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Bugs: Recent Topics Paging, Uploading Images & Preview (11 Dec 2020)

Recent Topics paging, uploading images and preview bugs require a patch which has not yet been released.

× Talk about collectible card here.

Let's talk about MAGIC (the Gathering)

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05 Jan 2022 18:26 #329424 by Msample

Jexik wrote:

Msample wrote:

Jexik wrote: 2017. Opened a store with the largest brick and mortar board game chain in the US. Commander is now the de facto most popular format. I make some budget commander decks to interact with people, including an Ayli Eternal Pilgrim deck which was my baby- just a bunch of janky life gain and token generation that lays low and then eventually just starts exiling people's boards.

I sell a lot of my valuable cards in the shop, but it fails for a multitude of reasons. Glad I got out in 2018, before the CEO revealed quite how shitty of a person he is.


It goes without saying that if you wrote an article about your experience a la Barnes "THERE WILL BE GAMES" series it would generate a LOT of interest both here and elsewhere .


I thought about it very strongly during the whole twitter frog-gate thing, but I was working 60 hour weeks and don’t wanna get sued for libel. Like if I don’t name names, people will say I lack authenticity. But if I did, I’d get his fanboys sent at me at the least, and possible legal actions… I don’t know.


Based on what I've read its hard to believe he's got many fanboys.

Somewhere awhile back I read part of the legal desposition given by the Gaming Goat CEO. It was comical, bizarre, and made me wonder how he made it from that to where they are today. Here is the link.

www.facebook.com/groups/118758238159502/posts/722642941104359/

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05 Jan 2022 22:09 - 05 Jan 2022 22:47 #329429 by Jexik

Jackwraith wrote: (Sorry that I'm kind of spamming the thread here. Haven't thought about this stuff for a long time.)


Please do! I'd prefer not to be 40% of the posts in here. Kind of interesting hearing about some of the times where I took a hiatus.

Honestly until this year I never really had the budget to play the game to the fullest (and I'm still not really going down the Modern or Legacy rabbit-hole, and want to stay away from Standard), so it's neat to hear about other people's experiences. Even when I was running the store my theory was to have a limit of $10 per card for the decks I was scraping together for fun. Right now I'm thinking of eventually getting 4 EDH decks together so I can just kinda bust them out with former Magic playing friends at my house or something and treat it like a board game. A very expensive board game, but one that ought to retain its value if I buy my cards right.

Regarding the overall sportsmanship issues, one of the most refreshing things about Heroscape was how nice and chill the atmosphere was at those tournaments compared to my earlier MtG experiences. The very best 'scape player back in 2008 or so was also a ridiculously good sportsman. No one ever felt bad losing to him.

I don't want to derail this thread much more re: El Jefe Cabrón, but you guys have maybe lit my fire to talk about my store experiences at some point. I started this discussion on one of my rare days off, so it might be awhile in coming.

cdennett wrote: He gave me a Magic deck for my birthday, which I still have (Black and White, I believe), and I maybe played with it once. Haven't played it since then, nor have I ever spent a single cent on the game.


I'd check tcgplayer dot com to find the prices of some of those cards. Hell, if you just splay the cards out and take a photo I could maybe see if you've got any hidden gems in there. It's a bit of a crapshoot, but it's possible some of the old cards you've got still have demand and could be worth a lot.

I've always found the idea of blind boosters as repugnant, and my opinion hasn't changed in 25 years. Ironically, I wonder if I ever did spend money on it and gotten that dopamine hit from opening boosters if my opinion would change. I also dislike deck construction in pretty much any game, so probably no hope for me.


Aside from the ability to do drafts, the booster model is the most ingenious and insidious thing about the game. Even though I kinda got back into the game in the last couple months by buying a Russian booster box for 80 bucks and finding a $110 card* (in English no less), I've gone to buying singles now to get what I want.

Though perhaps Kickstarters are the ultimate blind boosters? You never know what you get till you open all the boxes...


I think Magic has had a huge impact on the hobby, even beyond what you'd normally think of as design elements. Would loot crates in PC games have come about without some dev cracking Magic packs and thinking "hey we should do that?"

I've also wondered if the decline/crash of comic book sales in the 90s contributed to the growth and popularity of Magic at that time. I bought my first packs in a comic shop; I imagine it helped get them through some lean times, and then eventually took over.

* shiny blood moon , which is a weird card because it uniquely hoses expensive decks but not cheap ones.
Last edit: 05 Jan 2022 22:47 by Jexik.
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06 Jan 2022 01:48 #329432 by RobertB
Old Timer Magic Story: I was at Origins, back when they still did the US Open there. It was about 2 AM? 3? Way too late. There were still more diehards playing than you would think, and kids were sleeping in the halls outside the conference room, using their binders full of cards as pillows. The organizers announced this event, starting as soon as it got filled: 8-player tournament, everyone got one starter to build a 45-card deck. If you win, you get the opponent's cards, then get to rebuild your deck with your expanded card pool. Last man standing gets all the cards. Beta starters, $100 entry fee. People were running across this huge conference room to get in. We gathered round and watched the packs get opened. ISTR a couple of moxes and a Time Walk were in the decks, along with some other fun stuff like dual lands. A pretty sweet deal if you won, even back then. I wanted to stay and watch it, but I still had to drive home and I was dead on my feet.
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06 Jan 2022 06:37 #329433 by Jexik
Seems like a cool format. Be interesting to try with a newer set with friends.

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06 Jan 2022 08:48 #329435 by fightcitymayor

Virabhadra wrote: Except for a few Forgotten Realms names, the set is SO GENERIC. No personality. (Granted, FR was the original Terrinoth, but still...) I read a press release not too long ago about how Wizards plans to keep merging Magic with other IPs and if this set is representative of that effort, it's not much to get excited about.

The AFR set ended up being pretty polarizing. Technically it replaced the yearly Core Set, which is typically generic & underpowered by design. But some folks had high hopes for the AFR set being a world-beater with a huge IP, and were disappointed when it ended up being... well... generic & underpowered. It still sold well, because of the D&D name, which is all Hasbro/WotC care about.

And future non-Magic IP sets (aka "Universes Beyond" like 40k and LotR) will be separate products, unrelated to the typical Standard environment and not commingled with the "real" MTG sets.
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06 Jan 2022 16:06 - 09 Jan 2022 10:31 #329477 by dysjunct
I first heard about MtG through a review in Pyramid, the now-defunct monthly magazine from Steve Jackson Games. (I used to be a SJG fan generally and a GURPS fan specifically; don't @ me bro.) It basically said "go buy it; I wish I'd thought of it."

So I did -- or rather, I tried. This was at the tail end of Beta or the beginning of Unlimited, and it was sold out at every store in town. Eventually my store got in some boosters of Unlimited, so I went and bought a bunch and marveled at the art and the promise of all the arcane symbols, although I had no idea what was going on -- only starters had the rules. I remember that my first pack had a Force of Nature in it.

Eventually some starters showed up and we figured out how to play, and it supplanted all other gaming for my group, to a really dumb degree. Most of us were college students with part-time jobs, and we couldn't compete with the one guy who skipped college and went into a high-paying union job while still living at home. He'd buy a box of boosters a week.

I played for a few years and in retrospect mostly resented it. But when that's all your friends want to play, it's the only option for socializing. I played through Fallen Empires (late 1994) and then was frustrated with being poor and unable to keep up with the various Mr. Suitcases of the world. The various alternate formats like Pauper or Cube or whatever hadn't been invented yet; everything was "do whatever you want" (before restricted/banned lists). I gave all my cards away to a friend's boyfriend, but wasn't able to kick the habit entirely.

I got back in a bit during Visions I think (1997). I didn't play competitively and still resented the format. But it was okay as a casual game. By that time "Type II" had been created and mostly everyone did that because they all had dreams of going to a tournament and winning a Lamborghini like that one guy. I got out for good shortly thereafter, giving all my cards away again and this time it stuck.

I've been clean for almost 25 years now. I've occasionally dabbled with the various apps for MtG online, but I refuse to spend money on the game in any format.

The last deck I played -- it was my main one for my last few months of being an MtG person -- was pretty good, honed through basically trading away anything that didn't work in the deck. But it was super annoying. I can't remember any of the card names now, but it had that artifact that damaged the opponent for having too many cards in their hand, an enchantment that damaged them for leaving lands untapped, and something else that damaged them for tapping lands. Then a bunch of defense. It mostly smothered them into frustration. Main weakness was against non-land sources of mana, or decks that got stuff out super fast and could kill me before I could establish control of the board.

Overall, I have mixed feelings about MtG but they lean mostly negative. I had a lot of fun with the design and a lot of respect for the creativity of it. The fact that it's been going on for three decades is amazing. But I hate the business model, I hate that its "first to market" advantage has smothered better designs from gaining a foothold. I don't like deckbuilding or otherwise "preparing to have fun" exercises. I hate that it turned my group of omnigamers into a bunch of MtG-obsessed monogamers.

But, it's impossible to imagine the modern gaming landscape with MtG. So for that at least, Richard Garfield deserves respect. Not many people change an industry.
Last edit: 09 Jan 2022 10:31 by dysjunct.
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06 Jan 2022 18:26 #329488 by Erik Twice
Thanks for the shout-out Jexik!

I might not be interested in the game anymore but it was an extremely formative experience for me. I learned so much thanks to it that I doubt I would be here talking with you today were it not for it. Certainly, I wouldn't be writing about balance, mechanics or participating in competitive gaming were it not for it. It's extremely influential and I see it in countless games, it would be easier to talk about which games haven't been affected by it on some level than the ones that are.

After all, like Jexik says, it is extremely influential beyond its actual design. For decades it was the only reason most game stores were afloat. A disproportionate number of designers got their start with it, it paved the way for competitive gaming and, for worse, normalized the use of gambling as a bussiness model in games.

I started playing with the release of Betrayers of Kamigawa and quickly built a Tooth and Nail deck, which today would be simply be called "Tron". I played that deck for years, until 8th edition rotated out of Extended and I couldn't play it anymore. I tried to get into Legacy and got half a Stax deck done but I couldn't afford more. In the end, I sold my cards including two City of Traitors I exchanged for a copy of The Republic of Rome. I've been selling some of my leftover cards recently and I've already gotten more than 300 or 400€ for them. It's ridiculous.

It was fun but, looking back, most of my time playing was spent stomping on people who couldn't answer a 4 turn combo and getting stomped by people who could. The community was also pretty damn toxic and it still is today. I remember a friend got a knige pulled on his neck after he threatened to bend a card during a row. Theft was pretty common, the guys who didn't shower did exist and cheating by trying to run out the clock was completely normalized. It's probably the worst gaming community I've been part of. It sits at an intersection of popularity, money and chance that lends itself to awful communities. The age of the playerbase also plays a part, mind.

Still, it has some very cool things going for it. I really could think about some of its cards for hours. In fact, that's what I'm doing with my cube. I'm in a forum called Riptide Lab where people discuss how to improve their cubes and it has been more fun than the game itself. I took it to my club once and everyone loved it. Now I hope to have even more fun next time.

Interestingly, nobody has moved the actual game to a better resource system. You have clones with bandaids but not real redesigns without lands or what have you. I think that's a holy grail of design and I don't know why nobody has done it yet.

The game itself has improved a lot from my old days. It's more interactive, more creature-based and you have less plain bad design like blowing up lands and not letting your opponent play. However, it's suffering from being exploited like a cash cow. They are printing more cards than ever and directly selling them to players under a multitude of schemes. They are introducing a lot of power creep into the game, with the goal of "rotating" older formats and forcing players to buy new cards. It's out of the old power creep conspirancies, but it's happening. They released a set called Modern Horizons 2 and now every format where it's legal is 90% about the cards from it.

RobertB wrote: I forget the exact mechanism, but if you had fewer creatures than your opponent during your upkeep, you could get a creature in play for free.

Oath of Druids. An absolutely broken card that was surprisingly not banned for many years. Tinker and friends were so oppressive and creatures so rare that I'm told it was never considered a Tier 1 deck!
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06 Jan 2022 19:06 #329493 by RobertB
@Erik: Yes! Oath and Gaea's Blessing to get stuff back out of the graveyard.

In my experience, the small M:tG tournaments at shops were usually pretty friendly affairs. Bigger ones like PTQs were usually not. A judge monitoring a match for cheating or slow play was pretty common.

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06 Jan 2022 20:08 #329497 by Jackwraith

Erik Twice wrote: Oath of Druids. An absolutely broken card that was surprisingly not banned for many years. Tinker and friends were so oppressive and creatures so rare that I'm told it was never considered a Tier 1 deck!


Oh, yes. The Oaths were intended to be deck-shaping cards, but the only one that ever really paid off was Druids. Ghouls and Mages were too simple and Lieges (same principle as Druids, except land; kind of like a constant Land Tax which was, of course, one of the more hated cards of Ice Age) was useful in some of the Rebel decks that came with Mercadian Masques (which were broken in other, far more serious, ways), but it wasn't really notable. Oath of Scholars was intended to be part of the Urza Block pattern of Blue cards that made people wonder why Ancestral Recall was banned if they were going to print stuff like Time Spiral (also later banned in Standard, incidentally.) But Scholars "let" you dump your hand and draw only three cards, which isn't the kind of card advantage that Blue mages were normally looking for. Tinker, as Erik notes, absolutely was (2U: Sacrifice an artifact. Search your deck for an artifact and put it into play. Shuffle your deck.) That is, of course, insane, given the power of many artifacts at a cost much higher than 2U and an Ornithopter and also played right into the madness of Urza Block which included cards like Time Spiral and Tolarian Academy (also banned in Standard.)

Don't get me wrong. I had fun during the Tempest/Urza days. Things were, uh, explosive. But the power creep was more like a "power sprint" from Mirage block and things got crazy for a while.
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06 Jan 2022 20:49 #329498 by Space Ghost
I’ve been playing since unlimited/revised. I remember getting the Hypnotic Spectre and absolutely loving it - led to a permanent connection with black; using life as a resource is so poorly understood. For a long time I played an annoying discard/land destruction deck.

I’ve never played Standard. I played some Legacy for awhile — I won some power nine that way. Anymore, I just stick to my Type I (vintage deck).

Under the types Jackwraith mentioned, I’m definitely a Johnny. I had a deck similar to the black vise deck mentioned above. Now my vintage deck is a black/blue deck based around Chains of Mephistopheles.

But card prices are so absurd and we are thinking of moving. I figure between 3 moxes, Timetwister, Ancestral Recall and all 40 dual lands (plus all the regular rare stuff from that time), we could a pretty big dent in a down payment.
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06 Jan 2022 22:26 #329501 by Shellhead

Space Ghost wrote: But card prices are so absurd and we are thinking of moving. I figure between 3 moxes, Timetwister, Ancestral Recall and all 40 dual lands (plus all the regular rare stuff from that time), we could a pretty big dent in a down payment.


I am picturing you bringing those moxes to the closing on the house.

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06 Jan 2022 22:28 #329502 by Shellhead
In the mid-'90s, I lured some local Magic players into getting hooked on Shadowfist. It owes a large creative debt to Magic, but land is more scarce and you fight over the land.

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07 Jan 2022 00:08 #329505 by Jackwraith

Space Ghost wrote: But card prices are so absurd and we are thinking of moving. I figure between 3 moxes, Timetwister, Ancestral Recall and all 40 dual lands (plus all the regular rare stuff from that time), we could a pretty big dent in a down payment.


You totally could. Three or four years ago, a friend of mine put about a dozen duals up on Ebay and sold them, quite literally, in minutes for a grand; the bulk of them going to one buyer in Hong Kong. That will be the easiest sale you've ever made.

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07 Jan 2022 23:42 #329552 by Jexik
Odds are there’ll be a housing crash before those duals and power 9 go down in value. I’d hold onto them.

I played two commander/EDH games tonight and both were kinda non-games for me because of mana problems. First game too much, second game too little.
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27 Jan 2022 15:55 #330190 by Jexik
My girlfriend went on vacation for a week. (I wasn’t sure if I could get off because the job is still new). I’ve been board gaming or mtg-ing almost every night. Been having fun.

The new set just got some cards spoiled and it looks super cool.

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