The Mana Pool
Join Brian, Mike, Dirk and Chewie as they discuss all things Magic: The Gathering. Since there are plenty of tournament and strategy podcasts out there, we've decided to focus on the fun of the game in all its many forms, from Prereleases to multiplayer free-for-alls to whatever else we can come up with. Give us a listen!
60 Card Challenge - Introduction
​Hello there everyone!  Welcome to the first of the Mana Pool blog posts!  That's right, you've listened to the podcast, now read the blog!  Now how much would you pay?  Whoa, the blogosphere makes me sound like a pitch man.  Let's move on quickly.

Anyway, here's the deal.  I thought I would chronicle my attempts at knocking all my many casual Magic decks down to 60 cards.  Some background first!  Since I basically play big round-table multiplayer free-for-all type games, I didn't so much care about sticking to the recommended 60 card minimum.  If I had an idea for a deck, I wanted to run with it, number of cards be damned.  I'd throw in 20 land and there was a deck ready to play!

Paradigm shift 1!  As I matured a bit in my Magic-playing, I decided to impose a 64 card limit on myself so things didn't get too stupid.  I also went back and upped every deck's land count to 22.  Mana screw happened a LOT less after that, of course.  In fact, in the context of our playgroup, 22 lands has become my golden standard, and it's still where I start with a deck today.  I find I can draw out of any mana screw before it becomes a problem in a 4-6 person game. 

Paradigm shift 2!  At some point after that, I decided to knock my personal limit to 62 cards with 22 land.  This made the decks I built after this revelation more consistent and less likely to fail miserably (Well, due to statistics.  They still failed miserably due to construction sometimes.)  Mathematics can be very persuasive.  Not enough to make me move all the way down to 60, but I was getting there.  Sometimes I'd get done with a deck and find that it was actually sitting at 60 cards.  Sometimes I'd be happy with that, and sometimes I'd go dig out 2 more cards to add in.  Like I said, big round-table multiplayer free-for-alls are more forgiving with my group of dorks. 

Then the paradigm shifted yet again.  I'm not sure when, but I noticed that my more recent decks were (mostly) 60 card affairs.  Unlike the last two shifts, this one was not a conscious decision.  It just sort of happened without me noticing.  So one fateful day a few weeks ago, I signed up for Netflix.  This gave me access to a truly stupid amount of crap to watch instantly on my Xbox 360.  But I am not the kind of person who can just sit still and watch movies and whatnot.  No no, I need something to DO while I'm watching movies and whatnot.  I looked down at my Box o' Decks and knew what I must do.  I would turn each and every one of these bloated 61-64 card decks into a lean, focused 60 card deck.  Oh yes.  I could sit there in my living room floor screwing around with Magic decks for literally HOURS, which meant my Netflix subscription could kick off in grand style. 

And I decided to share that with all of you.  I kept notes about what came out of each deck, and a quick flip through a deck will tell me plenty about other things that could have come out.  Not only will this be a streamlining exercise, but hopefully it will give you (the readers) some insights into multiplayer deck building.  Or at least it will give you a glimpse into the way my brain works.  Of course, you'll also get a good long look at almost every one of my decks over the course of this odyssey, so perhaps you'll find some inspiration there.  At the very least, it should be entertaining.  I mean, you know how I am on the show (And if you don't then you should check it out.  I mean you're here already.  Really now.) and I have lots of articles on, so hopefully it'll be fun.  Stay tuned for the first deck soon!

Category:60 Card Challenge -- posted at: 7:44pm EST