I have played TCGs for a very long time. They were my first step into the gaming culture. I’ve played Pokémon, Vs. System, UFS, Digimon, and many others. The big two I’ve played though are Magic: the Gathering and Yu-Gi-Oh. In playing all these games I have seen one major problem. Netdecking. I can’t stand netdecking. It annoys me to no extent.
For those who don’t know what netdecking is, netdecking is a process in which you look up a deck online and make that deck for their own use. However my definition is a little different. My definition for a netdeck is a deck that was built with the majority of the deck being copied from a deck list that was found online. You could change one, two, even ten cards but if the majority of your deck is still from that deck list that you copied off of, your deck is still a netdeck.
The reason I hate netdecking so much is because it removes so much creativity from the game. I’ve watched tournaments where four out of the top eight were running the exact same deck. There’s almost no originality left in the game. I say almost none because someone still had to make the decks that are being copied. But for the most part that’s where it ends. I mean even my roommate, a new player, netdecks. Mentioning him also brings me to my next point. See he said to me “If you want to win, you have to be willing to pay the price.” See the second problem with netdecking is the cost. See, netdecking drives up the aftermarket value of the cards. Before it was banned Jace, the Mind Sculpture was a hundred something dollars a card.
I have never netdecked. Every deck I own is a concept that I saw and ran with. From my Golgari dredge deck that runs Feldon’s cane, to my black green fungus deck the runs two white cards. I’ve built a green black vampire deck for no other reason than that I had not seen it done before. One night I got really bored and built a black green artifact deck. All of these decks are original homebrewed decks that I have made. I wish others would continue the trend.
Creativity needs a revival in Magic. Tournaments have become a proving ground for who can play a netdeck the best instead of who can build the best deck and come up with the best strategies. I’ll still continue to play without netdecking. I hope one day to see a tournament were everyone is running a different deck of their own design, like how the game was when it first premiered. I also know that this is a pipe dream.