Blog the Magic Gathering

A poor man's blog for Magic the Gathering (MtG), Wizards of the Coast (WoTC), deck construction, cards, combos, game play, MtG podcasts, etc.

What is "Magic: the Gathering"? Magic is a collectible fantasy-themed playing card game kinda combining Uno, War, Chess, and art dealing: match colors, draw 4, high card beat low card, different cards attack in different ways while you ogle hot chicks and dragons drawn by your favorite artists on cards you can sometimes sell for big money.
It's Pokimon for grown ups. Srsly, get your Pokimon player a Magic deck and they'll instantly sprout pubes and consider a career as a mathmatician.

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Highlights of Blog the Magic Gathering:
MTG Podcasts (I should update this)
Music: the Gathering (MTG Compilation)
M:TMNT (Magic: The Mutant Ninja Turtles)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009:


Sideboard, Side-board, Side Board! ...then UnSideboard.

What is a sideboard?

Sideboard (Alt: side-board & side board. No matter how you spell it, you need it.)
[It's not a noun, it's an imperative.]
Definition: The last 15 cards in your 75 card deck, required to have fun and win game two.

Casual or Competitive, for money or for fun, you should make a sideboard and I'll tell you why. I'll first start with the Casual reasons to sideboard, because the Competitive reasons are a bit more obvious.

Casual: If you only play for fun, you might think you don't need to sideboard for your Squirrel deck, but here's why you should. Chances are you'll eventually play someone who's getting way too much satisfaction from stomping your Squirrels into the ground and they're not being at all polite about it, that's when you bring in your sideboard and teach them to treat Squirrels with more respect or pay the consequences. ;) A more important reason: sideboards break the monotony, they turn one deck into many decks, you can practically go from mono-blue to mono-red inbetween games, from Mill to Burn in 15 cards or less, so you can tailor your favorite deck to your mood and play whatever you feel like playing without having to make multiple decks. Sideboarding is an economical way to help prevent burnout, it keeps the game interesting.

Casual Sideboarding Idea:

UnSideboard - Just about everybody likes UnSets, but since they aren't tournament legal alot of semi-casual or pro players only buy a couple boosters instead of a whole deck's worth and they never get to see how fun it is to actually PLAY an UnSet; to take avantage of this trend in spending, make a hilarious UnSideboard for your favorite deck. Take your semi-Casual play to the next UnLevel. The Divine vs Demonic duel pack is begging for an Infernal Spawn of Evil. ;) ["It's coming!"]

Competitive: Alot of amatuer players don't make sideboards, that's one reason they're amatuers. If you want to play competitively, the reason to sideboard is simple: No sideboard = No trophy. How many people win Pro Tours without sideboards? Not many. I Googled "won without a sideboard" and got ONE hit, ONE, and it was about playtesting, not the Pro Tour. If you compete you will be surrounded by people who all think they have the best deck and they typically think that for good reasons, so you need cards which efficiently disrupt their decks while helping yours, but there are so many decks out there that the cards you have in your main deck will probably not work well against ALL of them, thus you will have weaknesses against specific decks and weakness does not win trophies. Also, if your deck is any good, serious players will have their friends play decks specifically designed to beat yours in the early rounds and chances are pretty good they will beat you since they are specifially dedicated to exploiting the weaknesses of your deck: your color, your tribe, your mana curve, there are plenty of things to exploit and they WILL be exploited.

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Thomas Painter   
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