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Subject: Where to Start? rss

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Chad
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Hello,

So I'm an old time MTG player. I started playing when Revised was the main set and stopped around the time Mirage came out. I'm looking at getting back into playing again and I was just looking for suggestions on where to start?

Basically, I need to know what rule changes have happened since then, any new abilities that are not explained on the cards themselves, what set(s) I should be looking into, lists of restrictions/banned cards, etc?

Also, if anyone is in the Twin Cities area I wouldn't mind meeting up to play a few games. I never played competitively but I wouldn't mind trying it either.

Thanks in advance.
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Wally Jones
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Don't.

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Dan Regs
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Where to Start?
Depends largely on whether you still have any of your old cards. But the more important question is HOW do you want to play. Casual tinkering with close friends or tournaments?

Rules Changes.
OHHH BOY.. Well you've been out of the game for quite a while, and the game has evolved A LOT over the years. By far the most relevant game rules change is the introduction of the stack which was in 6th edition (that happened more than a dozen years ago BTW).
The Following website attempts to catch up returning players based on when you left the game.
http://community.wizards.com/forum/faqs-and-reference/thread...

A slightly better option might be to just start with the basic rules all over again, found here:
http://www.wizards.com/Magic/tcg/resources.aspx?x=magic/rule...

What sets to look into; Banned /Restricted cards.
Depends largely on how you want to persue the game - which includes what format you may be interested in.
Information on various formats found here:
http://www.wizards.com/Magic/tcg/resources.aspx?x=mtg/tcg/re...

Finding people/places to play.
Check the event locator to find stores that hold magic events. Hopefully the staff is on top of things enough to help you some more. Also it helps to know what formats are popular in your area before taking a dive into the game.
http://locator.wizards.com/
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Jason Walker
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Most of the keywords will be explained on the cards these days, at least at lower rarities (common, uncommon). This is especially true for the Core Sets (Magic 2014, 2013, etc.) released in the summer.

The best place to start would be to pick up a copy of the Duels of the Planeswalkers game available on Steam (PC), iOS or Android (if you have a tablet, look for "Magic 2014", I think), or the Xbox and PS3's online marketplaces. That will let you play with modern rules and a wide variety of cards against decent AI at your own pace, or other players online.

A few little rules have changed since Mirage. Here's what I can think of:

* Mana burn is gone. (You don't take damage for unspent mana.)

* Tapped blockers still deal combat damage.

* The damage prevention combat step is gone. Damage is immediately assigned and resolved, so prevention (and regeneration) effects must be played before.

* Tapping an artifact doesn't turn it off unless it says so.

* Trample is a bit different: When blocked by multiple creatures, you have to kill all
the creatures before you can trample over to the opponent. If one of those creatures has protection, they only soak as much damage as their toughness.

* I think batch activations are gone now. That means you can't pump 4 mana into Pestilence for 4 damage at once; it has to resolve one damage at a time.

* Interrupts are gone. Counterspells are instants now, and can be done at any time in response to a spell.

* You lose as soon as you hit 0 life, not the end of the phase.

* Poison got a serious boost in the Scars of Mirrodin block a few years ago.

("Damage on the stack" didn't exist back then, so it came and went without bothering you.)

If I'm forgetting anything, I'm sure someone will fill in the gaps.
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Jason Walker
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louper wrote:
TravelSized wrote:
The best place to start would be to pick up a copy of the Duels of the Planeswalkers game available on Steam (PC), iOS or Android (if you have a tablet, look for "Magic 2014", I think), or the Xbox and PS3's online marketplaces. That will let you play with modern rules and a wide variety of cards against decent AI at your own pace, or other players online.


I don't think this is true. I'm sure Duels of the Planeswalkers is pretty close to the correct rules (and surely gets the "major" rules right) but there are definitely interactions and rules that it handles incorrectly. Unfortunately, I don't know any specifics, but a somewhat-frequent source of confusion on the WotC message boards relates to Duels doing something incorrectly.

It's still probably a good place to start, but with that caveat.


I've played them a lot since they started coming out a few years ago, and have never noticed a problem. The only issues I had were with the AI making stupid moves on some of the puzzles.
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TravelSized wrote:
Most of the keywords will be explained on the cards these days, at least at lower rarities (common, uncommon). This is especially true for the Core Sets (Magic 2014, 2013, etc.) released in the summer.
This is one of the nice things about coming back into Magic, seeing as how back in the day there was very little hand-holding when it came to keywording and abilities and such.

Don't be too scared off, there are some procedural differences from the Mirage days, but at heart it's still "play land, cast creatures, beat face." If anything the newer sets do a better job of inter-relating the various abilities, so if I were a noob I would choose a block that interested me and dive into those sets.

Like classic horror tropes? Get some Innistrad block (Innistrad, Dark Ascension, Avacyn Restored)
Like classic Magic lore and a lot of warring urban factions? Get some Return To Ravnica block (Return To Ravnica, Gatecrash, Dragon's Maze)
Like Greek/Roman mythology, or just want the most current stuff? Get some Theros block (Theros, Born Of The Gods, Journey Into Nyx)

And don't forget: Core Sets are a great way to ease into the game without being overwhelmed by new mechanics. So welcome back!


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Chris Bender
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If you can find a Theros fat pack that's a great place to start. Shuffle up all the card in the fat pack and play some Wizard's Tower with your friends. This variant is in the fat pack book included with the Theros fat pack, but you can also find it online.

I've played Magic since the beginning and it's never been better than it is now. I would recommend playing with the more recent cards.

Chris
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Tommy Occhipinti
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TravelSized wrote:
louper wrote:
TravelSized wrote:
The best place to start would be to pick up a copy of the Duels of the Planeswalkers game available on Steam (PC), iOS or Android (if you have a tablet, look for "Magic 2014", I think), or the Xbox and PS3's online marketplaces. That will let you play with modern rules and a wide variety of cards against decent AI at your own pace, or other players online.


I don't think this is true. I'm sure Duels of the Planeswalkers is pretty close to the correct rules (and surely gets the "major" rules right) but there are definitely interactions and rules that it handles incorrectly. Unfortunately, I don't know any specifics, but a somewhat-frequent source of confusion on the WotC message boards relates to Duels doing something incorrectly.

It's still probably a good place to start, but with that caveat.


I've played them a lot since they started coming out a few years ago, and have never noticed a problem. The only issues I had were with the AI making stupid moves on some of the puzzles.


[This is very technical. If you are not interested in technicalities of Magic rules, do not read this post. Just go buy Duels of the Planeslwalkers instead.]

The game in Duels of the Planeswalkers is very Magic-like, but it isn't quite Magic. If you want to see a real implementation of the Magic rules, see Magic Online (spoiler: you probably don't want to see it).

The rules differences in Duels of the Planeswalkers make for a much better experience, while influencing the results of games only in very rare circumstances (and they seem to avoid introducing cards where these rules differences would come up).

The major difference is that priority is handled essentially by dexterity instead of by passing priority. In Duels, you can do something on your opponent's main phase before they have chosen if they will do anything or not. Despite the name "instant," this is not how they work in the real game. There is never a point in Magic where the order of something is determined by who says it first.

The way it is implemented in Duels agrees very much with how Magic tends to flow in practice, and indeed it is rare I specifically address priority when playing paper Magic (maybe one in four games?). This tends to be most relevant in the combat step, when it is important that the attacking player must use instants first, and if they pass their opponent (in a two player game) has the option to pass and progress the game to the next step. In Duels, you can play an instant at any time in a fixed window.

Another time this is particularly relevant is with planeswalkers. I would guess that this is the reason that planeswalkers are not implemented on Duels. Say I play a Jace Beleren (a 3 loyalty planeswalker) on my turn. You hold a Lightning Bolt in your hand. You would like to kill my Jace before I activate its +1 ability, but that is never possible because after the Jace comes into play, I get priority first. Were this implemented in Duels, it would come down to speed (unless they updated their engine).

All of this is VERY technical, and should by no means undermine Duels of the Planeswalkers. It is by far the best way to learn and get better at Magic for players of most skill levels, and I strongly encourage nearly anyone into Magic to play it. The amount you get for your money is amazing.
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Chad
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Thanks for the info everyone!
 
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Kevin Anderson
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Sorry to hear it. Escalating cost, Ultra-Rares, Planeswalkers (I despise this whole concept), smug players, and garbage like "Omniscience" (casual or not) chased me away for the most part.
 
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Chris Bender
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louper wrote:
Well, all those things can be eliminated if you play around your kitchen table with a set "cube" of cards. Don't like Planeswalkers - don't include them. Don't like ultra-rares or Omniscience (which I don't see the problem with but maybe that's for another conversation) - don't include them either.

The great thing about Magic and CCGs in general is you're free to play with only the cards you or your group want to play with.

Also, when playing, you're never forced to buy cards. Play with a group that doesn't want to buy cards and agrees to play with the cards they've got. I have a cube of about 560 unique cards. I only own about 1,100 cards - more than half my cards are in my cube.


Well said. That's the thing I like most about Magic is how many ways there are to play. Every time I've become tired of playing the game is reinvented for me by trying something else.

Right now with my play group I've been mostly playing Wizard's Tower (super fun), Commander w/the Preconstructed Decks, and League play. None of these formats requires a significant investment of time or money.
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Paul W
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Personally, I got back into it by playing Limited, and still play that exclusively. Limited play refers to formats in which you start with some number of packs, use the cards from them to build a deck, and then play against others who have done the same thing. The huge attraction for me is that it allows some competitive play without having to invest huge amounts of money chasing after rares, only to chase more rares to keep my deck up to date. Money is no advantage in Limited play.

The two main types of Limited play are:

-Draft: take three packs, plays opne them one at a time, take one card out of their pack, and pass it to the next person. Take a card from the pack you've been passed, rinse, repeat. Do the same thing for the other 2 packs. Build a 40 card deck (you may use as many basic lands as you wish in addition to your drafted cards.

-Sealed: the format is similar, except that instead of drafting, you simply open 6 packs and construct a deck from whatever you opened, using the same deck building rules as in draft.

One limitation of limited play is that you need a group of people to do it (usually at least 8 is desirable), but if you've got a local store hosting such events, I'd highly recommend trying it out!
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