Deck building can be a lot of fun. Coming up with a gameplan, then building a deck to execute that plan is almost a game in itself. Running different iterations, testing and re-testing, building mana bases… it’s an arduous process. This is why many people take to the internet to find existing, or proven deck lists. An entire industry based around recording and reporting deck data has emerged for Magic: The Gathering. Not all deck content is created equally, however. Reports show that a YouTube video about a “meta-killing” 150% win-rate deck list isn’t even going to bother playing the deck.
YouTuber PragmaticOwl released a series of videos introducing new decks across a variety of formats. In it, he goes into detail about the cards in the deck, how they interact to execute the gameplan, and makes bold claims about performance.
“They say death and taxes are the only sure things in life. Well, they’re wrong. There’s always going to be a need for new, exciting deck lists. And also, I don’t pay my taxes. The decks on my YouTube channel are proven to be some of the best unknown decks that sound like they’re really, really good. Though, I wouldn’t know since I’ve never actually played with them. But I bet plenty of my viewers have validated my claims after investing hundreds of dollars to build my decks. You might think it’s irresponsible of me to try and convince people to spend money on my decks, but I always give good advice to people considering it.“
PragmaticOwl details his creative process for his deck list videos.
“First, I pick an existing deck list or gameplan that’s already had plenty of proven results. Then, I start making substitutions because I know more than everyone else. Once I’ve altered the decks in a manner significant enough to call it an original idea, I boot up OBS and start recording.
“I usually start by going over the deck. I do this by showing people a card. Then, even though people can see the card—you know, because it’s a video—I like to dictate the cards features. I tell people the mana cost, what kind of spell or land it is, read the text on the card and, if applicable, the power and toughness. I like to sprinkle in thoughts about the art and flavor text. Sometimes, I’ll pretend like I know something about the game’s lore to give some context, but mostly it’s bullshit.
“Usually, it takes a good 20-30 minutes to read every single card in a deck—longer if it’s commander. After that I go over the gameplan and how the deck executes it. At least in theory. Then, once that’s done I end the video and make sure to mention I’d like viewers to like, subscribe, and comment for another good ten minutes before signing off.
“A lot of commentors asked if they could see the data behind my claim that some of my decks have a win-rate greater than 100%. Others ask why I don’t play the deck to demonstrate it. I don’t think they understand how long it takes to read every card in a deck. If I actually played all my unbeatable decks not only would it be unfair to every other Magic player, but I wouldn’t be able to maintain my schedule of five new videos each day.”
We followed up with PragmaticOwl who said the overwhelming number of requests to see demonstrations of his deck lists has forced him to start learning the rules of the game. At time of press he was nearly through the Magic Arena tutorial.
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omg. dry erase cards. Of all the dry erase cards these are the driest. “How dry are they?” As dry as my wife after hearing me talk about how great MTG is. Sahara dry.
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