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Magic: The Gathering» Forums » General

Subject: Old player coming back. A few questions. rss

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Joseph Christ
United States
Washington
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Used to play back in 2000 with my IT workmates and now I'm looking at coming back to the game. One glance at the website and I'm amazed at the number of expansions and options that have been released while I was "away". I bought two person starter deck yesterday and started getting back in. The cards are so-so but I didn't expect anything too great with just basic stuff. So anyway here it goes.

1) can you simply mix and match all the expansions or can I only play eventide with other eventide cards and so on? Can a deck be made up off a mix and match of everything?

2) Whats a good starting point now? My purchase of the basic stuff was ok, but there were other options as well. The comic / games store near me has a TON of options.

Thanks in advance.

-Sard-
 
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Luca Iennaco
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You may mix everything (as long as you play for fun; tournaments usually have some "limits", like "only cards from the last N expansions" etc.).
Have fun! meeple
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Jeff Vawter
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The way WOTC is marketing it now, is you have basically two concurrent sets of cards. You have a core set which has all of your standard cards (I think they are on 10th edition). These cards really haven't changed much over the years. They alsohave a block cycle which is a set of 3 expansions (One "core" set and two expansions). Right now they are on morningtide/eveningtide.

The main difference is that the block sets are considered expert sets, while the core are for beginners. You can certainly use cards from either source, but if your teaching people the game you may want to start out with the core.

I would suggest two decks of morningtide, and a few boosters of each. The mechanics are way different, and all the new sets use the stack heavily. If you don't know what the stack is...well that another problem entirely. MTGO would be a good place to start to learn the new rules. They have a free trial and the computer will walk you through all the new steps.
 
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Bwian, just
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PerfectStorm wrote:
Right now they are on morningtide/eveningtide.

I've been playing Shards of Alara for a while now...

There are several formats for playing Magic, so you're probably best off asking your local play group what they do. If that fails, or you are starting from scratch, WotC's site is probably the better one to ask this question: BGG is good for general gaming, but you'll probably get faster and more authoritative answers for Magic elsewhere.
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RanDomino Nickelmaster
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Find a store that hosts Friday Night Magic, which is geared to n00bs like yourself. Legal sets are Lorwyn, Morningtide, Shadowmoor, Eventide, 10th Edition, and Shards of Alara; 60 card minimum deck size. Try buying a preconstructed deck from Shards of Alara and modifying it with a few boosters from other legal sets. Then get your head punched in by people who actually know what they're doing, but pay attention to what they're playing and what's going on.

Don't be afraid to lose your shirt in trades, but do not trade with good players, they will rip you off.

If you last played in 2000, the rules haven't substantially changed since then.
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Joseph Christ
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Great suggestions, thanks guys. Even more are welcome.

Mostly its just going to be me and my girlfriend playing when I'm home, and me and my band playing while we are on tour.
 
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Nick Short
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If you are just playing casually, then there is no reason to worry about mixing and matching sets. They all mix well, although cards within the same block are usually designed to have a bit more synergy with each other.

If you plan on playing in sanctioned events (including Friday Night Magic), then you can usually only use cards from the two most recent blocks of sets, and those from the most recent Core Set (including older cards that happened to be reprinted in any of those sets). In that case, I would suggest starting off with Shards of Alara, as they will stay "tournament legal" for longer than Lorwyn or Shadowmoor cards will.

Typically, there is plenty of support for both casual play and tournament play at any location where Magic is played, so you should be fine with whichever you choose.

RanDomino definitely has a great suggestion with the Preconstructed decks. They come with the majority of the common and uncommon cards you need for that particular deck's strategy (with a few synergistic rares tossed in as well), plus you can swap in other cards to strengthen the deck or simply to add cards you find more interesting. It just provides a nice foundation from which to build for when your collection or experience are not sufficient to build a deck from scratch.
 
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Bwian, just
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Sardunos wrote:
Mostly its just going to be me and my girlfriend playing when I'm home, and me and my band playing while we are on tour.

I basically only play with a closed group as well, and I like playing in Sealed format. You use the cards from a single tournament pack and 2 boosters (plus unlimited basic land) to make a 40-card deck. If you don't mind the record-keeping, you can break the deck back down into tournament pack and boosters when you're done, which lets you recycle them in new combinations.

This tends to work best when all the cards are in the same block. I recommend Lorwyn, Lorwyn w/ Morningtide boosters, Shadowmoor, or Shadowmoor w/ Eventide boosters (of relatively recent options). Shards of Alara is too multi-color dependent for easy Sealed play, IMHO.
 
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Matt Hoskins
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RanDomino wrote:
.

Don't be afraid to lose your shirt in trades, but do not trade with good players, they will rip you off.



WTF?!?
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Stephen Shaw
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You can usually get sets of commons and uncommons inexpensively. Then you can hand-pick rares as you learn the game.
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Ian McCarthy
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I highly recommend Lorwyn/Morningtide as base sets to buy right now for sealed play or booster drafting. The quality and power levels of the cards within these two sets is very good and the mechanics are not too tricky.

Also, Shards of Alara is amazing. It's best to draft. I don't recommend trading much until you get an idea of what you want and the relative values of cards.

I recommend avoiding Shadowmoor and especially Eventide. Those were two of the most unfun sets to come out since Kamigawa.
 
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The rules actually changed a fair bit in '6th edition' - are you familiar with the stack? If not, there's a simple rulebook on the MtG website.

As previously suggested, asking there will also probably yield faster and more authorative answers.

Since it sounds as if you'll only be playing with a few folk, you just need to make sure that the level of ability/amount you spend on cards isn't too disparate from one player to another.

To get your first deck, maybe buy a theme deck for each player? These should be balanced against each other. Alternatively - if you're feeling more confident - go to a couple of Friday Night Magic drafts, then spend a bit to play. At the end of the night, you'll have made yourself a deck and it won't be overpowered at all - almost a handicap if you're a better player than the others.

A way to allow customisation whilst not letting anyone play with a 'broken' deck might be to stick to only 10th edition/Alara cards. Or maybe impose a house-rule that all rares or uncommons are banned? 'Pauper' format can actually play pretty well. The big disadvantage is that you won't be able to use everything you get in a booster, but on the upside, you can then trade any rares for a playset of uncommons/MANY commons.

Or, since you're such a small bunch, maybe you could even make a few decks and let others borrow your decks for games, choosing what they play with?
 
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Henry Allen
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If you think the people in your group would enjoy building their own decks and evolving them over time, I’d suggest just making sure everyone has a similar powered collection to build from. This keeps the game fair and fun for everyone. When you play with people who have all played for years and spent a decent chunk on cards anything goes. However, when some people in a group have significantly worse cards to choose from (because someone has spent a lot more on cards or has just been collecting longer) it can take the fun out of the game.

An example of how I handled this once; I had a roommate who wanted to start playing and building his own decks so, rather than beat him down with decks made from cards I’ve accumulated from over a decade of playing, I started a new ‘collection’ for myself that matched his. In other words, he had 8 Ninth Edition boosters so I bought the same number of boosters from that same set and built my decks (for playing against him) from that pool of cards. When we wanted to change things up we’d both have to buy the same numbers of boosters from the same sets so that our card pools grew in sync. This was very fun and fair because, though we each had our own ‘collection’ and built unique decks the power levels in our two card pools remained relatively even.

A matching tournament deck and two boosters for everyone is enough to get started.
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Armando Gurrola
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I recommend you just buy cards to play with your friends....the tournament scene isn't worth it and you will notice your money flying away....unless that's how you have fun. I also agree to buy the same amount of cards unless they are buying like mad dogs. If they do that just beat them and show them it's not always about the amount of cards, but there is some strategy involved. I don't know any of the current sets,but this is general advice from me.
 
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