The Metagame

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Myself and my cousin who I regularly play with are definitely Johnnys. I might have a touch more Timmy than him, as I like my decks to have one or two big Timmy cards that might splash out near the end of a game to seal the deal. Our other friend who we also play with is definitely a bit more Timmy, with a twist of Johnny.

For the most part though, we both like making funny theme decks or looking for interesting, if not highly deadly combos. One of my most recent decks, which is actually pretty successful in our little circle, is a goblin/rogue deck. Lots of quick summoning goblins and rogues and then a bunch of cards taht exploit having creatures with the same creature type. It's really surprisingly effective. I just tweaked it a bit today, can't wait to try it out again.

On the other hand, I've definitely made some Spike decks. I had two really killer decks that I stopped using simply because within our circle/meta game, they were too good. I had a brutally efficient Ally deck that was literally unstoppable. It would get to a point, maybe five, six turns in, where I was gaining life, putting +1/+1 counters on every creature and then giving all those creatures protection from the colour of my opponent's blockers and just roll right on through and crush him. The other oen was a U/G/W exalted deck that similarly became hard to stop. When you have a 5/6, 6/7/ 7/8 Rhox War Monk attacking every turn, getting bigger every turn, victory is not far behind.

As good and efficient as those decks were, I retired them because it wasn't a fun way to play. Unless my cousin had decided to make a deck specifically designed to counteract those decks, there was just no way he was going to win.

Anyway, we definitely play for fun, first and foremost. While we all like to win, we all enjoy a competitive game much more. Most of our games recently (3 player matches) have resulted in well spread out wins with sometimes nail biting finishes. Even surprise wins, where you think that you have no chance, but somehow pull it out. Granted, multiplayer is a different animal than a typical two man duel, but we have fun, we get to use all sorts of old, silly, funny, and powerful cards in various ways and that's what it's all about for us.

amaranth_dru:
I quit playing after the Ravnica block went out of style, but this type of deck was my favorite of all time.
http://magic.tcgplayer.com/db/deck.asp?deck_id=555118

Straight up Mill deck, force players to discard repeatedly.

Mill, land destruction, and counterspell decks while very effective are the most annoying decks to play against. In a tournament setting when all you want is to win, I say go for it. Any other time, I would not fault myself or anyone else to craft a deck specifically to counter one of those deck types. :p

While they win, they do it in a way that sucks the fun out of the game for the opponent. At least in my opinion. That's why I rarely make those kind of decks myself.

Encaen:

I miss serious Mill decks sometimes, though they seem to be bringing some of it back in Innistrad with Trepanation Blade and Undead Alchemist. It doesn't really seem too viable yet, though some control strategies have been using Nephalia Drownyard to good effect! There's also Laboratory Maniac if you want to go with a "mill yourself" strategy instead.

Perhaps the Innistrad block for tournament play is slowly bringing back mill decks to tourneys, I know that personally, in our card stock, there are shit tons of cards that eat up libraries. From Hedron Crabs to Nemesis of Reason to Mind Funeral and on and on. There are dozens of mill cards spread all throughout the various blocks.

Draconalis:

There is another card, I can't remember what it's called off the top of my head, but it's an enchant creature that makes target creature an 8/8

Gigantiform. Goes really, really well with Sovereigns of Alara. :)

Draconalis:

I have alot more to say, but I don't really want you to think you're "doing it wrong" because the game is about having fun. If it works for you even some of the time and you have fun, sure. If you want something that will work more often, I can help you make a deck that will stomp faces. It's ultimately up to you.

Oh, not at all- I only started a few months ago, right before Innstrad came out. I'm very interested in learning more about card combinations that I may or may not know about. (I imagine the look on my face when I saw a veteran player use Regress on their own card to avoid a Doom Blade was priceless. I'd never thought of it!)

I'm getting to be more OK with multiples of the same card (if you look at my account at MTG Vault, it's kind of obvious which decks are the newest becuase they have more multiples.)Still, I prefer 2s and 3s to the full 4. I hate the idea of locking myself into such a small set of cards, especially with so many out there.

As for the oddites of this deck specifically... this was my 'starter' deck. It's been remade several times in the brief time I've been playing, hence the lack of focus from random stragglers in old versions- like the captain and the sunpetal grove (it was a white/green legacy deck to start with!) Couple that with me paying attention to my newer decks instead of this guy when buying singles- never remembered to get another Elder- and I kinda lost where I was going with this one. Which is why I love seeing all these great options to get it tuned up!

First of all, to give my side of the story, a friend of mine tried to show me (though not teach me) this game, but then last year I bought the digital version (seemed real cheap yet a good introduction), but I really didn't get much out of it.

This is not a criticsm of the article, I don't know enough to criticize or judge, just saying, as a small part of the audience who'll read the article, I'm writing this so you might know if you want to concentrate on more knowledgable players and not absolute beginners (I imagine it's hard to balance it out). Just as a point of view reference. :)

So what I'm trying to say this is from a point of a beginner (meaning I only scratched a bit on the surface of the game and strategy behind it) and this is just what I got out of it - not really that much. People who have been playing for a month or more seem to get something out of it, but about 80% of I didn't really even understand what the hell I was reading. But to someone like me who can't plan out a 3 card throwing turn or even a 3 turn strategy, to me it sounds like this: "I use this card and this card in my deck, this is a good deck if you want to deplete somebody's mana/attack before they attack you"...practically I have absolutley no use for this nor does this help me understand why this is good with some other thing.

Again, I'm just voicing my opinion, people seem to like the article and it's more of a "hey gang of people who play MtG, lets talk about it" then "let me show you how this works".
But in any case, good luck.

DuelLadyS:
Snip

Indeed. I didn't look your account over at the time, but I'll add it to the things I need to do in the next few days. The feeling of being so locked down due to a small amount of cards is a fairly valid one, but another matter is the idea that if you have too many cards, your deck has no focus, which I think you're starting to understand, yourself.

At the current moment, I am busy screwing with my new computer, getting it all right. Then I am going to be heading over to my grand parents home to play magic with my cousin, so I'm busy at the moment, but at some point, I'll make a card for card copy of my friend's deck and show you how it works.

He has all the mandatory key cards, but he likes to run alot of singleton big green dumb guys for flavor.

Draconalis:

He has all the mandatory key cards, but he likes to run alot of singleton big green dumb guys for flavor.

Sounds like my kinda player.

Since it came up tonight- anyone have suggestions for a cheap red/green deck suitable to put Sarkhan Vol in? Another of my friends started recently and hopes to come across him in a booster, but her deck is... well, it looks a lot like my first deck did. She asked me for help, and I know she basically needs to split into 2 focuses. The mono green spider dredge I can work with, but right now I don't do so good with dual colors, so I'm at a loss for the Sarkhan deck (aside from 'more red!' Her deck's 80ish percent green.) Her budget is crazy-tight, so the cheaper the better.

DuelLadyS:
Snip

My other friend runs a red green deck that is basically like mono green ramp. He uses spell ramp to get out his land then pulls out inferno titans... so... many... inferno titans... ugh.

That being said, he also runs Sarkon Vol in his deck because... why not? The planeswalker buffs creatures, steals creatures, and generally kicks a bit of ass.

He's currently using a little bit of creature ramp as well, but he's still tweaking and testing it. One of the problems he's coming across is pulling land and ramp creatures when he no longer needs it, so he's thinking of cutting the creature ramp, for the most part.

Dual Color decks can be particularly interesting, The biggest thing is that you don't lose focus with them. You want both colors to have synergy with what you're doing, not have one color do one thing, then have another color to do something else. If you want two different ideas, make two different decks, don't try to throw both of them in a single one, because then you end up with parts of a combo, but not a complete combo, big creatures, but no ramp, etc.

The local metagame where I'm at is pretty much written as all aggro, all the time. It might be BU zombie aggro, or BUR zombie aggro, or W human aggro, or GR werewolf aggro. Every once in a while, a BR vampire aggro deck shows up, and then the rare UW spirit control deck shows up. Generally the spirit deck shows up and wins, because nobody plans for it.

I'm thinking about throwing everyone off their game by working on a BUW control deck, but I don't have a real endgame for it.

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