September 28 2016 Wednesday at 10:43 AM

The First Days of Kaladesh

Yes, for sure, we all want to bust out and play with the new cards, and who can blame us?  There are some great cards in this set, and I am far more excited about these cards than I was about more Eldrazi with names that are not Emrakul.  So yes, starting sometime tonight for East Coast USA types like me, I will be trying to spike it up with vehicles, cheap Dwarf beatdown, new planeswalkers, and flying battleships.  

My OCD dictates that instead of updating existing decks, I must delete all my old decks and create new lists from scratch.  Whether you are building a new list after Kaladesh or updating an existing one, you have to be asking yourself "what is the meta?" or "what are the decks I will likely play against?"  This question informs your card choices and strategy.  I wanted to write this to quickly share my experience of what to expect from playing in the week one, scratch that, day one metagame of every expansion so far.


1.  The new meta won't be new yet.

I love talking about and speculating about what the new meta will be and how certain cards will change the Duels meta, but the truth is that if you read this, you already Duel on a whole other level than most Duelers.  Most Duelers don't have the release dates of a new Duels expansion set written on their calendar in huge letters with hearts surrounding it.  Most Duelers don't have a Do Not Disturb sign that they stole from a swanky Vegas hotel just for this weekend to bar entry to the man cave.  Most importantly, most Duelers don't have a hoard of gold.  Myself and many of my readers will be cashing in on that gold pile within minutes of downloading the update, but the majority of players won't get their butts in gear until they realize there are new goodies to buy.  That means this majority of players will break out decks that are either (a) fast, or (b) powerful.  Prepare yourself for white aggro, red aggro, vampires, izzet burn or turbo mill, and planeswalkers.  The new meta seems to actually set in at the high ranks not long after the Pro Tour, when those without the creativity to build or motivation to browse a forum figure out what cards they want to play, often because LSV said nice things about those cards.

For now, don't overthink the new meta, take cards that you know will be strong against the cards you already brawl against every day and go crush some gold miners.

2.  Be aggressive, or at least proactive.

Sure, you can play control, I won't get mad at you, I will likely play control a few times this week, but don't be excessively cautious.  Trying to play around every card from the new and old meta is silly.  Instead, find some fun threats and jam with them, come what may.  Most of the time the players you battle won't be prepared for whatever threat you have, as the game is so wide-open that preparation itself is futile for a few weeks.  In these cases you lose more games being overly cautious.  Of course, you could just play aggro and see if any of your opponents are ready to handle the new arsenal of threats.  This is a proven strategy in paper and digital Magic.  Now is the time, before the meta really sets in, to see if anyone can handle those vehicle synergy decks or something with all the burn you can find.


Tonight I'll be playing with all the new cards on my Twitch channel -

For release days only, I take requests from my viewers and I build and play decks around whatever card, theme or colors you want to see.  Come on out, the stream will start as soon as the update is available, usually in the 6-7 pm EST ballpark.  Whether you are Twitching or Dueling or both, have fun with the new cards, we only get some many sets a year.  Ride the hype wave!

<3 CGB

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