Thursday, May 01, 2014

Digging Into the Box III: Reliving the Geekdom (Magic: The Gathering)!

Although I haven't played Magic:  The Gathering in years, I have to admit that a part of me was pretty excited to see that my brother sent me a whole bunch of some of the newer cards as part of the gigantic box of cards he recently gave me.  I last bought cards back when Ravnica was released (in 2005) when I used to still play the game with my youngest brother.  Since then, I don't think I've gotten more than a pack or two - and I know I haven't bought a pack of Magic cards in at least five years!  As such, I figured it would be fun to look through the cards my brother sent me and see what's new (and to see if there's anything that I still remember)!

As luck would have it, he told me the cards he sent were from a brand new Ravnica set.  Sort of funny how I stopped playing at Ravnica and almost a decade later Magic is returning to the place where I last purchased cards!  My brother actually sent me a TON of Magic cards, but I only went through the first 100 or so and picked out a few that caught my eye for various reasons.

Don't worry, if you aren't into Magic at all, I'll have more posts from this box which will return to the realm of baseball cards!  For now though, let's check out some of the new Magic cards!

The first card that caught my eye was this weird little guy.

I guess Magic decided one-sided cards weren't good enough and therefore introduced two-sided cards.  In the stack that I've looked through, I didn't have any two-sided cards so I can't say what they are all about...but they do seem to span all the colors (though mostly in green).

Continuing through the stack, I found this card (which confirmed the Ravnica angle since I remember the Izzet from back when I played).

My youngest brother and I went overboard buying Ravnica cards - between the two of us we probably have the entire set!  As such, I think we both made at least one deck for each of the ten guilds (two-color combinations).  I always enjoyed the idea of the Izzet, but I never could make a deck that was able to win consistently.  To me, the Izzet were the Rube Goldberg guild of Ravnica - that is, it took a lot of work to get the machinery working, but if you could pull it off it was spectacular.

The Dimir were another guild in Ravnica that happened to be in what was historically my favorite color combination (blue black).  I recall making a "decking deck" back in the day that probably only won once or twice...a card like this would have been appreciated back then!

Yeah, that would definitely help out.  Plus, my brother and I almost never ran enchantment removal so this would be pretty much golden!

Speaking of golden, the reason I loved Ravnica back in the day was because it brought back gold cards (and hybrid cards which I'll show in a moment).  My all-time favorite set was always Invasion (a set that came out when I was in high school), Ravnica was a close second though and it was because of cards like this:

As I mentioned, I had at least one deck for each color combination so this card would slot in quite nicely in my white blue deck.  I like that it can be used both offensively and defensively - more options are always better in the game of Magic!

I mentioned the hybrid cards - and it turns out the new Ravnica had some of those as well.

This one seems pretty good to me - and it probably would be a card that I would have used back in the day (and in the process, it would make a card like the Chronic Flooding card shown above worse)!  I will admit that I always thought the hybrid cards were sort of lame - they were a "poor man's gold card" in my view.

The final card that caught my eye as something new was this token card.

Woah!  For most of my Magic playing career, I had to use pennies or other small items to represent tokens (usually goblins or saprolings for me).  However, around the time of Ravnica Magic began to insert actual token cards into packs of cards which was kind of cool.  Thanks to my brother, I now have a large stack of tokens - but only one copy of this bad boy.  I also have to say that I have no idea what card actually puts this guy in play (I didn't see one in the stack of cards that I went through).  Chances are it is something crazy expensive because that's a game-changing token!  A lot better than my 1/1 green saproling that does nothing!

The final two cards that intrigued me actually caught my eye because I could see my little brother using them against me.  He and I both made a few token-based decks in our day, but he definitely was the bigger fan of white-based token decks (I usually went with green saprolings or red goblins as I mentioned already).  Anyhow, this Phantom General would have possibly fit into one of his token decks quite nicely.

I admit that I don't mind he didn't have this card available to him back when we played!

Finally, one more card that I could see him (and I) using:

For a common card, this one seems really, really powerful.  It could be that I don't actually understand the keyword Populate but if I do, Rootborn Defenses seems to be pretty great.

Thanks for the trip down memory lane bro!  It's almost enough to make me want to track down all my old Magic cards and update my old decks!  Now if only I had someone to play...(and teach me all the new rules, haha)!


Matthew Scott said...

Thanks for sharing! I was really into MTG at one point in my life too. Had a lot of the early cards so I was able to sale them to fund my growing Pirates collection. The cards seem to hold their value well. I really miss playing the game. Maybe someday I can get back into it....

The Junior Junkie said...

I never played but always loved the illustrations.

The Dutch Card Guy said...

If you like this nd you have an iPad, try the free game Heartstone, very comparable to MTG !

Ana Lu said...

I used to play a lot at school. We used to eat lunch as fast as we could so we could play more than one game before returning to classes. Those were the days..

Cardhobbyist said...

I used to play MTG a long, long time ago. I liked making decks based on creature types like elves and zombies.

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