Magic Monday: an MTG Update

I think I am writing this more for my son than anyone else. He is getting to an age where Facebook, the internet, and social media in general is going to become a part of his life. Hopefully not a huge part but there is no question it will be a part and I want to record our journey in Magic: The Gathering. Right now it is just a hobby…a fun way to spend a few days a week at our local game store meeting new people and developing new relationships. However, since he is already an avid user of You Tube he has ideas. This week he told me that his goal in MTG is to win a Pro Tour event.

IF that is what he wants to do not only will I support him but I want to chronicle how he gets there. From where we are right now to that goal is likely a journey spread over at least a few years. He has only been playing for two months and while he has come a long way in those months I know that he has a long way to go.

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For me the goals are a little different. I am attracted to MTG as a hobby for the purposes of having some society with like-minded folks. I am not as concerned with the pro tour…as I am having decks that are strong enough to contend at my LGS in whatever events they happen to be running on a given day. That means having a competitive deck for modern, standard, and commander.

So where do we stand…

Yesterday hanging out at our LGS we got a game with a couple of guys we have seen around but have yet to meet or play with. The only thing I knew about them is they were big modern players and have a lot of great cards. My boy asked them for a game and even though I knew we had little chance to win I wanted to sort of see where we stood.

Of course we got destroyed but I did learn a few things. Being gone from the game for over 20 years every chance I get to see cards and how they work together helps. This weekend though I found a flaw in how I am constructing my decks. I have always built decks from the bottom up. Meaning I look at my pool of cards find the commons and un-commons I like and that have some synergy then add rares and what not to it to make a playable deck.

I do not see that strategy working if I want to build a competitive modern deck. The next deck I build will be a top down construction where I find a few cards, maybe some sort of huge combo that work very well together and then fill out my deck with things that synergize with that or help me get to that. That is valuable info to have and even though the guy I was playing felt bad about doing an infinite combo against me…knowing not only did I not see it coming but could do little to stop him…I thank him for doing it and showing me my flawed approach to modern. It’s important to learn those things before I sink a ton of money and effort into something that is very likely doomed to fail.

The boy now has a sorcery heavy deck. His best deck right now is a red burn deck and that is simple in its execution. Now he has to learn a different way to play the game that is more strategy heavy. It’s a steep learning curve but I saw a flash of understanding as he played yesterday. It’s just a skill he is going to need and like any other skill it requires practice.

As it stands right now we both have enough playable decks to keep the game fresh whether we are playing at our kitchen table or at our LGS. We both have pre-con commander decks we are learning, and the curve in that format is very steep. The goal for this week is to build out two playable paper pauper decks and start play testing those. As far as competitive MTG goes I think that is the best place for us to start. With Amonkhet coming out the plan is to make an investment there and over the balance of 2017 build up some standard decks.

Other than all that the real goal is just to have fun and learn the game together.

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