Magic: The Gathering


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Magic: The Gathering

It's no small fact that Magic: The Gathering is easily the most expensive card game in the world. With decks varying from $200 to over $2000, and even single cards going for $2400 apiece, Magic: The Gathering is also known for being extremely daunting due to many complex rules and mechanics. This is actually far from the truth unless you decide to go pro. It is extremely cheap and easy to pick up the game and get going with some friends, and the basic rules are simple to understand, and can be built upon to give way to more complex terms such as "response" and how cards interact.

As well as this, much like any good TCG, there is a free simulator for it. Cockatrice is a download-online simulator which gives players access to any card. Registration is free, and recommended.

As for more seasoned players looking for a place to discuss, I myself play Standard, Legacy, and the most popular format on Smogon, EDH. EDH is short for Elder Dragon Highlander, and is commonly referred to by Wizards Of The Coast as Commander. The rules for this format are complicated at first, but it is the most casual format around, and is extremely fun once you get into it. For more details, see the official site.

Also for those of you IRC-bound, #mtg does indeed exist, and we welcome anybody openly who is interested in learning or playing! As said, our main play is EDH, and the current list of active players on the channel are thus;
  • Zystral (Zy)
  • bojangles (ibojangles)
  • Vader
  • Mr.E
  • the angry scientist
  • Phiddlesticks
  • Wild Eep
  • asim
  • myozozoa
Feel free to join us whenever - we do more than EDH, so if you're hungry for some Legacy, just say!

good idea, let's get more people in the channel. if anyone wants to learn the game I'm sure we can all help

also remind me to show you guys the format my friends and I created called "hamburger rainbow dancer"


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#mtg is a channel that's open to new players and old vets alike. It's fine that you added it.

We usually play a Commander game once a day or two, but if you're really hankering for more, just say so, and I'm sure you can gather up a couple people to play. Likewise, we're willing to play other formats. I play a tiny bit of legacy and I'd love to learn Modern.
ahh an mtg thread. excellent.

i am a very casual player, and love drafting. i can't afford to buy cards much though, so this cockatrice will come in handy.
I haven't played MTG in over a year, and I have no idea what the difference between Legacy, Standard or Commander are.

Can I still join?

P.S. Yes, I know my avatar would say I'm a Magic fan, but I only ever played casually.


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For the uninitiated, here are the different formats:

Standard is the two most recent blocks, and the most recent core set (the two most recent for a month or two in summer. Every year on October 1, the older block and core set rotate out and is replaced by the new block. The current standard metagame is Zendikar and Scars of Mirrodin blocks plus the Magic 2011 and Magic 2012 core sets. On October 1 of this year, M11 and Zendikar will rotate out, and Innistrad will become legal (the new block that will soon be spoiled). This is the most popular format both on Cockatrice and in real life, and usually very competitive.

Extended is like standard, but it is the 4 most recent instead of the 2 most recent (somebody correct me if I'm wrong). Like standard, blocks rotate out every year. Unfortunately, Extended is pretty much dead except for the season where Extended Pro Tour Qualifiers are held, so not many people play it at all.

Legacy is the most popular eternal format. What this means is that every card, other than those on the ban list, is legal, no matter how old it is. Legacy is surpassed in popularity only by standard. It is a great format because, since the card pool is so large, there are a massive amount of decks that are viable. Control decks, such as Landstill, where you use lands that animate into creatures and a card called Standstill to maintain a clean boardstate; aggro decks, such as Zoo, which combines the most efficient creatures and burn spells; and combo decks, such as High Tide, which uses cards to generate an obnoxious amount of mana to cause the opponent to draw more cards than are in their deck (resulting in an auto-loss) are all prevalent, so players really have a lot of free space. Unfortunately, since the cards in this format can be very rare, they often have daunting price tags. A single Force of Will (the premier counter spell) can cost as much as $75!

Vintage is the other eternal format, but it is a dying one. Vintage, unlike legacy, has no ban list (other than cards which require you to ante); it merely restricts cards, meaning you can play with only certain amounts (in this case 1 instead of 4). What this means is that you get to play with the most powerful cards in all of Magic. Along with this, however, comes that all the decks cost at least $5000 if you want to really be competitive. Not many people play it for this reason.

Commander is far and away the most popular casual format. It is not sponsored by WotC; there are no PTQs or GPs or anything like that. The rules aren't difficult to understand, but it's best to see them all at the founder's website (I don't know if I should post the link here for advertising purposes, but if you ask on #mtg we'll link you). It's a game about having fun, not necessarily winning, so I highly recommend it!

PS: you don't need to ask to join. Just hop on #mtg and we'll be happy to show you the ropes.
I play magic competitively regularly (my total rating at last update was 1843, though I think it will probably drop a bit after I 3-3'd a ptq this weekend) and would love to play some EDH with you guys sometime. I have lots of different deck lists online ranging from casual to cutthroat, so I should be able to adapt to what people are playing. I actually played some magic with Phiddlesticks in Indy and it was quite awesome, though we only had time for one and a half games =[ I'll be sure to add the irc channel to my join list and chat when I'm online!

Bojangles, I would suggest replacing Extended with Modern. Nobody plays Extended anymore (dailies don't even fire on MTGO anymore, and haven't for a few months) and Modern is very likely going to replace it as a PTQ format. For those who don't know, Modern is an eternal format beginning with 8th edition and Mirrodin block and contains every card from then on, with the exception of a few banned cards (Chrome Mox, the 5 colored artifact lands [Seat of the Synod, Great Furnace, Tree of Tales, Ancient Den, Vault of Whispers], Sensei's Divining Top, Dark Depths, Umezawa's Jitte, Sword of the Meek, Skullclamp, and Golgari Grave Troll). The reason behind the name is that starting in 8th edition, Magic cards began being printed with a different border than they had been before, and this border has not changed since. Thus it is called the "modern" card border.
Damnit, every freaking time I manage to forget about Magic, someone brings it up...

I used to play it religiously back in the day, though to me, the best part was taking cards from my older brothers' literal card-filled wastebasket and making decks with them. Even better was the occasional wins I'd get, since it's really hard to beat people who spend good money making decks when you're using a deck filled with common and uncommon cards, and not the good ones either. Green/White Kami deck and a Black Assassin deck were two of the most successful of those sort of decks (the Black one was hilarious, since the Assassin were like 5 drops, and I had to constantly stave off Merfolk/Goblin/Fairy/Treefolk decks for so many turns). Everyone whined when I made a Red Stuffy Doll deck though, and idk, everyone laughs/is shocked when I tell them it worked amazingly well.

Well, there goes my week's productivity.
I actually got a few promo decks at the National Boy Scout Jamboree (you weren't there? Don't worry; neither was Obama). I unfolded the little instruction manual that was the size of one of the cards in the deck box, and it unfolded into a 16X11 piece of paper with all the rules written in ~8-point font.

Naturally, I was slightly daunted at first, but after reading the entire thing, I actually understood it. Maybe I'll go try out that online simulator.


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Haven't played since I was about 14 apart from the watered down Xbox versions, irl Magic though was pretty fun with prerelease tourneys and such, it is just way to expensive for someone as cash strapped as myself <_<. I might join the IRC channel at some point though just to get up to date with stuff.
I play a lot, and post a bunch on the WotC forums and a bit on SCG (I gave up on MTGSal because seriously), but I don't use IRC.
i used to play casual matches, but i never really got into the tournament scene, because of the steep cost. Iv been playing since Leigons, but i haven't purchased a pack since magic 2010 (when i was in san diego and made a deck out of packs and a firebomber deck for an impromptu tournament.)

Iv been tinkering with cockatrice but im sort of overwhelmed with the selection. still, the first thing i did was make my ideal Dragon Deck, because i am a Timmy.


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Having played a crapton of games today, mostly with Kaalia or Scion of the Ur-Dragon, I really think that the more colors in an EDH deck the better. You have a lot of color correction available (gold lands, duals, shocks, and guildlands), while getting access to much more stuff. Albeit, a lot of what you can or can't do is dependant on the general. For example, so often I wished I could have Nicol Bolas (both of them!) and Survival of the Fittest in Kaalia, but can't, whereas in Scion, I could potentially have anything I wanted.
Also, while there aren't many Rainbow/4-color generals, being able to freely choose what goes into your deck is really awesome, because then your entire deckbuilding process becomes "read a card. Think it's awesome. Add to deck. Repeat until satisfied. Cull deck to 99." without having to worry about colors.

I'm also getting the feeling that combo decks do so much better than aggro. I've played four mono-blue mages today and they were always pulling off ridiculous combos that by the time I get down my huge-ass dragons ready to swing for fatal damage, they've milled me or something. That said, I still prefer all-out, and to quote bojangles, "ROFLstomping".
Is the bojangles here the same bojangles I always see on Cockatrice? Also, I have been playing MtG since I was 11, so 10 years now. Its been an on and off hobby, but I cant seem to ever get away from it completely. I've had my fair share of favorite Standard metagames. (Odyssey- Onslaught and Ravnica-Timespiral being my all time favorites)

I got into Commander (Elder Dragon Highlander for the older folk) about 6 years ago and that is what I mostly play, along with alot of draft and limited (simply cuz I dont have the finances for standard or extended anymore). I also am always playing online, specifically on Cockatrice.

I will definitely consider checking out the chat, ive just always been bad at #IRC. >_>

BTW: My name on Cockatrice is 'Iron Man.' I have been quite notorious recently for my EDH games using Rasputin Dreamweaver as my general. Hit me up if any of you recognize me. :D


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Hmhmhm? Is this Jace the same Jace_ on Cockatrice? Because if so, then yes, and I happen to be the Zy you occasionally see also.
Also it's not really possible to be bad at IRC - we don't bite =P

Incidentally a while ago someone was talking about having your forum account banned due to the recent bans put in place on standard, heh.
Hahaha actually the bans of Jace TMS is why I have stopped playing standard for the time being until at least rotation. Anyways, I guess this conversation is best relegated to the IRC chat, if I manage to ever get on. And yes, you and I have indeed played games Zy. Nice to know we share something else in common.

Lol oh yeah, the different kinds of demographics. I remember those. :3

I'm a Timmy/Johnny hybrid I like making weird/unique decks to be an individual, but I also only wan to play for the fun of it.
Zy if you're playing scion you could just run the ridiculously broken hermit druid combo deck, but then you'd be a dick...

Chou Toshio

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I played this game for so long... before switching to Yu-Gi-Oh for what amounts to basically just a greater affinity for 'that' aesthetic style and a preference for Japanese pop-culture over western fantasy culture.

MTG always will be a great game; glad to see this thread :)
Cockatrice, is awesome, guys. Played with bojangles and myzozoa yesterday, iirc, and 'twas great. The client is pretty fluid and easy to use, and all the cards are at your fingertips!
Yeah, it's fun playing with everyone, when we can get enough people to form a game. More people should join us on irc. We'll walk people through anything they are having trouble with, whether it's deck building or whatever.

EDH da bess
I recently purchased a few hundred Magic the Gathering cards for $40 from a garage sale, after the owner had removed any cards that were worth too much, of course. Of course, none of the cards were new; they ranged from the Onslaught block to the first Ravnica expansion (2001 to 2005). Surprisingly, some cards are actually quite good, such as Aether Vial (which sells for around $10 or so). The previous owner of the cards had built three incomplete decks in there: a mono-white deck, a mono-black zombie deck, and a mono-red goblin burn deck. I haven't got around to actually playing any games of M:TG though; I'll hopefully play my first game sometime soon. (If you're wondering how I know so much when I've never even played a single game, it's because I've done quite a bit of research on the cards I bought. I later bought some really old cards from another garage sale, but the only thing of note was two Dark Rituals, which, while very useful for black decks, isn't really worth that much anyway.)

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