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June 17, 2012

58

Build a Magic 2013 Intro Pack Contest

by ertaislament
Goblin Artisans

There’s something about a competition that brings people together once it’s concluded. Certainly in my seasons playing Aussie Rules, there was nothing better than sharing tales on the day over a few pints with the opposition after the game. One could hardly expect things to be much different when the clash is in the arena of the mind instead of the body, and it is just this coming together that has inspired some of the more interesting collaborations in the Magic community today.

For instnace, in late 2010 Star City Games hosted the Talent Search, a call for new writers and fresh voices to the Magic scene to compete for a steady writing job. It attracted a great deal of talent, and of course while many were worthy only a few could win. Once the contest was over, three of the entrants- Daryl Bockett, Brandon Isleib, and Bruce Richard- put their heads together and founded The Muse Vessel, a site focusing on their shared passion, multiplayer Magic. In a turn of events that reinforces the lesson that hard work creates its own fortune, all three were picked up as staff writers by Gathering Magic a year later, and all three continue to produce excellent content well worth a read.

A similar thing happened with last year’s Great Designer Search 2. This time, the challenge was to find a new member for Wizards R&D, and the second incarnation of the contest took a decidedly more collaborative approach. Each contestant was expected to assemble a team to help with design, and when it concluded a number of the contributors and contestants decided that they had more to offer on the topic. So began Goblin Artisans, a superb design blog.

Last August, Jay Treat and the Artisans kicked off a massive project- designing a Core Set. Many players have dreamed up new cards or the idea for a set, but the Artisans took the professional approach by breaking down previous core sets in to design skeletons, and set about building a fictional M13 (viewable here at Wizard’s Familiar). It’s been a great ride, and they’ve recently concluded design of the set. In that light, we’re partnering with the Artisans to bring you the Build a Magic 2013 Intro Pack Contest.

Inspired by the You Make the Mirage Theme Deck articles on the mothership (which resulted in the Burning Sky Theme Deck on Magic Online), we’re looking to make a single M13 Intro Pack through the input and collaboration of the Ertai’s Lament community. We’re keeping it simple and fun, and the guidelines are as follows:

1. Beginning today, we’ll kick off each segment with a poll here in the feature article, much as was done on the mothership. Each poll will be kept open for four days. We encourage voting, of course, but what’s more we’d love to see input and feedback in the comments! Tell us what you chose and why. Let everyone know how you’d see the deck shape up!

2. After we’ve assembled the deck, we’ll randomly pick one comment from each of the poll articles. The commenter’s name will go in a hat. That means you’ll want to comment in each new article to maximise your chances of winning! Note that comments have to be real comments. We’ve always been very liberal with our definition of “real,” but just want to avoid comments that don’t engage the narrative in any way or are one word in length.

3. We’ll randomly choose two names out of the hat. Each winner will receive a Magic 2013 (the official M13) Intro Pack and a trio of M13 boosters!

That’s it! So to get us started, here’s our first poll. Which colour pair would you like the deck to be? Because the Goblin Artisans M13 design plays with allied colours (more on that as we go), we’ll pick from those:

So in short, vote in the poll, discuss in comments, and help design an M13 Intro Pack deck for the Goblin Artisans M13 set, and you could win one of two prize packs just in time for when the real M13 hits the shelves!

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58 Comments Post a comment
  1. web8970
    Jun 17 2012

    My vote goes for red-green.
    Though not a dedicated fan of that combination myself, the purpose of the Core Set is to provide an introduction to this great game and to create fun.
    While blue decks are mostly control oriented, thus requiring some skill and black ones tend to kill the fun by removal spells, what is greater than overwhelming the opponent with either a horde of large creatures or a bunch of burn spells?
    Get it going!

    Reply
  2. Jun 17 2012

    I threw a vote down for G/W. In a precon environment, I think we could make something fun to play in that combo. One way to set the theme would be to decide which color’s legend would be the foil rare and build from there.

    Reply
  3. Jun 17 2012

    I have to go with Black/Red. Blue/White is played out in Standard, while Blue/Black and Red/Green have Standard-viable tournament decks. As for Green/White, well…I’m just sick of White at this point. lol. But yeah, I’d like to see how creative we could be with a Black/Red deck (depending on the theme, of course).

    Reply
  4. Lucas
    Jun 17 2012

    I chose Blue/Black for one major reason: there are rarely any control-based Intro Packs. They almost always focus on creatures, so a control deck is typically not that good. Hopefully in this ‘M13′ set it has enough to make one viable

    Reply
  5. Jun 17 2012

    I’m throwing my vote in for Blue/Black. Every set should have at least one in my opinion and with the possibilities those colors present we could create a real fun deck. I don’t think it should be a control deck though. It should be some kinda suicide deck or something else unique to the blue/black combo that lets new players know there is more then just control in the darkside’s playbook.

    Reply
  6. Jun 17 2012

    I\’m throwing my vote in for Blue/Black. Every set should have at least one in my opinion and with the possibilities those colors present we could create a real fun deck. I don\’t think it should be a control deck though. It should be some kinda suicide deck or something else unique to the blue/black combo that lets new players know there is more then just control in the darkside’s playbook.

    Reply
  7. Jun 17 2012

    I guess blue/black is great. It allows for a control deck, a kind of archetype that is not too common in intro packs, or even a synergistic deck that wins in an unexpected way (much like the “Grab for Power” intro pack from magic 2012). Also, choosing blue/black means a greater deck building challenge than simply putting together a bunch of creatures and some buffing effects.

    Reply
  8. Grue
    Jun 17 2012

    I like the idea of blue/black deck, at least introducing some control elements…I think it should be possible to bring in such elements without raising the complexity too much for an intro pack.

    Reply
  9. Laurent
    Jun 17 2012

    Blue/Black, but not for the Control elements. The way I see it, Intro Packs (especially from Core Sets) should be easy to play.

    Blue provides creatures with evasive abilities (mostly Flying), protection via countermagic and card drawing engine (optional in the way I see the deck, but one Ponder cannot hurt).

    Black provides anticreature strategy (removing possible blockers and/or threats), hand dirsuption (the control element of the deck : stealing something from your opponent’s hand so he won’t play it), possible life-stealing spells (to finish the opponent) and graveyard recursion (reanimating my dead creatures to beat you a second time).

    Both colors also have some big fatties that could be put inside the deck (think about creatures like Rune-Scarred Demon or Benthic Behemoth, for example), since we all know that, in the end, Magic is just about having the biggest babe there is on the board and beating your opponent with it :)

    So, here would be my choice for a Blue/Black deck : a horde of evasive creatures, protected through hand disruption, creature-kill spells, reanimation, life-stealing and around 2 to 4 (maxi) countermagic.

    In some ways, it can be seen as a mirror image of the idea submitted by web8970 for the Green/Red deck, maybe a bit more controlling.

    Reply
  10. Blaven Jaramillo
    Jun 17 2012

    I’m voting for Blue/Black. The control element of those two colors would make for a really exciting intro pack! Blue for counter spells and Black for removal. Now, if only Blue/Red were a choice…

    Reply
  11. Chris
    Jun 17 2012

    I say go for blue white. Presuming that, if they chose to make two colour intro decks they would do all 5, I have voted for the one that I think will be the most interesting to design! Lets try and make a blue white deck that avoids the typical control archetype. Lets do something a bit different and really try to push this and challenge ourselves :) I think the other combinations will tend to build themselves a bit to much.

    Reply
  12. errtu
    Jun 17 2012

    Green Red all the way! This is how I started playing Magic, back at 4th ed. and it remained my favorite play since today (Wort the Raidmother EDH!). With green setting up for ramping with cards like Arbor Elf or Farseek, delaying the possible attack as well with a good old Fog and building into the nice green monsters like a Duskdale Wurm while meanwhile you have your red cards like a Searing Spear or two, a Dragon Hatchling to grow with you (at least in power) as you lay down more mountains, and getting perhaps a Firewing Phoenix.

    Ah, now some Giant Growths to pump up those little critters. Perhaps throw in a Goblin theme even. It suits the “intro” part of the deck with some nice classic cards combined with some newer.

    Reply
  13. Jacopo Sassi
    Jun 17 2012

    As the comment above, I would love to choose U/R…Alas!
    Anyway, I voted for R/G, because I think it is an excellent pair of colours for an Intro Pack: both colours allow new players to experience many facets of the game, while keeping the approach fresh and immediate. Green would showcase ramping(through spells or creatures “à la” Llanowar Elf), creature enchantments and huge creatures ( which would make players understand abilities like trample). Red’s party gift would be burn spells (both creatures and player-oriented) and a wide array of creature abilities (haste, first strike, flying, eccetera).

    On a side note, I would really love Intro Packs to be more consistent: I believe that their “learn the game, explore many ways, try to modify what we gave you” structure could remain the same even without all the 1-ofs thrown here and there. Moreover, if we give a new player 3 Rancor, he will soon be able to decide whether he needs/likes them or not. With a single Rancor in the deck, it will take many games before he draws/uses it, without even thinking about its usefulness.

    Reply
  14. Roni
    Jun 17 2012

    I went R/G – fatties and burn seems like an easy to grasp combination, with potential for doing some different and interesting things.

    Reply
  15. Scott
    Jun 17 2012

    Despite it being the least popular choice, I like the idea of Blue/White. A few years ago I won a competition by building a U/W deck composed of flyers and some simple control (pacify and such). My opponents couldnt handle the deck’s evasion theme and the odd time they did, my deck could handle it. Some lifelink was nice as well to absorb a bit of damage to keep your smaller flyers on the battlefield on the offensive. Throw in a few bigger creatures and voila! Intro deck! I would love to build an intro deck that can be used to introduce Magic to new players but still be interesting enough for other players to want to pilot it. That archetype even got me 3/5 at a pre-release.

    Reply
  16. Joe Angilella
    Jun 17 2012

    My vote went for red green. Core sets are supposed to introduce new players to the game an draw them in. It should really showcase how cool and fun magic can be. The red/green color combo will really appeal to the timmy in new players. I think its best to draw people in with really cool monsters and flashy spells. And while not always, this color combo does offer simpler and more straight forward ways to build a deck. It can get players used to the basics of the game, and teaching them basic abilities like haste. If a new player sees and reads the reminder text of haste on a card, they will understand that most creatures can’t use abilities or attack the turn you play them, which is something new players forget a lot.

    Reply
  17. Nathalie Goddy
    Jun 17 2012

    Considering the 2013 intro packs will be mono-coloured, I find this contest highly amusing!

    Any combination is fine with me, except for U/B, since the last two sets already featured intro packs in that combination and I’m tired of it.

    Reply
  18. Varo
    Jun 17 2012

    I chose W/G. I know that this pair doesn’t have the best removal in the game, which is very important in a precon environment, but in my opinion, white nowadays has tools to fight aggro and burn ( often precons win that way ), with pacifism, oblivion ring and life gain. This way, having answers at low rarities in white, we can focus on creature enhacement through the exalted white creatures and pump spells from green to deliver massive blows with evasive white fliers while holding ground with fat green creeps.

    Reply
    • Icehawk
      Jun 18 2012

      Like the sound of it. Didn’t think about that before I voted UW just because it’s my favorite 2 of the 3 Bant colors. Would let the deck showcase exalted, which is a plus and part of the goal of these decks.

      Reply
    • d00n
      Jun 18 2012

      I think thanks to the Fight mechanic, Green has great options for removal which also works with the plan you established.

      Plus nudging people towards strategies like Fight + Deathtouch, Fight + Regenerate, Fight + Pump (before Combat to boot!) is nice. :D

      Reply
  19. Jun 17 2012

    I think a blue-black mill deck would be amazing. Using blue to stall, black to kill, and that new artifact to mill, it would be great. Mill is so beaten down in standard, and serious players often don’t regard it as a playable strategy. Plus, who doesn’t like a combo deck?

    Reply
  20. Yawgmoth
    Jun 17 2012

    I agree with Laurent. A Blue/Black intro offering that explores the design space outside of control could be fun. Like New Phyrexia’s “Devouring Skies”, but better.

    Reply
  21. Diennea
    Jun 18 2012

    I voted RG, it seems to me the easiest pair to play and this is a good thing for a precon of a base set.

    Reply
  22. Ray
    Jun 18 2012

    I voted for blue black. As a new magic player (~2 months) I’ve found the intro packs I’ve bought tend to be decidedly creature based. I think a blue/black could be an intriguing alternative with some neat mechanics to avoid needing the BIGGEST CREATURE EVER RAAAWR! I perceive this deck combination to offer many options and be responsive to the (growing) skills of the player.

    Reply
  23. Cody
    Jun 18 2012

    I vote Red/Black, there haven’t been a lot of good Red Intro packs in the past, blue and white is dominant in Standard right now imo. I usually will pick up one or two for the foil and other card additions to my collection, but with this new set I feel that red and black is coming back.

    Reply
  24. lightside
    Jun 18 2012

    Personally, Green is my least used color, so I thought it would be very nice to think about designing a deck with green in it. My vote eventually went to Green/White. Of all the allied color pairs, green & white have always felt the least cohesive to me.

    Alsp, I completely agree with Chris. If this were a real product, we would have to design all 5, so let’s pick the most interesting one for our experiment here. Discussion on what should and shouldn’t be a deck is moot. All 5 would have to be made and balanced in a real design scenario at WotC.

    Reply
  25. servent of yawgmoth
    Jun 18 2012

    damn i was hoping for black white exalted oh well blue white then i guess

    Reply
  26. Justin
    Jun 18 2012

    I vote for blue/black because because that combination offers a broad range of play styles but, with good card selection, can be kept simple to understand.

    Reply
  27. Sonicjosh
    Jun 18 2012

    I think white green would be a good combo here, from what I’ve seen so far from the spoilers, they both have some good cards at the common and uncommon level. And it could be especially good if we see Ajani’s Pridemate come back since they seem to try to put a lot of focus on life gain. It also seems like white has exalted all over the place in this set, which is good with a flyer like Serra Angel, or just good to pump a big green guy to be that much bigger, great if it has trample.

    Reply
  28. Liquid155
    Jun 18 2012

    While not my favorite colour combo, I went with White/Blue. When I think Intro Pack I think of something that a new player can pick up that will be instantly functional and consistent, while still having something of interest for more experienced players.

    I think white gives access to a lot of cheap creatures so the new player should always have some attackers and blockers, blue gives evasion and lots of instants and sorceries. I think White/Blue can give a nice mix of aggro and control elements without bogging the new player down in complexity like Blue/Black might. The new player can start off with their Elite Vanguard’s and Glory Seeker’s while learning when to play their Unsummon’s, then when they build up their skills they’ll be Mana Leaking the Doom Blade against their awesome bomby Sphinx!

    I think White/Blue can keep Timmy, Johnny and Spike happy!

    Reply
  29. Ville
    Jun 18 2012

    I voted for G/W because it as always tested as the most popular colours in magic, especially with newer players and thus would probably get more exposure. And they often help new players get a grasp of the game without getting to tricksy.

    A simple and straight up deck that shows newer players what Magic is about is what you want from an intro deck and I think that for a core-set that doesn’t have any specific mechanics to sell it should be one of the better at doing just that.

    Reply
  30. Proletarii
    Jun 18 2012

    Voting on black/red. I really love that combo despite not seeing many of them. The innistrad carnival of blood deck was pretty damn cool – a good feel and some nice creatures in there.

    Reply
  31. GP
    Jun 18 2012

    I voted for green/white. My gf started playing a few months ago and from her experience, green/white was the easiest to learn with. For beginners, creatures are easier to understand than spells. An all green deck would be really easy to learn with, but it could also be quite boring. White creatures usually have abilities that make the learning process a little more interesting without being overly difficult.

    Reply
  32. Nick
    Jun 18 2012

    Red green seems like a good idea. I began the game with the allies deck from zendikar, and after months of playing only g/w I’ve returned to r/g with the undying cards of the innistrad block. Red green can be very easy to pick up and simple to use, but with slight modifications can be very complex. I suggest an intro pack that ramps up to big creatures, then uses pyroclasm type cards to kill everything but your big creatures. With no opposition, no overrun type cards (which seem overused in preconstructed decks) are needed. It’s a good combo, but one that could be easily avoided. Therefore it isn’t overpowered, but it can still be fun and able to get someone into the game. Also very easy to improve upon. Perfect for an intro pack. :)

    Reply
  33. Benjamin Zeledon
    Jun 18 2012

    My vote is for Rakdos (Red/Black) for the sole reason of going towards archetype. With the return of Nocturnus to M13, it can be assumed that Vampires are now stronger and can be included in an intro pack along with the captains and other Innistrad Vampires along with plenty of burn and removal. This deck can likely be used immediately and help new players get along with the game with a well-known archetype.

    Reply
  34. I’m going with Black / Red. Use the power of necromantic creatures such as zombies, skeletons, and vampires to attack, use the direct damage of burn spells to eliminate the defenses. Perfect new player material!

    Reply
  35. jon Sterling
    Jun 18 2012

    i say Black/Red. one of the toughest things that has been in the precons is the lack of removal. if it is to be creature based what better base than to do some creatures with haste and some with deathtouch. plus this will give a chance to showcasin how red digs for cards and black can find ‘em at a higher cost.

    Reply
  36. McCall
    Jun 18 2012

    Easily Green/White. It serves as a great introduction to new players, with the traditional ramp and fatties in green, and small creatures/tokens and exalted in white. It would be fairly easy to pick up and use as well.

    Reply
  37. eguye
    Jun 18 2012

    W/U is my vote. Since the exalted mechanic is a defining part of the set, in my opinion the deck should focus on that for sure. I’d like to see white exalted creatures, such as Sublime Archangel, supported by the blue elements of the deck – it’d be interesting to play and have its own flavor to it.

    Reply
  38. Jun 18 2012

    I went with U/B. I really enjoy what we’ve been seeing can be done with blue (cough…delver…cough), but I really want to see something unorthodox. Perhaps by combining some unlikely cards together, we can see what is really possible!

    Reply
  39. Adam
    Jun 18 2012

    Blue-Black has been hated on lately…would love to see it come back.

    Reply
  40. d00n
    Jun 18 2012

    I would totally be up for U/B if we had enough for a Pirates tribal deck. :(

    I voted for W/G. Seems like there’s a few ways to demonstrate some basic mechanics (Enchantments, Combat tricks) as well as that Forest bond which outright tells people they should be playing more than one colour.

    Reply
  41. Jun 18 2012

    I’m going for blue black. Hopefully for an untouchable armada with fear and unblockable creatures with some hexproof.

    Reply
  42. Mat
    Jun 19 2012

    I vote B/R mainly because as long as I’ve been playing Magic I’ve never really played with that combo much. Maybe use black for card advantage and red for creature removal and damage.

    Reply
  43. John L.
    Jun 19 2012

    Black/Red. I just love the chaos they can provide together: Rakdos was a great guild from original Ravnica. Plus, I’ve been playing vamps in Standard (I know, I know, not a major Tier 1 archetype, but it’s fun nonetheless at my kitchen table) so it’s a color combination close to my heart.

    Reply
  44. Jun 19 2012

    I vote for WU because the Wii U is coming out so it’s in the spirit of things. Also, I like WU.

    Reply
  45. Michael
    Jun 19 2012

    My Vote Goes for white/blue because health counter spell all the way

    Reply
  46. LostWalrusHater
    Jun 19 2012

    I went with R/G. Like one of the guys above said, I think the combination of some big green stompy guys with some burn thrown in could be a lot of fun to play.

    Reply
  47. Travis
    Jun 19 2012

    Red-Green because I love Red and when it is in conjunction with Green it provides for some pretty fun ramp decks!

    Reply
  48. Jun 19 2012

    I’d have to pick U/B. There’s nothing quite like the experience of having to second-guess every play you make when you’re up against a U/B deck.

    Is my Serra Angel going to be countered? Or will it resolve and immediately fall to a Doom Blade? Players new to Magic will be given a crash course in strategic planning and would have to constantly think ahead in order to outsmart a good U/B deck. With the right list, we can really push for that feeling of constant dread.

    Reply
  49. kennokuo
    Jun 19 2012

    White-Green, as I’ve found that when teaching new players magic, white and green are often the easiest colours to give them, they’re not quite as complicated as a control strategy- play my dude, i play bigger dudes, attack, hopefully i win.

    Reply
  50. CFabian
    Jun 19 2012

    All of the color combinations offered have their strong points but I’d go with U/B because I would love to see a deck that introduces a new player to a good variety of important play mechanics (evasive creatures, removal, disruption, along with a couple counterspells) while being relatively straightforward and fun to play with.

    Reply
  51. Havor
    Jun 20 2012

    Red-Green. Newbie friendly with creatures with style and nice burning cards! Pure flavor – pure win!

    Reply
  52. Jun 20 2012

    Ultimately I think all five of these combinations need to end up with intro packs, but for the purposes of building one here, red and green are the most appealing colors to most new players, so it should help us to get oriented building a primarily introductory product like a Core Set Intro Pack…
    But on the other hand, the Goblin Artisans M13 has a nice little Nautical theme and Blue-Black is the perfect place to build Pirate Tribal!

    Reply
  53. Jun 20 2012

    Blue-Black is the best choice, because Raiding Pirate is an amazing card to marquee, and the deck can play out in a few different ways.

    Reply
  54. Ben N
    Jun 20 2012

    I think white/green is the way to go. I’ve been following the Artisan’s project for a while, and to me white has the most interesting spells. I considered red/green, as that feels the most “intro” or intro colors, but with stuff like Kird Ape, it almost feels to easy to build. I want a challenge!

    Reply
  55. Hirshey
    Jun 22 2012

    Honestly, I would like to see a good black red or Blue white deck. Although I hate control, I would hope that the u/w deck wouldn’t have any. And B/R was horrible in Avacyn (imo) so I would wanna see that come up.

    Reply

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