Greetings friends, tanks, healers, and dps alike. Normally, I would discuss video games in my blog. But today, I want to discuss one of my favorite games of all time, Magic: The Gathering. Magic, or MTG for short, has been around since 1993. This game is what created the tradable card game genre. I began learning the game in 2010, where a dear friend and colleague taught me the basics of the game. From that moment on, I was hooked. Since then, I have played with many decks, played different formats, formed meaningful relationships, and had a wonderful time. But one of my favorite parts of the game is the stimulating nature. Officially, Magic is considered the world’s most complex. With multiple different game formats, rule sets, sub rule sets, and various effects in the game, it is not hard to imagine why. But this complexity is what makes the game so enjoyable. It is a hard game to first understand, but once understood, it is an enjoyable and engaging recreation. Because of the tactical skills, logic based reasoning, and mild mathematical skills that are involved, I believe everyone should learn how to play Magic the Gathering.
One of the parts that is so tantalizing about the game is the level of counterplay is involved. There are several different formats that one can play. For the sake of understanding, I will focus on the standard format. Standard is gameplay based around the most recent sets released. Sets rotate out one a year, meaning decks very year to year, even set to set. Decks in standard are 60 card decks, with a 15 card sideboard. Sideboards are spare cards that players can switch out that might be more effective against a certain deck. Essentially, it is like one is fighting fire, and switches to water rather than continuing to attempt to beat the fire with sawdust. The player begins with 20 life, and a player wins when their opponent either goes down to 0 life, or that player can no longer draw a card from the deck. Players play such a wide variety of decks, that sideboarding is a valuable part of the game. And this is what leads to interesting counterplay. Part of sideboarding is figuring out what pieces of the deck do not work against a certain deck, and what parts of the sideboard are useful against the opponent’s deck. In turn, the opponent sideboards in cards that are effective against your deck. It is a sense of tit for tat.
The other aspect of the game I enjoy is the camaraderie. Even when I am facing another opponent, there is a sense of friendliness between both parties. I have kept in contact with friends from high school through the game. I have made many new friends by playing MTG. It has acted as a median to discuss different aspects of life with friends. And one of the best parts of the game is the community and the way that they help each other. There was a tournament in Bismarck last year to help raise funds for a player with cancer. There have been online tournaments to support children’s hospitals. The community is connected by the common love of the game. Many of the people I have met are passionate about the game, and some of the most hospitable friends I know. People come from all walks of life, and are unified in the game. We celebrate together, we play against each other, and we support each other.
Like any game, there is a community that surrounds it. But there is nothing quite like the Magic:The Gathering community. If you are interested in learning about the game, feel free to contact me. I highly recommend Big Nick’s card store in the mall. The owners are wonderful and friendly, and I have been a loyal customer for a couple of years now. For any players out there, I am always down for a game! Whether it be standard or EDH, feel free to hit me up! Until next week planeswalkers!