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...


  1. Man, this brings back memories =p I started playing back in school sometime in the 90s (I think) and remember seeing some Ice Age cards at my local shop.
    I ended up playing on and off right up into my early university days before stopping. I never got as into the competitive or tournament side of it as I did with Yugioh following MTG, but had a lot of fun with this game.
    I recently picked up Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012 and was so surprised to see Nicol Bolas back =o

    Oh also, my favourite colours were probably White and Blue. I did quite a bit of collecting Angels from different sets actually =p Serra Angel is one of my favourites =)

  2. @Berserk - thanks for stopping in to comment! I had... so many decks. And combinations. Blue & White flyers? check. :)

    Yeah, right now I'm just riding a wave of nostalgia as I'm looking at some old cards I haven't seen in years now. Kinda curious to see how it meshes with some of the newer cards I'll have. As we're just playing w/ friends at work, no one's particularly concerned about tournament-type legal, and should make for some really interesting combinations. I think I'm going to spend a lot of time this weekend and next putting on my thinking cap and trying to brainstorm combos that appeal to me. :)

  3. I've only ever played the actual card game once, so I can't relate. However, this was still a great read, especially enjoyed the comment about growing older, yet not growing up.

    Nice read, makes me wish I got more involved with the card game.

  4. Thanks Parko! I had a lot of fun writing it. I'm pretty sure my wife is currently of the opinion that my co-workers are officially a bad influence on me and I shouldn't spend time around them any more. :P

    But we had so much fun with this at times. One of my buddies even found a ay to incorporate the cards into a D&D session. Good times back then - I have to say I'm more than a little excited to sit down, open some packs, create new decks and REALLY hope this sticks for a while back here at work.

  5. I tried playing the card game but I had to stop for two reasons. 1. Too many people saying the word "mana" differently. 2. It hurt my brain. I have the first 4 issues of some Magic the Gathering comic series, yeah.

  6. @Tom - LOL@mana. Kind of funny as another blog I read recently made a post about how it can be pronounced like "man-a" or "man-ahh" - the latter of which would probably sound like the Govenator was saying it.

    I did have some old comics as well a long time ago, but alas my comic collection went the way of my card collections some time after.

    Thanks for the stop-by! :)

  7. I loved Magic the Gathering back in the old old days. I first started playing with Mirage, and got really hooked.

    The highlight? Pulling out an Elder Dragon Legend card once and then finding out it was worth $127 according to one of those trading magazines.

    The lowlight? Losing the card.

    But yeah, I remember my brothers and I pooling our pocket money (allowance) to buy a booster pack a week. I would get the White cards because I have always been a white deck player. My brothers would share out the other four colours. Those were the days.

    I stopped playing a while back, now I mostly play the PSN game, and that's enough for me. My brother still plays though and is right into Magic The Gathering Online.

    Me? I moved on to Dungeons and Dragons, largely.

  8. @Matt - Ah, Mirage. So I was sitting with my co-workers today as we were looking at decks and good lord it's changed. Planeswalkers cards? Dual-sided cards? I have some re-learning to do... lol

  9. Hey dude, if your interested in buying some magic the gathering cards, I just put some up on ebay for pretty cheap. A 1000 plus cards for 20 dollars.Bunch of lands,artifacts and other stuff. Figured since I dont use them anymore, they should go to someone else. I have been looking on the blogs and stuff to see if i can drum up some interest in them, that way I know they go to someone who will use them. not just some guy who is going to resell them instantly. anywhoo, I will attempt to post the link here (not sure if it will work), but if it dosen't then you can always search the name "mindlinkent"

    Hope to hear from you soon. if you do decide to pass, I would certainly appreciate it if you could pass this along to anyone who might. Thank you!

  10. Thanks for the heads-up Anon. I will take a peek - definitely interested in stocking up at this point. :)

  11. I loved Magic the Gathering back in the old old days. I first started playing with Mirage, and got really hooked.Magic The Gathering

  12. Thanks for the comment, Mark. I got some cards around for this weekend. I'm going to be assembling some decks, and then monday night after work a bunch of us are grabbing food and hunkering down for a couple of hours or so for our first night as a group playing. I'm pretty excited. :)

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