Samite Belcher






Magic Without boxes of boosters

In Magic most players buy at least 1 booster box per set (1 box contains 36 boosters Wow). They find it gets them the cards they want with a good selection of trades, enabling them to get more cards that they might want, or perhaps to complete a set.

Anyway in my case and I suspect a lot of other young peoples cases 60-70 is quite hard to find. With this type of budget there's other things I'd like to buy as well, like beer, aside from Magic cards.

This can be a problem when duelling against people with a wide variety of cards (And bigger wallet) purely for the fact that they have better card options when deck building, ( how many times have I wanted an undermine instead of a Counterspell).

So can people without money/cards really make the great decks?

So how do we tackle this problem, hmmm well there a number of ways I try -

1. Using commons and uncommons: Just because I don't have 4 of each of rares going doesn't mean I can't make a good deck. Some great decks don't run too many rares anyway. The best way to go about using commons and uncommons is when you want a rare to go in a deck and you don't have it, look for an alternative (I.e.: Counterspell instead of Undermine or Blaze instead of Ghitu Fire) and if you do get a rare replace it with the common or the uncommon. The best case scenario is the Invasion lands in exchange with the 7th edition pain lands Shivan Oasis instead of a Karplusan Forest. Every rare you see there should be a playable common or uncommon which will have a similar effect (with exception to very few like Ichoriod.)

2. Borrowing cards: Quite a lot of people use this as well if you know friends who have some cards what you like and can't trade, Ask to borrow them obviously this could end up in an argument if you're not careful. Here are some pointers on borrowing.

1 Always use protectors when handling borrowed cards, there's nothing more annoying than lending a card to someone only to find mark's and scuff's all over it (GOOD POINT).

2. Most people would like something in return: for what you borrowed i.e. - you can borrow my 2 "Spritmongers" if I can borrow your "Call of the Herd" and so on.

3. Don't make a habit of borrowing: as said before it could cause argument's with who you borrowing with and so on, and it also becomes hard to remember who's cards are whos. 3. Use Proxies: i.e.: Use a piece of paper to represent a card, this gives you the impression on what the card is like in your deck. BUT BE WARNED YOU CAN'T USE THESE IN TOURNAMENTS. Most people/club's have house rules on proxies as well e.g.: only 3 per deck or you have to have at least 1 copy of the card to proxy. Proxying in my view is generally a bad idea though (where's the artwork, or thought?)

4. Trading: The most common way to get a card without buying a booster box is this, most people like to trade and it is partly what makes Magic (Magic the Gathering: Tradling Card Game) most people use price guides for trading and this is a good way to get a fair/happy trade. Also this is a great way of getting the uncommons you need as well: 1 normal rare is probably the equivalent to 7-10 Uncommons.

Ok that's the basics on how I play Magic in a non-expensive way.

Now for my top ten commons list

10: Armadillo Cloak - It's a great creature booster and gains nasty amounts of life as well. I recommend this in any white/green decks.

9: Stone Rain - Probably the best common land destruction card, it's been in Type2 since magic first came out. It's an awesome card to put early pressure on mana heavy decks

8: Vodalian Zombie - And all the other multicoloured 2 mana creature cards, these provide very early pressure and can cause some harm if your playing against the right deck. For example Yamivaya Barbarian can be very nasty against a heavy blue control deck

7: Basking Rootwalla - At first I didn't think too much of this card until i faced it in a black/green madness deck. These creatures are so fast getting the damage in i was dead in a matter of minuets!.

6: Faceless Butcher - They may seem pretty slow and the fact that there 2/3 wouldn't help, But these can keep even the strongest creature's at bay, whilst you can provide the critical damage to an opponent.

5: Firebolt - This is a very cost efficient card letting you do 2 points of damage right at the start and later when they might have a crucial blocker up, or if you draw it late game you could see it as 4 direct damage to an opponent for 6 mana. This card is Incredible.

4: Repulse - This card is so good that even most professional blue decks play them. This is a great card to control the board with, it rocks.

3: Terminate - Creature removal at its best, nearly all black red decks use this card. You'd have to have a very good reason as to why you wouldn't use this main deck in black/red. I certainly wouldn't.

2: Counterspell - Blues number one way of destroying things. Although absorb, undermine dominate today's control. The Counterspell is always a great substitute. Some control freaks play 4x absorb/undermine and 4x Counterspell!!! Now that alone is a formidable defence.

1 Llanowar Elf - This card is a very quick card indeed enabling 3 mana by turn 2(!), this can pay for a wide variety of spells before blue can establish major control, it can also become a fierce attacker with cheap pump and a formidable array of enchants (this card also dominates in limited as well) a 1/1 for 1 mana with tap gain 1 mana. HOW CAN YOU GO WRONG?

luke@mtg-elemental.co.uk