ec2-35-172-233-215.compute-1.amazonaws.com | ToothyWiki | MagicTheGathering | RecentChanges | Login | Webcomic Tied to which is: the decision is 90% based on the relative financial standing of the two players (or at least the extent to which they are prepared to pour money into Magic).
Definately agreed. And very sad. (Although once you decide to pour 'enough' money in, and go with buying singles, the price drops again) -- Vitenka
Again, I broadly agree with your point, although I think 90% is an exaggeration. But you're right, those with more cards will have more deckbuilding options, and probably be more likely to win as a result. I really dislike this :( ...but I fear it's kinda inherent in the concept of a CollectableCardGame. It was a clever decision by some marketing guru, to sell random packs rather than a full set of new cards (like the expansions to SettlersOfCatan or the SettlersOfCatan/CardGame), and it works. But I really dislike it.
That said: some decks of all-commons or nearly-all-commons can beat a lot of rare-heavy decks. A lot of commons are dirt-cheap, or can be easily traded for. And I think WizardsOfTheCoast do quite well at their stated aim of making good cards in common, uncommon and rare. So you can build good decks very cheaply. You'll have restricted deckbuilding options, of course. But finance isn't necessarily a determining factor of who wins. However, ultimately, your point is a good one. It could be viewed as the fault of whoever designed the concept of a CollectableCardGame; or it could be viewed as our fault for playing a game that is open about being a CollectableCardGame. --AlexChurchill
They learnt quickly. Original magic anticipated that a 'rare' would be a card that an individual player MIGHT see during the lifespan of the game. As opposed to 'so I use four of each of these and get a first turn win 40% of the time' (No, I'm not kidding. As I said, they learnt quickly and banned liberally)
Their newer stated aim was that a "rare card would give you more options" - they are less successful at this. Rare cards are still, on the whole, more powerful than common cards (often there will exist a common equivalent with the same cost and slightly less power - I think ogre warrior vs granite gargoyle is the classic example. - Both 2r, both 2/2, one has flight and r - +0/+1 the other, um, doesn't.
However, NetRunner proved another thing to them. NetRunner truly is the pinnacle of "rarity doesn't matter" - starter decks win tournaments, but rare decks are more interesting to play. Overspecialising on the 'good' rares always leads to fragile decks etc. etc. They fulfilled this wonderfully. Sold two starter decks to every CCG player... and never managed to shift another booster pack. (Well, practically) They were literally giving it away a few years ago - just to clear the warehouses. Which is a real shame, because it means that aenue of game design won't be properly explored for years. -- Vitenka
MoonShadow wishes to point out that the tradeoff isn't money vs deck performance, it's money vs time spent building decks, practicing them against each other and acquiring cards in ways other than buying them vs deck performance. The time vs performance tradeoff is present in some form in most strategy games.
Um, that tradeoff does exist. But there is a huge buy-in level. If you don't spend more than that level (or don't go online and find the BEST way to spend that level, and thus end up having to spend more) or foolishly decide to trade for cards that look fun, or interesting - rather than the ones which defeat the strategy most currently present - then you will lose and lose again to the catasses with the cash and the decklist they downloaded from the net. After you have spent the money, then time comes into it - and yes is important and fair and fine - but the money is there first. Unless you play using apprentice ;)