Frequently Asked Questions
What is Magic: The Gathering?
Magic: The Gathering is the first (and most popular) collectible trading card game. Spanning over 20 years in publishing, Magic has both stood the test of time and evolved in order to keep the game interesting. Each game of Magic requires a player to use a deck of cards to do battle against his or her opponent. Games are usually decided when one player reduces his or her opponent’s life total to zero.
Where does Dan of the Many come in here?
Magic is an incredibly complex game with many thousands of cards. The lists of abilities, card interactions, and various strategies can be dizzying, even for experienced players. Accordingly, the task of constructing a deck for play can be stressful, time consuming, and oftentimes quite expensive. Dan of the Many aims to provide players with ready-to-play decks custom tailored to their play styles, color preferences, and desired levels of competition.
Why should I play Magic?
Magic is a truly incredible game and is capable of offering many different things to various players. The game is one of the deepest and most intelligent strategic experiences around, promotes expanded vocabularies, acts as an exercise in logic, features some of the best fantasy art today, and is even starting to offer compelling stories and mythology to fans seeking that.
That’s cool, but what’s the deal with the levels on your site?
The levels denote the maximum value, and, ultimately, the competitiveness of the deck. Please bear with me while I do my best to explain.
Generally speaking, spending more money usually results in a more competitive deck. However, that does not mean that the deck will be more creative or more fun to play. Oftentimes the more competitive and cutthroat that Magic becomes, the less fun it is for everyone involved. Head down to any local tournament and you will probably find this assertion to be true. Tournament players are rarely laughing and/or joking around as you might expect one to be playing a game. These highly-competitive players are usually having less fun than their counterparts who gather with a bunch of buddies to sling some spells at home (or at a local meetup, Friday Night Magic, etc.). If you’re looking to compete at tournaments, I am happy to help you get there. If you're looking to have something fun to play with friends, I'd be delighted to make that happen.
Why do cards vary so much in price? Are the best cards worth these exorbitant prices?
Supply and demand of Magic cards is oftentimes dictated by the ultra-competitive Magic group, and this results in some wonky things in the pricing of certain cards. Accordingly, the Magic marketplace is a land of diminishing returns. What I mean by that is that a card costing $0.25 can often provide 90% of the performance that a $10 card does. These cards are what I like to call “valuable.” Value cards are beautiful. They provide ample quality/performance/fun without breaking the bank. Furthermore, clever deck construction can often mask the weaknesses of these value cards, thereby providing additional deck-level value optimization to the player. Value-oriented decks can be elegant, efficient, versatile, creative, and fun to play, without costing the average player a fortune.
What are the differences between the colors?
The Magic universe is composed of 5 colors -- white, green, blue, red, and black.
Each color derives the power (mana) to cast spells from their respective lands - white plains, green forests, blue islands, black swamps, and red mountains. Without going into too much minutiae, I will provide a general idea of what their core values are.
Qualities: Order, Equality, Synergy, Divine, Light
Abilities: Protection, First Strike, Lifelink, Vigilance, Flying
Strengths: Creature Synergy, Powerful Permanent Destruction, Enchantments
Weaknesses: Raw Creature Power, Manipulation, Card Advantage
Defining Tribes: Soldiers, Angels, Humans, Cats, Warriors
Qualities: Death, Demonic, Greed, Corruption, Power
Abilities: Intimidate, Deathtouch, Regeneration, Lifelink
Strengths: Powerful Creatures/Spells, Powerful Creature Destruction
Weaknesses: Artifact/Enchantment Removal, Self-Inflicted Damage
Defining Tribes: Zombies, Vampires, Demons
Qualities: Intelligence, Adaptability, Reason, Knowledge, Control
Abilities: Flying, Unblockable, Hexproof, Card Drawing/Looting
Strengths: Card Advantage, Permanent Theft, Counters, Evasion
Weaknesses: Raw Creature Power, Speed, Artifact/Enchantment Removal
Defining Tribes: Merfolk, Illusions, Faeries, Rogues, Sphinxes
Qualities: Nature, Life, Primal, Strength, Evolution
Abilities: Trample, Hexproof, Regeneration, Reach, Flash
Strengths: Raw Creature Power, Mana Acceleration, Lifegain
Weaknesses: Creature Removal, Predictability, Non-Battlefield Effects
Defining Tribes: Elves, Beasts, Centaurs, Treefolk, Spiders, Wurms
Qualities: Aggression, Fury, Destruction, Chaos, Freedom, Impulse
Abilities: Haste, Land Destruction, Artifact Destruction, Direct Damage
Strengths: Speed, Unpredictability, Damage Potential
Weaknesses: Enchantment Removal, Powerful Creature Removal, Raw Creature Power
Defining Tribes: Goblins, Dragons, Giants, Minotaur
What’s the deal with Magic formats?
Magic formats aim to divide the seemingly limitless number of cards into more manageable groups. The larger the number of cards that a format has access to, the more expensive and competitive the decks in that format are. Again, this does not mean that decks are more creative or fun to play, just that they are capable of winning at a faster or higher rate. An overview of the terminology:
Set: A group of cards printed and released in booster packs at a particular time. M15, Ravnica, Khans of Tarkir are all examples of sets. Additionally, a Core Set is released once per year which features a number of reprints of previous cards. Core sets are denoted with an M followed by the year of their printing. M15, M14, M13 are examples of core sets.
Block: A group of expansion sets released in successive order, often focused on a common story/character/theme arc. Blocks are usually named after the first Set of cards released within each block. Khans of Tarkir Block, Theros Block, Return to Ravnica Block, and Innistrad Block are all examples of blocks.
I make decks in the following formats:
- Standard: A format containing the most recent two Blocks of cards and the most current Core Set.
- Modern: A format including any card printed during and after the Eighth Edition Core Set and the Mirrodin Block.
- Kitchen Table/Just-For-Fun: Access to all cards is granted. This is a format to be played with friends and hopefully not to be abused. Friends will usually shame or ostracize other friends if they are abusing their access to cards in order to devise non-fun decks/strategies.
- Commander / EDH: A unique Magic derivative format emphasizing interesting interactions, clever deck building, and slower, more casual play. Commander games feature decks of 100 cards highlighted by one “Commander” who serves as the General of your army and can be cast anytime from a special area designated the “Command Zone.” The Commander format grants access to nearly all cards in the MTG history with a few notable exceptions.
How much is shipping? Do you ship internationally?
- Shipping is free for all decks sold in the USA.
- International shipping is $10 for the first deck and $5 for each additional deck.
Goofy Request: I have sold decks to people on every continent in the world with the exception of Antarctica. If you are ever there (and happen to have internet access) please inquire about a deck! : )
I have a bunch of old Magic Cards that I’m not using anymore. Do you buy cards?
Yes I do, provided that they are in good shape. Please contact me with all selling related inquiries.