Wednesday, February 2, 2011

MTGO - Recent Play 1: History, Getting Started, Drafting,

I mentioned earlier this week that I had started playing Magic: The Gathering again. Yay! Maybe you’re not really into the whole card game thing, but as a side hobby from Roleplaying, I intensely enjoy it, especially the tournament side of things.


So, this weekend, from my sick bed, I played a lot more Magic than I though I had. I will say a few things for the game that I really, really loved and tell you today how I am faring in this little online crack den of mythics, rares, foils, and folly.

OK. I guess I might have understated just how much I really was into Magic a long time ago. I might not have been the best player around and I certainly didn’t know as much as some of the guys, but I was a collector. I always have been. I dug that aspect of the game, so I opened packs… a lot of them. I opened several boxes of packs and God did I get a kick out of it.

I played a lot of tournaments, like I mentioned before, but I was young, and not very good or strategically minded. I never really liked Legacy format because I didn’t have all the really old cards to back myself up, or the knowledge of those cards to keep up with my opponents. I loved building pauper standard decks though. That was a huge joy. I had tons of commons only decks which fared pretty well and I will say that I had a few fairly competitive decks for normal standard right around the Kamigawa era of the game.

This time around, things are a lot different. I pick up a few packs now and then, but that has primarily come to a halt. The reason: I will never open a pack of MTG outside of draft ever again. There is just no point. This weekend, in order to get my start back in the game, I think I played in about 10-12 different MTG draft tournaments. For those of you who might not be familiar with the format (since this is primarily an RPG blog, not an MTG one) you bring 3 packs and a couple bucks and then proceed to open one pack at a time, picking one card, then passing the remainder of the cards around the table until all cards in a single pack have been distributed among the players; then you do that again for the other two packs. Once all the cards are drafted, you get about 10 minutes to build a small MTG Deck and then the tournament begins. Good times.

Traditionally, I don’t like playing anything other than Swiss Style tournaments. I have never been great at the Meta Game and I am not super time-spendy on MTG, so the chance of getting a pack or two by winning one or two of the 3 matches you play in a Swiss tournaments is really nice (in Swiss style, you don’t get elminated after a loss, instead, you get points based on wins and losses and after each match, you get paired up with someone who has roughly the same number of points as you do – every match you win, you get a booster pack as a prize).

Of the 10ish matches I played this weekend, I think I probably walked away with about 14 packs in winnings. I won at least one match in every single draft and in some cases I won two (YAY!) That was suprising, to say the least, but the more suprising thing was the number of rare cards that I walked away with. I think by the end of the weekend, I had twice the number of rare cards as I had booster packs; so I bought about 16 packs, drafted a total of 30 packs and pulled about 50-60 rare cards, including about 4-5 Mythic rares, which are worth some stone cold hard cash!

I loved the on-demand aspect of being able to play MTG online. It was very nice not having to wait 2 weeks for the next draft tourney come around. I was able to draft like 4 times in one day. That was some serious draft action. Not only did I build up a great starting collection of standard tournament playable cards, but through my drafting and talking with my opponents, I was already able to join a clan. Jeez. Only 4 days into the game and someone already recruited me.

If anybody is interested, my current Standard play decks are Mono Black Infect, Black/Green Infect and Black/Blue Proliferating Infect. I run those three pretty well with all the cards I picked up through drafting (which is much less random than simply opening packs or playing in sealed since effectively you get to pick out what commons and uncommons you want to add to your collection) and through trading away expensive cards which were relatively useless to me. I am currently building a deck full of Artifacts and experimenting with the different colors that I want to pair with it.

This weekend it looks like I’ll be playing a draft of besieged in person with some other MTG gamers here in Japan. Not sure If I will make it for sure or not, since some family issues are becoming rather drastic, but with any luck, I’ll make it down to draft some more. Wish me luck.

Remember, if you want to friend me, or challenge me, look me up on MTGO at my SN - Shinobicow776 ; 1 shy of a pretty damn lucky ninja cow. 

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