Greetings Everyone! I am Muffin and I regularly subject to myself that is the mental and financial thrashing that we call Magic: The Gathering. If everything goes as I planned I will be writing one column a week on everything from deckbuilding to game play to sideboarding. For now I will just introduce myself and do a small piece at the end trying to sum up the “Magic Clock”. The idea of the clock being an analogy of metagame deck types, and that each beats the deck type counter-clockwise from it.
I am 22 years and am rather new to the game, but I love it! My favourite color is blue, and am I am a Spike at heart, with a little Johnny tossed in. I like to win the games I play in, and if my cards happen to do something neat or synergistic in the process great. A quick history of my competitive decks: in DA I played a version of delver (with a few of my own twists thrown in), in Ravnica I played American Miracles, and now I play Esper Control. Ia m currently starting to get into Legacy and Modern.
And now on to the article!
The “Magic Clock”
Aggro Decks: Aggro’s general attitude is, “Drop my hand as fast as I can and swing, swing, swing”. Yes there is more to it than that, but that is the basic idea. Aggro wants to do as much damage as quickly as possible. The triangle shows us that Aggro beats Control (remember every deck type generally beats the type that is counter clockwise from it). This is because usually Control decks take a few turns to get the board in state stable enough for them to put out their win condition. This gives the Aggro deck plenty of time do enough damage to kill their opponent.
Combo Decks: These decks keep playing until they have the pieces needed, play them, then look at the opponent and ask “Response?”. If the answer is no, then great, Combo wins! The clock shows us that Combo generally beats Aggro. Generally combo decks only take a few turns to “combination of cards” (Combo) into play, using some type of draw or search spell. When they finally do, they simply win. Aggro decks being mainly built of damage, usually have little or no way to stop spells from resolving.
Control Decks: Control decks are all about denying their opponent the ability to do anything, up until they point where they can drop an almost unstoppable win condition. This is done mainly through the use of counterspells and removal, i.e. Oblivion Ring, or Murder. This deck generally beats combo decks because of this. Combo decks rely on a very specific set of spells or abilities to win. Usually, if any once piece of this combo is removed, the deck can’t win until it gets it again. This allows the control deck the time needed to find it’s win condition.
Obviously there are spots around the clock, and even in the middle, where these “meta-types” mix and you get hybrid decks. This creates much more complicated interactions, but generally these basic rules still aply.Hopefully this has given you a clear picture of why certain matchups you have might not be going well.
Next week, I have a couple of articles in mind. The first being a rendition of the famous “Who’s the beatdown”, or I could dive into my current standard deck going through the list, how it’s matchups are, and some neat interactions I have found that I did not expect. Please email me with your thoughts of which article you would like to see found at the bottom of the page. If you have any other comments, questions about this article, or ideas for new articles shoot those my as well, and I will do my best to respond either via email or in a future righting.