Anyone here who has played (and still plays) Magic: The Gathering?

Okay, it’s official. The only few M:TG threads (or perhaps just one thread) I’ve seen here is/are waaay too old. The Catholic Gamers group doesn’t seem to be getting a lot of attention either so I felt I might as well start a thread.

So… anyone here who’s played this age-old trading card game? I know I’m not the only person I’ve seen who plays it so I hope you guys drop by here. :o

Personally, as much as I like playing YGO, I like M:TG too.What’s your favorite color(s)? Do you have a particular playing style? Are you a Johnny, Timmy, or a Spike?

Feel free to talk about that stuff here! :smiley:


Oh and yeah, I also started this thread in the hopes of perhaps finding another source of card playing tips. :stuck_out_tongue:


Why I remember when it was first unveiled. It was only, what, only 20 years ago or so.


I had neighbors who wanted me to play with the, but I never did. Sorry. :blush:

The last time I played Magic was when the Sixth Edition was brand new, and the cycle after Urza’s Saga had just started coming out (was it Mercadian Masques with the Rashidun Port card?) and the Sligh and Necro and Counterspell decks were considered good (along with one that had a bunch of small creatures that joined together, but I forget the name, something like “Shards” or “Sylphs”) and the Rebel deck was the new thing, but I was a Duellists’ Convocation International level 2 certified judge of the game, and understood the mechanics well. I can’t imagine they’ve changed much since then - is the “Power Nine” (Black Lotus, Five Moxen, Ancestral Recall, Time Warp, Library of Alexandria) still as great as it was? Do people still spend $400 for a single Black Lotus?

I only played in the open-pack tournaments, I forget the exact name, where a pack of cards was opened and people selected a card, then passed the pack, so on and so forth, several times, until everyone had a deck - playing it with pre-made decks was too expensive and not very fun, as there are only so many different ways Necro v Sligh or Sligh v Stompy could turn out.

I generally played Black and White (Necro and Rebel) if I had a chance, but I didn’t often get it in the random-draw format we played, and the multi-colored Slyph deck, or whatever it was called. I preferred the decks with complex strategies, such as Necro and Counterspell, to “throw down a land and a creature with haste and hope you do it fast enough” decks like Rebel, Sligh, and Stompy (although White could be played at a decent level with the card that kept you from dropping below 1 health and Disenchants). The most fun stompy-style deck was the colorless artifacts one that was based on the Manticore card.

In general, I’ve read or played or participated in just about every fantasy/medieval/Renaissance thing possible.

Played up until a few years ago, my friends fell out of it. It still holds a place in my heart, though… great fun.

Favorite color is blue. (What else would it be? LOL. Now before you get all mad, I like the color for it’s non-traditional aspects… other than milling, which I detest. Bounce, time control and all that.)

I play(ed) all sorts of styles. I wouldn’t say I’m Johnny, Timmy or Spike. Awhile back they used 3 new names, I can’t remember what they were but I really fit in with one of them. It was the one who plays for the “flavor.”

Yeah I get competitive at times, love big, creative combos at times as well… but mostly “flavor”!

What is “Johnny, Timmy, and Spike”? Those terms weren’t around when I played. I’m assuming they’re used the same way “roleplayer” or “twink” or “powerleveler” are in Everquest. The lingo has changed. When you say blue is for “milling”, I assume you mean for stalling or decking the opponent out? That was my favorite part of Counterspell. Running Necro against Counterspell was one of the most interesting matches, because Necro usually decked itself out in under eight or nine draw phases even under normal conditions, but usually won by five or six in. Remember when there was that Magic strategy site called The Dojo online? I did one of the “deck garages” on it.

I haven’t played since '96 or so. I had a black and red deck, I think.

My stepson just brought his own cards from his mother’s and is getting his dad and my son back into playing.

Hey, he’s not on the computer as much!!! :slight_smile:

Well I don’t know when that started but my friends have already started referring to those (which are player archetypes by the way :)). Paraphrasing the book, Trading Card Games for Dummies

Johnny: Creative player. Likes trying unorthodox combos. Prefers experimenting to win-ratio

Spike: All about strategy and numbers. Art, flavor, and style don’t mean anything to this guy as much as winning. This usually describes the more serious tournament players.

Timmy: Likes to win but better yet, winning in style! Flashy combos and big damage are the defining trait of a Timmy.

That’s pretty much milling in a nutshell: dumping your opponent’s deck into discard. The recent block (Innistrad) actually has an Enchantment card that ‘curses’ your target player to throw the top two cards on their deck every upkeep.

I’m still relatively new to actually playing the game myself. A year before, someone actually sold me this mono-black deck (focusing on destroy, discard, and drain). Right now, I’m trying to turn it into a Blue-Black deck featuring zombies (the horror theme of Innistrad definitely pushed me in this direction ngeheheheh…) with milling as a sort of sub-strategy.

There’s also this new zombie creature called the Lich Lord of Unx (from back when they released the Alara block) which lets you generate zombie tokens and finally mills (and damages) your opponent for every zombie you have out on your field. I’m not familiar with old playing styles much but these days, zombies have become increasingly about token generation.

There this new format out too called EDH that most (if not all) of my friends have been playing. Just tonight I finished a deck suited for it (and I’m hoping it works out well).

They didn’t even have zombies when I played, not with that mechanic at least. Tokens were all green Stompy.

Also, when you’re first starting to play, stick with established decks and single-color. Dual and multicolor decks are much harder to balance and just as much harder to play from, even with dual-color lands (which last were printed in Unlimited when I played). At an advanced level, I could build a Stompy deck of 60 cards with 15 in the sideboard with only 9 lands in the 60 cards - not something I’d recommend for the beginner, until you learn good mana management skills (massive mana generation is bad, too, because the mana burn will kill you very quickly, especially with things like Dark Ritual that produced lots of mana, and were, along with Demonic Tutor and Necropotence, one of the cornerstones of the Necro deck).

I had played it when it first came out. I have so many cards that are now deemed “illegal” by the rules.

There were only half a dozen cards that were illegal when I played, although a good deal were “restricted” to one a deck instead of four.

Not necessarily. That depends on what format you’re playing. If you’re playing Standard, then there are actually no cards on the ban list as of now. :smiley:

I agree. I’ve already played my mono-black extensively enough though. Besides, with my friends insisting on EDH all the time, it kinda forces you that way because a certain feature requires you to have a dual or multi-colored creature (a Legendary no less and I haven’t found a lot of mono-colored legendaries outside of the Kamigawa block).

There are also a lot of dual-colored (and even tri-colored) lands out now (ever since Alara and Ravnica). Although, in EDH, you’re only allowed one copy of a card outside of Basic Lands so that doesn’t really help much. XD

Er… I don’t know how you might take this but… the mana burn rule is obsolete now. :o

You know, this kinda puts into mind how this game seems to have come a long way since then. A few days back I was just surfing the M:TG website for product info on some of the older blocks and man, I still can’t stop scratching my head on how the recent blocks are of an entirely different design and feel compared to the old ones.

It also made me recall the difference between this trailer from 1995 and one of the new ones that came out recently. :D:p

Wait, wait… they have zombies now?!?!?!?!


Yesh indeed. >:3 And with Innistrad, owning your own ravenous horde of mindless ghouls is just one deck-build away. XD

If that’s not enough, you can also create another type of mighty zombie ala the Frankenstein method. >8D Best of all, they’re Blue creatures!

Quoting a bit of one of my new favorite flavor texts: “A new era in unlife begins here and now. Oglor, raise the lightning vane!”


For technical details. The new blue zombies are called skaabs. Their gameplay mechanic involves exiling an appropriate amount of creature cards as additional costs. You may think that sucks but hey, when cleaning your graveyard of three dead creatures is all it’ll take to cast a 5/6 flier for 3 mana, I’d say it’s more than worth it. :cool:

I thought the mechanics of the game would have been the same. Without mana burn, Necropotence would have been next to unbeatable. As would the Channelling deck - first or second-turn kills, but one usually killed oneself with mana burn first. I guess you have to renew your Duellists’ judging certification every year for a reason.

Tri-colored lands must have a bad drawback, such as coming in to play already tapped out. With mana burn, tri-colored lands would have been next to useless anyways. In any case, back when I played, one could have four of any land besides basic in the deck, so playing a blue-white deck one could have four of the blue-white lands, etc.: multicolor is even harder to play without large amounts (usually 8, or half the lands in the deck) of dual-color lands. I have no idea what the newer sets are you’re talking about - do you have a list of cards from the sets that are available in the format you play, including the text of every card (i.e. mana cost, strength/health, abilities, etc.)?

Exiling is removing from the game, right? They did away with exiling back in Weatherlight or before when I had played - it went the way of ante cards and gambling cards. In any case, removing from the game was a cornerstone of Black (“total destruction” and “death” themes), not Blue (which was always “good wizard”, “defensive”, “counterspell” and “intelligence” * themes). For that matter, token generation was always a Green (“jungle”, “lots of creatures”, “control over life”, “environmental” themes), and zombies would have been a Black/Green thing, never in Blue.*

I currently run all variations of Wolf Run Ramp :smiley:

When did they start coming up with all this cutesy hipster naming **** for Magic? “Spike and Lee and Johnny” and “Wolf Run Ramp”? I had to Google that to find out it was a Magic deck!

Back when I played - the good old days - we called a named a deck based on the central card, or the strategy, i.e. Necro, Rebel, Counterspell, Sligh, Shards, Sligh, Burn, Channelling, Red Haste, Dragons etc. (because every player of Magic knows that power over a thing lay in speaking its true name). I guess I do detect a little bit of this rising hipster cutesism that seems to be borrowed from and so prevalent in Japanimation with the title of “Stompy”, which would have been better phrased as “Steamroller”.

I guess there’s a massive cross-fertilization in cultures between otakus and fantasy fans - I find myself the odd man out, often looked at askance, for loving fantasy, sci-fi, and everything Roman, medieval, and Renaissance, unable to stand Japanimation in any form. Oh, and internet “humor”. There’s nothing less funny. I’d rather watch ten straight hours of Death Note than be subjected to one joke, meme, or picture that “the Internet” (which seems to be analogous to 4Chan users, i.e. otakus) finds to be “funny”!

As the pirate says, “Argh!”

Actually, “Wolf Run Ramp” is pretty straightforward.

Wolf Run = One of the central cards of the deck is a land card called “Kessig Wolf Run” which can pump a creatures power depending on how much mana you have

Ramp = this means that the deck favors accelerating lands into play in the early turns and then dropping game-ending bombs in the mid/late parts of the game. This archetype may have not been viable in your time because of strong counterspells way back then(Wizards has been scaling back on counterspell power A LOT such that these strategies are now viable).

Now if your talking about “Esper Solar Flare”, then that is another story :wink:

Only the rarest games used to progress past ten turns (each), and that was generally when counterspells were countered with counterspells. In some of the more outrageous games, the stack would have eight or nine instants on it at the highest point of the game (those weren’t the most outrageous - the largest I ever had the pleasure of judging had 15 instants, ten of which were various counterspells), and a lot of the judging involved sorting out the resolution of the stack (which, with the abilities of some of the older cards, wasn’t as easy as “last cast, first resolved, first cast, last resolved”, which I’m assuming still works in the same way, or counterspells couldn’t work even theoretically). A “really big card” cost one and three (3X) to play. Necro was an exception, that it was BBB, but you could get BBB for one using a Dark Ritual, so it could be played early.

The main or strongest counterspell card was “Force of Will” (which was something like 3UU but it could be played by sacrificing health, etc.) - if they don’t have FoW anymore, what’s the closest equivalent/what’s the strongest counterspell today? If Blue lost its emphasis on Counterspell, “erudition” (i.e. finding cards), and stalling (the “academic wizard” archetype), it lost its entire flavor and purpose - no wonder it’s now doing exiling, destruction, and zombies, traditional Black strongholds.

Well for one thing, they upped the standard staple counterspell casting cost to 1UU(from UU). Also, the only new counterspell that is “free”(in the sense that you don’t need mana, just like FoW) is Mental Misstep…but it can only counter 1 casting cost spells.

We do have Mana Leak and Dissipate now in Type 2/Standard. They are good and are used extensively in blue decks…but their power hardly compares to FoW.

Blue’s role now is divided into counters, card draw, bounce, tapping and stealing permanents. “Stasis” type strategies are deliberately designed out by Wizards since most (casual) players don’t find them fun. Same thing happened with draw-go and land destruction strategies.

As an aside, are you familiar with the relatively new Planewalker type?

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