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Mage Wars Arena» Forums » General

Subject: Intereseted, but dont like to deck build? rss

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Elliott Harding
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Hello all,

Old MTG player here that stopped for all the obvious reasons, most money wins, tearing through tons of boosters for the one rare, etc. Loved the game when I first started playing with one starter deck and three boosters because every card felt new and important.

My wife is my main gaming partner. We enjoy the Netrunner base game and only play with the preconstructed decks to keep things as balanced as possible.

We are not interested in building decks the MTG way, because it is difficult to keep the decks even unless one person builds all the decks.

I guess we would most likely stick with the Mage Wars pre-cons to keep things balanced unless there is something to building these decks I'm not aware of.

Would I enjoy this game?

Thanks!
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Evan Coolen
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In general theres already a lot of fun to be had with the preconstructed decks. After a few plays you might interchange a few general cards to fit your own style, but you probably wont change the class-specific cards in casual play.
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Matti Saarenketo
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The pre-built spellbooks have a ton of replay value. Even with the same decks the play can diverse much between games and concidering that there are 8(+2 variations) mages at the time, the combinations are plentiful.

I think you would enjoy this game.
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Ivan Madd
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I think you would be perfectly happy with the precon books, but I don't think you should worry too much about building the decks. Two things really separate this game from magic.

First, there is the spell book mechanic. This allows you to get out any card you want any time you want. No need to wait on a lucky card draw.

Second, there is no mana curve. You actually begin with a surplus of mana rather than a shortage.

These things combined mean that you can play your powerful cards and combos whenever you wish. The designers are well aware of this, and so there are no game breaking cards or combos existing like in magic. The cards in your book are NOT going to win you the game, it's how you use them that matters.

That's not to say you can just put any crap into a book and it be as good as one made with love, but it does make it a lot easier to balance different books. The easiest way I know to balance them is to simply tell each other what your strategy is going to be when building your books. That way each of you can put a way to counter and combat the other in their plans. After all, it wouldn't be a surprise more than once anyways.
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Mark Turner
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Deckbuilding in Mage Wars is less of a chore than you might imagine, because of the way the spellbook works.

Start with a preconstructed deck.

If you find you start using some cards, and not others, replace the others with something else. That's it.

No need to get an optimal mix of cards and mana, or to build a deck that gives a fair shot at a neat ramping up...

Instead of viewing the deckbuilding as a way of creating the perfect attack, just see it as a way of having fun in different ways. The balance will come from the mana restrictions.

While the wizard is currently ahead, and the warlord (from the expansion) is currently behind, actually, the game is pretty well balanced - although to be 'optimal', as far as such a thing exists, you will want a couple of spells to move around (teleport, push etc) and counter (dispel, jinx, nullify etc).

I shared your reluctance on the deckbuilding aspect, but I assure you you are not getting into MtG all over again...
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Joshua
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Yeah, aside from theme and that both games use cards, this game is nothing like MTG. IMO this game makes Magic obsolete, but then I sold my Magic collection a few years ago (and am happy to never look back- break the chains!)

The balance issues that plague a game of Magic, and what you need to consider for deckbuilding to mitigate those balance issues, are not present in Mage Wars.

I think one reason for this is, as mentioned, the spell book mechanic. Not only does this get rid of the 'I need this spell now, and I dont have it' issue of Magic, but the experience you will have at the table, as you and your opponent plan your next move (you can choose 2 spells from your book per turn- that's it, nothing more or less), is just incredibly thematic. The game is less 'ooh I have the winning card in my hand, game over' and more 'how can I exploit/mitigate the circumstances on the board?'

The end result is a game that will blow you away and make you glad you gave up MTG. I don't think 'YMMV' even applies here, it's simply the better game.
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Elliott Harding
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Thanks everyone! Sounds like it will be a fun game and I'm going to jump in. Do the preconstructed decks in the expansions play well with the precons in the base?

Thanks again!
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Ivan Madd
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I would say the precons are all a decent match for each other, if that is your question, but they provide very different experiences. The expansion books are a lot more focused and have a definite strategy in mind. The base books are more sandbox and allow you to experiment with different ideas.

This means an expansion precon typically has more bite to it, but the base sets can adapt easier.
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Guido Gloor
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Personally, I feel that the preconstructed decks in Mage Wars offer more replayability than those in Android: Netrunner, because having surprises in your deck is less important in Mage Wars.

If there's a weakness to the Mage Wars decks, is that they're meant to support more than one strategy, and thus whichever strategy you choose to use for any given game, it won't have support from the entire deck and thus there'll be some "dead" cards in there. On the other hand, this means that you can follow more than one strategy with each deck, too.

My experience is that the expansion decks still maintain that variability (for example, the Necromancer has zombies and skeletons in equal amounts, while a self-built deck would focus on one or the other), but they have access to (and use) a greater card pool - thus they tend to be slightly stronger IMHO. Most of them anyway. And not by an insurmountable amount.
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Mike Romeo
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I think the expension compares well with the core base deck!

Now I think they have updated the base decks from the core set to prevent switching cards between spellbooks! You should have a look on their website.
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Guido Gloor
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KingAnus3 wrote:
Now I think they have updated the base decks from the core set to prevent switching cards between spellbooks! You should have a look on their website.
Those decks were actually added to the v2 rulebook. If you have a first printing game or want to see some other downloads, there's plenty here:

http://www.arcanewonders.com/resources-and-downloads
 
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Todd Gabriel
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I also gave up MtG for the same reasons and tried playing war hammer invasion till my lady lost interest in the deck construction aspect mainly due to myself being somewhat good at it and we being each others main gaming partners. She found she couldn't / didn't have the time to assemble a deck that could lead to a win. That being said she loves mage wars. Due to the nature of the game, picking the cards to be used each round from the entirety of your spell book she found constructing a spell book to be much less of an issue. We both love mage wars and there doesn't seem to be a consistent winner. I believe using the pre constructed spell books will be worth while however I would guess after a few plays your wife may actually find herself making some alterations to the spell book since it's not that easy to through off the spell books balance. I say go for it.
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Peter Cooper
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I dislike magic the gathering and my son, a very serious gamer, loves it. He would spend hours 'adjusting' his large number of cards. A number of adults in our drop-in centre spend far more time deck building, or rather 'deck-tweaking', than they do playing. So I entirely empathise with this thread!

I felt that, as all of the different mages have a pre-built deck, it is a great place for me to be. You can tweak the deck and slightly adjust some of the cards after you have played a game and discovered what your own playing strengths are, but that's not the same thing as studying cards for hours to find out what you need.

My son, in the meantime, built from scratch because that is what he loves doing, so it scratched both itches, if you'll pardon the terminology.
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