New Player and Clueless

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I am a 45 year old school teacher and I am a little overwhelmed. Never had any interest in Magic until recently. I have two sons, 9 and almost 11. We play a lot of board games. One of the games we recently picked up was Dominion which is a card game. We absolutely love playing it and I started looking at other card games that we might like. Figured I might as well look at what appears to be the best of all. I figured with the longevity of Magic, it must be worth looking at. 

The problem is, the more I try to learn, the more confused I become. I really don't know where to begin. What I want is some basic decks that I, and probably my 9 year old, can play against each other. I don't see getting into this competitively but who knows. There is a local shop but I have never been and I don't know what kind of crowd they draw. Being old and a teacher, I really don't want to be hanging out with a bunch of my students. 

So what does everyone think?  What do I need to pick up to start out with? Probably something prebuilt?

I bought the Xbox version and downloaded it on my ipad also. Turns out I have a lot to learn. I can not win the first game to save my life. Smile
I once tried teaching my mother how to play the game....long story short, she's still confused on how Rix Maadi Guildmage works.  Maybe I'm just lousy at teaching, but Magic can be a bit complicated at times.

A good place to start is to pick up a deck from the Magic 2013 Core Set.  The major keywords are generally explained in there, such as haste, vigilance, and trample.  It also consists of major cards needed in any game.  Duel of the Planeswalkers is good practice as well, but some of the decks you face can be downright evil.  Against the first one, I'd say go with the red one you start with so you can burn away those pesky Fog Banks.
I can recommend the Duel Decks for learning Magic
that's how I currently teach my roommate ;)
I'll give you my opinion to the duel decks I own

Garruk vs. Liliana is a pretty straight forward deck, that I'd recommend for this purpose
Ajani vs. Nicol Bolas is relatively simple on the Ajani side, but Bolas being a control deck is a bit more complex. the power level of these decks is also the highest of all the duel decks, it's very swingy.
Elspeth vs. Tezzeret is pretty straight forward for Elspeth, but Tezzeret has lots of interaction and combos with counters, so that can be complicated
Koth vs. Venser is relatively simple, Koth is a big red deck without many bells and whistles, Venser is a bit more complicated with lots of ETB effects and bounce spells
Izzet vs. Golgari is so far the best duel deck they released, but it is rather complicated for new players. Izzet is a kind of control deck and Golgari uses the graveyard as a ressource, which is a strange concept for new players
Knights vs. Dragons: the Dragons are pretty straight forward, just play big bad ass Monsters. the Knights are a bit more complex, with Forecast and especially searching for lands with Knight of the Reliquary
Phyrexia vs. the New Coalition is not recommended. Phyrexia is a suicide black deck, Coalition is a 5 color deck which is very hard to build properly on this sort of budget. easily my least favourite duel deck
proud member of the 2011 community team
Personally, I wouldnt recommend Duel Decks for new players. IMO they are too complicated, and feature too many different mechanics.

I would suggest Intro Packs to start with. You dont get as much value for money, they arent as good, but they should be very easy to pick up and play with. You can always progress to Event Decks or Duel Decks later.

~ 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. ;)
Being old and a teacher, I really don't want to be hanging out with a bunch of my students.

I'm 46. My store has 13-year olds. Some players are older than me. My daughter is turning nine in a few days and beats me regularly: She's just too shy to play in store events. If you literally would be playing with some of your students, that's a separate issue, but don't worry about the age thing. However, I do recommend you visit the store during the next FNM: Some stores attract very casual, laid back, fun loving crowds, some get hard core competitive crowds, and some get something in between.

So what does everyone think?  What do I need to pick up to start out with? Probably something prebuilt?

In your particular case, depending on yoru budget, I would recommend this:

- Three of the five Return to Ravnica intro packs, so each one of you gets to play a particular theme (see www.wizards.com/magic/magazine/article.a...)

- One Return to Ravnica "fat pack" to get a guide to the cards, a nice storage pack, and some booster packs that you can use to augment the intro packs

The intro packs are not competitive enough to play even at store events, but they are good for learning the game.

I bought the Xbox version and downloaded it on my ipad also.

I'm only familiar with the PC version on Steam, but I assume those versions have the same tutorials. If so, go through them. Then play, play, play. You'll pick it up with experience.

Poor guy, now he's gotten three different sets of advice.
the "Duels of the Planeswalker" games do get some of the rules wrong, mostly about priority
those games are often a game of reaction, which Magic is not

still, a good learning experience, if you want a game with correct rules try the "Magic Online" demo (that's how I learned after a crash course from a friend)
proud member of the 2011 community team
the "Duels of the Planeswalker" games do get some of the rules wrong, mostly about priority those games are often a game of reaction, which Magic is not

I don't think it's that different: The steps aren't broken down with the same accuracy and detail as in Magic Online, but you essentially have a few seconds to interrupt the timer to cast an instant or activate an ability. In practice this is not very different how we play in real life, unless you are annuncing each trigger. The advantage is that it has much better tutorials than Magic Online: It's a good option for someone who does not have a friend who knows the game. And even friends get some of the rules wrong.
Poor guy, now he's gotten three different sets of advice.


Dont get me wrong, I like DoTP (what little I have played of it... bought it 3 times for the promo but dont actually own a PC that will run it) and I love the Duel Decks.

One of the best things about Magic is that it can be whatever you want it to be - there is something for everyone. There isnt a right or wrong answer when it comes to learning the game, as different things work for different people. Personally I think Duel Decks cover too much for brand new players, but for all I know OP and his kids could be adept at picking up new games and might find them a breeze. 

~ 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. ;)
While there are exceptions, and I'm sure your kids are bright, in my experience 9 is a little too early to get a good grasp on the game. I've played, and taught many kids how to play the game and on the average I think 9 is too young, however, it certainly helps to have an older sybling who may be interested.

I started teaching my daughter (10 years old) with intro packs from worldwake. She had the "flyover" intro pack and it just never came together for her. The "flyover" deck probably wasn't the best intro pack for teaching a new player featuring cards like unsummon, apex hawks (multikicker in general wasn't great for her), and gomazoa. There were too many chances for her to "throw away" cards and/or not get full value out of her plays which meant that I was either constantly interrupting the game with "lessons" or I would have to play poorly so the game wouldn't be a blowout in my favor. In the end I constructed two simple decklists which I used for awhile when she was still learning the basics.

While I don't remember the exact decklists that I used I will post 2 decks that are similar to the ones I used when teaching my daughter how to play. I haven't checked the prices but these are mostly bulk commons which are usually a quarter each. a couple of the uncommons will be a little higher priced but they're probably worth it.



The basic idea here is that it plays bigger and badder creatures than other decklists. Since the creatures are all french vanilla there isn't a whole lot of learning each card and instead the players can focus on learning combat.

[deck]
24 mountain

4 rakdos cackler
4 drooling ogre
4 gore-house chainwalker
4 guttersnipe
4 bloodfray giant
2 furnace whelp

2 lightning greaves
4 lightning bolt
4 searing spear
4 brimstone volley
[/deck]

It's red and agressive. It has an advantage in that it can destroy the opponent's creatures, however, rancor is an overpowering card that will give the green deck an advantage.


Either of these decks can be constructed at the cost of an intro pack (I suspect although I didn't price check anything and if something is too high it's easy to substitute like swiftfoot boots instead of lightning greaves for instantce) but they will likely be easier to learn and/or teach with.

Don't be too smart to have fun
Stopped by the shop and they had Return to Ravnica decks they had taken the booster packs out of. They sold me the packs for $5 a piece. I bought Azorius Advance, Izzet Ingenuity, Golgari Growth, and Selesnya Surge. Does this sound like a decent deal? Think I will keep working on the digital version for now but hope these packs will work for me and the boys. I am hopefully going to a Friday Night event tomorrow to see how things work.  Assuming I want to try that in the future, what do I need to start buying to build a deck to take to a Friday night event? I live in a small town so I don't expect it to be a big event.
Stopped by the shop and they had Return to Ravnica decks they had taken the booster packs out of. They sold me the packs for $5 a piece. I bought Azorius Advance, Izzet Ingenuity, Golgari Growth, and Selesnya Surge. Does this sound like a decent deal?

That's a weird practice: It's not like booster packs are rare. Financially, it's an ok deal. The intro packs are not great deals to start with. They contain cards that, as singles, would cost $3-$5, plus one booster pack, that costs $3-4, which they sell for $13-$15. So you got a good deal, in that you avoided the usual 100% margin on intro decks. And the intro decks will be fun for your kids to start learning with, in nicely designed themes, so they can start see what the flavor of black spells are compared to white spells. The value in the intro decks is that it's a pre-constructed, package product: Open it up, shuffle, start playing.

I am hopefully going to a Friday Night event tomorrow to see how things work.  Assuming I want to try that in the future, what do I need to start buying to build a deck to take to a Friday night event? I live in a small town so I don't expect it to be a big event.

First, find out what format is being played. It can change from one week to next. Assuming it's Standard, you will need a Standard-legal deck. Because even small events can be fairly competitive, in my experience, you need a deck that's somewhat competitive. Unfortunately, the intro deck are not. So you have two options:

- Create a deck design or find one that you like and buy the cards.

- Buy a Return to Ravnica event deck, and play with that. Event decks are designed to be competitive and you can modify them gradually over time.

I would not recommend going to FNM with an intro deck. Even with a competitive deck, expect the first time to be a massive learning experience.

If you go tomorrow, ask about the store's Gatecrash pre-release event (should be January 26 and/or January 27). These are good events for beginners to attend, as each player builds a 40-card deck from six booster packs.
Stopped by the shop and they had Return to Ravnica decks they had taken the booster packs out of. They sold me the packs for $5 a piece. I bought Azorius Advance, Izzet Ingenuity, Golgari Growth, and Selesnya Surge. Does this sound like a decent deal? Think I will keep working on the digital version for now but hope these packs will work for me and the boys. I am hopefully going to a Friday Night event tomorrow to see how things work.  Assuming I want to try that in the future, what do I need to start buying to build a deck to take to a Friday night event? I live in a small town so I don't expect it to be a big event.



5 dollars seems like a good price for a 60 card starter deck although I would be hesitant about buying starters that have been opened and had the boosters removed but as long as they didn't take out more than just the booster packs 5 dollars seems like a fair price.

The competition at FNM varies widely from location to location so it's near impossible to predict what a winning decklist will look like, however, using good deckbuilding technique you can come up with a budget decklist that is competitive and gives you a chance to win against most matchups. There is no ONE BEST deck, and the answer gets even more complicated when you consider that a deck which is good for one player might not play well for another player. If you're used to playing aggro and only have experience with aggro decks then the first time you play a control decklist it will be a challenge to make the correct play in each situation.

For a new player an aggro deck is generally an easier way to start. You can check the "top decks" article each week to get an idea of what decks and card interactions might be playing well.

www.wizards.com/Magic/magazine/Archive.a...

do some google searches for colors and styles that you are interested in. For example if you're looking for a budget rakdos aggro decklist you can google it and get a variety of R/B decks to choose from. Once you select a deck if you want some additional input you can post it in the standard deck help (or casual decks) section of the forums and they will help you make tweaks which can benefit you for FNM.
Don't be too smart to have fun
5 dollars seems like a good price for a 60 card starter deck although I would be hesitant about buying starters that have been opened and had the boosters removed but as long as they didn't take out more than just the booster packs 5 dollars seems like a fair price.

I'd be hesitant too, but my recollection is that the 60-card intro pack is wrapped and sealed separately. As long as that seal is intact, I think you can be assured of what you are getting. It's still weird that they broke out the booster pack: May be they had a draft and were short on product.
Yes the 60 card deck was still wrapped. Not sure how great this shop really is. Doesn't seem to have a lot of product so I'm guessing they ran out of product. I'm still trying to figure out which colors interest me the most before I try to start building. Not sure yet.