Magic: The Gathering – Anniversary Gift

Towards the beginning of October we were struck by a freak blizzard that was so bad it froze power lines and left many across the region without power. While not as bad as some had it, my wife and I were without power for a good chunk of time. When this happened we were left two plans of action, we could just try and sleep until the power came back or read. Throughout this period of no power I kept thinking to myself it would be fun to play a game, but as it is just my wife, me, and our dog and cat, there really weren’t enough people to properly play a game of monopoly or other classic games.

After we got our power back and the massive amount of snow finally began to melt off I began looking into alternative games. My first thought was to look into miniature games, as I am a painter by trade the idea of customizing small figures and then using them to play games interested me. Sadly I couldn’t find a decent game to get that wouldn’t cost me an arm and a leg to properly get started. It was then that my mind came around to Magic: The Gathering. We have the Xbox 360 in our house and have taking advantage of the games for gold promotion since it began, and one of those games was the video game Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers. I had initially downloaded it for my wife, as I had little interest in a card game where I couldn’t actually collect the cards, and she took to it like a fish to water and it became a part of her regular gaming diet. I was watching her play and realized that this could be a perfect game for us to get into together.

We discussed the idea and liked the fact that there would be some crossover between the video game and physical game, allowing either one of us to play even if our partner wasn’t in the mood. It also would fulfill a long held but never realized childhood wish of mine. Unfortunately the available pool of friends in rural, smalltownsville had very little crossover with those who would want to play the game. It didn’t make sense to invest my limited childhood resources into a game I could never play so the desire fell by the wayside. Fast forward to today and I find out my wife had felt much the same way. It was decided we would buy some Magic: The Gathering cards to begin playing each other and it worked out to be around our anniversary.  So there it was, that on our third wedding anniversary my wife and I purchased our first Magic: The Gathering cards and a new obsession was born.

I collected sport and comic cards as a kid, so much so I have a rubbermaid tote filled to the brim with the things and I enjoyed organizing them and looking at them but that is where that particular hobby fell short for me. I have always had an active mind and imagination so my hobbies tend to skew towards the more active offerings. I’ve been an avid gamer since the first Nintendo, I still build Lego to this day, and there is of course my love of art and creation which eventually blossomed into a career. I reference all of this to stress that I am the kind of person that wants my hobbies to “do” something. Sports cards were only interesting insofar as I could open and sort them, then I got bored and wandered off. Magic: The Gathering is a clever game, I would describe it as playing a game of chess where the pieces change each game and you never know which abilities you will get. It is both a game of luck and skill, with the added excitement of collecting cards. The beauty of Magic is that this is a game where your outcome hinges on which cards you have in your deck and by buying new packs of cards will net you new abilities to use in the game. It is the best of both worlds and I am slightly sad that it took me this many years to get into the game.

My wife and I have now been playing Magic: The Gathering for about a month now, several deck builders tool kits and some booster packs later we have assembled decent decks that usually result in me getting pounded into the ground by my wife. That’s the other thing you should be aware of when playing this game with loved ones, losing is infuriating and if one takes to the game quicker than the other it can be the cause of civil unrest.I must say though that I revel in the losses. Each time I play, win or lose, gives me a chance to better learn the game and spurs me onward to develop my deck so that I might have a better chance of improving.  I will be posting articles here on Trial and Error about my trials and tribulations with the cards and I hope to share some the excitement when I get a really good card or anything else noteworthy. I want to be clear from the outset, I am not a professional, I wouldn’t even call myself an amateur player. I am just a noob fulfilling a childhood dream of playing Magic: The Gathering and loving every minute of it.


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