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Magic: The Gathering» Forums » General

Subject: New player and some Sets Questions rss

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Well I have finally decided to take the plunge and play M:TG again (after a very brief dalliance with the game back in the Weatherlight days - a very short period, I might add, where I really didn't even play very many games).

While I still dearly love my Warhammer: Invasion LCG, I'm in the mood for something more mainstream and it doesn't get more "mainstream" than the grandfather of the entire genre, right?

Anyway, jumping on late like this, I'm still a wee bit confused about how the "cycles" or "blocks" (I think that's what they were once called) work?

For example, I know that right now they have Core Set 2012 available. How long will that be current and valid for the Standard (I believe this is the term) format before we have to buy something new?

What expansion sets are current with Core Set 2012? How is this determined?

Finally, what are good websites for fans of the game (other than the official one from WotC) and also for new fans of the game? Please share your favorite sites and/or forums, if you feel inclined to do so.

Thanks for any info and answers provided.
 
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Simon Tan
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1 and 2) For Standard, the format consists of the two most recent Expert Level blocks and the most recent Core Set. Sets rotate out when the first set of the newest Expert level block is released; this usually happens once a year.

For example, the current Standard as of this writing is as follows:

Zendikar (until September 30. 2011)
Worldwake (until September 30. 2011)
Rise of the Eldrazi (until September 30. 2011)
Magic 2011 (until September 30. 2011)
Scars of Mirrodin
Mirrodin Besieged
New Phyrexia
Magic 2012

Innistrad is the first set of the new Innistrad block, so when that is released two weeks from now, the second most recent block (Zendikar, Worldwake, Rise of the Eldrazi) and Magic 2011 will leave Standard...

Innistrad (effective September 30, 2011)
Dark Ascension (effective February 3, 2012)

Of course, you can just ignore Standard altogether and play eternal formats like Modern or semi-casual formats like Commander, but from a purchasing perspective it might be best to just buy from the most recent block and core set.

3) That is a very long list. The ones I usually visit is www.starcitygames.com, magic.tcgplayer.com, and www.channelfireball.com... but I am more inclined to suggest www.mtgsalvation.com; I found the community there pretty diverse, and the forums help cater to all sorts of interest from rumors of future cards to card creation and fan fiction.

Here's wishing you the best of luck; Magic may seem daunting because of the history involved, but it is still a pretty fun game at the end of the day.
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Matt Vollick
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I know for some people it's all about Standard but that can get really expensive and I'm not overly keen on finding one of "The Best Standard Decks" online and playing that in a tournament.

I much prefer drafting or a sealed event. It's a great way to explore a new set and what do you know Innistrad is having a pre-release tomorrow and Sunday. Should be a fun and fairly balanced way to see if you like the games Innistrad offers.
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Robert Loblah
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Another possibility would be building a Cube, which can then be used to simulate either sealed constructed or draft environments. There are a number of good threads on the subject right here on the BGG M:tG forums, or you can do a google search on "Magic the Gathering Cube" to turn up lots of excellent sites on building a Cube. One of the big advantages of a Cube is avoiding the "treadmill" nature of Magic purchases, which is near the top of the list of reasons that people dislike the game.
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Jerry Martin
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I personally think that Commander/EDH is the best way to play Magic. It shouldn't be competitive and it makes for interesting games.

www.mtgcommander.net
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Pete Lane
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Syvanis wrote:
I personally think that Commander/EDH is the best way to play Magic. It shouldn't be competitive and it makes for interesting games.

www.mtgcommander.net


Hey Tony, I'd agree with this 100%. You seem like the kind of guy who would completely dig this format. It's really the best "beer and pretzels" format of playing the game. The most goofy cards suddenly become playable threats. It's 100% fun... if you find the playgroup that builds decks the same way.

Feel free to GM me with any questions you have!
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Quick questions:

1. So when does Core Set 2012 cycle out and when does 2013 cycle in?

2. When would you anticipate New Phrexia cycling out?

3. I read somewhere something about the use of similar cards being okay across different Core Sets as long as the cards were the same? Can you explain that? I think it said something like "a player can use Serra Angel in a current deck, even if it's from a few Core Sets back as long as the cards are the same."


Thanks for any answers people can provide. Pete Lane, I sent these to you via PM but I'm also posting them here because I'm an impatient sort. Hope you won't mind.

 
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Tommy Occhipinti
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wytefang wrote:
Quick questions:

1. So when does Core Set 2012 cycle out and when does 2013 cycle in?

2. When would you anticipate New Phrexia cycling out?

3. I read somewhere something about the use of similar cards being okay across different Core Sets as long as the cards were the same? Can you explain that? I think it said something like "a player can use Serra Angel in a current deck, even if it's from a few Core Sets back as long as the cards are the same."


Thanks for any answers people can provide. Pete Lane, I sent these to you via PM but I'm also posting them here because I'm an impatient sort. Hope you won't mind.



1. 2012 will cycle out in October of 2012. 2013 will cycle in in July of 2012, so there were be a couple months where both are legal in standard.

2. New Phyrexia will cycle out in October of 2012, the same day as M12.

3. Cards with the same name are, for most game purposes, the same card. Thus, even my alpha Serra Angel is legal in standard now (as long as it is in opaque sleeves). This is especially relevant for core sets since there is a very large overlap between consecutive core sets, so it means you don't have to go out and buy new Giant Spiders every time there is a new core set with Giant Spider.
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Another Q: Best sites for buying singles cheaply?

 
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Pete Lane
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I'd say use TCGplayer.com... they have 200 vendors and you can compare prices. Only issue with that is if you find a bunch of cards you want from different places, you end up paying shipping multiple times. I like to browse on there, figure out a shop that has what I need for good prices, then order it all from the one place.

http://store.tcgplayer.com/magic/

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