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  1. #1
    Senior Member MistahBoweh's Avatar
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    Maxing the Top and Playing for Outs

    Contained within are some relatively advanced strategies. If you do not fully grasp the game's core mechanics, I suggest checking strategy elsewhere first.

    Maxing the Top and Playing for Outs: how to rip like a champion

    'Playing for outs' is what I refer to as playing with the top of your deck in mind, instead of just looking at the immediate options. Like, if the only way for you to survive on board is by playing a Tidal Wave next turn, then that's what you need to play for. Anything else and you lose. So go ahead and hit your opponent with your allies, punish him a bit, don't try to staunch a blow that will kill you no matter what. And don't bother dropping more allies onto the table, either. You'll just be playing into your own sweeper.

    If you end up losing, then oh well. There's not much else you could have done. But if you 'rip like a champion', then slam that wave on the board. Suddenly, your hand is a stack of beats that you weren't playing because you were fishing for the wipe, meanwhile your opponent overextended to push for lethal. Now you have him. If you weren't playing for outs, you would have emptied that hand and now you're in the same boat he's in, only you have the lower life total. He probably has 5-6 turns to draw a weapon and you're pretty much dead, but now you've shortened that clock a ton. Now you're the aggressor.

    That's a pretty drastic example. Let's say your opponent has a Berserker's Edge on the table with 4 durability. If he connects on you with both of the final two swings, then you're dead. You have no allies on board.

    Your hand contains three cards, and all of them are Kristopher Wyld.

    You could throw all your wylds at the weapon, sure. You'd lose three cards, and your opponent brings you to 3 life. Then you're playing off the top, while he still has say two cards in hand and a Blood Frenzy. Not a good place to be.

    If you wait a turn, he gets one swing in, puts you to 6, and the weapon is enough that your Wylds can kill it. But is it worth it? Let's say your draw off the top is a War Banner, something not so relevant. Do you play the banner and your trio of wylds, or do you wait one turn?

    Let's say your deck has 20 cards left in it, including three smashes, two King's Pride and a pair of Bad Santas to dig for them. Not too shabby. Drawing one of your weapon destructions will be huge. Now you have six hasty power and there's nothing he can do about it. He's weakened by his BF and lacks Enrage, so now you get to go on offense and he'll be the one who needs to play for outs. Then you have your armor, which not only stops his weapon kill dead but also turns your Wylds into efficient beaters.

    If you play out your hand, it's not very likely that you'll be able to win. Sure, it's possible, but if your opponent isn't an idiot he should have you. What you need to do is play for outs. Wait another turn, go for the KP or Smashing Blow to take back the game. Sure, you have an answer to the immediate board state in your hand, but that doesn't always mean that using it is the best course of action. Drawing cards is always relevant, and sometimes the best way to play is to rely on that relevance.

    This kind of playstyle will do a few things. First of all, you need to know your deck, and your opponent's. Very well. You need to know exactly how they can win, and exactly how your deck can stop that from happening. Any less and you'll just end up making mistakes. You also need to know how to evaluate your hand, to figure out how easily you can answer him with what you have and what position that will force you into before deciding to play for outs.

    Secondly, people will think you're a lucky f***. And for good reason. From their end, it looks like you got nothing, like you've given up and you're not even trying to fight back. Which in a way, you have, unless you find your out. People will rarely see this method of play as skill, even if it puts you in the best possible position like none of your other options would. People WILL get mad. They WILL hate you. That's just how it is.

    Have you ever thought to yourself, "I need to draw XXX or I lose"? If so, it's time to play for outs.
    MistahBoweh - Paragon of Paragons
    Warrior of the Blue Phoenix
    Greatness, Reborn

    My Strategy Site: The Boweh
    Latest Article: USED: MistahBoweh VS SamuelJ

  2. #2
    1.27 Tournament Champion Raphael Majere's Avatar
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    Very good article. 2 Thumbs up. :-)

    A top SE player comes to mind immediately when I finished the article.

    About me: An Interview
    About my guild: Warriors of the Blue Phoenix

  3. #3
    Senior Member Orenjer's Avatar
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    Nice write up. Spoken like a true seasoned MTG player.

  4. #4
    Senior Member MistahBoweh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orenjer View Post
    Nice write up. Spoken like a true seasoned MTG player.
    And a seasoned MtG author at that

    Love the shandalar reference in yer location, by the way
    MistahBoweh - Paragon of Paragons
    Warrior of the Blue Phoenix
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    My Strategy Site: The Boweh
    Latest Article: USED: MistahBoweh VS SamuelJ

  5. #5
    Senior Member Orenjer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dndfreak View Post
    And a seasoned MtG author at that

    Love the shandalar reference in yer location, by the way
    Yeah, thanks. Always loved (and hated) MtG lol. SE is here and it reminds me of MtG '94, who knows how this game will evolve?

    Keep up the articles!

  6. #6
    Senior Member MistahBoweh's Avatar
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    Thanks, and to Ralph too

    I'm really starting to wonder how much of us actually HAVEN'T played Magic.
    MistahBoweh - Paragon of Paragons
    Warrior of the Blue Phoenix
    Greatness, Reborn

    My Strategy Site: The Boweh
    Latest Article: USED: MistahBoweh VS SamuelJ

  7. #7
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    I'm sure we all have, or at least Yu-Gi-Oh!.

    I still play both. Lol

  8. #8
    Senior Member Orenjer's Avatar
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    You'd be surprised to know that there's a lot of SE players who never played a CCG/TCG in their life and some even had it the other way around (introduced to SE, then started playing MtG!). I guess this is because of SE's availability to mobile app stores for Android/iOS devices. That's a lot of market traction there, adding the fact that this game is free to play.

    You still play MtG? Man, I'm so left out, I stopped playing around 2005, but I'm still collecting up to this day for certain artists. I just can't keep up with the time/financial resources needed to stay competitive. SE's easier to keep up with via mobile.

  9. #9
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    I would have guessed most of the serious/'good' players had played MTG at one time or another. One can't help but look for similarities, or feel things out the way you do for an MTG game. Not having instants in SE pisses me off sometimes, but I have to remind myself that it's a different game and should have different mechanics. It's simpler and fun and hell, doesn't lead to divorces due to ridiculous expenditures on cards. (Hasn't happened to me, but I know someone that this happened to...).

  10. #10
    Senior Member Calmdown's Avatar
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    Yep.
    Calmdown * Shadow Era Designer * Logan Stonebreaker & Brutal Minotaur Fan Club

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