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Freebie MAGIC cards at PAX East

xipetotecxipetotec Registered User regular
edited March 2011 in PAX Archive
I've never played Magic. It's true. Nor did I find the time to learn when I was at PAX.

But the freebie pack we received in the loot bag got me interested. My question is this...

GRANTED if I like it, I will want to buy more cards. Especially since these are only "green". But could two people, each with one of these decks, conceivably play a round of Magic? As a trial? ( I'm guessing this is why these were given out, to demo people into the game ). It's just that the rulebook on the WotC site seems to say a deck typically has 60 cards, and these are 30 cards...

xipetotec on

Posts

  • KorvasKorvas Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I loved these free give away! I haven't played MTG since freshman year of high school, and having the cards in my hands def got me into wanting to play it again!

    my memory isn't really that great on it, but from what I saw they seemed to give a pretty good starting point in these decks, lots of land, a few monsters, and a few enchantments, so I think it would be possible to play a quick game with them... but hopefully someone with more experience will chime in and confirm or deny...

  • antheremantherem Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    xipetotec wrote: »
    I've never played Magic. It's true. Nor did I find the time to learn when I was at PAX.

    But the freebie pack we received in the loot bag got me interested. My question is this...

    GRANTED if I like it, I will want to buy more cards. Especially since these are only "green". But could two people, each with one of these decks, conceivably play a round of Magic? As a trial? ( I'm guessing this is why these were given out, to demo people into the game ). It's just that the rulebook on the WotC site seems to say a deck typically has 60 cards, and these are 30 cards...

    Those demo starter decks are completely playable for one person. Normal decks will have more (I believe tournament minimums are 40 or 60, depending) but if you have two people with one of those decks each, rock on.

    Spectre-x wrote: »
    You are objectively wrong in this case. You are the silliest goose in the history of everything ever, everywhere, including all possible and impossible alternate realities, timelines, parallel universes, pocket universes and theoretical dream-worlds. You are a nexus of super-wrong, radiating your silly gooseness out over the internet with the force of a trillion supernovas of hyper-incorrectness.
  • xipetotecxipetotec Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
  • ExplosionExplosion Registered User
    edited March 2011
    Speaking as an avid Magic player and someone who demos Magic:

    Those 30 card decks are perfect for learning. Give each player one of them, shuffle, and go at it! However, the decks themselves are more like learning tools than an example of the full depth of Magic. When you feel you've gotten a good handle on them, go to your local store and pick up an Intro Deck each. The Intro Decks cost about $12 (might be as cheap as $10 at a con) and are full 60-card decks, and include a booster pack inside. You can mix, match, and trade cards between your friends, and be assured that you'll have a good time.

    Magic's a deep rabbit hole to fall down if you want to start escalating into collecting or building your own decks, but on the surface, each player only needs a 60-card deck, and the Intro Decks do a good job of being beginner-friendly and being balanced against each other.

  • KrisstaKrissta New HampshireRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    My husband and I played a game last night using those starter decks. :)

  • RegimentRegiment Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I only play Magic at PAX, but this year I brought my 60-card double demo deck, swapped out last year's Blue for this year's Black, and had lots of fun. Somehow I kept beating my friends who actually know what they're doing, probably through the time-honored tradition of "stall them out, then play the 'you win' card".

    Part of me wants to try the game out and buy some packs, but the other part realizes that I just got out of Yu-Gi-Oh and really don't need another money vacuum to obsess over.

    I never lose, I just win sideways.
  • xipetotecxipetotec Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Explosion wrote: »
    Speaking as an avid Magic player and someone who demos Magic:

    Those 30 card decks are perfect for learning. Give each player one of them, shuffle, and go at it! However, the decks themselves are more like learning tools than an example of the full depth of Magic. When you feel you've gotten a good handle on them, go to your local store and pick up an Intro Deck each. The Intro Decks cost about $12 (might be as cheap as $10 at a con) and are full 60-card decks, and include a booster pack inside. You can mix, match, and trade cards between your friends, and be assured that you'll have a good time.

    Magic's a deep rabbit hole to fall down if you want to start escalating into collecting or building your own decks, but on the surface, each player only needs a 60-card deck, and the Intro Decks do a good job of being beginner-friendly and being balanced against each other.

    Oh for sure I realize that. I just watched a "how to play" on youtube where the words "thousands of cards to choose from" came up :) ... I just wanted to be sure I could demo-play with these decks.

    thanks :)

  • Lindsey LohanLindsey Lohan Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I love playing Magic but the rabbit hole thing is so correct - it's why I never could totally get into the game. You either spend a ton of money to be competitive or get beaten badly. I've always wished they could do a "salary cap" of types, where maybe cards carry a point value based on rarity and maybe you play in groups of decks totalling less than XX, between XX and YY, or no cap. That way a beginner could put a deck together and play against folks with similar experience , card types and budgets.

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  • Tisiphone1Tisiphone1 Registered User new member
    edited March 2011
    I've always wished they could do a "salary cap" of types

    There are, in fact, such formats. Pauper restricts you to commons only, and peasant allows 5 uncommons for a little more punch. Neither is officially sanctioned, but can be a lot of fun and level the playing field between new players and those with extensive collections since commons typically can be acquired for next to nothing and rarely exceed $1.

    And there's always drafting, though drafting takes some practice before you really get the hang of it and does require an investment to purchase the packs.

  • FrugusFrugus Podcaster Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I played against my first human during PAX, so I guess I'm at the same level as the OP.

    It was already answered but yes, those half packs are perfect for learning, especially for beginners it seems. Not only that, but everyone was on the same level of the playing field. When someone busted out their half decks (especially for the first time) you knew that everyone was going to be playing fair.

    Which is why many of my friends who like to play magic keep it as simple as that. They all bought a pre-built deck and only play with those cards when they are together. If they add more cards it's because they all got a booster pack together. I can't wait to join them.

  • KestreKestre Registered User
    edited March 2011
    The half packs are cute because they're very traditional decks. Blue = flyers, Red = Direct Damage, White = Enchantments, Green = Wild Growth, Trample, Walls etc.

    If you and a couple friends want to play some diverse games without much outlay, consider getting one of those 1000 cards for $15 boxes. Don't get too overwhelmed to start, just pick a color and make a deck with that color.

  • macrogeekmacrogeek Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    The lady at the tabletop booth next to SJ Games demo area was giving them away Sunday. I bought a munchkin supplement and she said "Take one of every color" and handed me a carton to sort through.

  • ProeliatorProeliator Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    My Freebie pack I caught with my FACE :(

  • ElbasunuElbasunu Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I was super dissapointed with the lack of magic playing on lines. Everytime I asked, no one had a clue what i was talking about.

    Also, I was happy to get a black deck, but I wish I had gotten vampires.

    That said, I got Jerry to sign my Nether Horror!

    Apyss-sig.png
    FYI: Image above links to my webcomic, and is (mostly) SFW. Steam ID: Obos Vent: Obos
  • LukeFLukeF Registered User
    edited March 2011
    It was the starter decks at last year's PAX East that got me back into Magic. I played some in high school, but with a bunch of hand me down cards from one of my cousins and stopped when my friends refused to play anything except Type II. :(

    Anyway, had fun with those packs last year, played with my wife a bunch, and then around April randomly walked into the baseball card shop in town wondering if they had Magic cards, and not only did they, but they had a pretty thriving Magic playing community, which included several of my former students. Now I have an unofficial Magic club after school.

    It is a very fun game, and it does not have to be super expensive to play. Yes, people will talk about $100 cards and "mythic rares" and stuff, but you do not need the insanely expensive cards to do well.

    My tips if you're interested in getting into the game after playing around with those starter decks...

    1-If you got one of those wristband/usb drives from the Magic booth at PAX East, it does have a pretty decent demo of the game that helps clear up how a turn works and the basic rules, so you should try that.

    2-Duels of the Planeswalkers is available on pretty much every platform except mobile at this point, and it is also very good at teaching the rules and showing you the types of things different decks do.

    3-Look for a local hobby shop that has Magic events. Friday Night Magic is a newb-friendly format, and so are some of the pre-release and release events.

  • Bobkins FlymoBobkins Flymo The Po͏si̡tiv͢e͟ Perspective Registered User, Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited March 2011
    If you don't want to spend a lot of money, I'd consider drafts. You spend about three boosters' worth of cash to enter, and you basically pass the boosters around picking one card from each until you have 45 cards. Add some land, cut the fat and you then have a tourney. It's fun, and a bit simpler.

    Alternatively, you have Fantasy Flight's Living Card Games, which uses a fixed booster system. Basically, if you want card X, Y and Z, you know where to get it. The base sets are a bit pricey ($40 retail), but you get enough cards not only for two people, but to build a decent number of decks.

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  • feitocomfrutafeitocomfruta Denver, Colorado, USARegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    LukeF wrote: »
    It is a very fun game, and it does not have to be super expensive to play. Yes, people will talk about $100 cards and "mythic rares" and stuff, but you do not need the insanely expensive cards to do well.

    As illustrated in Crapshots (another LRR series), an $80 "Jace, the Mind Sculptor" can be taken out by a 25 cent Lightning Bolt. Just because a card is rare doesn't mean it's not impossible to take out.

  • FrugusFrugus Podcaster Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I think the only thing I would want to add here is a little bit of fair warning about "Mirrodin" types of decks.

    I've only recently got interested in Magic myself and started buying stuff left and right. Thankfully all of it felt really cheap, some of the prices at PAX were just down right amazing. The main reason why I started with Mirrodin? It's what we needed to buy if we wanted to get in the Intro league. I figured it was the latest and greatest product, so I stuck around anything that said "Mirrodin" whenever I bought sometihng else.

    What I've learned is that these "Mirrodin Besiedged" and "Scars of Mirrodin" packs or sets are what they calle "Themed decks". In other words, they have two different sides to play. If you buy a bunch of boosters, expect to have "good" and "evil" cards, so to speak.

    If you buy a bunch of booster packs, or a Mirodin Fat pack (a stack of lands plus a bunch of Mirodin boosters), you cannot expect to use any of each card in any deck. Though you could, it would just look weird if you busted out a Phyrexian Hydra amongst a whole bunch of Mirrodin (good guy) cards.

    Asside from the obvious logo in the background of each card text, there is probably a game mechanic (centered around color types?) that stops you from doing that all the time. None the less, you have to keep in mind that though it's a fun set of cards, you may have to constantly stick to a certain patch once you reach a point where you are comfortable building and customizing your deck.

    Later on I learned about the "core sets", which are released every year. They are basically standarized Magic the Gathering cards and it appears they can be mixed and matched as you please. Pick any color combination (if any) that you like, it will not matter.

    I think it's okay to mix in core set cards to your Mirrodin decks, or vice versa (depending on what you have the most), but I would feel comfortable as long as any Mirrodin card being used was from the same side.

    Also I guess nothing really stops you from mixing everything up...

    If I were to start over again, I may have opted to try core sets first. However that Mirrodin fat pack I got for 30$ with 9 boosters still looks like a great deal of fun.

  • auspexauspex Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    For those who wanted a different color starter deck or just to stock up on some more free Magic cards - ask your local game store if they have the starter decks! Most places that run Magic events can order boxes of them for free from WotC and will be happy to hand them out. More importantly, they can give you advice on how to improve your decks based on your budget, level of competitiveness, etc.
    Finally, I highly recommend showing up to FNM or any other booster draft event, even if you're too nervous to play. There will be MANY players leaving cards on the table at the end of the night, sometimes entire decks. These cards aren't "worth money" but will certainly be useful to a beginner!

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  • Bobkins FlymoBobkins Flymo The Po͏si̡tiv͢e͟ Perspective Registered User, Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited March 2011
    Wait...Lightning Bolt is back?

    I have not played in so long.

    XsDScNN.gif
  • SpectacledBearSpectacledBear Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Frugus wrote: »
    ...

    If I were to start over again, I may have opted to try core sets first. However that Mirrodin fat pack I got for 30$ with 9 boosters still looks like a great deal of fun.

    Thanks Frugus! I took the same lesson away from PAX. I liked the Mirrodin Besieged deck I got in the starter league, but wanted to play the game without such a strong theme. I've found a couple of friends wanting to get back into Magic, and we're going to try a draft of M11. I've also been able to introduce Magic to my wife, and she quite liked the red/white M10 starter deck she played.

    Currently playing Fire Emblem, Paper Mario Sticker Star and Pokemon White.
  • TheLawinatorTheLawinator Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Last year I got starter decks for each color just by asking around and taking ones that people didn't want. This year I totally missed out by not doing the same. My friends and I really want to keep it at just the basic level. Might try out that mirrodin thing.

    My SteamID Gamertag and PSN: TheLawinator
  • ElbasunuElbasunu Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    lawn, if you want to keep it basic, 2012 core set is due out summer. ches the SE thread for detaiks.

    Apyss-sig.png
    FYI: Image above links to my webcomic, and is (mostly) SFW. Steam ID: Obos Vent: Obos
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