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Tolarian Tutor: Deck Archetypes - Aggro, Control, Combo - A Magic: The Gathering Study Guide

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Learn to improve your MTG gameplay with these videos: Tolarian Tutor - Mulligans: https://youtu.be/Q6aUeTn-DYY The New Player's Guide To Drafting Magic The Gathering Cards https://youtu.be/fUqPxSYPfrA TCC Shirts! Playmats! - http://www.tolariancommunitycollege.com/ Or you can support me directly over at Patreon -https://www.patreon.com/tolariancommunitycollege Tolarian Community College is brought to you by Card Kingdom! You can support The Professor just by checking out their store through this link: http://www.cardkingdom.com/TCC Our Professional Consultant is my own tutor, Emma Handy Twitter: @Em_TeeGee FaceBook: facebook.com/EmmaHandyMTG Our Script Supervisor is Michelle Rapp Twitter: @ninox_morpork Check Tolarian Community College out on Twitter: @TolarianCollege FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/TolarianCommunityCollege/ If there’s something that humans are very good at, it’s categorizing things - themselves, cats, colors, even Hogwarts houses. That’s because we’re adept at recognizing patterns, not just in how things look, but how they interact with one another. In Magic, we often see recurring themes and patterns in how certain decks play out, and how they interact not just with your opponent, but the board state as well. We call these archetypes, because we see them come up in almost every format again and again like an old friend, or in some cases, an old nemesis. By labeling these different deck archetypes, we can understand what a deck is trying to do just by hearing the name of it. If I say “Red Deck Wins”, you know this deck is focused on a Aggro strategy, has no Control elements, and uses cards like lightning bolt and goblin guide. It immediately tells you what the deck is trying to do, and how going about it. In this episode, we’ll be exploring the three primary types of deck archetypes we see in Magic: The Gathering: Aggro, Control and Combo. We’ll talk about their strengths, their weaknesses, and how to evaluate cards to build these archetypes in both Limited and Constructed. Which of these archetypes should I play? This depends on the format, and also on the timing. If you’re looking for a good win rate, the best time to play an Aggro strategy is usually right after a set comes out in Standard. Because the format is still being in some ways “figured out”, being proactive and focusing on just killing your opponent is an effective way of getting those early wins. Once a format becomes more defined, it’s easier to build a Control deck to beat what other people are doing, which is usually at the end before the next set is released, or before rotation. Combo is sprinkled throughout the lifespan of a format sometimes, when and if there is a good busted combo in a Control deck. If people are playing a lot of Aggro decks, then it’s a good time to do one of those Engine decks, as long as it’s fast and can kill by turn 5 if there isn’t interaction. But honestly, the real answer to this question is: any of them you want! What is amazing about Magic: the Gathering as a game is its flexibility. You can express yourself through gameplay in almost any way you might wish. I love my Modern Merfolk deck, and no matter how it’s doing in the meta, I’ll continue to play it, regardless of what other people think. For you that might be your Cat tribal Standard deck, your Burn deck, or even 8 Rack. Whatever you choose, follow your bliss and fine tune it to the best of your ability. Different people play Magic differently, and in that lies the inherent beauty and freedom of the game. Music Courtesy Of: "Vintage Education" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
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Text Comments (459)
William Jeanrie (9 days ago)
So i got a question for anyone to answer. I have a green deck that has lots of big creatures that i get out fast with early llanowar elves, spells to search my library for forests, and land enchantments. Based on this video it kind of sounds like a control deck but ive never really though of green as control. My question is is this a control deck? Can green be control? If anyone has an answer please let me know :)
Red Lotus (16 days ago)
I loved the return to ravnica U/W control deck! It was really powerful. I splashed red for Keranos, which won me quite a few games.
Michelle Poggers (22 days ago)
This is awesome. I’m so brand new to magic and this really helped me out. Especially about winning or losing lol I’m very competitive definitely makes me understand the game so much better. Thanks for sharing your knowledge will pass this knowledge to other people. :)
Ben Ginter (27 days ago)
Thank you for the video. This was professional and helpful.
Aryk Patenaude (1 month ago)
You're so little
Dean Sprinkle (1 month ago)
It’s like crash course with john green... except mtg
stormsoul0 (1 month ago)
Love these videos... his hair grinds me though
Anon Unknown (1 month ago)
Feels like one of these Tutorial VHS series
Sgt Slim (1 month ago)
Oh shit It's Harry from dumb and dumber! https://gyazo.com/f68eff8924d749c58ce283e5955b554a
The Random Dude (1 month ago)
Very helpful
MaterialKnight (1 month ago)
Wow! This video could have the alternate title: "Why MTG is better than Yu-Gi-Oh!". In Yu-Gi-Oh! interaction with the opponent is minimal, all are autopilot 2-card combo decks. This means: 1 or 2 cards pull off the entire strategy, and there are a lot of cards that search others; because of this and that the minimum card total per deck is 40, they are extremely consistent, and since there is no resource management at all [no mana]), they are also extremely fast; most games are either decided or won by turn 1 or 2. Most cards have at least 3 (costless) effects, and that plus all the searching make a turn last forever. Each turn is like a Solitaire game (and I MEAN EXACTLY THAT!) On a side-note: Konami has to be shittiest company ever. They charge $5 for 9 smaller-than-standard-size cards, and have you seen the videos of the Prof. about his concerns with quality assurance? (Misprints, curved cards, low-quality foil, etc.) Well, take that for granted in Yu-Gi-Oh! Oh, I almost forget: In theory there are 2 formats, (actually there is only 1, because no one plays one of them) and both are eternal (you are allowed to use cards from any time in the history of the game to the present day). That gives a whole new meaning to the words "bulk" and "power creep". This means: Once a card is bulk, it's bulk no matter the context; and since formats are eternal, and Konami needs to sell the new sets, new cards tend to be much more powerful than all previous versions with similar effects. I could also mention other things, like: Konami cares 2 fucks about preserving value for the customer (there is no such concept as "Reserved List"), but this rant is already too long, and it could go on forever. I'm happy to have left that life. Sorry for the foul language, Prof.! PD: For some reason I can't figure out, this community is also far less toxic, and much more... welcoming and friendly. I'm surprised that you guys don't insult or use sarcasm on reddit, forums or Youtube comments when you disagree!
Jacob Shawver (1 month ago)
Also most games don’t end turn 1-2 more like 3-4 or longer (sky striker, stun etc.)
Jacob Shawver (1 month ago)
YuGiOh has decks that have stood the test of time (ba) plus handtraps are interactive. mtg and ygo are completely different games
Twiggafinga (2 months ago)
That hellrider looks awesome
Twiggafinga (2 months ago)
I have an Ocean deck, Merfolk and Fishies haha Leviathans, sea serpents and my Kraken make up for power with my Merfolk for early game/island walk is fun haha. I even have a reef for a wall and my starfish allow me to scry. I'm hoping it works out
62chipo (2 months ago)
Wheres prison?
Jacob Shawver (1 month ago)
Prison is like combo/control
darkone9003 (2 months ago)
As a combo player i have to agree with when u said a lot of players hate me especially when I am in cedh match and do infinite damage turn 1 but I love it and don't feel bad for a second playing those kind of decks yes I am evil
darth revan (2 months ago)
Wow thanks I feel a call to Simic, Borros ,Izet,ahhh who am I kidding I want them all😋
darth revan (2 months ago)
You made video on this too cool I played in the 90s just got back in few months ago you can only imagine my what the heck happened 😂
Dalton Cannon (2 months ago)
Walks into the camera shot like a robot: "if there is something humans are particularly... ". He's an artifact creature.
Quackers_ (3 months ago)
Life gain is one of the most annoying to play against. Especially when their life gets over 90...
Man Upon the Precipice (3 months ago)
How hated is blue control with milling?
Hayden Pepin (2 months ago)
One of the 4 decks I run is a monoblue mill control against my friends, they def hate it lol
LUCKOF THEIRISH (3 months ago)
DZ comicz anyone?
Jackie Singleton (3 months ago)
Something you forgot to mention, *Christopher Walken voice* "Combos... they cheese your hunger away" P
GetJinxed (3 months ago)
I met you on Game Knights, glad to finally see your videos
Derek Glasscock (3 months ago)
I would Wrath of God when I had most of my creatures out to end the game faster in my favor
legoboy0109 (3 months ago)
Storm is fun...
ColasTeam (4 months ago)
I find it funny that Magic players find "combo" decks unfair, they'd ragequit in their first Yugioh game lol
Isaiah Quantz (4 months ago)
I recently finished making a Selesnya token engine deck for commander where my commander is Shana (she enters the battlefield with +1/+1 for ever creature I control). Cant wait to play it.
Joe Nobles (4 months ago)
Are your top teeth real?
Joe Nobles (4 months ago)
+Tolarian Community College cool, thanks
MetPhD (4 months ago)
Helpful indeed! Thanks!
sniperchris01 (4 months ago)
omniscience + enter the infinite
Empurress (4 months ago)
OK you clearly don't use wrath like my playgroup does. I myself have several decks that use wrath (and other board wipers) to remove opponents blockers so my indestructible creatures can get in for their attack. We also use creatures that destroy things if they aren't blocked. Bonus! ;)
Halfjack (4 months ago)
I'm bad at making control decks. My best ones wincon is imposing sovereign
GITIS (4 months ago)
Someone played a white combo. He played a creature which triggered 2000000 effects. he gained life and all the rest creatures had abilities if the owner gains life where they got +1/+1 or play creature. And the creature retriggered the effect to a never ending circle. It was the most antifungame
Bochaba (4 months ago)
thanks for the great content. Happy New Year!
Taindakia (4 months ago)
Wotc hates combo decks but is fine with counter decks and control decks. -_-
Francis Finne (4 months ago)
12:29 Hailorglphic Illumination :)
Lightning Collector (5 months ago)
Great video I think you shoulda mentioned cruel ultimatum during control cause that card has better value then Sphinx revo. Always loved your videos since way back great stuff professor thanks for all your help and teachings. ^^
j.r. Rabet (5 months ago)
So taking your example of devoted druid, all a removal spell would do with both creatures on the board is force the combo early. You could simply respond to the removal with instant speed abilities infinitely until you had the mana to play, say a helix pinnacle. Removal only stops the combo if used in response to a combo piece still on the stack. Felt that was relevant to mention.
KefkeWren (5 months ago)
So the fact that my combo decks never win is proof that I'm terrible at this game and should just give up. Got it.
PizzaBreads (5 months ago)
this guy looks like Jeff Daniels
Der Kobold (5 months ago)
Kiki-Jiki, Kiki-Jiki, Kiki-Jiki, Kiki-Jiki, Kiki-Jiki, Kiki-Jiki, Kiki-Jiki, Kiki-Jiki, Kiki-Jiki
WiR WiR (6 months ago)
So Kombo Decks are basically "Fuck this game i play now Yugioh"
Cameron Headrick (6 months ago)
Tyler Hilyard (6 months ago)
IceCream Samuel (6 months ago)
what a lovely guy and great guide also,thanks!
DEn Bond (6 months ago)
Y no midrange?
KC the KPop Legend (6 months ago)
man ty so much for saying that at the end there. were you said, play what your bliss is. i have been racking my brain and my bill trying to build a great deck but i always lose. but now i understand why and i dont feel bad about the deck i choose to play with. thank you. what a great channel.
Charles (6 months ago)
Aggro will always be cheap, fun and there will always be an aggro deck that is top in the meta.
Bryce Duyvewaardt (6 months ago)
As a new player this was tremendously helpful to transition from Yu-Gi-Oh. Great to see helpful youtubers giving info out like this!
John Turner (6 months ago)
Proff will you adopt me please?
Rafi Friedman (6 months ago)
Doctor Doofus (7 months ago)
It’s like a class for magic where the comments is whispering to your friends in class
JWentu (7 months ago)
I am really not into MtG but I must say I adore the way you speak. When someone fascinates you even when speaking about something you basically don't care about, it does mean something.
I'm just an Alien (7 months ago)
IDK why but to me he sounds like Lanipator from Team Fourstar lol xD
Russell Parker (7 months ago)
Hey prof, awesome video, just wanted to point out that at 8:08 I think you meant to change the pictured hellrider to condemn, not sure if you can fix now, but maybe a note there of what the card does for the less knowledgeable
The Joker (7 months ago)
Thanks for the class sir!
Connor R (7 months ago)
do you need to play blue for a control deck?
PassiertWas (7 months ago)
Golem Gaming (7 months ago)
Just made a blue black dimir aggro deck and I am about to make an mono red deck and I’m looking at a play set of lightning bolts right now
Zedalve A (8 months ago)
This vid has a pbs digital studio YT style feel to it
OksanaSean 2002 (8 months ago)
These are great! Thank you for doing this series! Side note: Loved the Joseph Campbell reference!
Tom Snooze (9 months ago)
I love this. You're like a combination of Crispin Glover and Jeff Daniels.
SirChocula (9 months ago)
I'm a full blown combo player :)
Nathan Romero (9 months ago)
morsomies1 (9 months ago)
Magic players OMEGALUL
Glenn Matthews (9 months ago)
I just want to let you know that I'm shitting out my guts at 7 in the morning while watching this video. Its bad.
postdrummer (9 months ago)
Putting it on x1.25 is a lifesaver
Kim Casale (9 months ago)
What are you a professor in?
justin kirk (9 months ago)
Only been playing mtg for 4 mounths your videos are healpfull
Karim Jovian (9 months ago)
Jeff Daniels?
Emmett English (9 months ago)
Merfolk for the win!!!!!
Oleksii Mozgovyi (9 months ago)
Always try to play aggro in limited... control is just so boring)))
Aaron Booker (9 months ago)
First time magic player. Went to play constructed on Friday night magic night. Played against four people I just realised that everyone I played against used combo. Had a guy beat me in two turns. Another guy had three creatures that couldn't be removed with hex proof etc. Pretty much hate magic if all you have to do to win is go buy the cards they put on wiki. Turned me off to it completely
MiiTRI (10 months ago)
And then there are strange archetypes like hug and chaos that don't care about winning.
Mequam BlueSpark (10 months ago)
aaaaand i'm gonna attack you with INFINITE deceiver exarch
KessigWolf (10 months ago)
What does limited and constructed mean?
Etching Doom (11 months ago)
Very informative! Thank you!
りりなきょのぶ (1 year ago)
Should've included mill to (͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
Shanna Heckler (1 year ago)
Go to woodprix page if you want to learn how to build it yourself.
AmericanGamer21 (1 year ago)
They need more tribal devil cards
Dustin Collins (1 year ago)
Professor just called me out. 8-RACK WILL RISE AGAIN!!!!
Sean Eggermann (1 year ago)
The best way to lock your opponent out of the game is to kill them before they can do anything, including their first land drop. - 2018 Casual Flash Hulk Player (Shameless Self Advertisement)- http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/kiklaschulc-hulk-flash/
EloquentTroll (1 year ago)
I wouldn't say RDW has no control elements, if you're playing against one of those rare faster aggro decks you have to know how to use your burn defensively (controlishly), or you'll just die. This happens most commonly in mirror matches when you are on the draw.
Iahmonster01 cool (1 year ago)
Pokemons better
Bastien Clarke (1 year ago)
dana holland (1 year ago)
I have a question about the second 2 card combo if you add to many -1/-1 counters wouldn't it kill our card because it would bring the toughness down to zero?
B Smith (1 year ago)
Lightning bolt *is* a control element. It's more of a faulter effect in RDW, but there are different levels and draws of aggro decks.
Christopher Teale (1 year ago)
To many ads Prof!!
WhitlaPhobia (1 year ago)
Since the exarc doesn't have haste how does the kikijiki work given that the tokens are destroyed at end of turn
Wyatt Maniscalco (11 months ago)
WhitlaPhobia kikijiki give the token copies haste
thatguy 69 (1 year ago)
Prof fo you think that when playing aggro a good way to avoid the long term affects of facing big cards like gear hulk would be good if some of your creatures had inflict that way if you swing and get blocked you still get some damage through because personally I don't play much aggro I'm more into combos to end the game in one turn or controlling the board to keep key parts of my opponents desks of the board but I love playing a aggro inflict deck I made that makes it easy to keep swinging even when someone plays a 9/9 even if they block I still get something and by that point it usually becomes lethal.
Gabriel Gunello (1 year ago)
Amazing! Exactly what I was looking for! As an excentric player who wills to brew weird stuff. Understanding the game is a must and this series is about it! Thank you very much!
Makak the Nerd Monkey (1 year ago)
fun fact : my local game club for both MTG and Warhammer is called Tolaria !
JB S (1 year ago)
Vamp Mid <3
Xavier Hoppersmith (1 year ago)
I would argue that Bomat courier is a very powerful cards. I set myself up for many 6 for 1s and 7 for 1s. It's amazing. - Ramunap Red Player
Fierce_Foxx (1 year ago)
Love the Prof. Good stuff
TheMagicBeanie (1 year ago)
Anybody got any Ideas what deck I could build with a white and red mana and having nahiri the harbringer
Mrvoid100 (1 year ago)
I'd be interested in a video where you talk about ramp and ramp midrange.
Hans Gerber (1 year ago)
took me a while to notice that Sensei's Divining Top in the shelf behind him
MortarSK (1 year ago)
I thought this was clash royale video😂😂
Tony Quigley (1 year ago)
It's sneaky how he sounds like he's just got all this info in his head but if you look closely, there isn't even a breath taken in any of this videos that isn't read off of a script next to the camera, you can see his eyes scanning line by line

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