Evaluating decks?

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I'm not able to get out much to gaming stores (once in a blue moon) due to scheduling, are there ways I can evaluate the speed/efficiency/resilience of my decks, without playing other people (or preferably not playing myself, though I can do that too)? For instance, I usually try to see if my aggro decks can have done at least 20 damage by the end of the fourth turn, assuming no blockers (this method falls flat if against a second aggro deck). Are there any kinds of benchmarks/milestones/signs for any of the types of decks that I have a deck that needs a lot of improvement vs. being ok/good? (I know of aggro, combo, and control, pls tell me if I'm ingnorant fo something)
there are some programs where you can play Magic for free against other people
but WotC frowns upon us mentioning them, so you just have to do some googling
proud member of the 2011 community team
Eventually someone will run a stochastic simulation that allows you to automatically test decks. Who knows, Wizards' R&D department may already have something like that. For now, however, all we mere mortals can do is to play a lot of games, either online or with friends.

If you have a good deck list, you can post it in the appropriate forum. Then you'll get feedback from other players. If the deck is really good, others will try it too and post their feedback (although that's pretty rare).
^ this. If playing with others (or yourself) is an issue, a good option is to post a deck list and get some feedback from players experienced with that type of deck.

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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

The Rule of Nine

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.
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