Starting From Scratch!

Discussion in 'Casual Decks/Variants/Etc' started by Rakarth, Jun 5, 2006.

  1. Rakarth New Member

    Hi all, I'm almost completely oblivious to most of the stuff to do with Magic bit started playing a while ago and want to get back into it again. There's no1 near me who plays the game cept my brother n he's even more clueless than me. I've got a bunch of older cards from all different colours, bout 12 basic lands from all colours but very few spells and I need some sort of pointers/tips on where to go from here. Somebody please help me!? :) Thanks for listenin hehe
  2. Limited Yes, but we won't care

    Its kinda hard to help someone from scratch, but here goes:

    A deck consists of 60 cards. If you and your brother are going to play, you need to make two seperate decks. best way to build a deck quickly is to do the following things:
    • Decide which colors the decks are going to be, by choosing two two-color combinations. For instance, make one deck White and Red, the other Black and Green.
    • Add the lands of the appropriate colors to the decks: each deck should contain around 24 land anyway, so 12 of each color is perfect.
    • Look through your cards for 12 creature cards and 6 non-creature cards of each color. Try to pick cards with different casting costs (cheap and expensive).
    • Shuffle your decks and just play!

    After you've done this, post the decklists you came up with. We'll help you from there.

    (Do you still know how to play?)
  3. jorael Craptacular!

    Welcome to the boards!

    Another idea: Every other year they print a new basic edition: the core game (latest is 9th edition). They also print theme decks to play with. This are prebuild decks. They can be improved and the 9th edition ones contain 40 cards, but they are a good way to start with the game again. Just ignore the 60-card minimum and try the decks against each other.

    See also:

    Good luck and enjoy!
  4. Jareth Goblin King Grinning Lavamancer

    If you find yourself wondering about a card just go to and use their Gatherer.
  5. turgy22 Nothing Special

    I have an alternative solution that you might want to try. If you have a decent computer and fast internet connection, you can download and install Magic Online. The software for the program is free and you can spend as much time as you like playing games using the free ninth edition preconstructed decks.

    Although I haven't actually used it as such, I believe MTGO is a great tool for learning the game. It comes included with help menus that go over all the basic rules of Magic, in addition to instructions on how to use the online interface.

    The biggest advantage is that there will always be someone to play against, although the maturity level of the competition is frequently lacking. Anyway, if you try it out and decide you like it, an investment of $10 can get you enough cards to start out a collection of your own.
  6. Rakarth New Member

    Thanks for your help and Yeh I still remember how to play :) hehe,
    I've also had a quick read through the rules and they seem to be pretty much the same as the 8th edition which is when I started so not that long ago.
    The MTGO is a problem at the moment as I'm a student between homes n everythin is in boxes! I'll try it as soon as I can as loadsa people say its a great help.
    At the moment the two decks I thought about putting together are White and Blue then Red and Green. Green seems to be able to produce mana like there's no tomorrow and this seems useful for expensive creatures.
    White and Blue are a problem because of very few spells (Stuff like Holy Day, Sanctimony, Vengeance and Sacred Nectar all came in the 8th Edition Core Game).
    On a similar topic, I've read some articles bout decks people have constructed and they all tend to go on about a "win condition", I knew decks were based around a specific theme but not around a certain combo or card?
  7. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Depends how you want to win.

    The "typical" way is by dealing 20 damage. In turn, that can be accomplished in a variety of ways - creatures dealing damage, burn spells...

    You can also try to "deck" your opponent by making him run out of his library since when he can't draw, he loses.

    A lesser used way is to try to win by giving your opponent 10 poison counters.

    And some cards have been printed which say "You win the game" (like Coalition Victory).
  8. turgy22 Nothing Special

    "Win Condition" is a really generic term to describe any way the deck can win the game. It doesn't necessarily refer to a theme or a combo. For example, a Raging Goblin could be considered a win condition since it can deal damage... it just takes 20 turns to win with it.

    Usually, a win condition only really needs to be specified for control-oriented decks (e.g. decks with lots of ways to kill creatures and counter spells) because most of the cards in such decks are used to stall the opponent, not win the game. For example, Boomerang will not win the game on it's own, but it certainly helps prevent your opponent from winning. In aggressive, creature-heavy decks, almost every card can be considered a win condition.

    Here's two examples of decks of each type. See if you can spot the win condition for each.

    Deck 1 - Control
    24 Island
    10 Force of Will
    25 Counterspell
    1 Morphling

    Deck 2 - Aggro
    18 Plains
    42 Savannah Lions
  9. Limited Yes, but we won't care

  10. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    I'll play the aggro deck and you play the control deck. We'll see who wins... :p
  11. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    I think I can provide a very clear example of such a combo deck for you. There are many different kinds, but here's a very simple one...

    You might be familiar with the "cycling" ability. If not, know that a lot of cards in the Urza's block sets (Urza's Saga, Urza's Legacy, and Urza's Destiny) had the "Cycling 2" ability, which allowed you to pay two mana to discard the card from your hand and draw a new card. Here's one...

    Sandbar Mefolk

    There were also lands with this ability, like Blasted Landscape

    My brother was losing against his friends, whose decks weren't very good. So I gave him four copies of Fluctuator and made the rest of his deck out of one Swamp, 24 of those cycling lands, one Drain Life, one Songs of the Damned, one Haunting Misery, and a bunch of creatures with cycling.

    While this deck could start playing creatures and attacking, it wasn't very fast or particularly powerful when it did that. But what it could do was cycle cards for until it found a Fluctuator, play the Fluctuator, then cycle everything it drew for free (except for other Fluctuators, the Swamp, or the three black cards without cycling).

    So while the opponent would play some creatures and attack, the Fluctuator deck would drop a Fluctuator on turn two, then (if the opponent couldn't stop it), cycle everything so that it had over 20 creatures in the graveyard, play Songs of the Damned for 20+ black mana, and cast a huge Drain Life followed by a Haunting Misery for good measure.

    Of course, in this deck, Drain Life and Haunting Misery were the win conditions. Without them, the deck became a slow deck with small creatures.

    Most other combo decks are a bit more complicated and a bit less fragile, but that's the general idea. Note, however, that a deck does not need to be a combo deck (like the Fluctuator deck) to have a win condition. It's just that win conditions are much more important in decks where only a few of the cards can actually win the game. As Turgy has already demonstrated, a deck with 20 small, fast creatures basically has 20 ways to kill you (although none of them are very good at doing it by themselves). A deck that limits its opponent's resources and only has two attackers has a more limited win condition: if the opponent does something to permanently stop both of its creatures, it will not be able to win.
  12. Rakarth New Member

    Thanks for all the new info, 10 minutes on here n I've learned more than days on the WotC site. I think I've got the basics but I don't have any where near the knowledge of the cards and even putting together these decks was hard cause I've no idea how they'd play out (not helped by the fact I only have bout 300 odd cards - God help me, I need money!).

    Well, here goes, don't be too harsh:
    R/G deck

    4x Thunderscape Apprentice
    4x Quirion Trailblazer
    4x Thornscape Apprentice
    4x Nomadic Elf
    4x Pincer Spider
    4x Llanowar Elite
    3x Quirion Explorer
    2x Voracious Cobra
    2x Quirion Elves
    1x Skyshroud Ridgeback
    1x Ancient Hydra
    1x Halam Djinn
    1x Thicket Elemental
    1x Quirion Sentinel

    12x Forest
    12x Mountain

    Main Thinking - None really hehe :) just that the elves seem to produce mana like crazy n I thought I could use it get the larger and more expensive creatures in to play quicker.

    W/U deck

    4x Ardent Soldier
    4x Giant Octopus
    4x Sea Eagle
    3x Angel of Mercy
    2x Crimson Acolyte
    2x Obsidian Acolyte
    2x Tidal Visionary
    2x Benalish Trapper
    2x Benalish Lancer
    2x Samite Pilgrim
    2x Vengeance
    2x Sacred Nectar
    1x Trickster Mage
    1x Air Elemental
    1x Index
    1x Sunscape Apprentice
    1x Holy Day

    12x Island
    12x Plains

    No thinking behind this really - Maybe Tidal Visionary could be used to change the colour of a blocker and the Acolytes to prevent it from blocking (or does this have to be done before the "declare blockers" step?)

    Thanks for any help, must be frustrating having to teach someone the very basics. :D Rakarth
  13. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    I think it's refreshing, in that you're a new person (both to Magic and here) and everyone loves to see a Magic player stay with the game :)
  14. Rakarth New Member

    Thanks for that Spidey, nice to be treated like this and be given all this help voluntarily. People genuinely seem to want to help and not to treat such a novice as a hindrance :) :)
    Many Thanks, Rakarth

    P.S - What did you think of the decks I posted above?
  15. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Unfortunately, I'm not that familiar with cards past the Mirrodin expansion. But I've never tried to play an all or almost-all-but-one-non-creature-card creature decks... I always try to put in some non-creature spells, like burn or disenchants or something... so I'm not quite sure how those decks would work. I mean, if you're facing another all creature deck, it could work...
  16. turgy22 Nothing Special

    I disagree with those last couple of statements. Two days ago, I wouldn't have thought anything of it, but last night on MTGO, I built an all-creature deck for the first time. I was originally trying to build a deck around Vigean Intuition, so I cobbled together a blue/green dealie with lots of utility creatures. In the end, though, I forgot to include the Vigean Intuitions and it turned out better than if they had been in there. I built an extended legal deck that included land searching (Sakura-Tribe Elder), counterspells (Soratami Savant), burn (Prodigal Sorcerer - yeah, he counts), card-drawing (Coiling Oracle), recursion (Eternal Witness) and artifact/enchantment destruction (Nullmage Shepherd, Trygon Predator). I threw in some big flyers and every decent rare I own (1x Meloku, Kodama of North Tree) and ended up winning five out of five games I played with it. Granted, that's in the casual room, but I was still impressed. And with all creatures, Primordial Sage goes absolutely nuts! Anyway, if anyone's interested, I'll post a decklist, but seeing you doubt the all-creature deck, I had to speak up. Unless by all-creature, you meant all-creatures-and-no-lands, in which case you'd be right.
  17. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    I don't doubt your assessment - key words in my post are "never tried to play" and "not quite sure" :) And the unquoted part about "not familiar with cards past Mirrodin". Put together, it pretty much translates to "I don't know enough about the cards in the decks to make any judgements"
  18. Limited Yes, but we won't care

    These are very decent decks!
    Considering my first deck was a Mirage Tournament pack shuffled together and cut in half :)

    GR Deck
    All creatures is in no way wrong, but adding a few instants might make the deck a little more unpredictable. Seeing the amount of mana producing creatures, you can probably afford to drop two lands (two mountains would be best).
    Next, I notice that you play a lot of cheap creatures, which means you'll have a great early game, but midgame (3-5 mana) you might be in trouble. I'd drop the Elites and the lone Skyshroud Ridgeback and try to find some instants that are to your liking..
    Perhaps you can find some kind of creature booster, like Giant Growth or Sudden Strength? Or some creature removal, like Shock or Kindle?

    WU Deck
    This deck is done. I can imagine I'd make small changes, if I knew what cards you have exactly, but overal its a good mix of creatures and spells and has a few tricks up its sleeve.

    Now, I'd say, go and play with these decks.
    And start looking around for ways to get additional cards. There's probably some game-store around that sells singles where you could get a lot of commons for a few bucks.
    Eventually, both you and your brother could agree to buy a boosterpack in the store and upgrade the decks.

    (and, if you really want to get into the game, pick up some sleeves as well.)
  19. Rakarth New Member


    Thanks for the help, I've very few cards other than the ones you see here but I do have a few Black creatures but apart from that, nothing really. I'm gonna have a look around, see what I can get off Ebay etc in terms of instants, sorceries.
    Thanks every1

  20. Limited Yes, but we won't care

    Last thought:
    If you have some expensive black creatures or spells, that don't require a lot of black mana (so no Drain Life, but something like Goham Djinn) you could turn your RG into a RGb deck. You have multiple ways to get lands, so you'd need only a few swamps.
    Would also make the Thunderscape Apprentice more versatile.

    Good luck and please check back in!

Share This Page