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Magic: The Gathering» Forums » General

Subject: "Old Farts" looking to have some fun with M:tG again... rss

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Bill Hartman
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Hello. I played Magic well over a decade ago with friends when I lived in California. I gave all of my cards away when I got sick and quit playing (to a young kid just starting out).

Fast Forward.to now, members of my game group are kind of interested in a draft format for some reminiscing and "just for fun" play.

My concern is the cost and numbers of cards needed for a solid drafting cube, wanting to avoid the typical Magic.arguments over someone having overpowered cards/deck unless it is a hefty cube investment (time and money).

My suggestion is this: I already have 4 2013 Intro Decks. I believe there is only one left to acquire. With the 4 decks already, I have 120 booster cards. I feel we should just play random Intro deck selection, using homemade randomizer cards, then maybe draft 10 boosters from the box if drafting is really necessary. Otherwise, Since just for fun, I think the Intro decks themselves should be sufficient for balanced simple games at least.

Thoughts on Intro deck balance, suggestions, or anything else welcome! We arent looking to get "back into the game" per-se, just to have a little fun. I know one member specifically wants to play Emperor, which I am not familiar with (but I have heard it needs 6 players which we don't have anyhow).

Thanks in advance!
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Dan Owsen
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Your plan to use intro decks and the packs for a draft sounds good. I've found the intro decks to be pretty fun to play and fairly balanced. A draft can introduce some imbalance so you might do that after playing the stright intro decks a few times.
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Tommy Occhipinti
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Eventually you'll want to draft decks "from scratch," and then you'll probably need more cards. But there is no reason those cards have to be flashy or expensive. Common/uncommon sets from recent releases are quite reasonably priced.
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Jason Walker
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I just saw this post the other day about making a cube from 2 Deckbuilder's Toolkits, which would run you about $40 total. I haven't tried it, but it sounds like it could be a very good first step. It's not going to be the standard cube experience (singleton cards, every one of them is overpowered), but it looks draftable.

http://forums.mtgsalvation.com/showthread.php?t=474651
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Bill Hartman
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Thanks for the replies!

To be honest, I'm not even really interested in drafting at all, honestly. As much as I used to love the process of building my own deck and tweaking it, that's where the problems start to arise in cost and balance with a "casual" game group. It broke up my California group, because most members took it way serious and gave up casual play for tournament, spending hundreds of dollars every few weeks. I'm not interested in that at all, or anything like it.

I just played a few rounds with my wife and daughter, using the Intro decks. They seemed surprisingly well balanced. I did get "mana screwed" in the first game, but that happens...lol.

I have all but the Green Intro deck, which I think I'll be picking up.

The only problem I have with drafting, is if too many people start wanting to play the same color. It can get quite expensive that way. And at least one of our group members is one of these "overly competitive" types, so I have a feeling that he wants to draft more so he can build the "uber" deck. But, if he's thinking of specific rares or cards he wants, there needs to be enough in the deck to counter that, or allow others to play the same way if they want.

And I'm trying to avoid the "more money, more problems" issue I had originally with Magic. I honestly LOVED the core gameplay, and still do (family and I had a BLAST playing with the Intro decks). It is fun building your own decks then, but there are just so many cards and options, it's hard to keep it "Fair and balanced" for 4-6 players without dumping a ton of cash, imo.
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Erik Twice
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You can buy common and uncommon sets for practically nothing. Seriously, people are drafting like mad nowadays and they don't have an use for so many cards so they are pretty damn cheap.

It's how I'm getting into it cool
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Tommy Occhipinti
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FunkyFlyChicken wrote:
The only problem I have with drafting, is if too many people start wanting to play the same color. It can get quite expensive that way...

And I'm trying to avoid the "more money, more problems" issue I had originally with Magic...


I don't understand. One of the big features of drafting is that it completely removes money from the equation. If you build a cube to draft from, you never have to spend a dime again. Is it possible you mean something else by drafting?
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Bill Hartman
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The cost and thought going into a cube in the first place seems to be fairly restrictive. For 6 players, I would have to provide enough cards for everyone to draft from each color.

Plus I don't really relish the thought of everyone spending 2 hours on game night drafting magic cards to build decks.

Seems to me that pre-constructed it easier, more balanced right off the bat, and quicker.
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Eric Jome
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FunkyFlyChicken wrote:
The only problem I have with drafting, is if too many people start wanting to play the same color. It can get quite expensive that way.


? ... I don't think you know what drafting is then. Especially cube drafting. It's not "expensive" to play the same color...

Here's what you do. You go to your local shop. You ask if they have bulk commons for sale, usually about US$0.05 or less. You select the following in each color;

20 creatures, 4 at cost 1, 6 at cost 2, 6 at cost 3, and 4 at cost 4+
12 non-creatures, 2 at cost 1, 4 at cost 2, 4 at cost 3, and 2 at cost 4+

32 * 5 colors = 160 cards * US$0.05 = US$8.00

Throw about 10 artifacts and 10 lands on the pile. Shuffle these up and draft them to make decks. Draft means deal each person 15 from this set, let them pick one and pass the rest;

3 sets of 15 each for 4 players = 180 cards

There you go. Living Card Game format Magic for 4 players; cost = 1 time for less than 10 bucks. Playable forever. Trade things in and out as you want to. Encourage friends to build their own cube if they want to.

Quote:
And I'm trying to avoid the "more money, more problems" issue I had originally with Magic.


There you go. No more money. Lots of replay. Very modest cost.
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Eric Jome
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FunkyFlyChicken wrote:
The cost and thought going into a cube in the first place seems to be fairly restrictive.


Do NOT look at cubes you find online. The ridiculously pointless, completely lacking in play skill cube format that you find online is packed with all the money cards ever printed. Never do that. It sucks. Real drafting doesn't require money - I outlined it above.

Quote:
Plus I don't really relish the thought of everyone spending 2 hours on game night drafting magic cards to build decks.


A draft - the part where you pick your cards - takes less than 20 minutes. You build a 40 card deck from a pool of 45 cards. The standard 40 card deck model is 24 cards with 16 lands; 16 creatures and 8 other cards in the 24.

Quote:
Seems to me that pre-constructed it easier, more balanced right off the bat, and quicker.


It is. But it grows stale faster. And people are often disappointed that they don't get to select and build their own decks.
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Bill Hartman
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Well, I should note as well that we have a player who has Analysis Paralysis in any game like this. Even during board games, he will agonize for 10-15 minutes over cards in his hand, during turn...lol. Drafting would be a 2 hour process, I'm sure, with this group. Not something I care to do. Building decks beforehand though, I'm sure certain cards are going to get purchased, not just basic commons/uncommons leftover.

I really don't want to be drafting much with this group, just a quick play to get the "old feeling" back. If they want to go and buy their own starters/boosters or cube from that, then so be it. But I just have a feeling it won't stop at that, it's either just going to be a "one time deal", since we alternate games in and out weekly (usually), or if it sticks, then it's gonna get more deckbuilding oriented, everyone supplying their own or picking from the stale leftovers.

I know for a fact, one guy isn't going to be happy with a cube of readily available commons/uncommons. That is where I think the issue will come in. And if I want to do a booster draft every time we play, I might as well just go to Friday Magic Night...lol. I guess it has to do more with the crowd, and how often I think we are going to play. I don't think Magic would get played enough to make the random selection of pre-constructed decks tiresome, because if we did play that much, I think at least one guy would want to really invest in it and get back to the point where I lost interest in the first place. Hope that makes sense.
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Michael B. Hansen
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I have started casual Magic groups like this:

The latest group was 6 people. We all decided that a Deckbuilders Toolkit 2013 each, would be a good starting point. You get a basic selection of cards and lands enough to get you started. Alternatively, everyone could buy 6 boosters and a selection of lands from your FLGS.

Once in awhile we all meet up with preconstructed decks and run a small round robin tournament. Everybody brings a single booster and when the tournament is over we open the boosters and put all the cards, from the boosters, out on a table.(sometimes only uncommon and rares/mythic(not foils))
The winner picks a card he wants, then the person who placed second does the same and so on until all the cards are distributed. This keeps the game very dynamic with new cards coming into the group once in awhile.
The person who placed last gets to make the rules for the next session.

The initial investment in cards can be a bit of a hurdle, but i have done it with 2 groups so far, and everybody thinks it is a lot of fun.

Edit: Some of the people in my groups could be called old farts to, but we have managed to attract players as young as 19
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Matt Shinners
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They're getting to be a bit expensive, but if you can find the Commander decks, they're pretty well balanced, fun, and have a lot of power behind them. There's five, but they generally go for $30-$50/each on eBay.

However, you can find some 'poached' ones for much less (under $20 each). These have a few cards removed each which are the valuable cards in the set. They don't unbalance it too much (it's Highlander, so outside of land there is 1 copy of each card), and they still lead to a great game.

I'm in the same position - I don't want to 'keep up', but I do enjoy the occasional game of Magic. This is the route I went, and I don't regret it.
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Bill Hartman
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Yeah, those Commander decks go for a hefty price now. I could only find one around 40 range, most wanted to sell the full sets for I think over 300 was what I saw. I didn't dig too much, as that's way out of the range I'm looking to spend, and I don't want to have a lot of trouble finding a specific deck to complete the set.

I did read something about there will probably be a new Commander set of 5 decks released sometime this year, so hopefully that happens and I can pick those up.

I went with 5 Intro Decks (2013), 12 Boosters (2013), 4 Boosters (Return to Ravnica). Got the Holiday Gift Box at Walmart for 20 bucks, with the Ravnica boosters in it and a nice storage box to hold everything. 10 of the 2013 boosters came with the intro decks, so that gave a good start.

I figure now with Gatecrash out, I'll probably pick up those 5 Intro Decks as well, and then that should give me quite a nice set for drafting/playing with the game group once in a while, and even suit me if I decide to build a deck or two for Friday Night Magic.



Thanks!
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Matt Shinners
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FunkyFlyChicken wrote:

I did read something about there will probably be a new Commander set of 5 decks released sometime this year, so hopefully that happens and I can pick those up.


That would be awesome. If they do release another set, pick them up right away. The last set was really well done, and I've had a ton of fun with them.
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Todd Pytel
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I realize I missed this thread by a few weeks, but I thought this was worth adding...

My local shop used to run a "Limited League" based on Intro Decks that would be perfect for this kind of small, closed group of friends looking for casual fun without open-ended investment. Each person in the league would pick one Intro Deck of their choice to start with. They played the first session with just that deck, plus whatever they wanted out of the single included booster. In each following session, each player got one more booster pack to add to their pool and could trade cards from their pool with one another (no outside trades or purchases allowed). Whoever had the worst standings from the previous week would get one additional booster pack the next week to help even the odds. Leagues ran for something like 8-10 weeks at a time, so the total cash outlay was only about $50 tops.

Sadly, the shop stopped running these leagues before I got a chance to participate and I've never had a sizable enough group to replicate the idea. But I think it would be a ton of fun, and would give people a sense of ownership that wouldn't be possible with a draft cube.
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Bill Hartman
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There is only one spot kind of near here that I would bother playing Magic at, and it's a 45 minute drive, and they only play Friday nights scheduled events mostly. The local shop isn't worth my time or effort to even walk into. The game group is kind of hit and miss lately anyhow. If it wasn't hard for me to get up to the Friday Night Magic group in State College (the 45 minute drive), I would gladly join that twice a month or so.

As for the guys, I bought all that stuff an now no one has mentioned it again. But I have a very nice starting collection for myself to play, and since the group is having issues, I may disband from it and eventually start looking into other options.
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David Voss
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cosine wrote:
There you go. Living Card Game format Magic for 4 players; cost = 1 time for less than 10 bucks. Playable forever. Trade things in and out as you want to. Encourage friends to build their own cube if they want to.


I'm late to the deck builder games that have come out in the past few years. I've played a few within the past 6 months and I have to admit I do enjoy them. I've been wondering if it was possible to put something together using Magic cards. As the OP, I haven't played in over a decade but I still do have my cards. So reading this is cool.
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Mike Walker
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i literally am in the same boat as you. i used to play in the mid- 90's and just returned a few months ago. they are currently selling a "deck builders tool kit", that has 185 cards + 100 lands all for $20. it literally set me up to begin playing at a remarkably affordable price. then, if you'd like to add some common and uncommons, they are cheap as has been mentioned. picking that tool kit (and several boosters over the last few weeks) has really scratched the itch. played with my buddy till 3 am this morning. good times!!

check it out:

http://www.wizards.com/magic/tcg/productarticle.aspx?x=mtg/t...

and enjoy!
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