Allow me to introduce myself. None of you know me, and probably only one or two of you have ever met me. My name is Nick, I'm one of the few Legend of the Five Rings players atScifi Genre in Durham. I play board games, D&D, GURPS, Videogames, and I’m embarrassed to say it but I’ve even been known to LARP once in a while. There is a little known secret that I’m going to share with you all: I played magic as a wee-one from Beta through Fourth edition, stuck around for Ice Age and the last booster pack I ever purchased was from Alliances.
Yes, I’m going to start magic again.
The one question that I'm sure you could all answer is: Why did I quit playing Magic in the first place?
Nobody to play with
Time: Between all of my other hobbies, school, sports, jobs, wife, house, and who knows what else? There wasn’t time for Magic.
Money: Playing Magic is super expensive especially if you don’t want to lose every game.
People: Friends move away, and without item #1 (or #2 ;) it is hard to find more.
Fifth Edition comes out and I’m starting High School.
The Urza Cycle begins and I’m just exploring my first forays into Warhammer 40k
Seventh Edition comes out and I’m getting ready to go to college.
Odyssey cycle debuts shortly after 9/11 and I’m busy having a grand old time in my first year of college.
Ninth Edition heralds college graduation.
Dissention arrives a month before I move to North Carolina.
Shadowmoor is released. I start reading the Magic forums on the Scifi Genre website out of boredom, and I start reading this blog out of curiosity. I read the article about rare-drafting online … ONLINE ??? What is this business???Hmm, you can play magic online? It is free? Ok , I think I’ll try downloading it. Shoot, there is a $10 account activation. Oh well its only $10 and what is this? I get $10 worth of cards, fine.
Ah the slippery slope. I’m sure many of you know it well.
So lets see how Magic Online gets me around the classic three problems.
Time & People
I can login anytime I have 20 minutes and play a game. No need to drive to a gaming store or set aside a weeknight for an organized league. It seems like there are oh 2000 people logged on at any given time, so I can play anytime anywhere I have my laptop and aninternet connection.
I’m going to share my experiences with Magic Online minimizing my expenses while building a reasonably competitive deck. Now I know this deck is not tournament worthy, but it is good enough to play in the casual lounge. I’ve played about 60 games with this deck so far and I’ve won two thirds of them if not more.
I found out about these little gems called theme decks. Supposedly these are decks pre-built to be reasonably useful and playable right out of the box. Doing some research, I know that Shadowmoor just got released so maybe I should find a deck in there. From what I remember red is the most straightforward, but the Overkill deck red/green sounded kind of boring so I went with the Army of Entropy deck. It sounded easy to play, but with enough complexity to make it interesting.
What’s this? A theme deck costs $12.99, but I only have $9.99 from my initial magic buy in! You know what… I’m going to use what I learned from that rare-drafting blog post and look at the online trading bots. Oh what is this? I get to pick 64 commons/uncommons for 1 ticket? A ticket is a dollar? That’s less than 2 cents a card.
Unfortunately there aren’t a lot of Shadowmoor C/U cards since the online release was just a little while ago. What the heck, lets go with the Boggart Feast theme deck from Lorwyn instead.
So yes, I cheaped out I bought the theme deck (minus the rares) from a collection of automated trading bots and I got playsets of every single card for 2 tickets.
Now I have 4 of each card instead of a smattering of 2s and 3s. Time to cut out the cards that aren’t so good.
Boggart Loggers: Goodbye! I don’t want to pay 3 mana for a 2/1 especially if the special ability won’t be any good against non-green decks. Even against green decks its not so great.
Exiled Boggart: Meh… I don’t like losing cards unless it’s a good reason. I can do better for 2 mana.
Lowland Oaf: NOT A GOBLIN. I thought Facevaulter + Lowland oaf combo could create a flying 11/11 to win the game, but I’d like something better for 4.
Mudbutton Torchrunner: Gone!
Fire Belly Changeling: Yeah I guess its ok for a two drop but I could get a squeaking pie sneak which was 2/2 and had fear for the same cost.
Adder Staff Boggard: Seeya later… I don’t like a card to be meh half the time and downright useless the other half.
Did you just notice what I noticed? I just tossed out almost all the red cards in the deck. You know what? This makes things a lot easier. I’ve got 7 tickets left… lets make the best Mono-Blackboggart deck that I can. I have lovingly and un-originally named my deck “MonoBog.”
I went to The Gatherer and told it to search for anything standard format that had the word “Goblin” in it. I found some interesting things that I quickly added to my deck for 2-5 pennies each.
Festering Goblin: This is the perfect card to sacrifice to a Facevaulter/Fodder Launcher and pick off a useful 1 toughness creature.
Frogtosser Banneret: Here is a two-drop I can feel good about playing. Cost reduction and haste gimmie gimmie gimmie.
Combine these with some of the other core cards of the deck:
Goblin Birth Rite
You can get a sense of where I’m going here. Swarm my opponent and FodderLaunch / Facevault+Spiderwig / Flitter my way to victory.
Four tickets down, five are left.
Next, I look at the rares that were supposed to be in the theme deck:
Boggart Mob – Excellent, 5/5 that makes even more gobbos to sacrifice considering I have some fear and hopefully more guys than my opponent can block.
Mad Auntie – Critical to any gobbo swarm deck.
Knucklebone Witch – One black mana for a guy that will end up being like 5/5 or 6/6 VERY quickly, I’ll take three!
Oh yes, and in my research I came across Rite of Consumption. I had dreams of pumping my Facevaulter to 7/7 or 9/9 using the Spiderwig to give him fear and then Rite of Consume him to hopefully win the game.
I had to break down and go to the 2 cards per 1 ticket Superbot and there we go… $10 for the following deck. I win about two-thirds of my games and they are all pretty fun (except once when I gotthoughtsiezed twice on the second turn and was like wtf casual room?)
3x Boggart Mob
4x Festering Goblin
2x Frogtosser Banneret
3x Knucklebone Witch
2x Mad Auntie
4x Marsh Flitter
3x Spiderwig Boggart
2x Squeaking Pie Sneak
4x Boggart Birth Rite
4x Fodder Launch
2x Rite of Consumption