mtg, mtg cards, magic the gathering, gaming, geeks
I want to better understand people's opinions on different formats, and the reasons why they like or dislike the formats.
When i thought of this question, i was originally thinking of the 3 main Formats (Legacy, Modern, and Standard), but now that i think of it; If there's another Format you wish to discuss, i would like to hear about that as well.
Just my opinions;
Standard; I am not the biggest fan, I love the reprints and different arts, and i love that some of the cards are cheaper now than they will be when they rotate out ( such as Deathrite Shaman and Shock Lands ). The format, to me, seems too thrown together, with limited options. However, it is certainly the easiest format to get involved in, and i still find it a fun way to pass time.
Modern; I like this one much more than Standard, just because there are more options out there. Combos are much more frequent and powerful, Aggro just has more Flavor, and Control has some more interesting options. I feel like the Removal is more vast, where most everything has some form of removal, except blue, but i'll count Counters as removal. And in modern, there is seriously a deck that kills Consistently simply by cheating Mountains onto the field. The price is in the middle of the two extremes, so it's bittersweet.
Legacy; My all-time favorite format to actually play, by far. I love options, and Legacy has a ridiculous amount of them, without being TOO overpowered, or without having some card that can throw off the entire deck. For instance; Belcher is a Turn-1 Win/Goblin-Birth Deck. Either Killing Turn-1, or creating 6-16 1/1 Goblin Tokens turn-1, and going for there. This deck seems incredibly crazy!! Until you take Force of Will into account. Counter a key spell without need of lands? It balances out. And again; The Combos are Crazy, the Aggro has so much Flavor and soooo many more takes, and Control is at its best. And when you throw in all the Search spells, where you can sift through the deck to get the pieces you need, you truly have a format that relies on the most skill, and least need for luck. Not saying that other formats need no skill!!!, but i believe other formats rely MORE on luck while on the draw. With Legacy you can have no hand, draw a Preordain, and have much more of a chance of getting what you need. In other formats, not so much. However the Price kills me, a single card i own costs more than my first 3 decks combined! (Intro-Decks)
Personally; I could go into much more detail, but I don't feel like writing a Novel today. Please; Share your ideas, whether we agree or not. I would like to read them :)
Hopefully we open up some options for somebody that is curious about other formats as well.
I like Standard because it's the only way to keep a varied playstyle without taking out a mortgage. Power cards can get as expensive as $50 in some cases, which sucks, but once you have a couple key cards you can make most of the decent decks in the format.
Modern and Legacy are nice for what they are, but they're extremely restrictive to new entry. If you haven't been playing long enough to have all the cards already, it's going to set you back in some cases $1000 to put a deck together. Since the cards won't rotate out, it's more of an investment, but it still sucks having to put that much money into a single deck.
TLDR: I like Standard because I can change up my deck on the cheap.
If you want to have a varied playstyle (let's say by switching between 2-3 decks), then you're going to have to shell out up to $3000, or else you're going to lose every game you play. It's not to say that playing in such a strong format can't be fun; you just won't have fun unless your deck can compete with its thousand-dollar competition.
Personally, I think EDH is the superior format, although its generally not a competitive tournament style format (even though its popularity has sparked tournaments all over for competitive players).
I agree with you that standard is too limited, but I also think that its too prone to change. With each new block comes buying/trading for new cards in multiples and for budget players it can be hard to keep up with costs if you're trying to win FNM's.
But with EDH/Commander, you have the benefit of creating one deck and never having it play the same way. It creates a great atmosphere of healthy competition among friends and other players, and the in-game politics means there isn't always a linear strategy in the gameplay. And if you haven't played EDH before, you're missing out.
EDH: best range of 1v1 competitive to friendly politic-infused multiplayer games.
Pauper: still competitive, combo, aggro, counter, sort of a mini format of all others, only about 30-50 bucks for tier 1, primarily online,
I agree with everyone else so far, I want to make this legacy deck somehow because it is cheap and combo-riffic! 42% turn 1 win, no land
I guess I'm missing out then, haha. I've never played EDH, simply because i feel a need for consistency. Although, with Generals i'm sure i can make a somewhat consistent deck. I want to play, but with goals i don't think i'll be creating a EDH deck anytime soon.
I do hear you out on the Legacy being hard to get into though. With how expensive the decks are, i would NEVER suggest jumping into the more extreme decks. However a Budget High Tide Deck or a Dredge Deck would be very possible, for $100-$200 total. Which is cheaper than plenty of the Top-Notch Standard decks out there, and Dredge is still a Turn-3 Taboo Win. Table-Flipping your deck into your graveyard by Turn-3 is a thrill you can't really achieve in any format other than Legacy. Plus when going up against somebody that has NEVER seen a Dredge Deck before, they treat you like you're an idiot, and when you end up swinging for overkill, they just drop their jaw. Casual Players Love setting up matches between Me and anybody who hasn't seen the deck, and the matches usually go the same. I find it fun :)
I love standard to be honest. The format constantly changes and your skills get to be tested and improved once the meta is forced to shift. I think that standrad keeps you on your toes and on the look out for new strategies that may not ever have a chance to evolve in other formats due to the larger card pools to draw from.Modern is another format that I really like. I think that the card pool is just large enough to create enough diversity to give near equal power to any build you want to attempt. The drawback is that some of the cards that are popular and/or powerful in the format are hard to come by and out of the average price range.Legacy is something that I have never played yet. I have taken about 12 years away from MtG and I don't feel that it would be viable for me to get involved in formats that draw from ALL available cards competitively. I'm sure for what it is, Legacy is great, but I don't feel its for me as a recently back in the mix player.
Standard: I only play this format because it's what the majority of people play. Right now, it's pretty varied as far as tier one decks are concerned. However, the current state of Standard is the exception, not the rule. Typically, the format is dominated by one or two decks, sometimes three. At which point, every game is basically a mirror-match. There's not much room to innovate and try new things, either.
All of this is the result of the smaller card pool. There's only so many good cards when you're looking at 500 to 1,000 cards, give or take. Even cards that are good still don't see play because they don't fit the meta. I've also taken issue with Mythic Rares because they've turned Standard into a $500-entry format (compared to $200 years ago). This makes it incredibly difficult for new players to compete and not get stomped at FNM.
Modern: It's doing much better now that Jund isn't dominating the entire format. There are far more decks available in a wider variety of archetypes. It's also faster than Standard with more interaction among its players. I think Modern shows a lot of promise, especially since none of its cards are on the reserved list.
My only issue with modern comes down to how dominating some cards are that are controlling the way the format works. If you're playing black, you play Dark Confidant. You play green, you play Tarmogoyf, Vendilion Clique, and so on. There are exceptions to this, but the format is currently dominated by its staples. I think staples like these are dominating the format since there aren't any other options that even come close. I'm not sure if the cards are necessarily ban-worthy, but I do think the DCI will need to start unbanning cards unless they want more instances of Jund-type domination.
Extended: One of the best formats for MtG, although Modern has killed it and it will never be played again. I doubt Wizards will ever decide to replace Standard with it. The card pool is large enough to allow for the innovation and creativity of Legacy, but small enough that there are fewer degenerate interactions.
Commander: It's starting to grow on me. I like the variety of decks you can use. The limitations of what cards you can use based on your general really add a lot to the format. There's also a lot of cool cards you wouldn't normally get to use in other formats, like Sheoldred, Whispering One or Acidic Slime. It's also easy for newer players to get into compared to other eternal formats. But, that's not to say older players can't drop some cash into their decks.
What I dislike is the passive play that comes from playing free-for-all multiplayer games. The person who wins is often whoever sat back and watched everyone else kill each other. Some of it is just the nature of free-for-all, some of it has to do with not being able to consistently deal with multiple opponents. Two (three/four...five?) Headed Giant EDH is a blast, and so is one vs. one.
The only reason I'm not a complete EDH junkie is the banned list. It needs an overhaul, especially if they want the format to feel fun and casual. Some cards are just abusive in this format, like Deadeye Navigator. Others are broken in other formats, and are broken in EDH, like Mana Drain and Strip Mine.
Legacy: Legacy has come a long way since it got a separate banned list from Vintage. There's not much I can say that hasn't been said already. There's a lot more balance to the format than even Modern.
Vintage: Once you go Vintage, you'll never look back. Not only is this format home to Magic's most abusive combos, it's also home to its nastiest control and aggro cards. Vintage has the benefit of a community full of spike players that give good feedback to Wizards, on top of having a banned and restricted list that's been in place for over a decade. It's by far my favorite format. Every card in your deck has to be carefully considered, for Vintage is about who makes the least amount of mistakes. You will be punished for making bad plays, and you will punish your opponents for making bad plays.
The best part is how varied the decks are and how different they feel. There's a tremendous difference to how $T4kS plays and how MUD play, despite both being based around Mishra's Workshop. The top 8 decks of any tournament almost always have at least six distinct archetypes in them. Even more importantly, there's always a deck that went rogue and showed up with something completely original.
You haven't played Magic: the Gathering until you've sat down for some competitive Vintage.
We're missing one of my favorite formats (if it can be called that) and that would be limited.I used to play in a lot of FNM drafts and I like the fact that you're always going to be on roughly the same level as regards power level of cards (unless you open a stream of bombs)Winchester drafting (a type of drafting for 2 players) with a regular group means you can also get extra fun out of buying your boosters which is great.
As a casual player (I'll likely never invest enough money into getting a standard deck) i prefer to play EDH for all the reasons stated by others already. Its also a great way to use bizarre, cheap rares that'd be worthless in any other situation (which i love)
I gotta say that legacy is my least favorite. I feel that its very difficult to innovate into new decklists and find that the games tend to be the same 4 or 5 archetypes with everyone and their moms playing several key cards in every deck (Force of Will, Wasteland etc.) I find it to be a stagnant format, to me MTG is about deck construction and innovation and Legacy just doesn't do enough of that.
I prefer the casual format, where chumps who have spent 10,000 local currencies on a deck are asked politely to leave and never come back.
Seriously though you can enjoy standard, modern and/ore legacy without buying rediculously overpriced cards, you guys need to find other more friendly places to play.
As for my reason it's difficult to navigate a deck with only one copy of each card, and have 100 cards. The sheer skill you need to build one is insane, and I don't mean the ones that combo off early. Those are easy to build compared to a nice homebrew.
When I was first introduced to Magic many a year ago, I had no idea there were different formats, so it was 100% legacy, and I hated it. It seemed like every casual game I played, someone just had more expensive cards and combos that my deck had nothing to with which to oppose.
To this day, I have mixed feelings on legacy/vintage. It's neat how you can get creative with fun and interesting combos, but that's really only a small subsection of the format as a whole, wherein the rest is powerhouse decks that just wreck everyone's world, and I personally rarely have any fun with it, win or lose.
Modern to me is a lot of fun. There's still a few ridiculous cards, still the possibility for turn-one victories, but it's just been given more focus by Wizards, and begins at a time when they'd learned their share of lessons about how to break this game. Is it well-balanced? Not really, I don't think. I'm of the opinion that, as the formats get larger and larger (in terms of available cards), it just becomes a less feasible task to balance it fairly. In a typical 60-card deck with a 15-card sideboard, I find it's always becoming harder to handle every possible curveball an opposing modern deck can throw at you. It's still really fun, but I can't take it too seriously.
Standard is about as fair and balanced as the game can get to me, which is why it can be a lot of fun, but it does tend to leave things a little bland in my eyes. Still, it's what I play the most. It's a fresh, rapidly evolving game where everyone is as new at it as you are, usually, and that's really cool. That's not to say other formats don't evolve, but they don't do so as rapidly as standard.
On that note, keep buying Veldrane of Sengir while he's cheap! I get the feeling that dude is gonna skyrocket some day soon, and people who own a few hundred will be millionaires. I have a whole coffee table I made out of my Veldranes, and I regret butchering them for that purpose.
EDH? Making my first deck lately, with what little progress I make viewable on my profile (and suggestions always welcome). It seems fun, and I hope I can get into it. It may sound conceited to say, but I need a casual format. I have a very difficult time being competitive in a game where I will sometimes, in a very literal sense, rely on luck of the draw.