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.