Magic The Gathering

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lleviathann The itch you can't scratch
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Any players here?

Jr. turned 13 yesterday and for the last couple months he had been begging for some Magic cards. Well he got a bunch for his birthday. But I haven't a clue how Magic works. I've read the basic rule book, watched some YouTube vids and now have some understanding of the game. Maybe enough to build my own deck to play with him. My worry is that we'll start off playing wrong that could lead to problems when he goes off to play with friends.

To help with any suggestions the cards he got yesterday was the Magic 2012 starter pack (280something random 2011 cards) and the Dark Ascension Fat Pack (200somthing cards).

Any tips, ideas, suggestions and potential pitfalls?

The hilarious thing is I spent so much time with D&D's 2nd Ed rules in Jr High & High School that I knew them like the back of my hand. I always had one of the hard cover books on me for casual reading. For some reason being an old school paper and pencil guy I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around Magic. :lol: But the core principles are the same. You've got turns, creatures, spells, enchantments, artifacts, HP and AC.
Get to a local comic book store that hosts weekly games and start playing.once you have played a few games, you will start to get a feel for deck structure and good combinations of cards. Expect to spend a lot of money. Magic is a lot of fun... But I haven't played in something like 15 years so I have no idea how much of the game remains the same.
Geesie Couldn't hit it sideways
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M:TG is a pretty simple and straightforward game. If you've played AD&D, you'll definitely find it dead simple.
lleviathann The itch you can't scratch
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Warin wrote:
Expect to spend a lot of money.

Man if you saw my bookshelf with all the hard covers, dungeons and extra stuff you'd know that I've been there. Done that with AD&D. :D

Bit of childhood reliving going on here. Kinda disappointed that it seems D&D has been dumbed down to Magic. Where's the imaginative adventure and role playing? :cry:

Geesie wrote:
M:TG is a pretty simple and straightforward game. If you've played AD&D, you'll definitely find it dead simple.

I know, right! It's the infinite combinations and randomness that blows me away. It's very cool.

The hardest thing right now is knowing what card does what and how it's used. For an example one of the cards is a Darksomething Myr. It has a 0/1 and is indestructible. We both looked at it thinking 'how useless is that card, no damage, you're joking right?' So I Googled it. Turns out the card can be kick ass if played right. It's not an offensive card but meant to block. Since it's indestructible it can block everything (almost it is vulnerable to infection). If you want it to be offensive then pile on the spells, enchantments and artifacts.

Here's were I get confused. I didn't know that card was vulnerable to infection. Nothing on the card says it is. Found out through the Google search. Had that card been played and not known it would've stayed on the table forever. Infection does -1/-1 to target creature, killing this Myr. But do all -1/-1 type spells kill it or only infection?

Agreed we need to get out to some games. We'll get it soon.
Geesie Couldn't hit it sideways
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Yeah, the rules have gotten longer since I last played (1996). I don't think there were indestructables then, which apparently means they do not take combat damage but are vulnerable to -/- effects like Infect that don't count as attacks.
You could also but the game on Xbox Arcade. Same rules, but virtual cards so you arent spending a lot of money. Plus there are a lot of people to play with without having to encounter geekfunk(tm) at the comic book store.

And Magic is not a replacement for Dungeons and Dragons. It is an entirely different concept.
Alexander Supertramp this was uncalled for.
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I used to play competitively. One of my nerdiest accomplishments was being ranked in the top 50 in Oregon for awhile.

I haven't played since about 1996 either, so I'm not much help here, except to agree with the lots of money thing.

Learn to play with him. A fun strategic card game with Dad would probably be an awesome thing for a 13 year old kid. It's also good basic problem solving and strategic thinking.
I played a long time ago. It's not like D&D at all except maybe theme wise.
Fun game, but it is a money pit, unless you buy exactly the cards you're looking for and not buy boosters to get cards. I'm sure they've changed a lot of rules since I played

There is a lot of errata though, and questions about what rules take precedence when.

Quote:
Here's were I get confused. I didn't know that card was vulnerable to infection. Nothing on the card says it is. Found out through the Google search. Had that card been played and not known it would've stayed on the table forever. Infection does -1/-1 to target creature, killing this Myr. But do all -1/-1 type spells kill it or only infection?

This kind of stuff is exactly what I mean by plenty of errata and questions. However, in the case of the Myr, you can't use a spell that will damage it thorugh combat (i.e. combat damage). But you could use a card that lowers toughness without causing damage. So Pyroclams wouldn't work (as it deals 2 damage to each person), but you could use Infection since it deals -1,-1 in Poison counters as opposed to combat damage (though it is confusing as it does say it does damage).
another card that would work is Infest which says all creatures get -2/-2 till end of turn. Not combat damage so ok. You also cant destroy an indestructible. But you can for example make them get discarded or put bak in owners hand. Etc.

There are so may cards though that there are dozens of questions about the rules and how they work in combination with this card or that.
Geesie Couldn't hit it sideways
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It really only sucks money if you take it seriously and competitively. A couple starter decks and some booster packs are plenty to have fun.
Indestructible just means lethal damage and destroy effects have no affect on the creature. Any effect that puts a counter on the creature still applies. If this reduces the creatures toughness (magic for HP :P ) to 0, the creature is moved to the graveyard from play.

Gatherer is a database of all of the cards. It also includes judges' rulings, which can clear some confusing situations, and a discussion section that can often clear up many other confusing situations (as someone has likely asked how that thing you don't understand works). The discussion section is also good at answering why a particular card sucks or rocks if it isn't apparent.

Some of the newer sets have introduced rules like Infect (which only appears in the previous set) which, in my opinion, greatly diminish the fun of the game. I only play casually with a few friends, and not often, so my perspective is more based on enjoyability for both experienced and new players playing casually, not actual competitiveness and balance.

I recently bought some cards from the current set. It was the first time I've bought cards in several years. I actually think the current set (Innistrad) has some really fun mechanics and has been well implemented, with a handful of overpowered and fun-reducing exceptions.
Jdude MacAddict for Life
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Alexander Supertramp wrote:
I used to play competitively. One of my nerdiest accomplishments was being ranked in the top 50 in Oregon for awhile.

I haven't played since about 1996 either, so I'm not much help here, except to agree with the lots of money thing.

Learn to play with him. A fun strategic card game with Dad would probably be an awesome thing for a 13 year old kid. It's also good basic problem solving and strategic thinking.

I made it to #13 in the state of Arizona during my heyday. :D

Nowadays the games come with pre-built decks which really help out beginner players. Find a comic book shop, most will have weekly tournaments.
Jdude MacAddict for Life
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Geesie wrote:
It really only sucks money if you take it seriously and competitively. A couple starter decks and some booster packs are plenty to have fun.

At a highly competitive level, yes. It gets extremely expensive. Stick to type 2 (if it is still called that), they only allow cards from the last 3 sets (with few exceptions). It keeps the costs down and the game fresh.
Type 2 is now called Standard. :)
Jdude MacAddict for Life
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MacAddict4Life wrote:
Type 2 is now called Standard. :)

Good to know :)
lleviathann The itch you can't scratch
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We're in it now! Last Friday Jr. competed in his first Friday Night Magic game at the local hobby store. $5 to play, Standard games, nationally ranked and complete with prizes. He won 2 out of 6 matches but most importantly we learned a ton. Everyone got one card for participation. First place got 5 or 6 card packs and second got a couple packs. Best part of the evening was when Jr won the random draw for a really nice rare card*. He was super excited over that.

*I wasn't paying much attention at that point. Busy talking to others about the game, learning more before it all ended. We know the guy who runs it and I have a sneaky suspicion that the 'random draw' wasn't all that random. I think it was a good 'atta boy' pat on the back for a new player. We'll never know for sure, just a suspicion.

The oldest member, a guy a little older than me, congratulated him. Saying 'I've seen a lot of new players take months refining their decks before a win. Winning a few matches on your first time is remarkable. Well done, keep it up.' Then out in the parking lot he caught us again to say he'd be willing to sell his packs for much less the stores are offering. He won first place that night and walked out with 5 or 6 packs. His reasoning was 1) to help out a new player and 2) his decks are pretty established and he's not looking for new cards. Reading between the lines, he's basically got more cards than he knows what to do with.
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Magic The Gathering