all goes well, this article (and along with it, this
column) is one of the first things you will be reading
on Pojo.com's newly formed Magic: The Gathering website.
Chances are high that most of you who read this article
will be visitors from one of Pojo's other sites (such as
Pokemon) who dropped in to check it out and maybe to see
what this Magic game is all about. If so, welcome!
I intend to be a regular presence on this website for
quite a long period of time (read: until they drag my
decaying corpse away from the keyboard to give it a
proper burial) I suppose I should begin by introducing
you to my column, right?
this my column. Column, these are my readers.
that introductions are out of the way, I'll start by
addressing the question that is probably on many of your
minds, especially if you're new to Magic or haven't even
started playing. Maybe you know absolutely nothing about
it. That's cool; that's what I'm here for. But there's a
question that, for many of you, needs to be addressed
before I try to tell you anything else:
should I play Magic over Pokemon or whatever TCG I
question. Hopefully I have a good answer.
most obvious answer is that, of all the little foil
packages of cards that you can currently acquire in
exchange for pictures of dead presidents, Magic offers
without a doubt the most stable value for your money.
When you buy a booster of Magic cards, you are buying
more than just an assortment of little cardboard
rectangles with pretty pictures on them. You are buying
a guarantee that these cards will continue to offer you
entertainment for a substantial length of time. You are
buying a guarantee that there will be others who share
your enjoyment of these cards, and that there will be a
reliable governing body to regulate the environment in
which these cards are played. You are buying a guarantee
that the people involved in the design in production of
these cards were probably not smoking crack. In short,
you are buying a heck of a lot more than you would with
most other games on the market, including Pokemon.
not get me wrong. Many of the TCGs out there are
excellent, and offer good value for their money. I still
enjoy playing Pokemon and buying the cards, and I will
continue to do both as long as the cards are printed,
but even I have to admit that Pokemon has seen its
prime. Certain things about the game need to be fixed,
and I don't see that happening soon, unfortunately. So
for the time being, I have chosen to be significantly
more active in Magic than I am in Pokemon, at least as
far as actual playing of the game goes. While I
certainly don't encourage anyone to give up a game that
they enjoy, I believe that for many people whose TCG of
choice seems to be slumping, Magic can offer a reprieve
and a way to play cards in a truly competitive, fun
other reasons why Magic, for better or for worse, beats
the crap out of just about everything else out there:
is an extremely one-dimensional game, with almost every
deck in existence seeking to win by drawing all six of
its prizes. Moltres Stall is just about the only solid
deck that has ever sought to win solely by depleting its
opponent's library, and even that deck seems to have
fallen out of favor of late. While it is true that there
are multiple ways in which the various decks go about
bashing their opponents' heads in, they all boil down to
this same principle sooner or later. While I can't speak
for most of the other TCGs out there, I suspect that
they would find it hard to compare to Magic in this
regard as well.
In Pokemon, if your opponent has 1 prize remaining
and you have 6, it means you are probably dead. In
Magic, if you are at 3 life and your opponent is at 20
life, it could mean you are dead. But it could also mean
that next turn you will cast Wrath of God, then sit
behind a wall of counterspells while your opponent
struggles to recover his creature base. It could also
mean that your next turn will be longer than usual and
will end with you saying something along the lines of
"Stroke of Genius you for a lot." It could
mean a lot of different things, and that's one of the
things that makes Magic so nifty.
is no argument that Magic possesses just about the
largest card pool of any TCG in existence. Despite what
some people would tell you, this is hugely positive
thing. Having a lot of cards means much more than just
having a lot of cards-- it tends to mean having a lot of
and this means in turn that there are a lot of viable
strategies in almost any given environment.
a related note, the increased size of the card pool
means that the good cards are much more evenly
distributed among the various rarities. Ever tried to
make an all-common deck in Pokemon? Didn't get very far,
did you? In Magic, the concept of decent all-common
decks is not unheard of. The decks in question might not
be fiercely competitive, but every now and then one
comes along that just might be able to give tournament
decks a run for their money. While it's certainly true
that the best rares are far superior to the best
commons, many commons are no slouches (Rancor anyone?)
and almost no deck would be complete without a number of
hope to discuss the issue of rarity in a future article,
so hold this thought.
Bannings, restrictions, and varied formats.
of wonders, there are people at the DCI who know what is
good for the Magic environment!!! Wonder of wonders,
they admit that certain cards need to be banned or
restricted and that formats should be created in which
older sets are phased out!!! And-- OH YES-- THEY HAVE
THE POWER TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT BESIDES STANDING
AROUND AND SCRATCHING THEMSELVES!!!
the sarcasm in the preceding paragraph was lost on you,
then you have never played a game of Pokemon in your
then, we have given three excellent reasons why Magic is
an enormous beating and why you should begin pumping
your money into it as soon as possible. On top of this,
there has probably never been a better time for a
beginner to enter Magic than right now. The Invasion
block has arrived, bringing with it an incredible amount
of fun new cards and banishing the broken Urza Block to
the realms of older formats. I know that I have never
had more fun playing the game than I have had in the
past few months, and I know many people who feel the
it a try. Buy some cards, read the rules, and try
playing against some friends. I think you'll like it.
in here next week for more randomness.