"I hate misquoters." --Hamlet. We are in a golden age of guitar, and there is a wonderous bounty of guitar pedals. And digital multi-effects. If you're paying attention you will hear differences--but which do you prefer? Whether you use them or not, every electric guitar player should have a passing understanding of overdrive, fuzz, delay, reverb, and wah. 5 categories. Sure there's other stuff, much of it is useful for one particular genre--lots of chicken pickin uses compression, and chorus was big in 80s pop. Stick with the 5, unless genre drives you to another. So, individual pedals vs a digital multi-FX. Multi-FX means it has a bunch of stuff in one pedal. Very likely it can handle the 5 basic categories and has 100 more presets that sound like garbage. If it's programable, there may be different voicings that are supposed to sound like particular other pedals. Sometimes those will (the delay in multi-FX is probably just as good as any normal digital delay) and sometimes it won't. If your multi-unit lacks an effect you want (or does it badly) you'll still need to replace the whole digital unit or run the digital unit next to one or two pedals. A multi-FX unit with an "expression pedal" (you'll need that if you want to use wah) starts around $100. The first "best of for 2021" list I found online has a range from $149 to $1600. Some of them look like they're probably pretty user friendly, others look like they require navigating a bunch of menus to change a parameter here or there. Ease of use is important, maybe more important than what the particular built in effects sound like.. Going with individual pedals--you can pick which ones you want, replacing one doesn't mean you have to replace anything else. Want a silicon fuzz instead of germanium? Swap one pedal. Or just stick 'em both on the board. Individual pedals start at around $20. Any pedal that's been around for 20 years will have its patents expired; if a pedal costs more than $200 someone probably makes a clone for $50. The same circuit sounds the same. There are no magic resistors or capacitors, and you can't hear what the painting on the box looks like. If you're buying clones and inexpensive pedals, you're looking at $100-$250 for 5 pedals. But don't forget you'll also need a power supply and a handful of patch cables. So far I've gone with individual pedals. But then, I already own a few. At this point it's easier to add one here or there than to try to replace the ones I have with a digital unit.