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Goal: 20 cards, very simple, duplicate decks
Mark of Mutiny
Goal: 40 card Beginner decks that show what each color does, well balanced and uses many card types. [MXX] sets only. 2 Rares, 1 Planeswalker. Singleton/Highlander
Plains x 18
Elixir of Immortality
Island x 18
Djinn of Wishes
Child of Night
Wall of Bone
Sign in Blood
Tendril of Corruption
Rise from the Grave
Mark of Mutiny
Chandra, the Firebrand
Rod of Ruin
Any changes you'd make? Things missing? Too many lands?
Arbor Elf vs Llanowar Elves ?
Advanced Beginner Decks
Phylactery Lich -> something else/ Vengeful Pharaoh ?
Something black -> a Shade?
Ant Queen -> something else? (since Garruk makes tokens)
Mark of Mutiny -> some other theft?
Earth Servant -> something else?
A black sacrifice effect?
A white Exalted effect? (I don't like Exalted in black)
Is green too good? blue/black/red not good enough?
you probably shouldn't make the decks singletons. It's going to make them horribly inconsistant and just unfun for a new player. And even for the beginner's decks (which I don't see much of a point in as the advanced beginner deck strikes me as a beginnners deck), you should probably have at least 40 cards. 20 cards is just too few.
Maybe focus on a little less on what the colors can do.
White: Maybe focus on effiecent weenies + enchantments like Pacifism
Blue: Maybe focus on small fliers (2-cmc and 3 cmc) and some light card draw/bounce.
Black: Not sure on the creatures, but some discard seems like it would be fine.
Red: Probably much like the White deck, only with burn over the enchantments
Green: Mana Dorks + some fatties, along with some buffs like Giant Growth
Then as the player get's more advance you give them a SB so they can start learning how to value cards in certain match ups.
White: Give them some lifegain, and maybe a few larget creatures and equipment
Blue: Various specific counters like Negate and Essence Scatter
Black: Kill spells and some life drain effects
Red: Some Artifact hate, and board sweepers on the level of Pyroclasm
Green: Artifact/Enchantment hate (Naturalize is perfect here), and maybe some lifegain.
Or instead of a SB, you just add some more land + a selection of cards in my ideas for a SB and bump their deck up to 60.
And then as they start playing and getting used to it, maybe the Green deck user will be like, "I really like this Green deck, but I hate how my mana dorks always get burned off....I wish I could ramp and not lose them to burn..." and you could wipe out some Rampant Growth s and how them that if they could opt to play a ramp spell on turn 2 over a dork on turn 1, and still cast that 4 cmc guy on turn 3.
At that point you can start getting more slick. Start introducing Blue to counter spells, Black to paying life for better effects (like Sign in Blood ), Red to stuff like Spark Elemental where they get a powerful creature, but only for a turn, Green get's in other ramp spells and stuff with trample/regeneration, as for White...hard to come up with that, maybe come global buff effects and damage prevention ( Holy Day ).
Basically as the players get better you can slowly help them upgrade their decks as they learn their favorate play style. And as they build up you just keep introducing advanced tricks, such as playing a buff spell in response to burn, or after blockers are assigned. When Blue get's counters you can start teaching them the value of the second mainphase (hard to counter your creature if they bounced something else during combat).
Eventually they'll start thinking about combining colors, and then you get to have a whole knew teaching session on manabases and the use of non-basics.
I second the concerns about your beginner vs. advanced beginner decks, as well as the use of singletons.
Monocolor training decks work fine, but start your friends off at 60 cards, running 2-3 copies of most cards (for a more consistent play), and 1 each of rares/mythics. Maybe even 3 copies of commons, 2 uncommons, and then 1 rare/mythic; it makes for a nice pattern.
Artifacts add something to each deck, although I recommend equipment, artifact creatures, and artifacts that allow draw over lucky charms like Angel's Feather .
Ideally, include some form of card draw in each color - and for red and white, this almost demands artifacts. That said, depending on the final build, a white deck could rely on Mesa Enchantress for its draw.
As for specific cards in your decks, Phylactery Lich demands a deck with many artifacts, otherwise it is a dead draw. The black deck could be used to teach new players that life points are a resource as much as permanents in play and cards in hand.
White decks love Oblivion Ring - where is yours? Veteran Armorsmith can go, as it encourages defensive play. Armored Ascension can be a house, as can Pentarch Ward in this environment (I know, not from a basic set).
Djinn of Wishes can cheat very little into play, defeating its purpose - either add huge behemoths (and deck manipulation) or replace the Djinn with something else, be it Mahamoti Djinn or any number of sphinxes, such as Conundrum Sphinx (blue decks should be able to draw off this guy) or others outside basic sets.
Many consider Fireball as the iconic red X-spell, even if it is outclassed by many newer options; as it also forces algebraic math, I would include it. Flameblast Dragon trumps Shivan Dragon, and should replace it. With enough goblins and goblin tokens, Goblin Grenade becomes a consideration.
No Overrun in the Green deck? For shame! Verdant Force and Jade Mage might be better token makers than the Ant Queen . Building around Arachnus Spinner , spiders, and Arachnus Web might prove interesting. Otherwise, Mwonvuli Beast Tracker as a toolbox-enabling option can make up for the lack of good Green draw in the core sets.
Keeping recommendations to cards from core sets has been difficult - apologies if a non-core card slipped through.
So these are for my kids and I to play. The Singleton nature is to add variance (my wife and I normally play a singleton draft format similar to Cube). Getting ready for a "constructed" environment isn't needed. I'm using these decks to help the kids see what parts of the game in each color they might enjoy, which I think redundancy undermines.
I think I'm going to replace Ant Queen with an Obstinate Baloth . Djinn of Wishes should probably come out an be replaced. Looking through the deck, as you said, it doesn't really cheat anything into play.
There's usually enough variance in Constructed for most (new) people if you're at 40 cards. I've never seen a new player enjoy singleton formats. When teaching people to play, I've found it's usually best to build solid decks with a few tricks snuck in to help them figure things out on there own. I was so pround the first time I went to Lightning Bolt an attacker and they Giant Growth ed it. I even lost that game because of it.
Once they get used to the basics of the game, you can introduce a few more aspects of the game to them. New players generally don't like going up against countermagic/milling tactics, so you'd want to push that off until they're more comfortable. If you start out with just simple creatures + some way to answer creatures (White's lockdown enchantments, Red's burn, Blue's bounce, Green's pump (for combat tricks) and Black's discard) you've got a fairly blanced set of decks. Showing what else is in the color pie for each color seems like it be best served as a way how they can counter other color's options. The trick is to not overwhelm them with too much at 1 time.
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