Patriot Games

Monday, 5 November 2012

By who's standards?

Well here we are again - I am sorry to say that I have not finished any of the video footage from last weekend yet so that will have to wait till later this week before I put it up.  Thanks to "Magic" Steve for helping me on commentary - he is really good, I think he has missed his calling in life, he should be doing colour commentary for the WWE.

This is a blog of many parts, for the main part of it I will hand over to Mark Smith who has a few things to say about Standard and other formats.  I then have my Monday - "this is what I am playing Friday..." and then we have an announcement about the Invitational in 2013 and the PTQ, oh yeah less than 2 weeks to the PTQ!

Hi everyone, I'm Mark Smith, and I decided that I'd like to have a go at this blog writing thing and talk to people about format diversity and how to get into some of the different formats we play at relaxed.

Some of you guys might now be thinking to yourselves "who is this scrub, and why is he getting to write a blog? What does he know?" And the simple answer to that is, because I asked (And apparently Rich liked it).  Also, although I've not really been playing long, this puts me in a great position to offer advice to those that may not know quite where to start, as I can relate my recent personal experiences on how I myself got into these things.

I know a fair few people that believe that Standard is the most popular format, mainly because it is one of the most played, (Mike, I'm looking at you!) but after a little discussion with a few people down at the pub on Friday, I found that some people would rather play Standard, mainly because they lack cards from anything but the recent sets, and are therefore put off of other formats due to lack of cards.

A modern and standard staple.  Not worth keeping a one land hand for though...

This is where Rich's vision of FNM Relaxed comes in, as the aim isn't to build top tier competitive decks, it's to build decks that allow you to have a fun evening playing magic. And while a competitive Legacy deck might cost you hundreds, or thousands, of pounds, a FUN Legacy deck can cost you as little as £10. (Roll on next time, Flanking, that's different, right?)

This may or may not be in Mark's deck.

A big limitation for people is always money, but that's where the shop has you covered. While everybody loves the feeling of opening a booster for some new cards, there are boxes and boxes full of older cards just sat waiting to be explored.

Old cards can be really good - a nice team mate for Lingering Souls.

If like me, you take 15-20 minutes a week just having a look through for cards that catch your eye, you'll soon find yourself with a much broader range of cards to play in the older formats at a reasonable price. Modern Pauper is great in that respect, because for just less than the cost of a booster of new cards, you can get yourself 23 cards that will all be playable, and in colours or with effects that you actually want to play, because you'll have actually picked them. It can be boring just looking through the piles and piles of cards sat in those boxes, but the feeling you get finding that one card that makes you go WOW, to me is better than the feeling of opening a booster with a decent rare.

Forever awesome in Modern Pauper!

Alternatively, something else that might be daunting to new players is exactly where to start building a deck. With such a large catalogue of older cards, especially when it comes to legacy, the most obvious answer is probably; exactly the same place you'd start when building for Standard, but that's not really too helpful. I've found that picking a theme for the deck is generally the best way to start. Creature types work well for this, such as elves or goblins, but in Legacy, the power cards for those types of deck are generally quite pricey. Instead, look to less well known types, Thallids, Samurai, Giants, or even look to keywords or effects, like flanking, ninjutsu, or lifegain. They might not end up being powerful decks, but odds are you'll have fun playing them, and they won't cost you and arm and a leg, maybe just a finger or hand!

Goblins - always a good place to start with Legacy.

I think that will do for now, hopefully, if Rich lets me have another go at this, I'll talk a bit more about deck construction for formats, and a few simple do's and don't, that I've picked up or been shown as I've got back into playing magic.

Thanks for that Mark - an inside view form the FNM Relax guys.  This Friday is Standard in FNM Relax.  I rarely net deck but this weekend an awesome fun deck has come to my attention which I have to try.

This guy's flavour text should just say COMBO!!!!

 The deck is a RUG variant which doesn't run bloody Thragtusk main deck (it must be the only one at the moment).  It looks so much fun to play and can make infinite mana, infinite life and infinite guys!  Living the dream baby, living the dream!

I hit you with my 200, Hasty, wolf tokens...

Last, but far from least, people have been asking "how do I get an invite to the next invitational?"  Well there are several answers to that and I will let you know more in the next few weeks.  I can announce that the top 2 players at the PTQ on Saturday 17th November 2012 will each get (as well as other prizes) an invite to the invitational in 2013.  Don't forget there is also a sealed GPT for GP London and a modern GPT for Lisbon as well as the Pro Tour Qualifier.  See you there...


  1. What is the format for this weeks fnm relaxed. I really want to get my brew on. And the picture of goblin lackey makes me want to play goblins.

  2. Also am I allowed to play creatures with banding and call over a judge at every attack step?

    1. This week FNM Relax is good old standard. Next week is Pauper with a new banned list! You may play creatures with banding if you can find any but I don't think there are any in Modern Pauper...