So i'm going to be buying into MTGO.
Well, I ended up buying power and most of my deck. Now I need to buy
4x Force of Will
4x Scalding Tarn
2x Polluted Delta
1x Surgical Extraction
That's about two-thirds of deck cost right there. RIP wallet.
Man, everyone is so negative about MTGO!
Yeah, sometimes there are bugs and sometimes you'll lose a game to them. This has happened to me before, but very very rarely. Some of the user interface some people find unintuitive, but you can get used to that (some of the things people call bugs might just be unfamiliarity).
But in exchange for that, you have access to more regular vintage tournaments than you would in any paper metagame in the entire world. You can build an entire vintage collection for less than the cost of a single cardboard piece of power.
Infinite loops or no, I find the MTGO clock to be a huge benefit over paper play, as I never have to worry about a slow (or intentionally stalling) opponent eating up my time.
I'm happy to hear you're joining our online community!
To more explicitly answer your first question about what to look out for, definitely check out the link that @mdkubiak posted. At the time I posted this, it looks like the following vintage- related bugs are still active
- Trinisphere interacts incorrectly when 3 or more cost-reduction effects apply to spells being cast.
- Misdirection can reset the game in rare cases.
- Hollow One doesn’t count discarded split cards.
- When casting a spell, if there is any mana already in the player's pool, the most recently produced colored mana is automatically applied to the spell first. For example, if a player taps a Cavern of Souls (naming Human), then an Island, then casts Delver of Secrets, the blue mana applied to the Delver's mana cost will be that from the Island. If the player tapped the Island, then the Cavern, the Cavern's mana would be applied to the spell, and it would be appropriately uncounterable.
Assuming the Misdirection bug is actually "rare", the other issues are not frequent, but obviously pretty annoying if they happen to you. I have lost to the Trinisphere interaction once before (out of many games using those cards), but none of the others.
The fourth bullet point might not sound significant, but if you don't know it's going to happen, you can end up spending non-workshop mana playing artifact spells, leaving you with useless workshop mana (depending on what else you have in hand) ... This is avoidable by tapping your mana in a different order.
Note that if you end up in a situation where one of these bugs costs you a match, you can almost always file a bug report and get a refund for the event you played in. It's not a fun process, but I still firmly believe that bugs are not a compelling reason to stay away from MTGO. (I think there are other compelling reasons not to play, but bugs impacting gameplay isn't really one of them ... I've had paper tournament judges get rulings incorrect more often than I've lost to a MTGO bug)
UI to keep in mind
while these aren't bugs, I'll mention two quick things for a vintage player getting into MTGO for the first time, which could cost you a few games before you figure them out.
setting stops: at the bottom of the game screen, a little track tells you what phase of the game you're in. You can right click on the phases and mark them as "stop here/do not stop here". If you don't have a phase marked to stop, the game will skip right past that step without asking if you want to do anything. The default stops are set up for Standard players, which might not be what you want. A vintage player with Bazaar of Baghdad or Mystical Tutor will probably want a stop on their own upkeep, for instance.
holding priority: If you want to put a spell or ability on the stack without passing priority, hold the "Control" key down while you play it. Again, in more common formats this isn't a particularly important thing to do, so the UI doesn't make it obvious. In Vintage, where you might want to sacrifice a Lion's Eye Diamond in response to a Draw-7, or stack prowess triggers before your opponent can Sudden Shock your Monastery Mentor, it's more important to know how to do this.
Welcome to the club! MTGO glitches are really only frustrating to me because they all seem so easily fixed with some basic programmatic wherewithal.
That being said, I feel like I am a more efficient Paper Magic Player because of MTGO jamming triggers down my throat and providing a visual (if not always intuitive...) view of the stack. I can safely say I will never get dicked in a paper event by a missed Mana Drain trigger or Germ token trigger again thanks to MTGO!
@p3temangus Don't jinx yourself in your next tournament. :D
Just a tip if anyone has the funds and just wants to get into a deck quickly. If you go to the vintage results at www.mtgtop8.com, you can see what the cost of the decks will be for MTGO, as they link directly to cardhoarder.com. You can then place an entire deck in your cart just by clicking the cardhoarder button, instead of picking and choosing and/or trading directly within MTGO.
It will show that they are out of inventory occassinally, but using the price optimizer usually get all 60+15 into your cart.
This is just a quick way to get into the deck if you have $600-$1,000 to drop in one sitting, but also gives you a quick temperature of what the decks will cost to trade in and out of.
@brass-man Excellent post, particularly the pointers for beginning at the bottom.
It's possible we hear more about the negatives on MTGO because the positives are so ubiquitous and even obvious that they become invisible, but all of what you write is true. It's very nice to be able to play Vintage every day and now even competitive Vintage via leagues.
I think part of the reason the negative is emphasized so much is because many of the hiccups are (sometimes easily) resolvable, and the persistent failure to address them leaves us annoyed and bewildered.
FYI, the Trinisphere-Metamorph bug is supposedly getting fixed tomorrow (article). Granted, Wizards doesn't have the best track record of "fixing" bugs. At one point, Containment Priest exiled itself to its own ability and their fix made it so both Containment Priest and Grafdigger's Cage didn't affect creatures whatsoever. The current Trinisphere bug is probably a result of trying to fix the interaction with Gitaxian Probe. You used to be able to cast Probe for 2 and 2 life through a trinisphere (not how it's supposed to work). Some intern probably just added one to the cost and now Metamorph costs 4...
Ah well, at least they are trying.
@the_gremlin_lord Yea bud, I just listed a bunch of paper cards on the facebook groups trying to move em so I dont put a dent in the bank account and hear about it from the lady. :o
@brass-man I appreciate this post a lot. This does shed some light on stuff to be aware of. Right now I am just hoping the Painter and Grindstone interaction works without any issues. Also, looking to build grixis delver. The main reason I am moving to MTGO is because of work. It leaves me little time to enjoy my hobby anymore(Adulting is FUN!Sarcasm off). I do like that most vintage friends I know are already on here and it allows me to play test more.
@nasfer I've played Grixis/Izzet Painter on MTGO a lot and never run into any issues. I've never actually Grinded someone with 2x Blightsteel in their deck though, so I'm not sure how the client handles that ... I don't think that's something to be super worried about though
MTGO has its opportunities for improvement, but over all it is a lot of fun. Being able to play leagues is awesome, and a lot of fun. The glitches or bugs are not really a concern, as others said already you get reimbursed if this happens to you (have never had an issue not getting reimbursed). It's the interface things that take some getting used to.
For me, the biggest issue on MTGO for vintage is the way flusterstorm works. Try to fluster a fluster, or a huge tendrils. you may prefer conceding the match instead. I can almost guarantee you will do it wrong the first couple times you cast it.
@mourningpalace I once lost on stream to LSV with 2000+ people watching due to a flusterstorm punt. Once you figure it out it is almost embarrassingly easy though.
@mourningpalace I forgot Flusterstorm ... How-to-cast-Flusterstorm-on-MTGO could be an whole article in and of itself.
Well it's official, I just bought 99% of the deck just missing 2 JVP's and a Surgical extraction.
Hope to see you online soon!