Mtg arena open beta

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Re: Mtg arena open beta

Post by Primarch » Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:25 pm

me_in_japan wrote:Have you managed 15wins in pauper? I’m stuck on 12, and even that has been a grind.

Also, are you wanting to win some in Sealed, or are you just looking to get a bunch of cards? If the latter, fire away. If the former, I have a much longer post I can write on the subject :D
Yeah, I ran a mono-red deck with lots of creatures with haste and direct damage. I'm sick to death of Rats decks though. :x

As for sealed, I'm easy either way. Winning is good, but I have no problems getting beat and just taking the cards. If you have some advice, that would be most welcome.
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Re: Mtg arena open beta

Post by me_in_japan » Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:22 pm

mono red is very much the done thing in pauper. interestingly, I havent encountered a single rat deck yet, and I've been playing for a few days.

Regarding Sealed, I think it's important to keep in mind that limited as a format requires a slightly different skill set to regular constructed play. So, if you get hosed the first time you try, don't feel too badly about it. After all, at least you get to keep the cards, aye?

Advice-wise, there are a few key things that really matter.

1. Know the set. By which I mean, know the most important mechanics, and actually know pretty much all the commons and uncommons, as well as all the important rares. Obviously this is a big ask, so as an alternative, spend some time reading this page (and the linked ones for the other guilds/colours.) https://www.channelfireball.com/article ... w-azorius/ Luis Scott Vargas (LSV) is considered to be a bit of an authority on Limited play. His reviews are solid, and easy to follow. He's mostly writing for draft, but his points are equally valid for sealed, and he'll usually say if there's an exception to that. I would strongly recommend using his card reviews while you're building your deck. You have all the time in the world when you're picking cards in Arena, so use it.

2. In Allegiance, colour pairs matter (in other sets, not so much.) I'd strongly recommend picking a guild colour pair and not deviating from it unless you see an absolute doozy of a card. Even then, don't splash too far into a third colour, and certainly don't splash for a card that needs 2 of a colour outside your pair (eg if your chosen main colours are Red Black (RB), you could possibly include an especially good Red White or Black Green card, but not a BlackBlack card or a BlueWhite card.) If you do splash a third colour, consider including some kind of mana fixing in your deck (eg an artifact that can make any-colour mana, or a Gateway Plaza land, etc.)

3. Try to have some kind of synergy/game plan for your deck. eg try to make cards give you more than they do by themselves. The key things to look for in Allegiance are:

Rakdos: Spectacle - this makes cards very efficient. Eg Skewer the Critics is a sorcery that deals 3 damage to any target, costing 2R mana, but changes to R (casting cost) if you've already dealt damage to an opponent this turn. 3 damage for 3 mana is bleh, but 3 damage for 1 mana is awesomesauce.

Orzhov: afterlife - turns your dead dudes into 1/1 flying spirits. This can work well with other cards that make you sacrifice your own guys for some kind of benefit (cos you still get to keep the wee spirits afterwards.) Or just cast Ethereal Absolution and watch your opponent quit.

Gruul: Riot - makes your beasties bigger/faster. This is a very good mechanic. Rhythm of the Wild is superb, and if you get one of these and have decent gruul cards, yer in. When your creatures Riot twice (from their own card, then again with Rhythm) it gets busted, fast.

Azorius: Addendum - adds a (small) extra effect if cast in your own main phase. honestly, it's a bit underwhelming. There are some excellent Azorius cards, but their special rule is underwhelming.

Simic: Adapt - puts +1/+1 counters on creatures for an added cost. This is a very good mechanic in Limited, as your low cost creatures (that you can cast early) can become larger threats later, as there is less removal in this format so they're likely to stick around long enough to be useful. Also, in limited you sometimes find yourself with mana available but no spells to cast. Soak up that mana by Adapting your dudes. Anything that flies and has adapt is a good card. Or Hydroid Krasis :lol:

4. Limited formats (draft and sealed) tend to play slower and have lower overall power levels than constructed, since you have a smaller pool of cards to build with, and will almost certainly not have more than 1 of any given rare. As a result, big fat-ass creatures that cost a lot of mana are actually pretty viable strategies. Those 6 or 7 mana green creatures that you'd normally not have a chance to play in decks become a serious threat, as most games will go to turn 7 or more in limited. In fact, creatures are almost always how games are won in limited. You just cant pull off the fancy sorcery/instant combos you would in a normal deck. So, factor that into your deck building. Make sure to have plenty of creatures, on a nice curve from 1 mana to 5 or 6 or even more if appropriate. You want about 17 creatures and 6 non-creature spells, with 17 land to complete your deck. You'd need a really good reason to deviate from that ratio.

5. As an addendum to the above, limited games can often turn into stalemates, where both players have 5 or 6 creatures on the board, but nobody can attack because their dudes will get killed then the player will die on the return swing. Always try to have some flyers in your deck, as they can consistently swing in for 2 or even 1 damage when the board is locked like that. It can make all the difference. of course, if you can build a deck mostly around flyers, all to the better. If you dont have flyers, trample or menace will do. Or maybe a spell that stops opposing creatures from blocking, or taps them or summat. something to break the deadlock.

6. As a further addendum to the above, always, always have a few kill-spells in your deck. Either direct damage (eg Shock, Skewer the critics), or kinda-direct damage (eg rabid bite) or straight up kill (eg murder). Sooner or later your opponent will play a nasty game-winner, and you'll want to have something to deal with it. White can also use lock cards like Luminous Bonds to similar effect.

7. It's more important to have a nice mana curve than a killer card in your deck. A well balanced, nicely curved deck will win against a crappy deck with a bomb rare in it 9 times out of 10. Realistically, you should have a bomb or two in your deck anyway (because otherwise why are you playing those colours?) but worst case scenario, go for balance.

8. As an addendum to point 7, you'll find that creatures that are basically kinda meh become useful additions to your deck. Something like a 2/2 for 2 mana, which would usually be not good enough to play, becomes a decent filler. Obviously not all 2 mana creatures are created equal, but if you need to include something a bit mediocre to round out your curve, it's not a terrible thing.

Hope that helps :D
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Re: Mtg arena open beta

Post by Primarch » Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:56 pm

Number 1 seems like a lot of homework. :D

Thanks for the advice, I'll let you know how I get on.
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Re: Mtg arena open beta

Post by Primarch » Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:40 pm

Well I won 1 game of Sealed. :oops: All of my Rare options were Blue, White or Blue & White, so I went with that. Sadly I didn't do so well.
I also had a try at Ranked Draft where I also went for a Blue & White combo. I won 3 games there, which was a bit better.
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Re: Mtg arena open beta

Post by me_in_japan » Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:02 am

ooooooooh, I'm having trouble with this new forum format. Everything's so...cramped and small and stuff. Brrrr.

Anyway, as I tried to say yesterday evening but was unable to due to forum shenanigans, 1 win is not actually too shameful, especially for a first try. You're now aware of Limited as a format, and have dipped your toe in the waters. Omedetou. Plus, I daresay you're now sitting on a significantly larger pile of cards than you were before you started :D Blue White is a bit of a tricky colour combo in Allegiance, tbh. They have some good flyers, but otherwise tend towards control, which is kinda hard to do if you're not familiar with the set (ie, knowing what's in your opponent's deck, so you know when to counter and when to sit on your counterspells for later.)

And fwiw, 3 wins in draft is totally fine. I tend to average 2. 3 on a good day, and very, very rarely scale the heady heights of 5 or so. That's only once in a blue moon, though.

So, job's a good 'un. You can tick "limited" off your MtGA list of things to try :) Enjoy deckbuilding with yon cards you picked up. Out of interest, what rares did you get? Just being nosy, is all :) (In fact, while I'm on the subject, what kind of decks are you building generally? You can click "export" then paste in a list here, if you like :) I do enjoy a good deck-building chat from time to time :)
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Re: Mtg arena open beta

Post by Primarch » Thu Jun 06, 2019 10:01 am

me_in_japan wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:02 am
So, job's a good 'un. You can tick "limited" off your MtGA list of things to try :) Enjoy deckbuilding with yon cards you picked up. Out of interest, what rares did you get? Just being nosy, is all :) (In fact, while I'm on the subject, what kind of decks are you building generally? You can click "export" then paste in a list here, if you like :) I do enjoy a good deck-building chat from time to time :)
Last night I got Naban, Dean of Iteration, Teshar, Ancestor's Apostle, Yawgmoth's Vile Offering and a Haphazard Bombardment from the Dominaria draft.

For casual play, I'm trying out a simple mono-green deck with loads of mana producing Elves and a few big beasties. It's mainly just a mix of cards I have rather than anything specific.

1Memorial to Unity
4Llanowar Elves
1Wall of Vines
1Deeproot Champion
4Druid of the Cowl
1Elvish Clancaller
1Gift of Strength
1Nature's Spiral
1Plummet
1Pollenbright Druid
3Rabid Bite
1Root Snare
1Song of Freyalise
1Thorn Lieutenant
3Titanic Growth
3Blanchwood Armor
1Colossal Majesty
1Gift of Paradise
1Oakenform
1Goreclaw, Terror of Qal Sisma
1Path of Discovery
1Gigantosaurus
1Skalla Wolf
1Carnage Tyrant
1Ghalta, Primal Hunger

#edit# - Well, I went 4/15 with the above deck last night in ranked matches. :(
While I could often get my opponent down to single figure health fairly quickly, once they got a bit of creature removal going and hit their own deck's rhythm, I usually fell behind and couldn't keep up. Maybe it was because I was playing ranked rather than regular pick-up games, but the decks I faced seemed a lot more tuned than the ones I had seen previously. Mythic rares are apparently not that rare at all it would seem. :cry:
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Re: Mtg arena open beta

Post by me_in_japan » Mon Jun 10, 2019 3:19 pm

howdy Prim - gomen for taking forever to respond to this (and after asking you to post deck lists! Gomen, gomen, a thousand gomens!). Friday I was busy, then Sat-Sun I was sick as a dog. Somewhat functional now, though :)

Tbh, looking at that list, and assuming you're not sitting on a massive unused pile of rare wildcards youre wanting rid of, I can't see much wrong with it. I actually built a functionally very similar one the other day for my son to play with ("I want big stompy creatures" was the design draft... :? ) I'm trying to remember, but is there a rare enchantment that comes in the green stompy deck with a giant ant on it that gives +7/+7 and trample? The card defo exists, just canny mind if its in a starter deck or not. Anyway - thats a good one if you've got it, mostly for the surprise pump-and-trample, but don't go spending a wildcard on it. Generally, trample-giving is helpful to big stompy things (goreclaw is good for that).

Also, if you're willing to branch out into red/green, Rhythm of the Wild (which is uncommon! UNCOMMON! that thing should be damn near mythic, in this humble gamer's opinion) will do horrible, horrible things with a deck like this. Further improvements can be made with either version of Domri (1, 2) (both are rare G/R PWs who provide mana and do other stuff) incubation druid (a green rare, that pumps out stupid amounts of mana), Nissa, Who Shakes The World (a rare PW that doubles the mana output of forests just by being in play), and Evolution Sage (an green uncommon that proliferates every time you drop a land, which when combined with the counters you'll get from Rhythm of the Wild, Nissa's land-beasties, and Nissa herself, gets out of hand really, really fast.

There may also be potential for Vivien's Arkbow, which is a rare green artifact that lets you discard cards, dig your library, and put a beastie into play. I haven't quite worked out how to use it efficiently yet, but I'm sure there's mileage in there somewhere, especially if you can find some way (probably in a different, G/B deck) to bring stuff back from the 'yard after you discard it.

As for me, I'm finding the singleton event way, waaaay more fun than pauper. I've already managed 15 wins off the back of a grixis deck. I definitely prefer Grixis to Esper. Both tend towards control, but where Esper says "nope" to everything, grixis says "sure fine, and now I'll fireball it in the face", which is somehow more satisfying? I dunno. In regular play I am loving 4-colour dreadhorde. The card Tamiyo, Collector of Tales doesn't seem like much of a threat, but the number of times I've had it in play and my opponent has cast "thought erasure" or "The Eldest Reborn" out of habit, and it just goes *squib* is just fabulous. of course, the kind of deck that runs those cards will immediately red/black deathkillburn her in the face, but it's fun nonetheless :)
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Re: Mtg arena open beta

Post by Primarch » Mon Jun 10, 2019 10:09 pm

Thanks for the feedback. The +7/+7, Trample card is Prodigious Growth and is an M19 Rare that comes in one of the starter decks. It costs 6 mana to play, making it quite an expensive game changer, but maybe still worth it. I don't think I have any of the other cards you mentioned.

I have been trying out a Red/Black deck with a few Rakdos cards in it. So far it has won about half of the games, but there is still more tweaking (ie I need more cards) to do.

I haven't tried Singleton yet, it seems like a good format for people with an extensive collection to draw from. I'll give it a shot at some point though.

Have you ever had any problems with the shuffle mechanic at the start of the game? I have had several games now where my opponent has played 3 of the same card in the first 4-5 turns. I have had similar issues with my own decks when I mulligan and redraw almost exactly the same cards. When I played Draft last week I had the same Rare card in all but one of my opening hands and drew it turn 2 on that last occasion.

And as for control decks. I agree, countering creatures is not as satisfying as killing them off somehow. I'm not overly fond of those games where I spend the game with nothing but basic land on the table. Employing a counterspell every now and again is one thing, but when your opponent's deck is 1 unblockable creature and 35 counters, it is very frustrating. Still, variety is the spice of life and all that.
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Re: Mtg arena open beta

Post by me_in_japan » Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:05 pm

Re. The shuffler: this is a perennial topic of great debate on the arena forums. The general consensus (backed up by Science (tm), is that in a properly randomised system, weird shit will happen sometimes. Given the ridiculous numbers of games being played, these edge-cases actually show up quite often, taken worldwide. That said, if the same weird shit keeps happening to you, by all means report it as a bug.

Speaking personally, though, I have found that mulliganed hands do tend to have a statistically unlikely number of repeat cards in them sometimes. It may be to do with the way the shuffler (aka RNGeezus) chooses hands in BO1, as it will actually choose the more balanced of 2 generated hands. I dunno, though - I’m no statistician.

Have you had a shot at Singleton yet? I’ve been playing ranked for a bit, and while I did fine yesterday, I got a bit hosed this evening. Not sure why - ‘twas the same deck each time.

Ps I agree that counterspell based control is frustrating to play against, but it’s super important to keep in mind that without it the game would break. Also, as someone who used to play a lot of esper control, it’s actually pretty fragile. You can swamp it out - just keep throwing spells at it one at a time until it runs out of counters. Mono red aggro/burn is a nightmare for esper decks, as it’ll usually kill you before you have enough lands to deal with their beasties.

Also, count yourself lucky you never had to deal with the horror that was Teferi, Hero of Dominaria combo’d with Nexus of Fate. Infinite turns in which the blue player would cast Nexus, tuck it into his library, draw a card, destroy one of your permanents, then repeat again, until your board was empty. That was literally the win condition of the deck: take infinite turns until your opponent got bored and quit.

Wizards banned Nexus in best of one games after a while, but gawd it was a painful while. :shock:
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Re: Mtg arena open beta

Post by Primarch » Mon Jun 17, 2019 12:56 pm

I see the M20 set is up for pre-order. The sneak preview of Chandra's new Mythic looks brutal.
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