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We're all just here for the deep Urza lore - Talking about Magic: The Gathering!

Bulgakov

Yes, that Russian author.
(He/Him)
It looks like we still need to make a Magic thread. And I'm going to start it off with a bang!

With the assistance of my ever-resourceful planeswalker Jbear, Mind Games Champion, I'm hosting an online MTG: Arena draft on Monday, September 7th at 12pm EST (that's Labor Day in the US and Canada). There is no cost and no prizes. That said, we'll be using the MTGA Draft web application and you'll need to have some wildcards available on your account to manage any crafting needs. There will be both TTers and non-TTers present.

For full details and an invitation, please PM me. Please note: this draft is by invitation only so that I can control the overall size. If you have other friends who might be interested in the draft, let me know in the PM and we'll figure out space availability at that point.

Feel free to talk about general M:TG topics after this post!
 

Bulgakov

Yes, that Russian author.
(He/Him)
Unrelated: I don't know how many of you have played around with the new "basic" decks that will become the primary ones after rotation, but I think it's very interesting that they've created a secondary MTG:A "permanent core" with them (or at least, that appears to be their intention). There are some interesting mechanics that will get baked in to all Arena decks as a result.
 

YangusKhan

does the Underpants Dance
(He/Him/His)
I wish I could play MtG again. But I get too into it and it comes all-consuming of my free time. I haven't seriously been into it since RtR, though I did go to the prerelease for Dominaria a few years back. In another life I would've tried to go pro. I thought about it once several years ago, even looked up where PTQs and regionals were happening and such. But I don't even let myself play Arena because I worry what could happen. Maybe the fact that it's not a physical game would dampen the obsessive-ness for me? Not like I can just grab up my cards and go to a Standard FNM, after all (not that you can right now anyway but you know what I mean).
 

JBear

Internet's foremost Bertolli cosplayer
(He/Him)
I mean, I can't speak for you, obviously, but speaking for myself, I had a very unhealthy relationship with Magic The Gathering as a youth. I spent literally tens of thousands of dollars of my parents' money. I'd walk out of my LGS with full boxes of boosters all the time. I recognized that I had a problem, so one day I just quit cold turkey. Upended my giant box of cards in a grade 7 classroom and let younger children feed on the pile like ravenous sharks sensing blood in the water, and swore to myself that I would never spend another cent on the game. And I never have.

Fast forward to last year, though, and I started to get the itch. I was watching a lot of LoadingReadyRun non-Magic content, and they just spent so much time talking about the game that I started to think about it more and more and slowly started to dip my toe into some of their Magic stuff as well. And finally, after the War of the Spark PPR, I decided to try downloading the Arena client. And I've been playing it regularly ever since, at a nice casual pace/level of engagement, without spending a dime! I typically jam one draft a week with friends, every Friday night. That relaxed rate of play has allowed me to earn enough virtual fun bucks that I've been able to "go infinite", as the kids say. It's been perfect for me, and has allowed me to enjoy one of my favourite games of all time responsibly. Turns out that I still like Magic a whole lot!
 

YangusKhan

does the Underpants Dance
(He/Him/His)
My trajectory always goes "I'll just draft a little bit" -> "Oh no now I have a bunch of cards to make a Standard deck let's make some Standard decks" -> "Oh no now I'm on forums reading about the meta game"

So it's been difficult for me to "just draft" or some other kind of casual approach. But that's also why I'm wary of Arena because I can see the same thing playing out unless I exclusively do Phantom Draft or something where I don't keep my cards (but then I question how much I'd want to play if I couldn't keep the cards... augh).
 

Bulgakov

Yes, that Russian author.
(He/Him)
I would second Jbear's opinion of Arena. Other than the $5 starter pack that I bought when I started (which would have been wholly unnecesary), I am swimming in both gems and coins now with regular play. Now, that said:
  • My goal is to maximize limited play, I really only play constructed to satisfy quests and for fun
  • I'm good enough with my limited play (and with the people I play with) to make back over 80% of my initial investment most drafts
  • I don't have a collection where I'm going to go pro anytime soon
  • I am happy to play mid-performing decks
  • I build my own decks without net-decking and using what cards I have, and I'm ok with them being suboptimal to the guy who slams 3 mythic planeswalkers down in a game
Other than that $5 and my time (which, you know, I'm enjoying), I haven't spent a dime.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
I'm gonna be in the Labor Day draft too, really looking forward to it!

I've been playing a lot of Arena since Covid hit, but mostly constructed. I think I'm a better limited player in person than I am on Arena, if that makes any sense -- something about having another human sitting across the table makes me focus in a different way. It's a good day if I can break even on an Arena draft!

Not that I have a ton of recent paper experience either. Early last year I learned that the people in my office that played Commander also had a regular draft pod, so I joined them. We'd typically do one or two drafts per set release, which was a really fun way to get to play without owning boxes and boxes of cardboard. Before that, I hadn't played a game of paper Magic since middle school. I hope we can get back to it next year.

On the flipside, Arena lets me have pretty much any constructed deck I care to try, and I've made it to Mythic four months in a row now just from playing decks that I liked. I know this isn't much of an accomplishment, but it's nice to feel like I'm at least improving as a player. I still feel like I'm flailing around at least half the time when I'm sideboarding, though.

Maybe the fact that it's not a physical game would dampen the obsessive-ness for me?

Do you have much experience with service games? If you know how you've dealt with them in the past, that might be a good indicator of how you'll deal with Arena. Even though it's Magic, it's still Magic-as-a-service, so you're either paying with your money or your time. I realize that's not really the same level of potential obsession you're concerned about, so feel free to ignore me if this isn't helpful.
 
Hey all, with the start of the new forums I thought I would share a fun thing my cousin and I have been working on. A few years back he decided to liquidate his paper collection, save for the decks he already had built. From that monstrosity of cards, we ended up creating a terribly janky cube that ended up sitting on a shelf for a few years due to not having enough people to draft. Recently, with renewed interest in playing from a couple friends, we ended up drafting and playing 4-player matches from it. With only 4 people, I found a draft method where you make 5 packs of 15 cards, and then draft and pass those packs until there are 6 cards left. You then discard those and start a new pack. So far it has worked out pretty well, with some fun decks being built. Since then we have done some upgrades by adding some sorely needed mana fixing, as well as some fun new cards to try and balance the colors a bit better. (Izzet was too strong the first time we played it, and white may still be a little weak, not sure). We still have a bunch of artifacts and some multicolored cards we would like to add (they are in the sideboard on the website), but I'm not sure if we should just increase the size of the cube, or keep it at the 340 cards it currently is, since its likely to only be drafted by 4 people 95% of the time.

Here is the List

If anyone here with some cube construction experience would be able to help us out in figuring out what to do with the artifacts in the sideboard, either adding them without cuts or suggesting cuts, it would be much appreciated!
 

Büge

Arm Candy
(she/her)
Lately I've been doing my darndest to get webcam games of Commander going, but it's difficult without a group.
 

Balrog

(He/Him)
My oldest son spilled my 8 decks onto the ground this morning. I've got 5 of them reconstructed but I realized the other 3 weren't good or fun to play so they're fodder for a Kenrith deck I'm putting together.
 

shivam

commander damage
(he/hiim)
the irony of my life is that i've been too busy making content and helping to run the commander format to allow me time to actually play, lol.
 

gahitsu

le petite mort
Staff member
Moderator
Is it okay if I reach out to some folks in non-TT Discord servers to play?
 

Bulgakov

Yes, that Russian author.
(He/Him)
Is it okay if I reach out to some folks in non-TT Discord servers to play?

I don't see a problem with that, but I do want to make sure they go through me for the invite so that I know numbers, can confirm they've seen the rules, etc. Also for the sake of keeping things friendly I'd appreciate it if you didn't just spam-broadcast the draft or anything; please pick and choose people you have some actual connection with if possible :).

They can join the draft server to introduce themselves to me, but make sure they know they'll still need to DM me to be able to play play.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
I'm pretty underwhelmed with what they've shown of the new Zendikar set so far. Party isn't a particularly exciting mechanic to me and it seems like it'll be really hard to stick four different creatures on the board long enough to get the payoff. I like the concept of two-sided cards that can either be a spell or a land, but the spells they've revealed so far haven't been amazing either.

Don't get me wrong, I think it's good that we're going to have (maybe, hopefully) a lower-powered set/Standard environment after the past year of design issues, but at the same time I haven't seen much I'm actually excited to play with yet. We're only two days into the spoilers though, hopefully some more stuff pops up. I will say the new Omnath looks like it'll either be really fun or really broken. Not sure if there's a middle ground for that card.
 
So far a lot of the strongest party cards seem to be the ones that get their cost reduced. Casting the kill spell or the u/w draw three for even 1 or 2 less mana will be really fun in draft. Trying to assemble a full party to get your Upgraded Demonic Tutor or whatever is maybe cool, but it's not the only way for the mechanic to function. And imo they can't make any of the spell/land cards *too* strong because they double as lands. "Tapped land OR 1/1 for 2 that taps for green" is a choice that feels kind of bizarre, though. Like there are tradeoffs but it's kind of "how would you like your green mana."

The party stuff is actually kind of appealing to me because it pushes you in multiple directions at once. Like you might have some cards that get stronger the more party members you have, and then some that want you to have more of a specific tribe.
 

Becksworth

Aging Hipster Dragon Dad

I’m honestly surprised Wizards of the Coast held out on trying to integrate Magic the Gathering and D&D for as long as they did. They’ve owned both of them for well over a decade now, but they only started doing Magic the Gathering planes as D&D campaign settings a few years ago, and this is apparently the first D&D campaign as a Magic set.
 

shivam

commander damage
(he/hiim)
they've owned D&D since like 1998 or something.
also my preview card drops on monday!
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
I've always been curious, how far in advance do you receive the card you're going to reveal? I know some people just drop the image on their Twitter, but some make fairly involved videos that must take a while to produce.
 

Bulgakov

Yes, that Russian author.
(He/Him)
We're up to 7 for the Labor Day Draft! I'd love to grab a couple more players if it's possible. If you have any interest, please PM me before Sunday!
 

Mr Bean

Chief Detective
the irony of my life is that i've been too busy making content and helping to run the commander format to allow me time to actually play, lol.

I'm with you Shivam. I've been meaning to strip down the human pre-con from this year and build out a Queen Marchesa human tokens deck for months, but since I can't get together with my play group, I just haven't had the motivation.
 
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