An introduction to Magic the Gathering – My experience
If you are interested in Magic or are just curious, I will try and give you an insight into what you will need to get started and also a small rundown of the game. There are many different states which the game occupies and therefor it has an extremely varied cost when getting started. Some people will want to get into it for fun, to pick up a new hobby. Some want to become the best and enter tournaments, and some might even want to use it to occupy a household board game role.
The way I got started in Magic was extremely casual. I was around 10-12 years old and it was coming up to my cousin and I’s birthday (they’re only a day apart). We decided we would get this cool looking new card game we had seen. We bought a core set intro box for 7th or 8th edition. One of the cards we remember being extremely good back in the day was Thorn Elemental!
Thorn Elemental was a big beat stick which, even if he was blocked by a bigger creature, could bypass it and deal damage to your opponent. He hits for 7 damage! This is a lot when you consider that each player starts with only 20 life. He sticks out as a card that could end the game very quickly and as something we had to deal with just as quick.
We played with very loose versions of the rules as we didn’t have anyone to show us how to play it properly. We played it purely for fun and we didn’t really know what we were doing, but we had a good time doing it. We played it for a while but didn’t keep it up as there was no community that we knew of surrounding it, unlike Pokemon or Yu-Gi-Oh which were popular at that time. It wasn’t until Christmas last year that we returned to the beautiful game! Getting into it this time was much easier, there was a very small community around the Magee University which then consisted of around 5 people. We got sucked in to playing because one of the guys had around 10 decks for people to play with. I have many fond memories of the games which got us back into it. Eventually we got hooked and now I am a prominent member of the Derry MTG scene, we are even nearing DCI Status and working with a strong community of around 12-15 people locally! Having DCI Status means that we will be able to run official events sanctioned by Wizards of the Coast. This is a big step forward for the Magic community in Derry!
Magic the Gathering has been around for 20 years now. It’s one of the longest lasting and well established trading/collectable card games out there and it shows no signs of slowing down. It is gathering new players all the time as previous players introduce the next generation of people to the game. The reason I think it has lasted so long is because it depicts the classic fantasy setting that other franchises have like Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones and all those fantasy epics of old (Sinbad, Jason and the Argonauts etc.) have but it keeps it fresh and new with each release. Along with each release not only is there new cards to play with but new mechanics, new rules, new creature types and familiar faces (be it from MTG or other recognizable icons such as dragons, demons and aliens.) It caters to people universally, if they are into fantasy. The age range for us locally is around 14- 50. It’s got something for everyone and it’s quite easy to pick up and play.New players to the game do not have to worry about the 20 years which came previous as with each new release it’s like a new iteration of the game, (think of it as a constant sequel to your favorite game up to 4 times a year!)
I can’t imagine not playing Magic now as it’s as much a social game as it is competitive. I know of players who do not play competitively and players who only play competitively, people who collect it solely for the art of the cards, people who collect it solely to collect whole sets, and people who do everything in between. I myself do not like playing to win in fast paced 1vs1 matches, but instead play for the big multiplayer shenanigan matches which consist of 4-6+ players at a time (which often takes an hour or more to play out). But I do enjoy heading to tournaments, meeting newer and older players and dueling with them.
Next week I will give you a basic introduction to Magic game play.
By: Marcus Kirk aka. The green Wizard