Saturday, 8 October 2011

Finally learning how to draft MTG properly

In my fourth event of playing Magic: The Gathering (MTG), I have finally won more than a single game in a match. I won a match. Actually, I won two matches. It was an elated feeling to win two matches, altogether made sweeter with getting a reward for my efforts of an additional booster pack. The final score after 3 matches was 2-1, 2-0, and 0-2 - ending up 4th in a field of 12 players.

Chewie, who accompanied me to the event last night, made a great assessment of my situation. When you beat your friends, it is one level of satisfaction. At the end of the day, they are your friends, and most of mine play MTG due to fact I have introduced (or encouraged) them to play. When you go to an event, you are playing against people who are enthusiastic in playing the game. Which means they will have read up on how to play the game, studied the strategies, and played in a larger network of people that do play. Beating them feels better. Strangely, loosing to people who are enthusiastic of the MTG game is not that bad - I equate it to loosing a game of one-on-one basketball to Michael Jordan (seeing how he is the one of the greatest basketball players of all time and I can not even dunk). You can easily tell yourself you were outmatched and mentally move on.

My current network of people I play with is made up of Chewie, Captain Powderpuff, TanMan, with the occasional Jarvo, KittyKat playing, and I am hoping to get SpecialK back into it. I chatted to SpecialK a few days ago, and he has some old sets, but has not played in a while. He actually thought the game had died off. Happy to play anyone, but I am too busy / lazy to make my way to MTG stores to play on the weekends.

Going back to MTG events, in particular the events that has a 40 card deck minimum, there seems to be 2 main types of cards you want when playing MTG (on top of your mana-producing cards):
  1. Creature cards
  2. Creature removal cards
Every other card is either going to hinder you, slow you down, or give you minimal advantage. Strategically, when it comes to creatures, those with evasion keywords (like Flying or Intimidate) fare better than those without. Having cards that can pump up cards is also somewhat advantageous, but you need to be able to have the creatures in the first place to play them. Other things to keep in mind is the cost of each card (CMC). You do not want just expensive cards, and you do not want expensive cards that have little benefit. Lastly, you want to see what synergies you can exploit.

It is a different style of mentality from 60 card deck minimums, whether it be played socially, or in standard play. I will eventually build up enough understanding of how those work, try them, and attempt to document what I have figured out. I am also sure it is a different style of play in comparison to a game of EDH / Commander.

Playing at the Games Laboratory, the usual players I would like to thank are AT and LS - firstly for beating me (down hard) when I played them, but then by taking the time of going through my deck and my additional cards in an attempt to figure out new cards to try. In that, they also explained some of the concepts of MTG when played with a 40 card deck minimum. All help is greatly appreciated!

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