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Vangel On Vintage: The Riddle of Card Advantage

 

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Hello there folks and welcome to another edition of Vangel on Vintage. This week, rather than talking about a specific deck we are going to dive into the depths of Magic the Gathering theory and talk about one of the most important concepts in the game: card advantage. What is card advantage? Furthermore, how do you get it and why do you want it? Well, conceptually it’s relatively simple: you want to create in-game scenarios where you have access to more cards than your opponent. Frankly, it doesn’t even matter what kind of cards we’re talking about here – more threats, more answers, more land, more damage – all we’re really trying to do is get more than the other guy does. Sounds easy right? In practice however, it can and will become much more complex. Navigating this complexity is all about having strong fundamentals; understanding why, when and how you can obtain card advantage. In today’s article we’ll dissect some classic Magic theories on card advantage and hopefully increase your understanding of a vitally important, fundamental skill in Magic the Gathering.

Before we go into further specifics however, it’s important to discuss the most common misconception players have about card advantage – namely that drawing extra cards is the only way to get it. This isn’t just fundamentally incorrect; maintaining such a narrow view of card advantage can and will cost you games, matches and tournaments in the long run. Rather, it is important to understand that card advantage is actually about comparing the overall net total of resources available to each player – based on the amount of resources gained, versus the resources spent to obtain them.

This, more complete understanding of card advantage as a concept then leads to a natural division into two distinct types of card advantage: direct and virtual. Let’s look more closely at these two categories after the jump below.

 

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