Advice for FNM and other tournament play

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Hey everyone, I'm very new to Magic: The Gathering (like two weeks) and I thought it would be a wonderful idea to improve my knowledge and skill of the game by immersing myself in Firday Night Magic and other tournaments offered at my local game shop. Long stroy short, i got my ass handed to me. It was embarrarssing to come to the shop the next morning to see my name last with the score of 0! I noticed that when I was playing, everyone seemed to have the same exact deck. they all contained lands with more than one color. Here I was using a black-blue evasion deck with only basic lands and I was getting wrecked. Does this happen to all new players and should I continue attending these events? Or should I take a step back and play with my friends before I take on these people?
Every store has its own culture and attracts its own crowd of players. Where the players welcoming? Did anyone give you advice? Did you have fun? If the answers to those questions is "no", then maybe first look around at other stores (if that is an option). It took me several tries to find a store that I like, where people are friendly, build their own decks, and where having fun is more important than winning.

Having said that, while FNM is a casual environment compared to other tournaments, even the most laid back FNMs tend to feature fairly competitive decks. Dual-colored lands are par for the course: I use them in all my decks, even though I consider myself an intermediate, casual player.

Now I'm not entirely sure what you mean by everyone was laying exactly the same kind deck: If everyone was using dual-colored lands, that is, in and of itself pretty normal. On the other hand, if everyone was playing a black/red aggro deck, then that is odd (or could have been bad luck).

Also, if you post your deck list here, we can give you advice. But if you want to play black/blue you should definitely invest in the dual-colored lands (Drowned Catacomb and, as of 2/1/2013, Watery Grave). If you can't afford them, at least swith to Evolving Wilds.

A really good event to attend for someone new to magic is the pre-release tournament that's held for each expansion set. The Gatecrash pre-release events will be held January 26 and 27 (check your store for details). Each player will get six booster packs to build a 40-card deck from, so it puts everyone on an even keel as far as card availability goes. They also tend to be more fun and laid back. 
Every deck has a weakness. At times it might be hard to find that weakness and exploit it but if you know what cards you can expect to face in the future then you'll have a better idea of what you can do to beat your opponents.

Try posting your decklist in the casual decks section or the standard deck help section of the forums and they will show you the weaknesses and might suggest some cards that will improve the decks.

Don't be too smart to have fun
What do you mean by "the same deck"?

There are a handful of cards that are extremely powerful. If you have them you should play them, your deck will be better.

There are so many magic players that all of the competitive decks find play at big tournaments. For some reason many players complain about so-called "net decks". But the reality is almsot any deck with power cards in it will be sourly referred to as a netdeck if the opponent doesn't have the best cards.

Don't be discouraged! Standard is tough. I recommend playing limited if you aren't looking to put a lot of cash into your deck. Don't expect to win many FNM standard matches if you don't want to do the bare minimum (have good land) have a few staple cards!
bulletd Guidelines: 5.0: I will take this card no matter what. Creature 1 or playable 1 or hate 1.Archangel of Thune 4.5: Bomb and splashable. Creature 1-2, playable 1-2, removal 1. Jace, Memory Adept 4.0: Excellent first pick first pack, will sway me into same colors. Creatures 1-4, removal 1. Haunted Plate Mail 3.5: Excellent first pack pick two, will confirm colors or possibly sway into second color. Doom Blade 3.0: Good in-color addition, or splashable removal/creature. Creatures 3-9, removal 1-3. wall of Frost 2.5: Solid pick in-color; creatures 5-12, removal 3-5. Dark Favor 2.0: Creatures 10-16; removal 6-7. Elvish Mystic 1.5: My 23rd or 22nd card, depending on removal. Act of Treason 1.0: 23rd card if I don't maindeck an additional land. Lay of the Land 0.5: This card will sometimes be sideboarded in. Brave the Elements 0.0: I will shred this card for counters. Darksteel Forge
This is a part of the process and it should not discourage you.

At the beginning of this summer, I returned to magic after a ten year break and went to my first FNM in as many years. I didn't have very many "legal" cards and cobbled a deck together from an event deck and a few boosters. I got my head handed to me for the whole first month...

But I was paying attention!

New sets came out and new cards became available to me. The Mirrodin Block cycled out and the playing field became more equal from my perspective. (I had very few of those cards and now had a good collection of Innistrad Block.) I saw how the other decks worked and how the other players would use them in certain situations. I asked questions on the forums. I continued to adjust my little event deck card by card until I had something that would get me 10th place, then 7th place, then 4th place...

Just before Christmas I had my first undefeated win.

Hang in there. It happens to all of us. Keep your eyes open and always pay attention. It can seem hard from the beginning but it doesn't take very long to get in your groove.

Rules Advisor - as of July 15th, 2015


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This board uses a feature known as Autocard. It allows you to tag a card or group of cards and link them directly to the Gatherer for easy reference.

Here's how it works: Say I start a discussion about Lightning Bolt. It is well and fine for people who are familiar with Lightning Bolt and everything Lightning Bolt does.

Suppose somebody doesn't know what this card does.

I can autocard like this: [c]Lightning Bolt[/c] and it appears to everyone like this: Lightning Bolt.

You can do the same thing to an entire decklist at once by using [deck] and [/deck] at the begining and end of your list respectively.

This will make your decks easier to understand and get you better responses.


Here are some useful links to get you started:

Building Your First Deck

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Magic: The Gathering Rules and Formats

Tips & Tricks

Astarael7 wrote:
As for the weird implications you raised, we ignore them by sticking our fingers in our ears, squeezing our eyes shut, and yelling "LA LA LA LA LA LA LA" at the top of our lungs.
My first three FNM's were pretty tough I went 0-4 at every one. After I got a feel for the other decks and was able to develope my deck and Sideboard to focus on their weaknesses I ended up winning 2 game at one FNM (which is an accomplishment for meLaughing) Don't get discouraged. There are always jerks and sore winners/losers. But the guys that don't take themselves or the game too seriously are super fun to play against. If I may add to what Hreth said, the mana base is the most important part of your deck. Having good cards helps, but if you can't cast them they don't do you much good. Wink
Its reassuring to hear that it is par for the course that there is a bit a learning curve for new players.

I've attended the RTR prelease, but I've been skitish in attending a FNM knowing full well the WU deck I've been building would get destroyed.  Seeing that it happens to most players (not just myself) really is a relief.
Here's a tip. Buy shocklands while you can afford them. I went from losing all my games to winning at least some of them once I stopped getting mana screwed.
I've attended the RTR prelease, but I've been skitish in attending a FNM knowing full well the WU deck I've been building would get destroyed.  Seeing that it happens to most players (not just myself) really is a relief.

Post deck, get advice. I've done that with every deck I've brought to FNM.

If you don't have them, Glacial Fortress is pretty cheap right now. I just bought 4x extra for $2.77 each.

Hardest thing to do when starting (I just came into MTG right before RtR released so I speak from my personal experience) is to sink your $$ and trade efforts into boring-ass dual lands instead of cool-ass bomb creatures or spells.  I traded the singleton RtR duals I picked up in the pre-release for stuff I wanted at the time, and now wish I'd held on to them.
I did the same thing. I sold/traded 2 blood crypts 2 overgrown tombs, a temple garden, and a steam vents I'd gotten from pack for planeswalkers and neat cards. I just spent $70 fixing my mana base beacuse I sold the cards. Also, don't buy packs. Sometime they can be good, but don't buy them to get cards. Buy playsets of commons/in commons and save yourself some money. Ti
I couldn't agree more. I have (gradually, over time) collected a full playset of all the dual colored lands in Standard. I've just decided to start collecting a full second play set, because I'm getting into three-mana builds, and I like having a lot of constructed decks around. I do use proxies at home, but I prefer having the real cards when I can, so I can just grab a couple of decks and go to the store. From what I understand, they tend to hold their value over time, too.

I agree they may be boring, but I love the art on some of them. Hallowed Fountain is my favorite:

Hallowed Fountain
The playsets is a good idea. Hallowed fountain is probably my favorite too. I have a playset if blood crypts and overgrown tombs. Mainly because they're in my jund deck. I need to start dabbling in white once gatecrash come out. R/B/W looks like it will be a cool color combo.
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