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PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 3:48 pm 
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My wife's boss's kid and his friends came back from summer camp this year stoked and ready to play magic. The wife mentioned I play and compete a lot, and said boss's kid wants me to meet up with him and his friends to talk shop and play a few games. I figure instead of bringing my decks and bashing face, I'd build a couple of pauper decks to show them some deck-building skills (curve, getting the rules down, color pairings, mana bases, etc.) and then hand the decks off to them so they can tinker on their own time.

I also feel like the quickest way to increase your deck building skills is to deck build with a limited pool. Or a Limited pool, to put it exactly. I didn't want to start them on Draft, so I'm going to pick up some packs and show them how to build Sealed decks and their ilk. I'm new to the tutoring thing though, so I'm putting some questions up here for y'all's lovely and necessary assist:

1. When you first started playing, what were the things that confused you the most?
2. When you first started playing Limited, what were the things that confused you the most?
3. If you were teaching someone with minimal experience about Limited Sealed, where would you start?
4. Would you being Core Set packs or those tantalizing new Theros packs?
5. Is there a better couple of questions I should be asking that you can pose and then answer? Probably. Definitely.

Gratzi!

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:13 pm 
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1. When you first started playing, what were the things that confused you the most?

Definitely the timing rules and turn order. It is second nature now, but I always got stuff mixed up when I started.

2. When you first started playing Limited, what were the things that confused you the most?

Reading and sending signals, and knowing the card pool.

3. If you were teaching someone with minimal experience about Limited Sealed, where would you start?

I would probably start talking about the importance of threat density and mana curve and color balance.

4. Would you being Core Set packs or those tantalizing new Theros packs?

Core set, definitely.

5. Is there a better couple of questions I should be asking that you can pose and then answer? Probably. Definitely.

What are you wearing? What am I wearing? Are Joven's Ferrets good? Is Joven a roadie for Megadeth? These are the mysteries...


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:45 pm 
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1: I don't actually remember, that was years ago.
2/3: card evaluation. You need to understand that 1/1s for 1 with minor upside are unplayable, efficient vanilla creatures are solid, situational cards like fog suck, removal is god, and don't forget to talk about mana curves. Finally, explain about building focused decks. For example, in gatecrash, smite and court street denizen were both playable cards, but you didn't want to play them in the same deck.
4: start with core sets, they generally have fewer idiosyncrasies than block sets.
5: I think the best question to ask is how much you should try to teach the kids and how much you should let them figure stuff out on their own. Unfortunately, I can't answer it.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 6:42 pm 
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1. Mana; always start with mana. Land isn't mana -- land "taps" for mana -- land untaps each turn -- etc, etc. Use mana leaving your mana pool to transition to steps and phases (the times when mana leaves your mana pool). Use the turn structure to transition to timing rules (which phases and steps can non-Instants be cast in, when can abilities be used, how does the stack work). Good transitions are great for learning, plan them out ahead of time.

2. B.R.E.A.D. is usually a good way to start teaching limited, but not actually for M14 and Theros because of their slowness and generally poor removal. Start instead with teaching card evaluation and planning for your deck -- teach how to know when to pass up objectively better cards in the wrong colors or for a different strategy in order to achieve a better deck overall.

3. What MB said, threat density, mana curve, color balance.

4. Theros is actually pretty simple as far as Block lead sets go. Personally, I would actually advise away from M14 because of the allure of the "easy" Sliver deck and non-obvious interactions like W/B Enchantments. Yes, your new player will need to understand a couple more mechanics by starting with Theros, but I think M14 actually sets more traps for new limited players, which are going to be frustrating. I think a new player will have an easier time judging Theros cards.

5. Teach "objects." Also, Magic has 3 primary constructs for decided how conflicting effects are chosen//apply: teach APNAP, teach replacement/prevention effects, teach timestamps.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:23 pm 
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Even though BREAD is considered the holy grail of new player draft strategy, I don't actually think it's that helpful. B and R are bombs and removal, and bombs are pretty obviously good, and E and A nobody can seem to agree on, I've heard efficiency and evasion for E and aggressive and something else I don't even remember for A, and D is dregs, which is crap. So basically, it comes down to "bombs are good, play removal, don't play crap".

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:30 pm 
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1. When you first started playing, what were the things that confused you the most?

I can't recall now, though house rules vs. comprehensive rules were confusing. But from reading Blogatog, new players get confused on basic lands and mana producers. Apparently cards like Llanowar Elves can make people think that they can drop a new land at that time instead of just adding a green mana to their mana pool. Apparently they link the giant mana symbol to the mana symbol in the text box and.... yeah.

2. When you first started playing Limited, what were the things that confused you the most?

I'm still confused on how to be good at it, so I can't help with that one.

3. If you were teaching someone with minimal experience about Limited Sealed, where would you start?

Go for fatties, evasion and removal. Oh, and hate-drafting can get you some decent money cards but it pisses people off if you don't use them.

4. Would you being Core Set packs or those tantalizing new Theros packs?

Core set.

5. Is there a better couple of questions I should be asking that you can pose and then answer? Probably. Definitely.

Not that I can think of, but Cubes are fun and while expensive to create, they do kinda save money in the long term!

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:13 am 
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1. When you first started playing, what were the things that confused you the most?
- Why someone would play with a 1/1 creature like ever. 6/6's are obviously superior. That and the stack.
2. When you first started playing Limited, what were the things that confused you the most?
- But I want to play with something other than creatures or removal. Why is it a mostly bad idea?
3. If you were teaching someone with minimal experience about Limited Sealed, where would you start?
- No matter what, you need to have fun. If you want to play with a card that someone else thinks is bad because its fun for you to play it, then play it. Next, the rules. If they know them, mana base. If they know that, Curve. If they know that, card advantage.
4. Would you being Core Set packs or those tantalizing new Theros packs?
- Normally I would say Core, but Theros seems pretty newbie friendly other than the Enchantment Creatures might take some explaining.
5. Is there a better couple of questions I should be asking that you can pose and then answer? Probably. Definitely.
- If they like the game, explain that you don't have to spends gads of money to make a good deck. Everyone should play limited. It is the way Magic is meant to be played. Constructed is brutally expensive and punishing to many that don't live and breath this game. It is the thing that kills casual participation. Everyone starts out with few cards. One guy in particular loves the game so much he doesn't mind spending 20+ dollars on a card. Over the next couple of weeks all the other players realize they need to spends bucks or lose. Casual players stop playing and that hardcore guy spends a lot of time being frustrated until he find MTGO and his life disappears.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:21 am 
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Cato wrote:
So basically, it comes down to "bombs are good, play removal, don't play crap".

Sometimes that's all people need to know.

I learned EAD as "Evasion" > "Aggro" > "Defense" -- again, a reason why I wouldn't actually recommend it in M14/Theros, for the slowness of the format and the usefulness of some early defense to prep some actually playable combos.

In any case I agree, it's not some sort of holy grail, and I think a lot of people try to analyze BREAD too deeply. It's just a useful mnemonic for less inherently-Spikey new players. It helped me start in Limited, even if I've outgrown it overall. It's functional grade school level education.

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