This video is a "brief" guide for building a deck in Magic the Gathering. This is NOT a video on building the best B/R deck in the Duels game or me telling you what you should do. This is a generalization in which elements can be extrapolated from to extend to multiple other forms and colors of Magic. This is a tool to jump start new players to get better, and review for regular players. Both are the main audience of Magic Duels Origins / Zendikar
Some of the important elements we discuss in this video (Not in order) Essentially, these concepts below are bullet points in which every good deck must take serious consideration with when building.
What is a good card?
Mana Source Availability
Paths to win (Using multiple)
Winning without primary cards
How do I fare against Aggro?
Focus vs Balance
Magic decks are a constant see-saw spectrum of numerous variables and it is impossible to craft the perfect solution. Similar to Chess there is no best move, there is no right way 100% of the time. You have to play the percentages, predict the future plays of your opponent and even yourself and make the best on-the-fly judgement call while on the clock that you can. It IS hard. Even playing RDW takes skill.
Table on mana sources:
What this is attempting to show is how many lands in your deck will equate to the percent to draw them by a certain turn.
It's a very old table, at the time 20 land in 60 cards was standard...whereas now it's 24. So what you'd really like to be able to do is NEVER miss that 5-drop on turn 5, with 20 land you're looking at a 76% chance on average to get there, which is already assuming you hit it on all 4 previous turns. You miss one turn of land drops you're behind the REST of the game in your power creep vs the opponent. If all your cards cost 3 or less, you can potentially afford to sit at 21 lands and have a consistent availability to draw 3 of them in 10 cards (By turn 3 you've seen 10 cards, 1/6 or 16% of your deck)
Importantly: This does NOT take into account color variance. If you're playing a 2 color deck, you're going to have to find a balance of land that gets you the colors as you need it, as discussed when showcasing the double white mana cost aggro guys. I once used a BUG deck that greens sole purpose was Birds of Paradise, Rampant Growth, and Garruk, a total of 9 cards, while Blue and Black did all the real work. Despite this, I needed just as many green mana sources as I did blue or black because I NEEDED green on turn 1 or worst turn 2 in order to accelerate while assuming my bird/elf would die to removal. I'd even splash in Red from sideboard during games 2/3 against aggro and that really was hectic. Made it work though, lands that don't come in tapped are lifesavers!
Also note: In addition, the most important part of decks is PLAYTESTING. You must play these cards in NUMEROUS games, draw each card in each situation to see if they really help or if you always wish it was something else. Find out what your weaknesses are. Test random cards from time to time as well. Even if you're happy with a deck, throw 1-2 cards out and try something else to see. Worst case scenario it sucks and you remove it. Possible scenario it's an unexpected play that may uniquely shape situations sometimes better or worse. Best case scenario you've improved.
Not all decks will be good after they are made. Even good cards with decent combo concepts can still be bad decks. Don't feel bad if an idea didn't work. Don't try too hard to fix something that just doesn't work. If a deck isn't producing results over several adjustments and testing, delete it.
The most important "too long didn't read" tips I can provide you:
- Use enough land. 23-25 is good for 75% of decks.
- Using aggro, do not over extend. Winning by 50 or winning by 1 is irrelevant. Just win.
- Always assume your opponent is smarter than you and has threatening plays. The threat of a strong play is his most powerful tool.
- When playing against control with counter spells: Err toward playing your 2nd best spells.
As always, PLEASE give me your feedback. Let me know what else I can do, what else you want to see, and every question you may have!
http://mythicspoiler.com/bfz/ -- VISUALS of new cards in the next set here! What do you think?
I'm going to be uploading tons of 1v1 and 2HG videos, as well as streaming them frequently... 2-5 times a week. You can find those streams here:
http://www.twitch.tv/XerxesTV and updates at
A couple quick links for you to download your copy of the game now as well!
http://bit.ly/1NTmoCQ - IOS
http://bit.ly/1go7V73 - Steam