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Author Topic: MTG - Old School Decks vs. Overpowered New Stuff?  (Read 8210 times)
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rittchard
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« on: May 02, 2011, 08:20:52 PM »

Any Magic experts out there?  I've recently been playing a couple of rounds of some MTG with a friend of mine.  The problem is my cards are all seriously old school stuff, like from the original game release up to maybe the first year.  His are from much later, and he's got tons of overpowered crap in them.  Most egregious are the Planeswalkers, which seem utterly ridiculous to me.  We play for fun, and luckily neither of are that serious about the whole thing, but I'm curious if there are some solid "old school" deck designs that can compete well.  Essentially I have to win/dominate very very quickly to have any chance, as he tends to like to play decks with super powered stuff, so around the 6th or 7th turn he'll have some insane creature out or his Planeswalker and it's game over.  I've won with an all red deck (lots of insta damage and flying critters) and an all black deck where I got lucky and got almost a perfect draw (2 sengir vampires and a Nightmare with 6 swamps pretty much did him in).
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Cragmyre
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« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2011, 08:25:33 PM »

Do you have any Dark Rituals?  Demonic Tutors?  Those two cards can give you a fast open. 
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kronovan
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« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2011, 03:01:22 PM »

Without knowning much of anything about MTG -only played it briefly in it's very early years- I'm going to say that since it's a WotC franchise the answer is no. I've had lots of playtime with their other collectible miniature series and IME it's very much their marketing strategy to force you to constantly buy to stay competitive. That's the reason I left their Star Wars Mini's competitive tournament scene about mid point in that franchise's life cycle.
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« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2011, 03:09:18 PM »

I agree with Kronovan.  I was with the game up through Ice Age and every expansion brought more powerful stuff to the table plus new cheese decks that you'd have to find ways to defeat (which usually meant buying new cards).
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Larraque
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« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2011, 04:27:39 PM »

Old school creatures are all garbage and have been in almost every case obsoleted.

Old school spells are okay and some are still awesome.

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Isgrimnur
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« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2011, 04:32:00 PM »

Evil Presence / Bog Wraiths.  Swamp Walk FTW.
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ClownShoes
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« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2011, 09:26:49 PM »

Quote from: Larraque on May 03, 2011, 04:27:39 PM

Old school creatures are all garbage and have been in almost every case obsoleted.

Old school spells are okay and some are still awesome.



QFT. Sengir Vampire ain't what he used to be. (Neither is his counterpart, Serra Angel - look up Baneslayer Angel for a crash course in what five mana will get you for a white creature these days.)

My advice? Play heavy blue control. Counterspells are pretty much the only thing that have gotten weaker instead of stronger lately, and they'll give you a way to deal with his planeswalkers (which, I agree, are pretty overpowered).
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« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2011, 09:58:20 PM »

Quote from: ClownShoes on May 03, 2011, 09:26:49 PM

(Neither is his counterpart, Serra Angel - look up Baneslayer Angel for a crash course in what five mana will get you for a white creature these days.)

holy wow, I'm not even sure what half of the Baneslayer Angel's abilities do.  I did start bwosing this database I found, looking at some old favorites that I liked to use in my white tower deck.
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Chaz
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« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2011, 12:18:32 PM »

This reminds me how much I used to love the banding ability.  I had a whole white deck built around it, and it was awesome because nobody really knew all the rules for it.  Was so sweet to use it for the first time, have my opponent argue that banding couldn't possibly let you do that, then get confirmation from the store owner that yeah, it totally does.

I have no actual useful information on the topic itself though.  I got out of Magic around Alliances because I couldn't afford to keep up.
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« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2011, 06:35:27 PM »

I'm not familiar with the current stuff (maybe you'd just have to ban the Planeswalkers to keep things reasonable), but I imagine a few favorite old school decks could still be competitive:

White weenie = lots of good quick white critters with Crusades
Necropotence = Necro for insane drawing, Hymn to Tourach, Hypnotic Spectres, Black pump knights, Dark Ritual, Swamps, Strip mines, Mishra Factories
Ernie-geddon = Mana elves/birds, Erhnam Djinn, Autumn Willow, Armageddon
Erhnam and burn'em = Erhnam Djinn backed up with Lightning Bolts and other good red direct damage
Good stuff = My favorite deck, 4-color, with most of the best stuff from ~ the 4th edition era.  Hymn to Tourach, Black pump knights, Hypnotic Spectre, Dark Ritual, Ernham Djinn, Lightning Bolt, Disenchant, Swords to Plowshares, City of Brass and other multilands.
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« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2011, 07:33:25 PM »

You could create a Shadow deck from the Tempest era, since Shadows can only be defended by other Shadows.  Mix in a couple of strong monsters and you could probably hold your own.
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Isgrimnur
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« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2011, 09:58:25 PM »

My game shop owner had a hodgepodge deck (everything but Blue.  He despised blue.) that he'd pull out to play people on slow days.  It had 4 Shahrazads in it.   icon_twisted
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Harkonis
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« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2011, 04:36:58 AM »

Power creep is one of the huge problems with MTG
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« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2011, 02:10:58 PM »

For taking out the Planeswalkers, I recommend Chaos Orbs.  Will take a little practice.
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Harkonis
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« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2011, 10:41:46 PM »

Quote from: Freezer-TPF- on May 06, 2011, 02:10:58 PM

For taking out the Planeswalkers, I recommend Chaos Orbs.  Will take a little practice.

Chaos Confetti is a bit easier to use
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denoginizer
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« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2011, 02:58:20 AM »

To me the old low cost power cards are still the best.

Swords to Plowshares, strip mines, dual lands, lightening bolts, stc.

I haven't looked at any cards released in the last year or so. But give me a deck with red/white dual lands, 4 swords to plowshares, 4 bolts, 4 wrath of gods, 4 armageddons, 4 strip mines, 4 disenchants, and some cheap creatures, and I'll take my chances against anything.

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rittchard
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« Reply #16 on: May 10, 2011, 06:41:37 PM »

Thanks for the ideas - unfortuantely my cards are so old I don't have or never heard of half the stuff you guys are talking about lol.  I started playing when the game originally released, so my cards are the original Alpha or beta or whatever that was called.  A few from the first expansions like Ice Age.  No dual lands or fancy pants stuff like that smile 

Heavy blue control might work if I could put together something good, not sure if I have enough of the right cards.  The other thing that seemed to work was knocking cards out of his hand or cursing his lands and stuff.  Oddly with all the Racks and crap I put into my Artifact deck, nothing ever showed up.  I probably need to retune it a bit, maybe do a Blue/Artifact thing.
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Larraque
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« Reply #17 on: May 10, 2011, 07:36:56 PM »

Quote from: rittchard on May 10, 2011, 06:41:37 PM

Thanks for the ideas - unfortuantely my cards are so old I don't have or never heard of half the stuff you guys are talking about lol.  I started playing when the game originally released, so my cards are the original Alpha or beta or whatever that was called.  A few from the first expansions like Ice Age.  No dual lands or fancy pants stuff like that smile 

If you actually have Alpha/Beta (black bordered) cards, or cards from arabian nights/antiquities/legends/the dark - you should seriously check out a site like starcitygames.com and get an approximate value of them. There's a lot of cards from that era that I would be interested in buying them from you or trading you quite well for cards you would actually use.
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denoginizer
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« Reply #18 on: May 10, 2011, 07:46:15 PM »

Yeah if you have beta / Arabian Nights rares you should definately sell them if you are not serious about Magic.  Alpha aren't worth as much due to the rounded corners.  Many of the beta / arabian commons and uncommons are still powerful.  Lightning Bolt, Swords to Plowshares, Disenchant, etc are all commons. 
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Chaz
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« Reply #19 on: May 11, 2011, 11:12:28 AM »

Weren't dual lands in the core set up through Revised?
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« Reply #20 on: May 11, 2011, 12:31:46 PM »

Quote from: Chaz on May 11, 2011, 11:12:28 AM

Weren't dual lands in the core set up through Revised?

Yes but they were rares.  If you have a beta dual land I would put it on ebay immediately.  icon_biggrin
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rittchard
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« Reply #21 on: June 13, 2011, 07:14:43 PM »

Had some fun yesterday playing with my friend.  He had created a nasty poison deck that made use of Infect (some game mechanic I had never seen which basically just did poison counter damage in place of regular damage, 10 counters and you insta-win).  Plus he had some weird thing that kept generating more and more worms every turn.

First game I played a lame green deck I had, really I thought I had no chance.  But I lucked out with mana, and he got a really bad land draw.  I put a Kudzu on one of his few lands so he couldn't get his stuff started.  I got out some lame creatures, eventually I think I had a Craw Worm and beat him down for the win.  Tried my all black deck and got beaten down really quick the first hand.  Second hand I did better, can't remember the exact details but I think I won that won.  Artifcact deck got slaughtered, needs some tuning.  I had a Blue/White deck I was pretty proud of, and I was completely owning the game.  Psychic venom on his 2 key lands, whittling him down with some fliers (Serra Angel and something else).  Used Control Magic to take out the guy who was infecting me.  He was down to 2 health really early in the game.  But then he got a couple things out, I made 1 stupid mistake (should have taken control of a different guy) and he kept holding and building his stupid worm army and eventually I just couldn't get anything to finish him off with.  I tried a red deck and that game was really interesting.  He pretty much had all his good stuff out but out of mercy or overconfidence didn't attack (I think I had a couple of blockers still out), and I was basically down to one turn, looking for a hail mary.... and I picked up a fireball.  I had tons of mountains out and he had used all his stuff up, so BOOM!  Just enough for the win, that was awesome. 

Anyway, it was pretty fun/interesting.  I wonder how much thought went into the 60 card with 4 duplicates balancing.  It's interesting how even the best deck optimized as much as you think possible, can still get mana starved or too mana heavy, or you just can't get the key cards you need at the right time.  Or you or your opponent make a single mistake and then immediately the other person gets exactly the right card to flip the game.
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Larraque
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« Reply #22 on: June 21, 2011, 01:00:41 PM »

For anyone looking to expand their collection, a new product came out this past weekend called MTG Commander. Each package has a deck  specifically built for that 100 card format - one of each card - and are loaded with goodies for multiplayer.

Each deck retails for about $30 and can be found at walmart and target. If you go to your local game store, they have probably marked the price up. Online stores are charging upwards of $50 per deck

Also, these decks are AWESOME. Each one has 20 rares/mythics, and very few bad cards in each one. Some of the cards are downright incredible. A few of my favorites:




Oh, and there's a sol ring and a lightning greaves in each deck.



(I bought all five decks.........  icon_biggrin )
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Harkonis
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« Reply #23 on: June 21, 2011, 01:37:51 PM »

these cards remind me why to me MTG isn't viable as a fun game anymore.  Power creep has killed it for me.  It says a lot when they reprint cards that have pretty much always been OP and they decide they are balanced now.
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Larraque
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« Reply #24 on: June 21, 2011, 03:20:12 PM »

Quote from: Harkonis on June 21, 2011, 01:37:51 PM

these cards remind me why to me MTG isn't viable as a fun game anymore.  Power creep has killed it for me.  It says a lot when they reprint cards that have pretty much always been OP and they decide they are balanced now.

Sol Ring isn't balanced. I would put it as one of the top 11 most powerful cards in the game. (5 moxes, Black Lotus, Time Walk, Ancestral Recall, Mana Crypt, and Library of Alexandria currently comprise the rest of my short list)

It just makes for more explosive starts. In 1 v 1 duels, it is an amazing card. However, in 3 or 4 player free for all games (which is what Commander is intended for), having an explosive start is dangerous.
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Harkonis
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« Reply #25 on: June 21, 2011, 04:49:38 PM »

I don't think you follow what I said.

I KNOW they aren't actually balanced, but they are reprinting them now which means they consider them fair game again which is another reason I'm glad I'm through.  Same with moxes and the like.  All the things they put on the side for so long because they ruined the game are now coming back because all the other cards have increased in power so much that they don't stand out quite as much. 
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« Reply #26 on: August 02, 2011, 11:07:18 AM »

I'm embarrassed to say that I had one of those overpowered decks back when I was playing MtG: 5 moxes, black lotus, sol ring, dual lands, channel + fireball = 1 turn kill on a lucky draw.

-Lyno
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« Reply #27 on: August 11, 2011, 01:12:02 PM »

Quote from: Harkonis on June 21, 2011, 04:49:38 PM

I don't think you follow what I said.

I KNOW they aren't actually balanced, but they are reprinting them now which means they consider them fair game again which is another reason I'm glad I'm through.  Same with moxes and the like.  All the things they put on the side for so long because they ruined the game are now coming back because all the other cards have increased in power so much that they don't stand out quite as much.

Actually I think you missed the point. There is no format where these cards are legal except the 100 card commander format. Wizards reprinting the cards does not make them legal. If anything the overall card pool has become much less powerful over the years since the game was released.
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« Reply #28 on: October 07, 2011, 08:57:40 AM »

wow, the latest expansion has some fun sounding mechanics: http://www.wizards.com/magic/magazine/article.aspx?x=mtg/daily/feature/157a
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Harkonis
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« Reply #29 on: October 08, 2011, 01:46:06 AM »

double faced cards are kind of bullshit.  now casual players can no longer play without sleeves
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Graham
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« Reply #30 on: October 09, 2011, 06:07:10 AM »

They provide a card with the regular back on it that shows the different double-sided cards.  Once the card is put into play, the double-sided card is put into play and the placeholder card is set to the side.
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