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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
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 :)
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. :)
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!
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
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
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! ;)
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
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. ^^
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.
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.
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
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
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/
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.
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.
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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