For all the people talking about how the column should go back to the way it used to be...JVL's version is actually quite similar to the original, Nate Heiss version of the column.
I preferred the JMS / Ben Bleiweiss versions too but they weren't really "Building on a Budget" -- that name really does bring to mind more "suggestions on how to win FNMs without breaking the bank" than "watch me build casual decks". What I'd really prefer would be if they'd bring back something along the lines of those incarnations of BoaB as a different column. We've got several columns that present decks (BoaB and From The Lab every week, and Serious Fun fairly often) and while they all go into some detail of why they made the choices that they did, we don't really have a column about "deckbuilding" anymore. That's what JMS's and Ben's versions of BoaB really were.
As for the current article, Sleight of Hand can replace Ponder fine. I keep meaning to try and put together a Wildfire deck for Modern, but I'm not really sure the Eminent Domain approach is really the best one, even if it is a deck I have a soft spot for too.
I don't often follow this column, but there's one thing I have to say : if one of your playtesting games consists in playing against someone who didn't draw anything relevant and never really fought for the victory, please don't show it. Playtest some more. And do best of threes. One game is nothing.
You might want to actually talk to the Flavor & Storyline Board people... since, you know, our whole reason for playing Magic is the flavor. I'm willing to bet you'll get a lot more interest there than in General.
Indeed, both posters down there would be thrilled.
When talks about banning Jace first started, I was thinking that I would see him banned come June 20th. But as I think more about it, I don't really think that Jace is the problem anymore. Sure his power level leaves very little to the imagination (opening Jace is like opening a refrigerator box with a naked girl on the inside), and sure his price does have a strong impact on what players choose to play (playing Jace is like being intimate with a woman and she doesn't charge you in the morning), but it is not the source of all the problems in Standard.
How do people think saving room to print more abilities on cards is dumbing down the game?
Do you really think, say, Akroma would ever be printed if she said, "Akroma can block by creatures with this ability and cannot be blocked by creatures without this ability. If a creature without this ability would deal combat damage by Akroma would be destroyed, prevent all combat damage that creature would deal to Akroma this combat. Attacking does not cause Akroma to tap. If Akroma is blocked and deals lethal damage, it deals the remainder of its damage to the defending player. Akroma may attack and use abilities that require tapping in the casting cost the turn it enters the battlefield. Akroma cannot be damaged, enchanted, equipped, blocked or targeted by black or red sources" rather than her "dumbed down" wording she has? No freaking way. Keywording and shorthand allows them to make complicated cards easy to play with, allowing them to be printed in the first place.
1. cast frankie peanuts 2. ask opponent "will you concede the game this turn"? if they say yes, you win; if they say no, play a staying power 3. subsequently ask "will you attack this turn"? and "will you cast a spell this turn"? (using a Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir for the second question if necessary) to ensure they can't disrupt the combo 4. donate them a platinum angel 5. play a mox lotus and braingeyser them for every card in their library. play an opalescence and donate them a glorious anthem and a blacker lotus , then play enchanted evening . play and activate a mindslaver and then donate them a fastbond and the mox lotus (returning one of the donates to your hand with eternal witness or whatever) 6. during their turn, play every permanent in their hand (playing lands with fastbond) then (as yourself) cast mirrorweave on the blacker lotus, so every permanent becomes a copy of it. proceed to tear up every card they control, and hopefully do it before they notice that they aren't bound by staying power's ability anymore and can concede
Shortly before Serra died, she transferred her spark into an angel whose full name was Asha Avacyn Bolas. Her dragon father groomed her for her positions in Alara and Innistrad, and she's also been getting help from her uncle Ugin in the form of Urza, who was resurrected as Marit Lage to be the avatar as which she projects herself into material realms. Grieslbrand is a split personality who sometimes wanders the planes disguised as a human woman named Liliana Vess.
Everyone's life would be easier if players would, instead of coming to the 'net for help with a deck, just netdeck and be done with it. And I'm not talking about some Top 8 lists, for the Casualists, too, can benefit from netdecking. I've netdecked plenty of decks from the Casual Play forums from users such as Mown, Raedien, Floopfoot, and a few others. I snatched straight the heck out of my web browser. Yes, people, your original idea fell victim to a savage netdecker. You have been assimiliated.
Suppose I wanted a Zombie deck. Why on earth would I spend time searching Gatherer for a decent list of Zombie cards when Raedien already did it for me? Taking time to be creative or waiting on people on the forums to tell you why your deck sucks or 'go to Casual forums' is a disasterous waste of time (to me).
That being said, Magic was ruined back in Alpha when they added all that rules and cards [Debutantes avert your eyes]. My friends and I still like playing it the "pure" way (Basically we go into the woods and hit eachother with wiffle bats while shouting made up obscenities. You know, the way Garfield wanted it to be played).
Don't worry about it. I've come up with a list of changes to fix EDH.
-First off, there's no commander. -The minimum deck size is 60 cards, and each deck can have up to four of each card, save basic lands and relentless rats. Also decks have no color identity. -Starting life total is 20.
Here's a clever play you can try yourself: -Convince friend to run relentless rats.dec in legacy tournament -Get a deck with lots of mill, yixlid jailer, and humility -Drop humility and jailer, wait for him to dump his hand, mill him out -All his rats now have no abilities. Call a judge because he's playing an illegal deck with more than 4 of a single card. -Get him/her banned from competitive magic play
The outer layer of the Magic: the Gathering box, the carton, or crust, is fairly thin and light, and contains largely aluminosilcates.
Within that lies the middle layer, consisting of the familiar booster pack. Although solid, the booster packs' high temperatures allow them to acutally move around within the booster box. This flow, sometimes called convection, is cited by frustrated box mappers as one of WOTC's most genious uses of thermodynamics since the Ravnica block.
No one knows what lies at the core of the booster box, but scientists theorize that it must be especially dense in order to make up for the large amount of fluff distributed amongst the booster packs.
I imagine [Ajani 3's] second ability involves him hurling the creature at your opponent Brion Stoutarm style, then the guy is just like "Okay, that may have worked, but don't- GOD DAMN IT!" as he does it again because cats don't give a **** :33.
Its like that one time Elves broke out in a field of Jund. Elves became a resurgent hit, then died off again once Jund adapted to the rest of the field of G/W that it required mass removal that inherently pooped on Elves too.
Submit to the menace. Delver can, and will blot out the sun.
And flavor goes out the window when you cast a second copy of a planeswalker right after the first one dies, so...
"Hey Nissa, I need a favor." "You just asked me for a 'favor' like thirty seconds ago, and it turned out to be having Sarkhan Transmogrify my only follower into a dragon like 5 times -which dickery aside also violates some laws of causality - and then you let me get beaten over the head by that hedron crab." "...I'll give you " "...Well all right then."
GM, I don't think Dill is better than you. I KNOW it. Even if he wakes up every morning, clubs a baby seal, steals all the TV remotes from within a block's radius of his house and then robs hungry orphans of their food he'd be better than you, for the simple reason that he learns from his mistakes.
What would they have to fight about? Like, all I can think of now is Gideon going "Hey, long-ears! I'm gathering a group of 'Walkers together to fight some tentacle monsters.....you want in?" and Tamiyo going "Ew! Hentai no bakka Gideon-desu desu!" and flying away.
MaRo has a thing for people opening boosters with bad cards. But since he can only get so many bad cards printed in each set, he has found a devious way of getting more bad cards into circulation: He makes entire print sheets with just bad rares, then puts them onto the assembly line. He proceeds to wring his hands and twirl his evil mustache that he grew for twirling purposes as a lightning bolt strikes in the background. Afterwards, he goes to make sure that the good cards are only opened by everyone's friends, and that we all only get to open bad cards. He does this by memorising each booster, than switching them around accordingly. Whenever someone complains about a card, he immediately jumps out from behind a chair to yell "WELL, IT'S NOT FOR YOU!" before merging back into the shadows in order to devise new ways in which he can screw over players, then claim that he has valid reasons for doing so.
Mark Rosewater is sitting in a seemingly innocuous cable TV van, outside of Bankaimastery's house. Sitting nearby are two hardened criminal hackers, fresh out of prison, and filled with resentment at their lack of physical fitness. "Have you managed to hack his brainwaves yet? The set deadline's coming up fast." "We're almost through. It should be coming up on the screen any second." The hacker presses a button, and Kevin's thoughts flash onto the screen. Mark and the hackers stare in amazement at the sheer beauty, the elegance, and the raw truth of what they see. It's like the ending to 2001: A Space Odyssey. Brilliant light shines across the screen, the truth of existence is made clear to them, and they despair at their own foolishness, their own ignorance, their own inadequacy. And then they steal his ideas. As they return back to R&D, Mark sneers at a haggard old man chained to a cast-iron sphere. The man looks up from his laborious task of breaking rocks in the dungeon of Wizards of the Coast headquarters, and asks a question: "Kevin, my greatest student. He - he's all right, isn't he? You didn't hurt him?" Mark deals him a weighty blow with his boot. "Know your place, Richard. Get back to work."
I'm only opposed to it because it bears so little relation to how people actually play the game. The example of Miracles is actually a much better one then the Clone example I was trying to use.
From the game's perspective, the card can move instantly from face down in the library to revealed in the hand and that's fine for the rules. But in real life, we can't actually do that, so the card spends a good bit of time in locations that are neither where that player's library is nor where that player's hand is. And that's fine for real life. What I don't want is the disconnect to be explicitly codified. Along the lines of
183664.697 A game of Magic as laid out by these rules exists only as a pure Platonic ideal, utterly unrealizable by fallible mortals limited by the confines of physicality and the ravages of evil and sin.
183664.698 The cake is a lie, too.
I know it's true, but I don't want the rules to actually straight-up tell me that.
Pfft this cant be serious can it? If it is please delete your account OP. Its not even close to ban worthy, considering what JTMS and stoneforge had to accomplish to get banned i see the WotC selling magic to aquire Pokemon before that ever happens.
I'm trying to imagine sorin markov as a gym leader in one of those pokemon games which you have to beat him to get his badge... somehow I imagine that he would stab you in the chest with his sword before giving you the badge, even if you beat his pokemon....
Personally, I'd be fine with tea time but then I'm not gonna waste the mana summoning Emrakul, the Aeons Torn . He always takes all the sugar, drinks the whole pot of Earl Grey and doesn't even say thank you. SO. RUDE.
Break the Card is a regular thread in the Cards and Combo Forum. Quite simply, the participants are given a Johnnystatic card (e.g. Xenograft ) and are asked to build a deck around it. The winner and honorable mentions are sigged below. Get brewing!
This week's Break the Card was based around Xenograft . Thread : http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/27681049/Break_the_card_:_Xenograft?pg=1
Winner : Axterix with his Vampdrazi deck. Finalist : Vektor480 with his Ally/Golem/Plant deck. Honorable mentions : Zammm for the Turntimber Ranger combo and TinGorilla for suggesting Sarkhan the Mad .
I used to really like this column (including JVL's earlier decks) but it's pretty upsetting to see errors this ridiculous. 7-card mulligans, sideboard references and other errors are easy to forgive if the deck is decent, but illegal decks are just absurd. Very unprofessional. :/
Edit - Kind of funny that this is on the frontpage with the "Get a Job at Wizards" article.
I realized that about the job article as well! Seems like Wizards will be looking for a new BOAB writer soon.
I've said this before about BoaB and I will say it again. Why does this article feel the need to be competitive? I think the mass majority of your players are not competitive Magic players. I would be surprised if more than half had ever been to a FNM, much less competed or WON.
My closest gamestore is over an hour away so I have no intention of attempting FNM. My playgroup is 5 guys max on any given night. I read BoaB because I want to beat my 5 buddies who are playing, literally, at my kitchen table. $80 is not budget. For me, $50 is not really budget. If a deck has a 4 count of any card over 5 dollars it's immediately out of my budget.
The need for this article to be competitive is going to be it's downfall. Put together fun, interesting decks that fulfill my desire to build something new without breaking the bank. Screw formats and ban lists. You have the entire history of Magic cards at your disposal. Use them.
Isn't serious fun more what you are looking for?
Serious Fun? Seriously? Have you seen the decklists Styborski uses? Budget is the last thing on his mind. Styborski has turned Serious Fun into a list of possible formats to play and an ode to social Timmies and Magic for the rest. Neither is interesting to someone who wants to build and see cheap decks.
How much money per week do you guys think building on a budget would be?
For example, let's say, at the beginning of Avacyn Restored Wizards gives him $20 (or enough for a fat pack or an event deck). Then has him build a standard deck. He could wrack his brain and try to build the best deck he could with $20 (and let's be honest, it'd probably be pretty bad given that budget). Then next week, he gets another $20 or something to that effect. He could spend the weekly allowance on MTGO and then post the videos of his test games. Could be "evolution of a budget deck" or something to that effect. Part of the problem might just be the current process for making this article.
At the same time, I don't think it's crazy unfair him to try and build a budget deck of various formats every week (one week he could do modern, another standard, another legacy, another commander - hahaha budget commander) and then give a monthly update on the decks until a new set comes out. However, let's be honest, a good original deck often takes some time to think up and build. How much time is Wizards giving him to build and test these things? Sure, maybe I can throw together a decent cheap red deck without spending more than a few hours initially, but then I do a five round FNM that takes 5 hours and then tweak it some more... and bam, suddenly I've spent like 10 hours on a deck and that's not even counting time I go out and spend on buying singletons. We won't even get started on when I build wacky decks like Rage Extractor and Genesis Wave, which require ridiculous amounts of fine tweaking to break even on game wins.
I guess my point is this, when building outside of typical archtypes (and if they're budget, they'll have to be), you really have to spend some time putting the deck together, testing it, and tweaking it. If he wants to do it right, he's going to either need a lot of time, or he's going to need a decent chunk of time each week and to be carrying a deck over from week-to-week and talking about its changes. I don't expect a format breaking deck regardless of what he builds, but a week-to-week update on how the deck did and what he's changing sounds fun. I mean, am I the only one who expects an intial budget deck to do some terrible **** like 1 - 4 in a tourney? This column really could and maybe should be about overcoming budgetary issues and the process he uses to do it.
All that said, I liked this week's deck, even if it wasn't actually modern. I think maybe the author needs to get out to his local shops and get a little more into the actual Magic scene. A lot of the errors seem to be just due to the fact that's he's not actually out there competing and learning, but postulating based on what he sees going on in the current magic scene. When you play mostly casually and you're building format decks, it's easy to overlook that a card like ponder is banned or that a certain sword has rotated.
Pick a format, look for a cheap deck. Play with it while taking notes on the games (or a video). Modify it. Write an article. Play with it. Finetune it. Get into some real games. Write an article. Work a sideboard. Test it in games. Write an article on the results.
This. What JVL does every week is only the tip of the iceberg as far as deckbuilding goes. JVL only does the first two steps in your list, and not even always; too often, he replaces "look for a cheap deck" with "look for a marginally less expensive deck", and as has been pointed out often (not just this week) it seems he might not always actually playtest. Even if his playtest matches are legitimate, he still misses the point. The first playtest is not even close to the end of the deckbuilding process; the first playtest is supposed to suggest flaws in the first draft of the decklist and inspire ideas on how to improve it.
Yes, to show the entire deckbuilding process in a single column is going to result in long columns; this is why previous authors would work with a deck over multiple weeks. There's nothing wrong with it. It allows many more playtest matches and, more importantly, an actual evolution of the deck. It also allows a more in-depth look at why certain cards were chosen over others, something in which JVL is sorely lacking. Rather than a card-by-card "this card is in here because X", it could (and frequently should) be "the following cards could fill this role, but for this deck X is the best". That way, if a reader has to make substitutes for whatever reason (budget, unavailability, already owns an alternative) the other options are already presented in such a way as to suggest which alternatives are better than others.
The point of this column shouldn't be to provide a decklist, but to aid people in understanding the deckbuilding process so they can learn to make their own decks. This is the only column that is about the deckbuilding process; therefore, the deckbuilding component of the article should be just as important as actually following a budget.
Deck become too expensive? Ignore the restriction? Make excuses? How about change decks or adapt? Articles are hard? It's hard to keep track of games? To keep up with the banlist of your format? To talk about how your deck works? Then it's time to give up.
Exactly. How much longer are we going to keep making excuses for him? Every week, people come to this column with complaints, and other people have to jump in to defend him. How many other columns have this problem? I'd think that if not a week goes by without multiple complaints, eventually it would become apparent that, regardless of the people defending the author, something is wrong. No, you can't please everyone all of the time, but you can at least not consistently upset a fair portion of your audience.