I’m aggravating my luck at a big Magic: The Gathering clash aing weekend, and I’m addled by able indecision. Alike at this backward hour, I’m ambivalent on what accouter I am absolutely activity to play, and that’s got me added fatigued than the absolute clash comedy in advanced of me.
There are a few big formats in Magic area you accompany your own accouter to a competition. There’s the Standard format, which is fabricated up of the best contempo Magic sets. There are Legacy and Vintage, which are fabricated up of best of the cards printed back Magic’s aboriginal absolution in 1993. And again there is Modern, the architecture I am activity to be arena aing weekend, which is fabricated up of cards printed back the absolution of 2003’s Mirrodin set.
The account of a architecture like Standard is that there are almost few cards in it, which agency that there are a abbreviate cardinal of advancing decks that you ability see in a tournament. By contrast, Modern is a big, advanced architecture in which lots and lots of altered kinds of decks accept a 18-carat attempt at actualization beyond the table from you.
I’ve alleged the accouter that I appetite to play. I’ve purchased some cards. I’m putting aggregate in their aboriginal sleeves. Except, alike as I do that, I’m additional academic myself. What if I’ve fabricated the amiss choice? The advancing acreage is activity to be absolute advanced and adequately unpredictable.
That’s additionally the best allotment of Modern, though, and it is why I am so aflame to comedy the architecture in a big tournament. Short of abnormal time periods like the “Eldrazi Winter” of a few years ago, the Modern architecture rarely has a “best deck.” The architecture is about a counterbalanced cast of several altered accouter types, anniversary with their own achievement strategies, that accept assorted levels of percentile adventitious of acquisition anniversary other.
Damnation.(Image: Kev Walker,Wizards of the Coast)
Within that framework, allotment a accouter is absolutely hard. Attractive at a metagame tracking armpit like MTG Goldfish allows you to see what decks are best represented in a format, and it helps me accomplish a accommodation about what affectionate of accouter that I would like to play.
Pulling from weekend clash after-effects and Magic Online advancing leagues, MTG Goldfish is absolute acceptable at depicting the acreage of antagonism beyond all of Magic. However, every added amateur additionally has that aforementioned advice if they analysis out the site, acceptation that they will additionally be chief their accessible accouter based on the aforementioned advice that I have. It’s a circuitous rock-paper-scissors d at ample calibration with decks that can amount advancement of $1,000. It is, in a word, stressful.
At this point, I acquisition this action harder than the absolute comedy of the game. Once you’re sitting at the table and ambiguity cards, it’s adamantine to additional assumption yourself. You’ve gotta comedy adjoin the adversary you accept with the accouter you came with, and that’s all about analytical cerebration and canonizing the coil of rules that comes with Magic.
Like all advancing games, though, attractive at the meta and authoritative decisions is a array of game-before-the-game. Although there’s rarely a “best” accouter in Modern, there are decks that accept added bendability and authoritativeness than added decks.
Elvish Mystic (Illustration: Wesley Burt, Wizards of the Coast)
For example, if I comedy a accouter in the archetypal accepted as a “control deck,” I’m cyberbanking on actuality able to survive a few turns so that I can get my counterspells and able animal killing spells online. If my adversary is active a hyper-aggressive accouter like Hollow One, again I ability not survive through those all-important turns. As a player, the best amid those two decks comes bottomward to bendability and inevitability. Do I anticipate they can win regularly? If I accretion an advantage, can I authority it through to the win?
In my absolute applied case of accouter choice, the acreage in Modern is currently actuality heavily impacted by a new anatomy of a archetypal deck. It’s alleged Dredge, and it wins amateur by “dredging” cards anon from the library into the graveyard. The contempo press of a agenda called Creeping Chill has accustomed Dredge that exact authoritativeness that I discussed above. Instead of accepting to advance their way to a win, they can artlessly put cards in their graveyard and cesspool their adversary incidentally. It’s a able combination.
So while it isn’t the “best” accouter in the format, Dredge’s new bulge is yet addition affair to accede while allotment a deck, and it highlights the absoluteness of accouter best in advancing Magic. Back you accept a deck, you are about allotment what affectionate of adversary you appetite to be anemic to. Do you appetite to accept a harder time with those late-game ascendancy decks or those aboriginal d advancing ones? Do you appetite to action your opponent’s best able cards while they are still in their duke application discard, or do you appetite to use able abatement on the cards afterwards they comedy them? These are the choices you’re absolutely authoritative back you accept a deck.
Or you can artlessly accomplish choices based on what you acquisition fun. While that’s not the best advancing accommodation to make, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I accept a huge adulation in my affection for decks like Blink Riders or Martyr Proc, both of which are decks that do not win through acceptable means. There’s article admirable about sitting bottomward with a complete wildcard accouter that keeps your adversary guessing. The draw is strong.
Choosing a accouter for Magic’s Modern architecture is abundantly difficult and time-intensive for me, but in my assessment this additionally helps allegorize why Magic is one of the best amateur anytime made. It is so greatly accessible that there are rarely absolutely actual choices. Instead, you get lots of accommodation credibility that advance up to article close-to-correct, and authoritative this accouter best is aloof the aboriginal of a lot of choices out in advanced of me in the clash itself.
But, you know, there’s like a 90% adventitious I comedy some affectionate of accouter that aloof assault up my opponent’s acreage and prevents them from arena the game. That’s aloof the way I like to comedy Magic.
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