Hey Magic Geeks,
This week, Stew shares his thoughts on what new players need when starting to play at a Local Comic Shop (LCS). Wierd combos, tales of humiliation, and more await!
Szpirs: Stewwwwwwwwwwwww! You wanna talk about Magic?
Szpirs: So, let’s say you’ve found a good store and go in to play in a tournament for the first time…what’s step one? Do’s and don’ts?
Stew: For me, the absolute key to this is not to get discouraged when you lose. I say “when” because, realistically, you have probably been playing with your friends, siblings, or parents and they are going to try to do their best but others are going to be much stronger at this game.
Szpirs: For sure. I remember the first time I played at my LCS in high school. I’d been playing with my friends every lunch and break. I thought I was pretty good; I was winning from time to time and I thought if I could beat a table of three to four players, I should be able to beat just one.
Stew: LOL. Nope.
Szpirs: Seriously. I got CRUSHED. They were pulling out cards I’d never seen and using combos I’d never heard of.
Stew: That’s just it. You’ve got to be open to that experience. You will find interactions between cards and abilities you would never think to put together yourself.
Szpirs: Like what?
Stew: Okay, so you want some examples of weird card interactions…. Lets look at Aetherflux Reservoir and Tamanoa. 51 life and you win the game! In the EDH format (aka Commander… I will always call it EDH…) and Vintage or Legacy, you get to see the sillier side of the cards; like honestly broken mechanics between cards.
Another example: If you have four artifacts in your hand, Metalworker and Staff of Domination is an infinite loop. You can use the Staff to add an infinite amount of mana, draw an infinite number of cards, and gain infinite life. If you remembered to include a win condition in your deck, that’s the game.
…And there’s good ol’ Worldgorger Dragon and Animate Dead. When the dragon enters play, it removes everything else…including the enchantment that brought it out of the graveyard! It immediately returns to the graveyard…and in so doing, returns everything it just exiled. The weird thing is that when your basic lands come back into play, they’re untapped…so you can tap them for more mana THEN use the returned Animate Dead to re-raise the dragon…and repeat the cycle until you have enough mana to kill your opponent with direct damage or life drain cards.
Szpirs: What should you have with you? How many decks/trades/etc?
Stewie: I tend to bring 2 decks dice bag with at least four twenty-sided dice (d20’s), three d10’s and a few glass beads, and a small trade binder.
Szpirs: You don’t want to bring your whole collection?
Stewie: No.You want to bring stuff you don’t need but are high value to others to make acceptable trades. Don’t bring a book and say “this book isn’t for trading”. That’s just showing off and annoying.
Szpirs: So you’ve gone a few times, got your teeth kicked in pretty good…how do you prep for next week?
Stewie: The hardest thing to do is to ask for help. 90% of the time you’re sitting in a room with people who started off like you. As long as you’re not an ass about it, the regular group will help. Three weeks ago, I rebuilt one player’s whole deck just to give him some examples. He’d played there maybe six times and always lost. He was a nice enough person, so I helped.
Also, read. Reading is the best thing to do for this game. Understanding combo or learning a new ability or even finding good synergy takes time effort and in the end it’s rewarding.
We don’t say rtfc for nothing…Read the F%$king Cards.
And finally, try new things! Don’t get into one type of play because it will get boring for you and your opponents. Challenge yourself.
Szpirs: Nice….we should crack some packs and record it…the world needs your knowledge, Stew!
Stew: Sure. That would be fun.
Szpirs: Also, Wizards of the Coast released new Commander pre-constructed decks last weeks. Any thoughts?
Stew: Yeah. If you’re starting out with Commander, they’re okay but they aren’t great.
They brought back cascade, which I love. Still bad.
Szpirs: Cool…maybe we can do a full on review of them next week
Well, what do you think, Magic Geeks? What do new players need on day one? Leave a comments! – Szpirs