Jeremy’s note: Magic the Gathering has been around for over 25 years now. The game has changed quite a bit over time, but a great deal of it has remained the same. Many of the strategies for playing the game have stayed the same. Only the mechanics change, and power level of cards ebb and flow.
Today you can go to numerous websites and other players to receive help on Magic: the Gathering. But, in the early years there were not many resources. The first MTG website was called The Dojo. A lot of the strategy that players still adhere to today were formed on that sight. I spent many hours on that sight. One such article I remember reading to this day is called “Who’s the Beatdown?” by Michael J. Flores. It points out that in each match of Magic there has to be one player who plays the role of the aggressor and one who plays the role of the control, and the player’s job is to understand which role he/she is in during each match. I reference this article quite often to new players that come into Chimp’s, and I watch as the light bulb goes on in their head as it all clicks into place.
With our community continually growing I wanted to have an easy place for our new players to reference this extremely helpful article. So, with Michael J. Flores’s permission I have posted this article for you all to read. although this article references many cards that are long out of print the foundation of it is so solid that players can easily translate it to today (20 years later). I have added some card images to the article so players can reference the older cards, but the article is entirely Michael’s.
I want to thank Michael for allowing me to post this so our new players in the community have it as a learning tool, just like so many of us did back then.
If you find this article helpful please take a moment to look up the Top Level Podcast. It is made by Michael along with Pro Tour Hall of Fame member Patrick Chapin.