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The Orgg's Treatese on: MOL Mentorship
By Jensen Bohren
As the game Magic evolves, so evolves Magic On-Line, or MOL for short. One thing that never will evolve, the Plankton, if you will, of Magic is the characteristics of the unexperienced Magic Player, also known as 'newbies' or 'n00bs.' They enter the game as an infant... Confused, wide-eyed, and with inarticulate speech.

Magic's general gameplay may seem simple to those of us who have played the game for over half of our lives, thus we easily forget the most basic things that make the game fun: The ability to build decks that work, play them, and attempt to ovecome randomized cards by out-thinking our opponents. Currently, Wizards of the Coast has forgotten that. The materials presented to the new players of Magic are, in a word, detrimental. The 'introduction' to Magic contains an uneven mixture of land, two substandard rares, numerous unusable commons, and two foil cards-- An Elvish Champion and a Land. The mixture of cards presented to many a beginner as their 'first collection' is quite pitiful. The 'highlights' of the set are a 5/5 creature for five, Silverback Gorilla, Two Volcanic Hammers, and a playset of Glory Seekers. Making a deck from the uneven (and black-starved) pile is nearly impossible, even if the rule of fourty cards, circa 4th edition, is adhered to. As a service to those new players, I have tried.

To me, knowledge of the game makes the game itself more fun. Knowing the rules from State-Based Effects to Banding, Subtypes to Playing Land make the game flow for me; sharing that knowledge, or attempting to, could be considered a 'guilty pleasure.'

Wizards of the Coast's 8th Editon Core Game set introduces those interested in Magic to two things: Magic, and Magic Online. While I cannot help those players who are in Wisconsin, Maine, and Siberia that are without more than the starter set in the Physical World, the Virtual World of Magic On-Line I can. In the Beginner view there is a room, called simply the "Training Room." Inside, the five 8th Edition Pre Construced decks are avaible to play against one another. Four are well constructed, and one should have its Land/Creature ratio flipped. Both Blue's and Black's decks are Card Advantage focused, Green's and Red's decks are Tempo-based. White focuses on both. While the new players play these fourty card decks, they eventually learn by example of each other. Here is where us, the more experienced players, should come in.

Most of us are experienced Magic Players who enjoy the game as a pasttime, not as a job. We enjoy the game's depth and strategy. On the surface, the new players' decks available for general use seem to lack each through a new player's eyes, and some may get tired of not being able to make an effective sixty card deck with the cards Wizards has presented them with-- The Digital version of the 8th Editon Core Game. As an experienced Magic Online player, you have probably drafted or played in several leagues, or you know others who have. In Magic Online, there is no reason to have more than four of any card that is not a basic land. Every excess card is simply trade bait or trashcan bait. There are probably thousands of unused Festering Goblins lingering in many a Professional or Simi-Professional players' binders. Those excess cards can bring enjoyment to flocks of new players. Those new players should not be limited to simply what they can afford. Redistribution of excess cards should take place, and the way it takes place should be via some form of volunteer program.

With regards to the avaible 'free' PreCons, teach the new players about how the decks work by playing them the best way that you can. Tell them what they could have done better, and how they could have maximized their card's potential. Tell them about StarCityGames, pointing out the Beginner's Link on the left. Point them to MagicTheGathering for some of the less-strategy focused, but more entertainment focused offerings. After the match, reward them for their victories and their defeats-- usually, I give three cards per victory and one per defeat due to my currently limited stock of overflow, and ten if they actually win the full two-out-of-three match.

If anyone is interested in participating in this proposal, but do not have the time to spare, contact me by my Magic Online handle of CPAlliance The Orgg*.

The intent of the Magic MOL Mentorships are outlined above, and here will be simplified.

1. Experienced Magic players are to help those in the Training Room that wish to get better.

2. Excess (>4) Cards, usually commons, are to be distributed depending on the sucess and proficiency of playing of the new player.

3. Links to the better Magic Strategy sites should be furnished and recommended to the new players, with advice on what to read.

4. Playtips should be given at every opportunity if the beginner is willing and does not seem to resent them.

5. Matches of 2/3 rounds should be used to minimize 'bad luck' and maximize playskill.

6. Mentors MUST announce their game is a 'mentor game' and include a description of intent of the match in the chatbox at the bottom of the Training Room screen, but not mention giving away cards until the player joins the game itself-- but make sure they understand the deal completly before starting the game. According to Adept_Gamma, paraphrased: "The code of conduct says that there will be no ads in the game rooms for trading or ante, and what you're doing qualifies as at least one of the above." While I would site dictionary.com's entry for "trade" and Rule 217.9 in arguing such statements, simply avoiding mentioning giving away cards in the Training Room chatbox and you are safe.

7. Have Fun, and be encouraging!

-Jensen Bohren, a.k.a. The Orgg
Proud Member of the Casual Players' Alliance
Creator of Mr. T vs Magic: The Gathering and Mr. T vs Jonny Bravo, Audio Style
"CPAlliance The Orgg" on Magic On-Line

Also, thanks to all of those who have already began helping with this project. On behalf of the beginners, Thank You.

For those of you who ARE beginners, allow me to present a Card-by-Card rating (with minimal explination) of the 8th Edition Core Game as a preview for my next beginner-centric article. Please e-mail me your attempts to build effective decks out of the 8th edition Core Game for critique if you wish. Hopefully these ratings will help you decide what cards to use and what cards not to use.

Forest, Mountain, Island, Plains
Five out of Five. Basic Lands are keys of the game. At least fourty percent of your deck will be these, usually.

Artifacts

Rod of Ruin
Three out of Five.

Patagia Golem
Three out of Five.

White

Eager Cadet
One out of Five.

Glory Seeker
Three out of Five.

Holy Day
Two out of Five

Honor Guard
Three out of Five

Sacred Nectar
Zero out of Five. Lifegain is a very weak mechanic. The card Healing Salve is considered to be a weak card as well, but it is MUCH better than this junk, as it can be played as an Instant and can save one of your creatures.

Sanctimony
Two out of Five.

Vengeance
Four out of Five.

Blue

Fugitive Wizard
One out of Five.

Giant Octopus
Three out of Five.

Index
One out of Five.

Sea Eagle
Two out of Five.

Vizzendrix
Point Five (0.5) out of Five.

Green

Blanchwood Armor
Anywhere from Two out of Five to Four out of Five. This card is heavily dependent on how many forests are in your deck.

Elvish Champion
Two out of Five in the 8th Edition Core Game.
Five out of Five in a deck built around Elves.

Enormous Blaloth
Two out of Five.

Grizzly Bears
Three out of Five.

Naturalize
Three out of Five.

Norwood Ranger
Three out of Five.

Rampant Growth
Three out of Five.

Silverback Ape
Four out of Five.

Spined Wurm
Three out of Five.

Red

Goblin Glider
Two out of Five.

Goblin Raider
Three out of Five.

Hill Giant
Three out of Five.

Lava Axe
Two out of Five.

Ogre Taskmaster
Three out of Five.

Stone Rain
Two out of Five.

Volcanic Hammer
Four out of Five.


*Origin of the odd name will be furnished upon request on MOL.

Read More Articles by Jensen Bohren!

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