Thursday, November 13, 2014

How to Frame Upcoming Magic Posts

I've got a series of Magic posts in the works that will (hopefully) provide you readers with the opportunity to share your opinions, correct me where I'm wrong, and help me to refine some personal decks I've created.

Let me backtrack a little.

Several years ago (back before The Good Point Bros were even a thing), I bought a big lot of random Magic cards on eBay. I used to collect baseball cards when I was little, and it was fun to sort through everything, looking for rares and interesting cards.

Since that first batch, I've bought several more, sometimes the same amalgamation of cards from random sets, sometimes repacks of one set or another, and sometimes something in between. One that was really fun was a box of 24 packs from the entire history of Magic. It was neat to see Fire Whip and Evil Twin in the same pack, and it made for a really interesting draft one summer when James was stateside.

Anyways, as I perused cards from throughout Magic's history, I became more and more interested in thinking about how cards from different eras worked together. A natural follow-up to that was that I started to build my own decks. I remember the first one was a tribal Merfolk & Wizard deck, and I remember the first two cards in it were Streambed Aquitects and Sage's Dousing. I thoroughly enjoyed the process of researching possible additions/swaps, checking mana curves, and assessing a deck's win conditions to build as strong a deck as I could.

And of course, through all this work, I'd come across some other card that begged to be highlighted. So I made a red equipment deck featuring Bloodshot Trainee, a green/white enchantments deck featuring Primal Huntbeast and Armadillo Cloak, and a black/white lifegain deck with cards like Suture Priest.

I love the whole process, but there are two hurdles that I have to deal with.

The first is a simple matter of availability. I don't have planeswalkers or Moxes; most of my cards are common or uncommon, and not terribly many of them are new. So a lot of my decks feature pedestrian cards from Zendikar or Lorwyn or 8th Edition. I actually have no problem with this limitation; I feel like it's the same level of challenge as building a deck with boss cards, and since I really only play my decks among the other decks, there's no concern about a wild advantage by one deck because of raw card power.

The second hurdle is what I'm hoping you'll be able to help me with. While I've done my share of research and discussion, I'm still a long way from being fluent in Magic's history. But between me, and James, and Nick, and talbott_matt, and PuresteelPally, and Kouseband, and 0utlier, and Rekanos, maybe we've got it all covered. So what I'd like to do is to provide you guys with decklists, and welcome your input on how to improve the decks, either by incorporating generally better cards, or refining the mana curve, or swapping in cards that better fit the particular intentions of the decks.

The problem I have is this: I don't know how best to share with you the current state of the decks. I have a couple of options, but I'm open to other ideas if you've got them.

First, the simplest option, though it'll probably take the most work: I can just list each card with the quantity in the deck, along with a link to its Gatherer page. This would be easiest for phone browsing, but isn't really intuitive at all, and doesn't take advantage of any particular resources available.

A second option would be to create the decks with the deck editor in Magic The Gathering Online, then upload the deck file and invite readers to download the file to view the deck. This would make for easy manipulation of the current deck and searches of potential alternatives. But it would require that you have MODO available; not exactly going to work for people browsing on their Samsung Galaxies.

A third option would be to create and save the decks using This would be similar to the first option, except that the list would be hosted on another site, forcing you to navigate back to the blog to comment on its related post. But, for decks that have several updates (which will probably be all of them), you'll be able to see the process as it evolves, and respond only to the most recent iteration of the deck.

So my question is, to those of you who think you might be up for helping me out, which method sounds the most appealing to you? Or is there something I haven't thought of/am unaware of that would fit the bill even better than what I've mentioned? Leave feedback in the comments, por favor.


FY said...

I think you def want the way easiest for the most people to quickly see the cards. I think the most work option is sadly probably the best one.

Also I think there is a plugin to make every scroll roll over reveal an image, so that would make it super easy, but again, A LOT OF WORK.

Anonymous said...

talbott here, anything works for me, whatever is easiest for others

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