how to win at Magic the Gathering

July 3, 2008 at 10:04 am Leave a comment

magic

4:22 AM on a stormy, sleepless night and my mind wanders to lessons learned in youth. Here then, is a primer on how to win at Magic.

You must decrease the variables.

There is always one unknown variable: what cards your opponent will be playing. It’s entertaining to think of this as the 1st deduction you have to claim for yourself when you do your taxes. It’s always there. No getting around it.

In order to win at Magic, it’s best to understand that you’re actually playing against yourself. The decisions you make prior to the duel will determine your success.

Here are some guidelines:

1.) Never play with more than 60 cards in your deck. Remember those bad variables? Every card over 60 is one of them. You don’t want to be in the position of guessing what cards you’ll be playing in addition to what cards your opponent is playing.

2.) Always distribute your manna in a 2 cards to 1 land ratio. It’s perfectly legal to stack your deck with the 2 cards to 1 land prior to the shuffle. Not lacking manna removes another variable.

3.) Play with only one color. Black or Red are highly recommended. This used to be somewhat less important when dual lands were more prevalent, but even then, it was best to eliminate any chance of not getting the cards you need.

4.) Your deck should do one and only one thing extremely well. Again, limit the variables. If everything in your deck works, then everything works. Whether it’s a rack or land-fucker deck, only stick to relevant cards with an inexpensive casting cost.

5.) You should always strive for the fastest possible deck. If you can’t cast it on the first or second turn with a dark ritual, forget about it. Big creatures are a waste. They’re far easier for your opponent to dispel than they are for you to summon. If you can beat the other duelist to the punch, it matters much less what cards she has. Don’t let her use them.

lord of the pit

He looks cool, but won’t help you win.

If you follow these rules, you will win more at Magic. Your dorm room or corporate prestige will grow. And in less time, with my system, you will command a superior view of the plains of Dominia.

I’d close by wishing you luck, duelist. But I hope I’ve shown that in fact your success rests upon the elimination of variables. And that’s something you can control.

This post is affectionately dedicated to J.L., with whom I crawled the early morning streets of Williamsport PA because somebody somewhere was looking to trade.

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