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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)
Everyone should bow down in respect to @gahitsu, champion of today's TT draft! We ended up with 7 players and it appears a good time was had by all. Hoping to do a repeat sometime before the end of the year.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Hopefully next time I don't flood out in two out of three matches! Big thanks to Bulgakov for organizing and everyone for playing, I had a blast.
 

Will Morningstar

catboy shoujo villain
(xe/xir, they/them)
Ooh, I haven't been able to draft in ages. For this kind of MTGA-based model of draft, what does the starting investment look like?
 

Bulgakov

Yes, that Russian author.
(He/Him)
Ooh, I haven't been able to draft in ages. For this kind of MTGA-based model of draft, what does the starting investment look like?


You can do it for $0 + time....the main thing you need is to play MTGA long enough to build up a decent sized collection of cards and wild cards. You can also buy packs if you want, and that costs about what you'd expect a Magic habit to cost (i.e. a bottomless pit that will take all the money you want to throw at it). If you want more details, let me know and I'm happy to discuss.
 
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lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Has anyone else been playing Zendikar standard so far? I don't know about this one. We're only three days in, but Lotus Cobra + Omnath seems just as broken as Companion was. I feel like even when Eldraine came out, it took at least a little bit of time before everyone realized Oko was the best thing, but this seems pretty obvious right out of the gate. I don't think I played against a single non-ramp opponent today, though I was able to take advantage of that by switching to Gruul Adventures to farm some wins.

On the flipside, I've enjoyed the handful of drafts I've done so far! I had one 7-2 run with Dimir Rogues, nothing else spectacular so far. I drafted a sweet Landfall deck with Phylanth, but it went 1-3 because I never drew any lands in my first two games. I wanted to play more games with that deck!
 

Bulgakov

Yes, that Russian author.
(He/Him)
Has anyone else been playing Zendikar standard so far? I don't know about this one. We're only three days in, but Lotus Cobra + Omnath seems just as broken as Companion was. I feel like even when Eldraine came out, it took at least a little bit of time before everyone realized Oko was the best thing, but this seems pretty obvious right out of the gate. I don't think I played against a single non-ramp opponent today, though I was able to take advantage of that by switching to Gruul Adventures to farm some wins.

Ramp definitely seems to be name-of-the-game right now in constructed! I am hopeful it will either calm down or alternative strategies will emerge soon, because it's not my favorite way to play, personally!
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Ramp definitely seems to be name-of-the-game right now in constructed! I am hopeful it will either calm down or alternative strategies will emerge soon, because it's not my favorite way to play, personally!

The good news is that if you like aggro, it's a great time to reduce some life totals to 0! I rode that Gruul deck into mythic today, most games were over by turn 5. Seems like the ramp decks are mostly teching against each other in the sideboard and not doing too much anti-aggro yet.

I'm curious to see if the new set makes any impact on Historic, I haven't really seen anyone talking about it. I was more or less exclusively playing Historic before rotation, but I wanted to give the new Standard environment a look while it was fresh.
 

Büge

Arm Candy
(she/her)
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Yeah, I was just talking to a friend of mine about this yesterday. Even pre-rotation, without any bans we could've had a deck with Wilderness Reclamation, Once Upon a Time, Growth Spiral, Uro, Oko, Ugin, and Field of the Dead all at once. I want to find someone from their Play Design team and just ask them what that was like.
 

shivam

commander damage
(he/hiim)
what's funny is when people come to me like 'yo, this was broke af in standard, ban it in edh'
 
(Yes, this is “Tangent Vector” from the old forums.)

Anybody have advice for somebody who is coming into MtG for the first time at 40, who has a family, kids, and all the other commitments that make things like “Friday Night Magic” a hard sell?

I suspect this is cliche but I’ve been dealing with the stress of the pandemic with shopping. Our kids were already collecting Pokémon cards, and I’ve certainly been buying more of those. My wife and I took the dive into Magic with Core 2021 (she’s had some cards when younger, but didn’t hang onto them). At this point I’m already buying whole booster boxes for each set that releases (plus some older ones), and I realize I’m in deep financially without actually having played much.

My wife is happy to play (and go buy/collect her own cards) but also has plenty of other hobbies. We also know that we are both pretty competitive, and 1v1 games between the two of us often lead to hurt feelings. (It doesn’t help that getting mana screwed is super frustrating because you feel like you aren’t even getting to play the game)

My son is excited about playing, but playing against an 8yo with an allowance and a few card packs isn’t really fair for an adult who can research strategies and buy singles. We stick to preconstructed decks to keep things more fair (he likes the core 2021 planeswalker decks and the Game Night boxes).

We have family friends who are in the target audience for MtG (we already play D&D with them), but they’ve been explicit that they are happy to play the game but aren’t interested in buying anything, which gets back to precons or maybe JumpStart.

How do people with families manage this stuff? Do you just get lucky and have close friends who are already into the game? Do you go ahead and ditch your family to go to your LGS? Do you play MtG:A with randos?

Honestly, if there were some kind of single-player buy-it-once-then-you-are-done MtG video game that would be a better fit for me. Barring that, I’m trying to find a way for a busy person to play this game without too much awkwardness and inconvenience for my family.

(Ugh... reading that I realize I’m a man in my 40s basically asking an Internet forum for advice on how to make friends.)
 
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Büge

Arm Candy
(she/her)
So glad that no one here is posting angry screeds about the latest Secret Lair boondoggle. That kind of negativity ain't what we need.
 

shivam

commander damage
(he/hiim)
god, please no.

also, i play most of my games on video chat over discord, or use jumpstart with my wife
 

Büge

Arm Candy
(she/her)
I'm sorry people are dogpiling you and the other CAG members over this, Shivam. Seems like any time Wizards makes a bad decision, it's you all that get the stick for it.

You ever want to play some webcam magic sometime? I keep it p. casual.
 
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Mr Bean

Chief Detective
Honestly I'm more salty about the lack of Jumpstart availability than the Secret Lair kerfuffle. I understand why people are upset and all, but it just feels like a massive overreaction from where I'm sitting.

I do wish I could find some Jumpstart for regular price instead of getting gouged for double. I know the pandemic screwed with the print run, but I keep waiting for WotC to print more and it just doesn't seem to be happening.
 
Yeah, it seems like Jumpstart was meant to be an entry-level product to get new players in (and I was definitely excited about it as a new player), but then the pricing was exactly the kind of thing that would scare people off.
 
Posting this ridiculous idea here since I'm not active on any dedicated MtG forums ("But Tangent, it isn't like you are active on TT either...").

I'm thinking about trying to put together a 180-card cube meant for four player draft (probably as 5 packs of 9 cards per player). So far, so simple. The part where things get a complicated is that I want the same 180 cards to be usable as a way to introduce new(-ish) players to the game and gradually get them ready for drafting.

I want the 180 cards that make up the cube to be divisible into 5 pre-determined piles of 36 cards each, such that adding 24 appropriate basic lands to each pile gives us 5 preconstructed 60-card "theme" decks. Beginning players would then just need to pick one of the 5 decks and get started; not too many choices.

Next, I want those 180 cards to also be divislbe into 15 pre-determined piles of 12 cards each: one for each color and one for each color pair. By adding 8 appropriate basic lands to each of those piles, you'd get 15 preconstructed 20-card "jumpstart" decks. Players who have gotten a bit of familiarity with the cards by playing in "theme deck mode" would hopefully not be overwhelmed by the extra choices in "jumpstart mode."

My current thinking is to aim for a breakdown where each 20-card "jumpstart" pack looks like:

  • 4 cards and 4 basic lands in color A
  • 4 cards and 4 basic lands in color B
  • 2 dual-color cards to establish the theme/archetype (ideally one planeswalker and one other card)
  • 1 colorless card
  • 1 color-fixing land ("thriving" lands for mono-color, and a similarly-powerful dual land for two-color)

(Obviously in a mono-color pack the colors A and B would be the same, and the dual-color cards would be replaced with mono-color)

By the numbers this should be possible. Including color-fixing means the preconstructed packs will all be a bit land-heavy, but not by much. The big question is whether it is possible to pick cards so that the result is fun and balanced in each mode.

I'm looking at Zendikar Rising limited as a starting point because of the way its cards tends to play into multiple archtetypes/themes at once (which seems necessary for a small cube). Even so, some of the color pairs don't have as obviously visible draft archetypes (and its even less clear for mono-colors). If I throw in the constraint of having a planeswalker in every pack (because planeswalkers are exciting for new players), the range of mecanical themes available to each color pair becomes even more limited.

I have a feeling that this is a doomed enterprise (in large part because I'm still a very new player myself), but the idea has really gripped me.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
I don't think that's a ridiculous idea, it sounds pretty fun. I don't have a lot of advice on cube construction because I've never done it, but I would recommend against using Zendikar Rising as your base -- as a Limited experience, it's a set that really rewards experienced drafters. I'm not the best Limited player in the world, but I've found that you really have to draft with more deck synergy in mind than other formats from the past couple of years. That's not the easiest concept for newer players to grasp, especially in Limited.

I would actually recommend Dominaria as a base instead if you want to focus on one particular set. It's a relatively lower power format, so it rewards good play and learning of fundamentals, and the draft archetypes are fairly clear.

Also, I'm not sure if including Planeswalkers is the best for new players either. Aside from adding another layer of rules to remember, if one player has one and the other doesn't, it can lead to some extremely Feels Bad moments which can turn people off from the game altogether. Although if you're planning to only do that for your Jumpstart packs and not in the cube, you might be able to get away with it since both players would be guaranteed one.

I don't know if you want to keep this solely in paper or not, but you might also consider looking at the basic Arena-only set that all players on there have access to. If you want this to be a digital thing as well (because coronavirus isn't going anywhere), that's one easy way to ensure you're using cards that A) everyone can play with and B) are purposely designed to be both easy to understand and synergistic. You can even upload the cube list to https://mtgadraft.herokuapp.com/ and draft it with people remotely.

In any event, keep us posted on what you end up doing! Looks like a fun project.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Coming back here to change my recommendation for which base set to use. Having thought about it a little more, I'd actually recommend the Core 2020 set. The draft archetypes are pretty clear, it's a core set so complexity isn't too high, but you can still do fun things that feel powerful. It was a surprisingly good Limited format.
 
Well, I'll take both recommendations on board and read up. I only started getting into MtG after the pandemic started, and I have very little experience, so even these relatively new sets are unfamiliar to me. Thanks for the advice!
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Is anyone else playing Historic Brawl on Arena? I normally don't go for the paid event queues, but this is pretty much exactly what I've been wanting from the game for a long time. If I can't play Commander, I can at least do this!

I found a Jodah deck that lets me use a lot of the jank rares and mythics I've collected along the way, and it's a blast. Sometimes you just get to cast a turn 5 Emergent Ultimatum and make your opponent decide between Omniscience, Overwhelming Splendor, or Zacama.

There'll be another free week of Historic Brawl in January, and then hopefully they'll just make it free and permanent after that.
 
Would there be interest in a TT digital Commander Legends draft? We'd have to use something like cockatrice or untap.in to play the games, but the third party site I'm used to using to draft with people for arena can handle the set's quirks, including the 20 card packs and double picks.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
I'd need to learn Cockatrice, but that sounds like a damn good reason to do so. Consider me interested!
 

JBear

Internet's foremost Bertolli cosplayer
(He/Him)
I'm not familiar with any of the tools you mention, but I'd love a chance to draft this format.
 
I haven't tried either myself, so it would be a learning experience lol.

The draft utility is here:
https://mtgadraft.herokuapp.com/
It's mostly designed for drafting sets playable on arena, so Commander Legends is under "more sets" in the dropdown menu. Additionally, to draft CMR properly you have to set "Picked Cards Per Booster" to "2" in the options menu. Apparently it also has pretty much every set in the database if you really want to dream big playing with third party tools at some point.

I haven't tried either of the tools for actually playing the games, but they're here.
https://cockatrice.github.io/
https://untap.in/
 

YangusKhan

does the Underpants Dance
(He/Him/His)
Duuuuude, Cockatrice is still around? I was using that in high school to play (digital) paper Magic. It's Fine. Unless they added more functionality to it, then it's basically all manual Magic playing ie. there's no built-in game logic so you have to tap and target everything manually.
 
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