Introduction

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Introduction

Introductions are in order.

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I love UB control. The last tournament I was at I actually milled myself in one game due to casting forbidden alchemy 7 or so times. Also not all of the top 8 was aggro, the deck that won was wolf run ramp.

konor77:
I love UB control. The last tournament I was at I actually milled myself in one game due to casting forbidden alchemy 7 or so times. Also not all of the top 8 was aggro, the deck that won was wolf run ramp.

I opted to give Forbidden Alchemy a pass myself for lack of Snapcaster Mages. Did you fare pretty well in the rest of your matches?

Also, the Ramp thing actually had me scratching my head a bit when I was writing, as I wasn't too sure what to call this style of Ramp deck other than than "Aggro." It's not Control, and it doesn't really look to Combo like Valakut used to. It kind of got defaulted to the Aggro category for lack of a better fit in the 3 broadest archetypes. Do you think it fits better elsewhere?

I just started playing over the past summer (missed it as a kid) and due to opening a Liliana in a pack decided to try my hand at a Solar Flare deck.

Not that I've invested to much money in the game, but I have fun playing on my dorm's floor with friends. Except against my one friend's hexproof deck. F*** that crap.

Sure takes me back... I started in Revised, just before The Dark... and I sold out of the game right around the time fifth edition rolled around...

I dunno about your deck. Invisible Stalker is really not what you want to be doing right now in standard, because the aggro decks simply don't care about the swords (they'll outrace you by miles) and the midrange decks aren't all that popular at the moment.

You could try Bloodline Keeper instead if you wanna go with the whole sword thing, since he's actually good without a sword in play (and the endless 2/2s are decent at saving some life against aggro)

And I'm assuming you're lacking on duals, since you only have 2. (Scars lands are ridiculous in price right now, it's actually really annoying)

EDIT: I do like U/B control, it's just never been my style of play (and it plays a lot of expensive cards). I'm currently trying to get BUG Necrotic Ooze to work, since it looks like a lot of fun

I've being playing for a couple years, never competitively, but I'm pretty decent. Had one ridiculous Shards of Alara deck where I got stupendous amounts of Bant cards, and just shoved all 26 rares into one deck that worked pretty well.

I meticulously planned out a pretty kick-ass mono-white Soldier's tribal deck, but I've never got around to buying it, as the ~80 is a little out of my price range for a card game that I don't play that often/competitively.

Nice article, though, I look forward to reading more in the future.

Oh Blue and Black decks, perfect for pissing the other player off by countering every spell they use and punishing them for doing anything. It's a shame that the great cards are extremely difficult to get and actually investing money into what is essentially a card game is a concept extremely laughable to me, but I would seriously like to get better at this game. There are certain cards I would kill to get my hands on.

ZeZZZZevy:
I dunno about your deck. Invisible Stalker is really not what you want to be doing right now in standard, because the aggro decks simply don't care about the swords (they'll outrace you by miles) and the midrange decks aren't all that popular at the moment.

You could try Bloodline Keeper instead if you wanna go with the whole sword thing, since he's actually good without a sword in play (and the endless 2/2s are decent at saving some life against aggro)

And I'm assuming you're lacking on duals, since you only have 2. (Scars lands are ridiculous in price right now, it's actually really annoying)

EDIT: I do like U/B control, it's just never been my style of play (and it plays a lot of expensive cards). I'm currently trying to get BUG Necrotic Ooze to work, since it looks like a lot of fun

Well I have to say you are spot-on across the board. I've just been so eager to see Invisible Stalker work since it got spoiled. It's kind of a pet deck, I suppose. While it may not be well positioned in the Standard environment, I still *really* want to see how it performs locally.

I've only got access to a couple of dual lands, and they're in there. I tend to blow my Magic budget on boosters, leaving precious little to spend on singles when trying to assemble something and, given the current price of the Scars duals, they're just way out of range.

Also, I've seen some pretty nasty looking Necrotic Ooze builds, so good luck!

Good article, and I for one welcome a weekly magic column. I've been playing since the original Mirrodin block, and despite it's issues (FUCK AFFINITY) I still loved it. Scars of Mirrodin was a nice return, but I have to admit, I'm a little bummed out that the plane that got me into magic has been wiped out and taken over by pure evil. And Venser (my favorite character) kicking the can was just depressing.

For standard, I'm running a White/blue/Green Birthing Pod deck, and it really get's some nice results. Skaab Ruinator is just hilarious. Also have two Commander decks, both control/combo, one with Vorash(G/U/B) and one with Crosis(R/U/B). The Crosis one is more for shenanigans, and pissing friends off with copying Cruel Ultimatum 5 times in a turn...I don't have many friends willing to play against it anymore.

As for you U/B deck, I gotta say, it's not doing it for me. Invisible stalker/swords just doesn't work as well as we all wish it would, it's just no Squadron Hawk.

For starters, one-of's in general aren't a good idea. Is that single Tezzeret really doing anything to reliably affect the outcome of your games? Why run a single Sword of Body and Mind/War and Peace mainboard? Are those two inkmoth nexus's really worth it when they're the only infect sources in the deck? Why do you only have one titan!? Control decks run on stalling till you get you bomb them, I know they're kinda expensive, but get some more Grave Titans, or maybe some Wurmcoil Engines in there!

Really now, it's kinda like you're trying to combine two types of decks into something that isn't working. You know what Invisible stalker likes? Mirran Crusader, Angelic Destiny, Geist of Saint Taft and Mentor of the Meek! A good U/W aggro deck just loves him. U/B control? Not so much. Maybe try turning it into a full on Solar Flare deck? Add some white, Fiend Hunter, Sun Titan, Unburial Rites, Think Twice, Forbidden Alchemy...you really don't "need" Snapcaster Mage for it to be effective, but I won't lie, it'd help.

I am very happy to see this column pop up... I started playing just before Innistrad hit (about 2 weeks, I think) and I'm having great fun with it. So far just causal play, but I'm hoping to hit the occasional tournament/FNM after the holiday rush is over. I expect to get trounced, but at least I'll be able to take the Rules Advisor test, which is my ultimate goal right now. In the meantime, I'll keep messing around with my 6 decks. (That happened faster than I expected.)

I've been playing for a couple years now (never tournaments, just with friends) and I've gotta agree with Annihilator being my favorite effect. I recently made a BG Eldrazi deck after I got my hands on Emrakul, and it tends to work at least moderately well most of the time.

Finally someone starts a MTG column here. I haven't been able to play at my local shop for almost a month due to family/work, but this Saturday I'm up for Innistrad drafting :D

I'm a limited player at heart, I don't like dropping huge amounts of cash to build stock decks, and I enjoy working within the confines of a very restrictive ruleset.

Right now I'm running Esper Reanimator (not Solar Flare, Reanimator, I have 2x Sheoldred, Whispering One and a Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur in my deck) and having a blast with it, although I lose every single game to mono red and tempered steel*. I just swapped some cards around (Added a couple more removal spells to the sideboard and swapped my Jace's Archivists for Merfolk Looters) so I want to see how it performs.

I play at 3rd Coast Cards in Houston (Katy) for free FNM (when I can) and drafts on Saturdays, anyone in the area should come down and play with us :)

*Funny story. I had a game against mono red where he got a T1 Goblin Fireslinger, I mana leaked a T2 shrine, he got T3 Shrine/Fireslinger while I Forbidden Alchemy'd on his end step. I binned an Unburial Rites, land, and Elesh Norn. I reanimated the Elesh Norn on T4, and wiped his board. He played a Manabarbs, took 4 from Norn on my turn while I drew lands off my draw step and think twice. Now at this point, my hand is a couple land, Black Sun's Zenith, and 2 Doom Blades. He cast another shrine and passed the turn. I draw another land, flash back think twice (more land), and attack with Norn. He casts a Stromkirk Noble, uses the morbid'd Brimstone Volley and a Galvanic Blast to kill Norn. Eventually, he double shrines me and I lose.

Evidently, that's how you beat a T4 Elesh Norn as Mono red ><

I like the idea of a MTG column, although in all honesty I go to sites like TCG player and Channel Fireball for MTG articles.

Having someone with no tourney experience, that still seems to be at the above average but not competitive level do the articles is a bit strange to me.

I don't really think your control deck can work. It has no card draw for late game card advantage. It has no big spells for late game finishers, aside from the 1 Grave Titan.

The sweepers for Black right now (Black Suns Zenith) are only decent at best, and seem to backfire on your current win condition(little dudes + equipment).

Equipment used to be so good because stoneforge allowed you to pick out the sword which had the proper protections + get card advantage, and the small bodies to use them (squadron hawk) were basically free. Now a days the equipment is only decent, and I think you would be better off if you want an equipment based deck to run monoblack infect with livewire lash or w.e that card is called.

I quit a few years back (Future Sight). My local scene had devolved into almost exclusively drafting.

I'm not against paying for Magic, but when I know beforehand that every card I draft, from the chase rares to the worst jank, is immediately going into a box at home it got harder and harder to justify the cost.

It's a shame, but I like the idea of this series. The WotC site for Magic is so incredibly poorly designed it has stymied my earlier attempts to find out what's been happening...

I'm such a newb at magic it hurts. I bought a red and black booster pack two years ago and my friend and I play each other in sporadic bursts. Half of our rules are house rules, but still, we have fun.

From what I last heard, Red deck is UP. Can anyone explain why? (If this is true that is.)

This new segment is great! I love MTG. While I had played a bit with friends years in the past, it was about a year and a half ago that I started getting my own cards and building my own decks. Now I play anywhere from 1-4 times a week.

Regarding Standard being mostly aggro-dominated at the moment, I think that's mainly because there isn't much to choose from in Standard at this time since we just had a rotation. Personally I prefer Legacy; there are SOO many more cards to choose from and you don't have to worry about rotation since everything except Power 9 and some of the cards on the relatively small banlist are legal.

My current Legacy decks are Dredge, Tezzeret-Affinity and I'm now working on a reanimator deck.

I used to get together with a bunch of guys and play a tournament every Saturday at the card shop down at the end of the street, but when the owner quit the business and the card shop became a driving school ( oddly right at the time I needed to learn to drive) I all but quit the game, it was a financial burden, and you can only play the same three people so many times before it becomes pointless, I still have my old white cleric deck ( built for the sole purpose of boosting my life at every turn, to where I just wear down the opponent) I had a chance to get back into it about a year ago but I just can't seem to bring myself to pay through the nose for pieces of cardboard. I'd much rather use it to upgrade my PC.

It was fun in school but as an adult I have other concerns that need to be addressed. I find my entertainment through music and the occasional video game, but most of my time is spent focusing on work and school (collage) .....

Encaen:

ZeZZZZevy:
I dunno about your deck. Invisible Stalker is really not what you want to be doing right now in standard, because the aggro decks simply don't care about the swords (they'll outrace you by miles) and the midrange decks aren't all that popular at the moment.

You could try Bloodline Keeper instead if you wanna go with the whole sword thing, since he's actually good without a sword in play (and the endless 2/2s are decent at saving some life against aggro)

And I'm assuming you're lacking on duals, since you only have 2. (Scars lands are ridiculous in price right now, it's actually really annoying)

EDIT: I do like U/B control, it's just never been my style of play (and it plays a lot of expensive cards). I'm currently trying to get BUG Necrotic Ooze to work, since it looks like a lot of fun

Well I have to say you are spot-on across the board. I've just been so eager to see Invisible Stalker work since it got spoiled. It's kind of a pet deck, I suppose. While it may not be well positioned in the Standard environment, I still *really* want to see how it performs locally.

I've only got access to a couple of dual lands, and they're in there. I tend to blow my Magic budget on boosters, leaving precious little to spend on singles when trying to assemble something and, given the current price of the Scars duals, they're just way out of range.

Also, I've seen some pretty nasty looking Necrotic Ooze builds, so good luck!

I'm lucky to have a good trade group to work with, along with a local card shop with good prices. If you can find anyone to trade with consistently, it goes a long way with with getting the cards you need.

As for the deck, I wish you success! I'm a fan of brewing and hopefully you come out of the tournament with a good experience and more ideas.

my first was a flames of rath preconstructed, good times

I've been having a lot of fun with a UR Delver Control Deck myself, it's incredibly fun to play, but it's the kind of deck you need Snapcasters to run.

I've also got a Blue/Black Heartless Summoning Deck together, which can be really good times, as well as a Legacy Caw-Blade Deck I made entirely because I had the Jaces and Stoneforges just sitting around from last rotation, and decided to build a deck for them in one of the only formats they're still legal in, rather than get rid of them.

loc978:
Sure takes me back... I started in Revised, just before The Dark... and I sold out of the game right around the time fifth edition rolled around...

Same story here. My friend introduced me to it when I was 13, and even bought me my first starter and booster pack. Sometime after 5th edition, when foils and color coding the rarity of cards began I quit.

Recently though my friends and I rekindled our interest, mostly to up our nerdery to a sociable thing we can do together. So interesting article, I definitely don't know all the out-of-game terms, so those will be interesting to read about in the next article.
Also Innistrad has such a cool lore/story/world.

I should really get myself some innistrad, right now the best I have is GW infect...

I mostly just play with some friends at school and my brother at home; however, I have been thinking of going to a couple local tournaments and games.

My older brother taught me magic -years- ago, like around 2002 or so, and took me to tournaments at a nearby place every week (I think Saturdays). I just got back into it since coming to college, and now I'm in the process of trying to make a werewolf deck with Innistrad, making good progress. I still have and use some of my old cards from way back when though, play with other people on my floor and in the club I'm in.

Nice article, looking forward to reading more.
I got out of Magic around Mirage and only recently got sucked back in by friends with Innistrad.
Which meant I fell right back into the "buy to many damned cards" habit. Also, the "I can't stop making decks" habit, similar to being an alt-aholic with MMOs.

Ahhhh magic... i started long ago right after 7th edition came out... I played pretty religiously up until the onslaught block, when i finally quit. I played with my old cards with some friends i met in college that i discovered used to play. But i haven't purchased, or really even seen much of anything in years and years. I'm fascinated to hear about where the game has gone since then, and what crazy new things they added/brought back.

I'm a white player. I've dabbled in white/green, and even white/black once or twice. But pure white is where my heart lies!

I play Wolf Run Ramp with 4 inferno titans, 4 primeval titans, and inkmoth nexuses and kessig wolf runs to just destroy people with either damage or poison along with removal and board sweepers.

Other deck I'm working on is U/R delver using delver of secerts to flip early and hit for 3 in the air on turn 2-3 onwards along with stromkirk noble to get big and chandra's phoenix. It is pretty much counter burn with brimstone volley, incincerates and shocks to burn which can get back phoenix and mana leaks to control the board.

I played quite a bit of MtG from around Tempest to Odyssey blocks. Loved the hell out of that game, was quite literally obsessed by it. My favorite builds were U/G control decks, although most worked better in theory than in practice. The last deck I had was a Squirrel/Opposition build that I loved to death.

Several things stacked together led to me quitting though:
1. Ugh, the redesign. Never got over it. Ugly, ugly, ugly, no elegance.
2. The end of the Urza and Co. storyline, which left me kind of alienated. True, most people don't play for the story, but the lore just felt less interesting afterwards.
3. The realization that MtG had a problem with adding new mechanics just to get people to buy new cards and to mix up the tournament builds a bit. I seriously wouldn't have had a problem with playing Type 1 forever. The vocabulary proliferation was a rather unsubtle symptom of this.
4. It was expensive. Nothing against the game, but WotC is a business and has to make money.
5. Discovery of computer games sucked my attention towards a different medium.

I recently started playing.. as in 2 months ago.
I've now got 2 decks on the go, a Red Black vampire deck which loses more than I care to admit (There are a couple of cards I need to turn that around though), and a Red Burn them all!!! deck.

Started really enjoying Friday Night Magic, gets a good group of people together and we have a blast.

I personally don't like mill decks. Losing a game with 20 health remaining is never fun.. still, it's possible to throw spanners in the works of those who mill.

The sheer amount of possibilities, there is no perfect unbeatable deck makes it so much fun. There's always something new to see... and in my case, be killed by.

I love Magic, its retardedly fun. I would consider myself VERY new to the game since I didn't start until Rise of the Eldrazi release. My mono black Vamp deck was pretty epic before Zendikar rotated out, but being mono black, you can't do anything about artifacts or enchantments, leaving a huge hole in your strategy what with the artifact heavy metagame with Scars of Mirrodin block being in as well.

Sadly, I stopped putting money into Magic after I moved away from my playgroup, which was at about M12 release, so I haven't even looked at any of the Innistrad cards or been to an FNM since.

Kind of a shame considering thats where ALL my money went the previous year.

So, when do we get a Greenihilator / LolDestro / "why it's fun to make people hate your decks" article?

Started way back when Portal was released, my first prebuilt deck was back in Urza's saga and it was Tombstone, which got me into the whole reanimator theme.

But it wasn't then that I started to really get into magic, it was later when Scourge, Onslaught, Mercadian Masks, and all of those sets were available that I really went all in with magic, and me and my friends spent our entire pocket money searching for Akroma (which I still own), and Phage (a card that my best friend got at the time and has now passed on to me), either way this is where I found my love for an Elven deck, comboi'ng Wellwishers, with Priestess of Titania and Seeker of Skybreak, and using Elvish Soultiller, this is also where I started to fall in love with monocoulor deck. I delved deeper into magic until Kamigawa, where I lost interest for the lack of friends who still played.

But more recently, i came back to magic and dragged a friend or two from College, with Scars of Mirrodin and Mirrodin Besieged, and we've been playing casually for a long time.

Right now I have three decks which I play:

Blue/Artifact composed majorly of affinity for artifacts cards, some of the swords, and Wurmcoil Engine.

Mono Black vampire- Majorly reconstructed from my old (and highly obsolete and/or illegal in most formats W/B reanimator).

Mono Green- My 10 year old Elvish deck, everchanging, and still one I keep with fondness and struggle to keep in format.

However I have to add, that I dislike serious competition due to the fact that most people just buy cards individually or build and pay, while I've always been someone who believes in the booster pack and find it the same gamble and bane of all TCG, and part of it's charm meaning if i take someone who plays in semi/serious circles, I'll usually struggle unless I can set off a weird combo.

I started at the end of Kamigawa/beginning of Ravnica, then quit a few times and got back in last year because the college I go to has a Magic club that does DCI booster drafts every 1st and 3rd thursday night of a month. Its awesome.

Decks are:
-UR Dragonstorm combo (vintage)
-RG Warpworld Landfall combo (modern)
-UW Gwafa Control (modern)
-RG Werewolves (standard)
-Mono Red RDW (standard)
-BW Ghost Council EDH (commander)

Favorite colors are white and red (yet I don't have a RW deck... weird. *begins to make a RW deck*)

Least favorite color: Black. Not that I think it sucks, on the contrary I think black is really good, but I just suck at playing it. Not my style.

I play White equipment.
I've been playing since High-School when my friend bought me the original Mirrodin white equipment deck. Lorwyn was just coming out at this point, and I was the only kid without a planeswalker.
After high-school I gave away all my cards, and started fresh restarted my deck-building process.
I've managed to make a pretty Equipment deck, but as of Innistrad, half of it isn't standard legal.
Damn Innistrad.

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