2/3/14 - Level One: Strategies

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Level One, which goes live Monday morning on magicthegathering.com.

These are the best articles on the site.

I don't usually comment on these, but I wanted to provide feedback since I've seen how Mike's work has been shuttled back and forth trying to find the best vehicle for his voice.

 

I agree with the previous poster that these articles have quickly turned into the best series on the site. They are perfect for both the aspirational beginner as well as the intermediate player. What I enjoy most about the article series is that Mike does not seem biased towards or against any colors, but breaks the game down into basic components while also giving examples across colors (e.g., card advantage as something other than a blue card-drawing concept). It's encouraging that Mike at least allows for the possibility that all strategies/colors have access to the same super-resources (card advantage, etc.), even if it comes in different forms or requires a bit more creativity and work to find.

 

I also think that Mike better understands his audience and has appropriately toned down some of the "insider community" references and comes across much more as a coach/teacher and less as a personality. Keep up the excellent work.

not sure if its only me reading it, but for me his tone come across as patronising

mtgraptor wrote:

not sure if its only me reading it, but for me his tone come across as patronising

He just wrote an entire article about how, surprise, drawing cards is useful. So yes, it was both obvious and patronizing.

mtgraptor wrote:

not sure if its only me reading it, but for me his tone come across as patronising

 

Maybe if you're an expert but I personally got a lot out of it.

Ask not for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for this column.

I'm glad Flores is ditching the #coolstorybro style previously established, but still...just no. I thought for awhile LSV was taking over for good, since he did a nice job as guest author...not sure what's happening for there, but this latest article of Flores's reeks of a desperate screaming left turn to try and find something that won't get him booted off the Mothership. The quality just isn't high enough, and this article didn't help. (I mean, if whoever generates the images couldn't come up with anything more interesting than two tokens on two, then the same freaking idea but with two versus three...you've got a problem.)

Pro-tip for actual pros: If it happened more than 5 years ago, you've got a problem. Find a way to make the examples current or at least interesting. HEER U CAN HAS DECKLIST NOW U UNDERSTANDS ENTIRE STANDARD ENVIRONMENT FROM BACK THENXOR. No, doesn't cut it. Use relevant, current examples or else find some other way to generate some suspense, a quality in which this column has often been sorely lacking.

Okay, done snarking. Back to work. #joysofselfemployment

Personally, I'll miss #coolstorybro Mike.  That's because when I started reading about Magic (and when I start reading about something, I read everything I can get my hands on), he was a huge voice in the community - as a writer, historian, and sometimes as a player.  More than anyone else, he made an impression on me of the value of good writing, of telling that singular story that crystallizes the lesson in an unforgettable way.  And, he did it with style (which you can like or not) and humor (which is indisputable).

 

But that said, I think that that style of Mike was not always a good fit for MTG.com.  And, I don't think it's fair to deny anyone the opportunity to reinvent themselves.  So we'll see where Elder Statesman Flores goes from here, but I plan to keep reading.

lathspel wrote:

Personally, I'll miss #coolstorybro Mike.  That's because when I started reading about Magic (and when I start reading about something, I read everything I can get my hands on), he was a huge voice in the community - as a writer, historian, and sometimes as a player.  More than anyone else, he made an impression on me of the value of good writing, of telling that singular story that crystallizes the lesson in an unforgettable way.  And, he did it with style (which you can like or not) and humor (which is indisputable).

 

But that said, I think that that style of Mike was not always a good fit for MTG.com.  And, I don't think it's fair to deny anyone the opportunity to reinvent themselves.  So we'll see where Elder Statesman Flores goes from here, but I plan to keep reading.

 

For everyone that misses #coolstorybro Mike, it looks like he's doing a twice-weekly article series on tcgplayer.

I thought this was a very good article too.  It doesn't sound like Mike's traditional writing style, but it works and that's a talent to him if he can change it.

 

As for the examples, I expect this series will archive well and be good reading years in the future.  (Much as Zvi's and Karsten's were, and anyone not familiar should do themselves a favor and dig those up.). So having cutting-edge examples is irrelevant since metagame isn't the point.  Thinking about your sequences and priorities is the point.

 

If the advice is beneath some people then that's fine; its not for you.  SSG, TCGPlayer, ChannelFireball and others all try to fill demand for bleeding-edge tech.  Mike's covering Level One and doing it well, and I hope he continues.

If you're on MTGO check out the Free Events via PDCMagic and Gatherling.

Other games you should try:
DC Universe Online - action-based MMO.  Free to play.  Surprisingly well-designed combat and classes.

Planetside 2 - Free to play MMO-meets-FPS and the first shooter I've liked in ages.
Simunomics - Free-to-play economy simulation game.

Eric888 wrote:

 

mtgraptor wrote:

not sure if its only me reading it, but for me his tone come across as patronising

 

He just wrote an entire article about how, surprise, drawing cards is useful. So yes, it was both obvious and patronizing.

If all you got out of it is "surprise, drawing cards is useful" then you're exactly the sort of player who most needs to pay close attention to this sort of article.
Jeff Heikkinen DCI Rules Advisor since Dec 25, 2011

I've been playing Magic since Ice Age. I first started learning about Magic strategy and deck-building by reading George Baxter's classic "Deep Magic." I read "Schools of Magic" when it was on the Dojo way back in the mid-'90s. I even read some of Mike's early Magic musings back in those days. Okay, now that I've established that I totally know what I'm talking about, I'll get to the point: I logged into the message boards today for the first time in a couple of years because I wanted to let anyone interested know that I think Level One is quickly becoming the best series that Mike has ever written. As for the article on card advantage, I think it was the best introductory article on the subject EVER. I, personally, like that Mike presents historical examples alongside the more current ones. I hope this column (and his "patronizing" tone) is around for a long time.