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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Building Rogue Decks in Magic: The Gathering

Today in The Cube:

I'm a big fan of MTGYou, a wonderful weekly Magic: The Gathering podcast. This week the guys interviewed Kevin Crimin, the brains behind Roguedeckbuilder.com. The site essentially lives to help players who aren't into 'netdecking' build effective decks that are outside of the box.
(Incidentally you can Tweet the MTGYou guys at @themtgyou).

For those who don't know, there's a kind of tension in the Magic community between 'netdeckers' - players who build decks from competitive deck lists posted online - and those who 'homebrew', largely making their decks themselves. Netdecking has, in some circles, come to be seen as an overly aggressive, reductionist strategy in Magic. I make no judgment.

However, I'm largely a homebrew player, but I'll openly admit to checking out deck lists online for guidance. The issue for me is that I'd probably netdeck more if the cards needed to stay competitive were cheaper. 

Homebrewing your deck (going rogue, you might say) in my experience is often less a product of a 'fight the power' mentality than of practical necessity.

Case in point - my followers on Twitter and Instagram will know I've been gathering cards for a while to build a Modern 'Zoo'-archetype deck (usually Red/Green/White, featuring low-cost creatures that can grow more powerful with minimum effort). I sought out deck lists and inspiration from a number of sources, but found that the same few expensive cards kept cropping up - and I certainly was NOT going to purchase them. $250+ for a single Tarmogoyf, for instance (and you're supposed to run 4 of them in a deck) is simply not going to happen.

As a result, I went rogue and put on my homebrew hat. I looked around and found other, cheaper, and in my mind, more fun cards to try (Boartusk Liege, anyone?). 

And isn't that the soul of Magic - to use your wits and combine cards AND to have fun doing it? I'm enjoying the pitfalls and epiphanies of building this deck myself MUCH more than if I'd simply cut-and-pasted a deck from online.

Can't wait to try it out.

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