Home Strategy Should you keep that hand? A quick guide to mulligans

Players new to Duels of the Planeswalkers and Magic the Gathering in general have a lot of problems. They can’t evaluate card strength, they don’t have a sense of timing, and they tend to smell a lot like Fanta. I don’t know why, it’s just how things are.

You can help them out by, say, giving them net decks, or by giving them some simple rules to play by (save removal for real threats, hold cards that are useless, stop drinking fucking Fanta), but there will be errors in judgment they’ll still make… often before the game even starts.

Yes, that’s right, I’m talking about the mulligan prerogative, the option each player has to ditch his or her hand and hope Fate grants’em a better draw. In real Magic there’s an immediate penalty to six cards, though in Duels of the Planeswalkers, gamers are given a freebie (which is not uncommon as “house rules” in many establishments). And while it may sound like a super-powerful option to be able to kick off a crappy initial draw for something else, the fact is few noobies ever mulligan.

I don’t know why, though I’d guess it’s fear. They might be thinking sure, thishand sucks, but what if the next one sucks more? Unfortunately, that thinking is dead wrong, and is probably a direct result of brain damage caused by Fanta consumption. That’s why I decided to put together a “short” video about the important of mulligans: what they are, when you should take them, and how to know if a hand’s worth settling for.

Well, without further ado, here it is. There are certainly other mulligan considerations (which you’re free to leave a comment about!), but I believe this video covers the essentials and should help prevent mana screw from ruining scrubs’ days.

15 replies to this post
  1. I would add to that great vid on mulligans that (and this may just be something I do) when I am debating whether to keep a 2 land hand, I also take into consideration who is going first. I would rather keep a 2 land hand if my opponent goes first because I get that extra draw before my first turn to top deck a third. That gives me 3 opportunities to draw a land over the next three turns instead of just 2.

  2. Great stuff as ever from WingspanTT. I would say however he does not mention about considerations for 2 color decks. In this case it may be even worth going down to 5 to ensure you have a starting draw of at least one for each color. Otherwise even with 3 of same color your game may run poorly if you hold spells that require the second color. Of course as ever it may depend on what synergy you have with the other drawn cards.

  3. yo it was royal assassin who killed him, but he’s so badass he did it with an audience so noobs know their number’s up :)

  4. Didn’t even watch the video, but this article alone made me realize one thing when I was re-learning to play (started playing after The Dark came out, stopped around Ice Age). It’s better to have even 5 cards that you can play than 7 that you can’t.

    We always used to play with a mulligan rule (can’t remember if it was a “house rule” for the players at our school, probably was) where if your opening hand had either no lands or all lands, you got a mulligan, but we didn’t have the decreasing-hand mulligan in those games either (I don’t even remember if that was a THING back then).

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