Balanced, friendly, and creative online Magic.
Talk to any Magic: The Gathering player (or especially an ex-M:TG player) long enough, and there's a good chance that eventually they'll wax nostalgic about the days before they had even heard of things like "netdecking" or the "metagame." Whether it was fostered through the happy ignorance of childhood, simple poverty, or because their "good old days" actually did pre-date competitive Magic, consistently we seem to miss a certain low-powered playing environment where deckbuilding wasn't about making an established archetype or single combo as efficient as possible. Rather, it was about working with what you personally had, not the total of what's available, and the results were often surprising and fresh. Perhaps best of all, these quirky decks didn't get stomped consistently, because our friends were all in the same place.
M/tg/ is an attempt to recreate that sort of play environement, and we'd love to have you play with us.
How it Works
First, we collectively decide on several blocks (that is, a time period of M:TG's development) to play. Keeping the games within these ensures that the strength of everyone's cards and the special mechanics printed on them generally "match up." Each player is given a personal Collection randomly generated from a certain number of booster packs, from which they can build decks to play against others.
The Collections are just small enough to be distinct from one-another and to reward creative deckbuilding over attempting to just build whatever has won tournaments. Since everyone's Collection is generated the same way, it's more or less a level playing field. Certainly not "he with the deepest pockets wins," as the complaint sometimes goes.
When playing within the given blocks begins to feel stale, or people start feeling like they've exhausted the potential of their collection, we choose a new set of blocks to play and send out new collections. We call the entire cycle a Season.
We are currently in Season Three, which was decided to be Lorwyn/Shadowmoor. Season Three collections are constructed thusly:
- 6 Tenth Edition boosters
- 6 Lorwyn boosters
- 3 Morningtide boosters
- 6 Shadowmoor boosters
- 3 Eventide boosters
...for a total of 360 cards, not counting basic lands. Since we allow a full playset (typically, 4 cards) of any card appearing in a player's Collection, this might not be as restrictive as it sounds.
How to Get Started
First, find or start an M/tg/ thread. If you start one, it's suggested that you open with the material on this page, so new people can figure out what's going on.
If this is your first season, make a post with "dice 1d42" in the email field to see which collections you'll use! If you like, use a name/tripcode in the same post (put a user name followed by ## and then a secret password you can remember in the name field), and you will be entered in the player registry, which carries forward through all seasons.
(The advantage of using the registry is that anyone you challenge to a game while using the same name and tripcode can verify that you didn't cherry-pick your collection, as well as comparing your play against their own copy of your collection so they know you aren't cheating by using cards from outside it. Ultimately, it's not a replacement for good sportsmanship and it's not required to play, but it's a good idea.)
Your roll result is you Collection ID, and it determines which Collections you will use.
Once that's done, it's just a matter of setting up your client so you can start building decks and playing with us. This season, we're trying out LackeyCCG instead of Magic Workstation, for a quicker and easier setup and so that we can play multiplayer games. Following Bort's LackeyCCG Quick-Start Guide is probably the clearest and quickest way to get set up; just specify "magic" as your plugin, and select the "high" quality (you can always change it later if your computer or network connection can't handle it). Also you may want to set the name that will identify you within Lackey on the "Player Profile" subtab of "Preferences." Don't forget to click "Save Profile."
Once you're done with that, you should be able to browse through the entirety of M:TG in your "Deck Editor" tab. As you browse, the card images should automatically download; you'll notice green text appearing near the top of the window whenever you mouse over new cards. Now you just need the M/tg/ Collections, which are located here: http://www.mediafire.com/?xx6564lqi9pat
From Season 03 - Lorwyn + Shadowmoor 360.zip, Put the "cardpools" folder DIRECTLY into your \LackeyCCG\plugins\magic\ directory, wherever you installed Lackey. Lackey will not open collections inside sub-folders or otherwise not exactly in \plugins\magic\cardpools!
Then, while in the "Deck Editor" tab, click the "Open Packs" button. The bottom panel should then be empty. Click the "Browse..." button near the bottom, near the other save/load buttons for cardpools, and select the .dek file which corresponds to the Collection ID you rolled at the beginning of the whole process.
Now your bottom panel should be displaying your collection! Try the "View Tiled" button to get an overview. You can drag-and-drop to build collections in the top panel. You are allowed to use a full playset of every card in your collection; multiples have already been removed and basic lands added (this is why your collection doesn't actually number exactly 360 cards). A "playset," in this case, being "four copies, unless the card states otherwise, or unless the card is a basic land in which case you may use as many as you like." All decks must number at least 60 cards total.
Once you've toyed around with your collection and built a few decks, it's time to play!
Finding a Game
Find or start an M/tg/ thread, and/or check #TGMagic on irc.mibbit.com. Find an opponent, or several. Then, on the "Server" tab in Lackey, click "Find server and connect." From here, one person must host a game, preferably with "M/tg/" or some other easily recognizable identifier in the title and the correct number of seats. With a pre-arranged game, you should use a password, though you can just leave a game up and hope a fa/tg/uy wanders in. The others find the game from the list, enter the password if prompted, and click "Join Selected Game." From here, you can choose a seat, load your currently viewed deck via the "Load to you" button on the Deck Editor tab, and start playing!