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New to Magic FAQ

New players read Ask questions here

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106 replies to this topic

#1
white-bordered swamp

white-bordered swamp

    Like 8th edition or something?

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There will be no more "halp i need to learn mtgs" threads. Just ask your questions here instead. I might add your questions to the FAQ in the OP. Also, if you catch any broken links below let me know.

Q: I want to learn how to play the game. I know that you tap lands to cast spells, but that's about it.

A: The basic rulebook with most of the mechanics that you'll need can be found here: http://www.wizards.c...book_LR_Web.pdf. I also recommend having someone in real life teach you all of the mechanics. Most people find it easier to learn that way. Odds are if you walk into your local card shop you will find someone who is very happy to teach you the game. If you have the basics down and want to learn every last detail of the rules, check out the comprehensive rule guide: http://www.wizards.c...es_20110930.pdf. It's designed to comprehensively explain the entire game. No questions are left unanswered.

Q: So I want to start playing standard, but not get my ass kicked either. How should I go about that?

A: First off, you should probably know what's standard legal. Standard contains the last 2 blocks of Magic and a core set. If you have no idea what I just said, you can make things easier on yourself by just reading the format guidelines on wizards: http://www.wizards.c...ces/sfrstandard. Once you know what's legal, you should get an idea of what other people are playing. The best resource for netdecking and metagame analysis is over here: http://mtgpulse.com/. Try to build a deck that suits your playstyle. This may sound cheesy, but I recommend that you take the color test: http://www.wizards.c...colorareyou.asp. It's a good way to find out what colors you might like to play. Then you should decide whether you want to play an aggressive deck or a control deck. Usually aggressive decks are easier to play and better suited towards newer players, but there are some players (such as myself) who start off learning how to play control decks. Once you have an idea what deck you want to play, build it and talk to other people who play the same deck. You want to make sure that you are playing it correctly. Take your deck to a few FNMs. You first FNMs probably won't be a success, but you'll be a master soon enough!

Q: How do drafts work exactly?

Limited formats are a big deal in Magic, and you should know how they work at a minimum. If you ever decide to go pro, being a good drafter is mandatory. The idea in a draft is that you use the cards from packs to build a good deck. You take a card out of a pack, put it in your stack, then pass the rest of the cards. You repeat this process until all of the cards are gone, and then open another pack. Things to keep in mind while drafting: Value bombs (what we call "boss monsters" in yugioh), removal (cards that get creatures off the board), and evasion (creations that have abilities which make them hard to block) cards highly. Also, realize that you're not just trying to get powerful cards; you want to build a synergistic deck. You might not like drafting much at first, but it becomes very entertaining (and addictive) once you get the hang of it.

Q: What are these other formats that I've heard about? Modern, vintage, EDH?

A: If you're new, don't worry about these formats at all. They most likely won't be relevant in your local scene. There are only 5 formats that are relevant for professional play: Standard, Modern, Legacy, Draft, and Sealed. Information on all of these other formats can be found here: http://www.wizards.c...sources/formats.

Q: I'm really good at Yugioh, but I can't seem to win consistently in Magic. It seems like I keep getting bad beats. What's the deal here?

A: It's not because Magic is an inferior game or that luck is rigged against you. Most likely you're still in the transition process. Relax and try to learn. No one masters a new game overnight. Realize that due to far greater prize support, Magic is a much more explored game than Yugioh and the playerbase is more committed to getting better. This means that the competition is harder, and you might not be putting in sufficient effort. Try to improve your technical play and your mental game. Collaborate with other players. There are tons of ways to improve your game, but don't just get frustrated and call it quits.

Q: What is Magic Online?

A: It's a full simulation of Magic. It's got built in rules, it's own economy, the whole shebang. It's nothing like YVD or DN. It does cost money to get packs and singles, but most things are cheaper online than in real life. Most professional Magic players play a good deal of Magic Online. The players online are far better on average that the players you'll find at your FNM, which makes it good testing. You can make money off of Magic Online (it is very hard though) and it possible to convert your digital cards to real cards, but only if you have completed an entire set.

Q: I really don't want to pay money to play online. What are my other options?

A: I personally like http://www.magicworkstation.com/, but there's also Apprentice (http://www.magic-lea.../apprentice.php) and http://cockatrice.de/. These programs are very similar to YVD. No built in rules or anything. magic-league.com offers competitive league play, but I've personally never tried it.

Q: Actually I just don't want to spend a lot of money period. Is it possible to play standard on a reasonable budget?

A: Yes, it is. Generally the less colors you're playing, the cheaper your deck is (so mono color is the cheapest). Try to avoid mythic rares when constructing your deck; they're like secret rares in Yugioh. If you do decide to play a 2+ color deck, play the proper dual lands. Cutting them to save money might seem like good value, but they are the glue that holds your deck together and keeps it consistent. Magic players don't trade as actively as Yugioh players, but it is easier to uptrade. Building a deck might be cheaper than you think.

Q: What is StarCityGames and why are they such a big deal?

A: Along with channelfireball.com, starcitygames.com has the best articles written by pro players. Both are good resources to learn about the game. But the main reason that SCG is so well known is due to their cash tournament series (more info on this can be found on their website). They have both standard and legacy tournaments. Results of these tournaments can often shape the metagame, so even if you aren't playing in these tournaments you should pay attention nonetheless.

Q: I want to be a master and win pro tours and shit.

A: Not everyone can be a master, and it's going to be a hard road. Just focus on honing your skills as best you can; everything else will follow. Your best odds of qualifying for a Pro Tour are to win a Pro Tour Qualifier. You should also try to attend a Grand Prix if you get one in your area. Most of the information about going pro, including event schedules, etc. can be found over here: http://www.wizards.c.../events/proplay. You can also watch the coverage of pro events here: http://www.wizards.c...ine/Events.aspx/ Note that Wizards' coverage is much better than Konami's.
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#2
Sensei00S

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good explanation. you should link to the wizards coverage in there too.
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#3
TFJ

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it possible to convert your digital cards to real cards, but only if you have completed an entire set

Could you explain?
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#4
Pharaoh Atem

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Finally a worthwhile use of not everyone being a master. Thanks for this, Allen - it's little deals like this OP that actually get people into games.

Well, that and quirky people who share how fun a game in progress can be.
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#5
wocram

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it possible to convert your digital cards to real cards, but only if you have completed an entire set

Could you explain?


When you have a complete set of cards in MTGO, eg. every card in Innistrad, then you can trade them in to have a set of paper cards sent to you for a nominal shipping fee.
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#6
white-bordered swamp

white-bordered swamp

    Like 8th edition or something?

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good explanation. you should link to the wizards coverage in there too.

done


it possible to convert your digital cards to real cards, but only if you have completed an entire set

Could you explain?


When you have a complete set of cards in MTGO, eg. every card in Innistrad, then you can trade them in to have a set of paper cards sent to you for a nominal shipping fee.

Confirming.
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#7
Subway_Eat_Fresh

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I don't know if this is the place to ask, but now that I have a complete standard deck and have had some mild success at Dailies. What should I do with my winnings? Should I just keep selling packs for tix until I reach a certain point to start buying cards? Should I just save tix and pick up dual lands along the way? What is the best approach to improving a collection? Should I play in some drafts with the winnings?

What is the best way to accumulate tix? Should I just stick to dailies and 8 mans? I have done a couple of heads up golden but I just break even.
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#8
neptune

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The cheapest top deck in the game is RDW, am I right?

I can't seem to find anything else under $150 or so.
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#9
Subway_Eat_Fresh

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The cheapest top deck in the game is RDW, am I right?

I can't seem to find anything else under $150 or so.


You should invest in Snapcaster Mages, I don't know the price of it, but just think of it as a Tour Guide that can only gain value due to its power in eternal formats as well as only getting better as more sets are released in standard. By getting Snapcaster Mages, the amount of decks you can play increase.
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#10
neptune

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The cheapest top deck in the game is RDW, am I right?

I can't seem to find anything else under $150 or so.


You should invest in Snapcaster Mages, I don't know the price of it, but just think of it as a Tour Guide that can only gain value due to its power in eternal formats as well as only getting better as more sets are released in standard. By getting Snapcaster Mages, the amount of decks you can play increase.


Alright. I see that I can prolly get these for around $20-$25 or so?

Edit: Nvm I saw you said you don't know the price lol.

Eternal formats?
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#11
Subway_Eat_Fresh

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The cheapest top deck in the game is RDW, am I right?

I can't seem to find anything else under $150 or so.


You should invest in Snapcaster Mages, I don't know the price of it, but just think of it as a Tour Guide that can only gain value due to its power in eternal formats as well as only getting better as more sets are released in standard. By getting Snapcaster Mages, the amount of decks you can play increase.


Alright. I see that I can prolly get these for around $20-$25 or so?

Edit: Nvm I saw you said you don't know the price lol.

Eternal formats?


Modern Legacy Extended and Vintage. Snapcaster Mage is a staple in all those formats, so even after he rotates from standard his value will go higher. MTG rarely reprints cards, so it isn't a risky investment like in Yugioh.
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#12
neptune

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Yeah someone told me he won't be rotated out for another year or 2.

I'll go ahead and prolly make Illusions or something. Looks kinda cheap after I get all 3-4 Snapcasters.
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#13
Hallowed Fountain

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blue is almost always the most powerful color overall and snapcaster is a staple in ANY blue deck regardless of format

investing in tempered steel, rdw, or any of the white aggro decks wouldn't be bad either for a new player
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#14
wocram

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Snapcaster will retain a steady value, and althought it might drop to something closer to $15 in the next 6 months or so, it will remain one of the stapliest (boom, I'm a word-smith) blue cards around.
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#15
IamPro

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Whats a cheap deck I can make for MTGO?
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#16
{Yara}

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For new players waste the money on getting "Next Level Magic" It will help you guys.
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#17
MasterSimon

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For new players waste the money on getting "Next Level Magic" It will help you guys.


Didn't there used to be a link to it somewhere on these forums?
It is a great read though.
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#18
IamPro

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For new players waste the money on getting "Next Level Magic" It will help you guys.


Didn't there used to be a link to it somewhere on these forums?
It is a great read though.

It was uploaded to Megaupload, I found it on Pirate tho
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#19
MrDOOM

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Where can i find people to play on magicworkstation? is there a Mirc channel such as #yvd ?
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#20
wocram

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Where can i find people to play on magicworkstation? is there a Mirc channel such as #yvd ?


The way cockatrice is set up, it's generally easier to use. Although I believe mws also has a public games lobby.
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#21
Oceanus

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Where can i find people to play on magicworkstation? is there a Mirc channel such as #yvd ?

Magic-League.com

irc.solidirc.com #magic-league
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#22
MrDOOM

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Where can i find people to play on magicworkstation? is there a Mirc channel such as #yvd ?

Magic-League.com

irc.solidirc.com #magic-league



Thanks dude!

Im about to buy some boosters box this week, maybe 3-4, which one should i pick? AVC,m13 core set , or dark ascention??
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#23
fat nigger grant

fat nigger grant

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don't buy boxes. just buy singles.
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#24
Oceanus

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Boosters aren't worth it unless you consider them extremely fun to buy/open.
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#25
Urthor

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To use my favourite form of talking, Extreme Fancytalk™, the large and dedicated playerbase of Magic The Gathering and the cycling of sets combined with the allure of no reprints means that purchasing of the product far exceeds rational wants and needs in relation to physical utility, and consequently the secondary market is flooded with excess product creating a demand constrained economy.

TH;DR, fanboys buy lots of product, buy it off them cheap on the secondary market


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#26
Conscription.

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So if I were I get into standard, I couldn't use the same deck for a Couple years but I have to drop it and continue to adapt to the format.
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#27
Azn_Boy

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Pretty much. Once Innistrad cycles out next year, I'm probably gonna take a break from standard.
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#28
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Is standard the most popular?
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#29
Azn_Boy

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It has the most prize support and players. All the Friday Night Magic weeklies are standard.

Getting into standard is cheaper than the other formats, but it's probably the most expensive in the long run.
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#30
fat nigger grant

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why would you quit after isd? rtr-on will probably be a fantastic format
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#31
Azn_Boy

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why would you quit after isd? rtr-on will probably be a fantastic format

Because I don't want to put any more money into the block after Ravnica. I'll just play budget EDH or something. Might come back into standard after a few years.
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#32
Conscription.

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How often does set rotation happen?
How does set rotation work?
Do sets ever return or is it always new?
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#33
fat nigger grant

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reprints happen in basically every set. rotation happens in blocks. as an example, innistrad, dark ascension, and avacyn restored are a "block." blocks are legal for 2 years before rotating out. the core sets (ie m13) rotate out in the next year with the old block.

this is just standard.
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#34
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How much on average is a complete deck?
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#35
Azn_Boy

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UW Delver is around $200-$260, a lot of players dislike playing against it because it's so popular. A tempo deck that rewards skill. I would compare it in a sense to when Gladiator Beasts were dominant in YGO.
Any deck with red in it will be at least $150 because of Bonfires
Mono Green Aggro is cheap and very effective, but it's not a deck I find rewarding to play with since the gameplan is straight forward.

There are control builds that are even more expensive, but control is too slow right now.
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#36
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I realize the thread says you can buy singles through MTGO but can you really?

http://www.wizards.c...line/howdoi/buy
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#37
fat nigger grant

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you trade tix to bots/other users for cards. tix have a dollar value.
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#38
Glimmervoid

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Maybe add something about rotation in the OP. Many people, including myself, has rotation as a big issue when thinking about getting into Magic, because you don't know how often you have to get new cards.
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#39
Creeping Tar Pit

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So I think I'm going to pick up MtG for real this time. I was incredibly tempted when Innistrad came out, and Return to Ravnica makes me feel warm inside even though there are only a few spoilers (dat charm).

Just looking at what has been going on,rotating out, and spoiled I think U/W/R Delver and possibly B/G/R Zombies could be Standard decks. Do you think it would be somewhat safe to start collecting those cards in anticipation of the new Standard format? Just the core of those decks like Snapcaster, Restoration Angel, Geralf's Messenger, etc. I also plan on picking up the Izzet vs. Golgari deck to get used to the game again, and pick up new RtR cards.

EDIT: Also should I invest in any lands right now? IIRC I was going to get some Scars duals for cheap, but they went up after Zendikar rotated out. I don't want the same shit happening =\.
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#40
Oceanus

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It's a speculators game at this point, although just think about it: all we know is Innistrad block and M13 is in. I notice trends of what is awesome in Innistrad Block constructed, and what is played from M13 in Standard. These show trending cards that are used because they have the strongest impact right now. Betting on these cards is a fine gamble; they've already proven themselves, while RTR is yet to be seen.

An interesting specific of this is how Delver/Snapcaster is up in the air. It is not popular in Innistrad block constructed. If RTR doesn't provide the right goods for Instants/Sorceries, the deck is extremely shaky to bet on. Without Gut Shot, Mana Leak, Ponder, Gitaxian Probe, etc., where would Delver have been?


The Innistrad lands are enemy-colored (WB/UR/BG/RW/GU). They will be popular, as always, but they won't be obscene like Scars lands. Due to the nature of design, enemy-colored lands are somewhat cheaper.
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