Friday, July 04, 2008

The ol' Mountain, Plains, and Islands

For those of you who play Magic the Gathering, you'd recognize those colors as Red, White, and Blue: a little special thing for Independence Day. While perusing Google Analytics a few days ago (It was a while since I checked up on my stats), I found that there was a huge untapped audience interested in Magic Cards. To my surprise (and probably to most other readers), my Anti-Sliver screed has shot up in popularity with my most popular guides. So, I thought I'd make this my first official post about Magic, and just tell you my history with it.

I learned how to play Magic in fifth grade. I had a group of friends who were into it and I got into it. However, when I started out, I didn't have my own deck and used other people's decks. I was still learning the rules like attacking and tapping and all of that. However, it was a REALLY cool game. It was actually conducive to playing, unlike Pokemon, which was mainly about collecting (I'm not sure how much experience you all had with Pokemon cards, but the game itself was extremely horribly designed).

Once I got into middle school, then the Magic craze REALLY started. My friends were actually fairly successful in banding with older players of Magic and recruiting people into Magic cards. Of course, some of the older students made a pretty profit selling cards to us younguns, but it was a fun time nonetheless. Around 7-8th grade, a Magic the Gathering club was formed which was a place all players could officially meet twice a week to play Magic. Of course, us hardcore players played outside on days when the club didn't meet also. Magic was actually quite a successful social bonding mechanism. People got together and played, talked, and had a good time. Whenever we had any sort of free time, we'd get out our Magic cards and start playing. Oh, and by the way, it was during this period when I got my first deck and started maintaining and building it. My suppliers where I bought the cards from were the older students. My deck wasn't particularly special, but it was fun; one of my friends, on the other hand, had a particular knack for building extremely strong decks that were just about unbeatable; ranging from Elf to Goblin, to his extremely annoying deck-out deck.

Unfortunately, the period of Magic prosperity hit a wall: high school. Now, we were all too busy trying to get good grades and take as many APs as possible to play Magic. Slowly, Magic died out in our school; I'm ashamed to admit it. It wasn't until a few months ago when I wondered "What ever happened to Magic?" and attempted to reinvoke the good times that we had in middle school. However, my reception was less than appreciated. My friends were turned off to the idea of reinvigorating the card game because they realized how much time and money they invested in it when they were young (Sort of like me and Pokemon) and they didn't want to start that over again. I could understand that perspective, but what's got me worried is the younger generation. The incoming students don't have upperclassmen to learn and share Magic with, and they've started playing second-rate card games like Yu-Gi-Oh. Speaking from my opinion, Magic is much more fun than Yu-Gi-Oh, but these kids will never know that. So, I've taken to trying to introduce these younger students to Magic. So far, the results haven't been what I've expected, but I still have senior year to go. Wish me luck!

Now, about my decks. My decks tend to be obese. I can put cards into them, but it's difficult for me to take them out. In fact, I have one deck which has 200+ cards in it (though the performance is surprisingly good). I have five. My favorite one is a blue phasing deck that I sorta based off of a recipe off the Magic web site. I don't use it because it wins, I just love it because it's incredibly annoying, and that's what matters! I also have a deck I call ginormia, which is the 200+ card one. It's a red/green combo that doesn't have a particular theme. It's basically two decks I had crammed into one. Next is my "overpowered" deck, which is a green beast deck. I like to call it overpowered because the creatures are way too fricking strong. Next is my "experimental" deck, a white/blue combo. It's sort of an on-and-off deck. Sometimes it works well, sometimes it doesn't. It really depends on the wind. I use it when I'm challenging someone new to gauge their deck and see what deck would be best on them. Lastly comes the deck I hate to use: my black zombie deck. I just have a general aversion to zombies and I use this deck when I feel like I want to lose. Unfortunately, this deck is actually better than I'm willing to admit, and when played correctly it's pretty powerful. But I still hate zombies. These decks have pretty much remained in their current state for the past couple of years. My card suppliers have long since graduated, and I haven't exactly figured out how to buy Magic cards from the store effectively. The way these students used to do it was by selling grab-bags which contained 12 cards from a mixture of sets. I've never gotten used to buying by set, so one of you professionals might have to teach me someday. Maybe when I manage to buy some cards, I'll be able to make my decks smaller and more effective. Anyways, now you know my Magic background, and I hope to make this another topic I cover on this blog.

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