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By: JustSin, Dave
Nov 08 2010 1:42am
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Strength of Knowledge

Welcome back to the second week of my new Magic life as a poor man.  It's like riches to rags in here!  If you missed it, in last week's article (found here) I introduced this series and took a quick look at the rules I have set out for myself as I approach this new challenge.  Needless to say ever since I started this I've been very excited to really get into this series and have put together a lot of ideas.  As a reminder each week's article will have the following format...

Weekly Topic - I'll start off by discussing the topic of the week.
Rules - This is a reissuing of the rules I've set for myself in the challenge.
PREs - The PRE schedule and any important announcements.
Weekly Performance - This is the section where I'll discuss what I did for the week as far as trying to increase my collection.  This is where you'll get all the statistics and tracking of my progress as well.
The Market Place - This will be a short section that will show any trade details or notable trends. (Trend information maybe reported on a past basis)
Weekly Review - Pretty self explanatory.

**NOTE: This is of course subject to change at my whim in order to maintain the best possible article I can provide you.**

And no worries people I will not be issuing this format review each time, I just wanted to keep you guys informed on how things are going to work.  So let's get to it!

On this week's agenda is (what I believe to be) two very important topics to the newer player.  The first is the importance of self education in this game and the second is where to start looking in regards to getting into constructed play (although this will be a brief section leading into future articles).  Now you may not see how these two go hand in hand, but trust me as you read on you'll understand where I'm going with this I promise.

Now I know when I make mention of "self education" and research many people start to zone out and look away, but stick with me on this one.  In order to become a better player in Magic or any game/sport/event you need two key things.  The first is practice.  Ask any athlete out there and they will tell you the importance of practice.  Running sprints, lifting weights, or running plays over and over are all great ways to increase one's ability to perform at an optimal level.  While it may seem like a tedious process there is something to be said for its value. I realize that it is hard to compare Magic to sports, but it does require mental strength if nothing else.  When it comes to Magic, practice means playing the same deck over and over and over until you know all of the small tricks and interactions.  You'll also learn better what works when it comes to sideboarding for particular matches and understanding how the deck tends to draw.  This can also mean spending a lot of time participating in drafts or using draft simulators.

The second is the thing I'm going to talk is self education.  Now perhaps there is a better word to describe this or sum up the idea that I'm trying to convey, but I think you'll get the point of what I'm talking about.  One of the most important things you can do as a new player (or even an experienced player for that matter) is to take time out of your day to read up on the game.  If you're sitting there readings this now then you're already off to a pretty good start.  Now I'm not conveying that I'm an expert on the subject of Magic because I'm far from it and we all have room to learn.  The point instead is that you're here on PureMTGO and there are several fantastic players who write for this website and there is valuable information behind every corner.  Now please be a bit cautious and take each article with a grain of salt.  Since we are humans writing these articles and aren't (in most cases at least) "Pro" players there is always an influence of opinion in each article.  This means that if you're reading a draft review one person might overvalue a card that you'd never even draft.  In addition to this there are some people who, unfortunately, take advantage of the system and put up articles that aren't of very good quality with regards to skill level of the writer or just lack-luster content in general. (And I'm sure I'm going to get a few irritated comments on that statement, but unfortunately it is true).

There are several great places to find articles and information about the game and the more you read the more you learn!  Here's a list of some great places to find quality articles and information about Magic:

PureMTGO.com
MagicTheGathering.com
MTGOAcademy.com
StarCityGames.com
MTGSalvation.com
MTGOnline.com
PDCMagic.com

Now there are a number of other websites out there in a whole range of skill level and focus.  I won't waste a lot of time listing every Magic site I can think of or that I visit, but you can find them by simply performing a good old fashioned Google search.

It really is amazing when you sit down and think about it, all of the areas of the game in which you can take time to learn something.  From card interactions to draft strategies, from primers to the market place there are a ton of different aspects to this game that are all important.  In order to be the best you can be as a new player you'll definitely need to know how to research card prices, release events, draft strategies, etc.  When I started this project I had no idea the scope.  It seemed that all I would have to do was draft and write about my experience, but there is so many more layers to it then that.  In addition to knowledge on drafting I have to be savvy about price checking as well in order to maximize my profits and playability.

If you could not tell from my previous article I am of the opinion that the best way for a player, who is starting from scratch, to get into the game through drafting (thought based on comments I've decided to add a week where I compare the two in more detail).  The payout is decent, you get a lot of cards, and pretty good limited game play experience.  Now you can find a lot of value in articles throughout the internet when it comes to drafting.  Again be careful because a lot of people will just throw up a draft they did without any commentary on picks or any kind of quality discussion.  I want to take a second here and endorse a few articles/writers that I frequently read, who have continued to put up great quality...

Drafting:
Felorin - Now PureMTGO's own Felorin has written a number of decent draft walk throughs.  If you ask me I'll usually tell you that I don't read draft walk throughs because everyone has different card values and some writers provide very little commentary or explanation.  Well Felorin gives you both.  He provides great commentary along with his drafts as well as pick explanations and is more than happy to take the time to respond to comments explaining in further detail the value of one card or another.

Set Reviews:
Lord Erman - Now as any experienced Magic player will tell you, when it comes time for a new set to be released everyone jumps on the bandwagon as soon as you get the full spoiler in order to write their own set review.  Sometimes these are specific to certain formats (I suggest Tarmotog for 100cs btw), but most are generic to the set.  Lord Erman consistently puts out a great series when it comes to reviews that talks in detail about cards (though mostly though a constructed stand point) and interactions within the set.  This can be an incredibly helpful way for a newer player to learn a set and find some things they may overlook.
MTGSalvation - Ok I realize this isn't really a set review, but when it comes time for a newly approaching set this is THE place to go for spoiler information.

The Market:
The Rare Drafter - This article, as put together by PureMTGO's own Flippers_Giraffe is a great look at the value of packs.  This is a very important thing to note when looking at the pay out of a particular format or even just before you head into the classified section searching for a good price on packs.
State of the Program - I think anyone who has been around for awhile is more than familiar with hamtastic's State of the Program article, which he posts weekly.  Inside you'll find almost everything you need to be a player on MTGO.  Most importantly are the weekly evaluation of card prices regarding those that have seen significant increase or drop.  This can give you valuable clues as to when to buy or sell specific cards.

So hopefully by now you've taken some time to familiarize yourself with some of these articles and stuff I've mentioned.  Perhaps you've set a few bookmarks for later reference and are now wondering... what next?  Well I'm going to get a bit specific for the moment.  While I realize my methods for increasing my collection, etc. as a new player may not be the same as others will suggest, the truth of the matter is we're doing it my way because well... it's my article. :)

So what's my path of progress?  Well like I stated drafting is a great start, but where do you move from there?  Even if you jump into the best matches you're in the 8-4 queues and are earning significantly less than you could be if you were playing in constructed events you have the potential to earn significantly more.  However if you start looking into playing Standard or Legacy or 100 Card Singleton you'll notice that you'll need a significantly more expensive pool of cards then you're going to get at a starter budget of $15.  But there is one great way to get into constructed play!  That format my dear friends is Pauper.  For those of you who may not be familiar with this format it consists of 60 card decks that are constructed using only commons.  Because these decks don't contain any rare or mythic cards you cut the buy in price down significantly!  (But don't be totally fooled some key cards from tournament level Pauper decks such as Lotus Petal will run you $5 each for example)

Now Pauper is the key here not just because it has a significantly lower cost of entry, but because there are so many events running for this format!  The biggest of these events is probably the Pauper Challenge, which Wizards runs once a week.  You can check out my last article for the full price payout on these events, but the player who comes in first place earns 30 packs.  Mathematically this means that you're earning $120, which I will almost guarantee you will pay for the price of building the deck.  Now before someone starts it up in the comments this is of course a best case scenario and you won't get first every time you play, but you can't win if you don't try.  In addition to this weekly event you'll notice in the PRE section that there are five different Player Run Pauper events!  This means almost any day of the week you can play and attempt to earn money.  There is a lot of potential there!  Now I'm going to go into a lot of detail on Pauper in a couple weeks so I won't ramble on now, but I did want to at least mention it so to give you all an idea of where I'm heading with this.  It is also important to think ahead.  This means that I'm looking ahead towards playing Pauper so if I find myself in a draft where I have no choices to improve my deck I'll next look to see if there are any cards I want for Pauper or any other constructed play.

Here are the rules of my new poor life as I have previously laid them out...

1.  Each week I will be held to a budget of $15.

2.  The $15 budget must include all purchases from tickets to boosters to singles to pre-constructed decks/sets.

3.  Any money that was not spent last week can be carried over to the following week.

4.  If there is a release event then an additional amount can be added to the weekly budget to cover only one entry fee for that event.  If I wish to participate in more than one event then the cost will have to fit within the $15 weekly budget.

5.  I can participate in any event (limited, constructed, PRE, etc.) that I want as long as the entry fee is within my budget.

6.  All spending and selling must be tracked and posted in each week's article in order to ensure my compliance.

7.  These rules are subject to addition only.  This means that only new rules can be added, none of the pre-existing rules can be modified unless deemed necessary by some unforeseen circumstance.

Each week these rules will be provided as a reminder not only to my readers, but to myself as well.  If you, like myself find this whole process to be interesting and if it sounds like a good time then I join you to participate on your own and see how you fare.  What better challenge for an experienced player then to see if they can start over and survive on a strict budget?

Now there are a lot of opportunities to earn additional money in game and increase your collection through what are known as Player Run Events (PREs).  Now for those who aren't familiar with these they are exactly what they say they are... tournament events that are run completely by the players and not supported by Wizards, but instead by sponsors in game.  When you end in the money with a PRE you are usually given prizes in the form of credit at a trade bot, which you can use to buy cards.

**NOTE: If you host a PRE that is not listed on this and you would like it added let me know in game or in comments and I'll add you to this schedule, which I'll be posting each article.  Also if I have the registration time incorrect let me know so I can fix it!  I'd like to support the PRE community the best I can and keep this section as a place where players can get information about PREs so any announcements or anything you may wish posted here let me know as well!**

It is very important anyone interested in PREs check out the Wizards' forum located here for constant updates about changes to your favorite event or rules about that particular event.

Here are this week's PRE announcements:
Heirloom: Just a weekly reminder that the Heirloom PRE is played on a Saturday/Saturday/Sunday schedule.  In order to determine when this is being held and other important information about the format check here at the Wizards' PRE forum.

 

So this was the first week where I could actually get my hands dirty and draft a few sets.  Now the obvious starting point was drafting with M11 x3 thanks to the booster pack that is given to you in the starting pack.  So going into this week I knew I needed to start by getting two packs of M11 and I was good to go.  Now if you remember my starting budget for this week of $20 thanks to the carry over from the previous week.  Now buying those two packs straight from the MTGO Store is simple and will cost me $8.  Now you'll remember the average buy in from the store is $14 ($4 x 3 packs = 12 + 2 tickets = 14) so given this I'll be unable to draft a second time.  But here is my second tip of the day.  Don't buy from the store!  We're going to take an approach that I like to call the Office Space method...

Now for those of you who maybe unfamiliar with the movie Office Space stop reading this right now and go rent it!  No, but seriously in the movie the guys come up with this plan to earn some extra money.  What they do is create this program that skims off money pennies at a time with the idea that because it is so small no one will notice, but in the long run all of those pennies add up to substantial earnings.  Well I'm talking about the same thing here.  What people often fail to notice is that when you save yourself money, no matter how small that saving adds up over time.  This idea can be applied to the Magic market place as well.  When you use a trade bot to buy or sell cards that don't have a rounded value that bot saves the excess as a credit.  By continually using the same bots you can save yourself money over time.  Let's see if I can explain this better by giving you the true example.

So I need two packs of M11.  If I buy them from the store that will cost me $8.  After some searching in the Classifieds I found the cheapest that a Bot was selling M11 was $3.33, which means for two packs it will only cost me $6.66.  Now this is a savings of only $1 because you have to round the $6.66 up to a full ticket, i.e. $7.  So some people may be put off at the $1 of savings, but by adding this bot and continually using them I have a carry over of $0.34 for the next time.  Now this isn't very much money, but over time that adds up.  Now let's look into the next time I draft.  If I go to this bot again to get three packs then I'm paying $9.99 (10 tickets), which leaves my credit at $0.35, again not a lot. The immediate savings here is a total of $2 because 3 booster from the MTGO store would cost $12, but I'm only paying for 10 tickets instead.  The long term savings means that eventually after buying X packs from this bot I will have earned enough left over credit to get a free pack.  Ok now I know what you're thinking.  Based on this scenario you'll have to buy a lot of packs at $0.01 credit per purchase, but first off you won't always be buying the same packs and second off every bit of savings is savings.  Sure it's very long term, but if you're an active player then it doesn't matter you'll reach that point eventually.  Why would you say no to a free pack?  If I started this off saying that I could get you a free booster pack just for buying packs you would have bought any ways then you would have been all for that.  Do you want more math?  Well if you insist!  $0.35 credit after the second transaction... assuming you continue to buy packs three at a time and that the price remains stable at $3.33 it will take you 298 more purchases in order to get a free booster (crazy I know)... this means after spending $2980 at this bot you'll earn $4 free (before you math savvy people get upset I realize the math isn't literally 4, in fact it's 3.33, however this is related back to the store value of that booster, which is $4) and then add in the savings you got by not purchasing those boosters from the store ($2 each times 298 purchases = $596 in savings) and you have a total savings of $600 as a result of buying from a person or bot instead of purchasing those same boosters from the Wizards' store.  Have I lost you yet?  Now I'm sure you're sitting there thinking I'm insane, but again this is large savings over an extended period of time by saving a little bit each time and again this is just an example, in reality the prices will fluctuate and so will your credit count.

Ok math rant over I swear (and hopefully this time around I got the math correct)... so I take my tickets and I buy my packs and I eagerly sit down to my first draft (as an FYI I am not going to waste a lot of space with specific recaps, we'll save that for draft articles and that's not really the focus here).  Here's the result...

As you can see I felt there was some power in GW and thought I had a decent deck with some nice stuff in Day of Judgment, some fliers, and quite a bit of life gain to accompany a Ajani's Pridemate.  I sit down to my first round and am playing na0 who drafted UB control.  In the first game things are going well, but I hit that land pocket and my opponent gets enough control to end the creature stall.  I hope for my Day of Judgment, but to no avail.  In game 2 things were worse.  On turn 5 I put out Garruk's Packleader with two creatures in my hand that will give me draw.  Over the next four turns... yes I said 4 my Garruk's Packleader gets bounce over and over with AEther Adepts and I have little choice, but to keep replaying it.  Add to this my opponent's draw of his Crystal Ball and it's game over.

This wasn't a great start for my drafting, but I at least walked away with a tradable in Time Reversal.  After some looking around in the Classifieds I find that this Mythic is selling for 2 or bought at 1.  After some searching I find a bot that is buying at 1.5 and make the following exchange...

Now if you don't quite understand here's how it works.  The bot is buying for 1.5 so this means you get 1 ticket and .50 in credit at that bot.  So I then went back to the bot and checked out what they had in stock.  I mentioned earlier that I'm starting to build up to Pauper so I grabbed some staples of UW control and left a credit of 0.016 on the bot.

Final Draft Value: $5.40 + 20 Constructed Playables

So with that draft behind me I still have $14 available on the week to draft with.  After looking around I find that I can buy in for a Scars of Mirrodin draft for 13 tickets.  Over the past two weeks I have had mild success in Scars getting some nice cards and winning all of the first rounds I've played in so I decided this was a good idea.  After buying in I end up with the following...

This wasn't a great deck, but I felt it had some power with the fliers.  If you can't tell my first pack started off leading black with Geth, Lord of the Vault who is a huge bomb.  After two or three passes black goes dry and I search out to find that I'm now the proud owner of an almost priceless Mythic... yay!  So I sit down to game 1 feeling positive even though I'm facing off against WR metalcraft.  I had seen a lot of it go buy and from what my opponent was playing his deck seemed pretty weak, but I find myself trapped against a Glint Hawk with Accorder's Shield, which sadly beats me to death.  Irritated that I lost to this I grumble into game 2 where I realize there is some crazy power in this guys deck.  Let me show you...

Prototype Portal + Myr Galvanizer + Heavy Arbalest

Ironic that I had just recently talked about not seeing the power behind Heavy Arbalest and now it beat me hard.  If you don't see it this is how it works.  Prototype Portal removing Myr Galvanizer, which first off makes a nasty horde of Myr and second when you add Heavy Arbalest you can hit me for 2 damage for each land you have.  Hardcore owned.  At least after the second game I felt better against losing to something of such craziness.  (oh I'm also underplaying game 1 because at the end when it didn't matter my opponent used Prototype Portal with Tumble Magnet)  This just wasn't pretty.

Final Draft Value: $4.31 + 6 Constructed Playables

Total Draft Value for Week 2: $9.71 + 26 Constructed Playables

Overall I'd say it was not a good draft week for me at all.  I have to admit there is a sense of embarrassment that comes with this level of honesty in reporting.  Sure I could wait until I have a draft that goes well to mention it, but that really messes up the experiment.  While everyone can sit and judge my mistakes this only relates back to the theme of the week.  Learning.  Clearly in retrospect I know there were some choice errors made when constructing these decks, but its how you learn... through hands on testing and advice from others.  Let's see how the rest of the numbers look after this week...

I'm wondering if this is a bit misleading and if I should denote a conversion of that $1 from cash into a ticket so it doesn't look like it repeats and that I actually have a value of $2.  If anyone cares or has an opinion please feel free to add it.  I think I'm going to make the change.

Now this is a new section, but I'm sure you can guess the purpose behind it.  Here is where I'll give a much simpler break down in regards to trades and other generic interactions I have in the current secondary market.

Purchases:
2x M11 Booster
3x Scars of Mirrodin Booster

Trades:
Time Reversal for... 1x Ticket, 4x Deft Duelist, 4x Deprive, 3x Into the Roil, 1x Terramorphic Expanse

So here's how this week went... I played in two drafts and lost both in the first round.  I got a few playable cards, but only one card that was worth reselling.  Not a great start let me say, but that's half the fun (though I wish I was a luckier player because then this would be a more impressive climb back into the top).  Now each week I'm going to post the grading scale, I do apologize that last week I posted the one that had cropped off the #5 scale, so here is the correct one...

Return on Investment: 1 of 5 points
Draft Performance: 1 of 5 points
Earnings: 1 of 5 points
Improvement of Play: 3 of 5 points
Cards Collected: 3 of 5 points

Weekly Grade: 9 out of 25 points, 36%, F

So what can I say?  It was not a good draft week and I think that's quite obvious.  I lost in the first round for both drafts and ended up with very little value.  There was some to be gained from the playables that I drafted and I traded away my Time Reversal in exchange for some cards I wanted for Pauper, which is a start towards constructed play.


Well so not a fantastic week, but I still think it's a good start to the series.  Like I said my drafting won't always be pretty and I don't try to hide the fact that I'm not an expert when it comes to Limited play.  I hate to beat a dead horse, but again the point is to get a realistic look at the approach I would take as a new player and the fact that I'm not a great limited player is just an added part of that and it is why I added a section to my rubric to include improvement as a drafter/player.  Hopefully next week goes a little better off for me where that is concerned.  I'm really looking forward to next week even though it will be a lot of work on my end.  I'm going to cover all of the pre-made decks that have been offered (not the ones from each set, but the special sets such as Jace vs. Chandra)

-JustSin aka PoorMansMagic (IGNs)

20 Comments

I know these articles are by MMogg at Mon, 11/08/2010 - 09:36
MMogg's picture

I know these articles are through mtgotraders.com and so it's not good to mention other bots (so I won't by name), but there are a few bots that sell really decent commons (like the ones you picked up for the Time Reversal, if not better ones) for a penny each. Heck, I picked up Preordains for 1 cent when they were selling at big bots for 40 cents. The same is true with UCs, although the price is usually around 5 cents and sometimes you can find some for as low as 2.5 cents each. Savings like that can add up quickly when you're working on a budget.

This conversation ensued on by Westane at Mon, 11/08/2010 - 10:35
Westane's picture

This conversation ensued on MTGS a few weeks ago and I'll make the same point I made there, here. In my mind, MTGO Traders much less about the prices, though they are fair, but more about the "experience". I know MTGOTradersBots will have what I need in stock, and I know if they don't, or if I need to for any other reason, there's an easily reachable face behind the bots. It's less about saving a few cents here and there, and more about know I'm dealing with real people, who stand behind their service and have a public face.

What you have to keep in mind by JustSin at Mon, 11/08/2010 - 12:34
JustSin's picture

What you have to keep in mind here is that in the case of Time Reversal I was using a bot that was offering me the highest buy for it which was 1 ticket and change and I have to use that credit on that particular bot so I make due with what I can

Oh, I know, I'm just trying by MMogg at Mon, 11/08/2010 - 16:42
MMogg's picture

Oh, I know, I'm just trying to let some others know who may be reading that there ARE cheaper options that can't really be discussed openly here. Standard PDC particularly can be built for less than 1 ticket if all the commons are 1 cent.

I really love this series and by Thisismich at Mon, 11/08/2010 - 10:36
Thisismich's picture

I really love this series and will look forward to it as I'm more or less on the same budget (even though I have some credits here and there and still some prize). Good job.
Just one thing: I know you already wrote "I'm sure I'm going to get a few irritated comments on that statement, but unfortunately it is true" regarding articles and you are obviously expressing your opinion on the matter, I'd still like to merely point out that our articles have to be approved before they are published.

People read our articles beforehand (or at least they skim through them) and I had a taste of it when they rejected my first article attempt, so taking advantage of the system seems a bit out of question to me.

They pay, they choose; seems kinda fair to me.

Perhaps my wording is a bit by JustSin at Mon, 11/08/2010 - 12:36
JustSin's picture

Perhaps my wording is a bit harsh, but I do believe there are some that slip through. I've seen articles go up with a deck list and two paragraphs or a draft with a couple sentences of pick explanation and barely a recap of how play went. Sure I'm making a generalization and by far I'm not saying these are the only people to read, I'm simply suggesting that newer players take each article with a grain of salt and don't assume every article will be gold or fantastic information

JustSin do not go down by Paul Leicht at Mon, 11/08/2010 - 19:20
Paul Leicht's picture

JustSin do not go down Jyalt's road. It is fraught with pain and discomfort. Your articles are a mark of excellence, you have no need to mention the less interesting article writers at all. In fact it does you a disservice. Just keep entertaining us with your travails in budget magic and drafts and leave the negativism for those with nothing better to do.

thanks for the compliment, by JustSin at Tue, 11/09/2010 - 13:20
JustSin's picture

thanks for the compliment, but I don't think there is any harm in warning people not to assume that everything they read is fact

Just an FYI I am still by JustSin at Mon, 11/08/2010 - 12:40
JustSin's picture

Just an FYI I am still looking for a volunteer who is willing to quest write a small section for my next article. I'm offering 5 tix and it is about the premade decks (ie Garruk vs Liliana) and their playability. Find me in game or AIM - EyeJustSin, if I don't hear soon I'll have to submit the article without that info and I'd hate to do that.

Play in which way duel deck by Flippers_Giraffe at Mon, 11/08/2010 - 14:38
Flippers_Giraffe's picture

Play in which way duel deck vs duel deck or duel deck vs the classic hordes?

edit:

On second thoughts after looking at the deck lists I wont be able to help as I can't afford the cards I'm missing.

Nice article! by Felorin at Mon, 11/08/2010 - 13:15
Felorin's picture
5

I'm looking forward to following this series, especially your ventures into the Pauper PREs. I played in some of those quite a while back & fine them to be a lot of fun.

I am curious, were your drafts 4-3-2-2 queues or 8-4s? I've seen various analysis on ROI, there's a threshhold of average win percentage below which the Swiss queues give you the highest EV, and above which the 8-4s do. The 4-3-2-2 queues are never the highest expectation value choice at any level of skill - which is intuitively obvious without doing the math, as the others pay out 12 boosters and a 4-3-2-2 only pays out 11.

For people just starting out, who would seem like the best target audience for this kind of series, I think it's unlikely they'd have the kind of win percentage that would justify playing in 8-4s. Also I have to say that Swiss queues minimize your variance if you care about that. You can't win as big, but you almost always win 1 or 2 boosters. I'd think when starting from nothing, it's nice to know you're almost always going to get some collection-building value beyond the 45 picks.

I did a lot of low-budget collection building a few years ago by stalking Ebay for low-price common & uncommon sets, too. Not sure how viable that is these days, but worth a look.

On the bots vs. MTGO store, it's worth mentioning that you're also saving sales tax when you buy boosters from a bot. Not insignificant savings, there! Used to be you could get tix through Ebay from 80 to 95 cents on the dollar, but various changes Wizards have made adjusted the supply & demand ratio such that you can't do that any more.

I hate to defend 4-3-2-2 by ArchGenius at Mon, 11/08/2010 - 15:02
ArchGenius's picture

I hate to defend 4-3-2-2 drafts as they really should be 5-3-2-2 but there are some rare circumstances when they are the right choice.

1. When no other kind of draft is available. Some of the classic sets have valuable rare, uncommon, and even common cards, and when those sets are available, they are usually only available in 4-3-2-2. Examples include Urza's Block and Tempest Block.

2. When you're a reasonably good player looking for easier competition. All of the math that suggests that 8-4 is better than 4-3-2-2 at a certain skill level assumes that the skill level of your opponents is the same for both formats. This is not true and impossible to account for in a mathematical model because you can't reasonably model how difficult your likely opponents are going to be.

Of course, if you're on a budget, and not drafting several times during a week, which is the main point of this kind of article, schedule your time to play ONLY in the Thursday Night Magic drafts and the 64-man release event drafts. They have the biggest payouts hands down.

Draft writeups by Felorin at Mon, 11/08/2010 - 13:17
Felorin's picture
5

Oh, and you should recommend people read Godot's draft writeups too. I'm pretty sure he's a better drafter than I am, and he's an excellent writer.

I would have, but i havent by JustSin at Mon, 11/08/2010 - 19:09
JustSin's picture

I would have, but i havent see godot write in a long long time

Still Waiting for Godot? by rainin6 at Tue, 11/09/2010 - 17:14
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He's moved his writing over to the competitor website at: www.MTGOAcademy.com

One thing I would like to add by Flippers_Giraffe at Mon, 11/08/2010 - 14:00
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One thing I would like to add that you might think of trying is a universal budget deck that can be played in all the PRE's so it would need to be legal in Pauper, Tribal, BYOS and maybe even Heirloom. That deck would give you value for money for sure.

that would be incredible, but by JustSin at Mon, 11/08/2010 - 19:14
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that would be incredible, but I'm not sure you could do that and keep competitive.. itd prob have to be gobos, which are strong in tribal and pauper and if they fit pauper theyd prob fit heirloom, trick would just be byos

Elves and Merfolk might be by Flippers_Giraffe at Tue, 11/09/2010 - 08:39
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Elves and Merfolk might be posible as well, not sure I would have to look when I'm in game next.

grading... by t0v at Tue, 11/09/2010 - 02:45
t0v's picture

i really enjoy reading your quest back2modo.

a couple of comments/questions about the grading:
- for me the first 3 rows are measuring the same thing from different angle
- now you have 'draft performance' over there. what happens, when you'll play something else (sealed, constructed)?
- how do you grade the 'improvement of play'? is that just subjective feeling?

regards & GL
t :)

thanks for the comment, i by JustSin at Tue, 11/09/2010 - 13:31
JustSin's picture

thanks for the comment, i know the grading system is flawed in many ways, but it isn't easy to try and put a mathematical formula/system to such a thing