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October 21, 2017, 09:02 am

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Author Topic: who's into magic: the gathering  (Read 728 times)
Kybard
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« on: June 26, 2017, 11:16 am »

how to explain magic, 2017 edition: it's like hearthstone but way more complicated and expensive!

I used to be into it in like middle/high school days which was, jesus, well more than a decade ago, but due to learning about several friends' continuing interest, the itch to spend all my money on cardboard has returned

Magic Duels is a free-to-play version on Steam that is good but is being killed off soon, but regardless is a good and polished intro to the base gameplay mechanics if you're curious

MTG:Online is a piece of shit software that looked and felt like it had been made a decade earlier when it was released and hasn't been updated very much since. it is honestly criminal that they make people pay money to use it

I've been playing with a few friends online using a freeware program called Cockatrice that lets you use any cards you want and is at least not any uglier/less intuitive than MTGO. the only downside is it doesn't do rules automation, but that just makes it so you do a Skype call and play the way you'd play in real life by talking out your turn, which is honestly better.

so if anyone's into the game we should do that some time

but here is also a thread to discuss Magic in general if anyone cares to. I think I searched and did not find a thread like this on our forum a little while ago, but if I am wrong and there is an older duplicate thread, who the fuck cares
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« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2017, 11:22 pm »

gonna give cockatrice a go.

haven't played in a little while.
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Melancholic Goat
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« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2017, 04:11 pm »

I used to be VERY into MTG. Travelling to play PTQs and GPs IRL, playing multiple drafts a day online, hanging with better players than me (who now work for Wizards) in a failed attempt to improve, etc. I was INTO IT. I'm pretty over it now, having sold out and seeing Standard get more and more bland, but I still hop on the admittedly dogshit MTGO when they have Vintage cube up.

For freebies, I prefer Magic Workstation to Cockatrice but the latter is definitely more popular these days. I'd be up for playing on either.
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Kybard
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« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2017, 11:42 am »

honestly I haven't even used MTGO myself; I've played with it on a friend's computer and read/seen enough of it to not want to pay an entry fee to get access to a Windows 95 program.

I like cockatrice + a skype call or just text chat to walk through turns, but can't really vouch for its active community, since every game I've played with it has been a private one with friend(s). I'd be a little nervous hopping onto random games with strangers, because of the lack of rules automation and the fact that I am a dummy who has to say "no wait I don't think I can do that" 1-2 times per turn

I convinced two of my friends to come with me to an HOU prerelease event next Friday (we are actually going to a midnight event for some fucking reason). it'll be my first time checking out the local game shop; if it's not a total nightmare in there, I might start trying to pull together a couple of decent paper decks for FNM.

but it's really hard to decide what kind of paper decks I'd buy before knowing the general level of competitiveness. the thing about hearthstone that I hated most was that the online system is binary: either you spend no money and remain perpetually at beginner-level, unable to rank past 15 or playing casual games (or playing a degenerate hyper-cheap aggro deck, which I've never found especially fun), or you constantly pour money into the game just to struggle your way up to the mid-tier of competitiveness.

magic appeals way more to me because it has so much less randomness and so much more counterplay; it is a game of actual interaction with your opponent. buuut there's still that huge variance of power level, and the price curve goes much higher.

like, since my two friends are new, I bought some bulk cards to throw together playset of four different decks I found that do different interesting things and play at equal-ish levels to each other; the cards for all four decks totaled about $10. they're trash, but they're equitable trash, which makes them still a fun gameplay experience. but if the people playing FNM Modern around here are reasonably competitive, it's plausible I'd end up needing to invest $200+ just to not get laughed off the table.

anyhow: goat, what got you out of it? just getting bored of the shifts in Standard meta? I'm considering Modern because the higher initial investment is relatively static rather than needing to re-invest at set rotations, but can imagine the meta being just as static for the same reason

also, this is a deck I will be trying out if any of us play on cockatrice, because it is a silly theme + has a good description with upgrade paths if I ever actually get it in paper: http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/budget-ninja-miscreants/
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Melancholic Goat
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« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2017, 02:00 pm »

Part of it was a lifestyle change - I went into the RAF and didn't have the time to keep up with it, and after I got out I no longer had the drive I had beforehand. That said, I've played off and on since Mercadian Masques, and honestly the game gets blander and blander and pricier and pricier to keep up with. A few years ago what you say about Modern being a pricier but more stable investment would have been true, but in the past couple years the following Modern decks have been rendered competitively unplayable by bans: Birthing Pod, Splinter Twin, Eldrazi, Dredge (unbanned and then rebanned). That's off the top of my head, I'm sure there are more, but the first two examples would have been about $1000 to buy into before being decimated by one or two key bans in the name of competition.

In Standard, every format feels more and more similar: it's board stalls between big beefy creatures, with removal and countermagic weak and neutered compared to how it used to be. To use Magic parlance, Standard used to have control, aggro, midrange and combo. Now it has midrange decks which flatten aggro and control alike, and any combo deck that's successful ends up getting banned (see Aetherworks Marvel for a recent example).

That said, if you don't care about making the Pro Tour, there are plenty of "tier 2" decks in either Modern or Standard still worth a moderate investment, that are fun to play and might win you the odd Friday Night Magic tournament. When I was into Magic I was *into* it, so playing tier 2 decks rarely appealed. Magic definitely has greater complexity and less variance than Hearthstone, but be prepared for heavy variance in any tournament that goes past 3 or 4 rounds: it's just the nature of any CCG.

MTGO is utter garbage, and frankly an insult to the Magic community, but I only enjoy playing Limited formats these days and the Vintage Cube is my #1. MTGO is basically the only place to play that competitively, so what are you gonna do.

If I had a spare $10,000, I'd buy into Vintage. Since the Divining Top ban in Legacy, it's the only format where you can count on your cards staying relevant.
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DiegoInglewood
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« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2017, 12:19 am »

i'm not into it... sorry.
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Kybard
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« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2017, 10:34 am »

i'm not into it... sorry.

fuck you :(

like I mentioned I'm going to the latest set prerelease tonight at midnight tonight. m:tg until 4 am in a room of smelly nerds yaaaay

also I think the format I'm leaning toward is actually casual-level commander, because it seems like the best format now for more social-friendly games and also encourages very stupid and funny gameplay mechanics. like this dumb thing where you try to win by throwing all your mountains and forests at your opponent's faces
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Melancholic Goat
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« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2017, 05:04 am »

Yeah in terms of investing for fun EDH is hard to beat. I'm not big on multiplayer Magic myself but even then head-to-head EDH is a thing.
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