1) which card is the best for a first timer and reliable 2) could my 3ds get bricked 3) if there is a new update from nintendo, will it brick my 3ds, or will it just stop working.
i would recommend you buy r4i gold 3ds card for the first time, this one: r4i gold 3ds
r4i gold 3ds is the best r4 card for your 3ds console, currently this card is working great on all 3ds consoles, including the latest 3ds firmware V7.1.0-16. r4i gold 3ds card uses wood firmware and has very good game compatibility, it is also very easy to set up and use it.
you won't get bricked for using this card or other r4 card. we have been using r4 cards for a few years, never heard that any 3ds console was bricked because of using the r4 card.
if there is a new 3ds firmware comes out and block the flashcart, the first rule you should remember, do not update your 3ds console instantly, you need to know whether your r4 card can be updated to work on the new 3ds firmware then update your r4i gold 3ds card first. usually the official site and our site will release the news in time. and it won't brick your 3ds console. and it is also working great on the updated 3ds console.