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Subject: I really want to play MTG, but here are the reasons I don't... rss

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Shayne Hull
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Firstly, I do like MTG. I played it way back in the 90s at high school and loved it. I've recently tried to get back into it and have found the experience frustrating for the following reasons:

Firstly, there doesn't seem to be a real starter set anymore. I remember buying starter sets years ago (like in the early 2000s) and these sets came with 2 very basic decks. These decks, from memory, were even smaller with 25 cards. They had very few extra rules on the cards. This made it perfect for teaching a new player.

I have recently tried to find decks like this to teach new players and I don't think they exist. Every deck I find, even the "starter" decks, have so many extra rules on the cards. I know these extra rules stop the game from getting stale, but you could have beginner decks without them.

The next major reason I just can't get into MTG anymore, despising wanting to, is the need to generate extra physical elements that don't actually come with the game. This is so annoying! So many times now I come across cards that tell me to create so many */* creature tokens. And I don't have anything offical to represent these. I know official token cards exist, but I don't know how to get them (I did buy some off eBay). I just want some nice looking representations of these. Sell a token deck that includes multiple copies of all the tokens needed for a set and I'll buy it. I hate proxy items that don't look offical.

Similarly, I'm so frustrated by the add a +*/+* counter to a card rule that keeps popping up. I'd don't mind the actual rule, just sell some counters! I'll buy them. Of course the numerous possibilities with this doesn't really fit with just plain counters, but something like a duel dial that can rotate between -5 and +5 should work. They did this for life counters a few years back.

The new energy mechanic sounds cool, but again requires counters. In the demo they use dice, but why not cool plastic tokens, sold in sets?

If these issues were fixed I'd be back playing MTG in a big way.
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Jeff Thompson
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I think you might want to reevaluate your first sentence.
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trevor

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Don't worry about it, there are sooooo many better games out there that don't require the investment
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Jerry Martin
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If it makes you happy all of those concerns have been taken care of. Sort of.

There are a number of simple sets to play with. They have little clash decks you can buy that have two decks that are made to play against each other...I think they have 40 cards each. I haven't bought one so i don't know for sure, but typically they use things from the most recent sets. They may be slightly more complex than you are talking about, but I have used similar things to play with kids under the age of ten so it shouldn't be that hard to learn.

The tokens are made available in whatever set they are from. They come in most packs of Magic. I realize this isn't exactly what you want, but I personally collect the zombie ones and usually get a few from each set that has them without trying very hard.

I have been playing Magic for a long time and over the years have tried a lot of different things to count as counters. Little half marbles, change, even had little printed 1/1 things to use. In the end the best thing is dice. I personally prefer 8 sided die. They go up to eight, they are easy to read from both sides of the table, you don't have to "count" them, they walk down through the numbers easily. If you want an "official" version every set of magic has "roll down" dice. These are twenty siders that have the symbol of the set in place of a twenty. They are intended to be life counters, but work well as counters too. (I like eight siders because they are smaller).

I can see why you would be annoyed that the game doesn't have everything you need to play the game, but I have a lot of decks that don't use counters, or make any tokens. I am sure you could make decks that don't have them as well.

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Russ Rivet
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Commander Pre constructed decks are a good value, and come with tokens.
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Derry Salewski
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so you want some simple decks, you can build them if current products aren't simple enough. I'll build them for you if you want.

No one uses token cards. I mean some do. But most people just use a die. Same with counters. 8-10 bucks gets you a brick of 36 12mm dice in whatever color combination your little heart desires.

These are the most ridiculous reasons not to play magic, of which there are many.

-guy who doesn't play magic much but keeps buying cards...
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Chris Fell
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I hear you. The rules are a bear sometimes but become easier with time and play. I would really like also if they sold official packs of tokens and counters, but it does not keep me from playing the game. I make do with the token cards I picked up along the way. I have seen some really nice metal counters for sale online and on kickstarter for a reasonable price but for now I use some go stones. MTG does have a 30 card Welcome pack that can sometimes be had for free from some game stores and are great to get started/teach with. I'd stay away from the booster battle packs as well as intro packs that cost 10+ bucks, they do not have great play value. Instead I heard a review about Battle decks from Card Kingdom they sound like a good deal for 10 dollars. They are full 60 card decks that play well against each other and may be better to teach with. I have a few Duel decks, they are more complicated and some sets are more balanced/fun than others. Duel deck are a lot more expensive and will be harder to teach with. So you can be having a great fun time playing MTG, there are options to things, and you just have to get over everything not being a "official" MTG product.
 
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Todd Pytel
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Hullstar wrote:
Firstly, there doesn't seem to be a real starter set anymore. I remember buying starter sets years ago (like in the early 2000s) and these sets came with 2 very basic decks. These decks, from memory, were even smaller with 25 cards. They had very few extra rules on the cards. This made it perfect for teaching a new player.

I've been saying this for years. Sadly, you've got to recognize that MtG's customer base - even new players - value flash and special rules more than a clear presentation of the game's principles. People feel that a deck full of mostly simple cards is necessarily boring and lacking in play value. But I built 5 monocolor decks from M10 almost 7 years ago that I still enjoy playing, and that do a far better job teaching players what the game is about. Sure, I'd prefer to play something more intricate, but I never feel like I'm wasting my time playing those decks either.

I do think the new "Planeswalker" deck product is an improvement over the introductory offerings of years past, but that's not saying much. Either build your own or live with what's offered retail.

The rest of your issues seem rather trivial to me, like you just really want to buy stuff...

Quote:
The next major reason I just can't get into MTG anymore, despising wanting to, is the need to generate extra physical elements that don't actually come with the game. This is so annoying! So many times now I come across cards that tell me to create so many */* creature tokens. And I don't have anything offical to represent these.

Most people just use dice or pennies or whatever. I keep spare commons backside-up in gold sleeves to represent creature tokens. Those are easy to tap/untap and arrange on the battlefield for blocking, equipment, auras, etc. And the proper card back being visible still makes them look "Magic-y". Keeping five of those around is enough for most situations since I can use dice to represent the count for large stacks of tokens. Only in the most extreme token decks do I find it helpful to have real token cards. Usually there are only a handful of tokens on the board and it's easy to keep straight what they represent. And again, dice can represent P/T if you've got a bunch of different tokens on the field.

If you're playing on the go, casually, with unsleeved cards, just use cards from the graveyard turned face down. In almost all cases, that works well enough. If there's reanimation or flashback or whatever going on, it's not hard to keep straight.

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Similarly, I'm so frustrated by the add a +*/+* counter to a card rule that keeps popping up. I'd don't mind the actual rule, just sell some counters! I'll buy them.

Dude... you're making this part way too hard. Just use dice like everyone else. I keep about a half dozen each of small, plain white dice and red dice. White dice always represent +1/+1 counters. Red dice represent anything else (-1/-1 counters, counts of tokens, any other numeric counters for abilities, etc.). Again, there aren't so many different uses that it's any trouble to keep track.

I keep all my MtG paraphernalia in a little leather dice bag - the white and red dice, two twenty siders for life counters, a half dozen glass beads for non-numeric effects like "freezing", and a shiny quarter for coin-flipping. Maybe a couple of greenish ten-siders for tracking Poison if that's relevant to any decks I'm playing. Very functional and clean. I'm sure you can arrive at some kind of pleasing system with a little effort.
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Norman L.
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If it says add a */* counter to a card, tear off a small piece of scrap paper, write whatever the */* value is and place it on the card. If the value for * changes, cross out the old value and write the new.

if you want a similar experience but everything in 1 self-contained box,
check out https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/147887/allegiance-realm-... . The mechanics are quite similar and each character (10 total) is basically a planeswalker with their own unique characteristics/play style. Retail version is $65, special kickstarter version is $75 (both available now through their website), and after that you won't have to buy anything else.

I remember the days of the $7.99 60 card starter deck, I used to sit and read the little instruction booklet over and over for hours. I think I might have a couple Ice Age starters packed away here somewhere.

ps I am not affiliated with that game nor its publisher in any way.

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You have become a boardgamer and you want MTG to be more like your hobby. A little different cool counter for everything. A special token piece. I love that MTG doesn't fall in this trap. There are many times that you need mental effort to understand the board state rather than a million markers to remind you of every single detail. I hope MTG never gets boardgamified as you desire.

Your desires are truly trivial. It seems clear that you don't need MTG and MTG doesn't need you...
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Pete Lane
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Most game shops will have "learn to play" decks that you can ask about that are FREE. These are used at conventions and such to teach people the game and many game stores have a small stock of them for curious patrons. Next step are the Planeswalker decks that have recently taken the place of the Intro Decks. Once you are more familiar with the game then you move on to things like Commander preconstructed decks (which are AMAZINGLY fun) and the Duel Decks (which personally I wouldn't recommend for the newer player).

Doesn't solve the token issue, but tokens really aren't that difficult to track down. My favorite local shop "sells" them "pick out any 10 for free."

Don't know why some folks are being so mean to OP about this...
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Mark McEvoy
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Hullstar wrote:
Firstly, there doesn't seem to be a real starter set anymore. I remember buying starter sets years ago (like in the early 2000s) and these sets came with 2 very basic decks. These decks, from memory, were even smaller with 25 cards. They had very few extra rules on the cards. This made it perfect for teaching a new player.


The new 'planeswalker decks' (that replaced the "Intro Deck" product line beginning with Kaladesh) are pretty introductory. That is their role. They are the ones deliberately assembled with the intent of being easy to use for new and learning players.

Hullstar wrote:
The next major reason I just can't get into MTG anymore, despising wanting to, is the need to generate extra physical elements that don't actually come with the game. This is so annoying! So many times now I come across cards that tell me to create so many */* creature tokens. And I don't have anything offical to represent these. I know official token cards exist, but I don't know how to get them (I did buy some off eBay). I just want some nice looking representations of these. Sell a token deck that includes multiple copies of all the tokens needed for a set and I'll buy it. I hate proxy items that don't look offical.


That's a pretty peculiar thing to consider a showstopper. Even people who play every week often just use dice or card sleeves or dominoes as tokens. All of the official tokens that the cards in any given set can use are included in boosters for that set (for instance, the only tokens that cards in Kaladesh can create are 1/1 Servo, 1/1 Flying Thopter, 6/6 Beast, and */* Construct; those four tokens along with planeswalker emblem cards are found in Kaladesh booster packs, though with at best one token per pack you won't always find the ones you want).


Hullstar wrote:
Similarly, I'm so frustrated by the add a +*/+* counter to a card rule that keeps popping up.


Every card published in the past many-years has only used +1/+1 counters (and no other variety of +/- power and/or toughness); in some older sets there were -1/-1 counters, but you have to go REALLY far back in Magic's history to find cards that use other kinds of power/toughness-adjusting counters. We're talking over 20 years since a card referred to a +2/+2 counter. Most people use dice or glass stones. You're overselling this issue.

Hullstar wrote:
The new energy mechanic sounds cool, but again requires counters. In the demo they use dice, but why not cool plastic tokens, sold in sets?


They are including official energy cards in Kaladesh packs now (after a printing error caused them not to be included in the first print run). People usually put their dice or glass stones on that and it is clear how much energy they have.


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Pete Lane
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Thought for the OP, and it's a serious one...

Have you considered investing in a 3d printer? Heck you likely could design and distribute counters like the ones you're wanting and make some money! You can't be the only person who wants some of these things.
 
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Shayne Hull
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surprise I can't believe I got responses like this (not really; sadly they're actually exactly what I expected):

"No, you're not allowed to want those things! I don't want them so no one else is allowed to want them! You have to enjoy little bits of ripped paper that you write on mid game because I'm fine with that!"

"Your suggestions will ruin the game for me if they become a reality (even though you clearly said you want them as optional extras that can be purchased separately)"

Since when did people on the internet start acting as if their preferences were the only ones people were allowed to express?

I really want to say to anyone new reading this thread, we're not all like that. You can, if you wish, post your thoughts on here. Most of us understand that you might have likes/dislikes that are different to ours and we'll respect that. You'll still get guys like the ones above ("MTG doesn't need you"), but know that we pity them and their sad 40-year-old existence in their mum's basement.

It was still cathartic to post and vent about the things that stop me playing a game I actually enjoy.

I agree with the 3D printer suggestion and even talked about it with my wife. I think 3D printing is still in the early stages, but in a few years when it gets cheaper, faster and better it'll definitely be something I look into to solve these issues.

 
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Hullstar wrote:

I really want to say to anyone new reading this thread, we're not all like that. You can, if you wish, post your thoughts on here. Most of us understand that you might have likes/dislikes that are different to ours and we'll respect that. You'll still get guys like the ones above ("MTG doesn't need you"), but know that we pity them and their sad 40-year-old existence in their mum's basement.


Some of us have thicker skin. For the record, I must live in the best basement in the world. 4 hours away from my mum with my wife and kids with a wide view of the Atlantic Ocean. Some of us just prefer more productive whining than this.
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Jerry Martin
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Hullstar wrote:
surprise I can't believe I got responses like this (not really; sadly they're actually exactly what I expected):

"No, you're not allowed to want those things! I don't want them so no one else is allowed to want them! You have to enjoy little bits of ripped paper that you write on mid game because I'm fine with that!"

"Your suggestions will ruin the game for me if they become a reality (even though you clearly said you want them as optional extras that can be purchased separately)"

Since when did people on the internet start acting as if their preferences were the only ones people were allowed to express?

I really want to say to anyone new reading this thread, we're not all like that. You can, if you wish, post your thoughts on here. Most of us understand that you might have likes/dislikes that are different to ours and we'll respect that. You'll still get guys like the ones above ("MTG doesn't need you"), but know that we pity them and their sad 40-year-old existence in their mum's basement.

It was still cathartic to post and vent about the things that stop me playing a game I actually enjoy.

I agree with the 3D printer suggestion and even talked about it with my wife. I think 3D printing is still in the early stages, but in a few years when it gets cheaper, faster and better it'll definitely be something I look into to solve these issues.



I am sad that you didn't give the decent responses your time, but focused on the bad ones. I put some effort into mine.
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Shayne Hull
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Syvanis wrote:
Hullstar wrote:
surprise I can't believe I got responses like this (not really; sadly they're actually exactly what I expected):

"No, you're not allowed to want those things! I don't want them so no one else is allowed to want them! You have to enjoy little bits of ripped paper that you write on mid game because I'm fine with that!"

"Your suggestions will ruin the game for me if they become a reality (even though you clearly said you want them as optional extras that can be purchased separately)"

Since when did people on the internet start acting as if their preferences were the only ones people were allowed to express?

I really want to say to anyone new reading this thread, we're not all like that. You can, if you wish, post your thoughts on here. Most of us understand that you might have likes/dislikes that are different to ours and we'll respect that. You'll still get guys like the ones above ("MTG doesn't need you"), but know that we pity them and their sad 40-year-old existence in their mum's basement.

It was still cathartic to post and vent about the things that stop me playing a game I actually enjoy.

I agree with the 3D printer suggestion and even talked about it with my wife. I think 3D printing is still in the early stages, but in a few years when it gets cheaper, faster and better it'll definitely be something I look into to solve these issues.



I am sad that you didn't give the decent responses your time, but focused on the bad ones. I put some effort into mine.


Yeah, my response sucked. Sorry about that. I know I shouldn't have responded to them. I did mean to respond to those who did give helpful responses (you'll notice I did do that a bit about the 3D printer), but those other ones just annoy me and I know that's their intent. So in a way I let them win. I still don't get "MTG doesn't need you", that just seems so exclusive to someone who wants back into the hobby.

Anyway... I did try the duel decks, but they still had heaps of extra rules. I'm actually fine with the extra rules. I just want to teach someone who's never played before. I tried with those and they just got frustrated with all the extra rules.

I could make my own simple deck, but that's a lot of booster purchasing and disappointment when I don't get the right cards.

Dice are a really good idea for keeping track of the +*/+*. I didn't realise that there are are only cards with +1/+1 rules. That makes things a lot easier. I'm sure I came across more random rules like +3/-1 kind of thing, but I might be imagining that.

I do over think things. I know that. But I do like things to be/look the best they can. I'm aware that this can sometimes be a flaw. I'd still like official counters. I think they'd look cool and add to the visual look of the game. After all the cards do contain pretty cool art, so I'd like the whole game to keep the look. I know other people don't care about the look, that's fine. What I'm suggesting is that there be an option for people who like official looking components. And if you don't, you don't have to buy them.

Still, thanks for the suggestions.
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Jerry Martin
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Like I said I collect the Zombie tokens and I just use those for everything I play even if they aren't Zombies. There is enough variety and a couple with no stats so they easily fit in for everything.

You are right there are a few cases of odd numbers when it comes to counters AND there are a few things out there like Fate counters and time counters. But for the most part the main counter usage is for +1 and -1 and since they cancel each other out you wouldn't ever have two on a creature at the same time.

Good luck, I think Magic is well worth it and I do run into people that give it a bad name the vast majority of the time I meet good people through Magic. That said, I haven't been a new player in over twenty years so I can talk the talk which I guess makes me a part of the club so I don't have to get past people that wouldn't deal with me because of that.

I hope you enjoy you time with it.
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Hullstar wrote:

I could make my own simple deck, but that's a lot of booster purchasing and disappointment when I don't get the right cards.


Exploit the booster model. Because so many boosters get opened, the common and uncommon cards are very cheap. You can get 4 copies of each common and uncommon from the most recent set for about $40, for example. This would give you plenty of variety to make some simple (and not-so-simple) decks from.
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Rich P
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Hullstar wrote:
Dice are a really good idea for keeping track of the +*/+*. I didn't realise that there are are only cards with +1/+1 rules. That makes things a lot easier. I'm sure I came across more random rules like +3/-1 kind of thing, but I might be imagining that.


There used to be cards requiring those sorts of counters but in recent years Wizards have made a conscious decision to use only +1/+1 and -1/-1 counters for simplicity. So unless you play with some odd old cards, you won't have to worry about obscure power/toughness modifying tokens.
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Hullstar wrote:
Anyway... I did try the duel decks, but they still had heaps of extra rules. I'm actually fine with the extra rules. I just want to teach someone who's never played before. I tried with those and they just got frustrated with all the extra rules.


There have been only two people in this thread who have mentioned duel decks, and both warned you against them. Duel decks are NOT introductory products, and nobody here claimed they were.

isearch wrote:
I have a few Duel decks, they are more complicated and some sets are more balanced/fun than others. Duel deck are a lot more expensive and will be harder to teach with.


stagger lee wrote:
Once you are more familiar with the game then you move on to things like ... the Duel Decks (which personally I wouldn't recommend for the newer player).


That you've come back with "duel decks have heaps of extra rules" as a complaint is baffling. That's exactly what people told you was the reason why duel decks weren't the right product for what you were looking for.

People are trying to help you. You seem deadset against it.



I put together some simple common+uncommon decks this summer to help teach my autistic eight year old son while we were at the cottage. It's neither difficult nor expensive - it appears you;ve already invested more effort into this thread than I put into those decks. For genuine introductory-level teaching I would recommend common and uncommon cards from core sets, like Magic 2015 and Magic Origins, because they will have few unusual keywords. If you can find a Magic Origins Deckbuilder's Toolkit or a Magic 2015 Deckbuilders Toolkit, those will give you plenty of cards to make uncomplicated introductory-level decks.


Hullstar wrote:
I'm sure I came across more random rules like +3/-1 kind of thing, but I might be imagining that.


There are cards that can give an effect of +3/-1, but if they don't use the word *counter*, they don't use counters (this is a frequent stumbling point of new players - they don't see the difference between "Target creature gets +1/+1 until end of turn" and "Put a +1/+1 counter on target creature").

Usually they'll have a duration (most typically "until end of turn"), in which case it's tracked in the players' heads for the short duration it's relevant, or it is represented by a permanent (like an Enchantment-Aura, or an Artifact-Equipment), where the modification is reminded by the fact that you would generally put the card granting the modification overlapped under the card being modified (or if it's something that is granted to all your creatures at once, you have it plainly in sight on the battlefield).
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William Speavy
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There is a product called the "Adjustable Creature Token and Life Counter" at https://www.etsy.com/shop/JacesToyChest?ref=hdr_shop_menu. that I use to keep track of the many types of tokens that are made in various games. I bought a bunch of the generic ones so I use them for life counters and energy too. I only really use dice for planeswalker loyalty now so its been great.

I hope you can get back into the game. It really is the best in the world. Try out the new starter decks like Nissa and Chandra from Kaladesh. They are pretty basic

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Magic is just a different type of game. Your annoyances are similar to complaining that miniatures games don't come with the necessary measuring tools or dice. It's just the way it is.

There are no official +1/+1 counters. The default for these are 6 sided dice because crowding a card with a bunch of cardboard tokens is a hassle. A single die uses up way less space. There are official creature tokens, and you can easily buy them online, and they are cheap. The reason these don't come standard with the product is for cost reasons, and because every set needs different tokens. And due to the nature of deckbuilding, you may require 1 or 50 different tokens based on your deck.

I do find it odd that you say you ate willing to buy official counters and tokens, but are opposed to buying/creating your own. It's the same difference except they aren't official and may not look like you want. But from a bookkeeping standpoint, dice and extra cards are the way to go.

It is a shame there are no more physical intro products. These have been replaced by Magic Duels on PC, Tablets, and consoles. It is difficult to find a product that is very "basic" since each set has its own quirks and mechanics. The year numbered magic core sets are the closet thing you will get to a product with little extra rules overhead.

You can't force square pegs in round holes, and you can't hope that Magic is suddenly going to become more like a board game or easier game to learn or teach. It is so vastly different, and adheres to a completely different set of standards. It's your mountain to our mole hill. And it's cool you feel that way, it's just the price of admission to what is my favorite game of all time.

(But only sealed and draft. Constructed sucks. Real men/women play 40 card decks!)
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Shayne Hull
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StandardProcedure wrote:
There is a product called the "Adjustable Creature Token and Life Counter" at https://www.etsy.com/shop/JacesToyChest?ref=hdr_shop_menu. that I use to keep track of the many types of tokens that are made in various games. I bought a bunch of the generic ones so I use them for life counters and energy too. I only really use dice for planeswalker loyalty now so its been great.

I hope you can get back into the game. It really is the best in the world. Try out the new starter decks like Nissa and Chandra from Kaladesh. They are pretty basic



Now these are the kind of thing I was hoping for. The reason I started this thread is because I do like the new Kaladesh decks, I was just after an easy way to keep track of all the stat changes that also looks good. I'll definitely check these out. Thanks.
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Shayne Hull
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thatmarkguy wrote:
Hullstar wrote:
Anyway... I did try the duel decks, but they still had heaps of extra rules. I'm actually fine with the extra rules. I just want to teach someone who's never played before. I tried with those and they just got frustrated with all the extra rules.


There have been only two people in this thread who have mentioned duel decks, and both warned you against them. Duel decks are NOT introductory products, and nobody here claimed they were.

isearch wrote:
I have a few Duel decks, they are more complicated and some sets are more balanced/fun than others. Duel deck are a lot more expensive and will be harder to teach with.


stagger lee wrote:
Once you are more familiar with the game then you move on to things like ... the Duel Decks (which personally I wouldn't recommend for the newer player).


That you've come back with "duel decks have heaps of extra rules" as a complaint is baffling. That's exactly what people told you was the reason why duel decks weren't the right product for what you were looking for.

People are trying to help you. You seem deadset against it.


Sorry, I honestly thought I read someone suggesting the duel decks to teach a new player (I actually assumed this is what the duel decks were, hence why I bought them). Rereading the posts, I think it was earlier someone said they taught MTG using the clash decks. I must have mistook this for duel decks. My bad. Not against being helped, I've already said thanks for the suggestions.
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