCLs do not currently have the tools necessary to take moderation actions directly. VCLs submit their actions to ORCs, who then actually perform the action. This processing can take between a few minutes and several hours, depending on how busy/attentive the ORCs are.

If you see something that needs VCL attention, please use this thread to make a request and a VCL will look at it as soon as possible. CoC violations should be reported to Customer Service using the "report post" button. Please do not disrupt the thread by making requests of either kind in-thread.

General MTGO FAQ

Yes, the Shuffler is Random!
The definitive thread on the Magic Online shuffler.

Magic Math Made Easy
Draw probabilities, Swiss results, Elo ratings and booster EV

Event EV Calculator
Calculate the EV for any event with a fixed number of rounds and prizes based on record

Dual means two. A duel is a battle between two people. Lands that make two colors of mana are dual lands. A normal Magic battle is a duel.
Thanks to PhoenixLAU for the [thread=1097559]awesome avatar[/thread]!
Quotables

Show
"While a picture is worth a thousand words, each lolcat actually produces a negative wordcount." -Ith "I think "Highly Informed Sarcasm" should be our Magic Online General motto." -Ith "Sorry, but this thread seems just like spam. TT is for off-topic discussion, not no-topic discussion." -WizO_Kwai_Chang "Stop that! If you're not careful, rational thinking may catch on!" -Sax "... the only word i see that fits is incompitant." -Mr44 (sic) "You know a thread is gonna be locked when it gets to the hexadecimal stage." -Gathion "It's a good gig" - Gleemax "I tell people often, if you guys want to rant, you've certainly got the right to (provided you obey CoC/ToS stuff), and I don't even really blame you. But if you see something you think needs changing a well thought-out, constructive post does more to make that happen." - Worth Wollpert
My idea for organization:

General discussion
"This forum is for general discussion of the standard format.  If you need help on a deck, go to the relevant subforum"
Stickies:
Balance discussion:  this is where you link to after you lock posts titled "Card x is OP"  The first post should probably be a reminder of the code of conduct.


FNM deck help
"Want to best your friends this Friday?  Post your list here, along with any restrictions (budget, theme) that you might have."
Stickies:  
Basic deckbuilding tips (define common terminology, give basic tips like about how many lands you should run)
Make a sticky for every popular FNM deck (basically, if at any time there are 3 or more threads discussing the same deck on the front page, make a thread for it, sticky it, link the other threads to it, then any thread about that deck after that, link to the sticky and lock)


Competitive deck help
"Post here if you're bringing a home-made deck to a major event like a PTQ or GP.  If you're bringing an established deck, go to the tier deck help section."

Tier deck help
"If you're playing an established deck, come here to discuss it with other pilots.  If you think a deck belongs here but don't see a thread for it, post in the request thread"
Stickied threads:
Requests for threads go here:  the original post should say something like "If you believe that a deck deserves a thread in the tier deck forum, post what it is, a sample list, and any recent tournaments it has won.  A VCL will decide whether it deserves a thread or not.  If so, any user may make a thread for that deck, which should contain a brief description and a sample decklist."
After that, put a list of decks that need threads.

Also, I'd consider it an honor to write any necessary threads for you.

Why does everyone think I'm phantom lancer? QFT:

Show
139359831 wrote:
I hope all this helps you to see things in a greater light—and understand that Magic: the Gathering was really created by extraterrestials using Richard Garfield as a medium. The game itself reflects the socio-psycho realtivity between living beings, and the science that takes precedence over them—to define reality for them all (like telekinesis, weather, scientific reaction, phenomenon, ingenuity, how the brain works, etc.). I'd also bet there is an entity floating thousands of miles above us, looking down on the current state of game, shaking its fist like... "Wtf are you doing?! You're getting it all screwed up!". Awkward—to be evolved, and yet still subject to the ladder that is the concepts of the game. In this case, misconception, corruption, and deception. With the realities of each color becoming distorted (through oblivious designers), leading the game to reflect a false state of reality that warps the understanding that other people have about those things. For example, people thinking that white could be anything except pure good. This shouldn't be too far off though, I mean...Magic is designed based on reality after all, so that entity (those entities) should be subject to those things. Anyways, I guess when you're busy doing space stuff you can't always be around to ensure quality control. It's no wonder they choose Garfield, they're so much alike; that's exactly what happened to him and Magic.
166199665 wrote:
omg snortng so much febbdelicious /intocixated in rl
Think that cato hit the nail square on the head. From fifty yards away. With a bowling ball. Made of lead.

Okay, what I'm trying to say is that cato's idea sounds like the best you can get. Go with it. 

(at)MrEnglish22

Think that cato hit the nail square on the head. From fifty yards away. With a bowling ball. Made of lead.

Okay, what I'm trying to say is that cato's idea sounds like the best you can get. Go with it. 


Oh you!
*blushes* 

Why does everyone think I'm phantom lancer? QFT:

Show
139359831 wrote:
I hope all this helps you to see things in a greater light—and understand that Magic: the Gathering was really created by extraterrestials using Richard Garfield as a medium. The game itself reflects the socio-psycho realtivity between living beings, and the science that takes precedence over them—to define reality for them all (like telekinesis, weather, scientific reaction, phenomenon, ingenuity, how the brain works, etc.). I'd also bet there is an entity floating thousands of miles above us, looking down on the current state of game, shaking its fist like... "Wtf are you doing?! You're getting it all screwed up!". Awkward—to be evolved, and yet still subject to the ladder that is the concepts of the game. In this case, misconception, corruption, and deception. With the realities of each color becoming distorted (through oblivious designers), leading the game to reflect a false state of reality that warps the understanding that other people have about those things. For example, people thinking that white could be anything except pure good. This shouldn't be too far off though, I mean...Magic is designed based on reality after all, so that entity (those entities) should be subject to those things. Anyways, I guess when you're busy doing space stuff you can't always be around to ensure quality control. It's no wonder they choose Garfield, they're so much alike; that's exactly what happened to him and Magic.
166199665 wrote:
omg snortng so much febbdelicious /intocixated in rl
it's not like his intentions aren't good or they aren't good suggestions or anything.... but the sad fact is that what he's proposing is nothing new.  many forum veterans have been trying to push this "style" for quite a long time now, back to a way it more or less used to be.

Blue is the best color ever. How do you deal?  ------------------------------  Team GFG - "gulf, foxtrot, gulf" 

 

 

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Best Pauper Deck in the format, not close:

http://community.wizards.com/content/forum-topic/2974646#comment-49713276

 

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