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Heroes Community > Other Side of the Monitor > Thread: 25 Years of Magic: The Gathering
Thread: 25 Years of Magic: The Gathering

Legendary Hero
Blob-Ohmos the Second
posted May 13, 2018 04:52 PM
Edited by blob2 at 17:22, 13 May 2018.

25 Years of Magic: The Gathering

My recent discovery of "The Art of Magic: the Gathering" book series led me to rekindle my interest in this daddy of all Collectible Card Games.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of this worldwide phenomenon, and I suppose there are many people on this forum that at least had some expierience with the franchise? Even if only in the sense that they know it inspired so many other works they enjoy like digital card games or other fantasy settings.

My story with the franchise is not a "glorious" venture (like professional playing etc), but through the years MtG has always been there with me.

Probably my first contact with the CCG was when my cousin from USA visited me in the 90s and brought some of the said cards from the Mercadian Masques set. I don't remember exactly if my aunt bought a set for me afterwards, or I was simply given my cousins cards when he got bored with it, but I got my hands on two decks and a couple of booster packs (I still have them ). My favourite card from back then: Mageta the Lion.

The game was practically non-existant in Poland, so my only other contact with it came with 1997 Microprose PC game called simply Magic The Gathering, which was added to a gaming magazine as a freebie. I played it a lot even though it was pretty crude.

My most serious time with playing the physical game started with a circle of nerd-friends I met in Highschool. We played the game between lessons. There was this geek shop which sold all kinds of board game and CCG stuff, so we went there frequently. At that time the newest block was Mirrodin. It's still one of my favourite sets/planes flavor-wise even now. There's simply something really unique in this eerie and grotesque sci-fi setting, even if it's not exactly your traditional MtG fantasy setting. I also remember one of my friends being really into MtG at that time: he had this whole albums full of cards which was the envy of others, but the amount of money which was needed for such a collection was simply out of reach for most of us. I only bought two Mirrodin pre-made decks plus some booster stuff (and had that early stuff I got from my aunt). But it was fun times nevertheless, we were really into it, we even played a few local tournaments.

Highschool ended, and I dropped playing physical MtG. While in College I played MtG: Duels of Planeswalkers on PC in my free time, which was quite enjoyable as the game had good mechanics and pretty polished UI.

What got me hooked totally yet again was the release of Innistrad block. Well, I didn't play the game physically by then anymore, but the setting was so spot-on for me that I've read every piece of lore that was out there. Imo it's one of the best iterations/settings of Gothic horror in history of pop-culture, one to which everything else should aspire to imo (movies, games etc, here's hoping Greedfall will be a good game btw). I'm probably not the only one who thinks that as it's a popular set.

Innistrad aside I was still keeping track of the happenings in the franchise only to loose interest in the recent years (with a small activity in my previous job when we played board games, and because some of us still had MtG cards we played it a bit from time to time). After Tarkir block I didn't know what was happening in the game.

I belive I was browsing some artbooks when it hit me that there's actually a series of official artbooks, each built around one of the so-called planes of MtG "Multi-verse". This is simply something I can't miss, cause whatever interaction I had with the game, it was always the art, the lore, the flavor of the game which got me hooked in the first place. This year there's also a 25th Anniversary artbook coming: link.

Now I plan to collect all the artbooks, I'm knee-deep reading the lore (this post is a direct effect of this), past and present. I can't belive how much nostalgia I'm getting from this. It's nice to see Wizards of the Coast is still going strong (probably because "nerdy" stuff is becoming ever-so popular), and that for instance they are close to releasing MtG: Arena, which might be a big contender against Hearthstone (which wouldn't exist without MtG in the first place). I mean Magic is a harder game then Hearthstone (and a lot more expensive), but they're targeting for a more streamlined expierience and a f2p model, which is a novelty for this franchise actually, so this might be good...

So, reading my story, are there any people here who like to share their expieriences with Magic: the Gathering?

PS: Here's a little round-up of the past 25 years:https://magic.wizards.com/en/content/magics-25th-anniversary-25-year-timeline

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Legendary Hero
posted May 13, 2018 07:22 PM
Edited by Minion at 19:24, 13 May 2018.

I remember very vividly what first got me into the game. It was the 7th grade which means I was 13 years old or so. We were just walking around the school talking during recess, as we usually did. Suddenly we started noticing some random cards in the ground. After picking up a few I realized these were MtG cards, we had heard about it but never seen before. The set was Mirage, and I can still to this day remember my very first card - Bone Harvest.

It was the art on the cards that really drew me into the game more than anything. The rules were pretty hard to learn but I studied them extensively so we could play. Yet we played it very wrong in the beginning, starting to correct things along the way. Oh yeah and where those cards on the ground came from? This a few years older dude who owned a massive collection was walking ahead of us and throwing all the commons and uncommons away that he had +10 already. Lucky for us!

Anyways the color black was my thing, I gave all my white cards to my friend and he gave all his black cards to me so we could make better decks. One day I got a Catacomb Dragon from a pack and I would just stare at the card for whole evening lol. Dragons were my thing as I guess for many fantasy geeks ;P

I actually wrote fantasy stories of MtG world back in the day lol. Not sure if have them anymore though, would be fun to read.

We played for 6 years back then, so it really took over our nerd group like a storm. It eventually dropped when I went to university. A few years ago I got back into it a little bit, but now it is so different. My brain is more wired to puzzle solving or optimizing instead of immersing myself into the world. I like it but bow for a different reason.

That's about it, the game had a huge impact on me growing up. Learning complex rules comes like breathing to me nowadays thanks to MtG, it helps with my board game hobby a lot.  

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Legendary Hero
Blob-Ohmos the Second
posted May 13, 2018 08:36 PM
Edited by blob2 at 11:34, 14 May 2018.

I'm also all about Dragons, but my color was Green: putting big beasts on the board and overwhelming the opponent was my thing. I actually like most of the colors, with Black being the second one, and my least fav is Blue: I'm just not into illusions and mind-games.

One of the most interesting aspect of MtG is watching how the art evolved over the years. Art is something that probably brought us to the game in the first place, but things that were awe-inspiring few years back, are even more incredible now (they started to use computer-enchanced art):

Oh, I didn't mention this, but because of the 25 years anniversary, the newest set is called Dominaria (it's like the "mother" plane of MtG historically) and is about going back to the realm and continiuing its story. Not only it's a nice nod to players as it's chock-full of nostalgic references, but the art is simply marvelous...

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Legendary Hero
Blob-Ohmos the Second
posted May 19, 2018 12:44 AM
Edited by blob2 at 22:01, 24 May 2018.


I couldn't resist the urge to play the game... so I went and bought two Commander 2017 decks and currently am in the process of teaching my brother how to play MtG

I know, Commander is not the best format for 1v1 (although this variant is even officialy recognized by Wizards), but the decks are probably the best out-of-the-box value you can get. Plus the format is unique and fun. I've bought Draconic Domination for instance, which has like 29 Dragons that are mostly Legendaries. I couldn't even dream of such a collection through normal, booster means.

Commander is said to be a format for casual and irregular play, so I think it's cool for me and my brother.

EDIT: So I've read through whole of "The Art of Magic: the Gathering - Innistrad" (yes, I took my time enjoying it ) book, and I'm fully content with the lecture. These books are great, and I'm really glad WotC decided to finally create such a thing. Although releasing these seem like a no-brainer, looking on how rich of a universe MtG has, I must still say it took them long enough.

The book is written in a clear but flavorish and conscise style. I like Wyatts style of writing, maybe it feels a bit like he was describing a game at times, but I never even once had an issue with how it was presented. The art is spot-on when it comes to giving the additional flavor. The book doesn't cover all the happenings, misses on a few characters or mentions them briefly, but it's understandable when taking into account the scope of each MtG Plane. You just can't pack the whole rich lore of a setting that was created with a plethora of story articles, cards and art pieces in 240 pages. But it is a good point of entry. I was also surprised by the short yet compact appendix at the end. It sheds some light on the creative process that went behind the set, and can even be used as a point of reference for some people in their own creative processes. Great addition and complements the book well.

To anyone even remotely interested in fantasy settings (or Gothic/Lovecraftian Horror in this case), not to mention people who had expierience with MtG: I encourage you to give Innistrad, or other books in the series, a try. At this point there are 5 (+1 coming soon) books in the series, but I really hope they will give me more of this stuff, or at least Tarkir, Theros and Mirrodin. Shut up and take my money!

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