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Author Topic: Planeswalker Libraries [Magic, the Gathering]  (Read 19604 times)

Offline Narric

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Re: Planeswalker Libraries [Magic, the Gathering]
« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2015, 11:56:59 PM »
You might find Pin to Earth useful. Enchantment Aura, Enchanted creature gets -6/-0. A nice bit of pseudo removal.
I think I saw that amongst my friends collection, but at the time it didn't strike me as that useful. It shall be interesting to see how Booster Packs change the nature of my Deck in future :)
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Offline The Man They Call Jayne

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Re: Planeswalker Libraries [Magic, the Gathering]
« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2015, 01:53:33 AM »
Given that most creatures won't get above 6 unless the deck is built around that mechanic, knocking it down to 0 can really help, or maybe getting it down to a 2 or 3.

Blue, as you may have learned is very much about control. You decide what can be played and when and by who. You decide what can attack and what can't.
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Offline The Man They Call Jayne

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Re: Planeswalker Libraries [Magic, the Gathering]
« Reply #17 on: January 25, 2015, 02:26:00 AM »
Ok, proper post to have a little show and tell.

Black/White Tax Deck

Creatures:
Teysa, Envoy of Ghosts x4
Rhox Faithmender x4
Basilica Screecher x4
Heliods Pilgrim x4
Souls of the Faultless x2
Atheros, God of Passage x1
Grand Abolisher x3
Champion of Stray Souls x1

Enchantment Creatures:
Archetype of Finality x2
Grim Guardian x4

Enchantments:
Sphere of Safety x4
Painful Quandry x4
Sanguine Bond x1

Auras:
Gift of Orzohva x2
Sunbond x2
Spectra Ward x2

Artifacts:
Whip of Erebos x1

Instants:
Riot Control x4

Land:
Vault of the Archangel x1
Radiant Fountain x1
Scoured Barrens x4
Plains x16
Swamps x 15

Against this deck, if you want to do anything, you are going to have to pay for it. In return you will be beaten to death by unblockable flying lifelinkers whos power doubles every time they attack. And you will be unable to counter anything that I play in my turn.

Assuming of course, that all goes to plan.

Sphere of Safety and Painful Quandry are the core of this deck. Making me impossible to attack in any real numbers, and attempting to remove them will cost you life or cards. Or both.

While that is keeping me safe, I am fixing Gift of Orzohva, Sunbond and Spectra Ward to a creature, preferably Teysa. That way she doesn't tap to attack, and my life point shoot up so that I don't have to even bother blocking, which means the attacking creature dies and grows my army.

This is not the fastest deck out there, and again serious Agro, you are probably going to suffer unless you get lucky. However with this deck I have had life totals of over 2000 and creatures with p/t over 1300.

What this deck does is lock out the rest of the game and isolates you until you are ready to play on your terms, and slowly kills your opponents in the process.
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Offline Masked Thespian

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Re: Planeswalker Libraries [Magic, the Gathering]
« Reply #18 on: January 25, 2015, 04:45:06 AM »
Your Spark has ignited.  Welcome to the Multiverse.

Let's look at a few things in general before I go into detail about your deck.

To begin with, welcome to the game.  It's a lot of fun and I've met a load of people through it whom I wouldn't have done so otherwise.  Like Warhammer/40k, it's going to be something that you can spend a lot of money on, but you don't have to.  Whilst Magic releases new sets four times a year (with a couple of extra products here and there) you DON'T need to keep buying them.  Yes, if you don't then your decks' power levels will go down, but unless you're planning on playing a lot outside of your group of friends then it's not too terrible.  One of the biggest traps is getting into the "I must have the new cards" mindset, which will drain your bank balance quickly.  One of the other pitfalls that you and your gaming group should recognise is that of escalation; if one person starts spending a load of money on cards then everyone else will start to feel that they need to keep up so will start doing so too.  Then, that first person may well escalate the situation further by buying ever more expensive cards, your other friends will retaliate by doing the same, and suddenly everyone's broke.  Keep an eye out for that.

Before we go any further, I suppose I should discuss formats.  One of the things that keeps Magic fresh is that it has a multitude of different formats.  There isn't really any analogy to this in 40k terms.  Basically, a format defines which cards you can and can't use in a game.  Let's take a look at the most common ones:

  • Vintage.  This format allows you to use any card from any set throughout the history of Magic, even those from the very first set, Alpha.  At higher levels of play, this is distinguished by having decks that run into the realm of a four-digit cost and that can win the game on turn one or two,
  • Legacy.  Like Vintage you can use cards from any set though it has a banned list, making some cards unable to be used.  Again, decks can run into the thousands of Pounds level and can win the game on turns one or two,
  • Modern.  This format allows you to use any card from the 8th Edition Core Set onwards, which was released in 2003.  This format is a little slower than the other two, with the average game ending on turn 4 or 5,
  • Standard.  Possibly the most popular and common format.  This is what is known as a rotating format, as opposed to the three aforementioned formats which are known as eternal formats.  What this means is that as newer sets are released and become legal, older ones "rotate" out and are no longer legal.  Currently, Standard is composed of Theros, Born of the Gods, Journey into Nyx, M15, Khans of Tarkir, and Fate Reforged,
  • Commander.  Also known as EDH, Commander is a very different format than that of the others mentioned so far.  A format that is based more in the lore of the game, the idea is that you have a single Legendary creature who leads your deck into battle against others.  Each deck MUST be 100 cards exactly, led by a Legendary creature, all cards in the deck must be of the same colour as that Legend, and you can't have more than one of the same card in your deck other than Basic Lands.  It's traditionally a multiplayer format with games capable of lasting several hours and being fun and silly,
  • Limited.  All of these other formats are what are known as Constructed, which means that you build a deck in advance and then play against other people.  Limited means that you go to the event with no deck but are given a number of unopened packs and must build a deck on the spot from the contents of those packs.  Generally, there are two types of Limited events: Sealed and Draft.  Sealed gives you 6 packs and you must build a deck from those.  Draft gives you 3 packs but every time you take a card from a pack you then pass the pack to the person sitting next to you, giving you more choice over the cards in your deck at the cost of going head-to-head with 7 other people over which cards to take out of each pack, and,
  • Kitchen table.  Probably the "format" where everyone starts off (I say "format" because it's not actually a recognised format).  You get whatever cards you own, make a deck, and play against your friends on your kitchen table (or wherever it is that you play).  Little-to-no restrictions apply because, of course, you're in the comfort of your own home and not playing a sanctioned event.

If you intend to play your deck against people outside of your playgroup then you'd be well off trying to make your deck fit into one of these categories.  It'll be tough, because you won't necessarily be able to use all of your cards and what you do create probably won't do too well to begin with (especially if you try and enter one of the older formats like Legacy or Vintage).

Okay, with all that out of the way, let's take a look at your deck.

Blue/Red is an interesting combination of colours, though not always the easiest to play.  Traditionally, Blue and Red have the worst and second-worst creatures and the best and second best Sorceries and Instants (compared to the other three colours).  Unfortunately, a lot of kitchen table games are decided by creatures hitting your opponent, which does put you at a slight disadvantage.  But that can hopefully be made up in other ways.

Let's take a look at some basic deck design concepts that a lot of newer players miss or choose not to follow.

Percentages.  If you have an awesome card in your deck then you want to draw it as often as you can.  The best way to maximise this is to have the absolute minimum deck size.  That means 60 in Constructed games and 40 in Limited games.  Yes, that means you don't get to run all of your cool cards but it gives you the highest chance of drawing your best cards.

Land.  Start with 40% land in your deck.  That's 24 land cards in Constructed and 17 in Limited (though Khans Limited probably needs 18 because of the multicolour theme).  Yes, it means that you can't run all of your cool cards but without enough land you won't be able to play them.  When you get more experienced then you can start to play around with this percentage but for now you'll want 40%.

Consistency.  The best decks act in a very consistent manner.  This can be done from having multiple similar cards in your deck.  But at the lower levels of play, this is done by following the Rule of Nine: pick 9 cards, get four copies of each of them, add 24 lands, and you have a deck.  Yes, this means that you can't use all of your best cards, since you've only got one or two of them, but the consistency and redundancy that you get makes up for it.  Alternatively, try and get the full four copies of your best cards (sometimes easier said than done).

Mana curve.  Mana curve is an extremely important thing.  Basically, if you lay out all of your spells in a row, with your 1-cost spells in one column, your 2-cost spells in a column next to that, and so on, then what you should get in your average deck is a bell curve.  You should have a couple of 1-drops, several 2-drops, a good number of 3- and 4-drops, and only a handful of 5- and 6- (or more) drops.  Statistically, you don't want too many 1-drops, because in the late game they won't have to power to help you win, and you don't want too many 5-drops or higher since they can clog up your hand in the early game and make you lose before you've even had a chance to cast them.  Some decks don't need to have a bell curve but for now this is good advice to follow in general.

Lifegain sucks.  Life is not a score.  When you win the game you do not score bonus points for having 100 life instead of 1.  The only important life point is the last one.  Don't put cards in your deck that exist solely to gain you life, such as Feed the Clans (from Khans) or Congregate (from M15).  There are numerous reasons why they are bad, that I can go into if you want me to.  Incidental lifegain, where you gain life from cards that have other functions, such as creatures with Lifelink or spells like Warleader's Helix, can be useful, though, as long as the card has other functions than just gaining you life.

Mill sucks.  Milling, the act of forcing your opponent to take cards from the top of his Library and put them into his or her Graveyard, isn't a great strategy.  It seems like it to newer players, because you're both taking steps towards winning the game as well as denying your opponent his resources.  The main problem with mill is that it doesn't stack with any other forms of damage and isn't really all that efficient.  Look at it this way: your opponent has 20 life and 60 cards in his deck.  If you get a 2/2 Flying creature out then you'll need to hit him 10 times to win the game.  To do the same with mill, you'd need to mill an average of 4.3 cards per turn over the course of those 10 turns.  But hitting him with a creature doesn't stack with the milling; it's like they have two separate life totals, you only need to reduce either of them to zero, but you're attacking both of them simultaneously, watering down your attacks.


Looking at your deck specifically, there are a number of cards that you should cut.  Hydrosurge, Kraken Hatchling, Mind Sculpt, Cleaver Riot, and maybe Tenement Crasher could do with being cut.  These are all substandard cards that you really don't need (not to mention that you're over 60 cards to begin with).  You have too many lands, too, so those need to be cut down somewhat.  Try and get three more copies of Swiftwater Cliffs so that you can run the full four of them.  That will help you out a little with your mana.  You could do with few more 4-drops as your mana curve dips significantly in that spot, perhaps dropping a couple of your 1-drops and 5-drops to do so.

One final thing.  I've uploaded a copy of your deck to Tapped Out.  Located at tappedout.net it's a great place to write deck lists since you can even just playtest with the deck right there.  Your deck can be found here and you should be able to see it and to playtest it.  I'd recommend signing up (or just linking your Facebook account, though I don't let it post to my wall) just so you can keep a record of your decks.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2015, 05:06:20 AM by Masked Thespian »
Regards,
MT.
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Freaking mod-ninja. :P

Although, given that you're in Japan now, I suppose that's entirely legit. :shifty:

Offline Narric

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Re: Planeswalker Libraries [Magic, the Gathering]
« Reply #19 on: January 25, 2015, 09:59:41 AM »
Thats a lot of info :P

I did know I was over 60, but I was told that Non-torny decks where 60+ Cards. As I was going a two colour deck, I figured going 20 of each colour, plus a suitable amount of land (30) would be the most advantageous for friendly games. This deck is not intended to beat my opponent senseless, but more to just have a fun game with some humourous moments.

A couple of your cards do have uses in my mind. Kraken Hatchling is a useful defencive card with 0/4, Hydrosurge has protected me from any damage or lose of Creatures (from a 5/6 with Deathtouch), Cleaver Riot helped take out a quarter of my opponents life with two monsters. Tenement Crasher and Mind Sculpt have yet to be played despite playing three games with this deck, though at present I'm partial to keeping them in. :)

Nox (The friend, I can't be asked constantly refering to him as my friend) gave me basic understanding of Mana Curve, and infact he keeps his collection of cards in Mana curve order, will Creatures and Non-creatures seperate.
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Offline Masked Thespian

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Re: Planeswalker Libraries [Magic, the Gathering]
« Reply #20 on: January 25, 2015, 11:52:34 AM »
There's nothing wrong with a deck being over 60 cards, tournament or otherwise.  It's just not optimal.  If you had one awesome card in your deck that guaranteed you won the game whenever you drew it, would you rather have a 1/60 chance of getting it or a 1/69?  It's like asking whether you'd rather have a 6+ Armour Save or a 2+ Armour Save on a 40k model (albeit taken to an extreme for the sake of illustrating the point).

When you create a two colour deck there are a lot of factors to take into consideration regarding the colour balance.  Simply taking 50% of one colour cards and 50% of the other colour isn't really the best way to do it.  My first decks were something similar, though.  I had a variety of cards spread throughout all of the colours so I built three approximately even sized decks out of all of the cards that I had: I had the most Green so that was a mono-Green deck, then I also had a Blue/White deck and a Black/Red deck simply because their numbers were approximately even.  Mind you, this was back in 1995 when I was a lot younger and innocent about things.

Amongst other things you need to consider WHEN you're going to need the card.  If you have a lot of Red 1-drops, for example, then you're going to want a disproportionately large number of Red mana sources in the deck to try and get you Red mana available from turn 1.  If you have a lot of double Blue cards (such as Mindreaver) then you need to increase the number of Blue sources because otherwise you won't be able to cast them on time.

Generally, the mix of colours in your deck should be however you want it to be and not an arbitrary 50/50 mix of the two, and after you've decided on your spells you should try and make your land mix match up.

Regarding those individual cards:

  • Mind Sculpt is all but useless.  As I mentioned previously, mill isn't a good strategy.  In particular, a single Mind Sculpt isn't going to do anything at all.  You are going to spend a card to, essentially, shuffle your opponent's Library.  Yes, he puts 7 cards in his Graveyard, but that could be anything from his 7 best cards to his 7 worst cards to 7 lands.  And the latter two are far more likely than the former.  Also remember the Rule of Nine: if your opponent has built his deck with such redundancy in mind then he won't care if you luckily get rid of one or two of his best cards because he has multiples in the deck.
  • Kraken Hatchling is very defensive.  But is that really useful?  Traditionally, Blue/Red wins through getting a couple of creatures onto the battlefield and then using the rest of its spells to let them attack the enemy until he or she is dead.  But an 0/4 is a very defensive creature and can't help with this strategy at all.  If you were tying to make a Blue/Black control deck then I'd say, "Sure, go for it."  But the issue is that if you're in a position where you need an 0/4 to protect you then you've probably already lost the game but haven't realised it and an 0/4 doesn't help you win the game when you need it to.
  • Hydrosurge is an interesting case because we can learn something about costs.  Magic, as a game, has a number of resources and a number of costs.  Some of these are very apparent.  Mana, in particular, is the most obvious one.  But there are other important resources in the game as well as mana.  Cards, for one.  Every turn you draw one card.  So does your opponent.  So, in those terms, you're both equal.  Draw spells change this.  When you cast Divination, then instead of drawing one card that turn you draw three, although you've had to use a card to do so.  Now Hydrosurge is interesting because you're using a card (a resource) to protect a creature on the battlefield (another resource).  But here's the thing, next turn that 5/6 Deathtouch creature will still be on the board.  You've effectively spent a card to buy yourself a single additional turn alive.  That's not a great trade off.  In addition, the card isn't all that useful when you're winning and trying to just push that last little bit of damage through to kill your opponent before he can draw something that can help save him.
  • Cleaver Riot is simply expensive for what it does.  In addition, as it's a Sorcery then you telegraph your intentions to your opponent before your Combat Phase.
  • Likewise, Tenement Crasher is just expensive for what it is.
Regards,
MT.
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Freaking mod-ninja. :P

Although, given that you're in Japan now, I suppose that's entirely legit. :shifty:

Offline Narric

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Re: Planeswalker Libraries [Magic, the Gathering]
« Reply #21 on: January 25, 2015, 12:11:46 PM »
You have good points. Though I'm gonna be t the mercy of Booster packs for what change and when.

A few more games will also help me decide what is useful and not :)
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Offline Railgun Convention

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Re: Planeswalker Libraries [Magic, the Gathering]
« Reply #22 on: January 25, 2015, 03:54:38 PM »
So here's my old red/white deck. It needs a lot of polishing, but it won a lot of games back when I played a lot. I have a bunch of cards from RtR I need to build into it now.
So how many crashes have I survived now?


Offline Narric

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Re: Planeswalker Libraries [Magic, the Gathering]
« Reply #23 on: January 26, 2015, 11:32:46 PM »
Found the Starter set from 2000, which by internet is 6th ed and Nemesis. Decided there was no harm creating a couple "Prototype" decks that included the cards from that set.

My Gaming deck, plus additional Red and Blue cards: http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/apprentice-redblue-6th-cards/
The spare cards from the set: http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/6th-ed-spares/

I was seeing a fair number of cards that haven't been reproduced for later sets, so if I was to use the these two decks, I'd look for cards with similar stats and abilities.

[Update]
Had a bit further look into what makes up my deck, and realised a good portion of it is no longer standard :P

[Update 2]
Got my Core set and have been messing around with my Deck structure, and have created my second deck as well.
My first deck is now Standard legal, though I'm sure my mojo with it has been royally messed up. A few games should help me figure out what I need.
 - http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/redblue-part-2/

Also created a White/Green Deck, Partly becuase I couldn't go Mono-White, but also becuase they seemed like a decent combination.
 - http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/07-02-15-the-forests-light/

Mana Curves are a right nuisance to try and get right.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2015, 09:50:16 AM by Narric »
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Offline Narric

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Re: Planeswalker Libraries [Magic, the Gathering]
« Reply #24 on: March 17, 2015, 03:36:50 PM »
I've managed to interest a friend and classmate to start playing Magic. He's so far only got the 2015 core set, but his Black Green Deck is fairly strong. Used his spare Red and White cards to make a quick deck to play against him with, and lost due to him getting eight creatures on the field, including Terrastomper.

I've also scrapped my past decks, and rebuilt two, which I'll be adding to and refining from now on, rather than just building multiple decks. A Tricolour (Red/Blue/White), and a Black/Green.



On a more open note, who is going to be attending the Dragons of Tarkir Prerelease events? I'd personally love to be able to go, but work makes it so I can't :(
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Offline Masked Thespian

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Re: Planeswalker Libraries [Magic, the Gathering]
« Reply #25 on: March 19, 2015, 05:30:49 PM »
On a more open note, who is going to be attending the Dragons of Tarkir Prerelease events? I'd personally love to be able to go, but work makes it so I can't :(

I'm going to all four that my local store is running.  It's tough because all of the product is in Japanese but I'll muddle my way through it somehow.
Regards,
MT.
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Freaking mod-ninja. :P

Although, given that you're in Japan now, I suppose that's entirely legit. :shifty:

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Re: Planeswalker Libraries [Magic, the Gathering]
« Reply #26 on: March 29, 2015, 03:02:40 PM »
On a more open note, who is going to be attending the Dragons of Tarkir Prerelease events? I'd personally love to be able to go, but work makes it so I can't :(

I'm going to all four that my local store is running.  It's tough because all of the product is in Japanese but I'll muddle my way through it somehow.

Surprisingly, I did rather well at them.  The first one went poorly, going 1-2 (if you've never been to an event, you play a number of matches (in this case, three), and you play until either time runs out or a player wins two games, so I lost the first match 2-0, lost the second match 2-0, and in the third match I won it 2-0).

The second one, however, I went 3-0 (2-1, 2-0, 2-0) and came in second overall in the whole event.  The third one I went 3-0 (2-0, 2-0, 2-0) and came first in the event.  The fourth one I went 3-0 again (2-0, 2-0, 2-1) and came in third overall.

This is uncharacteristically good for me, as usually I don't do all that well, usually going 1-2 or, if I'm having a bit of a lucky day, 2-1.  I've never gone 3-0 before, let alone three times in a row, or without even losing a single game (in the third prerelease).

Somehow...  this is going to come around and bite me in the rear end...
Regards,
MT.
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Freaking mod-ninja. :P

Although, given that you're in Japan now, I suppose that's entirely legit. :shifty:

Offline Narric

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Re: Planeswalker Libraries [Magic, the Gathering]
« Reply #27 on: March 29, 2015, 06:25:49 PM »
I'll likely avoid tournaments in M:tG for a long while. My two friends (the one that got me into Magic, and my college friend who I got into magic) are both beating pretty easily, and thats usually before they get their Planeswalkers out. I've had to go out and buy the Elspeth and Kiora Duel Decks, and even then I doubt those two are going to help against Ugin.

Currently planning on buying a Dragons of Tarkir Fat PAck when I get paid from work. Cutting close to the end of Waylands easter promotion, but £21 for a Fat PAck is too good to pass up.
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Offline Masked Thespian

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Re: Planeswalker Libraries [Magic, the Gathering]
« Reply #28 on: March 30, 2015, 06:15:34 AM »
I'll likely avoid tournaments in M:tG for a long while.

Even if you decide to avoid tournaments, I highly recommend going to Prereleases.  Whilst some stores can make them a little cut throat, they're supposed to be events for everyone including newer and less experienced players.
Regards,
MT.
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Freaking mod-ninja. :P

Although, given that you're in Japan now, I suppose that's entirely legit. :shifty:

Offline The Man They Call Jayne

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Re: Planeswalker Libraries [Magic, the Gathering]
« Reply #29 on: April 01, 2015, 04:14:13 PM »
I have the Kiora deck, and I have modified it a bit from the box, but it is a wonderfully good deck for annoying people because they can't keep anything on the table.

Have finally signed up with tappedout too and uploaded my first proper deck.

http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/01-04-15-FPk-death-and-taxes/
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