Thursday, May 3, 2012

Magic: The Gathering - nope... not the video games

Wow - I hit 50 followers last night.  I'm pretty excited about that! :)  So, how about a slightly different post as a result?  It's still gaming related, just not VIDEO gaming related... (but seriously - I really appreciate those of you who come here, and read what I babble on about.  I'm sure my wife does too, because now I have an outlet for talking gaming that is not just her having to smile and nod at me).  Moving on...

I've always been a big fan of Magic: The Gathering.  Well, I can't say 'always'.  I wasn't a first edition player.  I came into things around 4th edition/Ice Age.  I went back and bought cards from prior sets though, once I got into it, and I played for several years quite regularly.


I know this blog's usually alllll about video games, and I've even reviewed some of the Magic: The Gathering games like Tactics, and the two Duels of the Planeswalkers titles so far.  I enjoyed those games more than not, but often found them lacking next to playing the actual game, getting the actual cards and building decks truly from scratch.

The problem was, as my friends and I grew older (I generally like to say that while I have to grow old, I don't have to grow up) - we moved away from the college town the majority of us had lived in our entire lives.  Our four most common group activities for our group of 10-20 friends were:

- Video games (the N64 in particular was a favorite with Mario Kart, Golden Eye and football games)
- Playing sports like Basketball or Football at the nearby schools
- Playing Dungeons and Dragons (many of us used World of Warcraft as a fill-in when we moved apart)
- Magic: The Gathering

I spent a lot of time and money on my old Magic cards.  One of my earliest obsessions was trying (and succeeding) to get four of each of the dual lands.

Obviously not MY duals since they are long-gone.  Sad... :(

I even got my wife to play - largely using a white Angel themed deck.  Mostly because she really liked the Serra Angel card.  She did not play nearly as much as I did, but it was still fun to have her join in.


Once we all started to go our own ways, I sold off both my rather large Magic: The Gathering card collection and my even more sizable sports card collection.  I hung onto a handful of sports cards that I was particularly fond of (like an autographed Sean Elliot RC, several autographed Dan Mejerle and a few of my older cards) and kept only one Magic card - and that was an Icy Manipulator I took home as a prize for winning my first (admittedly small) tournament.

Not the greatest card ever, not the biggest tournament ever, but I won it all the same


My favorite combination early on?  Red and blue - burn and counter.  Fittingly my winning hand came in the form of a deflected and forked fireball my opponent tried to hit me with.

You just cast a 14 point fireball?  Oh... these probably aren't the next 
two cards you were hoping to see me play then...

Well, the cards were sold, I got some money and moved on from playing it.  End of story, right?  Well... not so much.  So my best friend at work went to Chicago with some buddies of theirs for a bachelor party.  Now, instead of booze and strippers, it was mostly large game centers and they stumbled onto Magic: The Gathering when one of the party introduced them to it.  Well, we just hired one of the other guys, so that's two people now hooked on playing over the last week.  They both bought a few boxes of the Innistrad boosters.  That's right, a few boxes - not a few packs.

Oh boy, this can't end well...

We already had one other guy in the department who was a big fan of the game and had suggested maybe I play again at some point.  So, I'm caving to peer pressure.  No, it's not drugs, but I did order some more packs of cards and we have already decided that we will be setting up a table for our Friday lunches where we will be playing every week.  I'm not going quite as all-in as they are at this point - largely because I like being on my wife's good side and not eating nothing but mac and cheese for a few weeks at a time.


Two things to take away from this caption: A) My mac and cheese college experience was
not even as good as the Kraft stuff and B) in college these two things go hand in hand if
you REALLY want to keep buying cards...

So, I'm looking forward to building some decks again for the first time in a loooong time.  One of my friends has a bunch of older cards he said I can pick through as well.  It should be interesting since most of these guys are fairly new to the game - they will have cards and abilities I have likely never heard of, and I have no doubt they will see several cards in my deck that they had no clue existed either.  

For example?  I know one of the guys recently got Nicol Bolas.  I paused when I looked at it, because that was NOT the dragon I remembered.  So I hit my buddy up to see if he had spares of the original, which he does.  This should be interesting...