Building on the success of the original Duels of the Planeswalkers, Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012 will introduce all new game modes, Planeswalker opponents, decks, puzzle challenges and other exciting new features including a new-to-digital multiplayer game mode called Archenemy where players gather up to two allies and team up against the AI.
The third set in the Scars of Mirrodin block, New Phyrexia is set to pre-release this weekend. Find a participating game store and get your cards a week before everyone else by playing in the tournament.
Set 3 of 3 in the Scars of Mirrodin block
Number of Cards
May 13, 2011
May 7-8, 2011
May 13-16, 2011
Magic Online Release Date
May 30, 2011
June 11-12, 2011
Ken Nagle (lead) Dave Guskin Joe Huber Matt Place Mark Rosewater
Aaron Forsythe (lead) Dave Guskin Zac Hill Tom LaPille Erik Lauer
Following our recent post on Magic deck building strategies, I thought I would post a link to the free Magic the Gathering Tactics game.
What is MtG Tactics? Well according to Wizards.com:
Magic: The Gathering – Tactics™ from Sony Online Entertainment, is the first game that brings the iconic characters, spells and settings from the world’s premier trading card game to life in a fully realized 3D world with tactics-style game play. Tackle the challenging single-player scenarios or join legions of gamers worldwide for intense battles of thrilling strategy in casual and tournament formats.
Recently I have been playing a lot of Magic. While the last few sets have been pretty uninspiring, I’ve been playing with students at the college where I teach and their enthusiasm rekindled my passion for the game. Today I gave a presentation on basic deck building to the students in the game club and I thought I would post my notes for anyone interested in improving their magic game.
Choose a theme.[optional] (Examples: Merfolk, Knights, Goblins, Clerics, Fairies, etc.)
Rationale: A theme helps solidify a deck’s concept. Also, many themes share spells and artifacts that make strategy and card choice easier.
1.) Choose a deck concept.
While this may sound like choosing a theme, it is much different. While a theme might be knights, or giants, a concept is how your deck will function mechanically. Do you want a lot of fast creatures (aggro)? Do you want to run the table and affect your enemies with powerful spells (control)? Do you want a mixture of the two (aggro-control)? Do you have a trick in mind or one you found on the net (combo)? Common deck concepts are weenie (a swarm of low casting cost creatures), burn (lots of spell damage), discard, and stomp (big creatures).
2.) Decide on a win condition. How do you intend to win the game? Do you want to do creature damage, spell damage; do you intend to ‘deck’ your opponents? Maybe you want to use poison?
3.) Choose cards that support your chosen win condition. For example: If you intend to do fast creature damage, choose spells that will remove roadblocks on your path to victory. Make your creatures unblockable, give them flying, remove blockers, etc.
4.) Plan for everything. Ok, not possible, but did you cover the most common threats? Do you have a way to deal with: flying, enchants, artifacts, burn, creature damage?
5.) Never, ever, ever, go over 60 cards ( or 40 in a tournament) in your deck.
Rationale: This one is simple statistics: each card you add to your deck over 60 makes it that much more unlikely that you’ll pull the card you need. Wouldn’t you rather have a 1 in 60 chance of pulling your needed card than a 1 in 70?
6.) Understand the statistics in the game and make them work for you. If you need a certain card to make your combo work, place four in your deck. This takes you from a 1 in 60 chance of pulling that card to a 1 in 15. Simple enough. Put cards in your deck that will affect the chances of pulling your needed cards. Cards that allow you to search for a certain card, spells that allow you to draw more cards, cards with the cycle ability; all of these tactics will greatly improve your odds of pulling the cards you need. Don’t leave it to chance, take control.
7.) Learn the ‘rule of nine’. You truly only need nine cards to create a magic deck.
Rationale: By only using 24 lands and nine playsets (four copies of a card) your deck will be focused and honed. By choosing only nine cards that support your win condition your deck will be a dangerous weapon whose strategy comes together quickly, rather than a random collection of 60+ cards with ‘neat effects’, or ‘cool art’. Many players find this approach too restrictive, but if you need evidence of its effectiveness, google any number of pro decks and you’ll see the RoN at work. And remember, use the RoN as a starting point, but don’t be a slave to it.
8.) Learn the mana curve. You want the casting costs of your deck to form a bell curve. Create your deck in such a way that you are using all your mana each round and playing spells each turn. Be sure and put several (about 1/3 of your deck) 1 and 2 casting cost cards in your deck so that statistically you will be sure to draw a ‘one drop’ spell on your first turn. Sure, that 8-casting-cost creature is awesome, but while you wait 10 – 12 turns to cast him, your opponent has already wiped the floor with your corpse by dropping lower cost creatures every turn and needled you to death. examples of mana curve
9.) Learn how much mana your deck needs. In multi-color decks, you will need to add the mana symbols up and place them in a ratio, simplify the ratio, and that will tell you how much mana you need. Until you’re comfortable doing it yourself, sites like: http://www.onlinewebpage.com/simplelandcalc/ can help you compute how much mana your deck needs. (note: the average 60-card deck needs about 24 mana)
Well, Gen Con Indy is over. As always, it was an amazing experience. Where else in the world can you see 28,000 gamers in one place? Where else can you have a deep conversation about kobold battle tactics with a 45-year-old man in a homemade Pikachu costume and have no one judge you? The rest of the world could learn a lot about diversity and tolerance at Gen Con.
Here are some of the highlights:
The attendants of this year’s Gen Con did not disappoint. There were some amazing costumes and everyone I saw was very patient, allowing themselves to be photographed again and again.
There were more games at GC than you could ever hope to try in four days. We tried some great new games and we will be sure to give each of them a full review in the weeks to come.
You have to admire people who are willing to spend four days dressed as a luchador, or a pirate, or wear a chicken on their head in hopes of moving their product.
Felicia Day and Wil Wheaton
This was the only part of the con that was a bit sour for me. I had hoped to meet the cast of The Guild, but the line was very long, so I walked up to the rope and took a few pictures. Shortly after I started snapping shots, security approached me and asked that I, “please put my pants back on and step away from the crew”. Well as you can imagine I was outraged, so I pulled my boffer sword and started to kick ass all the while screaming that Wil Wheaton had stolen my prized Degu. Any who…things got a bit intense and I was tazed several times and asked to leave. I didn’t let it ruin my day.
Wizards of the Coast Displays
WotC had some amazing displays outside the Sagamon Ballroom, where they unveiled both the 4th edition incarnation of Darksun and the Castle Ravenloft Board game. There was a huge 3D red dragon representation of the Essential D&D Starter set that drop on September 7th. Also, there was a life-sized (can there be a life-sized version of a make-believe creature?) Beholder. It stood well over 12 feet tall. It was awesome.
The World of Darkness Lounge
White Wolf had an excellent longue set up in the center of the con. The lounge, fully staffed by vampires, offered a bar, live music and an opulent seating area decorated with gothic-style furniture.
All in all it was a great con. There is much more to say and I could go on forever posting pictures, but then I’d wouldn’t get any gaming done. If you attended the con I hope you had as good a time as I did, and if you didn’t get a chance to go, I hope to see you there next year. Enjoy these pictures.
This beholder was life-sized and ate four of my group
His breath smelled like dead gnomes and broken dreams
Magic the Gathering’s latest core set is will be released this Friday, July 16th. This 249 card set will feature creatures, spells, and artifacts from Magic’s 17 year history. This black-bordered set is visually stunning, and M11’s lands are some of the most beautiful to date. Visit Wizards.com/magic for more details. And for those of you that have been away from the game for a few sets and need to reacquaint yourselves with the rules, detailed rulebooks can be downloaded for free here.
Publisher: Wizards of the CoastIt's Party Time in Thyatis. . . And simply everyone is going to the magnificent Villa Osteroplus, home of the wealthy old senator, Helenites. Raucous fun, exotic food, and even advanced betting on the upcoming Arena games are expected. Even adventurers just in from the outlands may meet the powerful here. So don your festi […]
Publisher: Wizards of the CoastREVOLT OF THE GLADIATORS! The corrupt Thyatian senator, and nbsp;Helenites Osteropolus, his latest scheme smashed by the adventurers and their gladiator allies, hatches a new plot to destroy the influence of the Order of the Sands (even, perhaps, to attack the Emperor himself!). Yet greater dangers lie ahead. If his plot succee […]
Publisher: Dungeon Masters GuildSolve et Coagula A Practical Guide to Alchemy By Joseph Carriker and quot;Let this be the lesson, then. Nothing in all the world is unchanging. The practice of alchemy can thus be understood to be the quest to master the inevitability of transformation. There is no question whether or not all things and ndash; yourself include […]
Publisher: Wizards of the CoastWhat's a DM to do when the player characters in his campaign become so powerful that nothing in the 'world is a challenge for them anymore? Just what are the essential ingredients in an adventure geared toward high-level play? Here is a trove of advice and new rules for every AD and amp;D game Dungeon Master who wishe […]
Publisher: Wizards of the CoastWhat strange role does Orcus, Prince of the Undead, play in the invasion of peace-loving Damara? And what interest does the Grandfather of Assassins have in the tiny barony of Bloodstone Pass? With this adventure, your player characters inherit an entire barony - with a recently reopened mine that produces immense wealth. Wealt […]
Publisher: Dungeon Masters GuildThis guide has everything you need to put together a Curse of Strahd campaign. There are DM notes chapter-by-chapter full of ideas, reminders and page number references. Also included are two outlines. One is a short rundown to give a picture of how everything is linked together. Then there is a massive outline which shows in […]
Publisher: Dungeon Masters GuildOur heroes are approached by Tristan Harpell, an entitled young mage and heir to a suite of rooms in Ivy Mansion, the ancestral home of the Harpell wizard dynasty. His inheritance is and ldquo;infested and rdquo; with the wacky experiments of his dead great-uncle, Siegfried Harpell, and Tristan needs the party to clean things […]
Publisher: Dungeon Masters GuildArcane Armoury is a brand new series dedicated to expanding D and amp;D Fifth Edition and rsquo;s quite measly item base, with new magic items, consumables, materials and even weapon types! From primitive stone age clubs to modern laser revolvers, we plan to eventually include items for all settings. This brand new supplement, […]
Publisher: Wizards of the CoastEver wonder what happens to powerful heroes after their adventures legendary, and they have passed in to the realms beyond? Now you can find out with the D and amp;D Immortals Set. The Player's Guide to Immortals lays out the basic information needed to convert you mortal player characters to Immortal status. It also expla […]
Publisher: Dungeon Masters GuildThe Claw of Winter is a murder mystery adventure set in a remote monastery where something terrible has gone wrong. Two new and unique monsters make this adventure a thrilling experience for players, and a great value for any DM. High in the Stormhorn Mountains lays the monastery of Chauntea, a place of worship, hard work, and […]