Restarting game. Need suggestions

General forum

Posted on July 18, 2018, 1:01 p.m. by Nosebleed

I'm restarting the game after laying off it for awhile, mostly cuz a friend's little brother is interested to learn and I thought it'd be worthwhile to teach him a thing or two.

What do you guys recommend I buy as a start to teach him how to play? The products now look so different than what I was familiar with and I feel rather lost to be honest.

cdkime says... #2

To start, I would recommend going to your local gamestore and purchasing two preconstructed decks (Target and Walmart both have them as well, but you will find more variety at your LGS).

Personally, I am a huge fan of the (now-discontinued) Duel Deck series. While these decks are quite bad competitively, they are a wonderful tool for teaching new players for several reasons.

  • First, and most importantly, they all are about the same power level. Whether you are playing Elves vs. Goblins (the original set pair), or Elves vs. Blessed, you're still in for a relatively fair game.
  • These decks generally provide a number of cards with different mechanics (a result of their being no four-ofs), allowing new players to get a good grasp of different interactions.
  • The lack of consistency makes for many different types of games, which helps newer players stay interested.
  • You can get a couple with very different playstyles, ensuring new players can learn what they like.

That's not to say there are not problems - the decks themselves do not tend to have valuable cards, so have little resale value and are not worth upgrading.

Currently, Wizards has discontinued Duel Decks in favour of Planeswalker Decks. I have not purchased any of these myself, but they seem to fill the same basic niche. I would presume they are about the same power as the old Duel Decks, and could be evenly played against any of those.

July 18, 2018 1:14 p.m.

Scytec says... #3

I actually disagree. The pre-constructed Commander decks are phenomenal products. Virtually every other one wizards produces is terrible. I recommend hopping on Card Kingdom and ordering a rookie deck in each color. There are 5 and they are perfect for teaching players the basics. They are also very cheap. After y'all figure out what colors you enjoy the most, I recommend purchasing a few Battle decks from the same company. These are mostly balanced and allow a higher level of play, against at a low price point. After that, build to your hearts content. :p Welcome back!

July 18, 2018 1:21 p.m.

GrimMonolith says... #4

I agree with cdkime, buying a more recent copy of the Duel Decks series, like Merfolk Vs. Goblins or Elves Vs. Inventors. Also, check out the Tolarian Community College to see whether it is actually worth to buy some products people will recommend.

July 18, 2018 1:51 p.m.

maxon says... #5

I suggest you peep WItC's beginner decks. They are thoughtfully built, and easy on the wallet. Deck Page

July 18, 2018 4:53 p.m.

clayperce says... #6

Nosebleed,
Welcome back!

Imo, it's extremely hard to beat the Core 19 Planeswalker decks. Or the free 'Welcome decks', if your LGS has any left.

One thing to be aware of: A bunch of sets will rotate out of Standard on 5 Oct (when Guilds of Ravnica releases), so I would not advise buying into Standard at this point.

July 18, 2018 5:27 p.m.

Nosebleed says... #7

Interesting. I'll have to check out if there are still Duel Decks being sold around then.

Am currently eyeing the Planeswalker decks but am not sure if it can function without a Planeswalker. IIRC, the concept of a planeswalker is quite challenging to grasp, so I plan to teach without the planeswalker for the first couple of games at least.

Someone mentioned Challenger decks. I wonder if it's too challenging for beginners to grasp the multitude of rules available...?

July 18, 2018 7:05 p.m.

cdkime says... #8

Not sure about challenger decks, but I can answer your question about Planeswalker decks. You should not run them without the Planeswalker. Each contains cards that tutor for the Planeswalker or receive other benefits if you control the Planeswalker.

That said, these decks should not prove a problem to pilot. The Planeswalkers they provide are extremely simplified, and pretty mediocre. Their abilities are simple and straightforward, and were clearly designed for new players.

July 18, 2018 7:28 p.m.

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